Oh hai. I know, I know — a lot of you are probably like, "WTF? Why the quick update?" The answer to that is, well... I don't have a good answer; this chapter is just... ready. Not only is it ready, but the research involved probably put me on, like, five more internet watch lists (because the research involved for MLS and OtB? Whooo boy...)

10/2022: A quick note here is that this chapter might rub some people the wrong way. I don't condone the actions you're about to read, but just know that there were consequences for these actions further down the line that weren't showcased "onscreen" (but mentioned later).

Onward~


Mary Ryan was not having this shit.

Not today.

Not ever.

She held her head up high as she walked, shoulders squared, into the Pao Pao Café, where, as luck would have it, her target was located at the moment. He was, unsurprisingly, with his sister and his best friend, and it looked like they were having one hell of a conversation. Mary continued forward, never taking her eyes off the trio, who simply radiated chaotic dumbass energy.

The detective felt almost like she was walking in slow-motion; the distance between the front door and the expansive bar wasn't always this far… was it? Whatever — it didn't matter. As she drew closer she reached behind her back, unclipped a heavy-duty stun gun from her waistband and deftly switched it to the armed position; she smirked when she noticed that she had been spotted — not by her target (who was right in front of her now), but by his companions, who were both facing her general direction. Before either could even make the slightest sound, she viciously pressed the stun gun against the small of Ryo Sakazaki's back and activated it.

"Oh, shit!"

Yuri Sakazaki and Robert Garcia yelled at the same time when Ryo fell off his stool and hit the floor hard.

"Stay back," Mary warned the couple (and other bystanders as well), her normally high, almost child-like voice nearly a full octave lower. Once she was certain that no one would interfere she put the stun gun away and squatted down beside Ryo, who was trying desperately to sit up.

"You're probably wondering what the hell just happened," she told him casually, her voice back to its usual cadence and clarity. "See, you just took fifty-three million volts of electricity… right in the back. Fifty-three million! From what I understand, that really hurts. But do you know what else hurts?"

Mary paused so Ryo could at least make an attempt to answer her question, however, all that came out was a tortured grunt.

"It hurts when the people you love are hurting and you can't really help them," she went on. "I mean, you can offer all the moral and emotional support in the world… or you can take matters into your own hands if their pain was caused by somebody else… But I think you knew that already, huh."

Mary quickly glanced upward, just in time to see Yuri give Robert a look. He subtly nodded at her before taking a hesitant step forward.

"Hey, Mar —" he slowly began.
"Shut it Garcia, or you're next," the cop barked. She turned her attention back to Ryo, who had graduated to a slightly upright position and glared daggers at her.

"Y-you?!" he grunted weakly.
"Yup! Anyway. So, yeah, it sucks. I've done what I can… and I'll keep doing what I can to help her. Unlike you, who has caused her nothing but grief in the short time that you've known about what happened!"

With that, Mary rose to her feet and pulled her handgun from the shoulder holster under her jacket, ignoring the frightened gasps of those around her as she inspected the firearm.

"This is Matilda," she stated, almost thoughtfully, as she held the weapon so Ryo could see it. "She's a Glock twenty-two and holds fifteen rounds of ammunition. Smith and Wesson, copper bullets, yadda yadda yadda — I won't bore you. Anyway, I don't like using her so she's only made a guest appearance a handful of times because I kinda prefer my hands when I get down and dirty, but whatever."

Unable to form a coherent sentence, Ryo angrily looked up at Mary, who was staring at the gun in her hand.

"He hurt her," she continued. "Bad. So I shot him — twice that night. And then two more times later. I shot him four times for hurting her the way he did. Like this."

In a single motion Mary switched Matilda to her left hand, and without even looking, fired four shots, each one directly into a different bottle of alcohol behind the counter, undeterred by the screams of the patrons in the establishment.

"What the hell are you doing?!" Richard Meyer, the Pao Pao's owner (and an acquaintance of Mary's) yelled while he rushed toward her from his place on the other side of the bar.

"Put it on my tab, Richie," she called as she calmly holstered the gun while looking directly at Yuri, who was holding on to Robert for dear life.

"Have you talked to her today?"
"Nuh-nuh-no," Yuri stammered, her large eyes overflowing with fear. "Umm...y-you?"
"Last night. Or this morning, really. Brought her some xanny."
"D-does that mean she's…?" Robert started to speak up, unusually timid.
"It took the edge off, if that's what you're wondering," Mary began. "She's —"

All of a sudden Mary found herself off balance as a dull, heavy pain shot through her ankle. She tried to catch herself but she went down hard, with her elbow and upper glute taking the brunt of the impact.

"Brother!"

Yuri yelled at Ryo, who gingerly pulled himself into a standing position. He placed a hand on his lower back, where the stun gun's sharp prongs had made contact, and hissed while glaring at Mary, who was massaging her elbow.

"I think I know what your problem with me is," Ryo said crossly, "But I didn't do anything wrong! All three of you are overreacting, and I'm done listening to it!"

With that, Ryo began walking away. Meanwhile, Robert face-palmed at the same time Yuri raised her eyebrows, disbelief all over her face.

"Dude!" Robert groaned.
"'Overreacting?!'" Yuri exclaimed.

Mary wordlessly jumped to her feet, her usually even temper finally hitting a dangerous boiling point. She spun on her heel and leapt toward Ryo with a flying elbow that would have struck him dead between the neck and shoulder had he not turned and blocked the hit at the last second. He swiftly grabbed Mary by her shirt, executing a brutal shoulder throw that sent her right back to the floor.

"You want a fight!?" Ryo asked as Mary picked herself up. "I'll give you a fight! And when it's over you can tell King that she's making too big a deal out of this!"
"Too big a deal out of this?!"

Mary deftly removed her jacket and threw it at Ryo, completely catching him off-guard; he swiped it away just in time to block a quick elbow and retaliate with a crushing side kick that caught Mary's hip. Ryo was prepared to block high, but was taken by surprise when Mary went low with her notorious Straight Slicer slide kick; it connected with his ankle and momentarily wobbled him.

"You haven't been there," she shouted as she tried to snatch Ryo's leg. She had him for just as second before he slipped out of what would have been a very nasty submission hold. "You haven't seen what this has done to her!"
"I haven't been there because I've been in the dark about this whole thing!" Ryo retorted while taking a step away from Mary, who was back on both feet — and angry. She could see him gearing up for his Hien Shippu-whatever-the-hell-it-was-called, so she rolled out of the way the second he came at her with that trademark flying knee and crouched down before lunging forward in an attempt to grab him from behind.

"Why do you think that is?!" Mary exclaimed as Ryo pivoted and tried to hit her with an uppercut. She quickly dodged the punch, created some distance, and dropped her arms, lulling Ryo into a false sense of security as he threw a straight right hand at her — which is exactly what she wanted. She closed her hand around Ryo's and sharply jerked his entire arm to the side; he cried out, startled, while he stumbled, which allowed Mary to vault upward with a side flip, his hand still in her grasp: She hooked the back of her knee around his neck, joined her legs together, which locked his head in place, and used her weight to pull him all the way to the floor. Once he was down she rolled over him, her legs still in place, and hyper-extended his arm.

"She knew —" Mary gritted her teeth and clenched her legs around Ryo tighter as he tried to worm his way out of her hold — "that you were going to be a total jerk about it, but the rest of us gave your trifling ass the benefit of the doubt! We all told her she was being paranoid — that you could never see her as flawed or damaged, but you proved everyone wrong!"

With that Mary wrenched Ryo's arm harder while squeezing his neck with her legs. He used his free arm to rapidly tap the side of her knee, but she didn't let go.

"Mary! Please stop," Yuri exclaimed from her place beside Robert, who was watching the skirmish in stunned silence. The plea fell on deaf ears as Mary held her victim in place.

"She's been through enough hell without your bullshit," she went on while Ryo writhed on the floor under her. "She's come a long way, and I will be damned if I let your holier-than-thou attitude, or archaic view on women wreck her all over again!"

Ryo let out a loud grunt as Mary continued to pull. She knew she was probably taking things way too far, but she couldn't help it: King had been changed by the incident; the woman had gone from completely unconcerned about what others thought of her to scared shitless of how she might be perceived by anyone who found out about her assault — particularly Ryo, whom she had once crushed on but still considered a good friend. The fact that he was able to change his opinion of her so easily — over something that wasn't even her fault! — made "Blue" Mary see red.

"Mary," Yuri pleaded. "Please let him go!"
"You've made your point!" Robert interrupted.
"Are you sure about that?" Mary asked before glancing at Ryo, whose face was a horrible shade of magenta. "Have I made my point?" She asked sweetly.

Ryo nodded — or tried, anyway, as there was so much pressure on him that he could barely move. Mary loosened her hold; she deftly jumped up and tilted her head to the side as she stared down at him while he held his throat with his good hand and coughed.

"Y-you're crazy," he sputtered.
"No. Just protective over the ones I love. You of all people should totally get that."

Still coughing, Ryo flexed his arm several times while opening and closing his fist. He glanced at Mary, who offered him a bright smile.

"Here," she said, stretching her hand out to help Ryo up as a gesture of good will. He looked at her carefully, distrust written all over his face as he placed his hand in hers. Mary pulled him up, and in one frightening movement, twisted his wrist, grabbed his ring and pinky fingers, and snapped them with very little effort.

Yuri and Robert both shouted while Ryo howled in agony. He took a step backward, clutching his hand, his expression more shocked than anything else.

"What the fuck?!" He cried out, his voice strangled.

"That's it!" Yuri yelled. She started toward Mary but Robert wrapped his arms around her waist and lifted her off the floor, making sure that she wouldn't be able to go anywhere.

Meanwhile, Mary raised her eyebrows as she picked up her jacket, completely unfazed by what she had just done, or the reactions of everyone around her. She nodded her head at Robert and Yuri (who was still trying to wriggle out of her boyfriend's grasp) while Ryo stammered Japanese obscenities: She gave a two fingered salute, then pointed the same fingers at Ryo and pantomimed firing a gun.

"Bang," she said in that almost unsettlingly low tone before she sauntered off, leaving a crowd of slack-jawed, terrified bystanders in her wake.


Alright, alright, you're probably sitting there like, "Okay, seriously wtf?" but there's some stuff to go over before you start going wild in that review box, so let's get to it:

* Mary's stun gun (which can be used during Straight Slicer) is the ViperTek VTS-989, which, according to several lists, is the best stun gun on the market right now. It's super affordable, has super sharp spikes which help it penetrate clothing, and has an anti-grab feature so it can't be snatched (not easily, anyway). Oh, and, yes — fifty-three million volts will drop anyone, but it's the amperage that causes the real harm.
* As stated before, Matilda is a reference to Leon Kennedy's handgun in Resident Evil 2. The Glock 22 is a standard issue police handgun; the bullets Mary mentions are Smith & Wesson 40: solid copper bullets; hollow point.
* When Mary says she shot "him" four times, she is, of course, referring to King's rapist: One shot to the ear, and then one to the knee in MLS; both knees in Bang.
* Most of Mary's most devastating combos in KOF XIV start with her jumping fierce elbow.
* Mary throwing the jacket at Ryo could be seen as nod to that one cutscene in Resident Evil 5 in chapter 5-3 but it's kind of a stretch. Maybe. Idk. I was just making a gif of it the other day so maybe it stuck on a subconscious level.
* Remember, folks, the Hien Shippu Kyaku starts with a flying knee that extends into a kick. So, like... don't say I don't know moves because I hella studied the animations lol
* The maneuver Mary uses to take Ryo down is the same move Black Widow uses on Happy in Iron Man 2 during the sparring scene. I watched it in slo-mo like, seven-hundred times.
* Mary's signature win pose: we all know the one. She pantomimes a firing a gun and says "Bakyun," which totally sounds like "Fuck you" to the untrained ear but means "Bang."

Okay. Deep breaths. We got through it. Ryo's tough and has a very high pain tolerance so he's good, don't worry about him. As for Mary (please don't hate her now), where does she go from here? What about Yuri, who's clearly ready to kick some ass? Tell me all the thoughts you guys; inquiring minds want to know! Until next time~