Chapter 29: “Talk to The Hand!”
Ken and Wolverine materialized in a hallway of Cape Citadel located in Florida. As expected of a military base, the ceilings and walls were all sheet metal green. Most of the lights were out and the room was fairly dark, but not so dark that they couldn’t see. Wolverine started to walk down the hall with Ken right behind him. The Mutant had his fists balled up looking like he was ready for anything. Meanwhile Ken had his fingers interlocked behind his head and leaned back while he walked. It looked as if his thoughts were drifting off into space.
“Sigh, no offense Wolverine but boy is Chun-Li lucky!” After this remark, Ken became more excited, leaned forward and looked down at his open palms like a kid in a candy store. “The chance to work the legendary Captain America!”
“No offense taken, rookie. Captain America is one man that lives up to the myth. Could tell right away that there was somethin’ special about 'em. Even when I met 'em way back in World War 2.” “World War 2? Boy I knew you were an old geezer but how old are you exactly?”
“Healin’ factor keeps me lookin’ younger than I’m supposed to be an’ let’s leave it at that. Met Nick Fury way back when too, he’s also a lot older then he looks. Still, unlike Cap I don’t really trust that guy. My gut tells me he’s not levelin’ with us and he’s hidin’ somethin’. Watch yourself, rookie.”
“An, no worries. Old people creep me out anyway,” joked Ken, who still had a relaxed air about him unlike the tense X-Man. “Just make sure the next time we hang out you pay for lunch with your senior citizens discount card. I may be rich but it’s not easy carrying around a wallet in my gi, you know?” Wolverine smirked and responded, “Huh. Smart ass. Wait, hang on…”
Logan put his right hand out motioning for Ken to stop and stay back. His nostrils flared while taking a good whiff of the area. “We got company.” His keen sense of smell detected they were not alone.
“Eh?” The Martial Artist quickly assumed his fighting stance. “You sure about that? I’m not sensing anyone else’s Ki in the area.” “Yeah, you wouldn’t with these guys.” Wolverine bent his knees a bit and looked at the ceiling. Ken’s eyes followed his gaze and looked up as well.
There were about fifty red clad ninjas hanging from the ceiling! Some of them had weapons similar to Wolverine’s claws to hang from the ceiling. Others had their Katana swords stuck halfway into the metallic surface while their bodies remained upside down in the same yoga position that Dhalsim always assumes; legs folded and all. Some of them were even able to stand on the ceiling thanks to spikes on their heals. Wolverine yelled, “IT’S THE HAND!” A ninja clan that he has fought against several times in the past.
As they were descending on them from thirty feet above ground, Ken had time to get in a joke or two. “The Hand? Are these the ninjas those four green amphibians are always fighting?” “Nah, that’s The Foot,” answered Wolverine while popping his claws and getting ready for action.
“No, THIS IS THE FOOT!” Ken uttered that sentence at the same time he spun around and kicked a descending ninja in the face knocking him back! He knocked down a few more ninjas with punches and kicks and finally let out his famous “SHORYUKEN!” Thing was, this rising uppercut knocked a ninja’s head clean off! Green blood flew out of his neck like a fountain and his body erupted in green flames! Soon there was nothing left of the decapitated deviant except a green puff of smoke and the weapons he had on his person which fell to the ground.
“Huh?” I didn’t hit the guy that hard!" The Street Fighter was stunned but since his opponents were still attacking him he really didn’t have the luxury of being able to stand around in awe. Even while he was talking to his partner he spun around and caught three ninja stars between the spaces of the fingers of his right hand and flung them back into the shoulder blade of another ninja, who also bled green blood.
“These guys are already dead. Their bodies are a lot weaker than regular folk,” answered Logan who was still fighting. Currently he had his arms around another ninja’s arms who was using the aforementioned claw weapons. He gave him a massive headbutt and ripped the guy’s forearms off with the ninja soaring back, bleeding from his head and burning up in green flames! Four more Hand assassins approached him wielding Katana swords but Wolverine was able to dodge their attacks and make short work of them with his deadly adamantium claws, taking them out with one claw strike a piece and painting the floor green with their blood!
“Zombie ninjas? What will they think of next?” Knowing he didn’t have to hold back Ryu’s best friend went all out. He punched one ninja’s head right off! Ramming an elbow just past the forearm of a ninja wielding a sword, Ken grabbed the now disemboweled arm still holding the weapon and used it to slice that ninja and a few more in half! After destroying about three of them he got bored with the arm, tossed it aside and let out a “HADOUKEN!” The fireball destroyed five ninjas at once!
“This is takin’ way too long! Let’s end this,” said the original Weapon X. Ken, while still fending off some enemies took a quick look at Wolverine and saw what appeared to be streams of flames going inside of his body. The Mutant’s arms were crossed while he was powering up for his Berserker Charge Super Art! He began to move so fast that it looked like there were three Wolverines at the same time, one right behind the other! His claws were moving very quickly while weapons, limbs and body parts of the remaining villains flew up in the air! The last foe he pinned to the ground while he seemed to take delight in clawing his face and upper torso to ribbons! He hopped back and just like the other ninjas he was covered in green flames before vanishing. He was the last of The Hand and all that remained were various ninja weapons and streams of green smoke all around.
After a whistle that lasted about two seconds Ken complimented his partner. “Nice move! So, did you focus your Ki within your body to move faster, the opposite of my Hadouken? I use a similar technique with some of my Shoryuken attacks, but there is still a Ki discharge. It takes on the appearance of flames just like your aura.” “…Yeah, somethin’ like that. For me, it’s more like focused rage. Not the easiest thing to control at times.” Logan quickly turned his head and declared, “So you gonna hang out in the shadows all day or what?”
In the adjoining hallway to their left, the lights were out in that entire area but you could make out a small yellow light that would flare up and vanish.
After the sound of a few footsteps, out of the shadows stepped out a Japanese man smoking a cigarette. He had on a long green trench coat, a red tie and brown slacks. His hair could best be described as a spiky haired mullet with two long streams of hair coming down his forehead. He had quite the devilish smile as he blew a steady stream of smoke from his lips. In his left hand he was carrying a sheathed Katana, that was a bit longer than the average Japanese sword.
“Matsu’o Tsurayaba!” “Ah, Logan san! It’s been a while,” responded the deadly criminal while taking another drag.
“You know this guy? I couldn’t sense his Ki either. Another zombie? Boy this mission is turning into quite a biohazzard…” “Nah, he’s just really good at hidin’ his Ki. The scent of those cheap dime store cigs he likes, not so much.”
“I suppose not all of us can be cigar men like yourself, Logan san.”
“Loanin’ out your Hand ninjas to someone like Apocalypse? That’s low even for you! Apocalypse doesn’t give a rat’s ass about non Mutants. The second he takes over the world the first thing he’ll do is wear your intestines like a garter belt!”
“The famous Wolverine, simple minded as always. No one in this world gains power without making a few, alliances along the way. Once Apocalypse succeeds Japan has been promised to The Hand. Oh, and there is a certain… Killer Bee I’ve taken quite an interest in. Perhaps I can mold her into something, quite exquisite. I’ve done wonders with Psylocke, wouldn’t you say?”
“One of the many things I’m gonna make you pay for you sick bastard!” Swinging both of his claws to the side to remove green blood from them, he knelt down and raised his fists in front of him while snarling.
Matsu’o stepped on his cigarette to extinguish its flame. The leader of The Hand held his sheathed Katana at arm’s length parallel to the floor and across his line of sight. “To dance the dance with the gaijin beast again. Why don’t you show your friend Ken Masters the great samurai spirit within, instead of the raging animal he has grown accustomed to seeing?”
Wolverine retracted his claws and stepped on the hilt of one of The Hand’s Katana swords on the floor so it could flip up. Upon its rise he caught the grip with both hands and started to maneuver slowly with the sword pointed towards the ceiling. “Suit yourself, bub!”
Soon Wolverine stood before Matsu’o Tsurayaba, who in turn held the sheath two his side, bent his knees and grabbed the handle with his right hand. The two faced off in front of each other, from Ken’s perspective it was almost like they were on stage putting on a samurai sword fight exhibition at a festival.
Being the skilled Martial Artist that he is, Ken was one of the few people in this world that was able to see Ki. Matsu’o’s aura took on a purple coloring that seemed to move about him like water. Wolverine’s on the other hand looked like yellow flames, almost like parts of his body were on fire. After watching the two stare each other down for a bit, Ken relaxed his focus so he couldn’t see their Ki anymore. The second Tsurayaba unleashed his sword their epic sword fight began!
The two swordsman moved their blades so fast it was difficult even for Ken to see the sword swings most of the time! Wolverine wielded his sword with both hands while Matsu’o used only one his right arm to swing his sword while his left remained on the sheath. The two swords never clashed against each other because real sword masters tend to avoid that if possible to stop their blades from dulling over time.
While none of the blades were connecting their were scratches on the walls and floors without them coming in contact with anything; such was the strength of their Ki! When a metallic surface was scratched Ken could see that there was a Ki residue that lasted for a little while before vanishing. He could tell whose blade the mark was from judging from the different colors, purple or yellow.
It was an amazing sword fight indeed! Ducked heads, back flips, front flips, and so on and so forth as each blow was perfectly dodged by each assailant! They moved about each other striking at arms, heads, legs and body parts at amazing speeds and kept missing each and every time as they circled each other over and over and over! All while neither sword touched the other! It looked like an amazingly well choreographed dance more than a duel to the death!
Ken was amazed that Wolverine could handle a sword this well. He was already impressed that he managed to survive his fight against Gouki, but he never knew just how immersed the X-Man was in Japanese culture. Possibly even more than Ken himself who was three quarters Japanese and spent most of his youth in Japan at that.
Like all things in this world, the sword fight finally came to an end. Matsu’o rammed his Katana into Wolverine’s stomach! Out hero spit out a ton of blood and hopped away from the blade covering his wound.
“Poor, poor, Logan. It would seem the gods have smiled upon me first. Allow me to send you to the afterlife.” The ally of Apocalypse finally dropped his sheath to the floor and held up his Sword with both hands. He walked to Wolverine slowly ready to put Wolverine down for good.
“I don’t know about that, bub. Maybe the gods smiled at you, but not before Satan gave me a thumbs up.”
Matsu’o Tsurayaba paused and then he looked down at his chest. He noticed that half of his tie was missing! The other half has a few feet behind him, where he was standing earlier! Wolverine was actually the first one to wound his opponent! The blow was so fast that the leader of The Hand didn’t feel the blow until now! “NO! IT CAN’T BE! YOU STRUCK ME FIRST? SUCH SPEED! WHEN DID YOU…” Blood started to spray out of the area just below his chest since Wolverine made a ten inch horizontal strike! Tsurayaba edged back clutching his wound and fell to his knees! Wolverine on the other hand stood up since his Healing Factor already started to repair his injury!
“I’m the best there is at what I do. And what I do best, IS KILL SCUM LIKE YOU!”
Howling like a creature of the wild, Wolverine rushed at the villain with his Katana ready to chop his head off!
Just then, Ken’s fireball knocked Wolverine’s sword right out of his hands!
“WHAT THE HELL KEN!” “WOLVERINE! His blood, it’s not green,” Ken said as his arms were still stretched out from firing a Hadouken. “He’s not a zombie like you said, right?” With one fist in front of his body and his hand across his side, the pony tailed warrior bent his knees and was ready to fight against Wolverine if necessary.
Matsu’o edged back a little further, picked up his sheath and put his Katana back inside. He drew back his green trenchcoat back a bit to reveal a small black device on his left side that looked almost like a beeper. With one tap he teleported away. A purple light flashed all around him when he vanished, but not before he was able to say “Another time, Logan san,” with his devilish smile.
The angered Mutant threw his Katana away and unleashed his claws! “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHO JUST LET GO! That man is a monster responsible for killin’ thousands and will probably kill thousands more! I would’ve done the world a favor by ending his miserable life here and now!”
Ken lowered his fists and remained in a neutral position.
“Wolverine. The style that me and Ryu practiced was originally intended for killing. Our master, Gouken removed all of the killing aspects from Ansatsuken when he trained us. We no longer live in an age where he have to kill our enemies to win battles. You defeated your opponent. He is gone. Killing him is not part of our mission.”
Wolverine retracted his claws and turned away from Ken. “I’ll say this much, you got guts Ken. Just don’t make me want to show them to you one day.”
The Street Fighter smiled and knew that it was best if he remained silent for now.
Soon they came to the end of the hall. There was a door that had a touch key pad with numbers used to punch a code to open the door, but it opened up automatically anyway. Wolverine and Ken entered the area and it was the control room of Cape Citadel. There was a huge control panel in front for communications and a giant glass window where you could see outside.
In the center stood the Horseman of Pestilence, wearing his white cloak with red hieroglyphics all about. Standing behind him was a Dark Rider with a blue cloak and red hieroglyphics.
The Horseman of Pestilence removed his cloak, and it was Omega Red underneath!
The Dark Rider removed his cloak and it looked like Captain America, but his outfit was gray instead of blue!
“OMEGA RED!” Wolverine recognized his deadly enemy right away. “THE WEAPON X! We meet again! For the last time!”
“But, who’s that guy with him? We just left Captain America…” After taking a good whiff of the air Wolverine was able to properly answer his question. “Nah, that ain’t the real Captain America. That’s U.S. Agent. He took over for Cap for a while.”
“NO! I AM THE REAL CAPTAIN AMERICA!” U.S. Agent got pissed and threw his shield right at Wolverine’s neck! It came so fast that he didn’t expect it, so it’s razor sharped edge cut deep into his throat! It pushed him right out of the room and U.S. Agent ran right after him! The door shut behind him leaving Omega Red and Ken in the room alone.
“Separated once again, just like when we fought Sabretooth and Juggernaut (during the X-Men vs. Street Fighter fan fic). Let’s go, tough guy!”
“I live only to destroy the Weapon X! But now with that fake Captain out of this room I can release my Death Spores without worrying about harming an ally!” And Omega Red did just that. Ken fell to the ground lifelessly and started to lose consciousness.
Next Up: Wolverine vs. U.S. Agent! Followed shortly by Ken vs. Omega Red! It will have to wait until after the July 4th Holiday most likely, but hopefully only a week or two if all goes. Radioactive Bytes will come once I finish all three chapters. Thanks for reading as usual and a safe Holiday to those who celebrate!