I updated my story since then. Currently, it’s about six or so chapters long, but I need to add more transitions and descriptions, plus more dialogue. Here’s what I have so far:
Damn! I had him back there. I was even going to be merciful to him. How did he manage to defeat me like this?!
His breathing haggard, Sagat struggled to move his tall frame out of the spartan bed, still feeling a searing pain on his chest. His hulking physique would terrify any normal person – powerful muscles and long limbs enhanced his image. A black eyepatch covered his right eye, while the left one was still functioning. He also wore blue training trunks and fighting tape on his hands and feet. The room he was placed in was a very utilitarian in design, nothing ornate. How long have I been out for? he asked himself in his thoughts. Did I really lose to that kid?
After getting out of bed and onto his feet, he removed the bandages around his torso, slowly revealing an enormous jagged scar. Feeling disgusted, he punched the wall next to the mirror, causing cracks to form.
He heard a low chuckle from behind.
“Who’s there?” Sagat asked as he turned around to face the intruder.
A man clad in a red military uniform stood in his presence, smiling devilishly. His outfit was reminiscent of a Nazi soldier. A skull insignia with wings adorned his cap with a lightning bolt was on his belt buckle, along with metal pauldrons on his shoulders, along with shin guards and boot coverings. His eyes were the most unsettling aspect about him; they had no pupils, making him seem inhuman.
“What do you want?” Sagat felt himself tensing up more as he eyed the unwelcome man.
“Now now, Sagat, don’t behave like that,” the man in red answered. “I understand that you wanted revenge on someone who has bested you, correct?”
Sagat paused for a few seconds. “How did you know…?”
“Simple. When I was watching your fight, I saw that gleam in your eye. You want to reclaim your glory, don’t you?”
The Thai fighter took his time to think about the mysterious man’s offer. Normally, he would not trust someone like him, but at this point, he wanted to have a rematch against the young man who defeated him in the tournament.
“I need you to become my bodyguard and right-hand man,” the stranger said. “A man of your talent and prowess would find his place within my organization.”
“What is the name of this organization?”
“And who are you?”
The day after the meeting with Bison, Sagat trained strenuously in his usual spot. He usually preferred practicing out in the wilderness, rather than the urban centres like Bangkok, as Sagat felt that they had nothing to offer him. Reviewing the techniques he already knew and pushing himself to his limits, He was determined to get stronger in order to have his rematch with Ryu. He also hoped his rival would not have the dark power – whatever it was that possessed him - bestowed to him once again, as he wanted Ryu to fight with his own power and abilities.
After a long and arduous training session, Sagat went inside the training complex to get himself some water. After obtaining his drink, he sat down and reflected on what he could have done to win the fight in the first place.
He heard footsteps from behind.
“Have you made the choice, Sagat?”
Sagat paused for a moment when he faced the man in red. He thought about having the possibility of having a rematch of Ryu if he agrees to this man’s terms. However, he was also suspicious about what he has to do in return for that favor.
Sagat was given a jet ride to the headquarters. This was supposedly the best method of transportation for that, since Shadaloo was very well hidden from the public eye. Any trespassers who dared to cross on their territory would either be shot or have a much worse fate. By the time the jet reached a craggy mountain chain, they towards what appeared to be a giant stone Buddha head. The face suddenly opened to reveal an entrance to a hangar of sorts. The jet was then lowered down the long chasm and eventually landed on a launch pad.
Deep within the underground compound of Shadaloo in Thailand, Bison observed his operations via satellite. Currently, Shadaloo is in development of another laboratory that is not too far from their main headquarters. Various drug operations were underway as well, most notably in Brazil, China, Mexico and Russia. They were mostly needed to fund their research and development department, who were feverishly working on the Doll Program. Despite the fact that the Master was powerful, he would need a replacement body if he were to die under certain circumstances. Psycho Power was particularly taxing on the human body, even though Bison trained long and hard to harness and control it properly. This particular project was still in its infancy, as the scientists were being particularly careful with it. Bison would not be pleased if it turns out to be a complete failure.
The interior of the complex was not very welcoming. The structure was mostly metal, with high ceilings in the hallway and the floors were polished. The headquarters was massive in scale, with several levels for accommodating a large crime syndicate. Each floor has a multitude of rooms, including laboratories, interrogation chambers, armories, sleeping quarters and training rooms. It has grown in size since its foundation, as it was needed to find space for various tasks, including testing weaponry and research and development. Many of the soldiers who enlisted into Shadaloo’s ranks were mercenaries from various countries, including Thailand. Various mechanics, engineers and scientists were employed as well, most notably from Germany, Belgium and the United States. Most of the maintenance staff was indentured workers from Southeast Asia, most of who came from impoverished families.
Shadaloo had multiple connections with various crime groups from all over the world, most notably the Mad Gear gang from Metro City. They have been establishing certain financial networks between each other, as well as gaining control of the local police force, which gave their mayor Michael Haggar enough grief. However, Mad Gear was currently having trouble – Haggar, along with two other men were able to push the gang back and rescue the mayor’s daughter, Jessica.
As Sagat explored the complex, he made sure to lower his head so he can enter certain doorways, most notably the one to his private quarters. The room was spacious and adequately furnished, which was more than enough for him. He did not mind the lack of décor – what mattered more was its functionality. He lay on his bed for a while, losing himself in thought. He was wondering what kind of predicament he has gotten himself into, entering this bizarre new life in exchange for a rematch with that kid who beaten him.
His thoughts were interrupted by a voice on the intercom.
“You are wanted in the master’s command center. Report to him at once.”
Sagat got up and headed towards Bison’s quarters. I suppose it’s something important, he thought to himself. I hope he explains why he needs me.
By the time he reached the area, Bison was sitting in his chair, eyeing him carefully.
A Spanish newspaper article reads as follows:
“Businessman Attacked and Killed by a Mysterious Murderer:
Barcelona, Spain – Alejandro Torres, aged 50, was found dead. His corpse has been recently discovered in an alleyway situated northwards of the Ramblas. He had massive gashes in his throat and back, along with broken ribs and torn tendons in his legs and arms. The police were unable to track down the perpetrator, as there were no additional traces of evidence that were found at the scene of the crime. The investigation still remains underway as they continue to search for other evidence regarding the identity of the killer.
Torres was a moderately successful businessman from Madrid who was married into a prestigious Catalonian noble family. Prior to his marriage to Cecilia Maria de la Costa, the family’s status dwindled after the death of Juan Miguel de la Costa, the patriarch of the household and the nation’s greatest bullfighter. The only surviving member of the family, Francisco Narcis de la Costa, remains nowhere to be found.”
Elsewhere – not too far from the outskirts of Barcelona - a secluded mansion by the coast looms over the land. Guarded by a tall iron fence and surrounded by trees, the property has three floors, a basement and a large courtyard with a magnificent rose garden. The interior has eighteenth-century décor, with suits of armor lining some of the hallways. Paintings of an extremely handsome nobleman are present throughout the mansion. Moorish arches were also present in some of the rooms, especially in the living room and the foyer. The master bedroom was rather spacious, with a large bed and a desk on the western side. A king-sized bed was at the northernmost part, with red silk sheets and multiple throw pillows. To the easternmost point of the room is a long mirror with ornate floral designs on its frame. The man standing in front of it – Julio de la Vega - is perhaps the world’s biggest narcissist.
The tall, lean-muscular Spaniard was admiring himself like he always did. Although his face was covered by a featureless white metal mask, his deep blue eyes still peered through the sockets. This gave him a more terrifying and uncanny appearance to most people. On his left hand was a three-pronged metal claw with each of the blades having a curved end, enabling the weapon to hook and tear into a victim’s skin and rip flesh from bone. Coiling around his torso and right arm was a purple snake tattoo, with its fangs bared. Running his fingers through his long braided golden blond hair, Vega was in a blissful state. He still tasted the blood of his previous opponent on his tongue, but that was not enough for him. He needed more of that sweet crimson nectar, as it was his addiction. He fantasized about creating a mountain of corpses, bathing in their blood like the infamous Elizabeth Bathory. Vega licked his lips at the thought, eager to savor more of that red tangy liquid he constantly craved.
Slowly removing his mask, he found himself staring at the most beautiful thing to ever exist: himself. A perfectly symmetrical and fair face, an aquiline nose, a not-too-strong jaw and expressive, sensual lips, he saw himself as the epitome of perfection. Women desired him, men wanted to be him. He loved seeing his physique in the mirror, but more importantly, his own face was his best feature. Vega’s looks rivalled that of Narcissus and Adonis, two of the most beautiful men from Greco-Roman mythology.
As he stood there admiring his own beauty, he remembered his mother’s words coming back to him. “My beautiful boy…you will grow to be like your father one day.” Pressing his hand to his forehead, the Spaniard tried to keep those memories at bay, but with no success. He felt a sense of frustration building up. Her face kept appearing in his mind, causing him to feel cold sweat running down his forehead.
He then remembered the night that bastard has taken his mother’s life. He saw him pull his mother’s hair and slamming her against a wall, and beating her to death with a candelabrum. He tried to save her, but it was too late, as he saw the life seep away from her, tears flowing down her face. Worst of all were the sound of her screams – the way she wailed for him to help her haunted him, giving his younger self a sense of hopelessness.
In a fit of rage, he shattered the mirror with his fist, scattering glass shards all over the floor. Seething with anger, he was ready to kill anyone who came near him. His chest was heaving as he was breathing. He felt his blood boiling, as he couldn’t hold in the anger anymore.
“Calm down, Vega,” a voice spoke from behind. “That look doesn’t suit you. Are you not as beautiful as you claim to be?”
“Who are you?!” he hissed as he faced the intruder.
“I am a man who can offer you something truly glorious.”
“How did you get in here?!”
Vega didn’t like how this man could simply walk into his mansion despite taking all the measures to prevent other people from getting in. It also didn’t help that he seemed to dodge his question.
“Why are you here?” he asked. After an uncomfortable moment of silence between the two, the intruder finally answered his query.
“How I entered your mansion is irrelevant. I simply wanted to talk to you.”
“What do you want from me?!”
“I have seen you fight in the cage and in the bullring,” the stranger replied. “There is a certain grace and beauty to your killing methods.”
Vega calmed down a bit, lowering his claw. He didn’t mind the compliment. In fact, it made his anger dissipate a little.
“I would need someone as ruthless as you within my organization. You will make a fine assassin to eliminate certain people who are in my way.”
As soon as Vega heard those words, he was delighted to have the opportunity to slaughter more of his victims and hear their bloodcurdling screams. He will soon fulfill his goal of eliminating all the ugly things that plagued this world.
Once again, he was lulled into his fantasy of bloodshed. He imagined himself triumphant over the corpses of his foes while their blood spilled into a massive pool. All for him to drink and bathe in, for it will preserve his beauty, making him a god among men.
“Señor? Is everything alright?”
Feeling irritated about his fantasy being interrupted, Vega turned to the doorway to face his doe-eyed female servant. She seemed terrified, although she and the other servants have gotten used to his shifting moods and violent tendencies.
“I am perfectly fine, thank you.” he answered, attempting to conceal his annoyance.
“Is there anything that I could bring for you? Perhaps some herbal tea?”
“That would be satisfactory. Now get me one.”
“It will be ready shortly.” She then left the area. As soon as she was gone, Vega noticed that the man in red wasn’t there anymore. However, a note was left on his desk, bearing the insignia of a skull with wings on it. He opened the envelope, revealing a series of instructions.
“Vega, you will fly to Thailand to meet me in two weeks’ time. You will be escorted into my headquarters by jet, and you will be briefed on your position. If you do make it, then you will be given some missions that will be suitable for you. I expect you to come prepared and not miss anything important.
- M. Bison”
Two weeks have passed since that fateful night. Vega had to be particularly careful about his voyage to Thailand, as he was Spain’s most renowned bullfighter at this point and he was scheduled to have a few matches in the near future.
While at the Shadaloo headquarters, Vega was not impressed with how some of the lackeys looked. Most of all, he was revolted by Sagat’s appearance.
How can he live with that hideous scar on his chest? Has he no shame? Vega thought to himself.
The Thai fighter did not trust the Spaniard. That arrogance made him remember the time when Adon, his ex-student, saw him as being soft for losing to Ryu.
In a shady dive bar, two middle-aged men sit at the counter, drinking their usual rounds of beer.
On the television set, a news program came onto the screen. After the jingle sounded, the anchorman appeared. He was a middle-aged fellow with graying hair. For tonight, he was dressed in a crisp gray suit with a black shirt and white tie.
“We have some breaking news tonight,” he announced in a dry tone. “We have recently received a report about the disqualification about the heavyweight boxing champion Michael Sterling, or as he is dubbed by his opponents, “Balrog”. He reputedly killed the challenger Floyd Henderson in the ring by headbutting him. Prior to this illegal move, he also bit off his opponent’s ear that caused him to lose a lot of blood. Henderson’s body is being taken to the morgue for further investigation of the damage.”
While the anchorman delivered the news about the disqualification, clips of the fight were shown on the screen. Sterling was a powerfully built black man with a zigzag haircut and a prominent brow. Clad in blue boxing shorts and bare-chested, his six-foot-four frame towered over his smaller, lither opponent.
“We also have an exclusive interview with his mother. Sherry?”
The cameras then switched to a young, dark-haired news reporter. “Thank you, James. I am here with Mrs. Sterling at the moment.” Standing next to her was an elderly black woman, who was about to burst into tears at any given moment.
“My son was such a good boy,” she spoke as she tried to keep herself together. “We did everything we could to help him with his education and his boxing career. He managed to help us with getting out of the ghetto…yet he turned into this violent and greedy monster. He’s a shell of his former self.”
As she went on, tears slowly fell down her face. While weeping, she placed her face in her hands.
“Where did we go wrong? How did our sweet little boy become such a violent brute?”
Standing next to her was her husband, who was equally distraught. He was trying to comfort his wife by holding her close to him. “Our son has become a fine fighter in the boxing ring, and contributed so much to us. He was also such a good role model to aspiring boxers everywhere.” He then turned away from the camera, his face downcast. “…Why did he turn out this way?”
One of the two men spoke up. “Real shame…he truly was the champion of the world.”
“You bet,” his friend replied. “My son wanted to be like him. He’s going to have his heart broken as soon as he hears about this.”
Suddenly, a group of punks entered the bar. They began causing a bit of trouble here and there, including harassing some of the patrons. Unbeknownst to all of them was a lone figure sitting at the back, drinking some scotch.
Somewhere in a makeshift gym within the outskirts of Las Vegas, the disgraced boxer known as Michael “Balrog” Sterling was punching a heavy bag that hung from the ceiling. After a few jabs and uppercuts, the bag eventually gave way, causing sand to spill all over the floor.
Damn, he thought to himself. The chumps I fought in the alleyway weren’t that much better.
Suddenly, he heard a knock on the door. Upon opening it, he found two men in suits standing in front of him.
“The hell do you guys want?”
“We came here on behalf of our leader. He is searching for men like you.”
“We will tell you shortly.”
Balrog didn’t trust them at all. He was lead to a warehouse on the outskirts of Las Vegas, far from the glitz and glamour of the casinos. As soon as they stepped inside, the door behind them shut. It was dimly lit and dusty on the inside. The warehouse was mostly empty save for a few rafters and some chairs in the northeast corner. A figure clad in red was waiting for Balrog and the suited men to come to him.
“Sit down, Balrog,” the man said as he gestured to a chair in front of the desk where he was seated. The boxer took a seat and faced the mysterious stranger. He was somewhat unsettled by those stark white pupils as they bore into his own.
“Now, where shall we begin…” the man pondered for a moment. “Ah, yes. I have seen your fights in the boxing ring. I was particularly enthused by your brutality. I can see why you earned your nickname.”
“So why did you tell me to come here?”
“Because I wanted a more private venue to converse with you. I am looking for an enforcer to help with my organization. From what I have seen, you will be suitable for that role.”
Balrog had a sinking feeling in his gut. He did not trust this man, as he felt that evil aura emanating from him. Something about him was utterly inhuman and otherworldly.
“I ain’t joining you.”
The man in red expressed his displeasure at the boxer’s stubbornness. Suddenly, his lips revealed a toothy grin.
“Then what about your dear parents, Mr. Sterling?”
That caught Balrog off-guard. He once helped to get his parents out of poverty, which was not an easy situation. He did not want to return to that state again.
“What about ‘em?” he asked.
“You want to keep them out of the ghetto, don’t you?”
Balrog remembered hearing his mother weep in that interview on the screen. Her distress caused him to feel guilty, as she saw what has become of him. As he was pummeled multiple times in the head, something inside of him changed. He was no longer the mild-mannered family man, but rather a brutal pugilist who has fallen from stardom.
“Well, Balrog?” the man asked. “Have you changed your mind?”
Balrog felt that he had no choice in this matter. It was either work for this man and stay afloat in terms of finances and helping his family, or return to the impoverished life he once lived.
“I’ll do it,” he reluctantly answered. “I’ll become your enforcer.”
“Good. That’s the answer I wanted to hear.”
After a long plane ride to Thailand, the jet landed in the hangar of the Shadaloo headquarters. Balrog has never been to a country in Southeast Asia before, which made him nervous at first. After disembarking the jet, Balrog followed Bison into the command centre. Standing there were Sagat and Vega, who were eyeing their teammate-to-be. They didn’t seem too impressed at first. However, they would need to know the boxer first before they can make an adequate judgment. Balrog eyed the two carefully – one of them seemed to be a seasoned fighter, so he could be alright with him. The other guy, however, was another story altogether. He was dressed in a weird way – he looked like a half-naked bullfighter. Most peculiar of all was that damned mask. It reminded Balrog of those serial killers from certain horror films, mostly Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers.
After his formal introductions to his teammates, Balrog headed towards his private quarters within the Shadaloo base. This harrowing experience made it difficult for him to adjust to his new life, as he was wondering what will become of him once he carries out Bison’s orders for his first assignment. The position of an enforcer felt like a heavy responsibility for him, but it shouldn’t be that difficult because he would be able to keep anyone who attempts to disobey the master in line.
Meanwhile, Vega was stalking the boxer from above. Quickly moving along the rafters as quietly as he can, making sure he can stay close enough. If he had the opportunity, he would deal with this idiot in a fitting manner, preferably the same way he killed countless bulls in the bullring.
Balrog looked up as soon as he felt something go by.
“Why the hell are you following me?” the boxer asked. The matador leapt down from the ceiling and landed in front of Balrog.
“I was observing you. I find your mannerisms sickening.” The vain Spaniard replied. Even though his voice was muffled by the mask, Balrog could hear the condescending tone.
“Why should you care? Mind your own damn business, pretty boy.”
“I was simply wondering what kind of “teammate” I would have for certain missions. It seems that I would prefer doing them by myself.” Vega let out an exasperated sigh. “Besides, Sagat was already revolting enough.”
This man started to annoy Balrog. He reminded him of that idiot in the ring – Floyd Henderson - who was so damned cocky and full of himself. Thankfully, he got what he deserved. Now, if only he could take it out on this masked asshole who was mocking him. Balrog lunged at Vega with a powerful punch. However, Vega dodged out of the way. Crap, this guy is just as slippery as a bar of soap!
“I honestly don’t know what Bison was thinking,” Vega muttered to himself. “What an utter fool he is for forcing me to work with this brute.”
“What the hell did you just say?”
“Nothing that would concern you.”
As Balrog continued his assault, his masked opponent kept avoiding his moves. After Balrog threw a hook at Vega, the latter lowered his head out of the way, and then moved close into the boxer’s face. Balrog was able to see his eyes now. They were filled with some sort of insanity, which gave the boxer an uneasy feeling.
Vega leapt out of the way and exited the area. Feeling that there was no more time to be wasted, he leapt towards the ceiling. As soon as he was out of sight, only his voice was audible.
“It seems that I have wasted my breath on you. Perhaps it would be wise of you to stay out of my sight.”
Balrog stormed off in anger. He needed some relief from dealing with this asshole.
“Don’t let him get to you,” a deep voice said. “He’s rather judgmental.”
Sagat walked into the area where Balrog stood.
“He also reminded me of my former pupil, Adon. That arrogance of his will be his downfall.”
“I sure as hell hope so. I don’t like that prissy creep one bit.”
Unbeknownst to the two men, Vega was eavesdropping on their conversation from above. He shook his head in disgust. After he was finished, he quietly headed towards his private quarters. As soon as he entered the room, he removed his mask after lying down on his bed. He still felt somewhat irritated after his encounter with Balrog. This man reminded him of a certain someone…no, he must not dwell on it, lest his weaknesses get to him. He was a seasoned killer, after all, and killers do not express remorse, fear or self-doubt. Vega worked hard to repress those feelings for a long time.
He heard a knock on the door.
“Damn,” one of the officers muttered to himself as soon as he and his partners saw the crime scene. “We’ve got a nutjob in our midst.”
“You said it,” his fellow officer replied. “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”
Upon the scene of the crime was the body of an older man in a dark blue suit. His corpse laid face down, and it was apparent that he has been beaten and bruised.
“Who the hell could’ve done something like this? This needs to be taken to the boys at the coroner’s office.”
As the cops took the body to the office, they noted that the man had several broken ribs and missing teeth. His face was totally disfigured, making it difficult to identify him.
By the time they were able to identify the body at the coroner’s office, they found out that it was an important politician who seemed to be the target of a sinister conspiracy.
“How’s life been treating you outside of the force?”
“Everything is fine. My daughter’s in Spain now. She saved up enough money to go there.”
Meanwhile, Balrog received a call from Bison after he finished working out in his gym. Ever since he started working for Shadaloo,
“How did the mission go, Balrog?” Bison inquired.
“Great! Better than I expected,” the boxer replied with an enthusiastic grin. “That chump couldn’t take it. This is kid’s stuff.”
“Excellent. Now that you have completed your mission, I will inform you of your next assignment in the near future. In the meantime, you will be rewarded with a short vacation.”
As soon as the phone call ended, Balrog felt a sense of relief. While he was glad to have a break, he felt suspicious about the entire operation. Something didn’t seem right to him, as it was far too simple for him to go after his target.
It was a hot day in Madrid. A few tourist groups were out in the afternoon, visiting museums and other areas of interest. Amongst the tourists was a red-haired woman named Alexandra Dyson who seemed to be in her early twenties. She had stern grey eyes and a modest build, along with being clad in equally modest attire, being a white buttoned-down short-sleeved shirt and black slacks with brown shoes.
Her group happened to be waiting for the start of a bullfight. Today in particular was going to be special, as it will showcase the finest matadors in the country. As soon as the horns blared, many of the picadors and matadors made their entrance after the opening speech.
A large bull entered the arena, snorting in anger. The picadors rode on their horses, gouging their spears into the beast’s hide, but that only made it angrier, causing it to charge at the picadors.
One of the matadors then stepped in, waving his muleta. While attempted to lure the bull, he was gored. The audience screams in terror. Alexandra had to look away.
After the rest of the matadors failed their task, only one remained. He was particularly handsome with a confident air about him.
Later that evening, she and her group returned to the hotel they were staying at for the night. On her way to the elevator, she stumbled into someone. “Ah! I’m sor-“ She attempted to apologize, but was quickly cut off. Alexandra could not believe who she ran into.
“Hey, I saw you before…”