Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to Final Fight or anything related to it. Not that I'm not important, mind you. This material is made strictly as tribute to the official releases.

Vigilantes

My name is Kyra, and I was 17 at the time. I was fairly good-looking, with a good body, but that wasn't a good thing, with the caliber of boys I was surrounded by. I was still in school, or whatever school had become. There were always fights between the kids who were part of the gangs and those whose lives had been ruined by them. We didn't dare go outside during our breaks, because we'd heard stories about crimes happening right on school grounds. Some kids would walk home and get harassed or assaulted by the same gang members every day. Personally, I waited a couple hours after school had ended before going home. By then my route was usually clear of most gang members, but I still had to peek around every corner, just in case.

It was unbelievable how dangerous the streets had gotten recently in Metro City. A person couldn't walk more than a block without some kind of trouble from gangsters. The Mad Gear is what they called themselves, but that name hardly did them justice. Actually, I probably shouldn't even call them gangsters. These weren't even terrorists. They hurt and killed people because they loved it; it had nothing to do with money or power. And why would they need either? They already owned half the city, and were recruiting new members every day. Of course, you could tell that some of them were less into it than the others, but that didn't matter. They all did the same thing: steal, kill, rape, and destroy. It was the closest thing to Hell on Earth I've ever seen. The cops were no help, either. Most of them were bought out or blackmailed, and those who weren't didn't last too long. There were rumors that the newly-elected Mayor Haggar was taking the matter personally and working to clean up the streets, but I didn't believe it. After all, why would anyone, even a former wrestling champion like the mayor, risk fighting such a large force, and without any police support? It seemed too far-fetched a story. That is, until I met him.

It was a Friday, and I left school at about 6:00. I was fairly excited to be going home, because my brother Dean was back in town, having just come back from Brazil. I was never really clear on why he had gone there, but it was good to hear he was coming back. He had been offered a job through a friend of our mom's prior to coming. In addition to getting to see him again, Dean was an active martial artist in the underground circuit, and that would sure come in handy in Metro City.

I guess the excitement got to me, because I was being much less cautious in walking home than usual. I was no longer paying attention to how many places gang members could spring from; I was only thinking of Dean. Then, when I came to a gas station, I heard a noise coming from a back alley. Foolishly, I walked over to see what it was, and before I could react a hand sprung out from the shadows and grabbed my hair, pulling me in. "C'mere, cutie," I heard, as well as a terrible, cackling laugh. Before I could tell what was going on, I was on the ground in front of four very tough-looking guys. "We got something for you," the guy who grabbed me said, trying to hold back his evil laughter. He was big. Too big for me to fight. He looked like he knew how to fight, too, with his hands wrapped and his leather jacket's sleeves rolled up. The other guys looked intimidating, too. One was shirtless, except for some pre-emptive bandaging across his stomach. One of the other guys was pretty normal-looking, aside from being a little on the short side. The last one was tall and dark-skinned, and was wearing some kind of raggedy one-color outfit, with a headband on, and knives in his belt. At first, I thought maybe I could grab one of those knives and fight these guys off, but then I realized that the tall one probably knew how to use those knives, so I wouldn't have a chance even if I got one.

"L-let me go," I stammered, trying to hide my panic. I knew they were planning to do something awful.

"Aw, is the little girl scared?" the guy in leather asked me. "Does she need some comfort?" The short and tall guy were laughing. Then, the big guy in leather reached out for me. This wasn't good. I was sure it was over.

Then, somebody ran up from behind me and elbowed the guy in leather in his chest, and then, with a low sweeping kick, sent him to the ground. This guy was fast, and was wearing a red martial arts-type outfit. Then came another guy. This one was a little bit bigger, and had blonde hair. He pushed the bandaged guy into the wall and started punching him in the body and the face. Then came an even bigger guy. It took me a while to realize it, but it was Mayor Haggar. I knew he was big, because I had seen some of his wrestling on TV, but in person he was monstrous. He dealt the short guy a massive blow to the side of his head, sending him flying into the hard wall. By now, the tall guy had pulled out two of his knives, and was ready for the fight. He threw one at the blonde guy, who was still beating up the bandaged guy (at this point, I wasn't sure if he was still conscious, or even breathing). Amazingly, the guy in red grabbed the knife from the air, and handed it to the blonde-haired guy. The blonde guy rushed the tall guy, and the two started fighting with the knives. Meanwhile, the guy in leather had gotten back up, and he whistled for reinforcements. Haggar hit him hard for it, but that couldn't stop what had already happened. Soon, the alley was flooded with gang members. I would guess as many as twenty of them were congregated in the alleyway, all tough-looking, and ready to try out their skills. The blonde guy had finished the knife-fight by now, so he joined the other two in facing the newly-arrived mob. What followed was a more intense fight than I had ever before seen. These guys weren't like anything I had seen on TV, where the fights are staged or edited, or there's at least a commentator to explain everything that happens. No, this was purely a battle for survival. Every attack those three did, every move they took, every cry they made, carried an immense, life-or-death weight behind it, and it was clearly too much for the Mad Gear punks to handle.

As I watched the fight, I began to notice different styles among Haggar and his friends. Haggar was clearly a wrestler; his moves were powerful, but also a little elaborate. He seemed to favor one-hit knockouts, which he seemed quite capable of doing. The guy in red, although equal to his friends in terms of effectiveness in combat, was clearly more focused and tactful than either of them. His moves were all directed at weak spots, as well as amazingly fast. Some of his moves seemed to defy the laws of physics, like something you might see in a Street Fighter tournament. Nevertheless, here I was, witnessing it with my own eyes. The blonde guy seemed like a different kind of fighter altogether. He seemed less like a martial artist facing an opponent, and more like a beast overcoming his prey, reveling in every small victory he achieved. At several points during the fight, I'm sure I heard him laugh. It was almost as if he was happy when he turned around and saw more opponents waiting for him, as if not fighting required too much effort. To be honest, he scared me. Still, he was fighting as effectively as the others, pulling his weight throughout the brawl, and I was sure glad he was on my side.

"Come on," the mayor said. "Let's get you out of here." The fight was over, and all the gang members were either unconscious or gone. We started walking away from the scene. I was happy to be safe, but a little dismayed that I had let myself fall into the Mad Gear's clutches in the first place. It started to sink in just how wrong things could have gone for me, had those three not saved me when they did. Then Haggar put his hand on my shoulder, calming me down a little. "This won't last long," he stated solemnly. "Not if I can do anything to stop it. I promise." I wasn't exactly sure what that statement meant at the time, or why he was doing all this, but I could tell that whatever his reasons, they meant a lot to him.

The three men walked me a short distance closer to my neighborhood, but I knew they needed to get back to fighting the criminals, so I consented to walking alone the rest of the way. "You'll be alright," the guy in red said. "You're braver than most, and that gives you potential, but if there's any more trouble tonight, my advice is to run. Whether it's toward or away from the enemy is up to you."

"Or, if you can't run," the blonde guy chuckled, "go for the guy's throat or the side of his neck. That's a good strategy for weaker fighters, and it'll mess him up good."

"Regardless," Haggar sternly interrupted, "You won't have much to worry about. I swear the Mad Gear are going down today."

After saying goodbye, the three of them left. I was still a bit shaken up from the whole experience, but I at least felt better about the future of Metro City. It seemed strange, but I couldn't help but believe Mike Haggar's words when he said that he would take down the Mad Gear gang. The fight I had just seen had amazed me. Here were these fighters, these vigilantes, who were willing to fight the entire Mad Gear gang alone and unarmed, constantly risking their lives in the process. I knew they could win. And I couldn't get over what that one guy had said to me about having potential. Maybe it was time to test that potential out. Maybe, one day, I could be great, just like them. For the first time, I believed that things were going to change for the better. I went home to my brother Dean.