Chapter Twenty-Five: Third Member of the Alliance
(Shao Kahn's Throne Room)
Kahn looked down from his throne of iron and bone onto the kneeling woman. The faint aura of the Neatherealm still about her gave proof of what she truly was. The Emperor reached down to cup the woman's chin and force her to look up at him. Black spiked hair and red tinted eyes did not hide her similarities to Rayden's woman. However, as appealing as this one was he would not take the risk of accepting what was offered aside from the information.
``Tell your Master, ``Kahn said in a cool voice, ``That I will consider his words. He will have my reply in two days.'' He then released her chin and waved his dismissal as he leaned back into the throne.
Arianna stood up and bowed respectfully before leaving. Once out of the throne room, she shivered in disgust. She was more than happy that Kahn decided not to accept the `services' Kuravan ordered her to offer. The woman then pulled out her crystal to open a portal...she had another appointment to keep...one her `master' was unaware of.
(Dragon King's Palace)
Shang Tsung and Quan Chi walked pass the kneeling corpses away from the now larger soul-nado. The sound of a portal opening caused both of them to go into a defensive stance, their respective energies flaring around their hands. In the large door way, the portal formed and out stepped Arianna. Her steel tipped boots clicked loudly as she walked towards the two sorcerers while the portal closed with a hiss.
The two sorcerers backed down...slightly. ``Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! Didn't you miss me?'' said Arrianna sarcastically, ``After all it was you two who invited me here.''
Quan Chi said nothing as he pulled out a vial filled with what look to be purple lighting and handed it to Arianna.
``So it is agreed, ``said Arianna as she took the small vial from Quan Chi.
It was Shang Tsung who answered, ``Agreed...you keep the gods of Earthrealm distracted while we deal with the Champion and Emperor.''
Arianna smiled as she looked at the so precious vial and then said, ``Just be careful and don't cut yourselves with those swords.''
''Just do your...''Quan Chi started to say but the sound of a stone hitting a wall filled the air.
The three of them looked around and it was Shang Tsung who saw the flash of yellow as someone raced behind rubble. He sent out a blast of flame in the direction of the spy. The rubble exploded knocking the person into the wall. Shaking his head, Scorpion stood up and then dusted himself off.
''Hmmm...``said Quan Chi with a smirk, ``I wonder if these swords work on specters as well as they do on immortals.''
Shang smiled evilly as he drew his sword and said, ``One way to find out.''
Arianna just turned and walked off. Looking over her shoulder as a portal opened, she said, ``Enjoy yourselves and contact me when you want me to start my part.''
Neither sorcerer replied or even acknowledged what Arianna said as they continued to walk over to where Scorpion stood in a now defensive stance. Suddenly, Quan Chi sent a green flaming skull shaped blast at the specter. Scorpion tried to teleport out of the way only to find out that for some reason teleportation was not possible and instead got slammed into to wall by the blast. He dodged a second blast by falling to the ground. Scorpion then rolled into a knelling stance and retaliated with a blast of flame back at the pale face sorcerer. Shang Tsung knocked Scorpions blast aside with his own fireball before it reached Quan Chi. Scorpion stood up and with a ``Get over here!'' sent his roped spear towards the demon sorcerer. Shang dodged and with his sword sliced through the rope as it passed by. The demon sorcerer then started running towards Scorpion with his sword ready. Scorpion was about to counter Shang's obvious attack but found himself knocked down to the ground by another of Quan Chi's skulls. Scorpion looked up just in time to see the sword falling towards him...and then suddenly stopped just inches from his head.
The specter rolled out from under the sword and into a stance. Looking around he noticed both sorcerers seemed frozen in place...even the soul-nado in the distance had stopped moving. As Scorpion looked around and saw a woman standing in the doorway, wearing black and gray armor similar to his own in design. Scorpion went into a defensive stance and with flames flaring up in his eyes as he recognized the white haired woman from so long ago.
The woman crossed her arms over her chest as she huffed and said, ``Nice to know I made such a good impression. Then again you always did have a long memory with some things if not others.''
Scorpion remained silent as he tightened his fists waiting to see what the strange woman would do.
She sighed and shook her head as if in disappointment, ``I'm here to help not harm...You know getting caught by those two wasn't the brightest thing to do.''
Scorpion's eyes narrowed and he finally said, ``You've already helped now...''
''Ah, no I haven't, ``she said tilting her head slightly, ``The moment I leave you'll find yourself in the exact same spot you were when I first got here. Catch!'' She tossed a pair of metal spiked gauntlets. Scorpion caught them and as he examined them he noticed that the palms of each had two metal strips running across them with a gap between them. He carefully put them on noticing that they fit as if made specifically for him. Once they were on a strange feeling came over the specter as if he wore them before.
''What are these?'' he asked.
An almost sad look entered the woman's crystal blue eyes just before she answered, ``Just another little left-over from a long forgotten war. They were once worn by a man whose death restored a god's sanity. It's a shame that his soul was cursed by another for his sacrifice.''
Next thing Scorpion knew he was once again on the ground with a blade coming right down at him. With a strangely hissing clang he caught the blade between his palms. The specter then rolled out of the way, twisting the sword from the sorcerers grasp and tripping Shang Tsung with a leg sweep. As the sorcerer fell Scorpion went with the momentum into a kneeling stance and sent a blast of hellfire at Quan Chi who summoned a wall of skulls to block it. As both sorcerers readied another attack, Scorpion removed his mask to reveal his true face and then with a roar created a wall of flame between him and his foes. When the flames diminished, the specter was gone.
''You told me that teleportation wouldn't be possible!'' snarled Shang as he sheathed the sword.
Quan Chi just growled in frustration and then said, ``We must make our move sooner than expected.''
(Shao Kahn's Throne Room)
Shao Kahn growled as Reptile knelt before him. The report the creature gave him wasn't a good one; it seems that the apparent docility of the two sorcerers was just an act. Nothing surprising but the fact that they were working together could be a problem especially since the duplicate godslayer seems to have made a bargain with them. An evil smirk crossed the emperor's face and he then said, ``Take a message to Kuravan on Earthrealm. Let's see what happens when he finds out what his loyal servant has been doing.''
Reptile stood and bowed before leaving. Rieko stepped out from behind the throne and asked, ``Do you wish for me to take care of the traitors?''
''No, ``answered Kahn, ``Let's play along for now and see how far they get. Make preparations for their...visit.''
Sonya placed her head on the kitchen table and sighed. She was just too tired to be angry with her parents. And liked Johnny said, they weren't the only one's keeping secrets. But so help her next time she sees Fujin...
The door swung open and someone sat in the chair across from her. ``You going to be ok?'' asked Johnny as he laid a hand on Sonya's arm. The woman just nodded without bothering to raise her head.
''So what that your father worked for a special ops team investigating the Mortal Kombat tournament and how the communist Chinese government could use it as a recruiting ground...I just wish I could have seen their faces when they found out what it really was about. And it's not like your mother tried to keep your family history a secret...she was most likely trying to forget about it herself, ``Johnny stopped for a second when Sonya looked up just enough to glare at him and then he said, ``I guess I should stop talking about it now.''
Sonya finally sat up and sighed, ``No you're right. I of all people should know how the military works and understand the pain my mother went through when she found out her father died in a martial arts tournament. Guess I should be happy she doesn't know how Shang enslaved the souls of the defeated fighters.'' A pained look crossed her face as she finally understood that one of the souls freed by Liu when he defeated Shang was most likely her own grandfather and who knows how many of her other ancestors. Her thoughts were interrupted when she felt Johnny taking hold of her upper arms to pull her up from the chair.
''Look its late, ``he said as he led her out of the kitchen, ``And we both have to get up early see your parents off and to meet with Jax's little group at the ranch house.''
Once they reached the guest room he released her and bid her a good night. As he turned Sonya grabbed his arm and said, ``Thanks for everything.'' She then reached up to kiss Johnny lightly on the lips. Johnny took full advantage and deepened the kiss as he pulled her closer. Once the kissed ended their foreheads touched and he said, ``Good night.'' Johnny then walked down to his own room as Sonya went into the guest room. When both doors closed they both leaned back onto the door and closed their eyes briefly.
(Rayden's Private Domain)
With a small yawn Rayden turned over in bed and reached over only to find himself alone in bed. When this sunk in he woke up fully and sensed that Althea was slightly amused with something. Since the last flare up in their link, they agreed to keep both sides completely open in the hopes of stabilizing it. Rayden got up and got dressed before heading out to find her. There in his den/library he found her behind a stack of large books reading a single paperback. Not able to read the title from where he was standing, Rayden asked, ``Find anything interesting?''
''Not sure...I was doing some research on how to create my own portals or at least be able to teleport myself and I found this hidden behind some of the books. I started reading it and found out I just couldn't put it down, ``she put the book face down on the desk and got up to hug the thunder god, ``It really didn't make any sense but...what do I know. I'm still trying to get over what Deep Thought said about the `ultimate answer'.''
Rayden sighed, realizing just what book she was reading and cursed the day he bought that damn thing. Although, the fact it kept her away from her research he guessed it wasn't so bad. The longer it took her to find her own means of transportation the easier it was going to be on him trying to keep her out of trouble.
Althea glared up at the thundergod when that thought crossed his mind as if she knew exactly what he was thinking. Rayden looked down with an almost completely innocent look with the exception of a raised eyebrow. ``You know with our link completely open as it is...even if we can't read each other's thoughts it's the next best thing, ``she warned, ``Can you guess what I'm thinking now.''
Rayden's innocent look changed to a mischievous one. ``Perhaps, but I really have to get to work, ``he said and then grabbed the back of her head. Then he kissed her hard enough to make her grab his over-shirt with a moan and just as suddenly the thundergod vanished. Althea shook her head, took a deep breath and then went back to her research, ignoring the paperback the best she could.
A knock at the door surprised her, knowing that only a few beings had access to this realm. Assuming it was only Fujin being polite for a change; she got up and headed to the front door. Opening it she was surprised to see who it really was....
''You should invite me in you know, ``said Kronos.
Althea stepped aside and said, ``Make yourself at home. Would you like anything to drink?''
Kronos walked in and looked around in curiously. ``I see you haven't had a chance to make your own little changes to the place.''
''Look I'm sorry that I snapped at you the last time and I am working on getting...''Althea started to say.
Kronos interrupted, ``Things have changed.''
''Look I know Scorpion lost the swords to Quan Chi and even I admit that is a big deal, ``Althea said, ``Even now I was working on a means...''
''To provide yourself the means to travel between realms, ``said Kuravan as he tossed her a crystal, ``I assume you know how to use this.''
Althea caught the crystal and with a curious look said, ``Ok...now I'm worried. What's the catch?''
Kronos smiled as he said, ``It gets worse. I'm also here to give you your first...as you would say, time-gift lesson. As for the catch...let's talk about that some other time.''
Althea sat down on the couch and said, ``Please tell me that means I'll be getting that seal removed.''
Kronos frowned and replied, ``Not right away. It is bothering you?''
''Sometimes, ``Althea answered, ``It feels like something is tied down so tight that it's cutting off circulation but to what...'' She shrugs.
''Anything else?'' Kronos prompted.
''I think it might be interfering with the soulbond link, ``said Althea looking away as if embarrassed, ``At first we thought it was a combination of being separated for so long and our constant use of shielding in order to function normally. But...I think that the seal may also be adding to it. The fluctuations weren't nearly as bad before getting it but once it was put into place it's gotten noticeably worse.''
''Hmmm, ``mumbled Kronos as he took a long look at the sitting woman and then sighed, ``It's hard to tell but you might be correct...that just means we need to get that gift of yours under control sooner than originally planned, not only for your sake but to ensure that Earthrealm's God of Thunder is able to continue with his duties.''
The Elder God of Time then sat down next to the woman and took both of her hands. She looked at him with a raised eyebrow and said, ``Let me guess you're gonna teach me the fast way.'' Althea sighed when Kronos nodded and then she added, ``Ok...but you're going have to explain to Rayden why I have such a big headache.''
Next Time on Mortal Kombat: Echoes of the Past
''Sub-Zero?'' asked Johnny not believing how much the `young' fighter had aged in the few weeks he was gone.
Chapter Twenty-Six: Betrayal
(Ranch House, Late Afternoon)
``Damn, Sonya, ``said Jax as read over the electrician's estimates and descriptions of damage, ``What sort of party were you having here?''
''Don't start with me, Jax, ``answered Sonya leaning against the hummer, ``Just tell me how long until we can move back in.''
''Well, depends...do you just want to replace the existing stuff or do you want to upgrade?'' asked Jax.
''No guns, ``interrupted Johnny as he handed both Jax and Sonya some colas.
''Look man if...''started Jax.
''No guns, ``repeated Johnny forcefully, ``Hand held stuff I don't mind but automated is just asking for trouble with Sektor's crew running around. And don't give me that look, if Liu was here he would say no even to hand guns.''
''I agree, ``came an slightly echoing mechanical voice, ``Computer controls should be kept to a minimum due to Sektor's hacking abilities. Even sensor and alarms would not be completely reliable if fully reliant on computers.''
''So everything old school, then, ``said Jax with a thoughtful look.
''Not necessarily, ``answered Cyrax.
The sound of a motorcycle driving up the driveway interrupted the conversation. Everyone turned to see a familiar blue and black motorcycle drive up with not only the driver but a passenger riding.
The motorcycled stopped behind the hummer and both riders stepped off, the larger one removing his helmet to reveal a familiar if older looking face.
''Sub-Zero?'' asked Johnny not believing how much the `young' fighter had aged in the few weeks he was gone.
The Lin Kuei nodded and then said, ``This is Frost...my new student.''
At that moment the smaller person removed her helmet to reveal the ice blue eyes and Chinese features of the female warrior. She placed the helmet under her arm and then bowed respectfully.
''Student?'' Jax, Johnny and Sonya all asked at the same time.
''What of the Lin Kuei?'' asked Cyrax.
``They're no longer a problem, ``answered Sub-Zero tiredly.
Frost frowned but remained quiet to study the group. Cyrax she knew or thought she did. The other three she only knew from what Sub-Zero told her and from what she overheard at the Lin Kuei headquarters. The one with metal arms was no doubt Jax and seemed to be a decent fighter by the look of him but nothing to worry about. The other male must then be Johnny Cage nice looking but didn't strike her as a true warrior. It was the woman, Sonya Blade, which concerned her. This was the one that caused the Lin Kuei to rethink their belief of female warriors and start their experiment with Frost herself. Frost nearly smirked as she thought that if she could defeat this woman, she would prove that she was worthy to be a true Lin Kuei.
As if sensing Frost's thoughts, Sonya glanced at the young woman with narrowing eyes and a look that said `don't even think about it.'
''Brrrrrr! Did it suddenly get chilly out here?'' said Johnny.
Rayden appeared in a flash of light in the main room, and then nearly fell to his knees as he grabbed his head. The searing headache was almost too much for him to bear. He hasn't felt this much physical pain in centuries.
Kronos helped the thundergod to his chair and said, ``You might want to raise your mental shields. It will slow down repairing your link but...''
Rayden shook his head slightly and said, ``They are up...What happened?''
The Elder God almost smiled but only sighed. ``I gave Althea her first lesson in controlling her time gift, ``he answered, ``We agreed on doing it the fast way to get that seal removed sooner than originally planned. The good news the headache is temporary and should be gone in a few hours. The bad news is its going to return at least a few more times. Althea's gift is stronger than expected and must remain sealed until I am certain she is...''
Kronos stopped and looked away from the thundergod as if hearing something. The Elder God of Time then vanished.
( South American Jungle Ruins , Early Evening )
Arianna smiled when she felt the ring that Quan Chi had given her, heat up briefly.
``Arianna!'' said Kuravan angrily, ``Do you mind telling me what you were doing talking with the sorcerers?''
Arianna chuckled lightly as she turned. ``No I don't mind. Actually I'm glad you brought it up. They wanted me to cause a little distraction here on Earth when they sent me a sign,''said Arianna as lifted up her hand to reveal the faintly glowing ring, ``This is the sign and you're the distraction.''
With her other hand she threw a ball of blood red flame which crashed into Kuravan's chest. For a moment it seemed nothing happened, but the god stepped back as he felt his powers fade. Fear crossed his face but then he heard the wings of his servant Lilith as she flew down.
``Take care of...''Kuravan said but Lilith grabbed the now mortal god by the throat and lifted him off the ground.
``I no longer take orders from you, ``the vampire growled, and her claws dug in just enough to draw blood. Seeing this Lilith licked her lips.
``Why?'' gasped Kuravan.
It was Arianna who answered, ``Does it really matter?''
A blur knocked Lilith over causing her to lose her hold on Kuravan. The blur then returned and stopped next to Kuravan to reveal the masked Kabal standing protectively between him and the two females.
``Why are Earth males so stupid, ``said Arianna as she prepared to blast the idiot but then a gun shot cracked the air and a small hole appear in her upper chest, black blood spattering outward. As Arianna fell to the ground another woman appeared from the jungle, her red hair appearing as blood in the night. Kabal only nodded thanks to the woman and then put his full attention on Lilith. The vampire just smirked as she walked slowly to the prone form on the ground. ``She was wrong...its not just Earth males that are stupid, ``Lilith said as the `corpse' started to move, ``You can't kill something that is already dead.''
Arianna sat up and slowly got up off the ground. The gaping wound in her chest filled in and faded away leaving only a torn shirt and chain mail to show where the injury was. Arianna and Lilith pulled out their kamas at the same time. Arianna glared at the strange red headed woman as Lilith put her full concentration on the former black dragon.
While this was happening, Kuravan sat up rubbing his throat and saw what was happening. He was surprised by what he was seeing. The one who he thought most loyal over the centuries had betrayed him, but one of the ones he was certain would someday prove traitor was risking all to protect him. Even that woman, what was her name...Kira? Wasn't going to back down in spite knowing they faced something that couldn't be killed. Lilith's betrayal he could almost understand, all mortals had a price. But what was it with these humans...what do they hope to gain? The now mortal deity stood up, wiping the blood from his throat as he went to stand beside Kabal and went into a fighting stance.
Lilith growled and tightened her grip on her weapons considering her options. She knew even mortal, Kuravan had centuries of fighting experience. Then the wind started to pick up, blinding everyone as dust and debris went flying. As the wind died down the familiar voice of the current Protector of the Realm filled the air, ``As much as I hate the guy, I can't allow the killing of another god.''
Arianna laughed with flashing eyes and then said, ``One god or two...makes no difference to me.'' She crossed her kamas and they both became engulf in blood red flame but did not burn.
However, Lilith didn't seem so confident. The only reason why she went along with the attack was Arianna's promise to aid her in releasing the Vampire's home realm. Unable to die and with shielding abilities, Arianna would be able to retrieve the orb from its volcanic prison. The Vampire's wings flexed as she considered her limited options.
As if sensing Lilith's concerns, Fujin now appeared on stairs leading up the ruined pyramid and said in a commanding tone, ``If you stand down now you will be given safe passage to another realm...never to return.''
Kabal and Kira just watched but still ready to fight if need be, while Kuravan considered the wind god's actions. What was the idiot up to?
Arianna ring flashed again and she smiled when she felt the heat. ``No matter, I completed my part of the bargain, ``she said as she sheathed her weapons and pulled out a crystal, ``As for safe passage, I'll provide my own.'' A portal opened and Lilith was more than happy to take it without saying a word, but Arianna added, ``It's a shame that a god can't be in two places at once, not even a Sworn Protector.''
At that second, Fujin bent over slightly clutching his chest as if in pain. The wind god's eyes widen as he knew what had happened. Arianna waved as she stepped through the portal and said, ``Until next time.''
The portal closed with a hiss pop. Kuravan turned to see what Fujin was going to do only to see him gone.
(Temple of Light , China )
Liu Kang took a deep breath and then started his morning Tai Chi routine. As his body moved almost fluidly his mind wondered. Tomorrow he would return to the States with Kung Lao. They had finally gotten the proper Visas in order and permission from the Temple priests. Even they had to admit that they had no one who could train Kung Lao's gifts but with both Althea and hopefully Nightwolf teaching him there was a chance of getting it under control. Never before has Kung Lao's gift caused him so much trouble. Nightly he was having nightmares of what may or may not come and almost daily he was mentally pulled into the past by just touching something.
Liu continued his morning routine as he saw Kung Lao in the corner of his eye, thinking that his friend might join in the exercise. He then turned when he heard a voice in the distance yell, ``NO!'' The Champion of Mortal Kombat saw someone he never hoped to see again and then sent a kick in greeting followed by a pair of punches. Shang Tsung blocks one punch but the second hits hard knocking him back a few steps. Rushing back Shang sends in his own punch which Liu Kang blocks and counters with another kick to the lower rib cage. Shang tries to back hand the monk but Liu blocks. The champion sends a quick punch to the sorcerer's face which is followed by a heavy over handed punch to the head knocking the sorcerer to the ground stunned.
From behind the other sorcerer Quan Chi send a green flaming skull into Liu Kang's back. The monk falls to his knees stunned and in pain. Recovered, Shang walks over the monk and grabs hold of Liu's head and chin. They struggle briefly but Shang then twists the monk's head snapping his neck. Liu Kang, the Champion of Mortal Kombat falls to the ground...dead. The demon sorcerer Shang Tsang wasted no time taking the champion's soul. After all these years of defeat, he was about ready to roar in victory but a flying circular blade forced him to dodge. The spinning blade lined hat returned to its owner who looked upon the pair with pure hatred in his eyes.
Quan Chi chuckled and prepared to return the favor in the form of one of his skulls but then turned his head as if sensing something else. Shang growled and opened a portal. ``We'll deal with you later boy, ``snarled Shang.
``DAMN YOU!, ``Kung Lao yelled as he ran to follow but the portal closed before he got to it. He turned, walked towards Liu and fell to the ground in tears.
Next Time on MK: Echoes of the Past.
[Kung Lao] angrily said, ``Where were you?''
Chapter Twenty Seven: Death Scene for an Emperor
(Temple of Light)
The wind picked up and Fujin appeared just behind the still kneeling Kung Lao. Seeing the body of Liu Kang, Fujin's face went pale and he placed a sympathic hand on the monk's shoulder. Kung Lao stiffened when he felt the touch and then angrily said, ``Where were you?''
Fujin looked down and away not sure what to say. Kung Lao would have none of it and grabbed hold of the wind god's hand. Images of the conflict between a strange god and his own minions filled the monk mind then memories of the strange gods actions in past also appeared. Kung Lao then stood up to glare at the god of wind...just before punching him in the face. Fujin took the punch on the chin, just moving his head slightly under the force. ``You were busy protecting one of Kahn's allies while leaving Liu to fend for himself, ``hissed the monk in uncharacteristic anger, ``What were you thinking!''
(Elder God of Shadow's Private Chambers)
In his private chambers, the Elder God of Shadows chuckled and waved his hand to dismiss the floating image of Kung Lao blaming that fool Fujin. His friend was right; the show of seeing Earth's champion die was entertaining. Only bad thing was Anubis could already hear the debates that is going to take place among his fellow Elder Gods once they...
The dark Elder God growled when he felt the summons to council, it seems that word travels fast. Then an idea came to him, perhaps like the mortal was doing now perhaps he could place the full blame on Fujin for not tending his duties. After all he already failed to guard the Temple of the Elements and now this...Plus this would also make that blasted thundergod look bad for recommending Fujin in the first place. Anubis slowly changed into his more human form and grinned at the thought. For far too long the two of them have enjoyed the favor of the three senior Elder Gods. He walked into the shadowed corner and reappeared from shadowed alcove of his respective altar in the Temple of the Elder Gods. Perhaps, he could even hint that Arianna's attack on Kuravan proves that both godslayers are too dangerous to continue living.
A heated glare from the Elder Goddess of Water erased that last thought from his mind. The Elder God of Shadows frowned, Danu had a way of knowing even an Elder God's thoughts and the Elder Goddess was not one to be trifled with. Normally she would see to only that order reigned during the council meetings, but just the fact that she alone could do that proved her power. She has already shown she favors both Rayden and Fujin, but would this flow over to favoring Rayden's little group of mortals or his godslayer?
Anubis looked around the room noting that the Elder Gods of Earth, Fire and Wind were once again playing the role of council idiots. The three youngest Elder Gods rarely went against what the senior ones said, however one the few times was in regards to the godslayer and Rayden's actions in regards to her.
Hmmph...fear pure and simple...cowards, the senior Elder Gods were powerful and capable of destroying a god but they have yet to do so. Even the traitor Shinnok they only banished to the Neatherrealm. Instead they create `godslayers' to do their dirty work, godslayers that normally burn out after they done their job, a safety feature to prevent a repeat of the original godslaying Dragons' betrayal. However, Althea has killed a god and survived. Three if you consider Ragen and Shinnok, even if she didn't make the final killing blows she was there and instrumental in both their deaths. The senior Elder Gods were a threat, but Althea is a proven danger. Now this Arianna has threatened not one but two gods at the same time and nearly killed Rayden more then once. Not to mention, she is now to be considered a rogue force since Kuravan obviously lost whatever leash he had on her. If this happened to one godslayer, how long until the other does the same?
Everything Damashi has shown and told him has proven true, even that mysterious `Lady Tomorrow' hasn't been as helpful despite of all her apparent power and knowledge. Perhaps, he should take Damashi's recommendation in regards to Kuravan into consideration in spite of his apparent alliance with Shao Kahn and failure to control Arianna.
(Shao Kahn's Throneroom)
The two sorcerers walked towards the throne of Outworld. He who sat upon the throne sneered as the pair bowed in respected. Before the skull masked male could question the two, the sound swords being unsheathed filled the room as both sorcerers stood up and as one attacked. Each raised a hand to release their respective energy attacks, striking down the pair of shadow priests that stood on each side of the emperor's throne.
As the priests crashed into the distant wall, the emperor rose and heaved his broadsword at Shang Tsung. Quan Chi raised a wall of skulls to protect him, the sword embedded itself too deep and Kahn couldn't move it. Shang Tsung threw a blast of flames at him, causing him to cover his face; the sorcerer then drove his sword through Shao Kahn's gut. Kahn gasped as he felt his life drain from him. He stared angrily at the sorcerer, blood dripping from his mouth. Quan Chi closed the distant, spun and beheaded Kahn, his head tumbling down the steps and his blood coated helm coming to rest at the bottom.
(Dark room lit by a pool of flame)
In a dark room, an unseen being growled as the death scene played out in the flaming pool before him. Reiko walked up from the other side, his face lit up by the flames. He bowed his head in respect to the unseen figure and then said, ``It happened just as you predicted, do wish for me to see to their...''
''No, ``a familiar voice came from the shadows, ``We'll just wait and see what happens. They already taken care of one thorn in my side, we'll let them do all the work and take all the blame IF the Elder Gods decide to interfere.''
Reiko bowed and turned to leave but stopped when the voice added, ``See to it that someone keeps an eye on both godslayers...especially the rogue.''
Rayden sitting up on the couch he was laying on he brushed back his gray hair with a sigh as the headache finally started to fade. He frowned as he sensed something was wrong. Even though he was not presently the Sworn Protector, long ingrained habits were hard to lose thus he automatically sent out his senses to seek out each of the chosen and to test the boundaries of Earthrealm. His face paled when he felt the emptiness that once was Liu Kang. ``No...''he whispered as he slowly stood. A pair of warm arms wrapped around his waist as Althea, who had walked in unseen, sympathetically rested her head on his upper arm. ``Liu...is, ``Rayden started to say but Althea reached up to cover his lips with her fingers as he felt the understanding and mutual morning from her through their bond. ``Go help Fujin, ``she said, ``This is not the time for an inexperienced Protector.''
Rayden returned her hug and then added, ``We'll need your help too and all the chosen will need to be gathered.''
Althea nodded just before the pair vanished in a flash of light.
(Temple of Light)
Kung Lao watched emotionlessly as his fellow monks took Liu Kang's body away for burial. Fujin unsure what to do but also unwilling to leave things as they were stood a short distance away, just out of site of Kung Lao. The god of wind jumped when he felt a hand land heavily on his shoulder. ``What happened?'' demanded Rayden.
Fujin wasn't sure whether to be relieved that his brother was here or be frozen in fear. Being on the receiving end of Rayden's anger was never pleasant. Althea ignored the two gods as she stared at one of the monks. She slowly walked over to the cold faced monk and asked, ``Kung Lao?'' His hair was longer and the clothes he wore different, but he looked exactly like her teacher and friend.
``Do I know you?'' the monk replied coldly in English assuming the blonde woman was an American by her clothes. Althea smiled sadly as she shook her head, ``Sorry, you look like someone I once knew...a long time ago.''
It was then that Kung Lao realized that the strange woman also looked familiar, but what she said next shook that thought from her mind. ``How...who did...How did Liu die?'' she asked.
Althea nodded with a sad smile, ``I am...or was going to be one of the teachers at the school.''
It was then that Kung Lao noticed Rayden talking with Fujin and then it dawned on him who this woman was. ``Althea?'' he asked just to make sure. The woman nodded and then said, ``You must be Liu's cousin....'' She suddenly turned her face towards the gods and said, ``Uh oh...'' Even from this far away, Kung Lao could see Rayden's eyes flash in anger. What really surprised him was how this woman walked hurriedly to the pair to stand right between the two gods, as if to protect one from the wraith of the other.
Kung Lao walked over to hear Althea say, ``...calm down.''
Slowly the sparks that were running up and down Rayden's form faded away as the thundergod calmed down...some. He growled, ``He was too busy protecting Kuravan of all people...''
''Then if you're going to blame anyone, blame me, ``the woman said, ``After all the only reason why Kuravan is in this realm is because of me and its because of me that Arianna...''
Just then both Fujin and Rayden felt a summons that could not be ignored. ``Fujin, you go ahead and meet with the Elder Gods, ``said Rayden, ``I'll take both Kung Lao and Althea to the ranch house and then join you.''
The uncharacteristically silent wind god nodded before vanishing in whirlwind. Althea reached over to grab Kung Lao's arm and said, ``Hold on, it's a bit disconcerting the first few times.''
''What?'' said Kung Lao as Rayden took hold of her other hand and they all vanished.
(Ranch house's backyard)
Two women glared at each other across the grassy field, one dark haired and the other blonde. One with an ice cold stare and the other that could leave burn marks in her glare's wake. Johnny Cage looked back at Sub-Zero as if asking `Do I have too?' The Lin Kuei nodded. Johnny sighed and then said in a loud voice, ``FIGHT!''
Frost sent a blast of cold along the ground which Sonya dodged easily and ran, fist first, into Frost's face. Frost tried to counter but was met with Sonya's other fist. The next thing Frost knew, she was face down on the ground with Sonya's foot in her back and her right arm being held painfully behind her.
Sub-Zero nearly sighed, this was suppose to be a minor spar to determine how much training and skill Frost actually had but the combination of her actions and Sonya's temper was turning it into an full out brawl. ``Again, ``he calmly said ignoring Johnny's `You crazy?' look, ``This time use only martial arts...no kori.''
A crash of thunder and a bright flash of light interrupted the sparring match. Everyone turned just in time to see Rayden vanish once again leaving behind Althea and a noticeably green Kung Lao.
Seeing the stricken look on the pair, it was Sub-Zero who asked, ``What happened?''
(Gate leading to Ranch House)
At the front gate, stood a man with a long cloth wrapped package tied to the backpack he carried. His eyes were hidden behind dark glasses as his other senses took in his surroundings. For the past two days he waited for the return of magic he sensed in this area, and just now it reappeared. Barely detectable but not far from here, beyond this gate...but it was not the one he was seeking. This one held none of the taint, cruelty of the one he sought. However there was someone else here, who was recently touched by that same user of magic he sought. Perhaps the pair of them could lead him to his prey. Sensing only those in the not so distant building he decided to observe before making himself known. He raised a hand towards the gate and it glowed faintly gray, in seconds there was a faint click and the gate swung open. With his other hand he brought out a small cylinder which with a flick of his wrist expanded into a white cane. Once he walked past the gate, it swung closed behind him.
Next Time on Mortal Kombat: Echoes of the Past...
``So nothing will be done, ``fumed Rayden, ``in spite of this obvious breach of Your rules?''
Chapter Twenty Eight: Defiance
A sad silence filled the living room, as Althea quietly placed a tray full of drinks on the dining room table. On the couch sat Johnny with his arm wrapped around Sonya's shoulders and her arms wrapped around his chest. Jax sat in the overstuffed chair with his head in his metallic hands. Sub-Zero leaned against his now customary wall, looking downward and arms crossed. Kung Lao sat on the ground, his back to the couch's armrest his eyes closed. As she passed out the drinks, Althea looked up with a thoughtful look as if sensing something. Her lips thinned as she handed the last glass and then left the room unnoticed by the mourning group.
In the gym Frost practiced her katas under the watchful, unblinking eyes of Cyrax. *punch* *punch* *kick* ``Why are you here, cyborg?'' Frost asked between moves. *kick* *block* *punch*
''Because I choose to, ``replied Cyrax in his mechanical voice.
Frost suddenly stopped and turned. ``You CHOOSE?'' she demanded, ``You are Lin Kuei, you have no...''
Cyrax lifted his hand in a motion asking for silence and replied, ``The Lin Kuei of old is dead. The new Lin Kuei looks to be different, if Sub-Zero is a true example of the clan's future.''
Frost hmphed and turned away only to hear Cyrax continue, ``The mere fact he accepted you as a full student rather than a test subject is proof of that.''
Frost clenched her fists and lowered her head, hearing the cyborg's words but not sure how to take them.
Outside behind the tool shed, the strange man nearly collapsed under the weight of sorrow, worry and confusion he sensed from the ranch house. What could have happened? He debated for a few moments on whether to continue `observing,' walk up to the front door or leave. Choosing the last he turned to head back the way he came only to crash into what felt to be a wall where there wasn't one before.
``You know it's not nice to spy on people, ``said a woman's voice causing him to turn around, ``Mine telling me why you're here?''
The strange man bowed slightly in respect and said, ``Forgive me, I meant no harm. I'm only seeking a certain person and thought I might be able to receive information on him here.''
Althea's eyes flashed slightly as she looked over the stranger. His dark glasses and white cane indicated he was blind according to local custom. However his actions and what she sensed from the packaged tied to his backpack told her there was something different about this person. ``Who are you and who do you seek?''
A half smiled appeared as the man answered, ``I am known as Kenshi and the one I seek is called Shang Tsung.''
Reptile knelt at the foot of the empty and bloody throne of Shao Kahn. The room darkened as the candles slowly melted away. ``Masssster,'' he whispered in a strange sort of mourning. Just as the last candle went out a woman's hand was placed on his shoulder. ``He is never truly gone, ``said the woman with a voice that was a strange mixture of sympathy and sarcasm.
Reptile hissed as he stood up to face the stranger and saw a woman in armor the same as his only darker, wearing a mask as he once did and having long white haired pulled back into a bun. Her crystal blue eyes narrowed slightly as she asked, ``What will you do now?''
Like a lost child he covered his eyes and hissed, ``No Massster, No home, No place for Reptile.''
''Perhaps, Reptile needs a new master, ``said the woman, ``Or better yet become his own.''
''How?'' asked Reptile, ``Where?''
The woman closed her eyes as if debating something with herself and then sighed. ``If it's a new master that you desire, look among those who fly the darken skies. If you chose to become your own master, seek the key to your home.''
Reptile stood up straighter and his tongue flickered as he thought over the woman's words. Finally he said, ``There issss only Reptile who issss left so there issss no point to having a home...''
The woman closed her eyes sadly but nodded before vanishing.
Nightwolf put the phone down and then slowly walked over to his table. His palms laif on the table gently and then turned to fists that he raised only to have them crash down loudly.
The noise brought Kiva walking in with a concerned look and she asked, ``What's wrong?''
''He's dead...Liu Kang is..''Nightwolf closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He always thought that he, being the oldest by far, of all the chosen would be the first to fall not the champion.
Kiva sat down with a shocked look and then asked, ``What happens now?''
''We go and pay our respects, ``said Nightwolf as he picked up the phone again, ``I'll make the reservations while you pack.''
(Temple of the Elder Gods)
``So nothing will be done, ``fumed Rayden, ``in spite of this obvious breach of Your rules?''
Both Rayden and Fujin stood before the council along with a handful of the current Earthrealm deities as well as a few from other realms. Most of these mumbled in agreement with the thunder god.
''Take care of what you speak Lord Rayden, ``said the Elder Goddess of Water in all seriousness, ``The council has yet to decide...''
''Pardon me, ``said Vatas the Sworn Protector of Calorna, ``but what is there to decide? Shang Tsung of Outworld and Quan Chi of the Neatherrealm have killed both the Earthrealm's Champion and Outworld's Emperor. The first a obvious breach of the rules of Mortal Kombat and the second proof that they are more than willing to destroy immortals in their conquest of the realms.''
Kronos nearly smiled in pride at his youngest son's words, but hid it behind a serious face required for such a time. The pride faded when he heard Shadow say, ``A danger only because your former champion gave her weapons to a specter of the Neatherrealm.''
Rayden's eyes began to flash and Fujin grabbed his shoulder to prevent his brother from doing something stupid. ``She did so to save a god, ``said Fujin, ``And ended up saving the last two of Earthrealm's gods and its Champion by doing so.''
''ENOUGH!'' the Elder God of Light roared, silencing the room.
The Elder God of Flame then said, ``Until a decision has been reached, nothing changes.''
''What?'' Rayden said under his breath.
''The sorcerers will be watched, ``added the Elder God of Stone, ``Until they have proven themselves a true danger...''
Rayden shook his head slightly at the apparent lack of common sense.
``Now all of you return to your respective realms and duties, ``ordered the Elder God of Air.
''No, ``said Rayden softly but then louder, ``No, I will not.''
''Lord Rayden, you are...''started Water.
''Sick of what the council has become, ``interrupted Rayden angrily, ``Time and again your rules are broken and yet you do nothing. Instead you prevent those of us who do follow your dictates from doing what is needed. I have had enough.'' The God of Thunder then turned his back on the council and walked through the crowd.
''Stay where you are, Thunder God, ``ordered Shadow.
Rayden then turned and said, ``Like hell I will.'' With a crash of thunder he was gone.
Fujin nearly left to follow but a hand on his shoulder made him turn to see Vatas of Calorna. ``Wait, ``the foreign god said, ``I'll talk to Kronos as soon as he's available, it seems that bond is causing Rayden to take on some of Athea's more...endearing qualities. For now let him be and help me smooth things out here.''
For the past few hours, the handful of chosen heard Kenshi's story and then started telling their own. Althea watched and listened in concern as the group compared what could only be called horror stories they have experienced at the hands of Shang Tsung. Sonya lost all those under her command in spite as fulfilling Shang Tsung's demands to fight in the tournament and her imprisonment in Outworld. Kenshi being tricked in leading the same sorcerer to the entombed souls of his ancestors thus allowing him to enslave them, Kung Lao witnessing the death of Liu Kang...the list went on. It seemed the only one's not really touched by the evil that is Shang Tsung was the cyborg, Frost and herself.
Althea knew that the sorcerer was evil, just the fact that he used souls of fallen warriors to empower himself was proof of that. However, she could figure out how someone, who was so easily defeated that one time she met him face to face all those years ago, had grown so powerful. He had to have enslaved a endless number of souls over the centuries...but most if not all should have been freed when he was defeated by Liu Kang during the last Mortal Kombat Tournament. Why was he still so strong? That was the weakness of such sorcerers, without souls they were weaker than a human child.
``He must be stopped, ``Althea suddenly said startling everyone in the room.
''What? Of course he has...''started Jax but Althea turned a flaming glare at him and said, ``No...not that way. Shang Tsung is not what he seems. I don't think even Shao Kahn knows how dangerous he is. Combine that with my swords and his alliance with Quan Chi...'' She opened her hand to reveal the small crystal that Kronos gave her. Closing her eyes she then added, ``I have to go...''
''You're not going alone, ``said Kung Lao as he got up off the floor.
''If you have a way to Outworld, ``said Sonya, ``we'll all go.''
''No, ``said Althea shaking her head as she closed her fist, ``the Chosen warriors must stay. Shang Tsung and Quan Chi have obviously broken the rules of Mortal Kombat. If the Elder Gods haven't done anything by now they never will. Thus Earth will be wide open for attack, not only by Outworld but any realm that may pose a threat.''
Just then Cyrax walked in with Frost right behind him and said, ``What of those who were not among these chosen?''
Kenshi nodded in agreement and said, ``The cyborg is correct, those of us not among the Chosen are not truly needed for Earth's defenses...''
''And we are to trust you, someone we barely met, ``interrupted Sonya, ``Or you Cryax, that less than a few years ago tried to kill us.''
Finally Johnny spoke up, ``Look no one is going to Outworld until we hear from either Fujin or Rayden.''
Althea took a deep breath but said nothing, as she headed to the stairs. She already knew basically what the Elder God's response was...she could feel it through Rayden's frustration and anger. Just as she reached her bedroom door, she felt a hand on her shoulder. ``Let me come with you, ``said Kenshi, ``You are in a way like me, I can sense it.''
Althea chuckled sadly and said, ``Not so sure about that, but you are right. If I do go I can't go alone...''
(Outside, later that night)
The sounds of cicadas covered up any sounds he may have as he walked toward the remains of what looked to be have been a grove of trees. Cyrax wasn't sure why the woman asked him to come, but he had a good idea what she was going to do. Althea sat waiting on a fallen tree and not surprising Kenshi stood next to her. Each was wearing what one could call their, battle gear. Althea was wearing her dark gray leather armor with what appeared to be steel plates covering her chest and part of her legs. Her hair pulled back and held in place by a steel band with a thin stripe of gray leather between it and her skin. Kenshi was wearing dark brown leather outfit with a red and white sash embroidered with a dragon motif. His eyes now covered not by sunglasses but by a strip of red cloth and his sheathed sword tied to his back. They both turned towards the yellow cyborg when he said, ``You requested that I meet you here.''
Althea stood up and said, ``You've been to Outworld?''
Cyrax nodded and said, ``That is correct. When I was among the Lin Kuei, I often went with the masters to meet with either the Emperor Shao Kahn or Shang Tsung.''
Kenshi sighed as if in defeat and then turned to Althea, ``You win.''
''I know you have a responsibility here, ``said Althea, ``but I have to ask, will you guide us? I...we have to go to Outworld to stop this evil. The others have to protect Earth, but neither I nor Kenshi are Chosen warriors.''
''I had assumed that you were newly Chosen, ``said Cyrax.
''No, ``said Althea, ``Oh Fujin tried, but I was one of the korast on my birthrealm and Vatas neglected to remove that status. Since it's similar to being chosen that title has to be removed before being chosen by another Protector but since it has nothing to do with protecting a realm from another realm it was not automatically voided by changing homerealms.''
''Korast?'' asked Kenshi.
''There's not really a single word that translates, ``answered Althea, ``It's like being a Chosen but it does not involve other realms. Only being `chosen' to do a job by a god against another god.''
''What can a mortal do against a god?''asked Kenshi.
''We're wasting time, ``said Althea changing the subject, ``Will you guide us, Cyrax? It's your choice.''
''I will help you, ``answered Cyrax, ``Your reasons have a ring of truth and I also agree Shang Tsung and Quan Chi must be stopped.''
Althea stood up and took Cyrax's hand, ``If you're ready, let me know and think of a safe place for us to start looking.''
Althea held up the crystal given to her by Kronos and a portal then opened before them. Just then a flash of light blue light blinded them and next they knew Kuravan stood, with arms crossed, in front of them effectively blocking their way.
Next Time on MK: Echoes of the Past....
There stood Fujin, looking somewhat different then he normally did. Instead of the leather vest and baggy green pants he wore a dark three piece suit with a silver trimmed green wind kanji pinned to his tie. His long gray hair was now tied down low and hung down his back.
Chapter Twenty Nine: Recruitment
Althea's eyes flared as she went into an offensive stance with blue flame covered fists. ``What do you want?'' she demanded.
Both Cyrax and Kenshi took a defensive step back not sure what to expect.
''Much as I hate to admit it, ``sneered Kuravan, ``I owe the wind god. He would not approve you heading out without at least discussing the situation with him.''
Althea raised a hand as if to send a chi blast, but stop when Kuravan smiled and said, ``Oh please do. Attack me and it will only prove my case that you are a danger that needs to either be contained or destroyed.''
Althea's flames died down some as she backed off and then snarled, ``You're interfering in...''
''Ah yes, ``interrupted Kuravan, ``That old rule about mortal affairs. The same exception that allows you to visit with your thundergod in his personal domain means that you are no longer protected by that little rule. It's only the favor you somehow garnered from Kronos that allows you the freedom you so enjoy.''
''You have any idea what's going on?'' whispered Kenshi to Cyrax.
Cyrax seemed to ignore the inquiry as he turned his head to look off to the side. He then said, ``There are others.''
Out of the darkness, came a masked man and a red headed woman. Around the man's neck, almost hidden by his dark brown trench coat, hung the medallion of the Black Dragon.
``Let me introduce my...employees, ``said Kuravan, ``Kabal, one of Earth's chosen warriors, and his sub-ordinate, Kira.''
Althea didn't take her eyes off of Kuravan, but Kenshi sensed something different about the one called Kabal or better yet from something he wore. It was similar to the medallion the one called Sub-Zero wore but...darker for lack of a better description.
In Calornian, Althea demanded, ``Just what are you up to?''
Kuravan's eyes flashed slightly as he answered in that same language, ``Just keeping an eye out for my interests. Thanks to you, the sorcerers now have the means to destroy gods such as myself.''
Althea's eyes flared angrily as she replied, ``Just as it is thanks to you Arianna is back and on the loose. As much if not more of a danger than Shang Tsung and Quan Chi put together.''
``All of which, needs to be stopped, ``said Kuravan and then added in English, ``Is it agreed that we do have common foes?''
''That depends on what is being agreed upon, ``came Sub-Zero's voice.
Everyone turned to see the Lin Kuei wearing nothing but a set of dark sleep pants. Kira's eyes lowered and raised as if taking in the sight of the fighter's build with faint scars just adding to his appearance. Unseen behind his mask, Kabal glared angrily at the same warrior.
Kenshi frowned as he concentrated as he attempted to make sense of what he was sensing. It was almost as if two beasts were staring each other down, growling deep in their throats. Suddenly as if just then noticing they were being watched the two creatures turned to `glare' warningly at him. Kenshi had to prevent himself from stepping back as the creatures' true forms became more apparent...dragons.
''If you think for one moment that your connections in the...''roared Styker's superior.
Styker stood there mentally zoning the lecture out. He wasn't too worried about missing anything, since he could almost quote the little `speech' word by word due to the number of times he has heard it. He tried his best to hide the bored sighed as he could feel himself almost hoping for another `invasion.'
The chief's, ``...ARE YOU LISTENING TO THE WORDS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH!!!'' broke though Styker's thoughts, ``If you think I'm going to approve your request for...'' A loud knock at the office door interrupted the now red faced chief who growled, ``WHAT?!''
A woman in uniform stuck her head in and said, ``Sir, someone here to speak with Styker.''
''They can damn well...''the chief started to say but stopped when the door was slammed fully open by a strange but strong blast of wind. There stood Fujin, looking somewhat different then he normally did. Instead of the leather vest and baggy green pants he wore a dark three piece suit with a silver trimmed green wind kanji pinned to his tie. His long gray hair was now tied down low and hung down his back. The most notable difference was what appeared to be an OIA card badge clipped to his lapel. Fujin eyebrow rose as he said, ``I do apologize but what I have to say to Officer Kurtis Stryker can not wait...''
The chief gave Styker a glare, where Styker in turn replied with a half shrug.
The chief then turned the glare back to Fujin and snarled, ``You have no right...''
''Actually, ``said Fujin pulling out a sheet of paper from inside his vest pocket, ``This gives me the right. Officer Stryker has just been...recruited by the Outerworld Investigation Agency. He is to report to the OIA's training faculties in Los Angles A S A P.''
''Hold it, ``said Stryker, ``Don't I get a say in the matter?''
Fujin said in a serious tone, ``No.''
Inside a dusty tan tent, a dark haired woman in a blue skintight outfit looked over some maps scattered across a beaten wooden table. The tent flap opened as another darker skinned woman in green walked in. ``What is it Jade, ``said the first woman without bothering to look up.
Jade gave a roman like salute and said, ``Princess, I have a message from Lord Rayden.''
Princess Kitana straightened up and turned around to accept the scroll that Jade handed over to her. She carefully removed the blue and white seal as it flickered in recognition. This was not the first time Rayden had send word to her in this manner and she was fully aware of what would happen if anyone but her should try to remove that seal. It would not be a pretty site. Kitana carefully unrolled the scroll and silently read the missive. Her lips tighten and a faint glimmer appeared in her eyes. Kitana crushed the paper and said in a quiet voice, ``Leave, I wish to be alone.''
Concerned, Jade said, ``Princess?''
Kitana turned around and said more firmly, ``I said leave.''
Jade saluted and then walked out. Once she was alone, Kitana collapsed onto the floor as tears started to fall down her face. Silently she wept, knowing it would not do to allow her followers to know of her sorrow. ``Damn you Shang Tsung, ``she whispered hoarsely, ``Liu...''
Outside the tent, Jade stopped one of Kitana's guards and said, ``Prepare Kitana's things. She'll be leaving for Earthrealm soon.''
(Ranch House )
``I can't believe you thought to face Shang Tsung and Quan Chi alone, ``ranted Sonya as she glared at Althea after she heard what happened.
''And this is from the woman who tried to take on the whole Black Dragon by herself saying this, ``said Jax sitting on the couch.
Sonya turned her glare to him. ``Don't give me that, ``said Jax, ``You know I'm right.''
''Kabal and Kira are in their rooms. Kung Lao is in the gym blowing off some steam by working out with Sub-Zero and Frost, ``said Johnny as he came downstairs, ``Also, Nightwolf called and left a message saying he was flying over. I'm heading out to pick him up at the airport now.''
Sonya nodded and said, ``I'll call Stryker this afternoon when he gets off duty and see if he'll come out as well.''
''Do you think it wise to have all the chosen warriors in one spot?'' asked Althea with a frown.
Johnny smirked as he put on his sunglasses, ``When has being wise had anything do to with being chosen?''
Kenshi sighed as he rubbed his unseeing eyes under his sunglasses. He heard of these `chosen' from his mentor but if it wasn't from the power he was sensing from the group he would have thought them a worthless bunch of fools. Then there were those `dragons' he sensed coming from two of them. What did he just fall into?
At that moment Cyrax spoke up, ``If I may suggest, a scouting expedition into Outworld may prove informative.''
As Johnny opened the door he said, ``Maybe, but I think we should wait until Kitana shows...you know she will once she finds out what happened.''
The door closed as Johnny walked out at which time Althea said, ``I think that's my cue...''
''Oh, no you don't, ``snarled Sonya, ``I'm not done...''
Althea's eyes flared as she said coldly, ``Yes you are...I will no doubt hear all of this from Rayden, I don't need to hear it from you as well. Unless you have forgotten, I am NOT one your soldiers and will do as I damn well please.'' She then turned and walked out the door towards the dining room, slamming the door after her.
``Oooookay, ``said Fujin appearing behind Sonya, ``That didn't go well. By the way, Stryker is already on his way and should be here tomorrow.''
''Man, Sonya, ``said Jax, ``She has a temper that can take on yours.''
Sonya frowned angrily for a second then it vanished as if something dawned on her. ``That wasn't like her, ``she said quietly and then more loudly she asked as she turned to face Fujin, ``What's wrong with her?''
Fujin sighed and then said tiredly, ``Part of the downside of a soulbond. Althea and Rayden are sharing frustration and anger over recent events, therefore in a way doubling it for each other. They are being partially blinded by this anger...''
Jax stood up with a stretch and said, ``If Althea is like this I definitively don't want to see how ol' Rayden is doing. I'm going to see if our tech guys have figured up something yet to block portals. We have to get this place secure.''
A thoughtful look appeared on Fujin's face just before he vanished.
*!Slam!* A frying pan slammed onto the stove. *!Clang!* Cooking utensils fell on the counter next to the stove. *!Bang!* The drawer slammed shut. Althea reached for the refrigerator door only to have a hand take hold of her arm and turn her around to face a certain thundergod.
At that moment all the anger and frustration seemed to vanish as she fell into his chest with tear filled eyes. Rayden's own eyes closed as he wrapped his arms around the woman with a loud and tired sigh. He didn't bother to bring up her crazy attempt to leave for Outworld with nothing more than Cyrax and Kenshi with her. His own actions at the Temple of the Elder Gods could be considered even more insane, but he would not regret it. Too long has the council allowed scales to swing unbalanced. The darkness is growing and will continue to grow if not stopped. If he had not experienced a similar failed attempt racing blindly into Outworld centuries ago, he too would be making his way to stop the two sorcerers.
``Is this where you start your lecture? ``said Althea, muffled by Rayden's chest.
Rayden leaned back slightly and made Althea looked up to him by placing his hand under her chin. ``Normally, ``said Rayden with a half-smile, ``yes, but I think Sonya did a good enough job for me. Besides, you have the right idea only you...we need a better battle plan.''
( Outworld, The Wastelands)
Reptile raced across the wastelands seeking those the strange woman spoke of. Not sure why he trusted her but for some reason that could only be called instinct; he knew she spoke the truth. Those who flew the darkened skies...Yessss, the Vampires are proven powerful in their own way but also having specific weaknesses. Having a servant such as him would prove most useful to them. Fighting that little itch in the back of his mine, that kept asking why he had to remain a servant.
On an overhanging cliff stood Nitara watching unseen as Reptile ran pass as she narrowed her eyes as she considered her options. So far what Lilith passed on from the mysterious woman has proven true. Nitara herself had seen the orb floating in the lava bed so close yet so impossible to get. Even a semi-immortal like Arianna, would find it difficult if not near impossible to retrieve. But how could a former reptilian slave of Kahn's be of any use in freeing her realm? He wouldn't be any good for a meal, since reptilian blood was so...ugh. Nitara's upper lip rose in disgust at the thought.
Nitara's wings flared out and she jumped off the cliff to follow Reptile through the wastelands. She had time to watch and see for herself just how useful this Zatterian might be.
(Dark Room , Location Unknow )
The shadowed figured leaned back as the events at the ranch house could be seen in a pool of flame. Tapping the armrest loudly the figure considered what actions if any he should take. So far everything that has occurred could only benefit himself. Even the chaos caused by the power vacuum in Outworld, would prove who was loyal and who wasn't. Leaning forward slightly to rest his chin on his fist, the faint red light of the fiery pool barely revealed the skull masked face of Shao Kahn.
Next Time on MK: Echoes of the Past...
Rayden chose to ignore the Elder God as he reached over to pick up what looked like to be a Chinese peasant hat but made out of armor rather than straw.
Author : Preferred Customer
Creation date: 2007-4-29-2-24
Modification date: 2007-4-29-3-2
Ok...here's the last of the chapters so far and this is where I am stuck. Got a few scenes drafted but thats about it. The part where I left off is the beginnings of MK:DA with more than a few differences from the canon story.
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