Content tagged Shao Kahn
Articles 10 of 40
Mortal Kombat 11 August Console Patch Notes

The latest Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath update is out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Google Stadia. Along with the addition of the RoboCop Announcer Voice, it addresses a shortlist of updates, with minor changes to the majority of the playable roster. Read on for the full list:

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Update Patch Notes

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is here and next time you turn on Mortal Kombat 11 you'll be asked to download a 12.150GB update. Massive changes are coming to MK11, whether you purchased the expansion or not. Check out the patch notes to know what to expect:

Where's Scorpion? Ultimate Mortal Kombat Seek & Find Art

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath will bring the playable roster up to a robust 34 characters, but as die hard fans know - there are dozens more in MK's three decade long canon! They can't all appear in every game, but you can find most in the ultimate Mortal Kombat Seek & Find! Take a closer look:

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Friendship Trailer

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath will renew hostilities when downloadable fighters get involved with additional story mode chapters coming later this month - but that's not all. MK will also embrace a softer side with the return of Friendships! Join the party in the official trailer:

Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion Tournament 2020

It's never been more apparent how much things can change in the span of a year! MK Online invites fans across the globe to enter the Fan Koliseum to help us answer the ultimate question: Which character is Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion in 2020?

Mortal Kombat 11 quietly marked the first anniversary of its blockbuster release just over a week ago. In twelve months, the game has expanded to include six Kombat Pack fighters, with three returning favourites, and evolving gameplay. Klassic mythology has also been retold in the animated epic Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge, which revisits the plot of the first Mortal Kombat. This year's tournament will reflect game and animation, with a few surprises along the way.

Daily MK Online User Polls will unlock a battleplan of 64 characters below. You'll either see a poll on the right of screen, or you can vote by using menu options at the top of the page to reach the most recent User Poll. Scroll down to find results, and to share your thoughts about the kombatants of the day in the comments!

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge Red Band Trailer

The gloves were off at Final Kombat for the unveiling of the Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion's Revenge red band trailer. Extreme violence and bad language are on the menu as kombat's most popular icons star in an exciting new retelling of the klassic Mortal Kombat mythology! Watch:

May Mortal Kombat 11 PlayStation & Xbox Patch Notes

If you noticed a brief outage at the start of the week - don't fear. Mortal Kombat 11 has undergone server maintenance and a raft of updates in the lastest hotfix patch. Read on for NetherRealm Studios' official details on all the changes you need to know:

Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion Tournament 2019!

History has never been far behind in Mortal Kombat. Is it future, or is it past? Mortal Kombat 11 introduces a time-bending possibility that the present could be the battleground for both!

April 23rd saw the official introduction of Kronika and a fresh batch of kombatants whose goals threaten the realms, time, and reality itself! With in-game customization, revised gameplay, and a dramatic time-twisting story -- the only constant through it all is the fighters! Therefore there's never been a more compelling time to take stock and ask: Who is the Supreme Mortal Kombat Champion?

The annual voting tournament returns to dissect and assess the current state of the series. MK Online invites the entire kommunity to enter the Fan Koliseum for another year of daily polls that will challenge sixty-four fighters from past and present in elimination battles! Read on for the updating battleplan, poll results, and links to the latest match-ups you can comment on on the forums:

Shao Kahn Returns in Mortal Kombat 11 Gameplay Trailer

Shao Kahn returns to the koliseum in Mortal Kombat 11! Participating pre-orders will receive early access to the legendary boss turned playable fighter. After months of teasing, we can finally see The Emperor back in action in the latest gameplay trailer! Watch:

Mortal Kombat 11 Reveals Character Mini-Bios

The tradition of character bios has been upheld for Mortal Kombat 11 with an update to the official website revealing more about our favourite fighters! Sixteen of an available twenty-nine total characters have been filled in, including pre-order exclusive Shao Kahn. Read on:

Kreations 24 of 24
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<i>---Now---</i>

The stifling air stunk of sweat, blood, and cheap alcohol. The entire arena shook from the chanting and screaming of the crowd that was seated above the fighting pit. The arena was poorly lit, only by candles melted down to their base, but no one seemed to mind. As long as they could still see the fight...that was all that mattered.

Two men stood in the fighting pit. One was a huge behemoth of muscle and tattoos. He stood near the wall opposite the pit's main entrance awaiting his opponent. He stood calm and confident, expecting this to not only be a worthy challenge, but the fight that would make his name one to be feared. He continuously ground his knuckles in his hands and hopped around warming up his body for the coming fight.

Standing in the center of the pit was the announcer and owner of this arena. He was a middle-aged and overweight man with receding hair he always kept hidden with a garish top hat. He wore a cheap and beat up suit, worn to present himself as more sophisticated than he really was. He waited for the crowd to quiet themselves long enough for him to begin, his voice growing steadily more hoarse as the night pressed on. But he was a showman and this was the main event. It had to be done proper.

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!" he finally bellowed, causing the crowd to fall silent. "IT IS NOW TIME FOR OUR MAIN EVENT OF THE NIGHT!"

She heard the crowd grow loud again from inside the lower level beneath the stands. She sat still, staring at the far wall, with no sign of emotion or care. Her long, raven-black hair hung in front of her face...as though she hadn't bothered to brush it in ages. She wore an old blue and black corset, revealing some of her stomach and a tattoo on her lower back, which read, in a long dead ancient language, "lost."

She wore black leather pants, which were covered by tattered blue sheets of cloth, held in place by a cloth belt and buckle designed like a yin-yang. Strapped to each thigh were satchels where she kept her weapons of choice...razor sharp steel fans.

Her eyes were dark with smeared black mascara, as though she had been wearing it, and letting it run, far too long. Beneath her blue mask, she let out a tired sigh as she heard the announcer outside begin to build her up.

"...AND HIS OPPONENT....DEFENDING HER TITLE...THE UNDEFEATED QUEEN OF THE PIT.......MISTRESS KYOMU!!!"

She hated that title and that name. She suggested the name without a great deal of thought, but when the promoter caught wind she used to be a princess, he thought advertising her as a queen was a clever idea. She put up with it, as long as her real name was kept hidden. Not that it mattered really, as neither she nor her true name were well known amongst the people of Earth. But regardless, she didn't want to take the chance of it reaching other realms.

She entered the fighting pit to a chorus of drunken cheers. Her opponent grinned with excitement. This was his big night. He was going to take down the undefeated queen.

He wasn't the first to think that. He won't be the last.

<i>---Then---</i>

The scorched ground shook all around them, soaked with blood. The darkened sky above rumbled and drizzled rain as if the gods themselves were weeping. Lightning cracked and fireballs rained from the Pyramid of Argus, the apex ablaze like it was an erupting volcano. And all around...battle, war, and chaos raged on.

It truly did feel like the end of the world.

Kitana struggled to push herself back up off the ground. Her entire body wracked with pain, the taste of blood filling her mouth. As her vision cleared, she saw one of her steel fans, lying broken and tattered on the ground not far from her. For some reason, seeing that above all else felt especially disheartening.

Through the chaos and rumbling she suddenly heard a pained hiss and what sounded like bones breaking. Suddenly, she saw Reptile's broken body crash into the dirt before her. Kitana turned to see a battered...and enraged...Shao Kahn turn his attention to Mileena.

So much chaos had occurred in such a short time...Kitana barely was able to process it. She and her mother challenged her step-father Shao Kahn, here in this great battle that apparently was Armageddon itself. They were joined in the fight by Mileena...who's presence both shocked and surprisingly gave Kitana a feeling of hope for victory. Yet despite their combined efforts, Shao Kahn would not fall easily. Like some kind of inhuman juggernaut, he continuously tossed them aside...only getting angrier with each pass. Only a few moments ago, Kitana was downed, leaving her open to an attack from Kahn that would surely have killed her. However, she was saved by yet another fighter entering the fray...Reptile.

As her thoughts cleared, as she stared at Reptile's broken body, as she watched Mileena desperately trying...and failing...to defend herself from Kahn's attacks, a terrible fear swept through Kitana's blood. What if Shao Kahn truly cannot be killed? Who was she...who were they...to challenge his power? What hope could anyone have against someone like him? This man...this thing...that had lived for countless millennia? Who had fought and beaten gods...enslaved entire realms? And for thousands of years, held each one of them in his servitude?

Her thoughts were interrupted by Reptile's sickly gurgling. He weakly held up a strange sword and struggled to push it towards Kitana. Although she didn't know, it was the Kirehashi sword, a sacred weapon of Reptile's people.

Kitana looked uncertain of what to do, and Reptile choked out «...t-take it...finish it...»

Suddenly snapping back into the moment, Kitana understood what he was trying to do. She reached out and took the Kirehashi sword, saying softly «I'll try...»

As she took the blade, Reptile, with one last burst of energy, reached for her hand and gripped it tightly. Neither said anything, but for one strange moment, both understood one another. Both, who had long been enemies...yet shared a mutual bond in being used by Shao Kahn as his weapons while their people were ravaged by his evil.

With one final breath, Reptile hissed «...forgive me...» and his hand went limp in Kitana's grip.

Kitana grasped the Kirehashi sword and rose to her feet. Her resolve had been renewed. The exhaustion and pain from battle gone. Everything that she had been through and gone through all focused into one driving thought. For everything that'd been done to her...her mother...Mileena...Reptile...and countless others......Shao Kahn was going to die today.

Not far away, Mileena struggled to stand...more on instinct than actual thought. However, she was stopped where she was by Shao Kahn's foot landing on her chest. Saying nothing, aside from a disdainful sneer, he pressed down with all his weight...making Mileena gasp and scream for air in pain. He looked down upon her with disgust. Looking at her, he could only think of his vain attempts to keep Kitana under control. To him, Mileena now represented his failure with Kitana...and he hated her for it.

As she struggled beneath his foot, Mileena's mind clashed with a strange feeling of both regret and defiance. Regret...for being stupid enough to stand against Shao Kahn. And for Kitana, no less! What was she thinking? However, at the same time, she felt strangely content to at least die in defiance. Better to die this way than live as a worthless slave any longer.

Kahn lifted his foot, allowing Mileena to gasp for air only a brief moment before he liftet her up by her throat. He raised his fist, ready to strike. The blow would shatter her skull. Mileena stared up at him, her eyes dazed, waiting for death. Instead she saw Kitana somersaulting through the air, towards Kahn with a large sword in her hands.

Using all her weight, Kitana plunged the Kirehashi sword down into where Kahn's neck met his left shoulder. She hoped the angle she hit him would strike his heart...but he only roared in pain and snatched her out of the air. Undaunted, Kitana held onto the sword handle and began twisting and grinding it...blood pouring from the wound all over Kahn's chest.

Mileena looked up, and knowing this was their only chance, grasped her sai and plunged them into Kahn's gut with what little strength she had left. Kahn again bellowed in agony, blood vomiting from his mouth. Kahn finally released Kitana, and stumbled backwards, before collapsing into the dirt...still gurgling and spitting blood.

Mileena sank back down to the ground in exhaustion. Kitana pushed herself up and walked towards the downed Kahn to watch him die. As she watched him writhe in pain, she felt vindicated. Finally, after all these years, Shao Kahn was finally going to die. And that she...and Mileena, too...were the ones to do it, strangely it felt almost fitting.

Kahn looked up at Kitana and removed his helmet, revealing a look in his eyes Kitana had not expected. He looked oddly content...almost proud. He smiled at her and coughed «...it was meant to be.» before chuckling slightly.

«This is the end Kahn.» Kitana said sternly, determined not to allow him to get any kind of satisfaction. «Your evil finally dies today.»

Kahn laughed again and said «...indeed.» He coughed more blood and then grinned «But not without price.»

«What's that supposed to mean?» she demanded.

He chuckled again, and struggled to say «All who served me...I demanded they pledge their souls to me. If I die...they die with me...»

Kitana glanced at Mileena, who seemed equally perplexed, and said «I never pledged my soul to you...»

«No. Not you. Nor Mileena.» he said, still grinning. «I spared your souls. But only you two.» As Kitana stared at him, clearly uncertain what this could mean, he finally added with an evil laugh «Think of all who've served me. Think of people you may know....my daughter.»

Suddenly, with a sickening dawning horror, Kitana realized who he meant. «NO!» she screamed as she grabbed Kahn's throat. «Release them! Release them now! Don't do this!!»

Kahn's eyes glazed, content that he had stolen her moment of glory, and quietly said, with true sincerity, «I am...proud of you...my daughters...»

As Kahn died, the countless souls he'd stolen through his long life began to pour from him in a blinding light. The force threw Kitana back several feet...the piercing shriek of the freed souls drowning out her screams.

<i>---Now---</i>

"It's not that I mind the killing...it's that you do it too damn fast."

The night's events were over and the arena empty. In his office, the promoter...Boris...sat at his beat up desk counting the night's take. Sitting at the opposite end of the desk, Kitana sat nonchalantly, staring at her black-painted fingernails which still had some dried blood on them.

"It's a main event." Boris continued. "You know, the big fight everyone really wants to see. And ideally, a main event should last more than two minutes."

"Find me better opponents." Kitana murmured, still staring at her nails.

"You killed all the good ones already!" he quickly answered, almost pleading. "Couldn't you just...I don't know...make it look like they're giving you a tough fight..?" Kitana only cocked her eyebrow and let out a slight sneer in response. Unfazed, Boris continued with a cheesy smile, "The crowd likes you...but I bet they'd love you if they saw you as an underdog."

"Can I have my money now?" she finally said, obviously unconvinced.

He handed her payment for the fight and as she began to count it, Boris added "Speaking of people liking you more...you look like shit."

"You tell me this every time you see me." Kitana answered, still counting her money.

"If you cleaned yourself up a bit, you might actually be kind of hot."

Kitana groaned and stood up to leave, saying "This a fighting pit. I get paid to fight and kill people. Not a beauty pageant."

"I'm just saying..."

Kitana rolled her eyes as she left the office and made her way out of the deserted arena. No matter how many times she'd done it though, she was still always amazed with how different it is when it's empty compared to when it's packed.

After leaving the arena, she made her way to a nearby tavern, which she always did after a fight. She stepped inside, greeted with the scent of cheap liquor and cigarettes that she had come to know well in the past years. The tavern was dimly lit, with only a few patrons scattered around. It was a morose place where people went to escape their troubles and the world...making it ideal for her.

She went to the bar, got herself a bottle of whiskey, and quickly sat down at the farthest corner table from everyone else. She did this all impassively...like a routine. She poured some of the whiskey into a glass and began drinking. Earthrealm whiskey may have paled in comparison to Tarkatan liquors, but it still got the job done.

She sat there drinking for almost an hour, letting the soothing effects of alcohol take hold. It put her at ease and helped her forget the lives she had once led. One filled with chaos, deceit, and darkness...followed by one with lost causes, crushed hopes, and pain. While she was content to leave both these past lives, and the scars they left, in the past...she strangely missed them both at the same time.

"They say after Edenia's Princess turned against Shao Kahn, she fought to restore her home world." she suddenly hear a sly, and slimy voice hiss behind her. A voice belonging to a handsomely dressed man, wearing a large coat over elaborately decorated vests and shirts. Far too elegant for this place or this realm...with far too sinister a demeanor to be friendly.

"Now most people say Edenia's Princess died after Armageddon. But no one is really sure how. Some say she died destroying her step-father. Some say after Shao Kahn fell, her clone took the opportunity to stab her in the back. Some say, upon seeing the ruination of Edenia and death of her mother, she committed suicide out of grief.»

She stared at him grimly, resisting the urge to attack him on sight. He sat down beside her, with a sly smile on his face, finally finishing "But there are a few who say she's really not dead. That she simply disappeared, choosing to hide herself from the world."

Kitana glared at this man, with a look that could cut flesh. But she simply took another drink from her glass and said coldly, "Princess Kitana is dead."

"I'm just her ghost."

<i>---Then---</i>

Taven stood solemnly amidst the rubble that was once his father's sacred pyramid. The smell of stifled fire all around...the ground and what was left of the pyramid still smoldering from the inferno that had just occurred. Lying underneath the rubble and all around it, broken, bloody, and charred bodies stretched for miles. Taven stood in what was the epicenter of the destruction...retracing in his mind all that had led to this.

The battle with Blaze was over...Armageddon, apparently stopped. And yet, Edenia lay in total ruin. The devastation spread to surrounding realms. Countless dead or wounded. Taven was now the god of Edenia, but he felt no victory here. A swelling of so many emotions...exhaustion, anger, resentment, and shame...had strangely come together into only a numb brooding.

Endless questions plagued his already spent mind. How could it have come to this? Why did his father and the Elder Gods allow this to come to pass? What could he have done differently? And most pressing of all...what happens now?

"Taven..?" he heard a troubled voice ask behind him. He turned to see Edenia's princess Kitana standing before him...bruised and tattered from the battles. Her eyes filled with pain and damp as though she had just been crying. "You are Taven...right?" she continued. "The son of Argus...you defeated Blaze..?"

"Yes." he answered. "And you...you're Kitana, right? Edenia's Princess..?"

"Since you defeated Blaze...that means you're now Edenia's god and Guardian..?"

"Yes...I suppose so."

Kitana looked around, constantly shifting her weight, as though she was feeling impatient or uneasy and began, her voice trembling and stumbling over her words "Since you....I mean...my...my mother...the Queen...you see, Shao Kahn did something where...everyone who had served him were made to pledge their souls to him...so...so if he died, they would die with him." She paused, as if she was holding back more tears and continued "I...I killed Shao Kahn....but, my mother....and my friend, Jade...they....they were...."

Kitana trailed off, painfully unable to finish her sentence. Taven nodded and said "I understand." He then stared at her, disgusted by Shao Kahn's evil...but also uncertain where she was going with it. "But...what does that..."

"I need you to bring them back." she quickly interrupted.

"What?" he replied, taken aback.

"You're Edenia's god now. You have the power to bring them back. To resurrect them."

Taven only let out a pained sigh. He already understood what this was. Kitana was obviously overwhelmed with grief...and this was a plea of desperation. He tried to say, very delicately, "Kitana, I'm sorry...but, I can't...."

"Yes you can!" she insisted. "I know you can! I've seen it done! I know you can bring them back! You can bring them back and...."

"Kitana!" he cut in. "I'm truly sorry for your loss. If I could, I would bring them back...I would bring back everyone who died...but it's not within my power...even as Edenia's god."

She painfully cringed and turned away, clutching onto her head as though it were going to split in two. Taven solemnly shook his head. He did understand her pain and he did truly mean it when he said he would bring them back if he could. But even if he knew how to do such a thing, with only a few exceptions, resurrections were deemed by the Elder Gods as unnatural and wrong. Even when the deaths were unjust or undeserved.

"Kitana..." he began, trying to sound comforting, "I realize you're in a lot of pain, but...our people need us now. Both of us. Edenia needs us."

Kitana took a deep breath and let Taven's words sink in. She looked around the area...looking at the devastation that she knew had consumed her entire home. Years of work and restoration, undone in chaos. She had come so close and worked so hard for the day when she could finally live out the rest of her life in peace...in her home...with her loved ones...

As she looked about the charred battlefield and the death and destruction that littered it, she realized what she had recently come to fear: that day would never come. As she came to this, she felt the pain inside her turn to something cold.

"Edenia....needs...us." she repeated, distantly with no feeling in her voice. She turned to Taven, her eyes now cold and harsh and said, very bluntly, "There is no more Edenia."

Taven stared at her a moment, then began "Kitana...I understand if you're hurting now, but you can't turn away now. Our people need us now more than ever." He paused, waiting for a response from her, but only got a colder stare as though the very thought disgusted her. "You can't walk away from this. Not now."

"Why?" she answered. "So in a few years another Shao Kahn or Armageddon can come along and rip it all apart again? I knew when I started this the chance of bringing Edenia back was small...but I tried anyway. And for a while, I really did believe it could be done. But it's a false hope Taven. It can't be done. No more by you than me."

She turned and began to walk away, when Taven said "You can't give up Kitana.» He then paused, then repeated with more urgency, "You can't give up!"

Kitana stopped, then after a moment, turned to him and said quietly and coldly "I've been not giving up for over sixty years, Taven." She paused and added "If you want to find out the hard way, be my guest. But sooner or later, you'll learn as I've come to...don't trust in hope. It doesn't exist."

She turned again and continued walking away. Behind her, she heard Taven call out her name again, but she ignored it and kept going.

<i>---Now---</i>

"The world is far too small for someone like yourself to just disappear."

Kitana took a sip from her glass of whiskey and said, without bothering to look at this man who'd chosen to bother her, "If you think tracking me down is going to impress me, you're mistaken. Any reasonably clever person could have found me if they bothered to look."

"I suppose so." He answered. He then looked around the tavern and said "So this is what has become of the great Princess Kitana. Lowering herself to kill nobodies in a cheap fighting pit before wallowing in self-pity in a local piss hole."

Kitana took another sip from her drink and then answered wryly, "Well, first of all, I happen to think this is a fine establishment. And second of all," she paused to take another drink and added "I'm not wallowing in self-pity. I'm wallowing in bitterness. There's a difference." He looked mildly amused by her response and she finished "Now why don't we just get to what you want."

He placed a small scroll on the table, saying "My name is Rasul Kader. I've been sent to invite you to a new tournament."

Kitana glanced at the scroll, kept shut by a seal that had the Mortal Kombat sigil engraved into it. She sneered and said "It's too soon for another Mortal Kombat."

"Technically. But since the demise of Liu Kang and the various...incidents...that followed, it's been decided to reestablish the rules of the tournament. Right now, one is being organized to find a new Champion for each realm, respectively."

Kitana stared at Kader, sensing he wasn't telling her everything. "That's it?"

He smiled slightly and answered "Well, there are other issues at play."

She let out a cynical smile and replied "There always are." before taking another drink from her glass. "But what does this have to do with me?"

"Naturally, as the realm of Edenia's most famous warrior, we thought your presence would be..."

Kitana groaned, not allowing him to finish, and answered bluntly "Not interested."

"I beg your pardon..?" Kader said, shocked by her answer.

"There is no more Edenia...so there's no point in my representing the realm. And I'm not stupid. No one would specifically seek me out for this tournament unless there was something rotten behind it." she stopped to take another drink and added "Sorry, but I don't care enough to find out what it is." She then gulped down the last of her whiskey and finished "And finally, my fighting days are over."

"And the pit fighting..?"

"I do that for the money. And to vent." she answered without hesitation. "What I mean is...my 'Mortal Kombat tournament realm saving hero' days are over. So, on that note..." she then treated Kader to an expression she'd come to learn in her time on Earth...involving her middle finger and a series of obscenities mocking his manhood.

Kader was quiet a moment as she got up to leave, then said, barely containing his anger over Kitana's audacity, "My superiors will be most disappointed to hear you feel this way, Princess. I'm not certain whether..."

"You have nothing to offer me and nothing to threaten me with." she cut in. "Don't bother me again."

As Kitana walked out of the tavern, Kader whispered under his breath "We'll see."

<i>---Then---</i>

Kitana sat in front of the statue of her father, Jerrod, that was in the garden outside the Edenian Palace. Or rather, what was left of the statue that was in what used to be a garden outside what was left of the Edenian Palace. From where she was, she could see black smoke rise from the ruins of what was her home and fade into the dim twilight sky. The garden, once full of life, now a desolate graveyard.

The devastation of Armageddon and Blaze's fury reached even this far into Edenia. The realm, once lush with green and tranquility, was now burnt, rotted, and dead. All the work she, her mother, and her people had done to restore the realm after it was freed from Outworld, undone in seemingly an instant.

Kitana remembered when Edenia was first freed, she found the monument to her fallen father...broken and ruined. As the realm was restored, so too was the statue...repaired to its former glory. It was the closest she had ever been to seeing what her father looked like. And now in this ruined garden of her home, she stared at the statue...again broken and ruined...and in a tragically fitting way, worse than it was before.

How could so much go wrong so fast, she wondered to herself. Barely over two months ago, she and her armies were allied with Goro and the Shokan...wiping out the last of Shao Kahn's forces in Outworld. Edenia was free and restored. Kahn was on the verge of being wiped out forever. Victory and peace was so close...she could touch it. And now here she was...her friends and loved ones dead. Her home in ruin. Forsaken by her own gods. Nothing left.

Her thoughts drifted to the first time her life fell apart all around her. When she learned she was not really Shao Kahn's daughter. That he had stolen her from her true parents...raising her to be a cold-blooded killer and weapon. That he even tried to replace her with a clone in some twisted attempt to keep her loyal. In only a short time, everything she believed about herself and her family was taken away and revealed to be all a sick lie. Nothing left.

At her lowest point, she even contemplated suicide. But she managed to pick up the pieces and put her life back together. Rebuilding herself as the Princess of Edenia. But now that life is over, too. In some sardonic, cynical way, she almost found that in itself amusing. That for a second time, her whole life has crumbled to pieces. The downside of being able to live for thousands of years, she supposed.

Kitana sat alone in the dead garden, reflecting on her long life. She spent most of her life serving «evil.» When she found it was a lie, she devoted herself to «good.» Now that too has failed. So what now? But through it all, as Kitana thought back on all she'd been through, all she gained and lost, she strangely felt no more despair. But she felt no hope, either. No anger. No sadness. She felt.....nothing. As though she'd felt too much and just couldn't anymore. All that remained was a bitter numbness.

She looked at the shattered remains of the statue of her father. In her mind, she heard Taven's words repeating. About how she can't give up. In her mind, she could almost hear her father echo Taven's words. Her father...but also her mother. Jade. Liu. The very thought of turning her back on Edenia now...in the face of that...it should've hurt her more than it did. But she still felt nothing.

«I can't do it anymore.» she grumbled miserably. «I can't. I'm not...I'm not strong enough.»

In her mind, she imagined them all pleading with her to keep going. To not let go now...when she was so close. She remembered that day, so many years ago, when she swore at her father's grave that she would never stop...never give up...until Edenia was restored. But imagining all the words...words she'd heard a dozen times over...she only felt more bitter. More numb. And cold.

«I'm done living your life.» she hissed. «How much more must I give? I want to be done.»

Slowly, she stopped imagining the voices of her father and mother. Of Jade and Liu. They were dead and she was alive. She had to move on. She couldn't stay here, in this dead realm. There was nothing left for her. She turned her back on her father's broken statue and left the ruined garden. She quickly walked past the former palace, where the fires were still smoldering. Through the wasted landscape to a portal that would take her somewhere...anywhere.

She left it all...and she didn't look back.

<i>---Now---</i>

Kitana strolled along the old boardwalk, taking in the quiet night. To her right, the soothing sound of the ocean and waves breaking comforted her. She wasn't nearly as intoxicated as she could have been, so she was able to maintain her balance and composure. She instead glided along with a kind of walking on air feeling that, combined with the calm night, made her feel at peace.

Not even the realm of Earth escaped the catastrophe of Armageddon. While the devastation wasn't nearly as bad as on Edenia or Outworld, civilization as the Earthrealmers knew it collapsed. Governments, cities, order...thrown to waste. Not being very familiar with what Earth was like prior to Armageddon, she wasn't really in a position to compare to how it was now. Regardless, there was a part of her that relished the fact not even Earth could escape the destruction unscathed.

Let them know how it is for the people of Edenia and Outworld now, she thought.

Before Armageddon, shelter on Earth was a commodity only for those who could afford it. Now, only for those who can find it and hold on to it. As such, Kitana was able to secure a small loft for herself that was over some kind of store. It was small, sweltering hot in the summer, freezing cold in the winter, and leaked when it rained...but she didn't care. It was a roof over her head...it was out of the way...and it had a nice view of the ocean, which was a plus. She had no idea which Earth country she was in, and she didn't really care a great deal to find out. Occasionally, she'd deal with bandits and thieves who mistook her for an easy victim...which she was all too happy to correct them...but aside from that, she was content enough with her lodging.

The only way in or out of the loft was via the broken fire escape on the side of the building. Most normal people would require a ladder or rope to get inside. However, with her elite Outworld ninja training, Kitana was able to simply leap to it with ease (although this was sometimes troublesome on her late, heavy drinking nights...which led to some amusing tumbles). Being sober enough on this night, Kitana leapt up to platform in one try with no trouble.

Kitana stepped inside her loft...content to fall asleep immediately. However, a mere two seconds after stepping inside she noticed that her door had been left open...and that, despite the glasses of whiskey, her instincts were still working. Someone else was in the room with her. At least two. And armed.

«Amateurs.» she grumbled.

As if on cue, a large figure lunged at her from the shadows of the loft. Kitana easily dodged the attack and kicked her attacker out the door, onto the outside platform. She turned, drawing one of her fans, and caught her second attacker trying to hit her with a rusty sai, which oddly filled her with a warm feeling of nostalgia. Her two opponents were garishly dressed «ninja» who looked more like Lin Kuei rejects. They were clearly young and judging from their brash attacks, very green.

She twisted the sai-user's arm around, snapping it at the elbow, before snuffing his head into the nearby wall. As he sunk to the floor, she returned her attention to the first attacker. He was wielding an absurdly large sword with an elaborately designed blade...obviously built and chosen more for show than actual combat effectiveness. It's wielder could barely even lift it.

As he struggled with his poor choice of weapon, Kitana charged and kicked him off the fire escape platform, sending him falling to ground two stories below. In the heat of the moment, Kitana leapt off the platform, her fan drawn and ready land it directly into her opponent's head...lopping it from his shoulders. However, at the last second she changed her mind, and instead landed with all her weight on the assassin's knees...breaking them both in two at the joint.

Her would-be attacker squealed in pain and she quickly ended his misery by knocking him unconscious. For a moment, she wondered why she didn't just kill him...but ignored the question as she saw the second assassin stumble out the door of her loft, holding his broken arm and looking like a lost child. She quickly leapt back up to the platform and was ready to strike...only to be greeted by a panicked look in the assassin's eyes.

«W-wait..! Please!» he pleaded, holding up his good hand in surrender.

«Who hired you?» she demanded.

«...puh-please...please...don't kill me...» he whined, before starting to weep.

Kitana rolled her eyes and said «I'm not going to kill you. Tell me who hired you.»

«...suh-some guy....Rasul...Rasul something....»

«Kader.»

«Yeah. He...he said we were supposed to kill you and...and leave this...» he said, pulling out the same Mortal Kombat invitation Kader had tried to pass to her earlier.

Staring at it, Kitana understood why she didn't kill them. Her hunch was right. Taking the invitation she replied «You weren't hired to kill me. You were hired to get killed by me.»

«...what...what does that mean..?»

«It doesn't matter.» she answered. «Pick up your friend and get lost.»

The would-be assassin dried his eyes and slowly climbed down from the platform. As he attended to his comrade, Kitana stepped inside her loft, throwing her fans carelessly onto her bed. She stared at the invitation, but had not yet opened it. This Rasul Kader, and the people he represents, really want her in this tournament for some reason. She felt it in her blood that whatever reason this was...it couldn't be good.

She sat down by the window and stared out into the ocean. By now, dawn was soon coming and the night sky was already beginning to light. A deep red, showing that a storm was coming. In all honestly, she still wasn't that interested, but she knew if she turned it down, more assassins would be sent. And she supposed that she should at least find out what Kader and his people want with her.

She let out a tired sigh, and looked at her fans lying on her bed.

«......think we have one more in us..?»

<center>The Beginning...</center>

]>

MORTAL KOMBAT TWILIGHT

Prologue - The Alliance Betrayed

The rhythmic throb of leather wings beats upon the night air.

The roaring chorus of Armageddon fades to a gentle hum.

A metallic rattle -- the only sound that endures.

The blind lady of flame had long ago forewarned of the end of all things, but even a godtouched seer could never detect the quiet of such a lonely moment. Buried beneath the symphony of a terrible end, the encroaching coda of unforseen detail. Old hatreds, destined to refrain throughout the ages.

Jagged boulders and cracked earth spew into the silence, harbingers of a deafening thunder.

Outlined by the light of the moon and the glow of a distant spewing flame, an imposing silhouette casts shadow across the fresh crater beneath. Those mighty leather wings, swallowing the sky and eclipsing all of history with a single bellow. He is Onaga - The Dragon King!

Long had Onaga lusted for the satisfaction of this moment - to taste the heart of his greatest betrayer.
In the time of his rule, ``Kahn'' had been the name of a trusted aid. To a tongue less forked, it may still mean relief from the oppression of the Dragon King`s reign. As it growls its way beyond snarling scaled lips, the name clearly takes a new tone, a bitter definition formed by centuries of bile and hatred.

For one such as Onaga, ``Kahn'' is a powerful incantation, a word of curse as vile as the infernal pits of the Netherrealm, to which he was damned. It is the name of the single mistake that cost him his throne, his immortality, his life. Circumstances had made allies of these enemies -- now no longer!

Stunned by the impact of being driven from the sky to the ground, Shao Kahn is helpless before the occult uttering of his cursed name. Onaga pounds mighty fists into the hole, blunt force that makes a mockery of the armor that sings again with a metallic rattle. The few plates and spikes are but warrior's trinkets beneath the crushing blows of the vengeful Dragon King. As ineffective as they are shiny.

As conquering ruler of Outworld, the legend of Shao Kahn had become that of a warrior.

Easily forgotten is the treachery that was Shao Kahn's method of upheaval -- poison, his weapon of choice. It must be remembered that Shao Kahn is also a great sorcerer, one who could never have hoped to match the immortal strength of a ruler as powerful as The Dragon King. Only a special concoction, the work of a sorcerer, could weaken Onaga enough for Shao Kahn to rise to the throne.

Hammered deeper and deeper into the ground, Kahn calls upon his powers of sorcery, tugging at the edges of Onaga's soul. Such a gambit could never hope to defeat the Dragon King, but still weakened from his most recent bondage in the Netherrealm, it is tactic enough to temper his rage.

The Emperor rises.

Shao Kahn had changed a great deal since his days as a mere subordinate. As conquering ruler of Outworld, the legend of Shao Kahn had indeed become that of a warrior -- with a trail of broken bodies and defeated opponents to prove it. Kahn may be a powerful sorcerer and cunning general, but never has he relished the dark arts as much as hand-to-hand combat. His reign as Emperor did not come without challengers. His legend was not unearned.

With a hint of amusement, Kahn charges his stunned foe, returning the fight to the physical plane. A hard shoulder keeps Onaga off balance, but in the art of battle, this is more introduction than winning tactic. A playful gesture, if such a thing can be said of a fight to the death.

No longer dwarfed by a nigh immortal dragon, Shao Kahn gladly grapples with his former master -- more than equal in every respect! A grunt coincides with the flexing of muscles -- a physical command in their own right. This test of strength could go only one way. Against every fibre in his being, Onaga is made to kneel before the man who overthrew him -- the Emperor of Outworld!

Relinquishing his grip, Kahn swats at Onaga with punches powerful enough to raze any kingdom!

Spit sizzles as it stings scaly flesh, escaping The Emperor's mouth with the spew of laughter.

Even as he oozes contempt and arrogance, Shao Kahn still shows some respect for his opponent. He has known all too well the dangers of leaving a foe unfinished. The reversal of their roles is not lost on him.

Circling the titan who still sits on knee, Kahn snatches at leather wing. The Dragon King's wings -- strong and graceful, responsible for plucking Kahn from the summit of the pyramid where Armageddon still wages in the distance. With an all mighty yank, he rips at membrane, leaving only a tattered mess.

The agonized roar of Onaga echoes through the realms. A booming call, heard by hundreds who could only interpret such sound as the stirring of old gods. Shao Kahn silences it with the heel of his boot.

Humbled like never before, Onaga crawls on hand and knee. His Emperor graces him with contact. Again and again, kicking and stomping at heaving chest.

Bones pop, muscle tears, and the once unstoppable Dragon King begins to bleed, inside and out.

A second lasts an eternity as The Emperor reaches for The Dragon King's horns.

With the tensing of his left arm he lifts the defeated dragon from the dirt.

With a thrust of his right arm, he plunges his fist deep into the battered chest.

A long groan and sigh escapes The Dragon King. His heart soon follows.

With an unspectacular slump, The Dragon King rejoins the ground. His hulking form now a lifeless mass of meat and scales, food for the vultures who circle above. They will have their feast, but not the heart. The bulging muscle, squelching in his fist, is the lone right of Shao Kahn, Emperor of Outworld.

The air begins to crackle and lightning fills the sky.

Standing dramatically over his defeated foe, Kahn raises the heart skyward and squeezes the blood from it. A thick torrent cascades into his mouth, dribbling down his chin to that armored chest. The blood of a Dragon King, imbuing him with life force and energy he will need in the war that comes.

Gazing back across the barren plane, Shao Kahn sets his sights on the Pyramid of Argus.

Many warriors have already fallen in the rush to reach its top. There, an elemental awaits, promising power beyond wildest imagining -- the prize of gods! There is where The Emperor must be. Where the blinding light of Blaze is the light before the dawn, where the prophecy of Delia will come to pass.

With one foot in front of the other, The Emperor begins his trek back to the Pyramid.

The roaring chorus of Armageddon begins to swell in his ears again.

A metallic rattle -- the sound of his armor tapping at the night air.

End Prologue.