"Follow me, Chan. Raiden asked me to lead you to him," Kira stated as she and Chan were running through the empty streets of Russia.
"What about Kobra?" Chan asked. Kira was silent for a moment.
"Let's just run," Kira responded. They end up running into a dead end. Kira looks at Chan with fear in her eyes. Suddenly, a dark-skinned figure with silver hair approaches them. She wielded a short katana and was prepared to use it. Kira rushes to her, but she is quickly killed as the woman decapitates her.
"This can't be happening. What's going on here?" Chan asked. The figure turned out to be Jataaka. She disengaged her sword and began to laugh wholeheartedly.
"I don't know what Kira saw in you. Can't you see, Hornbuckle? This is a trap," Jataaka responded. Suddenly, Shinnok and Quan Chi arrived before Chan while guarding his only way out. Chan was terrified by their presence, but he was also angered by what they did to Kira. Quan Chi smiled as he began to speak.
"Welcome, Shaolin warrior. Your Thunder God is beaten; Earth's warriors, destroyed. You are the last remnant of the Forces of Light. Do you wish to beg for mercy from your new master, Lord Shinnok?" Quan Chi taunted. Chan clinched his teeth as he knew it was all over. He decided to make one final stand.
"NEVER SORCEROR!" Chan dashed for the exit. Quan Chi glanced over to Shinnok. Shinnok's eye glowed green. He prepared to kill Chan, but suddenly he woke up.
"Chan, are you alright?" a voice called out. It was Raiden. Apparently, Chan fell asleep while standing on the boat. He looked around and realized just how beautiful the sea was.
"Yeah, I'm ok. I just had a bad nightmare. It felt so real," Chan said. He began to rub his forehead as he tried to remove the memories.
"Why don't you go and meet your new allies in this tournament? It should help you clear your head," Raiden suggested. Chan nodded.
"Thanks Raiden," he responded. Chan walks over to two other Earthrealm warriors who were conversing with each other.
"What's up? It's Cage. Johnny Cage," the man greeted. The woman rolled her eyes in disgust.
"I don't have time for this," she muttered. "Either be serious or go away." She looks at Chan as she notices his presence. "Are you here to harass me too?"
"Err…no. I was just being friendly. My name is Hornbuckle. I was thinking maybe we could talk about the upcoming tournament."
"I'm not interested in this tournament. I have a personal mission. The name's Sonya by the way," she says as she walks away from the two of them.
"Don't steal my thunder kid. I saw her first. Hey, wait up!" Johnny Cage said as he walked behind Sonya. Chan was confused. He then turned around and saw a group of three people arguing. It was two men and a young woman.
"I've returned from the dead after you killed me. You stole your older brother's costume and tried to push the blame on him when you killed me. I will have my revenge."
"The Shirai Ryu is dead. You are just a soulless corpse and a puppet."
"First I shall kill you. Then I will kill that witch, Tesla. The Lin Kuei shall also fall to my wrath."
"As much as I'd like to see you two rip each other apart, I'd like to remind you both that everyone on this boat is under contract. If either of you fight before you are allowed to, you'll face deadly consequences."
"Hey guys. I couldn't help but overhear that the three of you were discussing the tournament. I was thinking maybe we could talk before we go out there, so we'll know there are no hard feelings," Chan says. Both the Lin Kuei warrior and the Shirai Ryu warrior give Chan an evil glare. He becomes a bit startled. They then leave his presence and go to another area of the boat. Chan looks towards the ground as he discovers that it's hard to make friends on this boat.
"Don't mind them. Their feud is too strong to be concerned with a mere mortal." Chan looked up and saw the pale skinned woman. She was clad in a purely original Lin Kuei suit without the mask. It was a plain blue sleeveless shirt with black shorts. She had a belt around her waist with 12 different charms around her belt. She didn't even have the vest. Her hair was shaped in a bob and was snow white with mist coming from it.
"You fight for Outworld, right?" Chan asked.
"The Lin Kuei has been tasked with assassinating you and the other three Kombatants. I find it funny how even though there are only three people from Outworld participating in this tournament, we still chose to turn against our own realm for mere money," she explained.
"Aren't you my enemy?"
"I'm only your enemy if you want me to be. I heard you've been having problems with some missing friends, or at least that's what you've been yelling while you were asleep. It seems we have a common enemy," the assassin stated.
"That's why I'm here. It was my brother's job to save Earthrealm, not mine. He and Kung Lao chose to fight somewhere else with Fujin while I'm stuck with fighting in this tournament. Whether we win or lose, all I really wish for is the safety of my friends," Chan confirmed. The Assassin tosses Chan a purple charm in his hand as she walks off.
"My name's Frost."
"Is that your real name?" Chan asked.
"Not much realer than the name Hornbuckle. We all have nicknames; and you won't get special treatment from me," she replied.
Forty-Five minutes have passed. Chan was reading letters that were sent by his friends Kira and Kobra, whom have both gone missing for the past week. The ship had finally started approaching the island's shore.
"We're here," Raiden said. Chan put away his letters and looked onto the Island. "Are you feeling ok?"
"I've never felt better," Chan states as he looks at Frost. She was speaking with Subzero.
"I see you've grown fond of the Lin Kuei warrior," Raiden teased.
"Ah, so you have a thing for ninja cosplay. Hornbuckle right?" Johnny Cage asked as he walked behind them. "The name's Johnny Cage. Sorry about brushing you aside before, I was just making my move with the hot blonde." Johnny then turned his attention towards Sonya, who didn't even look at him.
"No, it wasn't anything like that," Chan confirmed.
"Oh, is it someone else? You got a girl back home?" Johnny questioned more.
"Perhaps Kira is the one you're saving your affection for." Raiden added.
"Kira? As in the Japanese word for Killer? Yeah, good luck with that one," Johnny brushed off.
"She's not a murderer," Chan said.
"She may not be, but that woman is." Raiden directed his attention to Frost. She glanced in his direction and walked to another part of the deck. "They call her Frost. She took on the codename after the previous two Lin Kuei warriors who took on that codename were killed. Unlike those two, she's no hero, nor is she an anti-hero. She only seeks to destroy you. Watch yourself around her," Raiden advised.
"You won't have to tell me twice," Johnny Cage responded.
Once the boat reaches the shore, each of the Kombatants walk off the boat and are escorted to the Courtyard. It is currently Sunset. Once they've arrived at the courtyard, they spot many unfamiliar faces there.
"Raiden, do you think you can reiterate exactly who is who again?" Chan asked. Raiden nods.
"That would definitely help," Johnny Cage added.
"The Elder sitting on the Throne is Shang Tsung. Standing beside him to the left is Jade and Kitana, who is the stepdaughter of Shao Kahn. Tanya and Baraka stand on the right. To the walls on the right are the Edenian trio consisting of Rain, Tesla, and Raskal. Rain is Tanya's half-brother and he is the Son of Argus."
"You mean the Elder Lord of Edenia?" Chan asked.
"That is correct. One other clarification is that Tanya's father is only Rain's adoptive father," Raiden added.
"Yeah, we'll keep it as Brother and Sister," Johnny Cage suggested.
"Beside them is the NetherRealm spectre Scorpion. To our left are Subzero and your friend Frost. It seems that Sektor and Cyrax have joined them. Finally, right next to them is…"
"Kano!" Chan, Johnny Cage, and Raiden looked at Sonya who stared at Kano in anger. "I swear I'll capture you soon. You'll pay for what you've done."
"You know him?" Chan asked.
"He's the leader of the Black Dragon. He murdered my old partner and best friend, Sgt. Capitol. I'll never forgive him."
"So…how come no one here is arresting him?" Johnny asked.
"Who knows?" she answered. "I suspect they are working with him. My partner is missing somewhere on this island."
"Do you think my friends might be here?" Chan asked. However, before he could get an answer, Shang Tsung began to speak.
"Welcome Kombatants! You are here to participate in the tenth, and final, tournament for the survival of Earthrealm. You must fight and defeat all seven of Outworld's representatives along with the champion, Reptile. Once you defeat him, you will face the ultimate challenge, me." Shang Tsung explained proudly. Johnny Cage chuckles as he glances towards Sonya.
"He's the final challenge? They should just give me my medal right now," Johnny Cage boasted. Sonya closed her eyes and sarcastically smiled.
"Then why don't you ask him for one," Sonya chuckled as she pointed to the right of Johnny. He looks to his right and is startled by the appearance of Shang Tsung.
"Outworld has the finest crafters of Silver and Gold. If you survive, I'll make sure that Li Mei makes you plenty of medals when we win this tournament," Shang Tsung states as he floats back to his seat.
"Somebody's in trouble now," Sonya remarked.
"For our first match, we will have Mr. Johnny Cage!" Shang Tsung announced. The monks cheered for Johnny Cage. He looks around and enjoys the support.
"Yeah, that's right. Who wants a piece of this?" Johnny Cage taunts. He walks onto the courtyard and removes his Jacket and Shirt. He flexed his muscles and winks at Sonya. She looks away in disgust only to see Kano laughing at her while drinking his alcohol. His laugh upsets her even more.
"Your opponent will be Baraka!" The Outworld warriors began to loudly cheer on Baraka as he hops onto the courtyard.
"Is that mask really necessary for this fight?" Johnny Cage asked. Baraka unleashes his blades and makes a throat slitting hand sign towards Johnny.
"Those blades! How did you do that?" Johnny Cage asked.
"You'll find out once they rip apart your flesh," Baraka threatens. Everyone is quiet as they wait for Shang Tsung to begin the match.
End of Chapter 1