October 7th 1992, The Gulf
"Can you believe it's been this long since I heard from you, Kevin? I've been so worried." Skarlet felt shivers down her spine as she heard Sub Zero's heavy exhales down the phone. The call was costing her more money than she had access to, but it didn't matter to her any more; all she wanted was to hear his voice and tell him that she loved him. What she didn't know was that a woman was lying nude in next to him - Kitana.
"Yeah...it's been too long. Almost as if I'd forgotten about you. Heh." Sub Zero felt pangs of guilt but he hadn't cared whilst he had been hoisted by Kitana earlier that evening. "Look, I have to go," he said with little care, "Take care. I'll be back soon."
"You too. I lov-"
The phone went dead on the other side of the world and Skarlet began to sob uncontrollably.
Kitana rolled on to her side and held her head up, "Why stay with her when you are happier with me?"
"Shut up. You don't know anything about her." Sub Zero sat up and tossed his legs to the side of the bed. Kitana was in shock and sat up herself, folding her arms as if she felt a voyeur peeping through the cracks in the walls. The dusty shack sat in the middle of nowhere, a place within the Middle East which God had all but forgotten.
"Get out and get ready. There are mere hours left until we go to Haven. We shouldn't have done this."
Kitana stormed out of the bed and got changed into combats and a vest, her flowing black locks trickled down her back so effortlessly that Sub Zero could have mistaken her to be a shape shifting Rain. He held his head in his hands and scraped his heavy stubble, each bristle felt like tiny knives that cut into his palms. He spoke to the sky.
"Brother...I have no idea if you can hear me all the way over here, but I just want to let you know that I love you and I'm sorry for what I did with Karen. It was unforgivable and it always will be. Even though Scorpion killed you, I believe that he did it for the right reasons. That sounds strange to me but I think if I had been in his shoes with his power and strength - I would have done the same. If God is real, give him a one hundred dollar bill and a wink for me, yeah? I sure as hell feel as if I'm gonna die and if I do, I don't want to be stuck down in Hell with Stryker, that's for sure. If you'd known...I'm sure you would have stopped him without a second thought, even if that meant you'd be branded a traitor, you'd have done it for the right reasons. Jesus...what am I even doing talking to the roof like a goddamn lunatic? I always was a little loopy and by God didn't you know it. A couple of Chinese kids in America - that's all we were - then they want us to fight their wars for their people? It always was weird. Send the minorities. Scorpion - I'm sure he has Jap blood in him. Smoke's a Jew and Reptile...Reptile's a fuckin' lizard monster. Ha, for once we weren't the odd ones here. I know Smoke was your best friend and you were brothers in arms with Scorpion and Reptile like I'll never have but it makes me proud to be following in your footsteps - to be making a difference and at least trying to save the world one bastard at a time."
A shape emerged in front of the veteran, a shadow unlike anything he had ever seen before. It was Bi-Han. Sub Zero collapsed in fear and awe.
The shadow put a finger to its mouth in a shushing movement before disappearing into wisps. Sub Zero screamed to the heavens in confusion and fell to the ground an emotional wreck. His sobbing drew the attention of Kitana who ran in and comforted him, Sub Zero's violent shaking frightened her as she whispered in his ear and kissed the side of his face.
Johnny Cage sparred with Liu Kang, the pair of them had trained under the watchful eye of Raiden, the duo frequently outdoing each other. A dose of the serum had been obtained by the Sanctuary itself, a rogue case stolen by a rogue faction in Stryker's eyes. Sektor and Cyrax had gone in together, avoiding the collapsing bunkers and ceilings of the Nevada compound. Reptile's destruction of the base had left Stryker in no hurry to return and Kabal's betrayal had all but convinced the paranoid general that he had booby trapped the building with mines, automated weaponry and even crude spears. It was all an untruth created by the warped mind of the wannabe dictator, yet it was effective at keeping him away from gaining more power. A purer serum, the scientists on Haven couldn't quite create the same genetic change in people as Kabal could. The 'magik' behind it - as the doctors had coined on numerous reports - was too advanced for them to unlock, despite it being a formula created over fifty years prior and with less resources.
"C-can we have an injection of that stuff now...?" Cage begged Raiden.
Raiden walked over to the former actor and elbowed him to the ground. "Not whilst you're still a little boy in a man's body. It is for emergencies only. Once we are on the island, we shall decide what to do with it then - everybody will have their own individual vial to inject if the time requires it. In case of said emergency, you are free to do with it what you please."
Liu Kang bowed to Raiden who awkwardly repeated the gesture. "Thank you sir," said the other former actor humbly. Cage mouthed the same words mockingly.
International Waters - 15 miles from Haven, October 8th 1992.
Shao Kahn stood at the front of the cargo plane in a white shirt and black trousers. He looked so out of place that even the antique mask he had put on couldn't cover his misgivings. The mask covered the top of his head down past his nose, it was shaped like a skull. Many thought it was a real skull. They were right, but they didn't know it was actually his father's.
"Listen up boys and girls. The DZ is two minutes away, have your weapons prepped, your powers, (if you have them), charged up and your emergency supplies ready. I've got mine." The large man pointed to his shirt pocket which contained a syringe and a vial of the serum. Sub Zero sat silently. The Mortals were all in different planes to avoid a massacre had they been struck down prematurely. They also had only been given hours to get used to their new attire - they all wore dark underclothes and balaclavas with protection on top; Sub Zero had a custom mask with an oxygen inhibitor. Plating covered his upper arms and hands with blue cloth draped down the middle of his body.
The Mortals had questioned why they were being differentiated again only for the Grandmaster to tell them that it was to protect the other soldiers. He believed that Stryker would focus on them and become obsessed with killing them - and what better way than to give them similar designs to what the original Mortals wore?
"Thirty seconds!" Kahn cried from the front of the ship. "Move out men! Sub Zero, you hang back for them." Sub Zero nodded and eventually jumped from the plane. He could see the other planes dropping the resistance off as if they were food crates. He saw billowing pillars of smoke careening through the air - huge shells were fired to counteract the swiftly advancing Smoke who returned fire of his own. Black clouds blinded the gunners, stopping the shooting briefly.
Sub Zero was not a Mortal in that half a minute - he was immortal.
Author's Note: It's been a long time since I updated, especially so close to the end but I was preparing to go back to university. Apologies. The next three (shorter) chapters cover Smoke, Reptile and Scorpion's experiences just before the battle and their subsequent involvement in the drop off before the showdown commences. If there are any questions you feel I have not addressed or I've dropped or forgotten about, please let me know via direct message or within a review. I want to make everybody feel as if they have get closure and a satisfying end. Thanks again.
Obelisk of Light: I'm trying to get the powers in for the last battle, hopefully they will be portrayed convincingly enough for you. This story may be about the four ninjas but it's definitely the people around them that give them a lot of help. Thanks for the review as always.
Mr. Havik: The Lin Kuei are Raiden's secret contact, yes. Though I haven't written it, I like to think of this version of Raiden to be very James Bond, very cunning and sly. The Grandmaster was envisioned as just a man inspired by his father's obsession with the Mortals. His father saw them and fought alongside them very briefly 'off screen' if you will. The Grandmaster in turn is almost a fanboy of them having heard his father's tales and following of the group. Reptile is still my favourite character to write for, even if he doesn't appear in this chapter. Yes, I agree. I could have pulled off the revelation to Sub Zero better than I should have, considering it has hung over the story for a long time. I won't justify it but thank you as always.