Hey guys! I know I’ve been a bit light on the actual content delivery so far, so here’s about 2.5 pages (MS Word, Calibri, 11 point) of my post-SF4 Balrog story, starting right where his ending left off.
Mike Balrog trudged through the night, the burning ruins of SIN behind him. Balrog carried a boy with one arm, as if he were a bag of money. To Balrog, the boy whose hand had glowed with the mark of Shadowloo was nothing more than that: a bag of money.
Balrog was originally assigned to guard the SIN base on Shadowloo’s behalf. The job paid well, but was pretty boring, as the lab was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. At least, it was boring until that karate idiot blew out something in the control room, causing the entire base to self-destruct. In a panic, Balrog ran to the lab and tried to find anything of value, but mostly found folders of meaningless papers. He almost left the kid, too, had he not started glowing in the lab. If Bison paid him so much to guard the Incubators, Balrog reasoned, he will pay a pretty price for the kid.
“Hey kid, can you walk?” Balrog asked, growing bored of carrying the boy.
Balrog dropped the boy on the ground nonchalantly, making no effort to set him down like anything more than luggage.
“I’ll let you walk,” Balrog warned, “but don’t try any funny business. Shadowloo has pretty good doctors I hear; I doubt Bison will mind if I break your legs.”
The boy was silent. The two walked over the island’s rocky terrain, the sound of the SIN facility burning only a faint crackling in the distance.
“What’s your name, kid?”
“Name? The researchers only ever called me number eight.”
“Eight? That sounds like a stupid-ass name. I’ll just call ya Ed. Short, simple, and to the point.”
“Name’s Balrog. So, what exactly are you? The other incubators were full-grown men, but you’re just a kid.”
“I-I’m not sure. I was only ever awake for lab tests, before now.”
“Well, what was that shit you did back at the lab, when your hand started glowing? That looked like Lord Bison’s Psycho Power.”
“Psycho Power … I think I remember them mentioning that.”
“Well, at least ya LOOK human. Those dolls back at the base gave me the creeps. I’m glad they’re all dead now.”
Balrog reached into a pocket and pulled out a phone, fumbling with the device because he had boxing gloves on. “Yeah, this is Balrog. I got some kid outta the lab; he seems like one of his replacement bodies. Okay, don’t be late.”
“Just call me Mike. This whole ‘Balrog’ thing is getting kind of old.”
“M-mike? Who’s coming?”
“A Shadowloo evac chopper. Looks like we’ll have to ride with that fairy prick Vega, though.”
Soon, a black helicopter approached. When it drew near Balrog, a ladder was released.
“Get on my back, Ed. I can’t have you falling off and dying on me.”
Ed wrapped his arms around Balrog’s massive, muscular neck. Balrog climbed up the ladder, then deposited Ed on a bench.
“Ah, I’m so glad you could make it, Balrog,” a voice drawled from the opposite bench. The source was a man clad in tight purple-and-yellow pants, with a white mask on his face and a massive claw on his hand.
“To be honest, I was wondering if you got lost. Bulls don’t do well under pressure,” the man giggled.
“Yeah, fuck you too Vega. Did you get the data?”
Vega drew a flash drive from his pocket.
“Tell me, was he all you could find, Balrog? Or was the ‘Dirty Bull’ not feeling up to being a pack mule today?”
Balrog and Vega glared at each other intensely. Their mutual hate for one another was thick enough to cut with the claw on Vega’s hand. As they seethed with hatred, Ed gasped suddenly and raised his hands. They had resumed glowing with the symbol of Shadowloo.
“Hideous, the both of you,” Vega muttered.
Only Ed seemed to react to his hands glowing. ‘Why was this happening?’ he thought. Everything was all happening so fast in his eyes. His whole life, he had been an experiment, a number, and an object. Now he was escaping with two seemingly important people from the only world he had ever known. Before this, Ed had never heard of these people beyond the researchers mentioning a “Lord Bison”. Did those researchers, who had experimented upon him for as long as he could remember, lie dead in the ashes of the laboratory? Had he survived where his captors did not? Was what lie ahead better than death? Ed was silent during the long helicopter ride, lost in a world of his own introspection.
Shadowloo Aircraft Carrier, several dozen miles from the SIN Laboratory
Balrog, Vega, and Ed exited the helicopter. Someone in a yellow Shadowloo uniform stepped forward.
“Lords Vega and Balrog, it is an honor to see you both alive and well. Where shall we take the Incubator?”
“Keep him in protected storage,” Vega replied curtly, “until Lord Bison orders otherwise.”
At this, two soldiers escorted Ed from the heliport. As he walked away, Ed looked back briefly at Balrog. Balrog didn’t notice this, and walked with Vega to the ship’s meeting room. When they arrived, they found Lord Bison sitting in a throne at the head of the table, with empty seats at his right and left normally reserved for the Four Kings.
“Ah, Vega and Balrog,” Bison replied with his usual baritoned emotionless grandeur, reminiscent of a sociopath acting with a mask of emotion,” how excellent of you to arrive. Please sit down, we have business to discuss.”
As Vega and Balrog took their seats in the lavish meeting room, one high ranking operative spoke up.
“To start off our meeting, here is our report on the SIN breakdown from earlier today.” He handed out several folders for everyone at the table, about a dozen in total counting Bison, Vega, and Balrog, to examine. Balrog took a copy and skimmed over it. It seemed to be a bunch of numbers regarding data and logistics, none of which interested Balrog. He skipped to a section titled “Confirmed Casualties, Damages, and Survivors”. Seemingly, the only deaths in the entire incident were a bunch of SIN researchers and the Human Incubators, with a side note beside unit 15 noting the destruction of his Tanden Engine augmentation. This brought a faint smile to Balrog’s face, as he had wanted to punch that stupid-looking ball out of his abdomen for months. Apparently, it had been broken beyond repair by a Juri Han. At the mention of Juri, Bison’s expression changed to a smirk.
“Ah,” Bison mused, “I encountered her whilst dealing with 15. She is no threat to us.”
The operative droned on. Balrog didn’t particularly care enough to listen, as anything of value would be given to him for his next mission. Apparently, Rose was taken from Bison’s custody by “Guy”, a practitioner of the Bushinryu School of ninjutsu. Chun-Li, William Guile, and subject “Abel” had escaped together with a copy of SIN’s data. BLECE had been destroyed by a “Ryu”. One of Bison’s 12 Dolls, Decapre, had been recovered. An armed group led by one Rolento F. Schugerg descended upon the facility shortly after the tournament, but had likely not found anything of value in the wreckage. Satisfied with this post-report of the incident, Bison dismissed everyone except Balrog and Vega.
When the three of them alone remained in the room, Bison looked over them both.
“Vega,” he asked, “did you recover the data as I asked?”
In response, Vega drew a flash drive from his pocket and set it upon the table.
“Taken directly from the laboratory’s master terminal, my Lord.”
“Excellent,” Bsion replied, then turned to Balrog, “Balrog, what did you recover from the facility?”
“I found some kid who seems to have your powers, Lord Bison. He was in the lab and said something about being a ‘Subject 8’.”
Bison considered this for a moment. “What an excellent turn of events; I had feared none of my replacement bodies would survive the facility’s destruction. Thank you very much, Balrog.”
“What will we do about Subject 8, milord? Shall we return him to stasis?” Vega asked, trying to hide his frustration at Bison congratulating Balrog’s luck more than his accomplishments.
“No. He has been removed from stasis for too long, and cannot be restored now. Left to live and think for too long, Incubators begin to develop their own thoughts and ideals, as I learned from 15’s short life. He must be cared for him full-time now, so that he will be ready to inherit my will should this form perish. Balrog, you will guard and watch over him.”
Balrog looked at Lord Bison in mild disbelief. He knew better than to question Bison, but was still surprised as to this sudden change from enforcer to babysitter.
“As compensation, you will be salaried for the entire duration you are watching over him. In addition, you will be paid at thrice your normal rate. Do you accept, Balrog?”
Balrog thought about this offer. Bison was going to give him a hell of a lot of money for watching this strange kid. How could he refuse?
“I accept your offer, Lord Bison.”
“Excellent. You two may return to your quarters now. Our jets will fly you to your preferred base in the morning.”
Bison turned and left, his black cape whipping behind him. Vega looked at Balrog briefly, the jealousy and hate from Bison’s recognition of Balrog over himself burning in the eyes of the masked matador. He too, after his glare, turned and exited the room. Balrog, secretly enjoying the utter frustration in Vega’s eyes at the Spaniard’s fragile ego being snubbed, left the room after them with a smirk and headed toward his quarters.
Formatting may be a tad rough, so feel free to make suggestions to the writing and structure; this is still very much subject to change.