You know that itch in the back of your head when you get when something is about to happen? You have no idea whether it's good or bad, but something's about to go down? Yes, I got that while heading toward the hotel. Karin said to ignore it, to focus on the task at hand. And there are many.

Even if I do not get to fight with Sagat, this is still a learning experience. Cutting off my ki flow like this is not easy to get used to. I feel exposed, almost naked. I can feel everything, everywhere, even the tiniest bird. It makes me just a little afraid to step in the wrong place. I can tell how people are feeling, sometimes.

I know where it all is, of course. It's circling my pathways, healing me even now. From what I can tell it even slows the aging process. Maybe that's how Ryu is almost forty years old and still looks like he's barely in his twenties. Can't say for sure.

What I can say is that today, I felt something that I wanted no part of.

— From the diary of Sakura Kasugano, recent entry.

Kanto the Slayer presents

A Street Fighter Fanfiction

Beyond Alpha

She almost didn't see him move.

One moment he was in a fighting stance, one leg raised, that cocksure grin on his face. Then a fist, two inches away. She slipped right, the displaced air tossing her bangs. Viper hissed as another jab forced her to move her head. A flurry of fists. Checked leg kick. Right cross. She pivoted left, lanced at his face with a right straight.

Viper growled as Adon's arm, curled against the side of his face, took the blow. Left, right, left...

"How useless! I sho—"

A shock wave pushed skin and muscle out of the way. The punch forced him toward the wall to his left. A brief, pale yellow flash of his aura saved him from the brunt of the damage.

And then she was on top of him with a flying knee. He staggered again, and she rammed her right elbow into his face. Crimson Viper, visor flashing with data, pounded into him with a flurry of her own before ramming her right fist into the pavement. Adon screamed as she sent him flying.

And then she hit him again, her boots launching her upward to join him with a sharp roundhouse kick.

"Enough!" Adon leaned back and righted himself, set to land on his feet.

Viper was right behind him, her right heel poised to ram into his forehead.

"Jaguar Kick!"

A flash of yellow ki blinded her just before his heel smashed into her. Hard. Viper slammed into the street, the air forced from her lungs. The body armor underneath her dress jacket saved her ribs from the full judgment of the pavement, but the taste of copper brushed against her tongue all the same.

Adon tightened his fists until the knuckles popped beneath the padded gloves. "I refuse to be insulted like this before my moment of triumph. So I'm going to let you stand, over and over, just to humiliate you." He took a fighting stance again. "Now get up!"

Viper's visor flashed for a few moments as she stood. She brushed off her jacket and spit out a wad of phlegm and blood, then smiled in his direction. "I'm afraid you won't make it to your fight." She didn't give him time to respond, her boots shooting her forward. "You'll be in traction by then!"

This was a bad idea.

Major Guile stood, a trickle of blood wiped away from his bottom lip via his right hand. His eyes narrowed, focused toward the red hair and eyes, the torn black gi, the sandals. The darkened skin. The apathetic, stone-faced mask of command.

"You were a fool to single me out. Be fortunate I have toned down my ki, or you would be dead now."

Guile spat to his right, a wad of crimson painting the concrete. He settled into his guard again and weighed his options. Air, covered. He could fire those ki blasts from any angle. Ground, covered. Tight quarters did not hinder mobility. Escape, limited. Gouki could meet him in the air and dive on top of him.

Guile lowered his stance and made his approach even as the master of Ansatsuken assumed a ready position. That ki of his could slice straight through any attempts to defend using his own energy. It was how he was able to knock him down for the third time now. The few hits the major landed taught him something though.

It was almost useless for Gouki to defend with the Satsui no Hado. The energy had a life of its own, and it wasn't in the mood for blocking. Any attempt to use it as a shield against counter attacks failed. That, or Gouki didn't care to do so. He was too fast, and most of his moves were infused with that deadly intent.

Defense was the only open route. And Guile was good at defense.

"I tire of this."

Another blast of ki slammed toward him, dark purple in color. No dodging, no blocking, no going over. Fine with him. Guile slammed his arms forward, at an angle... and his Sonic Boom flared in vertical fashion. Only... it stayed where it was, and then the energy blast hit it.

Gouki's Hadouken had the capacity to smash through just about anything thrown at it, the only thing able to stop it being another, more powerful technique. When it hit the twisting energy of Guile's odd maneuver though... it blew apart.

Guile smirked. "We're even now. Come over here and get some."

The demon's ki flared. "As you wish." He vanished, and Guile's mind went into overdrive. Where, where, where was he...

Guile blinked, and Gouki was there in front of him. He threw his arms up, winced at brute force of the monster's fist against his bones. Hook, right side, block. Right kick, stop with heel and push down. Nullify, neutralize, respond. Right straight...

Guile's right knee buckled when a low kick rammed into it. Body hook to the ribs, right.

"Gou Shoryu!"

A freight train hit him dead on as the rising uppercut launched him into the air. Guile saw only sky, and then... Gouki was there, waiting, his right hand pulsing with malevolent intent. Guile raised his forearms...


His guard took the hit, but not without consequence. The blast carried him down to the pavement, slammed his back into the floor. He moved his arms and Gouki came again, his right heel aimed at his head from above.

Guile moved his head out of the way, a few inches at best, and the kick split the concrete instead of his skull. One tug, just behind the ankle, push against the leg just above the knee...

Gouki grunted, his own body falling to the ground via the improvised ankle pick.

One move, two seconds. Guile was on top of the beast, and rained punches into his forearms. All he had to do was stop Gouki, he didn't even have to kill him. Just delay him.

"Useless!" A shockwave fired out from all sides, pushed Guile off.. Nearly turned his insides to mush. He kipped up to his feet and set himself again as Gouki did the same.

"But impressive all the same. I am now forced to take you seriously."

Guile's eyes narrowed as Gouki's crimson aura darkened. An iron curtain dropped onto his shoulders, his back, his neck. He tightened his jaw, bared his teeth. "You think... this will stop me?" Guile stepped forward and it was slow, the weight of the killing intent making it hard to breathe.

Gouki... smiled. "No. But this will."

Guile set himself, ready for the attack. Sonic Blade wasn't going to cut through what was coming. Something bigger, maybe. He sucked in what oxygen he could and channeled his ki all into his arms just as Gouki stomped and assumed the posture that Chun-Li described to him. The massive symbol appeared above the monster's head as Gouki shunted the Satsui no Hado into both hands.


If Guile didn't stop the Ansatsuken master's technique, it'd cut through like he was wet paper... and then kill Viper behind him.

Right, no pressure.

Guile's smile mirrored that of Gouki's from five seconds ago. "Bring it, you bastard."

Klaxons buzzed in Crimson Viper's ears; warnings flashed on her visor even as she swayed beneath another head kick. She glanced at the readings before her face hardened. Oh, crap...

Her readings couldn't pick up Sakura or the Kanzuki woman. Either they were doing something to evade detection, or they were so far out of range that she couldn't pick them up. Either way, distraction working. Those two had better be back at their hotel...

Viper ducked under a right elbow and jammed her right fist into Adon's short ribs. A flash of ki stopped her attack, but it didn't matter. Body shot, uppercut... her visor flashed as she rammed a left straight into Adon's face, ten thousand volts accompanied the attack. He found himself on the pavement again as Viper's visor whined again. "Well, no more time to play."

"...Gou Hadou!"

Her boots launched her into the air as Gouki unleashed the massive shockwave of ki straight at Guile. The brick to either side and concrete below buckled without even touching the malevolent sphere of force. Viper had a bird's eye view of Guile's death. "Sorry, buddy."

"Sonic... Hurricane!"

Then she had a view of something else as he opened up his own can of boom, the Messatsu Gou Hadou meeting the counter head-on. The energies struggled, and Viper barely made it to the roof, unable to maintain her position in the air. "Holy crap!" The heat and friction made her sweat even from her elevated position, but she locked her eyes on the literal battle of wills. "Come on, Guile..."

The dark sphere of ki finally burst, and the Sonic Hurricane dissipated at the same time. They'd cancelled each other out... which was the plan, she guessed. Based on the trajectory of the attack, that would have ended her as well if her visor hadn't picked up the energy spike. "The wonders of technology. Still... even if I did save myself, I do owe you."

Then Gouki warped again, and her radar read no life signs. Her eyes widened. "Where are you going, you little shit..."

Her visor picked up a target. He'd come back where she hadn't expected him, just next to Adon. But why would he do that...?

Then she gasped. "Oh damn it, that's what you were doing here!"

Before she could call out a warning, Gouki punched Adon in the solar plexus, forcing the air out of him. She could only watch as the worst came to pass, the aura changing from a pale yellow into something darker. More twisted.

It turned red... and then crimson as his skin gradually changed hue, the blood rushing to the surface. Gouki had infused the Satsui no Hado into Adon... and if he could do it that easily to him, he could no doubt use that on anyone he wanted.

She pressed in her ear piece on the right side of her face.

"Guile, situation untenable! Advise a tactical retreat, now!" They'd lost this one when that little trick happened. If they stayed any longer, it'd be worse.

Guile looked over his right shoulder, eyes wide. He turned and stared for a few moments, trying to process the situation... and then glanced up to the roof with a nod. "We'll finish this another time. But mark my words, you are not getting to her."

Gouki didn't turn as he replied. "You are mistaken. Sooner or later, she will stop at a place where escape is impossible. Then, I will do to her as I have done to him, and she will either survive, or her mind will succumb to the Satsui no Hado."

Adon still hadn't responded, hunched over as he was. Gouki took two steps back, and threw a right cross at him... and the muay thai fighter's left hand seemed to appear from nowhere, catching the attack. The Ansatsuken master nodded. "This one however, will do for now. He is already willing to kill his foe to win." Gouki turned to face Guile. "Right now, that happens to be you. I advise you do as she says, or otherwise pray to your gods."

Guile bared his teeth as he took three steps back. "This isn't over, for either of you." With that, he turned and sprinted down the alley, Viper taking the rooftops. He pressed in his earpiece once he was outside of earshot. "Well that distracted him enough, but we have a new problem. What now?"

Viper's face sported a grimace for a few moments. "Now? Now we hope Sakura and her friend have enough sense to get out of Bangkok."

"Where are they! Where are they, I'll kill them both!"

Gouki folded his arms before his chest, glaring down Adon as his eyes roved the alley way, seeking the two targets that had long since fled before them. "Gone, for fear of your power. It is the natural instinct of frail mortals to run before angry gods." He took two steps forward. "They are not important. The one that is, however..."

Adon stopped in place, hands shaking. Then they tightened into fists as his mouth stretched into a grin. "...Sagat." A chuckle... and then maddened laughter. "Yes, now I can destroy him once and for all!" His head turned fast enough for his neck to pop. "Show me. Show me this power!"

Gouki smiled. "As you wish..." He took a fighting stance. "Prepare yourself."

Round 42: Unnatural Selection

Well this is a new development, isn't it? I certainly hope this doesn't turn even nastier down the road. Then again, who am I to determine what the characters do? I just type. Anyways, thanks for sticking around for so long, hanging on behind the old chariot. We're moving again, and we won't stop until Sakura either leaves, or fights Sagat and THEN leaves.

This battle is about to explode!