Thursday, February 5, 2015

Mass Kombat: Act I Part I

This happens to be a three act story I wrote in two and a half weeks or so. Thought I'd share it on the blog too.

Act I of this Mass Effect X Mortal Kombat fan fiction (of sorts) was written from 1/24/15 to 1/27/15.

Enjoy! [NSFW; I cuss and make the violence. Formality is all.]


        Among the stars, the Milky Way was playing base to a vessel led by a man of equal legend and presence. Commander Shepard was leading the Normandy to Earth after receiving orders that all current fleets of the Alliance were to leave space and return to Earth. “It isn’t exactly a desired way to return, but I suppose it’s for the better.” he thought. After landing the Normandy at the designated station, he and most of his crew were forced to separate.

Shepard looked to his crew with exception to one Major and broke the news. “Per orders of the Admiral delivered by his personal Viceroy, this crew is to disperse until matters beyond our control reach a settlement.” His crew was dumbfounded at the order. Shepard explained, “It may have only been four months since defeating the reapers, but things between Earth and Space aren’t pretty right now.” Almost on cue, Major Kaidan Alenko stepped in to alleviate tension among the crew. “He’s not saying we’re discharged. He’s saying that for the first time in years, we get down time.”

The crew felt less hostile towards Shepard but not any less despondent. Kaidan glared at them and out of character scolded, “Save that ‘brooding’ mess for someone interested. That man you side-eye saved your asses to where he’s owed a free steak sandwich.” The crew eventually came to accept that Earth would have to be home if only for an indeterminate amount of time. Once Shepard relayed further detailed accounts that an agreement would take up to ten to fifteen years after reconstruction efforts (and in turn that a statute of five years of inactivity with no conduct violations was grounds for honorable discharge from the Alliance) the crew had James Vega thank him for his leadership on their behalf. “It’s more than apologizing for earlier today, Commander.” James said. Shepard replied, “There’s nothing wrong with being on edge after such a close call for your lives after all these years. Down time doesn’t feel right yet, but believe me. We all deserve this.”

Once the dispersing was complete, Shepard and Kaidan were relieved and took each other in their arms. “I was worried for you every day of my life.” Kaidan began. “Going down with the ship, seeing you on Horizon holding the leashes of Cerberus, thinking you were finally gone after you destroyed the reapers...” Shepard kissed him and comfortingly relayed, “I was twice as worried I would fuck up in the end. You kept me going and here we are.” Once directed to a set of barracks where civilian transport awaited the honorably discharged of the Alliance, the doors revealed an innocuous fleet. However, Shepard had begun feeling uneasiness in the barracks. “Something isn’t right.”



        The guard present queried, “Is medical attention necessitated, Commander?” Shepard negated the need for medical attention. “One of these vehicles is giving me discomfort. I don’t know why, but it’s acting like a gravitational pull to it...” he clarified. Kaidan told the guard, “Let me help him through this. Stand like nothing’s happening.” The guard complied as Kaidan had Shepard lead him to this source of recurring precognition. “Is that beacon’s after effects haunting you to this day?” Kaidan asked.

       “No.” Shepard began. “This sense is of its own narrative. Keep inching toward the back of this barrack.” As they neared the back, Kaidan noticed that all the vehicles on hold were custom fusion models ranging from a Subaru/Ferrari Frankenstein dubbed both the “Fubaru” and “Surrari” to a Pontiac Judge GTO/Jaguar F-Type Frankenstein dubbed the “GT-F-O”. Shepard clenched onto Kaidan as the source of his discomfort was finally found; a sleek, black cocoon of a Nissan GT-R and the inner workings of a metallic cornflower blue dune buggy. “Tell the guard to get higher ups to this barrack post haste.” Shepard demanded. Kaidan was worried at first but later had the guard carry out Shepard’s order. Kaidan couldn’t stomach Shepard being almost helpless near a source of discomfort. He rushed back to him and offered solace. “Look at me Shepard. You’re going to be alright. The guard shouldn’t be taking much longer getting higher-ups here.” Once the On-base Viceroys of the Alliance arrived they saw the Commander in his state. “Your calming touch prevented what looked like a nervous breakdown, Major Alenko.” one Viceroy commended. The other Viceroy simply begged the question, “What does the Commander want us here for?”

Kaidan explained that uneasiness had plagued the Commander the minute the barrack doors opened and once they were in the custom vehicle section, a particular vehicle was found to be the source of uneasiness. One Viceroy suggested that they were to take the vehicle from the base as means to deter other episodes of psychological damage. “It obviously isn’t conducive to mental health here on the base if even a Commander of Shepard’s caliber can falter almost instantaneously.” The other Viceroy concurred in this sentiment. “I’m having personnel bring the keys to this...’GT-R Cocoon’ you called it?” Shepard emerged from his boyfriend’s arms thanking the Viceroys but reminding them, “Keys in these ‘Frankenstein’ models are supposed to remain in the ignition in stationary or idle states.”

The other Viceroy confirmed Shepard’s memory. “Indeed. I’m re-entering the request as clearance for removal of this ‘GT-R Cocoon’ from the base...” not a millisecond later, the other Viceroy uttered, “...it’s done. Clearance granted for removing this vehicular blight from the base.” One Viceroy whispered to Kaidan, “Take care of the Commander. Seeing him in a moment of vulnerability humanized him but at a terrible cost.” He retorted, “He may have been a son of paragon but he was never meant to be the child of perfection. No one is.” One Viceroy was apologetic; “Forgive my verbal insolence. Take care of him and Godspeed.” Kaidan and a healed Shepard left the Alliance base in a manifestation of sensory driven vulnerability. As they were driving Kaidan asked Shepard what if anything he learned from his vision. He was quick to respond, “I didn’t have a vision, per se...I was made uneasy by this thing’s presence and for whatever reason it’s subsiding for better or maybe worse.”

“If the uneasiness is subsiding, I’d hardly entertain a ‘maybe worse’ option.” Kaidan countered. “Besides, once we find a home in...” As he paused Shepard continued “...Seattle? It’s pretty much South Vancouver. Yakima if things need to be switched up.” He then realized why there was pause. “Listen, Kaidan. We’ve been through too much to let the end of our military careers and more down time from the ‘action’ to say goodbye.” Kaidan responded, “Seattle it is...even if it means seeing you in clothes more than should be.”

They drove for the remainder of the day from the base to Seattle. The two of them pulled over only once as Kaidan discovered something in the center console of the car. His eyes were dilated from fear. “Someone’s after you Shepard.” he said in warranted panic. He grabbed what was revealed to be an envelope with “Commander Alan Shepard” written out with a commanding semi-gloss like the dune buggy prior to its polymerization in the cocoon. Once opened, Shepard read out what he had sensed brought the disarming feeling in the barracks:
“We’ve been waiting for the day in which the Normandy would D-Day its ass back to Earth. You’re needed to defend Earth in a way you’ve never encountered before. Collectors and Reapers mean nothing in our biomes. Kaidan is welcome to join you as well. Seattle will have to wait. Locate the Wu Shi Academy and prepare for Kombat.”
“All that trouble and they spell combat wrong?” Kaidan exasperatedly queried.

“Whoever they are, they have to be dealt with for interfering with our lives.” Shepard said. “Our down time is nothing to fuck with.” Eventually, they continued the automotive sojourn to Seattle in spite of the indignant, wanton and intrusive tone of the message. Hours later, they had reached Seattle and spotted bizarrely placed graffiti all along Downtown. “That can’t possibly be the same shade of blue as in the message.” Kaidan hoped. Shepard, though grateful of his boyfriend’s wishful thinking, dejectedly stated the obvious. “That damn cornflower blue wasn’t going to stop that easily.” All along Downtown Seattle, cryptically crafted cornflower commands to “Seek the ‘Ferry’ Godmother” baffled the denizen.

Shepard and Kaidan eventually drove to where the graffiti had dissipated and figured out that the figureheads that left the note would at the very least introduce themselves this night. In a shipyard, they located an ensemble of fighters on a vessel named of all things, “The ‘Ferry’ Godmother”. The blonde female among them, beckoned the two to board the ferry. Unbeknownst to her and the others, Shepard and Kaidan had planned an immediate attack and were spry to do it in a heartbeat. Once out of the cocoon, Kaidan biotically kicked the blonde female in the head (in turn rendering her near listless) while Shepard drew a gun from the vehicle at the rest of the fighters and demanded their names.

“Tell us who the hell you are and what your leader wants with me and Kaidan.” The female in green introduced herself, “My name is Jade. My companion your friend knocked out is Sonya Blade; head of the Outer World Investigation Agency.” Shepard corrected Jade without missing a beat, “Kaidan just so happens to be my boyfriend and until you and Sonya showed up with the rest of this rag-tag group of fuck-arounds, we were about to settle into a much deserved rest from military service.” The unintentional Zatoichi amongst the fighters then revealed who he was by using his telekinesis to remove Shepard’s weapon. “I am Kenshi. I was blinded many years ago by a treacherous sorcerer. I am gifted in telekinesis; in a way like your boyfriend’s ability to act with little exertion.” Kaidan though mildly impressed, goaded the others to relay their names. “Make it quick. I could easily wipe the floor with you all through a biotic bitchslap.” The rest revealed themselves as Jax and Kitana. Jax firmly warned Kaidan, “I don’t want you laying a hand on anybody else in our group from here on out. Biotic movements or not, you’re to keep your hands and feet to yourself.” Kitana then explained why only a few of them revealed themselves at that point in time.

“The others in our group are at the Wu Shi Academy awaiting you two to arrive with little difficulty.” she started in stern yet dulcet tones. “You view us as a cumbersome collection of ne’er-do-wells. We view you as new Earthrealm champions of Mortal Kombat.” Shepard was perplexed as it became apparent that Kitana was not being facetious. “You’re attempting to ruin the new life Kaidan and I risked death to have, just to fight in a goddamn tournament?! You all die now.” He reached for a custom trident-net weapon that could nullify all abilities of those encapsulated by the net. “Wait! Don’t be irrational!” Kitana pleaded.

Jax Briggs would then commit the last mistake of his life when he lunged for Shepard in an attempt to wrestle the weapon out of his grip. Kaidan’s use of his biotic abilities here would be more ruthless in theory than even against Commander Vyrnnus. The aura around Kaidan was mere plumage compared to the blood spilled from slamming Jax against the ferry’s floor. “Kenshi! Stop him before he kills Jax!” Jade cried. With the most vicious of endings, Kaidan then stomped through Jax’s skull in one go. Shepard was horrified at Kaidan’s breaking of character. “Don’t advance on him!” he insisted. “Kaidan...baby...look at me.”
“He was going to hurt you, Shepard.”
“Pull yourself together. Please, we might not be given another chance.”
Tearfully, Kaidan asked for clemency from the others.

Kitana while able to forgive Kaidan’s outburst pointed out, “I’m not who you have ask mercy from. Guess who’s about to see our fallen comrade from the knockout you delivered.” Shepard was at the ready to defend Kaidan with his life. Before Kenshi was able to begin, Kitana advised him and a mourning Jade to not attack. “We have to do our best to not upset them further. We need them to help us despite the shakiest of outcomes.” Jade looked at her flummoxed and almost irate. “Do what?! Absolutely not! He just killed Jax and you expect us to not retaliate?” Kenshi reluctantly echoed Kitana’s sentiments. “We have no choice in the matter. Save your complaints for Raiden and the others once we finally set course for the Wu Shi Academy.”

Sonya Blade awoke to find her long time Outer World Investigation Agency partner dead. She could see remnants of Kaidan’s biotic aura and she knew it was him. “You son of a bitch...” she muttered. As she looked up, Shepard had the trident-net weapon right near her eyes. “You so much as lay a molecule of skin on him, I’ll have you on the fastest road to hell.” he warned. “Explain just what the fuck Kaidan and I are to you and everyone else at this academy.” She looked at a dormant unit and realized Shepard’s rage couldn’t be questioned. “I’ll do my best without harming you or your...” “...boyfriend. He’ll snap at you in a picosecond over that.” Jade advised.

Sonya then relayed what she knew on behalf of Raiden. “All I can say is that Raiden is certain that a Commander of the stars and his second-in-command were the only people he wanted as the Earthrealm champions of the upcoming tournament.” Kaidan snidely chimed in, “So you went off of really specific pretense to find a ‘Commander of the stars’ and someone close to him. Clearly intellect or even basic questions such as ‘what the fuck are you talking about?’ are lax with this arrangement.” “Don’t give me lip!” Sonya barked. “Come with us to the Wu Shi Academy so we can at least get our asses out of the eye of the law.” Shepard and Kaidan locked eyes and thought they had let the other down. “I look into his honeyed cinnamon eyes and see my fault for this mess.” Shepard thought. “I’m immersed in a feeling as icy as his arctic aqua eyes. Me killing Jax killed our down time.” Kaidan thought. Jade and Kenshi each saw the remorse in them and simply nudged Kitana to take control of the vessel. “Have this ‘Ferry’ Godmother move at the speed of light.” Jade softly instructed.

Sonya eventually realized that despite Jax’s unwarranted death, Kaidan did have a point about Raiden’s instructions. She looked at him and said, “Jax was my dearest friend and for ending his life, I will never forgive you. Even if you had a point as to how fucking cryptic Raiden can be.” After a sanguine genesis to their newfound journey, Shepard and Kaidan retreated to a lounge area on the ferry. Jade noticed them sulking and made a conscious effort to converse with them to find out just what they had been through. “I may as well go out of my way to offer something of an accord with you two.”

Jade wondered just what type of life they had led before planning on settling in Seattle. “When word of space fleets coming back to Earth was making waves on the news, I admit to having no idea of such things existing of Earth’s creation.” Shepard was the less rattled of the two and as a result, explained the events that had unfolded. “Four months ago, a fleet of the galaxy’s finest military powers defeated the greatest threat to the Milky Way galaxy ever seen by the Alliance forces. I risked my life activating the bomb that wiped out the Reapers. I was found in the rubble by a counselor’s Viceroy underneath rubble with a single breath in my chest being the giveaway I was alive.” Jade was stunned at how much he had been through and suddenly understood the initial resistance from the attack on Sonya when they docked “The ‘Ferry’ Godmother”. Despite this newfound sympathy, she wondered what caused Kaidan’s rampage that resulted in Jax’s death.

“That much can’t be explained beyond a misguided and impulsive display of self-defense.” Shepard responded. Jade raised the question, “Love can’t bring about that much malice out of someone, right?” He pondered the question, but Kaidan gave his two cents with Jax’s dog tags in tow saying “My love for Shepard should’ve been strong enough to merely subdue Jax at best. Instead, I traded love for revenge and it resulted in blood of a fellow military man on my shoes.” Emerging from the shadows was a remorseful Sonya.
“I shouldn’t have been vindictive in my time of mourning him.”
“I shouldn’t have killed him.” Kaidan replied.
“It was wrong of me to not offer a safe haven before everything transpired.”
“It was wrong of me to not grant him what Shepard and I ask for.”
“Both of you didn’t know what was going to happen. Once everything was laid out, tensions came to a boil.” Shepard began. “Besides, I enabled the thinking of an ambush against all of you in case you were out to murder us.” Once the ferry was stationary, Kitana informed everyone, “We’ve arrived. Semantics be damned, we have Raiden to deal with now.”

Shepard and Kaidan had no choice but to be compliant from here on out. Kenshi sensed their discomfort and told them, “You might not do more than assist us on our journey.” Kaidan though grateful replied, “That’s hardly any consolation now, but we appreciate the effort.” Shepard took the wheel of the cocoon and had Sonya provide the route to the academy. Jade was fixated over how Raiden would react over Jax’s death. She thought to herself, “He’s not going to take this lightly. These two are supposed to help us and he might kill them where they stand.” Once they pulled up to the Wu Shi Academy grounds, Jade’s pragmatic and ominous thought process would be put to the test. She took time to warn the Shepard and Kaidan of the others.
“Raiden is a thunder God, Kung Lao has a hat that can slice you seven ways to hell, Liu Kang can turn into a dragon and Johnny Cage is an utter douche.” “Your warning is greatly appreciated.” Kaidan began. “I can see the sunglasses from here and it indeed screams ‘douche’.”

Raiden and the three other members not present in Seattle, Kung Lao, Liu Kang and Johnny Cage each had the look Jade knew they’d be irate to discover was true. Raiden was the first to ask, “How is it Jax is not present after this mission?” Kaidan provided the truth knowing full well he could die as a result. “Upon meeting them in Seattle, the Commander and I were prepped to ambush them all. Even after being told the intent of this group’s mission with us, we were still under the thought to kill everyone. Jax lunged at the Commander...and I killed him before he could hurt him.” To the surprise of everyone, Raiden was regretful of his decision to not venture to Seattle.

“I should have explained this in person with the rest.” he said. “Though your action is deplorable, we’re no better considering some of the heinous things we’ve done in previous tournaments.” Jade then proceeded to present Jax’s body for burial. “Have the students bury our fallen comrade in the grand tomb. Then, explain why we need the Commander and Major for this in plain English.” Kung Lao stepped in for Raiden and carried out Jade’s instruction of burying Jax. He beckoned a group of students to accompany him to the grand tomb to lay Jax to rest. He locked eyes with Kaidan and simply said, “At least your honesty has washed away most of your impurities.” Johnny and Liu decided to pay their respects to Jax with those already heading to the grand tomb. “He’ll warm up to you eventually.” Johnny assured. “I’ll have his iciness of you two reduced in no time.” Liu said.

Raiden was left to carry out the rest of Jade’s instruction. “Allow me to explain what you two mean for our cause. I am in the midst of righting a wrong I’ve done that nearly jeopardized everyone you met. My sense of intervention has been met with equal acclaim and derision. In other words, when I do act to protect Earthrealm it is often at the wrong time or when everything has already been made irreversible in who lives in the end.” Shepard queried, “So an act of your own doing is the reason we’re here?” “Not quite.” Raiden continued. “This time, I killed a man named Shujinko who had attempted and was successful in erasing a mistake of his own doing. He was lured by adventure as a boy and inadvertently brought back the malevolent Dragon King.” “How did he right this wrong?” Kaidan asked. Raiden responded, “The Dragon King was foolish to give Shujinko an ability to replicate the fighting styles of our fellow kombatants he met along the way. Once in his lair, Shujinko destroyed the relics the Dragon King had attained through Shujinko’s sojourn across the realms and killed the Dragon King.” Shepard chimed in, “So a lack of foresight led to this Dragon King’s demise. How does that explain us being necessitated substitutes for Shujinko?”

Raiden replied, “Shujinko undoing his act of bringing forth the Dragon King meant nothing to me at the time. I electrocuted him to death as means of preventing any further action of his putting Earthrealm in danger. With our new threat at hand, I’ve realized his versed martial-arts skills were advantageous to us in winning comfortably.” Shepard had grown impatient with Raiden’s exposition. “All of that is very moving, but as I’ve asked before...why are you involving me and Kaidan?” Raiden calmly assured the two, “You both have the very fight in you to defend Earth across realms let alone in the galaxy. I sought information on powerful military figures that were capable of defending our world in the grandest scale imaginable. What happened with these Reapers making waves across the world gave you two away.”

The uneasiness Shepard had felt before abruptly came back. “Shepard!” Kaidan cried. “What’s wrong?” A female voice from the trees interjected, “The ‘thunder God’ is fucking around again!” She leapt and knocked Raiden to the ground. Locking eyes with Kaidan she said, “My name’s Christie and I’m not killing you or your boyfriend.” Christie beckoned the others from the tree to explain the score. “Catya, get Blyvy and Violetta out of the tree. Raiden went off script and was in exposition mode like we feared.” Shepard was able to recover from the uneasiness to face the assailants. “What the hell is going on?” he asked.

Christie explained, “Raiden didn’t send that Frankenstein of a vehicle without our help. He didn’t even know there was such a shade of blue as metallic cornflower.” Shepard exclaimed, “So he’s been lying this entire time!” Catya corrected him, “He went off script, sweetheart. We collaborated with him to get you two to fight with us against a threat that meant something to the both of us...the Emperor of Outworld, Shao Kahn.” Kaidan was elated that the pieces were falling into place. “Thank goodness we’re finally getting an explanation. Wait...what is that car...thing we’ve been driving famous for?” Blyvy began, “Before Violetta and her Legion fucked around with it...” Violetta interjected, “...it was Ganymede’s fault and I’m not telling you again.” “Whatever.” Blyvy continued. “...before you saw it as it is, it was a hell on wheels marauding machine. Tons of slaughtering was done from, inside and all around this thing.”

Shepard asked, “How did it end up in Alliance barracks? Are they in on this as well?” Violetta replied, “Where it ended up is mere fluff. It was confiscated by authorities long after all of us were more or less satisfied with the blood spilled. Once we found out where it was, we decided to act on what we knew about you and your boyfriend here.” Christie went on to say, “Before you bore us with your realizations, yes; we were the ones who infiltrated the base to put the message inside the car, painted the town blue and even loaned our ferry for their use to get you here.” Catya added, “And yes we realize the spelling of combat was fucked up. Raiden insisted on it.” As Raiden was arising from his conked state, Sonya and the others returned from Jax’s funeral. “Raiden!” Sonya cried. “What did you two bastards do to him?!”

Catya drew her ring blade at Sonya and said, “Eyes to us you whore!” “Who the hell are you?” she asked. “We’re the real reason Raiden had everybody meet here at the academy.” Christie responded. “If you have a problem with that, get ready to eat your own fucking spine.” Sonya Blade went on to make the last mistake of her life by questioning the psychosis of Christie. She lunged at Sonya with a kick to her sternum. “I could’ve warned you about the spine thing and how she’s actually done it several times before.” Catya snidely gloated. “However, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a good gore fest.”

Before Jade and the others could attack in response, they were horrified at Christie’s savage removal of Sonya’s spine from her coccyx. Johnny spouted, “She isn’t going to say anything morbid along with this is she?” The macabre and coquettish uttering of “Who wants bony num-nums? You do. You want bony num-nums, yes you do.” was enough to have Johnny vomit in a nearby garden. “Oh my God! That is the most disgusting and vile thing I’ve seen in my life!” he shouted. Violetta went on to tauntingly relay, “That’s nothing compared to the time she was pulled off of an opponent for wanting to shove a used tampon down their throat.” The disgust felt led to all but Violetta and Christie to join Johnny in emptying their stomachs all over the Wu Shi’s gardens.
“I’ve met Cerberus officials with more mercy than that.” Shepard said.
“Not even a wraith in the Netherrealm does that.” Jade echoed.
“Commander Vyrnnus had less hate in his heart than that.” Kaidan added.

          Christie kicked the now slain Sonya aside to draw the meeting back to the point. “You’ll get over that. As for you former thunder God, there’s a heavy price for fucking around.” Shepard pressed, “Former thunder God?” Christie had realized the extent of Raiden’s cryptic nature. “You don’t even have the decency to tell of how you abdicated your status as thunder God to help Earthrealm further. Also known as, exposition that’s actually fucking useful to know.” Shepard was enraged. He ran to and grabbed a gun from the cocoon. “You’ve fucked with me for the last time.” he told Raiden. He squeezed the trigger and the blood against the wall was more than enough proof that Raiden was no more.

“Whoa...” Blyvy said. Catya echoed her sentiments and added, “I thought it would take more than his negligence of revealing he was a former thunder God for you to kill him.” Kaidan sought to bring Shepard back to reality. “Shepard...listen to me.”
“He had been lying to us this entire time.”
“Baby...even Catya said he went ‘off script’. All he did was try to take credit for everything.”
Shepard looked into Kaidan’s eyes and realized he may have gone overboard. He only tearfully begged the rhetorical question, “What have I done?” Kaidan whispered to him, “You know full well you’ve done nothing out of outright malice.” Christie looked at them and the empathy she felt was uneasy but necessitated. She locked eyes with Kitana who she sensed was third-in-command to Raiden’s troop. “You see what happens when you fuck with a loving couple like them with some bullshit like this?!” Kitana though stunned answered, “None of my deceased comrades had it in them to wrong you and the others like this.”

Blyvy commented, “Leave it to some na├»ve little twat like you to see the world in rose-colored glasses.” Kaidan added, “He never did explain how we were really involved in this. The fact you think he was ‘honorable’ enough to give them credit for their actions shows how inane your troop is, let alone you.” Kitana was prepped to challenge him in a fight to the death, until Jade intervened. “He’s right. All we have to do is get to the tournament site...” Violetta interjected, “Oh this ‘tournament’ shit is null and void considering Raiden’s deviance from the script. As of now, you combatants are our bitches through and through. First lesson? Place a ‘c’ where you would a ‘k’ you illiterate fuck-wits.” Kenshi countered, “That was never brought up during negotiations.” “I know for a fact you didn’t read the contract, you Zatoichi knockoff.” Blyvy snarked.

Christie brought up the contract emphasizing, “Read here fan-tard. ‘If in the event, any deviation from the fact this is a collaborative effort will result in negating contributions from the non-agreement providing party.’ In other words, he fucked up so now we do it our way.” To prevent further resistance Christie, Violetta, Catya and Blyvy drew their weapons against the remaining members of the now severely fractured Outer World Investigation Agency. “Even with the students at this academy, you’re facing the wrath of psychopaths who’ve killed in venues grander than here. Don’t fuck with my authority yet again.” she demanded. Realizing time wouldn’t be on their side for much longer, Kitana was compliant in honoring the agreement.

“First order of business...” Catya began. “...is finding the swankiest room in this academy for the lovebirds seen here; all emotional and wrecked that their lives are revolving around conflict once again.” Kung Lao replied, “This doubles as a monastery, so the taste isn’t as ‘swanky’ or materialistic as you would hope for.” Violetta threatened, “Unless you want to be the third person whose blood we have to scrub off the grounds here, pull some miracle and find the most furnished room here.” As irate as he had every right to be, Liu Kang prevented Kung Lao from lashing out. “All the deaths today are going to plague us anyway. Please, don’t add your name to those that will haunt us in the afterlife.” He then instructed Jade and Johnny to round up more students to transport the bodies of Sonya and Raiden to join Jax in the grand tomb.

He was then prompted by force of Christie to locate a properly furnished quarters for Shepard and Kaidan. Dwelling by dwelling Kung Lao reminded everyone that due to its subservient nature as a monastery, the most furnishings one was allotted to have was a bed, pillow and blanket. “As much as I want the Commander and Major to heal in each other’s arms, our means are meager by Wu Shi standards.” Out of the corner of his eyes, Kaidan noticed grand doors directly in the courtyard’s center. “What’s up with the doors over there?” he asked. Kung Lao uttered only the words, “Only Raiden knew of its contents...” before Violetta and Catya began battering the door down. “What are you doing?! You don’t know if it’s locked or not.” he exclaimed. Catya pushed the doors and pulled the handles to no avail. “See? Now shut up and let us break this bitch down.”

Shepard and Kaidan were wondering if they stumbled onto something that would make an already cumbersome trek even more arduous. The cacophony drawing in the rest of the Wu Shi Academy did nothing to quell the paranoia. “What have I done now?” Kaidan said in a defeatist voice. “I don’t feel uneasiness, so this might actually be a good thing.” Shepard pointed out. Violetta tapped Kaidan on the shoulder and said to him, “Loosen up. You’ll be big spoon to him in no time.” “How do you know that?” he inquired. Her glazed facial expression spoke volumes to him.

The doors were busted down to find excess provisions of food, linens and even luxury goods sprawled across an austere microcosm of the Wu Shi Academy. Kung Lao was bewildered at the ostentatious layer Raiden hid from the denizen of the academy. “This place is unclean. There is protocol to this.” he said. Blyvy queried, “Is it anything close to ‘loot what you can and get the fuck out’?” To the surprise of everyone, Kung Lao confirmed this belief. “This monastery was tainted from the get-go. As a result, this room must be stripped near bare.” Shepard told Christie, “Let the students have first access. These might be the nicest things they’ll ever have and it increases your odds of avoiding hell.” She replied, “I like your logic. Besides, hell charges twice as much for this shit anyway.”  To quiet the pending hell from the repressed rage, Christie made an announcement to the students of the now tainted academy.

“To the students whose lives were wasted within the walls of this place, you get first dibs on all these items.” she began. “On top of that, you don’t even have to save any for us. Remember; if it isn’t nailed or bolted down, it’s now yours for the taking.” Shepard asked Kung Lao just to what extent he wanted the room bare. “Will you give a signal to them as to when enough is enough?” Kung Lao assuredly stated, “I will give a signal that will purify these grounds. Don’t wait for this signal until everything in this optically vociferous hellhole is removed.” Shepard locked eyes with Christie and she knew to let the students have at it in the room. “Come claim your reward!” she barked.

The some 500 students at the academy brought reminders of the looting glory Catya, Blyvy, Christie and Violetta all experienced. The sight of this brought awe to Shepard and Kaidan’s faces. Johnny Cage was as baffled by the day’s climax as everyone else. “I can’t be the only one who didn’t see this coming.” His normally chided stating the obvious served as an ironic consensus of all present. Kitana was brought to tears. “Don’t tell me Sonya or Jax knew about this as well...” she began. “...please. Don’t tell me they were in on it.” Catya dryly assured her, “We’ll never know if they had anything to do with the concealing of this place from the academy. Want proof? We buried them.” Jade looked to Liu Kang as he was the only one not witnessing the looting. “You’re thinking Kung Lao is about to do something as needless expression aren’t you?” His silence and Kung Lao’s stone face pieced things together.

She warned Shepard, “Kung Lao’s going to kill himself when the students are done.”
He looked at her puzzled. “I don’t malign you for such presumptions, but certainly he wouldn’t do such a thing in front of everyone.” She countered, “Of course he wouldn’t do it with them in the room! He’ll probably release them from the grounds to the outside world and then kill himself.” Christie was running scans of the room’s content. “Grab that golden plate and call it a day, kid.” After the student complied, she congratulated the students on their bandit work. “Holy shit, can you kids loot. I’ve seen many a looting job and I’m impressed at how much you can take from a room like this.” She then offered what Kung Lao would use a catalyst.

“I hereby offer you the chance to serve as the personal fleet of this armada born out of duplicitous horse-shit. You’ll help us defeat Shao Kahn or die trying but along the way, you’ll eat handsome and lay handsome too.” Shepard’s uneasiness crept in as Kung Lao would take the floor. “Jade was right.” he thought. Kaidan clenched him and told him, “Don’t look. I’m starting to sense the same things as you.” Shepard was shocked at Kaidan’s bravery by proxy. “Not to be rude, but why are you advising me not to look?” Kaidan responded, “You’ve seen enough horror in your life. This might be worse than even you seeing Project Lazarus records.”

Kung Lao allowed the students to join. “You’re free to leave this place. Whether it’s under this newly formed coalition or not, the Wu Shi Academy’s tainted nature is no longer conducive to your well-being.” One student asked, “What do you mean master?” He replied, “You must choose Christie or your personal decisions in the outside world to call your master now.” Violetta chimed in, “Essentially kid, he’s playing the game of if your name isn’t Kung Lao then make like a tree and get the fuck out.” Once he saw nothing but the bare walls and the lei tai on the ground, he instructed everyone else to leave the grounds immediately. “What I’m about to do in this room isn’t suitable for anyone else but me.” Jade turned to Kaidan and Shepard turned away and had Johnny lead everyone to the ferry and cocoon. “OK everyone, follow me single file to the ‘Ferry’ Godmother.” he dopily uttered. A student turned to Christie and asked, “Can we kill him on the ferry?” She replied, “Not without my supervision.”

Jade stayed behind in an attempt to prevent Kung Lao from what she clued into earlier. “Don’t do this.” she began. “You weren’t the only one kept in the dark from Raiden’s duplicity. If you take your life, then he’ll have won from beyond the grave.” He thanked her for her efforts but contrarily replied, “That’s assuming I gave him and not the Wu Shi Academy teachings my unwavering loyalty.” Jade was crushed not only by his resistance but by his impending death being out of false martyrdom. She told him, “You bastard...you’re right, but you’re going down to fulfill a lingering need to be so self-righteous.” He first responded by throwing his hat into the ground at a speed to where the blade was spinning in ominous perpetuity.
He responded next with, “Leave this place now. You don’t deserve to see more blood.”
“Don’t die a false martyr Kung Lao!”
“This isn’t up to you, Jade.”
“Don’t do this!”
Before she knew it, Kung Lao spun with enough force to knock Jade back to an already concerned Kitana. “It’s probably better this way.” She ended up dragging a kicking and screaming Jade and as she screamed her loudest, Kung Lao had fallen onto the blade.

Shepard had assumed Kaidan was still looking at the turmoil unfolding. “How bad is it?” He replied facing him, “Kitana pulled her before he did it.” He then whispered, “Once we close our eyes, we’ll have only each other and we’re all we have.” Christie sauntered to them and escorted them to the quote unquote lovers’ room. “It’s the one place you can get solace from the outside. Use it every chance you get.” she told them. “I’ll deal with everyone else outside. As of now, you two are the Commanders of the Armada.” Kaidan wondered, “What does that make you?” She replied, “Lead War Room Executive of the Armada. You two make sure my twisted plans for domination are carried out by all means necessitated. Now shut up and kiss each other to start with.”

As she promised, Christie went on to diffuse any boiling emotions from the newly formed Armada. “As Lead War Room Executive of the Armada, I want to make very clear now...after reviewing the contract that had been beyond dishonored by at least the deceased former thunder God, we are no longer pursuing the venture of entering a tournament to defeat and murder Shao Kahn.” she stated firmly. “In fact, I have recommended essentially nullifying all Shao Kahn interests at the hands of the fuckery laden Outer World Investigation Agency.” Kitana attempted to protest the decision but the former students turned their fists against her. The student who talked to Christie said, “Don’t fuck with her authority.” The meeting then ended with Christie’s declaration, “From this date in history forward, we settle back to where our Commanders wanted to call home.”


The applause at the end offered itself as a much needed consolation to Shepard and Kaidan. “After all that, we can finally head to the lives we wanted.” Shepard cautiously assured Kaidan. He grabbed Shepard and without trepidation shoved his tongue in his mouth. Shepard returned this impassioned oral prelude to a carnal symphonic circus that sounded all too familiar to Catya, Blyvy, Christie and Violetta. “Holy shit. One speech later and these two are fucking each other mercilessly.” Blyvy noted. Violetta snarked, “The only flip flops in that relationship could be ugly sandals. Kaidan’s the one giving it to the ‘Commander’.”

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