An Evangelion/Street Fighter fanfic – Street Fighter Neo
Written by WDCain-Man

Disclaimer: Neon Genesis Evangelion is copyright by FUNimation and was created by Studio Gainax animation while Street Fighter, Muscle Bombers, Final Fight, Rival Schools, and all their related characters are owned by Capcom while the Street Fighter EX characters are owned by Arika. None were used with permission. No money or profit is being made by this story.

Hello people, WDCain Man here. This is the re-re-mastered director's edition of my favorite work from NGE Theatre: SF Neo. My goal here is to make it more mature, longer, and throw in every SF character in the series (SF1-4, EX, and Alpha). To do this I will have to add a few more chapters. I'll get those out in order. I hope everyone will enjoy this new take on the SF franchise.

Now if any of you do not know to whom I am referring in this story then please check out one of my favorite websites: www dot fightersgeneration dot com. If you don't know who all the characters are in this story, than this is the best site for learning who any (and I mean ANY!) fighting game characters are. So please sit back and enjoy the special edition of SF Neo. Enjoy!

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Street Fighter Neo

Part One:

Eye of the Tiger

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Four year old Shinji Ikari was led off the cargo ship into the warehouse with the other children. Here they were slaves.

It was about a week ago when he was kidnapped. Mother had gone into the purple door marked 01. The next day Papa left him, going far away. The people Shinji lived with said they would take care of him but he did not care.

Mama was still gone and Papa did not love him anymore.

Shinji was so despondent that one night, he started walking. He walked for hours, never once noticing the unmarked van that slowly drove up from behind.

The men grabbed him, pulling him into the van and put a chloroform soaked rag over his small mouth. When he woke up, Shinji was in a dank, dark tiny cage that was only large enough to hold a Saint Bernard. All around him were other cages, filled with children from other nations. They were only fed once a day, their food being nothing but bits of moldy bread and salt water.

They had been out to sea for nearly a week now. He did not know where their location was to be. All that really mattered to hurting these kidnappers.

Yesterday, one of the kidnappers went by his cage to give him his food. The man, who smelled like milk, smiled at him and reached to touch him… there.

Shinji bit the man's fingers off, spitting them on the ship floor.

The bad man screamed. His scream brought other bad men there and together they beat Shinji. They broke his nose and punched him many times in the gut, making him throw up the meager crumbs in his belly.

The other children cowered in the corner of their cages. No one could help him, no matter how badly they wanted.

The bad men roughed Shinji up, urinating and spitting on him while he stayed locked in his cage. Shinji endured, hating them more and more every second.

It was another day before they docked at a strange country. The sun was hot as was the sandy ground. It was a desert country yet a jungle could be seen in the distance. All the people there had dark skins, tanned heavily by the burning sun. The houses, instead of being skyscrapers, were simple run down gray buildings made of plaster.

He and the other children were led off the boat in chains. Their future would most likely be in China and Russia for sex-slavery and child labor. Shinji and the others were all dirty and smelly from three weeks without baths and from living in filthy cages. Each step they took was tiring, their leg muscles sore from zero activity.

Curiously though, Shinji was not scared. Instead he was angry that such a travesty could take place.

How could evil like this be allowed to exist?

Soon they were lead to a warehouse near the docks. Good fortune soon struck Shinji. Once he got to the warehouse, there were several police squadrons there, waiting. Open warfare ensued.

Bullets flew through the air. One of the bad men was shot in the head. A girl screamed and tried to scramble away but Shinji paid her no heed. He was focused on the shootout, watching the police officers gun down the slavers like dogs, even the ones who surrendered.

Shinji did not balk at the slaughter. He picked a key off one of his captor's corpse and unlocked his chains. The pretty blond girl he was attached to, now free, ran off in terror. Shinji, with hate in him, ran towards the nearest dead criminal and took his gun.

To Shinji, this carnage was justice. The first he had seen in too long and he wanted it to never end. He took aid with the gun in his tiny hands and fired. The impact threw him back and he hit the ground. Shinji didn't care about bruises through. He made the shot.

One of the criminals, with his back turned, lurched forward and fell forward after being shot in the back. Another criminal near the now dead one whipped around believing the cops had flanked them. He lowered his gun in morbid surprise that it was one of the children they took. Then Shinji shot him in the chest.

He didn't die though. Blood dripping through his teeth, the slaver raised his firearm at the boy who was knocked back down again. He took aim and squeezed the trigger.

It was at that moment that fate played its hand.

"TIGER!" A fireball slammed into the kidnapper. He dropped the gun, his fingers melted together in one lump, followed by a sweet sickly smell with some rubbery skin dripping to the sidewalk.

The next thing Shinji saw was a blur that kicked the bad man into a wall. The impact bent his back at an angle that the human body was never meant to be in. The body fell to the sandy ground.

Shinji looked up at his savior. "Who…are you?"

The man, a giant among all men, looked down at Shinji. He was nearly seven feet tall with so much muscle that one could mistake him for a professional weight lifter. His clothing was simple; consisting of blue shorts with a red strip and his arms and legs wrapped up in clean white bandages. He had a strong and fierce face with a missing eye and a bald head. "I… am Sagat, the King of Muay Thai."

"…so strong…" Shinji said in awe.

Sagat picked up Shinji. The boy was so tiny that Sagat could hold him in just one hand. "Come, son of Japan, let me get you to a hospital and then back to home with you."

Drifting into sleep for the first time in days, Shinji weakly struggled. "Let me… stay with you… make me strong… like…" He passed out, the word 'you' etched on his lips.

Sagat carried the boy away, his single eye studying the tiny bundle. "If you survive my training, you will be."

XXXXXXX

Off in the far distance outside the warehouse were two women watching Sagat and Shinji leaving the police raided warehouse. The oldest of the pair was in her late thirty's and wore a dab brown military uniform with leather boots. Her crew-cut blond hair and cold blue eyes analyzed the area in front of them. She carried herself with pride and great strength. There was no weakness to be found.

This was not true of the small teenage girl by her side. Her dark lavender hair was tucked under a large golden scarf. Her green gypsy clothes hung loosely from her lithe frame. She fidgeted with a deck of tarot cards, shuffling them over and over again. Nervous and trying hard not to be scared, the gypsy girl forced herself to act as cool and calm as her mentor.

"I want you to concentrate, Rose. Sagat is a very powerful man and our Order needs to know if he is to friend or foe. Concentrate on the cards, child."

"Yes, Matron." Little Rose cleared her mind and concentrated all her focus onto the deck of cards. She held her breath, shuffled the deck, and plucked three cards. The Hanged Man, the Moon, and the Tower: Past, present, and future.

The Hanged Man card glowed as a flood of emotions caused the young girl to buckle. "So much lost, sacrificed. His life has been picked apart by vultures. He's so bitter from the knowledge gained." A tear escaped. "How can Sagat still stand so proudly with such a horrid past, Matron?"

"By becoming stronger." Her teacher answered automatically. "Sagat sacrificed so much but he endured to become strong and know the horrors of the world." She patted her protégé on the shoulder. "You must take a lesson from him and continue. What is Sagat's present, Rose?"

The Moon card froze to ice in Rose's hand and her fingers were cut opened from the sharp ice. "Lies. Lies and deceit. God, it's so heartless." She shuddered as the searing coldness. "Everything is lies. How is this happening, Matron? Please tell me."

She kneeled before Rose and looked her in the eyes. "Because deception and lies are a means to power and power is the ultimate truth. Never forget this, Rose. Now tell me his future."

While the last card was blistering cold, the Tower card burned. It burned and kept getting hotter. The sheering pain made Rose drop the card. "God in Heaven… the power. It's like the sun, like God, so much power," she hissed, horror and agony running her. "And pain. It's not stopping, always spreading and engulfing others. War." It was too much for the gypsy child. All she could do was cry.

"The Tower is power, Rose. Power very similar to Death in that it is both a destructive and creative force. This is why war is fought, to remove the old and make way for the new. That is the way of nature. That is Sagat's way."

"He needs to die." Rose brushed back her tears and looked her mentor in the eyes. "He's dangerous to live, Matron. He's lost so much from this horrid world that he lives on lies to gain power. And with that power… he'll kill everyone."

"You are most likely right, Rose. That is why he should be brought to our side. So that we can use his power against our enemies."

"Matron, you are wrong. This man is a monster, he must be-"

"Do. Not. Argue. Rose." The woman commanded, cutting her off. "I have made my decision and that is what I will advise our Order to do." She grabbed the girl's shoulder painfully to lift her off the ground. "Now do what I say and let us depart."

The girl bowed her head. "Yes, Madam Bison."

XXXXXXX

Ten years pass.

Under the watchful study of his newly adoptive father, Shinji grows stronger. He learns to love the Muay Thai as his new father does. Everyday he strives further, pushing his limits to match Sagat like in his dreams.

The King of Muay Thai felt a great pride whenever he sees Shinji. He was growing to be everything he wanted.

That's why he made Shinji his apprentice and adopted son. He saw the world in terms of challenges that could only be overcome with courage, will, and power.

The Eye of the Tiger.

Sagat knew Shinji saw the art as a means towards his dream and said dream was a noble one.

Shinji Ikari would serve him well.

XXXXXXX

"MWHAA! WUUUUH!" Jowl Amon screamed, his rictus face marled with hate like a tortured animals. "WHAT DO YOU WANT?!"

Shinji swung the heavy metal wrench back. "Just." His vision wasn't all that great with the hockey mask obstructing his eyes. "Shut Up." But if there was one lesson from Sagat that he would take to the grave. "And." It was how to hurt a body and keep it alive. "BLEED."

Jowl screamed several more obscenities, not that it did him much good. Shinji had made this room soundproof. He had so much experience doing construction jobs on Sagat's mansion and property lots and became quite proficient.

"GHHAAAAGG!" Jowl whined; the wrench broke his nose.

It was just a simple way to earn a little extra pocket money.

The chained man's blood was starting to slick the dozens of chains that held him immobile. They were attached to the ceiling from three iron hoops. Jowl's naked body spasmed as he thrashed like an animal. He had no leverage being dangled a few inches from the floor. He gave another scream as Shinji smashed his knee with the blunt tool

The derelict warehouse Shinji was torturing the porno director who bought children on the slave market was owned by Sagat but it hadn't been used in months. Shinji decided it would be a perfect place to conduct his hobby. It was a dirty room, dust and cobwebs thick in the corners.

Poorly lit, only one light bulb of low wattage fought a failing battle with the dark. Thousands of crumbled newspaper sheets lined the ground. Their pages were a mess from runny ink and dried blood. To the side was a tool box, a package of giant plastic trash bags, and three containers of bleach. Jowl coughed from the strong disinfectant when he first woke up.

An hour ago.

Shinji smashed his ribs, not really feeling a sadistic joy at the sound that resulted, but rather more like a contented relief. Justice was being served. All is right in the world. Jowl wasn't going anywhere.

The chains clacked but remained in a picture perfect submission bind. The little torturer was a tad embarrassed at how he learned that skill.

A half year ago he bought dozens of bondage magazines and instruction booklets at a pornography store at triple the regular price due to his young age. He was a fast learner and… and he prays Sagat NEVER learns about this… he couldn't bare to shame his father.

'Oh please, dear Buddha, do not let Sagat learn any of this!'

While Shinji shuddered at the idea of his torture, he was now using a knife to peel apart Jowl's scrotum.

Seriously, Jowl here was a monster, a total sociopath who didn't give a damn about the little girls he helped smuggled into the whore houses. He was getting what he deserved.

"ffaAAkk! GajJJhaa! STOP!" Jowl's mind was unraveling more bits were torn off. His blood dripped down only to be soaked up by the rumpled newspapers that lined the floor.

His red drops occasionally splashed on Shinji, only to be absorbed by the heady-padded leather apron he wore. He didn't mind though. All was going to plan.

Any information the bastard knew, names, dates, and places, was given in the first hour of his torture and now in the hands of an up-and-coming police lieutenant named Bonjon whose recent busts into the child slavery rings brought him much fame. And Shinji's reward?

This.

Removing monsters from the world, punishing them for their sins, preventing future children from being harmed: It was the most righteous quest he could ever do.

After the animal passed out having told all he knew, Shinji turned towards Lt. Bonjon and offered the officer an honorable nod. The cop returned the act with a respectful tip of his hat. Shinji left the warehouse. The lawman would handle Jowl's incarceration. No one would ever know Shinji was involved. He was too well trained.

Just as his master was in the art of Muay Thai. No one would ever beat them.

XXXXXXX

One month had passed. It had finally reached the day for that year's Street Fighter's Tournament. As Sagat was the reigning champion, the tournament was hosted in his native Thailand in the capital of Bangkok. Thousands of spectators had flocked to the stadium to watch the massive action that takes place in the arena.

Shinji was on the sidelines watching the brutal violence firsthand, learning the strengths of styles across the world and how they paled before Muay Thai. Still, that did not change the fact that it was all extremely exciting. Countless gamblers were making bets on who would win which fight, though no one was stupid enough to bet that Sagat, the King of Muay Thai, would lose. He was the champion for the last five tournaments.

Sixty-four of the world's most promising and up-and-coming street fighters had gathered for the title of World Strongest and the prize money of ten million dollars, accumulated by the Thai government to stir tourism. Hundreds of thousands had gathered to watch which fighter would win the purse.

Shinji looked them all over. Each were deadly and battle-harden, save for two young Shotokan fighters from Japan. Despite their youth and inexperience, Shinji felt they could get far before Sagat took them down.

Many great fighters from all corners of the globe had come for money, fame, and glory that would go to the winner. Even though none would defeat Shinji's great master, there were some present that made Shinji feel they would prove to be great sport for the audience.

Allen Snider, the US karate champion. Wearing an expensive bright purple silk gi, he sat patiently beside his personal karate trainer who was rambling about perfect holds and trip-kicks he should use. The champ nodded lazily to his trainer while signing numerous endorsement contacts his money happy agent kept shoving into his face. An aid came rushing back with a bottle of Gatorade for the champ. He wasn't allowed to drink anything else during competition as it would violate his endorsement deals.

Joe, an American street brawler who specialized in back-strikes. With short blond hair, a bare-chest, and dingy red karate pants, he struck Shinji as lasting longer than Allen. The karate champ was just too civilized to win the tourney. Fighters like Joe knew that spirit and attitude were just as important as technique in street fighting. Shinji once saw a video where Joe tore through a brick wall simply to psyche out his opponent. He was a true street fighter, not a clean-cut martial artist like Allen Snider.

Mike, the American Heavyweight Boxing Champion. After Balrog, the previous champion, was expelled for excessive violence in the ring, Mike became the champ. While not possessing the sheer tyrannosaurus strength that Balrog had during his stint as champ, Mike had established himself as a credible contender. Shinji could tell he was strong, fast, and had the endurance to win a few matches; but was also too tied down to the conventions of old English boxing to make it far into the tourney.

Retsu, a fallen monk who used Shorinji kempo. His bloodlust was so great, his thirst for sheer violence so unquenchable that his order excommunicated him. Despite his forced leave, he still wore the spiritual robes and beads of his order with his scalp clean shaven. His strikes moved with almost computer-like procession. Every blow was aimed at vital spots on the body to ensure quick kills. But he was too focused on the kill to care about the fight. He would lose to the first one to realize this.

Geki, the shadow lord of ninjutsu. Dressed in a pitch black ninja uniform, his face was hidden beneath a hood and facemask. A brace with a set of three foot-long claws was worn on his right wrist. Shinji knew better to think that was his only weapon. Shuriken and kunai were all hidden in his ninja robes, ready to be drawn at the right moment. His stealth was shown in every step, emitting no sound. Sadly, a ninja's greatest weapon was surprise and it would not be long before all his tricks were revealed.

Birdie, the sickest punk rocker/brawler from Britain. And when Shinji said sickest, he meant that Birdie was downright ill. He looked ready to pass out at any moment. The whitest man Shinji had ever seen, the black leather biker gear he wore was literally black on white. The only other color he had was his blond mohawk. Shinji wondered why this ill man was even here. Now if the Birdie he heard about, the black British battler, was here then the tourney would be exciting with such a crazy wildcard.

Eagle, the British bojutsu battler armed with escrima sticks. He was a well-mannered gentleman, taking care to straighten out his bowtie. It was almost inconceivable to think that such a sophisticated man of the world would be ready to crush a man's ribcage. That was what made him so dangerous: Realizing that what he does in the arena is just another day at the office. Out of all the fighters here, Eagle was the one that Shinji identified with the most. What they do and all they can do makes them who they are.

Lee, a portly practitioner of Chinese kung-fu. Wearing a simple set of matching blue shirt and pants, he was snacking on a bowl of sweat & sour pork from a food-cart nearby. With a happy, even boyish, smile between his chubby cheeks, he wiggled his bare feet on the grass. He struck Shinji as a man who loved being happy. Not like Shinji, who was content to be miserable except when torturing criminals at night. Shinji felt a sense of envy toward Lee, which was unbecoming of Sagat's most prized student.

Gen, the greatest master of the Chinese arts. He was the absolute antithesis of Lee. Cold and silent, he paid no mind to the chubby Chinese he sat next to. The only moment he preformed was to simply stroke his long white beard. There was a cold and callous efficiency to Gen that no one here, not even Sagat, possessed. There was no doubt in Shinji's heart that this man, this master, would be the one to reach Sagat in the finals. Were it not for Gen's age, he could very well be the winner.

Adon, the self-proclaimed God of Muay Thai. Shinji did not know the man too well despite being fellow students to Sagat. He still respected the man as both strictly followed the tenets of their art. Adon was very skilled and had great respect for their style; but he had a swagger in him born from arrogance. Sagat taught them that confidence was essential but once it grew too much, defeat would eventually follow. Only those both skilled and patient would knock down the 'God of Muay Thai.'

Finally there was Sagat, the one true King of Muay Thai. He was magnificent, standing proudly and majestic for all the cheering spectators to see. His champion bearing brought awe in all. You could see it in the eyes of the children who flocked around, to touch their champion. He was the pride of Thailand, the epitome of what a true fighter strived to become. And Sagat knew it. He knew he was the jewel of this country, the sword of its spirit, the King of Muay Thai!

So Shinji worshipped Sagat. What of it? Every Thai child did so. He was their national hero. All the other contestants paled when compared to him: The Americans, the British brawlers, the Chinese masters, those wrestlers from the CWA, all were just fodder for Sagat to polish off.

Until that time when Sagat claimed his latest title, it would be a grand tournament to watch.

XXXXXXX

And it was.

Shinji walked among the loser's gallows. Sixty-two failed fighters were watching the finals with the rest of the crowd. But they did have a nice conciliation prize: They had better seats.

Many were dejected. Allen Snider seemed dead to the world with a thousand-yard stare. Adon and Retsu looked ready to kill themselves or anyone else. A few, like Lee and Eagle, didn't seem to care that they lost. Mike and Joe actually looked rather proud of themselves as they made it further into the tourney then they imagined they would. The remainder were sitting back and waiting for the final match: The King of Muay Thai, Victor Sagat vs. the Shotokan fighter, Ryu Hoshi.

Shinji did not pay attention to those cleaning the ring. He was more interested in learning from the losers. He decided to start with the master of stealth: Geki.

The ninja was watching from the sidelines, his claw-blades shattered in pieces by the Rising Dragon Punch from Ryu.

"You did well in your match, Master Geki." Shinji approached calmly, letting his target know his presence but not his intention. "The only warrior who could defeat you made it to the finals. This speaks highly of your skills."

Geki did not turn to face him. "You are well mannered…for a child."

Shinji simply smiled, having learned the art of acting years ago. "Thank you for your praise, Master Geki. I am who I am today because of the great Muay Thai King."

Geki said not a word. He was fully used to dealing with young students who worshipped their sensei. But then there was the sheer gratitude in his boy in regards to his teacher that let the ninja lord see that while the child was as young as his daughter Ibuki, he knew he was not the center of the universe like most young bucks. It seemed that Sagat had installed excellent perception in his student.

Geki relaxed for the first time since coming to the Thai tourney. He was about to offer to share some of the pre-prepared food he had brought with him when he caught sight of Lee. The kooky Lee was running around to all the defeated contestants pushing a noodle-cart selling some rather delicious smelling Chinese meals.

Lee spotted them eyeing his cart and jogged over, almost dancing, pushing that cart. "Ah ha, can I talk you strong and nice men into buying my meals? So nutritious and delicious you'll be sure to make it two rounds further next year!"

Shinji smiled and pulled out his pocket-bag. "I do not have Chinese bills but I trust this will be acceptable, kind sir."

"Oh yes, indeed I do." With a jolly smile that stretched from cheek to cheek, Lee scooped a large helping of chicken stir-fry into a box labeled Gen Han Ten 'Gen's Rice Shop' in Chinese. "Will your black-wearing buddy want some too?"

"Quite, kind Lee." Shinji hands him many more bills. "Keep the change."

"Oh my, oh my, what a kind guy!" Lee bobbed his head, enunciating each syllabub. "You're just like my two boys: Considerate like Yang and cheerful like Yun!"

Geki lowered his facemask to eat. "And you remind me of my daughter, Master Lee."

"Oh don't call me a master, Master Geki. I just happen to have picked up a few moves traveling all around China learning how to cook." Lee wiggled his eyebrows. "My brother Gen, on the other hand, now he's a real Master! I guarantee you both that neither of you have meet anyone who matches his knowledge of techniques and tactics. Oh ho, he is the strongest man here!"

"But he still lost." Geki cut in, feeling that headache his daughter always gives him. "In fact, it looked like he froze—panicked—when confronted by Ken Masters."

Shinji blinked. Did Lee's eternal smile just waver? For a split-second, he could have sworn it was gone, replaced by a constant sorrow. Then just like that, Lee was still smiling, making Shinji believe he imagined it.

"Oh no, Master Geki, Cousin Gen hasn't been feeling well since he arrived in Thailand. The warm weather here just doesn't agree with him." Lee eyed the snow-white Birdie running towards his food cart. "Just like this fellow here."

The obviously unwell British brawler Birdie came wobbling over like a dying horse, his hands clutching his belly like it was about to burst. "Ohg blimme, gimme sum broth 'ere, gov! Plu-ease, Eh need sum'tim fa mo belly!" His nose was runny, eyes glazed, and his forehead was so hot the sweat was practically pouring down his face. "Eh jush dun't anna con't keep onna ma' feet an'd no more! Idda jush need me sum 'elp b'fore me tosh mo scones!"

Lee kicked into kind papa mode and handed the wobbling Birdie a cup of hot chicken broth. "Ah here then. You just lie down on that bench over there and breathe this aroma in. Drink it in about five minutes and the herbs should help settle your stomach. I'll try and find you a blanket. Here, let me help you over there."

"Blezz ya' surrah!" Birdie was actually crying as Lee took him by the hand and led him to a spot where he could rest.

Shinji could only shake his head in wonderment watching the Chinese cook lead the Brit brawler like he was an infirmed relative. "Martial artist master, brilliant chef, honorable business man, and gentle uncle… I hope I am that multi-facetted when I am his age."

"Indeed." Geki nodded solemnly, which looked rather comical as he was also munching on a mouthful of stir-fry. Lee was one hell of a cook!

Shinji turned back towards the ninja and the arena. The final match would soon start and they were eager to watch from their spots on the sidelines. Tragically that also means that there are those who were angry that they had to do as well.

Retsu stomped around like the bitter old man he was. Many called him the Mad Monk of Malice, at least those who no longer valued their lives. Filled with fury, he skulked around almost daring someone to pick a fight. He reminded Shinji of a bitter bull, bucking angrily that he had been branded. He twists to every direction, looking for someone, anyone or anything, to lash out at and end. Finding no one available only leads to him becoming more and more furious.

Then to Shinji's utmost surprise, Retsu stopped in his tracks and dropped to the grassy land in a meditation stance and gripping his prayer breads like a rosary. Shinji was about stop giving the monk attention and focus back on the match when he started to hear Retsu's twisted chant.

"…the weak shall be removed so the strong shall survive…weak children shall be purged so only those with strength will flourish…the weak ones that live will serve only as body slaves to those with power…"

Body slaves. Child body slaves. All those negative emotions Shinji focused throughout his training erupted like a molten volcano. Whatever fury Retsu was dealing with paled in comparison to the sheer ire in Shinji's eyes. Still slurping down noodles like a happy puppy, no one would have noticed the absolute burning fury in Shinji's glance.

Except for ninja master Geki. He was now several yards away from his eating companion with a kunai in one hand and his other in a pouch for a black egg filled with pepper and ground glass.

"Master Geki, whatever is the matter?" Shinji asked, his tone noting compassion and worry while his eyes were churning with murder and slaughter.

The ninja shifted his weight, ready to strike and flee. Fighting him would be too costly here. So many spectators present would make an assault difficult, even impossible. To them it would seem that a beaten fighter had simply snapped and killed a child-in-training. "You should be a ninja with how well you hide yourself."

Oh what a ninja he would have made. Misdirection, guile, and cunning were the primary qualities of the assassins of the shadows. Shinji had those, quite in abundance, but was marred with a hate-based cruelty that would equal him to the world's greatest killers. Geki knew in whose shadow Shinji would follow.

"You remind me of my greatest, and most dangerous, student." For the first time, Geki made eye-to-eye contact with the boy; never once lowering his guard. "He was brilliant in all that he did: A total savage, a man skilled in wearing masks to hide his true self."

"He was an actor? A man with a silver tongue?" Shinji prattled like a confused schoolboy, making a note to bell Bonjon about Retsu for interrogation and incarceration.

"He was a true killer in every sense, a psychotic killer named Vega." Geki raised his claws, ready to deal the deathblow. "You do not fool me…murderer." He said the last word with snake's venom. "I see blood on you. You wear it like a mask. No, you wear it like a badge of honor." He took another step back. "Leave me and go plot your murders elsewhere."

That remark broke Shinji's façade. His eyes turned steely and balled his knuckles. "I protect the innocent, Master Geiki. Criminals are captured, beaten, broken, and made to confess their crimes and cohorts and spend the rest of their lives rotting behind bars. I serve the justice and the law. I swear it." Shinji's eyes tinkled with such clarity that even Geki broke his stance.

"You're not evil. You're deluding yourself by indulging in your anger." And in his eyes, Shinji saw pity. "You are in for a rude awakening when you realize how badly you have been fooling yourself."

And with that statement made, Geki decide his course of action. He clasped his hands together in the boar-seal and vanished in black smoke.

Shinji waved away some whisks of smoke, finding seven ways Geki could have left the stadium. Should he go after him or let the man go? Well, ninja are known for their secrecy so it was doubtful he would alert the authorities as that could compromise his clan. A professional like Geki would sooner sanction himself before risking his clan. Besides, it was not like he knows where Shinji does his community service.

Deciding the ninja to be no longer a threat, Shinji turned back towards the ring as the final match started. Watching the moves of the Thai King were memorizing to the spectators and defeated entries, even his top student could lose himself as he watched his master perform a picture perfect elbow-shin block to Ryu's Hurrican Kick. Even though he knew Sagat's moves better than anyone save for the King himself, Shinji would always marvel at the majesty of the pinnacle of Muay Thai.

So engrossed was Shinji that he actually failed to notice the British bojutsu battler Eagle walk up to him. The Brit had a strange dignified stride in his step with his escrima sticks tucked neatly in their protectors attached to his fine leather belt.

Agent Eagle, one of MI6's best operatives, had entered this tourney in an effort to see what connection, if any, exists between the Thai government and a rapidly growing crime syndicate with terrorist connections. Whatever information he uncovered would be relayed back to Britain who would then share it with the appropriate intelligence organizations and police networks. These judicial bodies would then launch a full inquiry into the Thai government.

Normally this type of mission would have the agent infiltrate the government's upper echelon, but considering that Victor Sagat was literally and figuratively more powerful than the Thai Prime Minister it made more sense to investigate him. Sagat was seen by much of the populace as a national hero and they would follow whatever decrees he made. If he told them to vote for this politician then that man would win in a massive landslide.

The sheer amount of power that man possessed dwarfed anyone in the Bangkok parliament. No judge would dare issue a warrant for his arrest and no law officer would even think of arresting Sagat. That was made fact when Sagat had killed a fighter named Go Hibiki early in his fighting career. While it is expected for a fatality to happen in the ring, what truly infuriated Go's only son was Sagat's killing had not sparked any response or an official inquiry.

The King of Muay Thai was truly above the law.

However, the investigation into Sagat's connection with underground crime-rings was proving to be difficult for secret agent Eagle. The priority target, Victor Sagat, was well known to receive tidings from all the nation's mobs simply for having the privilege to operate in Thailand. If he felt that they were in the wrong, they would be wiped out in a single night. There were even rumors that the Muay Thai King even had a secret assassin at his beck and call who existed only to kill these criminals.

Of course the killings, or rather the lack of them, lead some in the intelligence community to readily accept that Sagat had an efficient means of making these disobedient criminals disappear. Such a feat would be well within his power. For anything of importance to happen in Thailand it would have to be approved by Sagat. All roads lead to Rome as it were.

The investigation had to proceed no matter the cost. If there was a connection between Thailand and this new international criminal syndicate then Sagat was where it would begin. The problem that Eagle faced was finding answers. Simply breaking into the man's mansion, nay a palace, for the desired records would prove to be suicide. The only reasonable course of action would be to probe someone close to Sagat for answers.

Unfortunately, there were only five people Sagat cared for. His four sisters were so brilliant and respectful of their big brother that they would never reveal anything that could harm him. That left only one person, Sagat's adopted son, his star pupil, a mysterious boy known only as Shinji.

First name: Shinji.

Last name: Sagat by adoption. Original name unknown.

Age: 14 years.

Origins: Rescued by Victor Sagat ten years earlier from child slavers who operated in Indochina, Japan, and Central Asia. Upon recovering he refused to divulge any information relating to his past. Soon accepted into Sagat's martial arts school as his adopted son.

Nationality: Most likely Japan due to that being the language he spoke upon being rescued.

Family: Adopted by Victor Sagat. Original family unknown.

Friends: None.

Hobbies: Unable to ascertain due to Subject evading all surveillance attempts when trailing about the city at night time.

Threat assessment: Conceivably Level 03 of 10 due to his ten years of training under Sagat. Displays high aptitudes in strategy, anatomy, and criminal psychology. College level reading skills. Data garnered from nationally conducted intelligence quota exams. Seen operating firearms at Sagat's privately owned range with peak proficiency. Lacks ability to function within a group and unwilling to disclose needed information. Displays a superiority complex to judicial officials and criminal elements.

Eagle had memorized Shinji's file when he was handed the mission. Level 03 threats were skilled in combat, firearms, and shown above average intelligence. Experienced field soldiers were commonly filed at this level. Threats like Sagat would be at Level 08: Powerful enough to rule a country but lacked influence beyond their home boarders and displays no access to weapons of mass destruction as 09s and 10s did.

Eagle knew that simply accosting Shinji like some low-class thug as that Interpol Officer from China wanted would only provoke him into violence. Shinji saw himself as a star moving up to his future. Treating him like a criminal was not the effective way to go. Treat him like an equal and Sagat like head-of-states were the best ways to get him to open up and reveal secrets.

Eagle fixed his collar, catching Shinji's attention. "Ah Ha, how fine it is that the youth of this country can find someone they can admire so," he spoke flawless English like a true gentleman of the upper-class nobility. "Large, tall, and strapping; Victor Sagat must be the envy of every boy in the land."

Shinji beamed as this was one of his favorite subjects. "Oh, how right you are, Duke Eagle. Or is it Earl Eagle? You made it quite far before bowing out. You know when it is time for a gentleman to take his leave. So by your manners you must be of the nobles. Or am I mistaken? I am afraid I do not know much of the customs and social structure of your country; so please feel free to correct me for my errors."

Eagle flashed a wry grin. "How nostalgic, I haven't heard some proper diction since my time as a pupil up at Fettes College in Edinburgh. You must have had some quite prestigious teachers here in Thailand."

"In truth, I've been home-schooled by private tutors paid by out of father's wallet." Shinji blushed, slightly embarrassed that Sagat gave him so much since taking him in ten years ago. That great man made Shinji into who he is. Disappointing his father and teacher would be the worst things he could ever do.

Through this logic, Shinji never once considered his midnight murders as wrong.

"Home-schooled you say?" Eagle shook his head in disappointment. "No, no, no. That will simply not do. A young boy like you should experience all the facets of the public administration. How else can you expand your knowledge of exotic wonders?" Eagle took a side-step and was now rather close to Shinji. "All boys need new experiences to mature into fine man, you must see."

Shinji's smile turned into a true devil-may-care fashion. "I promise you, Gentleman Eagle, I undertake… numerous delights at night-time to whet my curiosity of the world."

Eagle scratched his chin in contemplation, realizing how to handle the child in training. "I take it nothing truly illegal, I hope. I have heard that Thai police do not show restraint to young pups who engage in less then, shall we say, discrete activities. Is this not so?"

"Actually it's quite the opposite. They show too much restraint," Shinji huffed. "This is one of the sheer multitude ofreasons why we have so much drug-crime and child-kidnappings here in Thailand."

The prefect opening. "Can't Sagat stop that?"

The corner of Shinji's face twitched. "Master Sagat has aided the Thai police into cracking down on the more dishonorable mobs…but the Triads, Yakuza, and even the Russian mobs have steadily infected Thailand over the last decade. The Thai mobs no longer have the numbers to compete against them. And-" Shinji hated admitting this, "Master Sagat has no control over those outsiders. He is a hero only in Thailand and thus only Thai mobs obey his word. Outside this nation, Sagat's name… means nothing." Oh, like blood in his mouth.

Eagle nodded. That reason was possible but not likely. Sagat has too much money and power to not have some influence in most of South Asia. If Shinji really believed that then perhaps Sagat did not have a connection with this new crime syndicate. What Sagat could do was not equal to what he would do.

The spy looked his little informant over. He was dressed in golden gi pants with twin tigers embroiled on the legs with simple black slippers. He was quite muscular for a 14-year old boy but not grotesque like most child weight-lifters, more toned like an acrobat. It was quite obvious that Sagat took care of his son. Well nourished, he stood higher than a boy his age should, over five feet.

The boy's face was typical of a normal child: Joyful and generally happy. This was natural considering that he was watching his hero simply demolish all the competition. This Shotokan fighter from Japan was the only one who has lasted this long. There was no doubt in the young boy's eyes that his idol could possibly lose. Fairly typical of a regular kid.

Eagle had noted the ninja master readying into an attack stance with the target. It could have been worthwhile to the investigation if that conversation could have been eavesdropped but it was not to be. Eagle's lip-reading skills were useless as Shinji's back had been turned to him and Geki had on his ninja mask. The only conclusion he could base the incident on was that Geki had felt Shinji had mocked him for his defeat and the ninja had taken violent offense.

With no further evidence to the contrary, Eagle bowed his head, said his goodbyes, and left. Further surveillance would be necessary to ascertain Sagat's connections (if any) with this new syndicate. He would not get any answers from Shinji. He left after saying goodbye, leaving Shinji alone again to watch the fight.

The match was coming to an end. Shinji could tell Sagat was in perfect form and was finally wearing that Japanese fighter down. It was amazing watching the fight from ringside. Sagat was so powerful, so magnificent, truly living up to his claim as the King of Muay Thai.

So absorbed into the title bout, Shinji never noticed the monster that studied the fight from the shadows. It would be impossible to tell where the darkness ends and that devil begins. In the darkness was an entity that has existed for centuries. Inhabiting the body of a male for this century, the being known only as Bison masked his power. Here in the dark, he was to see if this 'Ryu' was as good as he heard.

Shinji was not aware of the man-monster that stood less than a hundred yards behind him just as he was not aware of the fighter walking up to him.

"So you're Sagat's student, huh? Pretty weird to see someone from Japan studying Thailand's Muay Thai style."

Shinji glanced to the side and saw a young blond haired American dressed in a red sleeveless dogi. There was a swagger in his step: Cocky and arrogant, but having the talent to back it up. Shinji could tell a real fighter when he saw one. "Not much stranger than seeing an American studying Japanese Shotokan." He spoke in fluent English.

Ken Masters laughed. "Point taken kid. I've heard about you: Warrior Shinji, the student of Sagat. You're also known as the 'Tiger of the Ring' due to all your horizontal 'tiger' scars. You're pretty famous in the Thai fighting-pits as a local hero. You've been participating in these underground fights since you were twelve."

"Since I was eleven" Shinji cut in. "I started winning my matches when I was twelve. You are Ken Masters, I believe. Your fellow Shotokan student won over you in the last match."

"Yeah… yeah, he did." Ken quietly laughed. "Looks like I won't get the shot to be the world's number one street fighter."

"Don't discourage yourself. After all, you did defeat Allen Snider, the US karate champion, in the first round of the first fight of the tournament. In my opinion, and I am sure in many other's opinions, you are now the US Martial Arts champion."

Ken rubbed the back of his head. "I have to tell you, when I knocked him out with my Rising Dragon Punch in the first twenty seconds of the fight, I really thought his manager was about to have a heart attack when the ref raised my hand."

"And so visa vie that victory, you are now the US champion."

"I guess so." The thought still didn't feel right for Ken. He wanted to cream Allen Snider in the final match in an official title bout before the entire world. Beating him with one-hit, while cool and something to brag about to Mom and Dad, did not mean he could beat Sagat. "But it still would have been nice to win that big trophy they're offering. I mean, I'm a bit sore I lost to Ryu; but after seeing who he's going up against now, I'm not so sure that's a bad thing."

Shinji smiled proudly. "How very right you are but do not worry. Your friend may be lucky enough to walk away under his own power once Sagat is done with him."

Together they watched the fight. Neither one cheered nor booed for either street fighter. They watched in silent respect for the fighters they admired the most. While they were quiet, the stadium boomed with cheering and hollering.

Sagat, finally wearing Ryu down, leapt into the air to crush the smaller fighter with his massive fist. This move could easily kill, literally crush the receiver's skull if he chose to. There was no defense against this finisher. Ryu's only course was to brace himself. Instead he kneeled , his fist raised as a primal power was unleashed.

"SHO RYU KEN!"

The dragon punch knocked the Muay Thai King to the ground with a bloody tear on his chest. The referee checked Sagat and raised Ryu's hand as the winner.

The stadium erupted as ten thousand spectators shook the area with applause. Ken applauded with vigorous clapping. "Way to go, Ryu!" The American was so jubilant that he did not even bother to look at the horror on his guest's face.

Shinji stood frozen, staring at his teacher's unconscious body that laid unceremoniously on the ground, massive amounts of blood seeping from the literally enormous tear on his chest. Sagat had lost… Sagat had lost his first match ever!

XXXXXXX

The week that followed was not an easy one for the House of Sagat. The nation's journalists reaped on his defeat, treating him as if he was a politician caught in a sex scandal. The pictures of his fall were plastered on all the tabloids. Caricatures of his humiliation at the hands of Ryu were widespread, appearing in newspaper comics, magazines; many were even painted in alleyways with the graffiti. Sagat, despite still being the strongest Thai kickboxer in the world, was regarded as a joke nationwide.

But no one would dare say it to his face.

Savagely silence, he threw himself into the harshest and most rigorous workout Shinji had ever seen. His punches, like sledgehammers. His kicks, like lightning. His fighting spirit, horrifying. House-size boulders would crumble in seconds of his brutal onslaught. An entire forest had been incinerated by hundreds of Tiger Shots over the week. What trees remained were shattered from his volley of devastating techniques.

Nothing stopped this maddening training regiment. Not hunger, not sleep, and most certainly not pain. Despite the extensive damage to his chest, Sagat tossed away all self-care in his mad quest of superior power. All there was in his world was pain and hate. He ignored all sense of self-concern as he pushed himself harder, breaking all his limits. Sleep was forgone and practically forgotten. His bleeding knuckles marred his wrist-bandages and he was dangerously close to dehydrating. There was no time for rest and recuperation.

His sister the doctor had offered the finest doctors on her staff at Bangkok General for his recovery but he turned away all medical treatment. The fallen King had simply bandaged his ruptured skin, ensuring that it would leave an ugly thick scar. He took no painkillers and would simply rub pure alcohol into the melted flesh on a daily basis to kill any infection.

If there was injury, it was cut off. If there was worry, it was eaten by hate. If there was pain, it was put in its place. This was the truth to Sagat, his gospel. Pain was for the weak and…

He! Is! Not! Weak!

"TIGER RAID!"

The man-size boulders surrounding Sagat were literally demolished by his kick's onslaught. Even the grass beneath his feet was burnt and smoking from his now massive Tiger Shots. His stride was not hampered by his entire chest being wrapped heavily in bandages.

All that plagued his once calm and confident mind were maddening questions that he could not answer. How could he lose? He, the King of Muay Thai? The Glorious Tiger! He was unbeatable.

Sagat was exercising on a hilltop in Thailand. Here, he was revered as a god among men. How could he lose to an unknown? How could he lose period?

The former champion threw himself into the art, despite his wounds. Still in his combat outfit, Sagat jump kicked a human size tree, leaving behind only sawdust. Even an entire team of loggers could not clear a forest in the time it was taking him.

Shinji stepped up to his teacher, dressed in a casual outfit of blue shorts and a black muscle shirt. "Father, you need to rest. Training now can only aggravate your wound."

"SILENCE!" Sagat howled, far greater than any tornado. "I will not rest! Not here, not now and not ever!" Sagat fired a Tiger Shot at another tree, incinerating it.

Shinji snorted, no longer feeling any need to show his teacher pity or concern. His four beautiful sisters were now terrified of their big brother. And it would be a cold day in hell before Shinji would let that last another day. "Is your ego this fragile? I thought you were better than this. I suppose you really are nothing but a spoiled child."

"Silence whelp!" The Fallen King's maw twisted into a rictus of bestial hate. "I did not train you just so you can mock me!"

Shinji glared. "No, you did not, Father. You agreed to train me so I can keep children safe from monsters. Now tell me your reason. Why did you train? To stay as champion? To keep a title made of measly gold?"

"No, child." A powerful voice said from the darkness. Shinji briefly thought it was the wind rushing through the trees. It sounded too massive to be human. Like an echo in a canyon, it echoed until it was everywhere. "He trains only for power. He lives only for power."

Out of the shadows of the trees stepped an imposing man dressed in a red military uniform and cap, scarlet like Satan's and black boots like his hooves. The thing that walked like a man wore a black cloak that whirled dramatically except there was no wind. His shear presence twisted it about like a thundercloud. And then there were his eyes. No pupils, no irises, only pure globes of empty white, like a blackhole that sucked everything in.

Shinji was not sure if it was human.

The devil that walked the earth looked at Sagat in a way that made it seem he was seeing the future. "Greetings Muay Thai King. I am Bison!" The…'man' called Bison crossed his built arms over his chest. "I offer you the chance for greatness. I offer you… Psycho Power!"

"YOU!" Shinji pointed at Bison. "You do NOT belong here! You are NOT of this world!"

Bison laughed and in that laugh, Shinji heard the destruction of whole civilizations. The crackle contained was what the Kahns and Huns laughed when they scourged entire villages. "How right you are, little cub." Bison gestured all about him, as if all reality bent to his will. "I am beyond this plain of existence by my use of ultimate power, Psycho Power!"

Sagat didn't care, Buffalo or whatever his name was is no more important than any other heckler he has had to deal with. "You DARE suggest that your Psycho Power is greater than Muay Thai?!"

Bison grinned with jagged teeth much like a shark uses. "Nothing can surpass Psycho Power. It is the ultimate form of strength. Muay Thai… is obsolete."

"I WON'T HAVE IT! I WON'T LET YOU DEGRADE MY STYLE!" Sagat coiled his arms back, fire arching around his already blistering knuckles. "TIGER!"

Though his body was beaten and near broken, his fighting spirit had reached a level that could have slaughtered Ryu. His empty belly's pangs were used only to fuel more strength. Never before had he been stronger. Sadly, even if the King of Muay Thai was at his best, he still would not have won.

Bison held up his hand which glowed with dark pink light. Almost instantly the Tiger Shot slowed down more and more. The embers faded as the fireball just stopped in mid-air. It hovered less than a foot away from Bison outreach palm, giving him the frightful image of actually killing a star. Within seconds, the flame died down and the fireball was no more.

Shinji STARED, his jaw hanging loose by what Bison could do. "Not… possible…"

Bison laughed so cruel and hateful, like the screams of a torture chamber. "All is possible with Psycho Power!"

Sagat did not care. He moved in close to the dark lord, kneeling not in admiration but to rise with a greater strength. "TIGER UPPERCUT!"

"Useless." Bison grabbed Sagat's flaming fist. Fire ran up the devil's arm but still Bison held on to the fiery attack and pushed his hand down. This did not stop Sagat from rising up with his ultimate attack. Bison was lifted higher but still the top tip of his boot remained grounded. Bison's hand grew hot but still the dark lord endured.

Frustration and disappointment were worn on Sagat's face. Finally the flame in Sagat's attack died down. The two descended. Sagat was exhausted but Bison remained unfazed. The demonic general tighten his grip and slammed the Thai fighter into the ground, not letting go. "Sad. You are weaker than I thought. Even your 'ultimate' technique couldn't wound me. Ryu's Shoryuken could have though." Bison strengthen his grip on Sagat's hand and squeezed.

Shinji paled when he heard bones snapping.

Bison smirked, revealing in any and all pain he caused. "Don't worry, Sagat. I haven't crippled you… yet."

Thinking he had proved his point, Bison let go. The former champion stepped backwards clutching his fractured hand. Sagat growled as he used his other hand to reset the damaged bones in the injured appendage. He felt like a kitten licking a scratch. This feeling only made his rage greater.

Sagat charged at Bison, his face as furious as a tiger's. "DIE BISON!" His first move was a high chin kick, with enough force behind it to break Bison's neck. It was the fastest Shinji had ever seen his master move. Even the Tiger Raid paled to its light speed.

Not dropping his derange grin, Bison folded his arms as his power built. A hiss-like chuckle rang out throughout the forest as Bison teleported in pink shadows. Sagat's kick connected only with empty air.

Like witnessing science fiction becoming reality, both Shinji and Sagat's minds stranded to a halt at the unnatural display, the demonic miracle Bison had preformed. The laws of man applied not to the devil king.

Bison appeared behind Sagat, uncoiling both fists. "LEARN YOUR PLACE!" He punched Sagat with both hands glowing with dark energy. The blow sent Sagat flying like a cannonball through the forest, breaking off branches that cracked his flesh like a lash. New tears and gashes ran down Sagat's even more beaten form.

Shinji stood frozen in shock. No one had ever man-handled Sagat like this before. Nothing could. Nothing human that is. The once mighty champion slowly picked himself up, fighting the agony that rippled though his battle-damaged body. All his bandages were ripped and loosen from the fiery force of Bison's Psycho blows. The hand the general grabbed was burnt badly, its five digits dangly in the wind. Two football size bruises on his back where Bison punched after teleporting were already darkening as blood was constricted and flesh swollen.

The trajectory that sent Sagat through the forest left over a dozen lash-marks across his arms and legs. Most of the branches had cut into his flesh and drew blood that mixed with the grass strains and dirt that smeared his body. All his gashes were exposed to the air for all to see how far he had fallen. The King was now gone; shamed and brutally abolished was the noble pride Sagat carried since the day he rescued Shinji.

Like a beggar that was badly beaten and buried in the woods, Sagat trudged back to Bison; his body racked with gross injuries and his fury subdued by jealousy. To his dying day, Shinji would never know if it was the pain or his pride that made Sagat say those next words. "In-incredible power… c-can this power… truly be mine?"

"Yes." The Devil nodded, pleased that he had fell another noble soul to his sway. "Psycho Power can be given to those who are worthy. All that I ask is that you become a Shadaloo King, overseeing my minions and lower acolytes as they garner power here in the Golden Triangle."

"Ve-very well," Sagat agreed, his one eye marked with envy and hate, all that he was gone. "I will do… as you say."

Shinji gasped, wishing and praying that all of this was impossible. "Father! You cannot mean that!"

"Fall silent Shinji!" The teacher glared at his student, regarding him who never once spoke against him and listened to every lesson he taught as the same as those who laughed at him now. "I will not be humiliated anymore! Not by Ryu, not by Bison, and NOT BY YOU!"

"Damn it Master! This is not right and you know it! Joining this-this…cult called Shadaloo will turn you into a criminal! All that you will do is lord over a collective of criminals and narcotic cartels!" Shinji grew very quiet. "…you are a warrior… not a thug for drug peddlers…"

Bison laughed. In it was nothing but the sound of darkness. "Sagat shall not be made into a simple narcotics seller, but a warrior! He will surpass all limitations… with Psycho Power!"

"He will become a criminal!" Shinji snapped back. "He will deny all the principles that he has lived by!" Shinji turned to face the most important man in his life. "My Master - my Teacher, Father, please listen to me! If you follow him, you will turn your back on everything that you live by, everything you have taught me! And it will be for nothing but petty revenge!"

"That has been your driving force all your life, boy!" Sagat narrowed his eye and realized for the first time this boy had become a nuisance. "So upset you were taken from mommy and daddy you've been spent every waking moment wanting to throttle underworld figures. No friends, no one caring for you! You live to kill! It takes all your strength not to rip out their hearts!

Shinji flinched, a cold fear choking his stomach. "You knew? All this time, you knew what I was doing for the police?"

"Police? What police? Oh, you mean my men!" Sagat's tone turned to a jolly mocking. "Everyone in this country works for me, boy. The politicians, the police, and the mobs! Those were my men that kidnapped you!"

Shinji stood there, taken aback and unable to say a word.

Sagat's rage melted into a cruel smile. "It's important for people to see me as their god, protector of the sheep and punisher of those who dishonor me. Those traffickers were skimming off the top and giving me less profit. So I arranged a public display of heroism with Thailand's finest. I even adopted the runt of the haul for PR."

Shinji, unable to speak, grew paler with every horrible word from Sagat.

"Imagine my surprise over how dedicated" he said the word with cruel joy "the boy was with his revenge. You became such an excellent attack dog. When a lawman in my pocket named Bonjon said 'fetch', you went and brought the prey home and mauled them for daring to steal from your owner."

Sickening fridge horror finally breaks Shinji's silence. "Those men I brought to the warehouse. They weren't sent to jail." Shinji struggled not to be ill.

"I don't have thieves jailed. I have them kidnapped and tortured by my favorite lackey and killed by another not lost in the dark."

"I've helped you run the mob." Shinji whispered, pain engraved on every word. "All I've ever been is a mob enforcer."

"You are the best I had." Sagat started laughing, loving the sick joke pulled on the boy.

Shinji turned around, lacking the strength to face his father.

Sagat edged in and whispered honey venom into his ear. "I am so proud of you, Shinji. You turned out exactly as I hoped."

Shinji broke and gave a soft cry.

"Good." Sagat hissed before turning away from Shinji and back to Bison. "Take me from here now."

Bison's eternal smile stretched even farther, his face contorting into a gruesome rictus. "How wonderful it is to break a soul, Sagat." He gestured, the air shimmering around them both. "Now come, my chariot approaches."

In the distance, a stealth carrier was lowering, as if appearing out of nowhere. A massive black jet hovered in the air just over the forest clearing. Like a black sun it swallowed the light, leaving Shinji to shudder in shadows.

Bison raised his hands and began levitating. Higher and higher he rose, his black cape blowing in the jet's wind torrent like bat wings. He gestured, so casual yet magnificent, and instantly Sagat started rising. He never looked back as he and his new master entered the jet's open hatch behind his new master. Then like a doomsday comet, it ripped through the sky and vanished from Thailand air space.

And Shinji? He was a boy now; all the confidence and patience of manhood gone. His shoulders shook and his lips trembled. The pain was too much. He gave a scream of rage and anger and tore through the remaining trees like the mad beast Sagat had made him into. Betrayed as cruel as he was before, Shinji fell into himself, drinking in the rage. It was all he had.

Like Sagat before him, he had forsaken the path of justice and skill in his pain. And that pain only fueled the rage. Shinji howled and tore through the trees and land, burning down trees that had grown for centuries as a perfect representation of the dumb animal that was man.

And once that anger could no longer sustain him, Shinji fell to the ground screaming; letting out all the pain that he has spent all his life trying to hide.

He could have laid there forever, drowning in the cold rage. It was all he had left. But he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. He was not easy to sneak up on and jumped back instinctively; but his fear and anger melted away when he saw her.

She was the most beautiful woman Shinji had ever seen. Regal and elegant, she had the grace and dignity of royalty. Her curly lavender hair looked as soft as silk and matched her flawless face. A bright pink low-cut dress clung to her alluring curves with a dark purple bodysuit underneath and a yellow scarf wrapped around her shoulders.

It was her eyes that cooled Shinji anger. There was so much pain in them, old pain that's been with her for so long, leaving her scarred by betrayal that left her alone. But even burdened by this injury, she still offered him a kind touch. Shinji placed his hand over hers and drew strength to stand against his despair.

"Thank you." Shinji stood but found the woman was taller still.

"It's horrifying how those we love can hurt us the most. Isn't it, Shinji?"

"Yes it is, madam." Shinji spoke cautiously, his relief gone that she knew him but he not her.

"I am Rose. Do not fear me, Shinji. I know you because I was there when Sagat took you under his shadow all those years ago; along with my teacher, the one who took your teacher away."

"The man I thought he was never existed." Shinji swallowed hard to keep the pain from spilling back out. "He has lied everyday I can remember. Every time we spoke, he spoke lies."

"The lies of the moon." Shinji looked at her quizzically so she elaborated. "It was his destiny, Shinji. The lies are a part that made Sagat who he is."

"And that is what he made me into: A lie."

Rose touched the dejected boy by the shoulder. "And now it is up to you to choose what you will do, Shinji. Do you continue this life or will-"

"No." Shinji cut her off. "I won't do that. I'm not going to continue what my fath-, what Sagat made me into. I hate him and I don't want anything to do with him. Not even Muay Thai."

"Just because the teacher is evil does not make their lessons evil, Shinji. Bison's evil is unfathomable but I have used what he taught me well, fighting him and the dark forces at every step. You can make your path a good one using Sagat's style."

"I can't! I can't use Muay Thai!" Shinji shook his fists which were strong thanks to Sagat. "I'll think of my fath-, that man every time I use it!"

"Then temper it with new styles, new techniques. Go forth into the world and learn. You will find many men and women who will show you so much." She kneeled down and looked Shinji in the eyes. "Become even stronger, Shinji."

Her eyes were beautiful. Shinji couldn't find it in himself to argue with her, nodding in understanding and agreement. "That makes sense, Rose. The world is large, larger than Thailand. I forgot that when I came here from Japan."

Rose spoke with the cautionary care of a mother. "Just be careful out there. You will find men eager to exploit you as Sagat had."

"You say that like you have experience."

The psychic nodded. "My gifts as a seer made the rich and powerful flock to me in droves to learn their futures. Many even tried to court me in a shallow attempt to have my skills at their beck and call. When bribes and proposals failed, kidnapping was often attempted." She smiled, still fragile but with humor. "To their dissatisfaction, trying to get the jump on a psychic is as impossible as one would think it would be."

"I will be careful. I promise." Shinji had to ease her worry. Rose was too kind a person for his arrogance to harm. He could already picture how her life has been.

The Italian Psychic was incredible lonely. Anyone who learned of her abilities immediately tried to worm their way in. Such shallow friendships left her cold to many. When Bison betrayed her, he hurt her badly; maybe even worse than when Sagat betrayed him.

Rose seemed to read his thoughts. Perhaps she could. "It was a dark day when Bison revealed his true intentions. My teacher was always so cold and pragmatic that we psychics never saw it coming." Rose smiled so sadly at the tiny joke. "His soldiers pillaged our burning facilities as he and his chief minions killed the council elders. I and a few others survivors fled into the woods. Our numbers will never be what they were but I will never stop fighting. I'll never let evil win."

"Count me among your allies." Shinji swore, refusing to allow such a hero to fight alone.

Rose just looked at him sadly. "You have had too much darkness in your life, Shinji. Darkness that I led Bison to. So let me lead you to a brighter future, Shinji."

And by saying that, Rose smiled ever so softly. In this dark world, the moments where she could do good were few and fall between. "You should study under a strong man who is kind with laughter in his heart, a man who stands for everything Sagat does not. A hero and not a villain. Zangief the Red Cyclone is the kind of man you should study under. Go to Russia, Shinji. You will find your future there."

"Zangief…" Shinji rolled the name through his mind. The man was famous and well regarded by the international community. His school has produced Olympic gold-medalists and famous wrestlers time and time again. "I think you're right, Rose. I will seek out Zangief. Thank you."

Shinji gave her a respectful bow, grateful for guidance in his dark hour. It was time to leave the darkness of Sagat's shadow and look towards a brighter future. His dark sojourn in Thailand was to end.

Rose watched the poor boy leave, serine over leading the boy away from Sagat's influence. Zangief would set him straight. He was a friend to all children. The psychic reached into her tarot deck to see Shinji's future.

Pain! Shearing pain carving into her soul by the scorching light of power! Unfathomable power! That Shinji's future!

And as Rose fell to her knees and gently sobbed, she came to a horrifying conclusion. All those years ago when she looked into Sagat's history and future, she was looking at Shinji's. He had lost his home in accordance to the Hanged Man, lived a life of lies under the Moon, and would gain power to shatter the planet by the Tower.

And Rose had started him on his journey. She had unleashed the Beast onto the world. The destruction he will wrought shall surpass that of the Red Ruler, the Raging Demon, and even the False God. Shinji shall go into the world and gain knowledge and power that will wound the world in a way that it will never recover; and it was all her fault.

"God forgive me." Rose cried, burying her face in her hands. Once again a horror had escaped into the world all because she was too blind to recognize evil when she saw it.

XXXXXXX

"What on earth did you do to make her cry, Shinji." Eagle whispered, watching the situation through high-powered binoculars from a hilltop a mile away.

Spending the last week recording how Sagat handled his loss had to be among the most frightening experiences in Eagle's life. That maniac tore through that forest faster than a dozen lumberjacks could ever hope to dream. Sure he was battered, bloody, and bruised but there was no chance in Heaven Eagle would have survived if Sagat caught him spying.

Eagle shuddered, remembering what that monster did to a cheap tabloid photographer who was stupid enough to take his picture while cleaning his new chest gash. They would never find the body.

But this reconnaissance did reveal the answer Eagle was looking for. Victor Sagat was indeed in league with Shadaloo. While the conversation was too far away to be taped, he now had photographic evidence of a direct connection between Sagat and Bison's crime syndicate; and this proved that Shadaloo had a powerbase in Thailand. Now the Thai government would have to be investigated.

Eagle pulled his radio out of his camping bag. It was time to transmit a message to those two I.C.P.O agents in command of the squad assigned to apprehend either Sagat or Shinji for further questioning. It did not seem a good idea to only have a pair of agents plus a squad tackle someone as skilled and dangerous as Thailand's top two Muay Thai fighters. But that was not his job anymore.

Eagle had completed his mission. He would be on an airliner the next day back to Liverpool while Interpol handled the rough work now. When he was assigned this mission, he thought competing in the Street Fighter's Tournament was life threatening. Arresting a maniac Sagat and his quite unstable apprentice was akin to suicide.

"But that is Agent Wallace and his lady partner's problem now." Eagle hit the button and began transmitting.

XXXXXXX

Night had fallen as Shinji made his way into city. He had finishing packing his backpack. It was filmed to the brim: A dozen sets of clothes, a passport, his bank cards and I.D., camping supplies, a bonfire kit, and his immunization records, one cannot be too careful in avoiding diseases in other countries.

He could not have left his home, Sagat's home, fast enough. All the terrible thoughts of his betrayal bubbled up and it took all of Shinji's willpower to keep from screaming. He rushed pass the manor's security, ignored the maids, stayed silent when the head chef asked what he'd like for dinner, and rushed into his chamber to pack his bags before rushing back out.

It was a house of evil and Shinji was terribly saddened that he would never come back. He could not live with the lies no matter how badly he wanted to. Sagat had betrayed him. He wasn't his father and this was not his home.

But Shinji couldn't let go of the past entirely. There was one last place to visit. The boarded up warehouse where he was fooled doing thinking he was serving the police. Before, this was where Shinji was so proud of himself serving order and now where he felt shame. He was used and he let himself be used.

Sagat focused his anger and let Shinji express it here. Those men Shinji had brought here to make scream. Even though they were criminals, Shinji wanted them to pay for their crimes, pay for hurting children like him. Thus like the angry little boy he was, Shinji let himself be led by the nose and just ended up strengthen Sagat's empire.

So Shinji came back to the warehouse. He had to come back to this awful place. He had to face this so he could turn his back on it. Rose gave him the strength to endure Sagat's betrayal. Now he had to find his own strength to stop his crimes from consuming him. He had done wrong and now it was time to atone.

Thus he came back to burn it down. His bonfire kit would work nicely. The warehouse was old and rundown that dust, grime, and rot. No one would complain except the crooks who worked here and they were away, most likely wondering why Sagat wasn't around. It was time to send this house of horrors to hell.

During this pyromaniac moralizing monologue, a blond American with mustache stubbles walked towards the pint-sized Muay Thai fighter. He was dressed in a lime green jacket with simple brown work pants. He walked with a casual stride like being in a dark section of Bangkok Thailand was natural.

Shinji noticed him once he started heading his way and fought hard the urge to bury his head in his palms. He could not be more obvious a cop than if he wore the uniform. Shinji wanted to leave this horrible as soon as possible place and now a cowboy cop was going to arrest him for being connected to Sagat. Being arrested here next to this mob run warehouse would net a long-term jail sentence then being finished by some poison thrown into his food bowl by an incarcerated colleague of his adopted father.

All Shinji could do was play it angry, not calculated, to lore the man into underestimating him as a gutter-rank thug. Give the cop some sass, take a busted lip, and sell out one of the heroine dealers in the neighborhood. A beating would be much more preferable than a prison sentence.

The officer casually reached into his jacket and flashed his badge. "Hello, Shinji. I'm Detective William Wallace of the I.C.P.O. currently assigned to Thailand. I'd like to ask you some questions."

Shinji wrinkled his nose in an annoyed manner. "What about?!" His hostile words were slurred like an uneducated brute. "I don't need to speak to a damn American!"

The Interpol officer took another step forward, taking the insult with a shrug, which worried Shinji as that most likely meant he already guessed his strategies. "Don't speak, just answer. That's all I want from you."

Wallace kept one hand in his jacket, obviously on his firearm; though he had yet to pull it out to point. Why was he keeping it there Shinji did not know. Interpol had to know just how dangerous he was so why hadn't the cop pulled out his weapon? Why was it still in its holster?

It clicked right then. So Shinji would keep his eyes on it.

Shinji dropped to the ground with all his speed just as the fastest kick he had ever seen tore through the empty space his head had occupied. And with that same lightning fast speed, the heel smashed into the blacktop he was rolling away from. The jackhammer level damage the heel drop did was followed with a sweeping kick that actually kicked up broken blacktop into the air.

Not daring to lose sight of his attacker, Shinji scrambled backwards in a desperate attempt to put ground between them. His attacker was a woman of Chinese decent with a very obvious hourglass figure. She wore a tight gold-embroiled blue qipao dress with long slits exposing her wide childbearing thighs and nylon-covered legs. The party dress was modified to allow full mobility for street fighting, exenterated by the white combat boots she wore. His curvy attacker's hair was done into two ox-horns tied by silk brocades and ribbons.

'Who is she mourning?' Shinji wondered as he scrambled back in a desperate attempt to put distance between him and his bewitching attacker.

She was quite beautiful in a savage tiger-like way. Her eyes were focused like steel forged in fury. The dainty fists striking him wore large spiked bracelets. She moved with such grace and speed that it was breathtaking to watch.

Shinji was too busy backtracking like a spooked critter to notice. 'Her kicks! By the Buddha, her kicks!'

Those kicks were doing a perfect job of forcing Shinji on the defensive. He had to get out of there. This woman was just too much for him. He could throw his backpack at her to set up an opening but her partner still had him in his sights. The strategist in Shinji knew that two against one was always bad odds. So he took his leave.

Shinji pitched a piece of blacktop that thunder thighs broke up right at her forehead. In an almost comical moment, the woman lost all sense of dignity and stumbled onto her bottom. One hand clomped over her brow; she glared at the pint-sized offender. "You little punk!"

Her target had already turned on his heels and went running into the warehouse. Chun-Li glared in the hope to mask the blush of embarrassment from being took down by such a dirty cheap trick. She hopped back up and gave chase. "Wallace, back me up!"

The aforementioned Interpol agent grabbed her shoulder. "Whoa there, Chunners! He just escaped into that pitch black warehouse he's been eyeing for the last five minutes. That just pretty much screams trap to me."

"Wallace, we don't have time!" she snapped back. "There are no other available agents in the immediate area and we can't trust the local P.D. since they're all in Sagat's pocket!" She gestured angrily at the entrance their target ran in. "He's our best chance to get to Sagat who's our best chance to get to Bison!" She screamed the last name with the most hate she could ever feel.

And Wallace knew why she was like that.

"Okay, Chunners. You lead, I'll give support." He pulled out his firearm and cocked it. "We need him alive so just cripple him."

"No promises!" She quipped back with an evil smile as she dashed inside after Shinji.

Inside, Shinji was working at a feverish pace running through the maze of hallways built in the warehouse. He knew every window was boarded up and there only two ways out: The front door and a trapdoor under the floorboards next to the furnace. It led to a crawlspace under the foundation that led to a secret panel outside. He knows because that was how he brought in the mob men without any outsiders realizing it.

Hopefully the two cops would try and cover the obvious exits, not realizing that the dirty cops on Sagat's payroll had boarded up all the windows and reinforced the marked exit doors just incase one of the animals he brought here got loose. They had built this place to work for them and now was the time it paid off for Shinji. Or, at least, he hoped it did.

He reached the furnace. As Shinji lowered to lift up the plank to the path outside, it suddenly occurred to him that his wide backpack with his identification, bank cards, MREs, train ticket, and clothes would be too big to fit through. Upon this realization did Shinji come to understood how useless plans were when they did not take the unprepared into account.

His only chance to escape now would be to duck around his pursuers and head back out the front door. Leaving his backpack would mean he would have to get out of Thailand as either a stowaway or by hoofing it. It could take him months to get to Russia!

But he was small and stealthy. Just ask Jowl Amon. His plan could work. It had to. He could hear the two lawmen coming closer.

"Shinji Sagat! This is Interpol! You are under arrest for crimes committed under the orders of Victor Sagat! Surrender peacefully or you will be harmed!" The male cop, Wallace, yelled to get Shinji to stand down.

"…" Shinji couldn't deny it. He was an accomplice of Sagat, unknowingly but still willingly. He was guilty. He couldn't change that. No matter what he did or wherever he went. It was going to follow him until he faced it. "I mustn't run away. I mustn't run away."

He was going to surrender. He had to pay for his crimes. Whatever they needed from him to bring down Sagat's criminal empire, he would provide. It was time to stop being a scared little boy and to grow up! His mind made up, Shinji turned around to find them and surrender peacefully.

Tragically that was when the cop with the lightning legs caught up to him. Even though she rushed up behind him at full speed, she had avoided having any of the floorboards squeak and give away her position. With one mighty mule-kick he crashed into the furnace. Literally. Her kick had struck so hard that he actually went through the scorched metal of the massive heater.

Normally, Shinji would think hard about this woman and how to handle her. She was easily the most formidable woman he had the displeasure of facing. He would marvel at her strength and prowess and aspire to be capable of what she was. But he was not normal. Far from it.

He has found those men he brought here to torture. He has learned what happened to them once he left. Burned alive. Within the giant cauldron of the furnace were the fruits of his labors. Corpses, skeletons, skulls, and bones. The six bodies he scorched here were melted down to charred bones covered in black meat. The swill of dead flesh bleached to the bone from gallons of disinfectant permeated throughout the massive metal coffin.

Shinji had seen dead bodies. He saw many die during Sagat's raid when he took him. He saw more die on the streets over the years. Death was a natural part of his life since coming to Thailand.

Rot however was not.

Shinji took so much pride in his accomplishments knowing it did some good. Sagat had showed him the ugly truth. Now, staring into the empty socket of a blackened skull, the final results of all his training and hard work, for the first time Shinji could feel disgust at himself and his actions. All the joy he took ripping into their flesh in his makeshift torture chamber twisted onto itself to become shame with one understanding: He was the son of devils.

He was a beast that hunted other beasts. They hurt children; he hurt them. They enjoyed what they did; so did he. He harmed for they harm. He hated for they hated. He existed because they existed. He was their son.

Never before had Shinji hated himself more.

It was pure, unabated by any other emotion. The primal urge of destruction was his and could not be contained. Shinji's soul was twisted into hate by the forging of murderous intent. And this dark power exploded.

XXXXXXX

(Suzaku Temple, Japan)

Ryu and Ken were paying their respects to their fallen teacher at the temple where he trained them when they felt the dark power. The readied themselves for their master's killer to appear but he didn't.

"Ryu, where is he? Where's Akuma?"

Ryu growled, fighting to keep his darkness within him. "This isn't him, Ken. It is another."

Ken rolled his eyes. "Oh great, there's one more we got to worry about."

XXXXXXX

(Genhanten Resturant, Hong Kong)

Gen stopped stirring the chicken and rice as he gazed around his restaurant. Yun and Yang were busy serving the customers their meals and Lee was adding the garnish to the bird's nest soup. None of them felt it. None of them felt him.

Gen smiled. With the onset of his leukemia, Akuma had lost interest in the old Kung-Fu master. He had begun to fear that he would never receive an honorable death and the disease would take him.

But now, now there was another. Soon, he will come to him to battle. It will be glorious.

There was a jaunty step in Gen's walk as he took the latest order to his nephews. Happy days were here again.

XXXXXXX

(The Cave of Fang Oni, Gokuentou Island)

The hellish heat from the island's volcano would kill all who ventured this close. But He Who Fought With the Evil Intent sat calmly and patiently deep in concentration. No amount of burning fumes blowing through the cave could break its spirit. It had transcended such physical limits.

The Supreme Master of the Fist opened its eyes. Akuma had awakened from its deep meditation. The dark power he perfected reaching him all the way from Thailand. This one was weak and still needed refinement. The seed of Murderous intent was still growing within this one's spirit. Right now it was too week for true combat.

It would pose to challenge to Akuma. Perhaps in the future will this one be worthy to face its glory.

XXXXXXX

(The airspace above the Cambodia/Laos boarder)

Bison frowned as he watched Sagat practice his lessons to master the power he offered. The delicious energy he felt was not coming from his Thai fighter. It was coming from the city they left. It had to be coming from Sagat's pupil.

It seemed Bison had taken the wrong one. Sagat still had the drive and potential, but the cub was coming along faster and more advance the one-eyed. The scarred King was progressing but far slower than expected.

The Shadaloo Emperor smiled evilly. There was a fine replacement if Sagat proved insufficient.

It was so good to have options.

XXXXXXX

Back in Thailand, Chun-Li stood proudly outside the furnace. She was indeed the strongest woman in the world. "Ready to give up, little boy?

She was not prepared from what emerged from the furnace. The beast howled as it tore through the metal. Shinji's opaque eyes chilled her soul as he backhanded her. The power behind it sent Chun-Li flying through the warehouse, a crack of thunder shattering the wood as she landed. Unconscious.

"Chun-Li!" Wallace screamed from down the hallway. He pulled out his gun and fired.

There was no fear in Shinji. His other hand lashed out in a savage arc, meeting the bullet and knocking it aside. Wallace's eyes shot opened. The bullet ricocheted off Shinji's fist as he came stampeding through the warehouse like a bull.

Wallace did the smart thing and jumped side and covered his head. The mad beast went by him out into the ghetto, screaming into the night.

He was behind their reach now. Wallace breathed a sigh of relief. "I swear to god, my self-defense classes didn't turn me into a super-powered killing machine." He picked himself up and dashed over to his partner.

"C'mon Chunners, wake up now!" He vigorously shook his partner's shoulder. He did not want to take his partner to a hospital here. Sagat owned Thailand and it wouldn't take much effort on his part to order a nurse to 'mistakenly' give Chun-Li an air-filled syringe. "Damn it, wake up! You need to-" his nose twitched. "What is that smell? Lime? Bleach?"

"Ugh…" she stirred, blinking slowly, a possible concussion hindering her. "What…did he hit me with?"

"A bitch slap but of course." Wallace joked as his partner got on her feet. "Shinji was in quite the mood when he got out of that huge heat box there. I don't know why he was here but he's gone now."

The headache got worst. Her best chance to get Bison was lost. Now Shadaloo's drug and slave trade will extend throughout Thailand and the Golden Triangle. What a bungle this operation has turned "—wait, ceramic pot? That's… not a kiln… s'at's a furnace..."

"Well then he kicked our butts after he popped out of the furn-" He shut his mouth as he looked within the metal heater. Was that…?

Wallace stood up and walked almost robotically looked into the wide hole his partner' kick made. The smell was even stronger inside it. If it was what he thought it was then—

"Jesus Christ…" The strong scent of lime and disinfectant, the lack of any ambient light, the maze-like corridors that lined the warehouse, added in the presence of a suspected Shadaloo operative. "Chun-Li, you really really need to get up now. There may be more coming and we need to get out of here."

She pushed herself up with her elbows, recovering from her head injury. "What is it, Wallace? Did you find something?"

"Yeah," his face twitched but the gag reflex was not employed. "This is a slaughterhouse."

XXXXXXX

The morning came for Shinji, safely aboard his train heading towards Russia. He looked worse from the encounter with his hands and knees shaking. The horror he saw hours ago had left him shaken and his sense of purpose rattled. For the first time that he could remember, he no longer wanted to live.

He no longer felt at peace but rather unto a serial killer. A lifetime of pain and frustration came bubbling out. His kidnapping and subsequent humiliation, Sagat proving his life a lie, even Rose's kindness was undone. The only thing that kept him from killing himself was that he hated himself too much to end his suffering.

Would this be enough to sustain him? Would he continue to hate himself to stay alive? Or could learn to love himself again and want to live in the world?

He would find the answers in Russia.

XXXXXXX

At Interpol main office in Bangkok, Detective Xiang and her partner were sharing a cup of coffee. Her head was being chilled by an icepack the doctor had given her. It still didn't do the job of soothing the real pain she was feeling.

"Like a barbeque pit?" Her eyes wrinkled in disgust. "But I didn't smell anything except all those cleaning product."

"Meaning Shadaloo did its homework setting up that death house." Wallace tossed her a folder. Inside were six record sheets for known Thai criminals whose crimes ranged from theft and larceny to sex and drug trade to murder. "Each of them were suspected for stealing from Sagat so it seems the big boss decided to make an example out of them."

Chun-Li read the coroner's report. "CSI states that each had to have been tortured before death due to missing hands and digits. Rather nasty stuff here. These men were made to suffer."

"Do you think Shinji was the one who did it?"

Chun-Li furled her lips, her typical gesture of contemplation. "Possible but doubtful. Shinji was there last night and was doing something in front of the furnace where they all underwent an abrupt cremation; but I find it hard to believe Sagat would have his own son do such menial grunt work. He can't be that much of a monster."

"Don't count on that, Chun-Li. There are plenty of kids with bad parents. Believe me." Wallace looked at her sadly, his eyes knowingly.

She didn't noticed and continued. "Most likely Sagat sent him there to strengthen his gut by handling dead bodies. I believe he was there to burn the place down under Sagat's orders."

"That makes sense, I suppose." Wallace agreed reluctantly. "But seeing his rage after coming out of the oven makes me doubt that. There's more to this boy than meets the eye. After seeing what his father is capable of might make him see what garbage he is. The kid might even come to our side."

"We need to find him."

Wallace gave her a dead stare.

"For questioning!" she retorted, feeling rather insulted that she was obsessing over this little kid. "Shinji Sagat is still are best chance to get Bison's new right-hand man. We need him, Wallace; and you know it."

"Well if that's what it's going to take then we're going to Russia." He handed her a photograph of a haggard and exhausted Shinji boarding his train. "Surveillance cameras showed the kid boarding a passenger train heading for Stalingrad, Russia."

She flashed him a gung-ho smile. "Then better get your winter coat, cowboy; because we're going after him!"

XXXXXXX
End Chapter One…
XXXXXXX

At last I finished my re-rewrite of Street Fighter Neo. I'm really happy with this, even though I had to cut out the 'Eye of the Tiger' song at the beginning but FFN has really been cracking down on authors who do songfics. I don't want this account to be banned too.

My main goal was to Shinji really feel like Shinji from the series. I gave him daddy issues and a miserable sense of loneliness for being betrayal of being betrayed by a father figure. Shinji incarnate. He really feels like the original character but raised in a different environment: The SF world.

I'm also glad how Rose turned out here. Instead of being the horn-dog I wrote her originally, I really feel like I captured her tragic lonely character. Sagat is also a nicely used. In the age of tvtropes, I'm embarrassed that the original story had a female stuffed in a fridge to give Shinji pathos. I feel so much better with myself that I removed her from the story.

Forgive me if I got any of the meanings behind the tarot cards wrong. I simply looked them up online and found different meanings on each site. So I most likely got them wrong. Tell me if I did.

Chapter 2 is going to get a full rewrite. Hopefully I'll get to it once I get my Beware the Batman fics uploaded. Truthfully, I'm in a real SF mood with news that Decapre will be the newest addition to the roster. Lita Luwanda and Saturdaynight Slammasters' the Wraith were my top pics but I'm not upset. At least it isn't another shoto.

Read and review, everyone!