Damien Shepard here. The things were keeping me from writing were stress-induced Writer's Block, and computer problems involving spyware and faulty floppy disks. Fortunately, I've gotten over them enough to give you give you this KOF fic. This takes place in an alternate universe where the '97 New Face Team survived the ordeal with Orochi and was freed from its influence. This takes the place of KOF 1998. The team the story tells about, which ISN'T the Hero Team for a good reason, consists of 3 OCs. Their profiles will be placed in my profile page as soon as possible. But for now, here is the fanfiction.

This fic is dedicated to LegendarySuperNamek.

Disclaimer: All I own here is the Original Characters, Lance Walker, Johnny Cross, and Shinji Mikado. KOF and Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne belong to their respective owners.

Damien Shepard presents

King of Fighters 1998: Devil Overdrive.

Chapter 1: Registration

Chizuru Kagura couldn't believe how unbearably peaceful it was.

Here she had expected a huge turnout of fighters to attempt to sign up for participation in this year's "King of Fighters" tournament, instead, she just had the usual participants plus some returning people like the band "CYS" which became a great sensation after KOF '97 when they got a deal with a record company for their music. On top of that, Geese Howard and Wolfgang Krauser after "convincing" Mr. Big to join them, decided to participate again! Kim Kaphwan came with Choi and Chang, as usual. They all came and finished registration before she even realized that they had left. All that is left is room for ONE entry, and she had to wait another two hours before registration ended. She didn't even know WHY the sponsor was allowing this, or why the registration would have to wait into the night. It was almost 9:00 PM!

While most of the teams had been invited, a couple of teams had decided to enter of their own free will, including a new Hero Team! The only reason she had to stay and keep the office open rather than saying screw the last spot and leave was that she had been told to wait for ALL registration spots to fill up or until the time runs out, whichever came first. She had no idea who this year's sponsor was. The instructions she had to follow came from a letter mailed to her from an unknown location.

On top of that, the new prize to the victors was just utterly ridiculous. In addition to the usual money, the winners would each, get this, ask for the revival of someone they cherished but have died for some reason. Admittedly, Chizuru would have liked to believe that, as she missed her older sister, Maki, yet she just couldn't believe that it would happen. After all, nobody short of God could do such a thing.

If only Chizuru knew exactly HOW ironic her thoughts were.

"How did I get myself into this mess. I was expecting a massive headache. Instead I get an unnerving silence.

She looked at the clock for a brief moment.

"FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SOMEONE COME AND REGISTER THEIR TEAM! I'LL TAKE ANYONE!!!" She summarily slammed her head down onto the desk.

"I believe that is as good a cue as any." came the voice of a 14-year-old boy.

Chizuru looked in front of the desk and saw three young boys right looking at her. The voice belonged to the boy closest to her. He had spiky, black hair and eyes that were an unusually dark shade of red. He had a sword and sheath wrapped around him. The boy on the left had blonde hair and also had red eyes and wore a pair of glasses. The difference between him and the first one is that this one had a MUCH lighter shade of red. The one on the looked like he was balding, but had a faint trace of brown hair. Chizuru figured that he had shaved his head. Also, she couldn't see his eyes because he had the look of Brock from Pokemon to them. All three boys wore the exact same School Uniform. It had the basic idea of the Japanese boy's uniform, but with a black overall color and red outline. It also seemed that the students had to button the top part of the uniform in order to put it on. On the chest area of the uniform, where the heart would be, was the school emblem, a shield shape with a lion on top a ribbon that said "Lazarus" on it.

"And you are...?" Chizuru asked.

"My name is Lance Walker. The one to my right is Jonny Cross, and the one to my left is Shinji Mikado. We're here to participate in this year's KOF!" The spiky-haired boy said.

Chizuru was stunned. She said she wanted anybody, but she was speaking desperatly. She couldn't let young boys into the tournament. Granted that Chris was a year younger than these people, but HE was the reincarnation of Orochi, so he had an excuse.

"Are you sure you want to do this? You seem awfully young." she replied.

"We won't take no for an answer, miss." Johnny, the blonde boy said.

"We have a legitimate reason for entering, Ma'am." Shinji said.

"Other than entering for the thrill of the fight." Lance said.

"Look who's talking." Johnny retorted.

"I'll pretend I didn't hear that." Lance said.

"Um, I noticed your emblem. Are you guys on a school assignment or something?" Chizuru asked.

"Heck no. We're doing this for our own reasons. That, and we hope to let the world know of the Lazarus Academy's greatness!" Lance said.

Now Chizuru was MORE than stunned. These kids were only 14 years of age, moreover, they were going through school! And while they were representing a prestigious school that was known for its amazing athletic program, they didn't look like they did much working out either. How the heck were they going to get past their first opponent?!!?

Still, Chizuru was desperate to get out, and these boys were like Godsend.

"Very well, show me what styles you use, and whatever elemental powers you may or may not have."

Shinji went first. "I use a variation of Val Tudo and Street Fighting. I have no elemental ability."

"I utilize "Medic's Capoeira", my own personal development to the famous Brazlilian dancing style. I also throw in acupuncture for good measure. I'm trying to become a doctor after I graduate. I also happen to have the ability to control Ice, which I use with my attacks." Johnny said.

"I like to use a mix of Jeet Kun Do, Wushu, and, occasionally, drunken boxing. I think that you should know, that I don't drink alcohol. I AM only 14 years old." Lance said. "Also..." He then looked to the side like he was paranoid or something.

"What's wrong." Chizuru asked.

"I know that Kyo Kusinagi and Iori Yagami can use flames, and..."

"Can you do that too?"

"Yeah, but...I think I'd better show you."

Lance then moved his arms out. He concentrated some of his energy, and instantly, black flames shot out and engulfed his left arm, while white flames covered his right. This surprised the Kagura woman quite a bit.

"TWO flames. Interesting." Chizuru said.

"Yeah, heh heh. I just found out about this ability just a few weeks ago, and I'm still getting the hang of it."

"Alright. And what would you like your team name to be?" Chizuru asked, smiling at these young children. It appeared as if this year's KOF was going to be interesting.

"Isn't it obvious?" Johnny asked back.

"Of course!" Shinji said.

"It's the only name that fits." Lance said.


Later, after they finished their registration...

"YATTA! WE'RE OFFICIALLY IN THE KING OF FIGHTERS!" Lance yelled. He just couldn't hold in the excitement that he feels.

"Yeah. It does feel good. But right now, we need to show our vouchers to the man at the afformentioned hotel." Johnny said.

"Yeah, the... uh..." Shinji tried to say.

"The "Riverheart Hotel", remember?" Johnny asked him

"Yeah. Duh." Lance retorted.

Shinji was embarassed that he didn't pay attention to Chizuru's instructions.

"Anyway, we need to get there fast. Who knows when the place closes." Johnny said calmly.

After eventually making it into the hotel, they got ready to hit the sack. They had already eaten on the way to Southtown.

Although they were in bed, they could not sleep. They were all thinking about why they entered the tournament.

"Hey, Aniki?" Shinji asked quietly.

"Don't worry, Shinji. I'm can't sleep either. What's up?"

"Do you believe what the invite said?"

Lance sighed and then said, "I don't rightly know for sure. But, we do need to win, if not for our reasons, then at least for the Academy's sake. And then, there's that thing with me and Johnny..." Lance said.

"Oh yeah. Berrycrest Orphans' Home, right?"

"Yeah. We're hoping to use the money to help their financial crisis." Johnny said.

"You're still awake too, huh?" Lance responded.

"I just can't get the memories out. You know why I'm studying to be a surgeon and chemistry."

"I know, Johnny. We all have our reasons." Lance said.

"Um, guys, if we don't get any sleep, we won't be in top shape." Shinji said.

"Yeah, you're right. Remember, the inauguration's at 8:00. I've taken the liberty of programming the alarm on the clock here." Lance said.

"Night." Johnny said.

"G' night." the others said as they finally began to sleep, hoping that the tournament would be anything but boring.

Next Chapter: After a short tournament initiation, the three begin their first battle. Can they manage to get past Mai Shiranui's Ninja arts, King's Muay Thai, and Yuri Sakazaki's Kyokugen Karate? You know what they say. Ladies first! Next Time: First Impressions. Lazarus Academy Team vs. Women's Team.
Before anyone asks, I'm only using Japanese words I already know.

Yatta-I/We did it!
Aniki-Can be used as a designation to a leader. For Shinji, it is a sign of respect towards Lance.

There will be more to come.