Lightning is merely a force of nature, is it not? It's neither good nor evil and nobody can predict where it could next strike. This adage also holds true for the God of Thunder in his current state. It has become increasingly clear that Raiden was becoming unfit for his job as protector of Earthrealm. Yet nobody wanted to be the one to tell Raiden this for they feared being on the receiving end of his unhinged wrath. Only one other god was willing to submit the plight of other Earthrealmers to the Thunder God, and he was the Wind God.
Fujin knew exactly where to find Raiden and that would be the Sky Temple. He arrived at the temple on a bright and quite clear day. The sun was shining and not a single cloud as in the sky but he found that the more he approached the Sky Temple, the more that the bright blue sky became clouded out with blackened clouds. When he came closer, the clouds began shooting down lightning and crackling thunder! A storm was constantly raging at the Sky Temple but this storm was more intense than usual. A bolt of lightning even nearly hit Fujin. Had he not dived out of the way, he surely would've been killed by the electricity. Fujin got back up with a worried expression, "This is most unlike Raiden. He would never attempt to strike me unless…he knew why I was here."
Fujin wrapped himself up in a gust of wind, approaching the Sky Temple faster than he would on foot. He burst through the Sky Temple's door, finding himself in the main hall. The main hall of the Sky Temple was deceptively simple. The main attraction of it was the stairwell that led up to the higher levels, which there were plenty of. It would be easy for Fujin to get lost were it not for him hearing something coming from the Jinsei Chamber. He rushed up there, fearing the worst but what he found was something most disturbing.
He saw the dark Raiden in a circle comprised of the corpses of the first generation of the Earthrealm heroes who were murdered during the events of Outworld's invasion 20 years ago. He was only missing a select few that were already arisen from their graves. Fujin screamed, "Stop this madness, Raiden!"
Raiden turned to his windy counterpart with a spiteful grimace, "Hello, Fujin. I know why you're here." Fujin gulped, "Y-you do?" Raiden confirmed Fujin's suspicions, "You are here to revoke me of my position as Earthrealm's protector." Fujin nodded in a regretfully, "Correct, Thunder God. I do not wish to do this, but you leave me with little choice with what you're doing right now."
Raiden folded his hands together as his grimace turned to a menacing scowl, "Tell me what's wrong with what I am doing right now? I am merely resurrecting Earthrealm's greatest warriors."
"You are raising them as inhuman husks!" the Wind God objected but Raiden still felt as if there was no problem, "And? They will then serve me with no question, unlike the naysayers they originally were. I am Raiden, Protector of Earthrealm. Nothing will prevent me from protecting this realm, not even the humans in it. Their lives do not matter, they are merely mortals. What matters is the realm itself, the realm is eternal. As long as it exists, I will protect it."
"You…you've lost your mind!" Fujin yelled with the hope slowly draining out of him, "What is a realm without lives?" Raiden answered calmly, "It is a realm at peace. These mortals have wasted my time long enough, along with the Elder Gods. They choose only to interfere and help me in my darkest hour when the rules of their outdated Mortal Kombat have been broken? Yet when I go 'bad' they instantly call upon you and Shao Kahn to try and take me down?! I tire of these games. For all of eternity I've put up with it, but now…I will put up with it no longer!" Fujin tried to get another word in, but Raiden tackled him to the ground, "You are either with me, or against me Fujin!"
Fujin blew Raiden off, forcing him on the ground, "Then I am against you, old friend." Raiden growled in frustration, "Then you are a threat to this peace of Earthrealm, I am left with no choice but to subdue you. Come peacefully or I will take you down by force."
The Wind God shot out a gust of wind at the corrupted Thunder God but he avoided the attack with ease. Fujin was not as fortunate as a ball of electricity got him right in the chest, sending him down on the ground. Raiden picked his windy counterpart up by the neck, "I would almost be sorry for this…almost." Many volts of electricity were jolted through Fujin's body, he screeched in agony as Raiden slowly tried to finish him off. He broke free out of Raiden's grasp but after that scuffle, he was in no condition to fight so he took off in a tornado as quickly as he could.
Raiden looked upon the retreating Fujin with disdain, "Pitiful coward, run back to your Elder Gods! I don't need their permission to protect this realm."
He then turned to the corpses he had gathered from their graves with a sinister smirk, "I will have kombatants for the Mortal Kombat tournament against Outworld, even if the Earthrealmers do not wish to participate…"
Back in the Netherrealm, the search for Kuai Liang continued on both Hanzo and Noob's ends. It was inevitable that the both of them would run into each other and when they did a confrontation was sure to happen. Scorpion found his way on a bridge that connected one part of the hellish realm to another. Beneath it was a river of flaming hot lava. This left Scorpion undeterred until he felt something try to push him over. The Shirai Ryu nearly faced death but narrowly avoided it by rebalancing himself.
He looked behind himself, seeing three Brotherhood of Shadow cultists standing behind him. The cultists tried to grab him but he elbowed one in the face and clonked the other two's head together afterwards. He picked one up as he asked, "Where's Sub-Zero?!" The cultist chortled loudly, "That's what we want to know." Scorpion unceremoniously tossed the cultist in the river of fire beneath them, "Then you are of no use to me."
The other two zealots took Scorpion by the arms. They seemingly had him until he shook them off. The robed warrior fell onto the ground, looking defeated. Scorpion scoffed at their efforts, "Pathetic, absolutely pathetic." Before he could leave, one grabbed his leg causing him to trip up. The cultist got back up, still holding Scorpion's ankle in his clawed hands. He dangled the former wraith just a hair above the lava beneath them, "You will serve the Brotherhood or you will die."
Scorpion counterattacked by flipping back onto the bridge, sending the cultist into the lava instead. He looked at the final cultist with his eyes turning from normal to a blank white. He inquired just one thing, "I thought you freaks worshipped Shinnok…and he's gone. What's your game now?"
"Our game is to take back the Netherrealm to its rightful owners, us," the zealot answered, "Shinnok proved to be a failure of a god, we no longer worship him. Who we worship now is Noob Saibot, the warrior who was strong enough to survive a Soulnado! He will bring greatness to the Netherrealm once again! He will unite us under one! We will—" before he could finish his little rant, Scorpion knocked him over the edge mid-sentence, "All I needed to know."
He marched on with anger boiling inside of him. Though he had made amends with Kuai Liang, Hanzo's feelings for the other Sub-Zero brother were still quite mixed. Speaking of the younger one, he was still trying to figure out a way out of the Netherrealm. He seemingly found his way out when he met a woman who seemingly wasn't out to get him. This woman had short darkened hair with a single white streak. Sub-Zero greeted her, "Excuse me miss, but I have a question."
She turned to him as if she knew what he was looking for, "Looking for a way to escape?" He was baffled that she knew, "Why yes, that's exactly what I'm looking for. How did you know?" She sighed longingly, "That's what many others look for, even me." His head went down when he heard that, "So I take it you don't know a way out."
"I do, actually."
"You do?" Sub-Zero inquired, "Where is it, then?" She nodded, motioning for him to follow her, "Allow me to show you." The two walked together in silence until Sub-Zero spoke up, "So…what is your name?" She introduced herself, "I am Sareena, former member of the Brotherhood of Shadow. I happen to know all about you, Sub-Zero."
He gasped when he heard her say his name, "But…how?" She explained, "I knew your brother, the elder Sub-Zero. He too was trapped here until I helped him escape." He slightly smiled, "He was a good man, wasn't he?" She smiled back, "He helped me realize that…there's more to me than just being a demon." The two of them remained quiet after that, not having much else to talk about.
They finally arrived at a large upright stone circle, the very same one Shao Kahn used to escape from here. She pointed towards the gate, "That's your way out. Goodbye, Sub-Zero." He looked at her, "And you are not leaving too?" She shook her head, "I'm afraid not the Netherrealm is my home and it is where I will stay." He grabbed her arm, "You deserve to leave this place just as much as I do, Sareena." She pulled out of his grasp, "I can't leave. If I do, in due time I will revert to my demonic form. This is the only place where I am able to retain my more human looks for long."
The younger Sub-Zero continued his attempt to persuade her, "Sareena—" but she still declined, "You must understand, I cannot go. You must hurry before the Brotherhood finds you here."
Another voice interjected, "I believe it's too late for that." Their gaze turned to where the voice came from and it was Noob, "I knew I'd find you here. Trying to leave so soon, brother?"
Sareena noticed when he said brother, "Brother…? Wait, Sub-Zero?!" Noob chuckled, "It's been awhile, hasn't it Sareena? Things have changed since we last met. I no longer go by that name." She couldn't believe it, "You can't be elder Sub-Zero! The Sub-Zero I knew worked against the Brotherhood…not with them."
"I'm not the Bi-Han you knew, I'm better than that," Noob bragged, "I, like you, broke free of Quan-Chi's control but unlike you I'm going to use my newfound freedom to take this realm as my own." Kuai glared at his former sibling, "What makes you think we'll let you get away with that?" Noob doubted his younger brother's conviction, "What do you mean by we?" Sub-Zero's hand motioned towards Sareena, which only made Noob smugger, "Her? She wouldn't betray her old friend like that, would she?"
Sareena looked at the two brothers, she knew Bi-Han and once even held feelings for him but she stood by Sub-Zero, "You are not my old friend. Like you said, you're not Bi-Han you've changed." This seemed to actually affect the wraith, his gaze turned away for just a split second before it turned back to them, "Then…I suppose you've made your choice. I can't change that but I can remake you like I was remade."
They both backed away when he mentioned that. "What…what do you mean?" Sareena asked with the fear growing inside of her. Noob grew a psychotic grin beneath his facemask, "You will become my bride, Sareena. Together, we will rule the Netherrealm. Kuai will be remade too and we'll be a family together."
Sub-Zero shot out a ball of ice but it was intercepted by Enenra. "Enenra can be part of it too!" Noob added. Enenra remained silent at the proposition but both Sareena and Sub-Zero were clearly against it. "Never," Kuai objected, "I refuse to become like you." Noob's grin turned to a scowl, "I don't think I gave you a choice." Before they both could attack, Liu Kang's revenants came in to save the both of them. Noob and Enenra vanished before they could attack. Sub-Zero got ready to fend the revenants off but they didn't seem hostile, in fact they seemed quite friendly.
"We are not here to fight you," Kung Lao stated calmly, "We're here to talk is all." Sub-Zero let his guard down, "Alright fine. What is it about?" "Follow us," Stryker suggested. Both the cryomancer and the demon were quite suspicious of their true intentions. "If you really wanted to talk, then you'd do it here," Sub-Zero pointed out. Sareena agreed with that sentiment, "We aren't moving. If you want to talk, then we talk here."
The revenants talked amongst themselves before reaching a conclusion. "We'll have to get the king and queen here immediately, then," Sindel spoke out. Kung Lao nodded before vanishing to retrieve them.
With all the chaos going on in the other realms you'd think Edenia would be toiling all the same but for once in a long time, things were quiet. The cannons, mortars, and clashing weapons of various opposing factions were silenced by Shao Kahn's sudden hostile takeover. No warrior wanted to be the one who were met with a mallet in the skull in an effort to oppose him.
He sat upon the throne in the Edenian royal palace, which was being renovated by what was left of Tanya's guerilla soldiers. His pride grew stronger from the lack of opposition for it showed that nothing changed since he was resurrected. He was the same frightening savage of a monarch that people feared more than a millennia ago. Rain walked into the throne room, kneeling before his new leader, "We have combed the wastelands yet there are no signs of any Outworld spies so far."
Shao Kahn was pleased by this news, "Good, good. Perhaps that Kotal Kahn knows better than to try and instigate anything." He sat there for a solid minute before asking Rain a question, "Tell me, Rain. Just what has transpired in Outworld since my absence that would allow Edenia to split like it did?"
Rain turned to his emperor, "It is a long story, Lord Kahn." The warlord cared not for how long it was, "I have all day to listen, I wish to know." Rain folded his hands, bowing before him, "Just as well, your majesty…"
"It all started when you had died," Rain started to explain, "our realm was split between two sides. The side that felt Mileena should become empress and those that felt she was unworthy of the title. Yet those who did not back Mileena did not have a leader until Kotal Kahn came into the picture. He seemed like the perfect leader to them. At that point a civil war started in Outworld, I was aligned with your daughter as was Tanya. Deciding to end the civil war, we needed a place to set up a new ruler ship. That place was Edenia."
Shao Kahn stopped him, "Why Edenia of all places?"
"Tanya and I wanted it freed, so Mileena followed."
The Emperor laughed a hearty chortle, "Tanya? She who helped sold it out in the first place? She must've had a deeper agenda."
Rain gulped, "Deeper agenda my lord? Surely you are mistaken."
Shao Kahn said no words as all need to do was merely look Rain in the eye. The Edenian prince buckled beneath his glare, "Alright, alright we were going to betray Mileena and take Edenia for ourselves!" Kahn's stone cold glare did not relent as he spoke yet again, "What happened to Mileena?" Rain answered with a hint of faux sorrow, "She was betrayed but not by us, but by D'vorrah."
The Emperor tilted his head at that name, "Who?" "D'vorrah," Rain answered, "it's a long story. She was sided with us until she tried to claim Edenia for herself. That's when it fell apart. Our side and D'vorrah's side went to war. Alas neither side was strong enough to overcome the other. It did not help that Kotal's armies began marching back in to try and reclaim Edenia for Outworld."
"Well I have located one side of this conflict myself, what of the other?"
"You mean D'vorrah's," Rain inquired. Kahn nodded to which the half-god responded, "We do not know where that pitiful bug lies, but we will search everywhere until we find her." Kahn was pleased by this promise, "When you do, tell me. I want to squash her myself." Rain agreed, "As you wish."
Kahn pointed to the door, "You are dismissed, Rain." Rain nodded and bowed before exiting the throne room diligently. As soon as he left, Ermac floated in. He kneeled before his creator, "Master, we have a question." Kahn motioned his hand, showing Ermac was allowed to speak on.
"Well," Ermac continued, "we were wondering how much longer we would be keeping an eye on Jade. Surely this charade cannot last much longer."
"We must keep it up for as long as we can, Ermac. Until further notice you must keep watch of her. Speaking of which, where is she?"
"She was roaming the temple—" before the soul composed warrior could finish they both heard a loud crunch and screaming. Kahn rose from his throne, marching out of the room and to where they heard to scream. As he walked in, he saw Jade standing over a fallen Tanya. Kahn growled, "What happened in here?!"
"I…I don't know, something just came over me," Jade answered. Ermac floated in soon after his master, "We heard screaming. Why is Tanya on the floor?"
Jade backed away from the both of them, "Something about her just made me lose control, as if we did not get along before my memory wipe." Kahn was equally as impressed as he was angry about all of this, "Make sure it does not happen again, or else you will be the one on the floor next time." Ermac came to her defense, "She could not help herself, our emperor. Next time she will be able to control herself, we're sure."
She smiled at him as he defended her. Kahn noticed her smile while fearing the worst in his mind. He sneered as he turned to the soul composed warrior, "Perhaps you were right, Ermac. You are dismissed from keeping an eye on Jade."
"Sir that is not necess—"
"Yes it is. You will now comb Edenia with Tanya, when she recovers."
"But who will keep an eye on her if we shall not?"
"Rain will, effective immediately."
Rain rushed in as soon as he heard his name, "Do not worry, dear emperor for I shall watch her like a hawk." Jade raised her finger, "Do I get a say in this?"
Kahn raised his hand to her face, "No." Rain placed his arm around her shoulder, "Don't be so worried for I will keep just as good of an eye on you as Ermac does." Her head cocked back as he moved closer to her, "Well if you say so." "Oh I know so," the Edenian half-god replied with suave confidence. He started marching off with her in tow. She turned back to Ermac waving at him.
This gesture confused him but he thought nothing of it. Shao Kahn smirked as she was hauled off by Rain, "There Ermac, aren't you glad to have that burden removed?" He lowered his head, "Of course, our liege." The emperor patted him on the back, "I knew you would be."
Back in the Netherrealm, deep within the Brotherhood of Shadow's compound Noob returned. His rage was palpable as when one of his worshippers hovered over to them, the wraith picked the cultist up by the neck. The cultist looked at his master with pleading eyes but that did not help as Noob tossed the cultist. Enenra caught the flying cultist, placing him safely back on the ground. Noob continued into the hideout until he found himself in his very own throne room.
The walls were made out of brimstone, a dark red variety of it. Four glass tubes filled with magma shot out of the walls and into the back of the throne. The throne was stone gray in color with openings, revealing the magma that flowed from the tubes and into the throne. Beneath the throne was a glass panel, revealing more magma that went through the tubes. Noob sat upon his throne, resting his head against his fist. He groaned, "How could they reject my offer, Enenra?"
Enenra remained silent, unable to speak his mind. Inside Enenra was Tomas who was screaming to break free of Saibot's control, yet he could not express these feelings of wanting freedom yet Noob's shadow kept him silent. The wraith ran his fingers across the armrest of the throne, "Doesn't matter anyway, they will be forced into it whether they like it or not. Just like you, actually. I might grant Sareena the ability to speak but only if it's what I want to hear."
The smoky wraith still did not respond. Noob got up from his throne choosing to make his way for Enenra. He placed his hand on his unwilling partner's cheek, "Ahh yes, you are quite a good listener. Maybe I'll keep them like you, they'd all be much better this way." Enenra had no emotional response to that. Noob chuckled sadistically, "You know what? I will, thanks for convincing me. Now kneel." The shadow beneath Enenra took a knee, forcibly making him kneel along with it. Noob lifted his arm up, forcing Enenra to suddenly jolt back up without warning.
"They're probably being tortured by the hands of the pathetic king and queen of this realm anyway," Noob noted, assured that they'd get punishment if not from him then from them. He paced around the room, "Yes but I still need both Kuai and Sareena for my army, they would be quite strong additions to it." Enenra finally spoke up in an almost liquidy voice as it sounded as if he was constantly gargling something, "What of Shao Kahn? He still exists." Noob shrugged the emperor off as nothing, "He has no stake in the Netherrealm so we needn't worry about old Shao Kahn."
Enenra's suspicions were not quashed by Noob's reassurance, "If his talk of being the Elder Gods' champion be true, he may yet have a stake in our realm. He will try to stop our uprising and put an end to both our and Liu Kang's side." Noob hadn't considered his talk of being the champion but again he did not seem to care all too much, "That's just talk of a madman, Enenra! He is no champion of the people for he is merely a delusional psycho trying to rally people under him by claiming such a thing."
"Not unlike yourself, yes?"
Noob raised his finger, seeming like he had a response but he lowered it back down. He just remained silent while looking at his assistant. His gaze turned to that of rage, "Who are you to make such observations? Perhaps my chains on you need to be tightened." The gray wraith pleaded with his master, "No! You…you don't need to do that, I'm sorry!" Noob shook his head, "I never said you got to have freewill, Vrbada. Even what slightest bit you have left is too much." Noob snapped his pitch black fingers, making Saibot forcibly throw Tomas onto the ground. Tomas struggled against his invisible attacker yet it was a fruitless effort.
The shadow faded away, making it seem like he had a chance for freedom? As he was about to find out he could not be more wrong as a pitch black oily substance started leaking out of his eyes. His vision was going blurry, but he could still feel the substance leaking out of his mouth. It seeped through his mask, covering his face entirely. As more dripped out, he violently coughed. Even if he could not see this horrid liquid cover his body, he could feel it. The feeling was a tingly sensation running down his spinal cord, leading it through all of his nerves. It was an indescribably bizarre sensation that overwhelmed his entire body. He let out one last scream before whatever this was covered his entire body.
Noob motioned upward with his arms, making Enenra rise. This new Enenra was mostly black much like his master, yet the orange veins he used to have are still there along with the burning orange eyes. The smoke rising from his body was no longer a cloudy light gray but a smoggy black. Finally, Enenra threw his facemask to the ground, revealing that beneath it he no longer had a mouth he could use to speak up against Noob. It seemed like he was finally perfect but Noob seemed like he was not pleased yet, "You're looking good, Enenra. Much better than before might I add, but yet this process isn't done just yet." Enenra's stiff stance did no change at all when he said that.
Noob pointed forward, which made the newborn wraith walk in said direction, albeit in a jerky and unnatural fashion. Noob was satisfied by this but he still knew there was more to this to come. For now though, he would focus his efforts on Liu Kang and his army. Then he would soon take the advice he had heard from what used to be Enenra and worry about Shao Kahn…