Cyber Akuma carefully examined the fool who dared utter those words to him. The man that stood before him resembled himself in no small way, except for the fact that he lacked any cybernetic components. He did generate some significant chi ratings, but the levels were well within acceptable tolerances. A quick calculation of the probable combat vectors gave Cyber Akuma a definitive course of action: Quickly send this fool to meet his god and return to determining how to usurp Bison's control over him. Cyber Akuma grinned at the ease with which he would accomplish this task.
As was befitting his style of combat, Cyber wasted no time pressing the attack against the interloper. A quick volley of plasma and chi energy forced the other man on the defensive. A quick determination that he should use varied tactics to achieve optimal results caused Cyber to use a flying shoulder tackle instead of his more typical conservative tactics. The force of the rush knocked his opponent through the wall, despite his opponent's attempts to block the maneuver. The resulting cascade of rubble buried the other man in a tomb of masonry and mortar.
Cyber Akuma extracted himself away from the small amount of rubble that covered him. He took a few steps back and considered the sheer folly of the imposter he had just defeated. He felt angry, angry that such folly and weakness could exist. It was just as well that he died so quickly, for if he had lived, his death would have been even more.... unpleasant. Cyber Akuma admired his handiwork one last time before leaving.
Or rather, he would have, had the internal power indicators that were a part of his onboard sensor systems not gone off the scale. The pile of rubble exploded outwards, propelled by the blast of chi energy released by the man buried beneath it. Shards of plaster and brick bounced harmlessly off of Cyber Akuma's armored exoskeleton as he grinned with anticipation. Perhaps this imposter would provide a mildly interesting challenge, after all, he mused. The fake Akuma simply stood, ignored the green fluid that oozed from various small cuts and abrasions, and regarded him with a scowl.
Cyber Akuma once again took to the offensive post-haste. His combat algorithms informed him of the optimal path to achieving a swift victory was to utilize his greater strength and speed in close quarters fighting. He rushed in to attack with what could only be described as a murderous glee.
A blisteringly quick series of punches, kicks, and energy blasts were leveled against the dupe, each of which had enough power behind them to level a small building. Each blow or maneuver was countered, blocked, or evaded in turn. Cyber Akuma found himself growing frustrated with his inability to land a telling blow, or even a glancing blow on his enemy. In fact, he was receiving indisputable data that he was being fought back. Every unsuccessful attack resulted in his losing ground and a bit of momentum lost to the phony.
Cyber Akuma cycled through the library of attacks that were built into the computerized portions of his brain. Each of his trademark attacks was negated in turn. He then proceeded to call upon maneuvers that were not his own techniques, but ones programmed into the cybernetic interface. He met with some success, but the worm he fought against adapted to the new techniques and once again proceeded to beat him back. Realizing that his vast array of programmed skill was failing him, he began to use techniques that relied solely on his cybernetic makeup. Particle beams, homing missiles, and rocket punches were hurled at the false Akuma, and each was evaded, blown up before it could reach its target, or simply knocked aside. Cyber Akuma for perhaps the first time in his existence, knew doubt.
He knew that he must end this fight, and end it quickly. He summoned all his chi energies and focused the anti-matter power plant towards creating the most powerful energy blast that his cybernetic chassis could produce. Even if the pathetic poser blocked this blast, he would easily be disintegrated.
A blistering beam of energy, hotter than the surface of the sun, ripped forth from Cyber Akuma's outstretched hands. The beam burned through the walls of the underground bunker that was his maintenance bay, not stopping until it had blasted deep into the surrounding bedrock. Nothing that was in that beam's path survived.
Cyber Akuma surveyed the destruction. Pleased with his destructive might, he was perhaps more pleased with the idea of Bison being caught in the path of such a beam. He almost allowed himself a smile, but instead whirled around as his sensors picked up a massive build-up of energy coming from behind him. Not only had the maggot survived, but he had clearly teleported. Doubt once again curdled his mechanical soul. He could no longer ignore what his target identification circuitry was telling him. His opponent was Akuma with 99.9% certainty. His computerized mind couldn't avoid the next logical question. If that was Akuma, what was he?
The imposter, no, the real, the shin, Akuma stood before the construct known as Cyber Akuma. He held a raised fist above his head and regarded his opponent coldly for a moment. He then slammed his fist into the ground with a force not seen outside of natural catastrophes.
The resulting blast of energy collapsed much of the surrounding structure. It also threw Cyber Akuma over a hundred feet away and scrambled almost every one of his mechanical systems. Once again he found himself helpless and trapped inside of his own body. He knew what his fate was, for he was programmed to model the behavior of the demon that now stood over his motionless form.
"<You are pathetic>" he sneered, "<You are a mockery of everything I stand for. In attaining your power through machinery, you violate the very premise of what I represent. Know that I am the master of the fist. Know as well that as my fist succeeds, so do I. If my fist fails, then I , too, shall fail. You, being but a fabrication, never learned that lesson. However, your master should have known this. Once I am done with you, I shall teach him that lesson myself. Welcome death, for it is the only thing you deserve.>"
With that, Akuma reached down and ripped Cyber Akuma's head from its body. Sparks flew from the severed connections in its neck, and the baleful glow from its cybernetic eye dimmed and faded. In disgust, Akuma tossed the head to the ground and vanished, intent on his own dark designs.
When the head finally rolled to a halt, a small, and heretofore unnoticed hatch opened in its side. Two small white mice crawled out and started to make their getaway.
"Drat. All those hours of planning and construction wasted because of one little slip-up. I knew I shouldn't have tried to take over Scrap Iron City first." mused the first lab mouse.
"NARF!! Can we ride that again?" asked the first mouse, "That was fun! ZOINK!!"
"Silence, you idiot. We need to return to the lab and make preparations for tomorrow night." answered the second.
"What are we doing tomorrow night?"
"The same thing we do every night. TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!!"
And so, the pair of rodents left the scene in order
to make preparations for their next nefarious scheme.
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the consummate event in fighting tournament history!" gushed Hiroshi, the cloned Ultra announcer, "Tonight we have three great match ups for your view pleasure, isn't that right, Daisuke?"
"Uh, yeah, whatever." Hiroshi's partner, Daisuke mumbled as he thumbed through a copy of Playmates of the Multiverse. He was very clearly more interested in what was being depicted in the centerfold than what was going on around him.
"Daisuke!!" hissed Hiroshi, "We're on the air!"
Daisuke practically fell over himself trying to hide the magazine from view. He tried to look as innocent as possible, which wasn't very possible for someone with a nosebleed.
"I was just reading it for the articles!" he insisted trying, and failing, to play off his embarrassment.
"Daisuke, please pay attention! We've already started!"
"Oh shut up. Let's just do the show. So what do we have scheduled for tonight's fiasco?"
"Well, let's see the schedule," said Hiroshi as he went over the script, "Oh my.. oh MY! OH MY!! OH YESS! YES!! YES!!!!!! OH YEAH BABY!! YEAH!!... *gurk*"
Hiroshi clutched his chest at that last outburst, and began making strange gurgling noises. He tried to lurch to his feet, but only succeeded in falling into a twitching heap on the ground. Daisuke reached for the phone marked "NERV" with all the haste and concern of a three toed sloth on quaaludes. Already this procedure had become old hat.
"Yep. Uh huh." Daisuke said into the phone's mouth piece. "Yeah, it looks like another massive coronary. No, I don't know what could have caused it. Oh wait, here it is. Nah, its nothing special. Just tonight's fight line.. oh.. wait.. this IS interesting. Yeah, send up the technicians. We may need another clone."
Daisuke then hung up the phone, looked at the still twitching form of his erstwhile commentary partner. He sighed once, and keyed his microphone.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, due to technical difficulties, my partner, Hiroshi, is currently indisposed, however," he paused as the NERV techs came into the announcing booth, "I can assure you that tonight's show will provide you with no shortage of spills and thrills. On tonight's card, we have two regular matches, one in the Gamma division, the other in the Omega division. In addition, we have a brand new fighter testing his mettle, but that's not all! In the Lambda division we have a hot n' heavy grudge match for your enjoyment! Frankly, I recommend taking a nap through the first two fights, but don't forget to set your alarm clocks for our main event Lambda fight!"
Wolverine was getting ready for his fight against Morrigan and Lilith. His preparation was partially mental, partially physical, and partially logistical. His mind was keyed in on the prospect of dishing out some well deserved punishment on those two demonesses. His body was covered in a thin sheen of sweat from his workout, and the punch bags and wooden dummies he'd been sparring with were nothing more than tatters and splinters. As for the logistical front, well, he realized that while he probably could school those two succubi, he'd be a fool to not allow for the possibility for outside interference or just plain bad luck. Besides, this was Lambda, and he was allowed to have a...
"Logan, I need to have words with you, chere." interrupted someone with a cajun accent.
Wolverine spun around to see a grim faced Gambit standing in the entrance of the gym.
"What is it, cajun? I don't have all day."
"Don't do this, mon ami. I'm asking you as your friend."
"No can do, bub. Those.. 'women' humiliated me, and now I'm gonna get my pay back." Wolverine stated flatly.
"I know what you're gonna do to them, and I can't let that happen. They mean too much to me."
Wolverine paused for a moment. "Maybe, maybe not.
Do you think either of them give a damn about you? You're just a
plaything to them. Something to be sucked dry and discarded once
you're of no use to them.
"You also gave me your word, cajun. I intend to to hold you to that. You will keep your word, won't you, Remy?"
"But I...." Gambit paused, regarded Wolverine, and then hung his head, "yeah. Yeah. I'll keep my word. Bastard."
"Good. I knew I could trust your honor."
Gambit turned and began to leave. He was angry and torn, but he knew Wolverine was right. The fight had been won fair and square, and he did give his word.
"Hey Remy, look. After all of this is over, I'll buy you a beer just to show you that there aren't any hard feelings."
Gambit looked back at his sometime partner and fellow mutant. He gave a little grin, sketched a mock salute, and walked away leaving Wolverine to formulate a battle plan.
Daisuke was on the phone with the control booth again. He was trying to figure out a plan of action so that he could continue the night's show. Hiroshi's decision to stop "functioning" had been rather inconvenient, to say the least.
"What do you mean the new clone won't be ready for another 15 minutes?!? Well, what about a guest announcer? We're over budget?!?!? Yeah. Yeah. I can do this solo. No, I'll be fine. I SAID I can do this solo. Alright. Just let me take care of this. Fine, I'll make sure that he doesn't get in the booth."
Daisuke sighed as he hung up the phone. The screaming crowd (did they ever shut up?) was starting to get restless, and it was his job to signal the start of tonight's festivities. What's worse, that Jack nut had been clamoring to get a guest spot in the announcer's booth. Over my dead body, he thought. Daisuke paused for a moment and considered the possibility. He decided that knocking on the particleboard desk for good luck wasn't a bad idea.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, without further ado, I present the first fight of the evening!" shouted Daisuke into mike. "The first fight is between Shingo Yabuki and Ryuji Yamazaki, both veterans of the King of Fighter's tournament. So without further ado, please give huge round of applause for our special guest ringside announcer for the fight as we turn over the broadcast to him! Ladies and gentlemen, let's hear it for Conan the Cimmerian!"
The crowed roared its approval as an incredibly muscular man wearing a tuxedo jacket, cummerbund, and loin cloth swaggered down the aisle to the ringside. He entered the ring, and reached for the microphone that dangled from the Ultradome ceiling. He raised his arms triumphantly to the crowd, basking in their roaring approval. To be honest, he could have been the Michelin man and he'd most likely have gotten the same response, but it isn't wise to let a bloodthirsty barbarian know these kinds of things. Conan motioned for the crowd to be silent, and gradually the audience obliged. He cleared his throat and opened his mouth to speak.
"Pehzantz und Venches. Tonahts fuhst bout is a one fahll event. Duh first cohntenda is fram de kingdom of Jahpahn, ja. Veighing in aht 24 stones und stahnding at 9 handz, he is Shingo Yahbuki. Please give him a round of ahplause or ah vill pillage your fields and rape your vomen."
The house lights dimmed as Conan gestured towards the fighter's entrance. "Lost in Space" by Apollo 440 blared over the speakers as Shingo came walking out of the wings. A massive smile was on his face as he hammed it up for the cameras.
"Look, Ma! Look, Kyo! Hello, Ranma-sensei!" he shouted as he waved at the camera. He continued grinning and waving as he stepped into the ring. The crowd seemed to eat his performance up.
"SILENCE! Or ah vill put your heads on a pike and carry it into bahttle." shouted Conan as he continued to introduce the match. "The next fighta also comes from Japan, ja. He is standing at 11 handz and weighs 30 stones. Please velcome Ryuji Yahmazahki, ja."
The crowd's volume once again raised to a deafening volume as red mist billowed from the entrance. A large muscular man wearing a white fur coat and dark sunglasses walked down the aisle. On each arm was a gorgeous woman, and two more followed behind him. Over the loudspeakers was playing a concoction of heavy guitars and synthetic beats.
"o/The worst crimes are about love or money,
Love or money, Love or money.
The worst crimes are about love or money,
Love or money, Love or money.
That's why I'm cheap. (even in my sleep)o/"
Shingo's smile disappeared when he saw who it was he was fighting. He knew who Yamazaki was, and what he liked to do to the people who he fought against. His battle plan suddenly became very simple: Don't die.
Yamazaki strutted down the ramp towards ringside. He grinned at the audience, at the cameras, at the molecules of air that surrounded him. If something moved, he grinned at it. If something caught his eye, he grinned at it. In short, he showed off his dental work to everyone and everything in the Ultradome.
After Ryuji was done getting into the ring, Conan motioned for both fighters to meet him in the center of the ring. When he was satisfied that he had their attention he began to give out fight instructions.
"Ahright, listen up you little girly men. Ah vant a good clean fight, ja? No edged weapons, no hitting below the belt. Unless you really mean it. Now return to your corners or ah vill pummel you mit mein massif fists!"
The two fighters returned to their corners and awaited the signal to begin. When the bell rang the two fighters went towards the center of the ring, each in their own fashion. Yamazaki was still wearing his fur coat and shades while he walked to the center in a casual, almost unconcerned manner. Shingo, on the other hand, was approaching the ring's center like it were radioactive and hesitantly assumed his fighting stance.
Yamazaki peered over his glasses at the youngster and squinted, trying to size up his opponent. With a sigh, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the Judgment Dagger, a one and a half foot long spring loaded blade that he took with him wherever he went. With a flick of his wrist, he flung the dagger at Shingo's foot, embedding the knife halfway into the canvas less than an inch from Shingo's foot. To Shingo's credit he did not either yelp or jump into Conan's arms. He did, however, reflexively take a step back.
"Listen up, munchkin." Yamazaki said as he leered at Shingo, "I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse."
"Wh-what's that, t-t-tough guy?" responded Shingo, trying, and ultimately failing, to act bold.
"Either I can rearrange your internal organs in alphabetical order or.."
"Or I can have a good time with those women?!?" said Shingo, suddenly very perky.
"Oh hell no, squirt. These women are way too good for you. No, either I'm gonna paint the floor with you, or you're gonna pay me ten thousand dollars. Ya dig?"
"But, but.. I don't have that kind of money!" insisted Shingo.
Yamazaki's only response was to let out a short giggle.
Shingo now realized that he was faced with a test of his moral character. On the one hand, his honor and the honor of his teacher, Ranma, was at stake. On the other, his life was at risk. He thought of the sacred trust of the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts. He thought of his debt to the Kusanagi style. He thought of his family, whom he represented. He thought of that huge dagger sticking out of the mat just a few inches from his feet.
"Uh.. Mr. Yamazaki-san?" began Shingo.
"What is it? Are you ready to dance yet?" responded the larger man.
"Err.. I was wondering.."
"Uhm.. could I go and get the money? I'll be right back.. I promise!"
"Sure thing kid. In fact, I'll wait right here for ya."
As Shingo turned to leave the ring, Yamazaki added one last thing.
"Just make sure you come back with the moolah. If you don't, I'll find you." the grin dropped from his face as he said that.
It could be said that for a brief moment, Shingo Yabuki gained the powers of flight as he ran towards the arena exit.
----Ultra Tournament Head Quarters----
A figure dressed in black stormed down the hallway in the direction of God(ess)'s office. He was a man of dark purpose, dark intent, and dark methods. That he was clothed in dark cloth and metal was only fitting, although one might think it was overkill if they viewed him from a distance. Up close, they harbored no such thoughts, for in any face to face confrontation, nothing was more intimidating than the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Darth Vader was prepared for this, his greatest confrontation. He had studied his foe carefully, and knew how to exploit her weaknesses, as few and esoteric as they might be. The tactics he had mapped out might be distasteful, but he was a man used to doing distasteful things. Not even the matter of divinity would sway him from his course. He would be victorious, he could sense that in the patterns of the force.
The door to Kasumi's office burst open. Darth Vader's ominous form filled the door frame, just as his aura of sadism and evil filled the room.
"Why hello there, Vader-sama! How are you doing today?" beamed a typically perky Kasumi.
"You will return me to the place from which I was taken. I will not tolerate any other action." demanded an imperious Darth Vader.
"Now, now, you've hardly been here a week. You should get to know people. Attend the social functions. Go out on a date. I'm sure that you'll love downtown..."
"You will send me back now."
"I'm sorry. I just can't do that. We need you here to participate in the Ultra tournament."
"There is no room for discussion. Send me back."
"I'm afraid not. It's against.."
"Send me back."
"No." God's patience was being pushed. As infinitely patient as she was, she didn't particularly like it when people made incessant demands on her omnipotence.
"You will send me back."
"No, I won't."
"Yes, you will."
"No, I won't."
"No, you won't." responded Vader.
"Yes, I will!" replied Kasumi a bit impatiently.
"No, you won't."
"Yes, I will, and I won't tolerate any more argument!" and with that, Kasumi made her point by sending Darth Vader to a galaxy far, far away. She sighed at how annoying that had been, and proceeded to go about the business of running Creation without a further thought to the incident.
"Well, ladies and gentlemen, looks as though Shingo hasn't returned from where ever it is he went in such a big hurry." said a dispassionate Daisuke, "It also seems that NERV doesn't have the Hiroshi replacement. Meanwhile, let's check on the action, er, lack of action in the ring."
Yamazaki was standing in his corner of the ring, resting his elbow on the topmost turnbuckle. His attention was occupied the women he had entered the ring with. It looked like he was trying to chat them up.
"Well folks, while Yamazaki is trying to hit on his
escorts, we're going to break to a commercial. When we get back,
we'll have some Omega division action for you featuring Cyber Akuma and
Lina Inverse. Don't miss it. Unless you have something better
to do, that is."
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Shingo Yabuki was a man on a mission. A mission to save his own hide, that is. He raced down the hall, frantically trying to find a telephone. He'd first gone to his room to see how much cash he had on hand, but between his wallet and his piggy bank, he had maybe 3,000 yen, a rupee, and $1.25. He wasn't sure what the yen or rupee exchange rate was, but he had a pretty good idea that he didn't have anywhere close to the amount of cash it would take to bail himself out. His only hope was to borrow the money from someone, but who? Well, he'd need to make some phone calls first. If only he could find... ah! a telephone.
Shingo picked up the phone and thought for a moment about who he could call to borrow money from. He came up with a very short list. He shook his head and started to dial. The phone rang a few times and someone picked up.
"Yeah? Who is this?"
"It's me, Shingo, Kyo-kun."
"Hey, Shingo! How are you doing? It's been a while."
"Hai! I'm in the Ultra tournament! I have a winning record!!"
"Yeah, I saw that. You're doing ok, kid, ya know that? So why are you calling? Don't you have a fight on?"
"Well... uh... can I borrow ten thousand dollars, Kyo?"
Elsewhere, in the fighter's lounge, Gourry was giving Lina Inverse a pep talk. He was attempting to warn Lina about the brutal nature of her next opponent, and only meeting with marginal success.
"Okay Lina, Cyber Akuma is a very physical fighter.
However, he'll probably try to start the fight with a quick flurry of magical
attacks from that metal body of his."
"Gourry, don't you know anything? That's not magic. It's something called science. It doesn't work the same way as what we call magic. There's no chanting, no arcane channeling. It's just an energy buildup, and *wham*!" corrected Lina.
"Oh... well, can your magic counter those attacks?"
"Of course! I'm not the mightiest sorceress for..."
"Ok, good, that doesn't change the battle plan. Anyhow, you'll counter his attacks. However, there's the possibility that he might try to close in and bring the fight to you on a more physical level. What are you gonna do with if he tries that?" fussed Gourry.
"Oh, I'll just use one of my bigger incantations and blast him away from me. He'll get the picture." Lina said rather absently, "I'm just wondering when I'll get my title shot. I think I've done well enough to deserve a chance."
Gourry started to point out a flaw in that reasoning, but he was interrupted by the blaring loudspeaker.
"*Attention. Omega Contestants Cyber Akuma and Lina Inverse report to the dimensional slipgate.*"
"Well, gotta go. Any chance that I can borrow your sword for this fight, in case things get up close and personal?" asked Lina as she poked Gourry in the side.
"Oh well. Wish me luck!"
With that, Lina left the lounge and went to the staging area for her next fight. Gourry was left behind wondering if Lina was aware of just how overconfident she was being. He hoped that she'd last long enough in the fight to learn how to overcome that mistake. He sighed as he sat down in front of the TV and watched the match begin to unfold.
Down at ringside, Yamazaki was still waiting for Shingo. He had traded his fur coat for a reclining lawn chair and a mirrored piece of cardboard. It seemed as though he was taking the opportunity to get a little tanning done.
"Well, ladies and gentlemen, there's still no sign of Shingo Yabuki. Yamazaki has agreed to allow the match to continue whenever he shows back up, so we'll just move along to our next scheduled event." announced Daisuke, "While we're waiting for the fighters to get ready, I'll go over the tale of the tape...."
While Daisuke was occupied with going over the typical pre-fight formalities, the door to the announcer's booth slowly opened. A dark figure stepped into the room and surveyed its contents. His long black cape obscured most of his form, and the cybernetics that were an inextricable part of his body obscured his face. The only sound he made was a mechanical wheeze as his respirator cycled.
The dark newcomer surveyed the room and noticed Daisuke sitting at the announcer's table. He slowly moved towards the table with a sinister purpose in his mechanical heart.
"Daisuke..." intoned a deep distorted voice.
"What?" asked a mildly irritated Daisuke as he turned around. "HOLY JESUS ON A POGO STICK!!! Wait a sec... is that you Hiroshi?"
"I AM CYBER HIROSHI!!" corrected the appropriately named co-announcer, "I AM HERE TO ISSUE AN ULTIMATUM!! SURRENDER TO ME OR I'LL.. um... uh.. OR I'LL HELP YOU ANNOUNCE YOUR NEXT FIGHT!!!"
"Oh sit down." Daisuke disgustedly motioned to the empty chair at his side.
"Ok." responded Cyber Hiroshi as he meekly complied.
"Ok Robo-geek. Listen up. The next fight is Lina Inverse against Cyber Akuma. Think you can handle that."
"Yes, sir. I mean: OF COURSE I CAN HANDLE IT, PUNY FLESH BEING! YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED. RESISTANCE IS FEUDAL."
"Whatever. Shut up."
----The Planet Stroggos----
Tonight's Omega arena was a planet at war. Distant gunfire and explosions could be heard, just as the flashes of artillery bombardments could be seen from just over the horizon. The air here was thin and noxious, though breathable. The area where Lina was teleported into was clear of any combat, but the telltale signs of battle gave evidence to the fact that this site was not long abandoned. Blast craters still smoked. Flattened buildings still smoldered. Bodies of both humans and things that were some sort of cybernetic monstrosity lay where they had fallen. Scavengers, both biological and... otherwise, had yet to pick them clean. It seemed as thought the booker of the fight had wanted to give Cyber Akuma the home field advantage. They couldn't have chosen a better location.
Lina waited expectantly for the other two portals to open. Son Goku, the referee, appeared but a moment after she arrived, but Cyber Akuma was yet to be seen. He had failed to appear when his portal opened. Lina raised her guard and searched the area for her opponent, ready for any potential treachery. She was so intent on finding a Cyber Akuma that she almost missed a very important detail.
Sitting on the ground not 20 feet away from her was a man with bright red, spikey hair. Streaks of grey shot through the hair, and the hair on the top of his head was bundled into something resembling a top knot. His eyes were black pits, except for the pupils which glowed like burning embers. Around his neck were a string of large wooden spiritual beads. The black gi that he wore was tattered and worn, clearly as a result of innumerable fights. He regarded Lina calculatingly, and slowly stood up.
"Who in hell are you?" demanded Lina.
"<I am power made... >" Akuma paused to consider his response, "<The thing you knew as Cyber Akuma could not be here. I shall fight you instead.>"
Akuma grinned as he stalked towards Lina Inverse. Lina, on the other hand, wasn't too pleased with this development. While she was here for a fight, she wasn't particularly interested in taking on an unknown. She turned towards the referee.
"Do I have to fight this guy? This wasn't scheduled!"
Goku did his best bored referee impression. "Nope. There's nothing saying that you need to fight him. Unless you consent to the match, that is." It was a very good impression.
"Well then, I suggest we head back."
Lina intended to take full advantage of Cyber Akuma's disqualification. However, a man named Murphy, whose laws were what truly governed the universe, had other plans.
"<It is just as well that you do not fight me, little girl. I am not Cyber Akuma.>" interjected Akuma, "<I would not make the same stupid mistakes that....>"
"Little girl? Ok spikey, there's been a change of plans. I'm gonna mop the floor with your demonic butt, and you're gonna like it." growled Lina. No one called her little and got away with it.
Akuma's response was but a silent leering grin.
"Well folks, it looks as though this battle is about to begin in short order. Maybe the action will be good enough to keep up awake." remarked Daisuke from the safety of the Ultra Dome.
"BEWARE!! FOR MY WRATH HAS noticed that Lina is starting the fight off with a rather potent attack. I can't wait to see what happens!" gushed Cyber Hiroshi.
Lina was beginning to chant. In her cupped hands, a spark came to life and began to grow as the chant gained momentum.
"Spark of doom, born of Hellfire..."
Akuma, who was standing but a few feet away from Lina, folded his arms.
"Lucifer's delight, consigned to smite my foes..."
Akuma rolled his eyes in disgust as he waited.
"I fashion you from rage and vengeance. I command thee, burst forth with the flames of hate!"
If he had a watch, Akuma would have stopped to look at it.
Akuma lunged at Lina, swinging viciously with his right arm. His fist connected with her jaw, snapping her head back and ruining her spell. Lina's head slowly rolled back forward, and she stared at the demon with a puzzled look on her face. Her eyes then rolled back in their sockets as she slowly, wordlessly slumped to the ground, an unconscious heap. The referee looked at Lina's unconscious form as though he couldn't comprehend what just happened.
"<Pathetic.>" remarked Akuma.
"Wha... what.. How?" stuttered a hapless Hiroshi. "Can he do that? He can't do that, can he?"
Daisuke laughed like a mad man.
"YES!! That is the single greatest thing I've ever seen in the history of our great sport!" roared Daisuke, "I've never seen such a brilliant maneuver!"
Elsewhere in the multiverse, those people who had fought Lina Inverse in the past and just happened to catch the broadcast of the fight were all wondering a single thought: "Why the hell didn't I think of that?"
Meanwhile, Son Goku was still staring at Lina Inverse's limp form. The significance of Akuma's action was slowly dawning on him.
"Uh.. Akuma wins?" declared a somewhat less than confident Saiyan.
"Well, there you have it folks. Akuma makes a stunning showing in his first non cybernetic fight in the Omega division. We'll see if we can secure an interview with the winner when he comes back through the portal." said Daisuke.
Akuma had different plans, evidently, for he disappeared before the return portal even opened.
"D'oh." remarked Daisuke.
----The UltraDome Backstage----
"Hi Mom. It's me, Shingo."
"Yeah, I know I haven't called."
"I miss you too. Tell sis I said hi."
"Yeah, I'm in that Ultra tournament. I'm doing pretty good, too."
"Anyhow, I wanted to ask you something. Can I borrow ten thousand dollars?"
"Hello? Hello? Mom? Are you there?"
"Oh man.. I'm screwed."
Shingo slumped in the corner next to the telephone and held his head in his hands.
"What seems to be the problem here?" asked a shrill voice.
Wondering who could possibly be interested in his problems, Shingo looked up only to see the most unlikely of people.
Elsewhere backstage, Gourry was trying to console Lina on her recent loss. She was furious, and nursing a bruised jaw. The ice pack she held against her face did little to deaden the pain. Needless to say, she was in a dangerous mood.
"How [DARE] he interrupt me while I'm casting a spell!" she raged, "That's against all the rules of magecraft!"
"Well, the Omega division is an anything goes environment. I did try to warn you about that possibility." admonished Gourry.
Lina glared at Gourry for a moment, and decided to change the subject a bit.
"Do they have to keep showing that punch?" asked Lina as she gestured towards a television screen.
The Ultra content director obviously felt that showing the knockout punch was worthy of being repeated. It was so worthy, that the punch had been shown over a dozen times from as many different angles. After several minutes of that, someone apparently decided that getting the crowd's reaction would be of interest, so every John Doe with an opinion was asked about the match. They even managed to corner a few celebrity types.
"Miss Asimiya, how are you doing? May I ask you a few questions?" asked Daisuke as he approached one such celebrity, "I'm here in the V.I.P. seating booth with Athena Asimiya, a Magical Idol Singer who happens to be a veteran of the King of Fighters tournament. Miss Asimiya, what were your opinions on that match?"
"Well, Mr. Daisuke, I thought that Akuma person was very, very, very not nice and.. *Gurk*" Athena said as she slumped over in her seat.
"Oh my goodness! Athena Asimiya has been shot! Look! Up in the rafters!"
The camera followed the direction in which Daisuke pointed in. Hidden in the gloom of the high ceiling of the Ultradome was a man and a woman. The man was wearing a rumpled suit. The woman was wearing a long trenchcoat and held a sniper rifle in her hands.
"Why look, it's Yoi Kurasaka and Itami Daikoku of the Magical Girl Hunters. You can catch their weekly hijinks every Wednesday at 6 pm central, only on the Ultra network! Back to you in the studio, Hiroshi."
Hiroshi blinked several times as he keyed the private mike.
"Um, Daisuke, what about Athena?" he asked.
"Oh her? Don't worry about her. She was just a clone. No biggie. It's just an angle." Daisuke said, clearly disinterested with the proceedings, "Anyhow, I'm gonna take five, cut to a commercial."
----The Fighter's Lounge----
Iori Yagami was laughing his ass off. He seldom had the chance to enjoy himself recently, and was taking every opportunity to do so now. He found that Magical Girl Hunters spot to be beyond funny.
When the laughter died down, however, Iori couldn't help but wonder what had went on in the infirmary last week. While he lay unconscious, he dreamed that the Orochi had tried to take over his body. The mere idea of such a thing being possible was enough to give him the cold sweats. He decided that he'd feel much more comfortable watching the rest of the Ultra tournament from the privacy of his room.
He never even made it out the door. As soon as he had taken a few steps towards the door, a convulsion wracked Iori's body. He looked down at the ground to see blood, his blood, dripping onto the floor. His mind raced as he wondered how or why the blood riot could be coming upon him. He tried to move, but his body wouldn't answer. No, it was responding, he was being held in place by some unseen force. What could be causing this, he wondered. Is this some doing of the Orochi?
It was indeed the Orochibi's doing. The Orochibi, Black Naga, and David were assembled in an desecrated temple, performing rites of blackest magic. Actually, the Orochibi and Black Naga were performing the rites. David was just sitting off to one side, drooling.
"Begin the final rite, my minion." commanded the Orochibi in his most menacing squeaky voice, "Soon my true wrath shall be known to all."
"Yes my lord. My [hate] shall make it so." responded Naga as she began to chant, "However, this may not work. We need Shermie and Yashiro for this ritual of blackest [hate] to function properly."
"I know. Proceed anyway. I shall see this ritual through to the end. I will have a new host for my essence."
"The crescent moon, tainted by serpent's blood.
I command the to obey thine heritage and submit
to the master of [hatred].
Submit to the will of the darkest of lords.
Become that which your clan has fought to suppress."
With the completion of the rite, the Orochibi's body changed. No longer did it look like a diminutive version of the Orochi. Instead, a young boy sat on the ground, wondering why he no longer channeled the Orochi's essence.
"What happened?" asked Chris.
In the lounge, Iori was writhing on the floor. His screams of anguish had alarmed everyone, but no one dared assist him, for he was glowing with a sickly purple light. His struggles increased till he was thrashing about chaotically as though he were fighting off an unseen aggressor. His struggles came to a sudden stop, and he lapsed into unconsciousness.
The essence of the Orochi had been fought off. Because of Yamazaki's interference, his two servants had been unable to assist in the ceremony, meaning that the requisite amount of power was unavailable to complete the ceremony. Now he was without form once again, and he could feel the void tugging at him, calling him back to another 1,800 year long slumber. His only hope was to find a mind that could not resist his commands that was of the Orochi blood. The Orochi searched for such a mind, and found it.
In the temple, Black Naga awaited the signs that would indicate whether the ritual had been successful or not. She was exceedingly worried when she found out that Iori had not become the latest vessel for the God of [Hate]. She failed to notice that David had stopped drooling, and had stood up. When his eyes opened, the pupils were snakelike slits.
"I live, again." said the Orochi.
----The Ultra Dressing Room----
Felicia snuck into the women's dressing room. It wasn't that she wasn't supposed to be there, after all she was a cat*woman*, and that meant the dressing room was for her, too. She wanted to be sure that no one saw her her enter and leave, otherwise, that could "let the cat out of the bag" so to speak. She had a TV appearance, and it wouldn't do to spoil the surprise.
Unfortunately for her, Felicia's entrance hadn't gone unnoticed. Ash Ketchum saw her enter the dressing room, and couldn't help but wonder what such a large pokemon was doing roaming about unattended. He palmed a pokeball and decided to rectify that situation. If Team Rocket could field a Mew, well, he'd just have to show up with a few surprises of his own. Between a new pokemon that no one had seen before and the throwing techniques that Cody guy taught him, he'd be able to set the Lambda division on its ear.
"Come on Pikachu," he said to his rotund rodent sidekick, "let's score us a Felicia!"
"Pika Pika chuuu..." responded Pikachu. (translation: I don't think that's a pokemon, lunchbox.)
Several minutes later, Ash Ketchum walked out of the dressing room. There was a large red and white pokeball was sticking out of his left nostril.
"*Don't* say a word, Pikachu." Ash grumbled as he stormed out of the room.
"Well folks, it looks like we're still waiting for Shingo to return. We'll have to use the auxiliary ring for the Lambda fight." announced Cyber Hiroshi, "Isn't this great, Daisuke? We've never used the stand-by ring before! This is sure to be interesting!"
Daisuke just waved off Hiroshi, he couldn't care less. In fact, he was busy trying really hard not to care until he saw what the ring looked like.
"Oh my. I think I'm in love." he remarked.
The ring that was being lowered from the ceiling looked like a reject from some sort of Post Apocalyptic Mad Max movie. In stead of the usual canvas floor there was a steel grating. The turnbuckles were one foot long metal spikes and the "ropes" were made of barbed wire. The new ring had "Grudge Match" written all over it. By the time the ring had reached the floor, everyone in the house new that they were in for a treat. There was gonna be a whole lotta hurtin' in a very short period of time.
The guest announcer, Conan, didn't seem to think this new ring was particularly unusual. He climbed into it, somehow managing to avoid getting snagged by the barbed wire, and reached for the waiting microphone.
"Lahdeez und Gentulmen. Tonaht's main event is ah Lambda Rules Grudge Match, ja. Entering the ring now is the Hard Core Champion. Weighing in at 28 stones and standing 9 hands tall, he hails from the little girly land of Canada. Let us have a big welcome für der Wolverine."
Heavy Metal riffs and pyrotechnics greeted Wolverine as he strode down the runway. The smile he had on his face wasn't because he was basking in the adulation of the fans, which was plentiful, or because he had an ace up his sleeve, which he did. It was because he was going to enjoy pummeling his opponents until they were the consistency of a fine pulpy mess.
After Wolverine entered the ring and the crowd had settled down a bit, Conan continued.
"The defenders and reigning Lambda Champions are the Demonesses Morrigan ünd Lilith. With combined measurements of 64, 48, ünd 66, they hail from der burning depths of hell. Give them a standing ovation, or Ah vill pummel you ünd take avay your lunchmoney, ja."
Every hentai in the arena was on his feet as the "twin" Succubi descended from the roof of the Ultradome. They took every opportunity to blow kisses and otherwise work the crowd. By the time they touched down on the metal floor of the ring, there wasn't a single ear in the Ultradome that wasn't ringing.
Wolverine motioned for the referee to approach him.
"Listen up, bub. I want this to be a hardcore style matchup with one stipulation. I don't win until both of those "women" are knocked out." stated Wolverine.
"Is-a that okay with-a you, ladies?" asked Mario, the referee.
"Fine by us, cutie." affirmed Morrigan while her teammate raspberried their opponent.
"It's just a shame that you don't have anyone to watch your back this time, furry." taunted Morrigan, "You'll never beat the both of us."
"Nyah! Nyah!" agreed Lilith.
"Who said anything about doing this alone?" grinned Wolverine, "I've got a direct representative of God on my side." He then pointed at a small group of nuns sitting by ringside.
Morrigan gasped in false horror, "What are they going to do? Pray at us?"
"Something like that."
"Excuse me for a moment." Morrigan then paused to turn to her teammate. They gave each other a look and started laughing.
"Ha ha ha.. *sniff* oh.. my.. you soften him up and I'll finish him, okay sis?" asked Lilith.
"Sure thing, I won't be but a moment." replied Morrigan, oozing with confidence.
Wolverine and Morrigan signaled to the ref their readiness, and once the ring was cleared of superfluous personnel, the bell was rung.
Wolverine dashed at Morrigan with blinding speed, only to be blasted back by a bat shaped blast of hellfire. He jumped to his feet and tried again, only to get knocked back down again.
"Honey, you aren't ever going to lay a hand on me like that. Face it, we're just way out of your league." taunted the succubus.
Morrigan continued to humiliate Logan while her partner made faces at the nuns sitting at ringside. Wolverine got back up and cursed himself for being so foolish. He'd fought those two enough to know that blindly rushing in was the least productive thing he could do. He'd let his desire for vengeance blind him.
Wolverine resumed the attack, only this time with a greater level of caution and an eye for anticipating his opponent's actions. He was rewarded for his caution, and was able to avoid yet another one of the Demoness'es energy blasts and close in for a little hand to hand conflict. Morrigan didn't lose her composure, even though she knew that Wolverine was the better in-fighter. All she had to do was wear him down a bit, and let Lilith take over.
Wolverine, for the most part, was able to dictate the pace of the match. Rapid claw swipes, blurringly quick kicks, and about two tons of adrenaline kept him ahead of the game. Morrigan was feeling the effects, but she was able to get in a few good blows herself. She might be slightly behind, but not so much that she couldn't turn things around with the help of her partner.
"Okay Lilith, time for you to show your stuff," she said while reaching to tag out.
Wolverine stopped pressing the attack and looked on. Morrigan waited for Lilith to tag. She waited some more.
"Would you quit playing around and tag in?!?" she yelled as she turned around. "What the.."
Lying face down on the ground was Morrigan's partner. Her knuckles were a very bright shade of red. The reason for all of that was because a nun was sitting on top of her, and smacking her hands with a very large ruler.
"Hey!! Cut that out!" Morrigan screamed as she fired a blast at the nun.
The sister saw the projectile coming, and jumped out of the way far faster than any woman of the cloth should have been able to. She rolled to left and jumped over the ropes and into the ring, doing a back flip to show off. She had landed on her feet and turned to face Morrigan by the time the energy blast struck Lilith in the back.
"Who the heck are you?" demanded an incredulous Morrigan.
The nun pulled back the hood of her habit to reveal long blue hair with pointed cat like ears sticking out from the top of her head. The nun winked at Morrigan and meowed for the benefit of the audience.
"Hi there," said Felicia, "How do you like the way that ball bounces?"
"Uh.. Lilith, if you have a moment, could you please join me up here?" Morrigan said with trepidation in her voice, "I could really use a hand."
Lilith, apprising the gravity of the situation, had taken matters well in hand by grabbing a chair and sneaking up behind the grizzled Canadian. Wolverine fell to the ground and clutched the back of his head, a victim of the old "chair in the back of the skull" maneuver. It was a testimony to just how tough he was that he wasn't knocked out by the blow.
Lilith and Morrigan turned to face Felicia.
"You were saying?" Morrigan asked smugly.
"Uhm.. someone please help me?" Felicia offered.
"Ha. That's not likely. You're ours, now."
"No, really. Someone please help me." insisted the cat woman.
Morrigan suddenly felt a slight tug on the back of her outfit. She turned around to see a three foot tall cat girl offering her a written note. She took the note and read it.
"Gomen, but please do not look up." read the message.
Morrigan's eyes involuntarily looked up as though compelled by some universal law. She saw the underside of a large, furry bus falling towards her.
"You know, this is karma for putting Wolverine in the Gloomy Puppet show." she said matter of factly to Lilith.
The large bus landed squarely on the succubus team and purred contentedly to itself.
"Thanks Catbus" Felicia said as the scratched the odd looking mode of transportation's flank.
The catbus got up and walked out of the ring, revealing a very squished Morrigan and Lilith. The referee took one look at them and raised Felicia and Wolverine's arms in victory.
"Well folks, there you have it, Wolverine and Felicia pull off the victory against the Tag Champions Morrigan and Lilith. However, because they weren't a formalized team with at least one win, they won't pick up the titles." announced Daisuke, "So it seems that this grudge still has another round or two left in it. Well, that's all we have for tonight's show, so without further.."
"HOLD FLESHY BEING!!! The show isn't finished. The Shingo/Yamazaki match still hasn't been wrapped up yet." interrupted Hiroshi.
"Aw nuts, you mean we have to go back to that nonsense? Geez. How long are we going to have to wait for that kid to get back?"
"Actually, one of the orderlies has informed me BY MEANS OF MY INCREDIBLY POWERFUL NEURAL NET that Shingo is on his way to the ring with a large suitcase. Let's take a look at the action."
Indeed, Shingo was walking towards the ring with a large metal briefcase in his hand. Yamazaki, who was still in the ring, had decided to take a nap while he waited, and the sounds of his snoring were competing rather favorably with the drone of the crowd. He climbed into the ring and approached the sleeping crime lord.
"Um.. Mr. Yamazaki? Hello? I have your money." he said.
As soon as Shingo said the word "money" Ryuji was on his feet and alert. His looked around rapidly like a cornered animal before finally focusing in on Shingo.
"Huh? Wazzat! Oh, its you, squirt. I see you got the money. Open it up and let me take a look see."
Shingo set the brief case on the ground and opened it up. In an instant Yamazaki was cuddling the money and making cooing noises at it.
"Ooooh baby, where have you been all my life" he crooned.
"Uhm.. Mr. Yamazaki, sir? What about the fight?" asked Shingo.
"Oh, that? Che. I don't care. Get out here."
"Do.. do you mean I win?"
"Yeah, whatever, off with you, already."
"Yes SIR!" Shingo said with a smile.
Shingo jumped for joy as he rushed headlong down the aisle towards the exit. He acted like a man on death row who had just been given a reprieve, which, when one thinks about it, isn't far from the truth.
"Well folks, there you have it. Through hard fighting, bravery, and a whole lot of luck Shingo won the match." said Daisuke sarcastically, "What kind of freaking fight was that? I've never seen such a contrived victory in my life. I can't believe that match is gonna.... That does it, I'm outta here. Finish up the rest of the show, Hiroshi."
Daisuke threw the headset he had been wearing on the table and stormed out of the announcer's booth. Cyber Hiroshi cleared his throat and fumbled for a way to end the awkward silence.
"Err.. Wow, what an, um... amazing, yeah, amazing come from, err.. behind victory for the Copycat Kid. I've never seen such a bold display of.. uh.... bribery in my career as an announcer." said Hiroshi as he fumbled through his monologue, "I gotta wonder though... how did he get the money?"
"Now of course I expect you to pay me back, with interest." said the girl who had loaned Shingo the money.
"Sure thing... but I don't have much money."
"That's ok. I don't want money from you, I have enough of my own. What I want is for you to work for me."
"Work for you? How?"
"It's simple, really. I just want you to fight who I tell you to fight, and run the errands that I need done."
"Whew, I thought you were gonna want something strange, like human sacrifices."
"Silly boy. Now move along, you've got a lot of work to do."
After Shingo had left, his benefactor paused to consider the use she might have for such a boy. If nothing else, she'd get Sakura, but good.
"OHH HO HO HO HO HO HO!!! Just you wait Sakura,
just you wait."
------Chapter 14 Results------
] [ Cyber Akuma Rusts In Pieces. Replaced by Shin Akuma
] [ Hiroshi suffers another breakdown. Gets worked on by NERV.
] [ Ryuji Yamazaki enters into the Gamma Division.
] [ Darth Vader capitalizes on Kasumi's Toon background and is sent home. (retired)
] [ Shin Akuma Defeats Lina Inverse (1w-0l) or (1w-2l if you count Cyber's record, or lack thereof)
] [ Cyber Hiroshi, now with ten times the announcing power, enters the announcer's booth.
] [ Ash Ketchum Learns that Felicia is not a Pokemon.
] [ The Orochi Switches host bodies. Now Occupies David.
] [ Wolverine and Felicia team up to defeat Morrigan and Lilith. No titles switch hands. Wolverine and Felicia are at (1w - 0l)
] [ Ryuji Yamazaki loses his first fight by concession. (0w - 1l)
] [ Karin Kanzuki purchases Shingo Yabuki.
A few liner notes.
Yes, Akuma's blood is green. See his loss portrait in Street Fighter 3: Second Impact for verification.
Felicia as a nun. I'm picking up that from her ending in Darkstalkers 3 (aka Vampire Savior).
Background information on the whole Orochi/Iori takeover thing, plus
character development on Ryuji Yamazaki can be found at:
Lagniappe Omake part 1
Lagniappe Omake part 2
Lagniappe Omake part 3
Lagniappe Omake part 4
Bison rarely needed sleep. However, when his body finally began to succumb to the effects of fatigue, he had little choice but to rest for a few hours before resuming his scheduled activities. Now was one such occasion when he required such rest. He despised losing consciousness, because it placed him in a vulnerable position, but there was only so much the Psycho Drive could do for him.
That was why he now found himself in his seldom used sleeping chambers. He was dressed in a robe and had his bed made ready for his anticipated slumber. The covers were neatly turned down and everything was in readiness for him, just as it should be. Bison turned towards the bar and levitated a snifter of brandy and a goblet towards himself for the purposes of enjoying a nightcap. After he had poured himself a glass, he floated towards the bed.
The filled goblet exploded into shards of glass on the floor, spilling its expensive vintage and staining the floor. Bison stared at the object on his pillow in stark disbelief. In the few moments that he'd been turned around, someone had entered the room and placed a.. head on his pillow. It wasn't just any head, it was Cyber Akuma's battered and severed skull. Bison had seen that night's Ultra broadcast, and instantly realized the significance of that head. It was a message.
You are next.
[Editor's Note - Clarification on a few things here. Vader may be in 'Retired' status, but read the rules on the page regarding that; he can be brought back. (Although you may want to be careful about how you package him on return if you plan to write him back into the plot, given the negative reaction he's gotten.) Changing CyberAkuma into Shin Akuma was cleared through me first; please do not replace / kill anybody in the story without making sure it works with your Editor in Chief. Finally, the Omakes in question acted as side stories that didn't contradict the plot, and thus were safe to implement here; please be careful in considering doing this for the future. Omake is intended for fun sidestories or grudge brawls, which CAN be integrated if there are no contradictions, and if you're not sure if your idea can work in that paradigm, please ask me before proceeding.]