Bottle Up Inside, SFxT Oneshot


#1

“HAI!”

With one final kick to the chin, the last henchman that stood in Chun-Li’s path was sent careening through the air, with blood spilling out of his month as he flew. Crashing down hard onto his shoulders, the man let out a groan and fell into unconsciousness, joining the dozen or so other men and women wearing his S.I.N. uniform that had fallen at the hands of the Interpol detective. Once she was sure that the man wouldn’t be any more trouble, Chun-Li let out a sigh and looked down at a wet spot on her blue qipao.

“…that’s just great,” Chun-Li said dejectedly as she looked at the red stain on her trademark outfit. “I was hoping to make this a clean mission, and I now I’ve got a blood stain just from dealing with foot soldiers.” Turning away from the blood and looking at the pile of unconscious bodies that she had accumulated, the young woman frowned as she carefully stepped over them. “I’m better than this: I should have been able to subdue them all without even one drop of blood.”

Though the disappearance of her father years ago prompted Chun-Li to pursue a career in law enforcement as a full-time venture, Chun-Li’s true passion lay in the martial arts and the ideals that lay behind them. For many fighters, martial arts were a way to pursue selfish gains such as fame and fortune. For others, it was a way to pursue darker ambitions like revenge. For Chun-Li, the martial arts was a way to fight for her altruistic ideals and to spread its word to the rest of the fighting world, even the unsavory types like the people she had just dispatched.

Through strength, learn gentleness, and through gentleness, strength would prevail.

It was a principle that her father told her countless times during her training, a stark contrast to what his friend Gen would tell her during the occasions he would assist in her education as a fighter. Through that principle, Chun-Li matured into a kind-hearted woman with a strong sense of justice, and through that strong sense of justice she became a police officer just like her father before her. Even though his disappearance led many to believe that she had pursued the position of detective out of a need for vengeance, eventually they saw the truth.

Chun-Li pursued the position of detective because she did not want what happened to her father happen to others. Evil was a disease, and those infected by it were merely patients suffering from the disease. By becoming an Interpol officer, Chun-Li would identify the root of evil, and by severing the root the infected would be cured. That was why she was here in this inhospitable metallic hall, where machines of a highly advanced and almost alien nature served as the backdrop in her latest quest to cut out what she deemed to be a “root of evil.”

Deciding that she had enough of a rest, Chun-Li reached for her headset and pressed the button next to her ear. “I think I’ve found the room, inspector,” Chun-Li said quietly as she looked at the machines that hummed quietly as they radiated an eerie purple glow. Ever since her first encounter with Bison, the man she personally held responsible for the disappearance and eventual death of her father, the Chinese martial artist was quite uncomfortable around anything that glowed purple. Most anything she found something that did, it was associated with a dark and terrible power that belonged only to fiends and demons, from Bison himself to the renegade warrior Akuma. “I’m in the room that was marked ‘Experimental 13-P.’”

“…understood. I am finishing up now.”

Hearing her partner’s voice acknowledge her intel with a cool matter-of-fact demeanor, Chun-Li reached for the miniature camera placed on her qipao and tapped it once to begin recording what she found. The machine that caught her attention had an aura of dark energy that made a chill run up her spine, confirming her belief that whatever the machine was for, it was most certainly for evil purposes. Her instincts told her to destroy it before it could do any more harm, but part of being a detective meant that following your first instinct wasn’t always the correct choice.

When Chun-Li accepted this assignment from Interpol headquarters, the chief requested that she be assigned a special partner for this case. Ever since the demise of her former partner and close friend Charlie, the young woman had been hesitant to accept partners when dealing with the treacherous Shadaloo and its subsidiary S.I.N. However, when the chief told her who her partner would be, Chun-Li’s fears of losing another partner were slightly alleviated, for the partner she was working with had an advantage over most of her criminal opponents.

Chun-Li’s partner was someone who the world at large believed to be dead.

After a minute of taking pictures of her surroundings, the automated door to Chun-li left opened to reveal her partner. Chun-Li’s associate was a slender Japanese woman in crow-printed white-and-black clothing and a dark blue scarf that blew behind her as she walked into the air-conditioned lab. With her short black hair reflecting a fraction of the purple glow coming from the machine Chun-Li was inspecting, the woman slowly approached the machine without the slightest hint of apprehension.

“…you can sense it, right?” Chun-Li asked her partner as she reached out to touch the machine. “That overwhelming evil aura coming from this machine…how can you reach out and touch it without wanting to jump out of your skin?”

“Machines are not evil, detective,” the older woman replied quietly as she slowly removed her hand from the humming machine and took a step back. “It is the monsters who use them for dark purposes that are evil. As long as you tell yourself that, there is nothing to fear from it.”

Turning around to see the pile of bodies that were still groaning in pain, the woman folded her arms and let out a sigh. “I apologize for not being able to assist you in dispatching these men. If I was with you, you wouldn’t have had to needlessly risk your life to secure the area. I am a very poor partner, it seems.”

Even though Chun-Li addressed her as one of the highest ranks a police officer could gain in “Inspector,” Jun Kazama had not worked in the field of law enforcement in over twenty years. The last time she did so, she was sent to arrest the then-current head of the vaunted Mishima Zaibatsu. Instead of doing so, however, she instead fell to her target’s charms and the two conceived a son. When Kazuya was seemingly killed at the hands of his father Heihachi, Jun was forced to raise their son alone in the forests of Yakushima while abandoning her duties as an officer.

When Jun Kazama was believed to be slain while protecting her son from the vampiric entity known to the press as “Ogre,” her son Jin spiraled down the path of darkness and hate until he eventually fulfilled his dark heritage and became the current leader of the Mishima Zaibatsu. It wasn’t until Jin declared war on the world, with Kazuya returning from the shadows to become the leader of rival G-Corporation and fight his son, that Jun decided she had spent enough time licking her wounds and return to the public. After helping Chun-Li foil a Shadaloo plot, Jun resumed her duties as an officer and continue the never-ending fight against evil.

But despite what Jun said, Chun-Li held Jun in very high regards even with the certain uneasiness she felt around the Japanese woman. Like Chun-Li, Jun combated evil mostly on the whims of her father whom she lost at a young age, though Chun-Li was usually creeped out by how Jun would continuously say how her father’s ghost dictated most of her life up until meeting Kazuya. Even if Jun’s near-death experience had numbed her to the world around her, one thing that Chun-Li could trust was her strong sense of justice and sincerity.

“Now that we’ve found this thing, we need to figure out a way to disable it,” Chun-Li said as a grin came over her face. “I don’t suppose we could just unplug it from its outlet. Something like this probably doesn’t operate on an AC Adapter.”

Chun-Li chuckled a bit at her joke, but predictably Jun didn’t find anything to laugh about. From what she learned from Lei Wulong, the last Interpol detective to collaborate with Jun, Jun’s sense of humor was more esoteric than most other people. By “esoteric,” he meant that if there was something that Jun found amusing enough to laugh about, Lei hadn’t found it yet. Such a shame, a woman as good-looking as her always looking so sad and serious, Chun-Li thought with a frown as she watched Jun walk around the machine looking for some kind of wire. I would have liked to have met her when she was my age: I imagine I could have figured out a way to get her to smile.

“…I have found something.”

Jun’s curt statement caused Chun-Li to walk over to Jun’s side of the machine where she looked at a thick wire that was running from the machine. Following Jun’s gaze to the wall where the wire led, Chun-Li let out a sigh as she watched the wire run through the wall to a different room. “Ai-ya…we finally found this machine and now we have to go to another room to find out where the power is coming from? I was really hoping we could be done with this already: this place gives me the creeps.”

“A mere machine causes you to become uneasy, detective? You, who have stared evil in the face many times over and struck down the fiends just as many? How very disappointing…”

A third voice echoed throughout the room, somehow even more foreboding and chilling than the machine they were inspecting. Chun-Li had heard the voice many times before and knew who it belonged to. Even though Bison was the most recognized head of Shadaloo, there was a secondary commander to the dreaded organization that took up the reigns in Bison’s brief absence. But even though Bison intended for him to be nothing more than a figurehead until his return, the commander decided to branch out on his own and came into conflict with Bison when he sought to reclaim his title.

The resulting battle caused him to break away the S.I.N. subsidiary and claim it as his own independent organization. No longer was this voice one of Bison’s many subordinates that he controlled like a puppet. Instead, the source of the voice was his own being, and the evils he committed were his own, and he delighted in them. “Seth…you’re Seth, aren’t you?” Chun-Li said after a moment’s pause. “I heard reports that Juri Han killed you over a dispute for S.I.N. leadership. I guess they were exaggerated.”

“Juri and I have…a mutual agreement,” the voice of Seth replied haughtily as the lights in the room slowly dimmed, making the evil purple glow of the intricately-designed machine become more apparent. “With Bison’s return, I realized that my apparent death would be necessary if I were to continue my ambitions for total conquest. Therefore, I had Juri take my place as the leader of S.I.N. while I plotted my next move. Perhaps the one good thing about being just one of many identical BLECE experiments is that it is remarkably easy to brainwash a substitute into thinking he is me…what a terrible death, to die thinking that you are someone you are not. Heheheh…”

Chun-Li even though Seth, or at least this voice claiming to be Seth, was a relatively recent player in the criminal underworld in comparison to Bison, the detective had read report after report of the terrible things Seth would do as the leader of Shadaloo and S.I.N. Slaughtering animals, kidnapping innocent people, and destroying forests and jungles were just some of the things that Seth had on his dark resume. When she first began investigating, she told herself that he was just a puppet being controlled by Bison, like her friend Cammy before him. Unfortunately, Chun-Li soon became aware of the truth: Seth was his own master, and the atrocities he committed were his own willful crimes.

To Seth, human were nothing more than livestock, useful only for harvesting data and then thrown away into the trash.

Steeling her nerves as she stepped away from the machine, Chun-Li looked up at the loudspeaker mounted near the ceiling high above them and pointed an accusing finger at it. “Seth, you are under arrest for crimes against humanity! Come out here quietly and put your hands behind your head, or my partner and I will find you and put you in your place the hard way. The choice is yours!”

“…HAHAHAHAHAHAAA!”

A terrible laughter erupted from the loudspeaker, so much so that even the stoic Jun turned away from the machine to see where Chun-Li was pointing. “Hahahah…it’s good to see that your ignorance still conflicts with your high intelligence, Miss Li. If I revealed myself to you, then my charade as a dead man would be done. Don’t think I didn’t pay attention to your little camera disguised as a button on your clothes. Exposing myself to you now would cause some…minor problems that I would rather avoid for the time being.”

“Then you leave us with no choice,” Chun-Li said defiantly before turning her head towards the door. “We’ll just have to come up there and find you!”

But just as Chun-Li took a step towards the door, the entire room began to flash red with loud klaxons blaring. Realizing what was happening, Chun-Li was about to bolt for the door, but the doorways closed with a metal slab replacing the white automated door. She and Jun entered the room when it was but a lab, now they were trapped in the room as prisoners.

With the sirens still bellowing, the men and women that Chun-Li had knocked unconscious were starting to stir, causing Chun-Li and Jun to enter their fighting stances as the formerly-defeated underlings rose to their feet and took note of the two women that had given them trouble minutes before. “…so you intend to trap us here while your underlings do you dirty work for you?” Chun-Li said as she prepared to give these men a second lesson. “You disappoint me, Seth: I thought big supervillains like you liked to come up with more creative schemes then that!”

CHUNK

Hearing something activate below her feet, Chun-Li’s eyes widened as she jumped high into the air and avoided what she perceived to be a trap. As she landed several feet away, however, she looked at where she was standing and realized there was nothing there. Then she heard the sound of Jun struggling against something, and it was then that she realized that whatever trap was activated was not meant for Chun-Li. Instead, the coils that came out of the floor were wrapping about Jun like wild vines, binding her legs to the floor even as she struggled to pull free.


#2

“Jun Kazama…”

Seth’s voice became disturbingly quiet as Jun struggled to break free of her bindings, the slightest hint of panic coming across her face. Chun-Li prepared to reach out and help her, but the reawakened subordinates stood in her path. Biting her lip, the Interpol detective narrowly dodged a swipe from one of the yellow-clad agents and delivered a sharp kick to her stomach, sending her crashing into the steel door that barricaded her inside.

With Chun-Li otherwise occupied, Jun was left to her own predicament, which was being bound together by metallic coils that even with someone of her extensive training could not break. The coils seemed to tighten the more Jun struggled, and it was getting to a point where it was becoming difficult to breathe. Taking a deep breath as the coiled started to wrap around her arms and creep around her neck, Jun eased the tension in her body. As a result, the coiled loosened their death grip slightly…allowing Jun to regain enough of her composure to listen to what Seth had to say.

“…you and I are not that much different, Miss Kazama,” the voice of Seth said softly.

“Enlighten me how that is possible,” Jun replied quietly.

“Though we fight on different sides of the law, the both of us are operating from the shadows. The world at large believes us to be dead while we serve our own machinations. For myself, I intend to use this veil of death to take back what Bison stole from me and then take his place as the Emperor of Evil. For you, you use your veil of death to undo the damage that your lover and your son have wrought,” Seth explained as Jun very carefully thought of how she would get out of her bad situation.

“You are evil, and I am not,” Jun responded curtly as she very slowly pulled her hand upwards, being careful not to pull too hard or the coil would attempt to pull her arm out of its socket. “That is all that needs to be said.”

“Hmhmhm…is the line between good and evil truly so defined?” Seth continued as Jun gently pulled her hand free from the coil that had wrapped around her wrists. The slightest of smiles came across her face as she discovered the weakness to the only thing that was keeping her from coming to Chun-Li’s aid. The inspector lowered her head and pulled her foot free from the coils, being extremely cautious not to trigger whatever pressure-triggered devices that caused the coils to become taut.

Stepping out of the marsh of coils, Jun heard the sound of machines humming once again, forcing her to turn her head around to see the coils lunge for her like a snake. Charging her light blue ki, Jun let out a shout before causing the tips of the coils to explode in a flash of wires and circuitry with a wave of her glowing hand. “I’ve stared evil in the face more than enough times to know the difference between the two, Seth,” Jun said sternly as she prepared to help her partner. “When I’m finished with your misguided pawns, my partner and I shall dispatch you and put an end to your-MPH!”

Though she had felt something nag at her ever since she came into the room, it wasn’t until she exerted some of her energy to destroy the coils that the nagging feeling suddenly turned into a horrible nauseating sensation. There was something disgusting and foul welliing up inside of Jun, causing her to cup her hands in an attempt to keep it from spewing from her mouth. “You no doubt believe yourself so sacred and pure that you do not think the evil could lure you, Miss Kazama,” Seth’s voice said haughtily as Jun felt something wet beat against her palm. “In order to keep yourself from becoming tempted by villainy, you have chosen to forsake your emotions, all for the sake of one day uniting your son and your lover under a single banner. It is a fool’s errand, and deep down you know it to be so…so allow the fruits of my scientist’s labor to unleash your doubts from within!”

Removing her hand from her mouth to see what she had coughed up, Jun’s eyes widened in shock as she looked at her stained hand. “…no,” Jun whispered in horror as she looked at the dark purple stain on her hand. The ooze bubbled and hissed as it touched her body, giving her a horrible sensation of burning, freezing, electrocution, and all other kinds of unpleasantness. She started to sweat profusely, but even then her sweat was starting to turn the same deep purple as the ooze on her hand, and her eyes started to fill with panic even as they started to take on an eerie glow. “Not again…please…”

“INSPECTOR,” Chun-Li bellowed as she broke free from her attackers and ran to her partner’s aid. Even though she couldn’t hear what Jun was muttering as the purple ooze started to leak out of her orifices and swirl around her body, Chun-Li had already lost a partner in the fight against Shadaloo’s evil and had sworn for it to never happen again. Quickly running to her partner, Chun-Li reached out to put her hand on Jun’s shoulder, but let out a scream of pain as the purple ooze attacked her, forcing her to pull away as the ooze continued to engulf Jun. “What is happening to her!”

“C…Chun-Li…”

The faintest of whispers came from Jun as she lowered her head and looked at Chun-Li with a glare that the detective would not soon forget. What were once calm brown eyes had now become dull yellow eyes filled with fear, anger, insanity, bloodlust, and all things in between. “R…u…n,” Jun whispered as the ooze seemed to fuse with her clothes, causing them to twist and contort until they too became just another facet of the ooze leaking from her body. “…run…run.”

“When two forces come in conflict with one another, the power of Pandora shall be unlocked,” Seth recited with evil delight as the ooze continued to eat away at Jun’s clothing, leaving only the purple mook to cover her modesty as Chun-Li desperately tried to figure out what to do. “Though the attention of Bison and the Zaibatsu have fallen on the main sample of Pandora in Antarctica, my team obtained a fragment of the artifact and brought it here. Unfortunately, it won’t work with just anyone: only martial artists can withstand the power that Pandora offers and not be torn apart by it!”

“She’s not your guinea pig, monster,” Chun-Li shouted as Jun’s eyes flashed yellow and the look of horror on her pretty face twisted into a grin as the ooze dripped down her exposed body like paint, each drop staining the floor dark purple and eroding it like the hottest lava. “Let her go right now!”

“Don’t worry, her agony will not last long,” Seth replied as the dripping phantom that was once Jun turned her head towards the S.I.N. henchmen muttering amongst themselves. Licking her lips, Jun slowly lifted her hand and pointed at the henchmen…and the purple ooze that pooled around her body lunged towards the group like a tidal wave. Quickly jumping out of the way, Chun-Li landed several feet away and watched the ooze crash down upon the henchmen, wincing as their screams of agony and pain echoed across the room. “Eventually, the darkness within shall consume her, and through that primordial mass of raw power, I shall gain the means through which I shall return from the shadows and wreak a terrible vengeance!”

“These are your own people, Seth,” Chun-Li protested as the purple ooze eroded away at the yellow uniforms of the henchmen, revealing their flesh and causing their screamss to intensify further. Whatever sort of darkness had emerged from Jun’s body, it was dangerous to the touch and carried a heavy acidic property. Even as the screams lessened while the ooze enveloped the henchmen completely, Chun-Li’s fears only intensified. “You sacrificed your own men just for the sake of watching them die! Why!”

“To make a point, Miss Li,” the voice retorted as the ooze receded back to where Jun was standing, where Chun-Li noticed as an expression of violent ecstasy on the older woman’s face. Watching Jun call upon the retracted ooze in her hand and placing what little remained of the henchmen in her mouth, Chun-Li gulped Jun slowly turned towards her. “You and Miss Kazama are the pride of global law enforcement: shining bastions of justice and love. The world at large sees the two of you as angels walking amongst humans, spreading their teachings even as the world around them goes mad. As such, I decided to ask myself…what would happen if I peeled away the veneer of virtue? What would happen if I showed the world what your true faces looked like?”

Seeing the ooze rise from the ground like cooking bread dough, Chun-Li took a quick breath before jumping high into the air to avoid the tidal wave of corrosive ooze that had already claimed the lives of a dozen men and women that Seth has mercilessly set to the slaughter. Quickly realizing she would share their fate if something wasn’t done to stop Jun, Chun-Li put her right foot forward and unleashed a powerful jumping kick right to Jun’s jaw.

Chun-Li landed in the goo that had pooled around Jun and was quickly beginning to flood the room. Looks like the inspector needs to be consciously aware of this muck for it to be lethal, Chun-Li thought as she looked at the purple ooze staining her boot. Lifting her head to see Jun smile wickedly as her while she rubbed her jaw, Chun-Li slowly resumed her fighting stance while Jun did the same. I’m sorry, Inspector Kazama, but you leave me with no choice but to hurt you!

With the goo pooling around them, Chun-Li and Jun charged each other and gave no quarter as they lifted their legs simultaneously and clashed with their kicks striking each other’s extended leg. With the impact of the act drawing forth buffeting winds, giving testament to their strength, the two female martial artists jumped backwards before Chun-Li lunged forward again with her fist raised.

Sadly for Chun-Li, the punch was caught by Jun, and the possessed inspector made her younger partner pay for her impulsiveness with a knee to her sternum, followed by a palm to the chest and a spinning hook kick that sent Chun-Li spiraling away, landing in the expanding puddle of ooze and covering her smooth skin with the vile liquid. Chun-Li barely had enough time to groan in pain before she could feel something crawl across her skin. Opening her eyes and looking at her hand, Chun-Li let out a gasp as she watched the ooze crawl up her arm in an attempt to devour her.

The detective quickly returned to her feet and desperately shook off the ooze that had soaked her hands as Jun continued to glare at her hungrily. Ignoring the urge to run away, Chun-Li ran through the ooze below her feet and watched Jun tense up for another counter. This time, however, Chun-Li spun around and delivered a swiping kick to Jun’s ankle, causing the possessed woman to kneel over slightly before Chun-Li spun around once again and delivered a dual palm thrust to Jun’s exposed chest, sending her flying even as Chun-Li did her best to ignore the squishy splat sound that came from striking the ooze covering Jun’s person like body paint.

Jun quickly snapped back onto her feet and charged forward, this time putting Jun on the offensive as she delivered a snapping elbow which was just barely caught by the Chinese fighter. “NGH! Snap…out of it, inspector,” Chun-Li said with a grunt as the impact of the elbow sent her feet sliding across the ooze. It was difficult to use full force for a number of reasons, the first of which being that she still considered Jun her friend and she didn’t want to risk maiming her if it could be avoided.

The second reason, one that seemed to threaten her at all times, was how the ground below her could threaten to swallow her up at any given moment. If she remained still for too long, the ooze at her feet would suddenly come alive and threaten to absorb her into their system. When the ooze started creeping up her feet, Jun charged forward and delivered a palm thrust of her own that sent Chun-Li sprawling backwards. When Chun-Li landed, the ooze tried to devour her by coming around her like waves about to crash down onto the shore.

“KIKOKEN!”

Quickly gathering her own light blue ki, Chun-Li let loose a ball of energy upon the wave of muck. The ball detonated upon impact and created an invisible bubble of space around Chun-Li while the ooze was detonating around her. Quickly rising back up to her feet, Chun-Li looked to the side and saw Jun reaching out to grapple her by the arm. With a twist, Jun attempted to force Chun-Li to the ground, but Chun-Li quickly pulled away and let Jun fall to her knees without a victim in tow.

Unfortunately, Jun had enough wherewithals to rush forward and tackle Chun-Li to the ground with a double-leg takedown. With Chun’s head bouncing against the hard floor, her senses were addled enough for Jun to start pounding on her with mounted punches. Through her haze, Chun-Li could hear Seth’s voice taunt her over the loudspeaker. “Quiet, unassuming, and peace-loving: in the end these are nothing more than superficial notions! Strip away the veneer of civilization and you will see the beast that lies within the hearts of all humans!”

“G…get,” Chun-Li said with a hiss as she willed her thickly-muscled legs into action. Using the slick properties of the ooze to her advantage, Chun-Li pulled her legs from under Jun and managed to plant her feet on Jun’s chest. Using all of her might, Chun-Li sent Jun rocketing away with all of the strength her world-renowned legs could muster. “GET OFF ME!”

With Jun launched airborne, Chun quickly returned to her feet and ran after the flying Jun with all of her might, managing to catch up with her opponent as she started to descend back down to the ground. Finally coming into contact, Chun-Li delivered a quick succession of palms that kept Jun afloat long enough for Chun-Li to unleash a rapid flurry of kicks that seemed to keep Jun suspended in mid-air like she were being batted by the rotors of a gyro. The Interpol detective prided herself on the power and endurance of her kicks, being able to kick in continuous bursts almost indefinitely. Either Jun would relent, or Chun-Li would become aware of her limits, as in most cases her enemy of would be unconscious long before she tired.

Too bad for Chun-Li, Jun was no ordinary enemy, as the ooze quickly swirled around her single stationary leg and forced Chun-Li to stop what she was doing to see what was going on. With Jun finally falling to the ground, Chun-Li pulled her leg free of the ooze and jumped away to see if she had made any kind of definitive progress. Hearing a groan come from Jun’s lips, Chun-Li lowered her fists slightly. “Are you alright, Inspector?” Chun-Li said as she very carefully walked towards Jun.

“Stop…”

The faintest of whispers came from Jun’s darkened lips as she looked up at Chun-Li, revealing her flickering eyes as consciousness started to waver once again. “Get away…hmhmhmhmhm.”

Hearing a chilling giggle come from her partner, Chun-Li quickly lifted her fists as Jun charged forward and delivered a hook kick to Chun-Li’s head. Unable to keep the foot from striking, Chun-Li stumbled backwards as Jun continued her assault with a pair of light strikes, followed by a hand thrust to Chun-Li’s nose and another hook kick that sent Chun-Li to the ground…where the ooze quickly acted to consume Chun-Li.

With the ooze coming at her too quickly for her to summon up enough ki, Chun-Li sprung off of her hands and spun around with her legs outstretched. “SPINNING BIRD KICK!” With her legs spinning around like the blades of a helicopter, Chun-Li successfully protected herself from the ooze and gave herself enough room to land on her feet, just in time to see Jun attack with a wave of her ki-infused hand. Lifting her arms, Chun-Li successfully parried the attack and delivered a snapping kick to Jun’s chin before spinning around vertically and delivering several more rising kicks to her possessed partner until they were both suspended in mid-air.

Both competitors managed to land on their feet as they book took long, deep breaths. Look at her smiling, Chun-Li took note of the crazed expression in Jun’s face as the ooze continued to shift across her body and below their feet. When I first met her, she was so overly serious and morose, like she was afraid that even the slightest mishap would result in destruction. Maybe this is why she acted that way: she was so afraid that the slightest hint of weakness would unleash this monster that lurked within her soul.

As the two fighters slowly circled one another, waiting for a moment of weakness, Chun-Li finally took note of something that she didn’t see before. Apart from the ooze dancing around her body, she was starting to notice that Jun was beginning to undergo further changes. The Japanese woman’s skin was gradually darkening by the minute, and strange markings that glowed the same eerie purple as the machine that brought them here were beginning to pepper her body. Furthermore, Chun-Li was starting to realized that Jun’s bared teeth weren’t just from her crazed grin, but clenching her teeth as if she were in pain.

“Two minutes, thirty-three seconds.”

Once again, the callous voice of Seth rang through the room, snapping Chun-Li to attention. “What are you talking about? What’s happening to her?”

“An unfortunate side effect of Pandora is that it has a nasty tendency of burning out its users like candles. That is why I needed to lure the two of you to this lab as I theorized that those who held a mastery of ki would be able to harness its power…but it seems that your friend is approaching her limit,” Seth said as Jun charged forward in a mad rush and delivered a massive knee lift to Chun’s stomach, causing a wad of bloody saliva to shoot out of the Chinese martial artist before Jun brought her facedown onto the gooey floor with a falling forearm strike. “Very soon, Pandora will overload her senses and end her miserable existence.”


#3

“NO!”

Chun-Li quickly pulled her face from the gooey floor as it tried to consume her, once again excuting a rising Spinning Bird Kick. This time, Jun received the full brunt of the cyclonic attack and was sent spiraling away while Chun sprung back up to her feet and focused her blue ki into her hands. “I’ve already lost one partner already,” she growled as she watched Jun slowly rise back up to her feet with her crazed grin approaching Cheshire levels, even as her yellow eyes became filled with dark tears. “I won’t lose another one!”

Quickly racking her brain, Chun-Li ran towards Jun even as the waves of ooze rose from behind her in an attempt to devour her. With the ooze crashing down behind her and running through her feet, the young woman recalled how her ki caused the ooze to dissipate, and decided that would be how she would save her partner from a terrible fate. “All of my energy…all of my ki,” Chun-Li shouted as Jun looked up at her partner with her eyes flickering yet again, giving a hint of the fear that lay within the true Jun. “Everything I am will be used to save you, Inspector! Leave it all to me!”

Watching Jun rear back with her own sapphire ki gathering in her right hand, Chun-Li remembered how difficult it was to go to Charlie’s friends and family and tell them that he had died. When she took up the Shadaloo case after the disappearance of her father, the loss of a loved one was still heavy on her mind. By informing Charlie’s loved ones of their demise, she had unintentionally sewn the seeds of darkness in his family. What kind of terrible things would happen if she had to tell Jun’s loved ones that she had died yet again, just when she had finally been found after years of being thought to have been deceased?

It was far too cruel of a fate for anyone.

As Chun-Li reached Jun, the two female warriors simultaneously planted their palms into the other’s chest. There was a tense moment of silence as their glowing palms resonated against the bodies of their partners, and then…the light. With both combatants using their gathered energies at point black, Chun-Li and Jun were completely enveloped in an all-consuming light that expanded outwards like a bubble, easily vaporizing the ooze around them and causing the entire room to be engulfed in brightness.

*"…can you hear me, inspector?"

“…yes.”

“Are you alright? Does this hurt?”

“…it is endurable. How about you, detective?”

“I’ve had worse. I knew deep in my heart that you were stronger than any Pandora gizmo, so I knew you wouldn’t kill me.”

“I am surprised you remembered about my psychic powers. I haven’t spoken to anyone like this in a long, long time.”

“I’ve had run-ins with psychics before, including Bison., I figured I should probably practice communicating like this so he doesn’t try to use some voodoo mind trick on me when it finally comes time to take him down for good.”

“…do you resent me, detective?”

“Hm?”

“Now you know the real reason why I haven’t revealed myself to Jin and put an end to this foolish war. I am so, so frightened that if I do see him…I’ll do to him what I did to those poor people. Can you imagine what that’s like: to be afraid that you’ll consume your own son?”

“…no, inspector, I don’t resent you. I think you’re a very brave woman to want to resume your duties as an enemy of evil, even after everything you’ve gone through. We all have monsters inside of us, but they’re only a very small part of who we really are…this was something I told Ryu, too, by the way.”

“Is that right? It is unfortunate I didn’t spend more time speaking to him when I met him. It sounds like we have something in common now.”

“When we get out of here, we could track him down. It would be good to see him again.”

“…detective.”

“Yes?”

“Do you think I’m foolish for wanting to unite Kazuya and Jin? As bad as this is, the monster inside Kazuya is even worse. It consumed him entirely during my absence, and now I am beginning to fear that anything I can do to help him will prove futile.”

“Don’t EVER talk like that, inspector. As long as you still hold onto hope, you will always be in the game. And don’t you ever forget it.”

“…of course. Thank you for reminding me, detective…”*

When the bubble of energy finally dissipated, Chun-Li opened her eyes to see her partner still standing in front of her, with her clothes restored to their previous state before her sudden transformation. “…thank you for helping me, detective,” Jun said as she wiped off the last remnant of purple ooze from her bottom lip. “I will have to make note of this the next time this happens.”

“As long as you have friends, you will always have a way to control your inner demons,” Chun-Li stated as she looked down and noticed that the purple stains on her clothes and stockings had vanished, as well. It was as if everything that had transpired was nothing but a bad dream. “Maybe that’s the secret to beating this Pandora. As long as you value the people close to you, you won’t have any need to make that kind of sacrifice.”

“…and therein lies the problem,” Jun replied solemnly as she turned away from Chun-Li and looked at the machine that had brought them to this locale. The purple glow that had frightened Chun-Li had faded, no doubt having expended all of its power fueling Jun’s transformation. “Any friends that I could rely on years ago have all moved on…and if I dare approach them, I am afraid that I will hurt them.”

“Then I will be your friend, inspector,” Chun-Li said with a smile as she reached out for a handshake. Watching Jun look at the hand pensively, the Chinese martial artist continued to smile brightly. “You just call out my name and I will be there for you every step of the way. In return, you have to promise me to never lose sight of your ideals…so is it a deal?”

And for the first time, Chun-Li saw Jun genuinely smile as the Japanese woman reached out and grasped Chun-Li’s hand. “…it’s a deal.”

“How sentimental…”

Without even turning their heads, Chun-Li and Jun detected the stiflingly powerful presence of Seth as the silver-skinned head of S.I.N. materialized several meters across the room, his pinstriped business suit still covering his cyborg body. “Through adversity, the two comrades find true friendship. Now they shall both die in each other’s arms as the man they sought to capture tears them asunder.”

Turning their heads to see the murderous machine-man hurl a Sonic Boom their way, Jun and Chun-Li broke their handshake and sidestepped the attack even as if scarred the dead machine behind them. “But fear not,” he continued. “In death, you will find the satisfaction of becoming part of a greater purpose. Your data will be used to fuel my conquest of Bison, Shadaloo, and eventually the entire world!”

Standing side by side, Chun-Li and Jun gave each other a silent nod and a smile before turning back towards Seth and assuming their fighting stance. With the bond of friendship freshly formed between two women who before saw each other as nothing further than allies, the two of them were already thinking ahead of what they were going to do once they emerged victorious. Even though their enemy was powerful, and often times many, it would be through the power of their ideals that they would see their way through tomorrow as they said together.

“Here I come!”


#4

Really, really nice! I don’t really have much to say, because it’s awesome in both writing and content and I can only repeatedly nod at what you did. I like how you put both women in character and related them to each other through the fic, how you explained why nobody knows about Jun being alive, how you explained Seth being alive and how you related Unknown and the Pandora effect. Regarding the action, I also liked how you constantly reminded about the black fluid every time Chun hit the floor; it gave the whole fight a distressing, nightmarish feel with such a relentless menace always there, not letting you stay still.

I just read Heihachi Vs Bison and I really hope Harada would take some hints from this set of fics. Can you imagine some Namco or Square-quality trailers with these fights? I heard that Tekken Blood Vengeance was terrible because of bad script. They could have done some of these instead.

PS: I always find it cheesy when characters wear their trademark clothes outside the arena, but I’ll let it pass because I know you are into sentai. It would have been great if Jun had lost her clothes permanently, anyways. XDD


#5

Yes, Blood Vengeance did indeed suck. I had the “honor” of watching that in theaters: thank GOD Heihachi was there, voiced by Jamieson Price to boot!

You know, it really makes me beam with pride whenever you praise my characterization of characters, particularly Chun-Li. When I wrote that Ryu/Chun story last year, I was SO nervous what you were going to think of it since I knew you frequented SRK and often ridiculed Ryu x Chun-Li on Prime Central Station. I was kind of worried you were going to tear me a new one like that crazy person who runs Kikouken.com! Maybe that just pushed me to write Chun-Li the absolute best I could, the way I KNOW she should be portrayed: capable, independent, and highly intelligent.

[S]In hindsight, I can’t really blame you for not liking Ryu x Chun. It might be my OTP in all of fiction, but man there is a lot of really BAD literature on it. Even “Hero of Heroes” which inspired End of a Journey, while well-written, has a lot of really odd moments and super-explicit scenes of hanky-panky. [/S]

So yeah, thanks for making me feel good and continuing to drive me to continue pushing forward!


#6

[S][/S]

I guess this is one of those cases of a company not making justice to their own characters. Ridiculous as this may sound, after dozens of games and being everywhere Ryu and Chun Li are still terribly underplayed. There is a fact I often mention when I talk about Ryu; the only single time I remember that he actually decided to “do something”, whatever, was in SFA2 when he searched for Akuma; oh, and in SFxT he goes to Antarctica, but it’s not canon. It’s hard to justify that Chun Li falls in love to him when he only moves his ass to get in fights. Given the importance Chun Li gives to morals if she fell in love it would likely be with someone she had some degree of admiration for, someone with ideals shared with her. Ryu might turn her on with his ragged look (Chun has her share of secret fetishes… like “Nothing satisfies me more than handcuffing the criminals…”), but it’s not enough to make her fall in love, so the prime characters she’d normally have a romantic relation with would be Charlie and Cammy.

That said, the potential is there for a writer to ignore Capcom’s storytelling clumsiness, make Ryu more active in a natural way and make a relation with Chun Li more credible. For starters, Ryu’s origin is very similar to Chun Li’s (cough, they copied it from hers), with a lone “father” that was killed by his enemy. Ryu is generally a good guy, and it can be explained that he’s not initially a hero because he was out of touch with the rest of the world. In this sense and being so different in behavior they might be inspirational to each other. I liked the simple way you involved Ryu helping people in RyuXJin.


#7

It’s weird because other villains have described him as a goody two-shoes and Ryu himself has gone onto long “babyface” diatribes about how he’s going to smite the evildoers (his win quotes against Bison in SFIV and SSFIV, or his counter-monologue to Seth in the SFIV Vanilla anime). His continuous alignment with heroes in the crossovers further cements him as one of the good guys, but as you pointed out, I can’t think of a time that he’s canonically saved the day in the games.

That being said, Chun-Li did say in her win quote vs Thor in Mahvel 3 that she had a thing for blondes, too…so maybe that Cammy/Charlie thing isn’t too far off.