Thunderfoot Village, Sierra Madre Mountains, Sonora State, Mexico, May 11
"Haha, there she is! Stop the car, El Fuerte, I wanna talk to her!"
Juri gleefully barked out the order as she hastily unlocked and opened the car door, never noticing the glare from Noembelu through the rear-view mirror. The female Thunderfoot fighter had already done this a number of times on the drive in and they all had the same effect on Juri: she either ignored them or outright laughed.
"Juri, at least wait for the car to stop," Kara warned, but Juri disregarded her.
On the drive into the village, Noembelu had mentioned that Cammy and several of her Delta Red comrades had arrived earlier in the day. Delta Red being the British special operations unit that had often fought Shadaloo in the past, among other things.
Juri's eyes had lit up like a kid in a candy store upon hearing this information. Attacking the Shadaloo base would have been fun anyway but having one of her old rivals show up was just an added bonus.
Juri had quickly spotted the diminutive blonde standing on the side of the road just outside of the village. Sporting a wide grin, Juri hopped out just before the car came to a complete stop and strode towards her. She moved so quickly that the door was still ajar after she exited. She could hear Kara squawk behind her as the latter leaned over and pulled the door shut.
Cammy bared her teeth and visibly tensed, clenching her fists as soon as she saw Juri. The blonde addressed Juri in a telltale English accent when she spoke.
'Oh, I just love hearing your voice, Cammy,' Juri thought. 'Especially when you're pissed about something. It's music to my ears!'
"Juri! I had heard that you were on your way," Cammy growled. "This is the last place that I figured you'd be. Why are you here? Are you responsible for what's happening in this village?"
Juri halted just short of the blonde, the grin shrinking to a smirk. Then she circled once around Cammy slowly, sizing her up. The British operative turned accordingly matching her movement until Juri came to a stop.
"Well, well well...hey there, Cammy," Juri replied as she put her hands on her hips. "Nice of you to drop by. You being here makes this mission all the more worthwhile!"
Cammy ignored the jibe and continued to glare. She repeated her question in an even voice.
"Why are you here? This can't possibly be a coincidence that trouble started up and I'm certain that you're in the middle of it!"
Juri wagged a finger in front of Cammy as she let out a long purr.
"Aw, I'm afraid you have it all wrong, kitten. I've got nothing to do with what's been going on here. I had unrelated business here in Mexico that just happens to coincide with what's happening. But since I'm here, I'm more than happy to help deal with the local Shadaloo trash."
The crunching of multiple footsteps on the macadamized road grew steadily louder behind Juri. It was Noembelu, El Fuerte and Kara following up. Cammy nodded to the first two, but furrowed her eyebrows when she noticed Kara. Juri giggled at Cammy's puzzlement.
"Cammy, I'd like to introduce you to my new student, Kara," Juri announced as she folded her arms. "Kara, this here is a personal favorite of mine. Cammy White, British soldier girl extraordinaire. We go way back, don't we, kitten?"
From the tone in Juri's voice, Kara knew there was more than a bit of sarcasm in that introduction. She could also tell that Cammy was well aware of it, judging from the latter's dark expression. She studied the striking blonde for a couple of moments.
The first feature that Kara noticed was Cammy's hair. Although a red beret covered most of it, a long forelock sprouted out in front of her face down to her nose. Two tightly braided pigtails wound downwards almost to her knees. Red gauntlets protected most of her forearms and hands. Although a green military dress uniform covered Cammy's upper body, Kara observed very muscular and defined legs that were bare down to just above her knees. Black military boots, which covered her shins, completed the outfit.
She also noticed Cammy's ice blue eyes. They had a focused intensity that gave her demeanor a very businesslike appearance. From what Kara observed, Cammy didn't seem like someone to be trifled with.
'And naturally, Juri's trying to start something with her,' Kara thought. 'Why am I so not surprised?'
Cammy raised her eyebrows towards Juri while Kara was noting the former's features. The British operative was too taken aback at Juri's announcement to discern Kara's observations.
"I'm sorry, did you say...student?" Cammy asked as she wagged her head back and forth between Juri and Kara a couple of times before her eyes narrowed. Juri couldn't be serious, could she? "You're joking, right?"
Juri stuck out her lower lip as her face transformed into an exaggerated pouting look. She batted her eyelashes as her purple eyes took on a mocking mournful tone. Seconds later, the grin returned as Cammy's glare deepened.
'Heh, getting Cammy riled up is far too easy.' Juri mused. 'This mission just got way more entertaining with her being here!'
"Aw, are you jealous?" Juri asked with a giggle.
Cammy stared at Kara again for a couple of moments as the latter gave her a small wave and a shy, lopsided smile. The British special forces operative shook her head in disbelief before turning her attention back to Juri.
"I don't know what your game is-" Cammy started.
A feminine voice cut in from behind. It belonged to a brunette in a woven outfit similar to what Noembelu wore.
"Cammy, T. Hawk's gathered the tribal elders," she explained. "They're ready to meet with you."
"All of you," the brunette added as she gave Juri a sour look.
Upon seeing the newcomer's expression, Juri snorted as she recognized the woman immediately.
"Hey Julia, looks like you're getting the gang back together, eh?" she spoke. "Just like old times...well, not totally. At least we'll be on the same side now, isn't that right?"
Julia ignored Juri's 'greeting' and waited for Cammy's reply.
"That's fine," the British operative answered. "I think we're done here anyway."
'For the moment. I'm going to find out what you're up to, Juri.' Cammy added silently.
"Well, lead the way, Julia," Juri added loudly. "Let's see what the chief has to say!"
As the group followed Julia, Kara stopped and pulled Juri aside.
"Ok, I have no idea what's going on," she whispered. "I've got some names with faces now, but what the hell did you do to get them so pissed off at you?"
Juri rolled her eyes as a chuckle left her lips. Noembelu had been understandably reluctant to explain the history between them during the discussion in the car.
'Yeah, Noembelu didn't want to bring up those memories because I beat the shit out of her and the rest of that Shadaloo 'bodyguard' team a few years back without breaking a sweat. Talk about pathetic...Bodyguard...ha!'
Juri let out a dramatic sigh as she started to explain.
"Oh, man, where to begin with that one. Let's just say about five years ago, Julia and Noembelu worked for Shadaloo, and I had a slight disagreement with their choice of employer. I wound up kicking their asses without any problems. Cammy and some soldier boy then showed up shortly afterwards as an added bonus, so I had some fun with them as well."
Kara chewed her lip. She had a pretty good idea what that 'fun' was. All of this was getting so complicated to follow! She was also totally certain that Juri wasn't telling her everything.
"One of these days, you're going to have to tell me this entire story from beginning to end instead of all these bits and pieces."
Juri let out a snort and turned to follow the others. She had no intention of revealing anything else for the time being.
"Yeah, sure. Whatever, sweetie. Come on, we don't want to be late for the party. Let's go see what the chief has to say."
They were led to a large wooden pavilion in the center of the village. Kara and Juri noticed a couple of dozen elderly people seated within. They were all dressed similarly in woven outfits. Kara assumed those were the tribal elders that Julia had mentioned.
Amongst them stood a heavily muscled man wearing a blue denim vest and pants. He towered over everyone by a couple of feet and wore a grim expression as he surveyed the gathering. His gaze swept over both Kara and Juri as they entered.
Kara suppressed a shudder as the giant man watched her enter the pavilion. She definitely did not want to get on that man's bad side.
'I'm assuming that's T. Hawk,' she thought while giving him a quick smile. 'He doesn't look like the happiest person, but given what's been happening around him, I wouldn't be exactly cheerful either.'
Seated across from the elders was a smaller group. El Fuerte was there, of course, but Kara didn't know the other three women who also wore similar green uniforms and red berets sitting with Cammy, Julia and Noembelu.
As soon as she saw them, Juri deliberately waved at Cammy and her companions with a wide grin on her face. Unsurprisingly, they all gave her cold stares in return as she moved closer.
"Aw, high command only sent you four?" Juri inquired as she headed towards the long bench where they were seated. Unsurprisingly, Juri purposefully sat next to Cammy, while Kara took a spot next to El Fuerte. "I was hoping they'd send all of 'Doll Squad' here."
Cammy stared hard at Juri, cracking her knuckles as she did so. She had to summon all of her patience not to take a swing at Juri. As much as Cammy wanted to, she couldn't move to another seat. She wouldn't give Juri the satisfaction of seeing her retreat.
The South Korean assassin continued as she made a mocking "ohohoho" sound with the back of her hand partially covering her mouth.
"Oh yeah, I met up with your little samurai 'sister' for a few moments a couple of weeks ago," Juri continued. "Satsuki's her name, right? I'm surprised she chose Miss Silver Spoon for employment rather than stick around with you."
She leaned in closer to Cammy and casually rested her chin on her hand.
"I guess your group will take anyone in these days," Juri added with a sly smile. "Maybe I should consider signing up for your band of sisters. I don't think the physical requirements would be much of an issue for me."
"You're trying to bait me," Cammy snarled as her colleagues stared daggers at Juri. The idea of Juri being a member of Delta Red made her momentarily nauseous. "And I don't appreciate it."
Kara pursed her lips and shook her head slowly before huffing softly.
'Goddammit, why the hell does she have to start shit with everyone she meets?!' she thought before nudging Juri in the ribs.
"We're on the same side, remember?" Kara hissed out of the side of her mouth to Juri without looking at her.
She received a brief look of annoyance from Juri, who raised her voice slightly.
"You're right, Kara!" Juri announced as she sat up. "We're definitely on the 'same side.' Go team and all that!"
Kara stared ahead, grating her teeth but said nothing. Cammy leaned forward slightly to glance over at Juri's new companion.
'Who is this young woman and why on earth would she be hanging around with someone like Juri?' Cammy asked herself as she leaned back. 'I need to get more information on her.'
The loud clearing of a throat interrupted further conversation. T. Hawk had been watching the altercation and decided to put an end to it.
"Thank you all for coming so quickly." T. Hawk began as he nodded warmly to his luchador friend. "El Fuerte, it's good to see you again. You've brought...guests. The question is, are they allies?"
The head of the Thunderfoot tribe stared down at Juri as he finished his greeting. Juri eyed him evenly in return, refusing to be intimidated by his size or his demeanor.
"Hey chief, I'm just as interested in crushing Shadaloo as anyone here," Juri responded with a shrug.
"Allies don't usually begin by antagonizing their comrades," T. Hawk added as he folded his arms. "I'm well aware of the history between you and my wife, as well as Noembelu and the others. You'd be wise to leave that in the past."
"Sure thing, chief," Juri replied and stood up before giving an exaggerated bow, ignoring the frustrated huff beside her. So, Kara clearly didn't approve of the way Juri was handling things so far.
'There's a freaking surprise...' Juri thought, finally deigning to give Kara a sideways glance. 'Relax, sweetie. I have everything under control.'
"Look, I don't care about either Julia or Noembelu at this point," Juri continued as she looked T. Hawk straight in the eye. "My only concern is kicking Shadaloo's ass and getting something from that base."
T. Hawk raised a single eyebrow as his arms remained folded.
"But not necessarily in that order, I assume," he replied, staring hard at Juri. "I don't care about what you are looking for inside the Shadaloo base. My concern is the welfare of my people. I don't need to rely on hearsay concerning your reputation, Juri. I can already see that the spirits have abandoned you."
El Fuerte shook his head and stepped forward to find a compromise. As he feared, Juri was making things interesting, and not in a good way. He stood to get everyone's attention.
"My friends," he began. "I'm sure we can find a mutual understanding. We're all looking for the same thing, are we not? I don't want Shadaloo in my country either. They've inflicted pain on all of us long enough. Let's focus on that problem."
"Very true and well said, El Fuerte," T. Hawk replied. He gave an approving nod before turning to Cammy.
"Cammy, I appreciate you being here," he said as his voice filled with genuine gratitude. "I'm curious though. Will there be any more of your people arriving?"
"Unfortunately, no," she replied, shaking her head regretfully. "The Mexican government doesn't know we're here and I'd like to keep it that way. Colonel Wolfman, quite understandably, doesn't want to create an international incident so our 'footprint' was made as small as possible. I was given permission to help here with the express understanding that I do so as a volunteer and not as Delta Red, which is why I only have Decapre, Enero and Fevrier with me. My other sisters are on various assignments anyway and couldn't disengage from their activities."
"Which is why you're sitting here in military dress uniform," Juri murmured sarcastically. "Way to play it low key, kitten. Well, there are no Brazilian cops around, so I guess you're fine."
Cammy's face reddened. Juri's mocking was just loud enough for just her to hear. Damn that woman! Why did she have to be here specifically, of all times?
"If you have something to say, then say it out loud," the British operative growled. "Otherwise, keep your mouth shut!"
Although he didn't hear Juri's comment directly, T. Hawk nevertheless shot the South Korean fighter a warning look. El Fuerte once again attempted to forestall a potential fight between the two women, addressing T. Hawk and changing the subject.
"It'll be a tough fight with Cammy, her three companions, Noembelu, Juri, Kara, you, me and Julia. That's ten for sure. Who else can we count on, my friend?" El Fuerte asked.
Kara spoke up before T. Hawk could answer. Something was bothering her about all of this.
"Pardon me for the interruption, sir, but what about the Mexican military or law enforcement? We passed an army checkpoint on the way here. Have they been notified? Could they lend some help?"
Juri let out a derisive snort as El Fuerte answered.
"My dear, it's entirely possible that much of our law enforcement might still be corrupted to some extent by Shadaloo," he answered. "Even if they weren't, I'm not sure they'd be able to handle a group like them, particularly the local law enforcement. Besides, many of our police and the military are too busy with the other narco cartels right now. I doubt we'd get any support from them, unfortunately."
Kara's face reddened as she chewed her lip, nodding in embarrassment. Juri cut in next.
"I wouldn't really count 'sweetie' here in as far as fighting either," she added, giving a quick tilt of her head towards Kara. "She's literally just starting to learn."
Kara glowered at her, clearly not appreciating the disparaging remark. It wasn't her fault that she had just started training! Several weeks ago, she didn't even know any of these problems existed!
Juri ignored the look as T. Hawk spoke next.
"We are a warrior people," he declared. "A number of our fighters have already lost loved ones to these Shadaloo raids. We don't know whether those taken are alive or dead. My people will fight at the very least to find out their fates. Unfortunately, Julia will not be among them. She is currently with child."
Cammy raised her eyebrows as several heads turned in Julia's direction. The latter just gave a small nod but said nothing. Julia clearly wasn't happy about staying behind while her friends and husband faced danger. But she also knew that the life within her was part of the Thunderfoot people's future and she couldn't jeopardize that.
Juri murmured something about a 'little bun in the oven', resulting in another nudge in the ribs from Kara.
'Getting frisky, sweetie? Keep it up...' Juri mused.
"Our intel regarding Shadaloo's presence in Mexico is admittedly a bit limited, but our Sat Recon have identified several potential locations where this base could be," Cammy offered. "It'll take a little while to find out exactly where it is, though. However, we will find it."
Cammy's military companions nodded in agreement.
"I'll go along with them as well," Noembelu added.
Cammy squeezed her eyes shut momentarily as she heard Juri clearing her throat a couple of times to get her attention. The British operative then slowly turned her head to see Juri with her hand out in front of her, palm down, casually inspecting the fingernails on her left hand.
"That won't be necessary, kitten," Juri purred, giving Cammy a sidelong glance. "You see, I already know the exact location of the Shadaloo base. We don't have to waste any time trying to find it."
Cammy bared her teeth and growled as she shot off the bench, scarcely believing what she was hearing! What web was Juri spinning this time?
"How the devil did you get your hands on classified material?!" she snapped. "And don't tell me that it was public information, which means you likely stole it! Or have you been in the middle of this from the very beginning? I should have put your ass in jail-"
Juri nonchalantly held her hand up towards Cammy's face. The shock at Juri's disinterested gesture halted the rest of her tirade.
"Keep your uniform on, kitten," Juri responded as she turned and looked Cammy up and down in appraisal. "Or...not. You should really go back to that green gymnast leotard you usually wear; it's definitely a better look. I got the information fair and square. I made a deal with someone for it, all nice and legal. And yes, I'll hand over the info but...I'm going along when you scout that base. That's non-negotiable."
"Like hell you are!" Cammy snarled, her face reddening considerably from Juri's not so subtle advances. "You're way too much of a loose cannon to be let anywhere near that base before we attack it. A bull in a china shop has nothing on you!"
A long peel of laughter answered Cammy's outburst.
"Ha ha, you're such a comedienne," Juri giggled. "Of course I'm going along. I want to see the layout of the base for myself and, besides, it'll give us a lovely chance to catch up on current events. As for being a loose cannon, I'm an assassin, remember? I can be quiet when it suits me. How else would I have tailed you when Vega attacked your girlfriend in that London train station right before the Black Moon stuff? You never even knew I was there! By the way, how is Juni?"
Cammy's eyes widened, her jaw dropping as she digested the information, recalling the incident well. She had been investigating Shadaloo activities shortly before the Black Moons Crisis when Vega and several of his soldiers burst into the station in an attempt to kidnap her friend and former Doll, Juni. Cammy had fought off the attackers, keeping Juni safe.
'How long had Juri been following me around back then?' the British operative wondered. A feeling of bitterness briefly overtook her. 'Inspecting her handiwork?'
After all, Juri had been the one to 'free' Juni several years ago. Of course, it had been entirely unintentional on Juri's part.
Five years previous, Cammy and her United States Air Force colleague and friend, Guile, had flown to an old Shadaloo facility to ascertain what Juri had been up to. At the time, the South Korean assassin was almost completely unknown to the pair, outside of a few details provided by Chun Li (who was recovering from her injuries inflicted on her by Juri during the Heaven's Gate incident just a few days before).
'We still have no idea who provided that information about Juri to begin with.' Cammy thought before dismissing it. Whoever had sent the thumbnail drive clearly wanted Guile, Cammy and Chun Li to deal with Juri. The question was, why? It was unlikely that it would ever be known.
When Cammy and Guile arrived, Juri was seen carrying two unconscious Dolls (Julia and Juni) out of the facility towards a huge transport jet. They were the last that Juri had dispatched as the other ten women comprising the Dolls were already aboard the transport. It was Cammy's first clue regarding Juri's general intentions. Although Cammy didn't know it at the time, Juri had been tasked by Seth to capture all of Bison's Dolls bodyguard for experimentation.
Cammy had leapt out out of the jet and charged in as Guile attempted to land, only to stop short when Juri held out Juni by the scruff of her neck in front of her, daring the British operative to attack. A shocked Cammy had stopped short of striking Juni as Juri began to mock her.
After a short diatribe, the S.I.N. assassin then tossed Juni aside and sprung her trap by suddenly throwing Julia bodily at Cammy. The move caught Cammy completely by surprise. She had been knocked backwards to the ground by the unexpected strike and had only been saved from a brutal stomp to the face by a timely Sonic Boom energy blast from Guile.
As Cammy lay dazed for several moments, Guile fought off Juri single-handedly until she had used her Feng Shui engine to neutralize the Air Force officer temporarily. As Cammy rushed over to help her friend, Juri had picked up the two Dolls and made her way to the transport plane. A badly injured Guile had implored Cammy to go after Juri and finish the job.
As the transport lifted off, Cammy had charged in and jumped high into the air, barely landing on the open back cargo ramp as Juri turned to confront her. The ensuing fight didn't go as planned and Juri had easily managed to fend off Cammy's attacks.
Eventually, Cammy was driven back to the edge of the cargo ramp. Before the British operative could do anything else, Juri, with a scornful farewell, had shoved an ambulance bed towards Cammy. The problem was that the bed had an unconscious Juni strapped to it.
A horrified Cammy tried to stop the bed from flying off the plane but was unsuccessful. The momentum of the rolling bed instead pushed both her and Juni off the jet towards the ground below. By sheer providence, the jet had been cresting low over a nearby mountain and both women had hit the deep snow, seriously injured, but otherwise alive. Staring after the departing transport jet, Cammy had vowed that she wouldn't forget what Juri had done to her and her sisters.
'I still haven't, which is why I don't trust her now.'
Cammy recovered from her initial shock and ignored the question regarding Juni.
"We have nothing to 'catch up on,'" Cammy testily replied after several moments, which prompted a shrug from Juri.
"Have it your way," Juri replied with a flippant shrug. "But I'm still going along."
Juri turned to T. Hawk without waiting for an answer from Cammy. She knew the British operative was out of options.
"Is this satisfactory, chief?" Juri asked him, crossing her arms. "As you can see, I'm doing my part to help 'the cause'."
The Thunderfoot leader said nothing for a few moments. Then he finally nodded his head. Juri greatly annoyed him, but if she knew where that base was...
'I must focus on what's important, regardless of my personal feelings. We can finally rid ourselves of Shadaloo forever.'
"Yes, this sounds reasonable," he finally said with an impassive face. "But I want to make it clear that this recon mission takes precedence over the differences you two have in particular. I will not have my peoples' lives put in jeopardy due to foolish quarreling."
Cammy's face carried a neutral expression as she woodenly nodded back while Juri gave a quick salute and a grin. Both knew who had won and lost in that exchange.
The meeting continued for a little while longer to hash out details, but the bulk of the gathering was essentially finished. After the tribal elders came to an agreement with T. Hawk, he formally closed the meeting.
The tribe had prepared a dinner for their guests afterwards. As tables and trays of food were brought to the pavilion, Juri gave a wink to Kara, who just shook her head. After the earlier exchange, Cammy had turned her back to Juri, wanting nothing further to do with her. The South Korean street fighter was more than satisfied with how everything turned out.
'One step closer to getting this eye installed,' Juri thought as she went to fill her plate. ''Plus, I'll get more opportunities to have some fun with Cammy. It's a win-win!'
Author's note: Cammy's recollection of fighting Cammy at the Shadaloo facility is from the Super Street Fighter IV prologue anime, Juri OVA.