Velma Verses Chun Li.

Velma Dinkley had been in Bangkok for two days and was starting to become frustrated. She was supposed to be meeting with a famous Chinese mystic who'd claimed he could shed light on a case Mystery, Inc., was investigating. Her colleagues were chasing down leads in other parts of the world. Most of them at least, the stoner and the dog were likely somewhere getting high and eating dog food.

Velma currently sat at the bar of a hotel knocking back gin and tonic, as alcohol was the only safe thing to drink. The drunker she got, the more bitter she became over being in China by herself waiting for her contact to spot her and arrange the meeting with the mystic. Velma thought she was easy to spot, freckles, brown hair, coke-bottle glasses, bright orange sweater with matching skirt and stockings.

Finishing her drink, she was about to order another when someone tapper her shoulder. She turned to see a chubby bald man in a dirty suit. "You American girl?" he asked.

"Yes," she said, getting off her stool and extending her hand. "Ve..."

"Very good," the man said, handing her a note. "Go here. Meet here."

She took the note. It was written in Chinese, which she could somewhat read, if the handwriting was good, which it wasn't. She smiled and nodded, knowing a cab driver would be able to read it. "Thank you," she said.

"Good luck," he replied, and left.

Velma wondered why the woman she'd spoken to over the phone hadn't come, but didn't pay it a second thought. After settling up with the bartender, she left the hotel and stepped out onto the streets of Bangkok, which bustled with activity and heat. Velma flagged down a cab and showed the driver the note. "Do you know it?" she asked. Most of the cab drivers spoke at least some English.

The cab driver, a fatter, balder man than the one who'd given her the note studied it for a moment, casting glances at Velma as he did so. "You sure?" he asked.

"Yes, I'm sure," she said, settling in to the back of the cab and closing the door. It smelled like body odor and chicken. "Go," she said, as the driver was still looking at the note. "Do you know where to go?"

He nodded and shrugged his shoulders. Pulling into the dense traffic, he weaved in and out of lanes with the surreal grace only cabbies could manage. Soon Velma began to see why he'd questioned her about the note. As they drove, the streets became less crowded, the buildings more dilapidated, and she could smell them through the cab's windows. An old city, there was something almost primordial to Bangkok's odor.

"Here," the driver said, stopping in front of a tall square building that looked like it was about to fall down, and was only being held up by the equally dubious buildings on either side.

She paid the driver and stepped out. No one was on the street and the front door to the building in front of her was hanging sideways with yellow tape tied across the dark entrance. Velma looked at the note again, and noticed what she'd taken for scribbles on the back was actually a crude map. "Jinkies," she said, and covered her mouth. A few more years in therapy and that damned tic would be gone forever, she thought bitterly.

The map indicated she was to go around to the side of one of the buildings where there was small lot accessable by a hole in a concrete wall. Stepping over broken rocks, garbage, and avoiding loose sand, Velma couldn't help but note this was a great spot to be mugged.

She was also surprised to note a beautiful woman standing against the wall with her arms crossed. She was wearing a blue qipao with extremely high slits that showed off her muscular, brown nylon covered legs. Her long brown hair was done up in ox buns from which hung white ribbons. She also wore what looked like white combat boots and spiked bracelets.

Velma had been expecting an older woman, but she supposed that was just her being prejudice. Who said a person couldn't be an expert on mysticism at a young age? The woman seemed to be expecting her, as she had come off the wall and was walking towards Velma with a low, cool look in her eye. Velma advanced as well and extended her hand. "Hi, you must be..."

She didn't see the woman's leg move, didn't see her body bend to prepare for a kick. All Velma knew was a rush of wind and agony as something smashed into the right side of her rib cage, sending her flying through the air. She hit the ground on her shoulder and felt the air blow out of her lungs.

No sooner had she realized she'd been kicked and several ribs had been broken was she being turned over and hoisted to her feet. The woman held her against the wall for a moment before pulling her right arm back for a punch.

"Wait," Velma croaked. "You wouldn't hit someone wearing glasses, would you?"

The woman cocked an eyebrow and shrugged. She plucked Velma's glasses off, folded them, and tucked them into the front of her dress. Velma saw the blurred image of her arm going back, but didn't see it come forward.

The woman's knuckles slammed into Velma's nose, breaking it. Blood gushed down the front of her shirt and she was punched again, this time in the jaw. Velma felt a few molars become dislodged and tried unsuccessfully to not swallow them as blood filled her mouth. Another fist struck her about the eye and she felt the socket give in and her eye come loose.

She tried to ask the woman to stop, but only a gargling moan came out. Another punch hit her straight in the mouth which split her lips open on her front teeth, even as it knocked them out. Her efforts to not choke on her own blood were helped along by what felt like a pillar of concrete being driven by an explosion into the area bellow her ribcage. It blew what little air was left in her out, and blood and bits of teeth came spraying out Velma's shredded lips onto the woman's dress, and her glasses.

Having long ago lost the ability to stand on her own, Velma fell in a broken heap once the iron fist that held her up slackened. The last thing she saw before losing consciousness was the woman's blood spattered boot next to her face.

Chun Li felt awful about what she'd done, even weeks later. She sat wearing a conservative light blue business suit, something more indicative of her status as an Interpol agent, next to the hospital bed of Velma Dinkley who'd woken up from her coma the day before. The doctors in this hospital weren't very good, Chun Li, thought, but they'd seemed quite confidant Velma hadn't suffered any brain damage.

Chun Li had told Velma the news, but couldn't be sure if she was happy to hear it under the dirty-looking bandages. The swelling had gone down on her wounds and the machines she was plugged into had minimized the damage to her internal organs, or so the doctor's said.

"Again, I'm very sorry," Chun Li said. "I'll admit, I suspected something was off after the second punch, but once you get really into a beating it's hard to come out. It's a fighter thing."

Velma couldn't move, but her eye, the one left exposed by the bandages, remained fixed on Chun Li. She found the woman's look unnerving, as she'd also beaten Velma's ability to have facial expressions out of her, at least temporarily. She couldn't tell if she was forgiven or if Velma hated her. "Anyway, I know this might seem a little...inappropriate, but I have to stress how important it is you stick to the story that you were mugged by a gang of young men. I have a career to think of, and while my bosses know about what I do, there's only so much they can overlook. In fact, we're all set to pay you two million dollars to keep quiet. That's on top of the medical bills. Good deal, right?"

Velma's eye looked directly at her, blinking only once in a great while. Chun Li hoped she'd be happy with money. Americans liked money, didn't they? Who didn't? "Well...look on the bright side, your legs weren't broken. Learning to walk again is hard, but the doctors said you should be able to learn quickly."

Another stretch of silence.

Chun Li began to wonder why she'd come and ever more as to why she was still there, as she was the only one who could speak and eat food without the aid of a tube. From the smell of the room, she was also the only one who could use the bathroom. Chun Li had been with Velma for some time, and couldn't help but notice no nurses had come by to check on the American.

She couldn't believe how easily Velma had broken. It had been like hitting a sack of jelly with some porcelain stuffed inside for shape. She was glad she'd taken off the woman's glasses, otherwise they'd likely be embedded in her skull. She didn't think the surgeons in this particular hospital, a rather dingy one where questions didn't often get asked, had the ability to remove spectacles from a person's head. It was a miracle Velma's surgeries had turned out as well as they did, although Chun Li couldn't help but notice some of the bandages had brown and not so brown blood stains.

Chun Li thanked the powers that be that she'd opted to punch Velma rather than use her kicks to finish the job. Her Lighting Kick technique likely would've left Velma a fine paste smeared against a dingy wall in an abandoned Bangkok lot.

"Well, goodbye, then," Chun Li finally said. "Remember, muggers. Otherwise..." she punched the palm of her hand, letting the loud slapping sound echo in the room.