A/N: Because I don't want any nutjobs reviewing and telling me, what? Who's Ryu? Isn't Hanzo Scorpion? Why is Sub-zero a girl?




There was a strong gust of wind and with it, two cloaked men appeared. For a second, they stared at each other, then the younger of the two had pinned the other onto a nearby tree.

"Ack-it's me-!" he choked out as the grip on his neck tightened.

"...I know," the young man smirked before releasing him. He gasped for air while massaging his throat.

"Ugh, bloody kid," he mumbled and scrambled up in an effort to maintain a semblance of dignity.

The youth rolled his eyes before growing serious. "Did you manage to kill your target?" He raised his eyebrow as the man shifted in his position and stayed silent, a rarity for him. "You failed, didn't you?"

"It was impossible to get inside their stronghold," he replied defensively. "A dozen guards were posted in each entrance; even the unconventional ones."

"Hmmm, they really have thought of everything, haven't they?"

"Seems like it."

The two started walking towards the entrance of their lair. Their master deemed the forests of Earthrealm to be the last place they would look for them. They passed over the fallen statue of the Elder Gods as they have for the past few months. Just beyond a small creek was a large group of boulders. The two slipped between the cracks and reached the other side-a dead end.

"Master won't like the news you brought back, Viper," he said as he tested the wall. Satisfied that his hand passed, he walked through it.

Viper followed him and both headed up the flight of stairs adjacent to the doorway.

"You think I don't know that?" he grumbled. The other clan members nodded sympathetically as they passed them, perhaps knowing something that happened earlier that day, and it heightened Viper's anxiety at reporting.

The two strode quickly down the stone hallway, towards the double-door entrance at the end. On a normal day, they'd walk slowly, admiring the architecture of the place: the high vaulted stone ceiling supported by stone pillars on either side, stained-glass windows adorning the wall, charmed to appear as if a light were cascading through them, and the gargoyles at both sides of the doorway. Despite not being from Earthrealm, the boss had excellent taste.

Today, however, was not a normal day.

The stone figures growled at them as they arrived at the door, perhaps somehow knowing that they were bringing their master bad news.

Viper turned to him before knocking. "And what of you? Did you get the information needed?" he asked, hoping to have someone else fail, like him.

The boy scoffed at him. "My task was reconnaissance, easy as counting," he replied.

No wonder the boy was always in the Master's favor; he always finished his job to perfection.

Viper felt dread filling at the pit of his stomach as he raised the knocker and hammered it on the door. A moment passed, which seemed like an eternity to him, and a low voice which seemed to chill him to the core was heard.

"Enter," it spoke.

They glanced at each other for a moment as the doors opened slowly, as if hesitating to let them enter. Viper straightened and held his head high as they strode across the spacious room and towards the far end; where a lone, pale figure looked down at them uninterestedly as he sat upon a throne made of skulls and bones.

It's all about confidence, Viper tried to convince himself as both of them knelt down in front of him.

"Rise," their master spoke. "Python, step forward. What news do you bring me?"

The youth took a step forward. "The stronghold remains heavily guarded. Guards are stationed at every entrance. The main gates, those in the back, and the rooftops are those with the most assassins. Shift occurs every three hours for those in the main entrance, and two hours for the rooftops. It is found in—"

He paused as the sorcerer raised a hand and glanced pointedly at Viper. "This conversation," he said. "Is not for his ears."

Python glanced at Viper and his eyes danced in wicked amusement. The lower half of his face was covered with a dark red mask, so Viper wasn't sure of his expression, but it looked like he was grinning. As Viper gave him a confused look in return, Python wiped the grin off his face and carefully replaced it with a neutral expression.

"It does not matter whether he hears it or not," Python said, making Viper's heart leap into his throat.

Nohe wouldn't.

"Oh?" His master shifted his steely gaze onto him. "How so?"

Python shrugged, "Well I don't know. Maybe you should ask him."

Viper was glad for the mask he was wearing, as his jaw fell open at both blatant display disrespect Python showed and the words he spoke.

"Perhaps I should," he replied, making Viper's jaw open even wider. Their master was not a forgiving man. The slightest show of disrespect would end up with the master's broadsword shoved down the rebel's throat.


"So, Viper," his master said, sounding bored. Viper, however, knew that he was anything but uninterested. "How goes your mission?"

This is it, he thought with a gulp. "I—forgive me, master—t'was too much—it was impossible to penetrate their barriers."

A moment of silence passed before he stood up and slowly made his way towards the two of them.

"Impossible, is it? Too much?" he said softly, circling Viper.

"Y-yes, sir."

In a split second, their master was crushing his windpipe in a firm grip.

"M-master, p-please! H-have m-mercy!" he choked out.

"I have no mercy for useless tools such as yourself," he hissed. A sickening crack was heard, and he threw the body of Viper aside.

"It wasn't as if you were expecting him to succeed anyway," Python spoke up after a while. "That was just an excuse to kill him, not that you needed any."

"He has outlived his usefulness."

"True, he was as useless as Black Mamba. Can't spy to save his life. You could hear him breathing a mile away."

His companion's lips twitched in amusement.

Python removed his mask and grinned. "I hated it when you assigned him to my squad. Whatever possessed you to recruit him?"

"I knew he spied for the Forces of Light. He was a way to feed false information to them," He paused. "Do you think you can handle this mission?"

Python scoffed. "Of course."

"Such confidence."

"Like Father, like Son," Python quipped. "Though I am thankful that you didn't name me after you."

"What is wrong with my name?"

"Even Python, my alias, sounds better than Quan Chi Junior." he sniggered.

His father raised an eyebrow in amusement, before adopting a more serious expression. "Are you sure you are up to it?"

"The security's tight," he admitted. "But I've observed and studied their patterns for the past few days. I've never failed a mission before, Father. I've got this."

Quan Chi placed a hand on his son's shoulder and squeezed it lightly in a gesture of reassurance. "I know you do."

Python gave him a crooked smile. "I've also studied her and her apprentice's fighting styles. Loath as I to admit, he seems to be a talented fighter."

"Indeed? Are we still thinking about the same apprentice?"

"Ryu Hasashi, renamed Hanzo Hasashi."

Quan Chi nodded. "And his master? Your main target for this mission?"

Python's expression darkened and he looked at his father with a determined expression.


Thousands of miles away, a woman with long, light blue hair and pale skin awoke with a start.

A/N: Hello faithful readers! :P I'm back! So I'm attempting to give this story an actual plot, and not to turn into an "anything-goes" fanfic like the last one. I will attempt to at least update once every month, 'cause you guys deserve it too. This will still be told from Sub-zero's POV, this is just a prologue, y'know. :P

So, Quan Chi has a son? What the eff?

I know. You'll find out someday.

Semi-spoiler: Python will play a large role in this story.

That's all I'm saying.

Please leave a review! It makes me very happy!