So basically this is my interpretation of what happens at the King of Iron Fist 6. I'll start with a big sorry to everybody already reading, and just come on, about the fact that lots of my chapters have no breaks. I'm no computer genius and I don't know how that happened, because they're there when I write them. Anyway I'll fix that slowly. Hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: Own nothing.
"Wait a second. You got time. And I know you want to do something hasty, but I should tell you: I know almost the whole story. And another thing- I know who will win the King Of Iron Fist Tournament Six."
"Still listening? Good."
Jin Kazama goes and stands by the window overlooking the city; the rain lashes the pane inches from his face.
"Guessing ahead yet? You're impatient. Maybe you have a right to be. But like I said, I know the winner of the King of Iron Fist. And I can tell you right now- it's not going to be me."
- Two Months Earlier
It was a cold day in a fur-flung corner of the world. A day of damp and minor discomfort; the sort people were used to. On a drab street, the only bus stop in service for several miles fronted a road of scattered tarmac. Gazing hopelessely back across the street was a building with all its windows blown out; the drizzle had turned it, and everything else, a sullen grey. There was no movement; the pavements were almost empty since the tanks had rolled by. No war here yet, but you could feel the expectancy- people would rather be indoors. Once every so many minutes or hours a single car would pass, its headlights flashing vainly in the greyness of the street.
Just then a man appeared, tall, black, with a frightening chin beard and darting eyes. Crossing the road with undue speed, he glanced into the shadow of the little broken bus shelter. A figure sat in the corner, hunched in a heavy coat- a foreigner, and not happy. A group of school kids stood nearby, chattering and rubbing cold hands- every now and then the foreigner would eye them distastefully. The tall man came and sat by him.
"Miguel Caballero Rojo?"
There was a time when meeting a stranger who knew his name would have set Miguel on edge. It didn't now.
"Have we met?"
"I didn't ask you to introduce yourself, just if we had met. Now go away."
The first man was persistent; Miguel turned his face away, leaning on the cold glass. A poster by his ear read: "THE KING OF IRON FIST TOURNAMENT 6." He didn't look at it.
"I want to talk to you."
"You should be more friendly. You would get more allies that way."
"If I were looking for allies, let me assure you I would not start here. Now go away."
The darting eyes flashed conspiratorially. At the other end of the shelter the school kids seemed to have noticed the conversation; their forced laughter at each other's jokes was suddenly intimidating. Bruce leaned forward. "What would you say if I were to tell you that I have information that could lead you secretly, confidentially, and directly, to Jin Kazama?"
That turned Miguel around. His head came up warily. "I'd pretend not to be interested."
"I thought you were after him."
"And I'll find him."
"You won't win the King of Iron Fist."
Miguel was indignant. His eyebrows went up as he noted the way the man's bulk pushed on the fabric of his clothing. "And I suppose you intend to?"
"I'll try. But the point is that this tournament attracts some of the greatest fighters from around the world. Paul Phoenix, Marshall Law, King; all are finalists from previous tournaments and all will be there. They say even Heihachi and Kazuya Mishima have entered. You don't stand a chance."
A loud chuckle from one of the schoolboys broke off their conversation; Miguel looked up in annoyance. "Damn kids," he said, settling down again. "Seems like every joke they make is directed at you."
"What do you say to the offer?" pressed Bruce, ignoring them.
"I say you're crazy." Miguel was getting frustrated now. Who was this Bruce, this guy off the street with the balls to just come right up to him and make propositions?
"Jin Kazama is the most wanted man in the world- and you say you can get me to him? I don't even know who the hell you are. And besides, even if you could do everything you say, what d'you get out of this?"
Bruce grinned. "Well I couldn't have found you unless I had somebody backing me up, now could I? You know I got contacts."
Miguel threw gestured to the bus stop. "A bus driver's got contacts! You could be the freakin' bus driver for all I know."
As if in response, a bus appeared. A grey and outdated vehicle, it fit into the hopelessness of the surroundings like a piece of a jigsaw. Miguel made a move to get on, but Bruce followed, still speaking:
"I have my number here. Call me if- when- you consider renegotiating. I promise, you will need our help. If you're ever hoping to avenge your sister, that is."
Miguel turned, suspicious as ever, but it wasn't in him to question further. Since his sister's death he had become obsessive- what didn't help him wasn't important to him. It wasn't in him to press about this man's conspicuous sum of knowledge.
He looked at the little scrap of paper in Bruce's hand. "If I take this, you'll go away, right?"
He snatched it. As he did so Bruce gave him a casual two-fingered salute, with a sneer on his face. He might have just cornered a wounded animal.
On the bus, Miguel toyed with the folded piece of paper. He had intended to drop it out the window; but now he thought he'd hold onto it. It was a curious move, considering he usually went out of his way to get involved with nothing and nobody. For some time now he'd been content to be the stranger, passing from town to town, crudely bettering himself in fistfights and pub brawls- the only training regime he'd ever known. With his sister's death he vowed not to be distracted, and that meant it didn't matter if one man knew who he was. He'd go ahead and fight regardless; and, somehow, he'd win the King of Iron Fist Tournament, get to Jin Kazama, and get answers, and revenge.
But then again, winning the tournament had become his whole life, its beginning and end with nothing outside of it. Secretly he knew that he would need any help he could get.
At the same time, thousands of miles away, the man called Eddy Gordo was walking into the top floor of the Zaibatsu building, dubbed The Gargoyle's peak. As ever, the carved, ancient-looking throne, coupled with the immense height, gave an individual an incredible feeling of power. From here, you could look down on the comings and goings of the world; even influence them, while the people went about their way, completely unaware of your existence. It was, Eddy thought, exactly how a gargoyle must feel, perched atop a huge cathedral.
Jin was standing looking out one of the vast windows. It was a habit of his, recently. Eddy went over to him. "The qualifying round, sir." He handed him a brown envelope. "Checked and re-checked, as ordered."
Jin didn't look around. "And the matches of Kazuya and Heihachi?"
"Good." Jin took the envelope and tossed it on a desk, without even opening it.
"Tell me about the war."
"It's all fine," Eddy replied. "A few engagements here and there, but nothing important enough to alert you about. No-one even thinks about challenging you anymore. Even G corporation activity is relatively low-"
"That's because its leader is in the tournament," said Jin instantly. "Kazuya… it must be him. Only he could orchestrate a resistance like this."
Eddy adjusted his sunglasses. He wanted to get this over with and get out. Being around Jin was somehow unnerving. The collar of his shirt itched him mercilessly, but he didn't want to scratch the place, for fear of looking nervous. Jin could read everything, every little move, and remember them. You could say he had a databank of other people's insecurities.
"Sir," Eddy ventured. "Why not just change the table so you can fight Kazuya now? I don't understand what you're waiting for."
"A fight at this stage would be a waste of time," Jin told him. "Kazuya- or Heihachi- would just disappear back into the world, licking their wounds, if I defeated them now. For this win to be final, it's got to be public."
"Is that… the whole truth?"
"More than enough truth for you. Now leave."
Seeing Eddy hang back, Jin finally turned from the window. "Did you want something else?"
Eddy shifted from one foot to another. Even for someone like him, being comfortable with Jin in the room was impossible. In the world he had been immersed in since coming under Jin's thumb, appearing in control was everything. Eddy had become embroiled in the world of illicit trade, of smuggling, of war crimes, of torture, theft, fraud, bribes, lies, and underhand dealings- it was no place to remind people you were human. But around Jin that sort of front was always impossible. You always felt… almost… as if there were a third person in the room; a silent observer behind Jin's dark, unreadable eyes.
Finally he spoke. "I have a request, sir. I'd like you to change one of the match-ups."
"Oh, really?" Jin was faintly interested; wearing one of those awful smirks, "Who's match? Yours?"
"No. Someone else's…"
- Next day
His opponent was about sixteen years old- maybe a little more, but if so he didn't look it. Yoshimitsu shook his head. He was surprised they had even let him enter- let him put himself through all this- the training, the lifestyle, the flight to chilly Hokkaido, then hours of driving to a remote village miles from anyone who gave a damn- just so he could be knocked out in the last stages of the qualifiers. It was true that every tournament attracted stronger fighters than before- but somehow it always attracted ever-weaker ones as well. And strength has limits. Stupidity, Yoshimitsu had long ago realised, doesn't.
Yoshimitsu finished adjusting his sheath. He'd decided he wouldn't use the sword in this round. In perfect honesty he was starting to feel a little sorry for this kid he was facing, who was looking to be as rich as a triple chocolate cheesecake, and twice as innocuous. Though clearly fit, he was slim in a way that most fighters weren't, and he had that unworldly, unsuspicious look so uncommon in people who beat others to pulp for a living. Could he possibly stand a chance against Yoshimitsu? The match looked like it was going to be a quick affair, literally a trip for the view. The ninja was a little unhappy at having made such a journey for this, but he wasn't one to complain about a stroke of luck- his place in the final was assured.
They were in a mountain village on the northern Isle of Japan- Hokkaido, where it was cold most of the year round, and the hills and slopes were high and steep even by Japanese standards. To the fighters' left, a cliff-face gave way into a fabulous criss-crossing of valleys, topped with mist. Just below them, at the base of the path, the village was nearly lifeless; because everyone had decided to come watch a fight. Even now the last few spectators were climbing up to join the semi-circle around the two contestants.
Great, Yoshimitsu thought, looks like one side order of public humiliation for the kid. Guess it means he won't be doing this again.
At that moment the 'judge' appeared. Yoshimitsu thought that was a rather grand term to be applied to an old man who'd been paid to carry a clipboard. And it wasn't even a hard job: in the King of Iron Fist there were no bouts, and no points. Matches could end in submission, but almost always ended in a knockout. Sometimes one fighter would pass out from sheer exhaustion. Regardless, the winner was rarely difficult to determine.
The judge, having manoeuvred himself to the front of the mob of eager spectators, proceeded to put on a pair of glasses very slowly. "Leo Kliesen?" he read, in English.
"Here, sir," said Yoshimitsu's opponent, looking surprisingly confident.
"And… and," the judge looked over the papers, muttering something inane about how difficult foreign names were to pronounce, even if they were Japanese. He looked up in confusion.
"Oh my God!" he exclaimed, at the sight of Yoshimitsu.
"Just Yoshimitsu, I'm afraid," said Yoshimitsu dryly. "But if God does show up, point him out, won't you?" He turned to Leo. "You ready to start?"
"Sure am!" Leo took a stance. Then he noted Yoshimitsu's swords, propped against the cliff face on their right. "You sure you don't wanna use those?" he asked. "I don't mind if you do… just don't kill me, alright!"
Yoshimitsu grinned. "Seriously," he said, "I have to say I don't think I'm gonna need them." He was also in a stance now.
Leo grinned back, not looking even remotely nervous. "Okay, think you can keep up?" he taunted, advancing.
"Sure of it." Yoshimitsu shot back, moving to within striking distance. They exchanged a few lightning jabs; Leo was faster than his opponent had thought. He said so.
"That's not even the half of it," Leo replied, circling. Yoshimitsu started circling in the opposite direction. For a few seconds they faced off, playing a game of footwork, both on the lookout for any opening in the other's stance.
Then Yoshimitsu attacked, launching a series of roundhouse kicks with frightening precision; but to his surprise, Leo blocked deftly and stepped back. His final kick hit mid-air. Seeing the opening, Leo rushed forward, catching Yoshimitsu with a series of snap punches. Suddenly Yoshimitsu was on the defensive. Seeing a knee come up, he sidestepped nimbly, but the attack never finalised- instead, Leo drove the lifted leg down into a fierce shin kick. Yoshimitsu staggered. Capitalising, Leo drove his palm hard into Yoshimitsu's gut, sending him sprawling.
For a second the ninja was almost in a state of shock. At the same time as his opinions about Leo had done a collective U-turn, he was angry with himself for getting so complacent over a match. Now his opponent would only be more sure of himself. He staggered up. His left side was already beginning to swell from the gut punch.
"Nice moves," said the ninja.
"Thanks. You're not bad either." Leo started to move in again. "A little slow though… hey, just how old are you under that mask?"
In response, Yoshimitsu moved in again, attempting a backhanded fist; but Leo was too fast. His right arm came up to block and his other flashed out in a left hook before Yoshimitsu's blow had even connected. Yoshimitsu dodged by an inch. Now the right arm came back round. Another dodge. Punch after punch followed with impressive vitality, never letting up. The ninja, for all his reflexes, was struggling to keep up, and as he fell back a straight left glanced his jaw. Off-balance, he staggered and almost fell. Leo, attempting to capitalise once again, moved in with his gut blow.
Mistake. Yoshimitsu's experience had told him to expect it, and he threw himself left. Dirt flew into his face as he landed and rolled clear. But Leo moved in swiftly, and the knee came up again- Yoshimitsu, still fearful of this unknown stance, hesitated, and that was all the time it took for Leo to get in a series of body blows and once again send his opponent reeling.
"You're good," Yoshimitsu admitted, getting up for the second time. "You are good, I'll give you that. But you should take the chance to attack me while I'm down."
Leo grinned. "Right now, I'm not sure I need to."
Now it was Yoshimitsu's turn to smile. That was youth speaking. He remembered that feeling. Taking his stance again, he moved in more cautiously. "You do need to," he assured him. "The fight's not even nearly done yet. You might have caught me out with that sneaky offensive stance, but that's nothing. Me, I got more tricks and surprises than a magician could keep up his sleeves."
He moved to within striking distance. "I haven't used any of those tricks yet. And one other thing- I got no qualms about attacking you while you're down. So let's see if you can take it!"
Yoshimitsu moved in, commencing with his familiar roundhouses, then flowing suddenly into a series of low, spinning kicks, shredding Leo's knees. The fight was getting him psyched up now. He wasn't sure if he was going to win anymore, which was a shame. But he was happy he'd got this opponent rather than some other. This fight would be… fun.
End of Chapter 1
First chapter. Any good?
I'd love it if you could give me some idea of how long you like each chapter to be- I'm aiming at the moment for 2500 to 3000 words. D'you think more, or less? More importantly, which characters are you interested in seeing more of? All the ones in this chapter will be followed quite closely, plus Heihachi and Kazuya will both obviously get some 'screen time.' Next chapter will also see Christie. Any requests? Jin Kazama knows who will win the tournament, but I don't… yet. So who do you think should win?
Note: The plotline about Yoshimitsu's cursed sword has been omitted for this story. I felt like it was kind of irrelevant next to the 'stop a war that is devastating the whole world' storyline.