The Fall of EarthRealm
A/N: So, nearly 10 years after Ever After? was first published, I'm finally coming back to finish it. Unfortunately, I am unable to access my previous pen name, Indy Croft, or else I would have removed the story. Instead, I've taken the red pen to it and thrown in a plot, and now I have a new storyline to share with you: The Fall of EarthRealm.
While the beginning is pretty much the same, you will quickly see that there is a bigger story going on in the background. I look forward to taking you on this journey, and I hope you will enjoy it as well.
Dedication: To ChibiSonya, who helped fuel the beginning of this story. Though it has obviously changed direction over the years, it still would not have come into existence without you. Hope you are doing well.
Disclaimer: I do not own the MK characters. I do claim the muse who has inspired me to finish this, though, as well as the OCs such as the Dark Lords.
Notes for the new reader: This story rises from the novelization of the movie; here are the differences between the novel and the movie: when Sonya fought Kano, she let him live, instead planning to throw him in jail. When Shang Tsung captured Sonya, he told her she was the most amazing female warrior he'd ever seen, and demanded to possess her. He wants her as his wife, and will make her such if she cooperates by fighting him and losing in the final battle of Mortal Kombat. The chapter opens from the beginning of chapter 16 of the novelization by Martin Delrio…
Chapter 1: They're Already Here
Inside the Black Tower, the Special Forces lieutenant and chosen warrior Sonya Blade glared with barely concealed disgust at the demonic human sorcerer, Shang Tsung. He stepped close to her, his dark robes swishing silently behind him, and gave her a chilling smile.
"Have you made your decision, young Sonya? You must fight me now, or yield Earth to the Emperor."
Sonya chewed her lip but shook her head. "No, I won't fight you, Shang Tsung. I won't play your game, whatever it is."
"But there is no else. If you don't fight me, the Realm of Earth will forfeit the tournament, and its portals will open to our great emperor."
"I do not yield Earth, it is not mine to give," Sonya replied. "But nevertheless, I will not fight."
"So be it. Take her away to prepare her for the wedding."
"No!" Sonya shouted as two monks stepped closer to her. "No, my friends will come!"
Tsung let out a quiet laugh. "They're already here."
"What do you mean?" she asked suspiciously.
The sorcerer stepped closer to her as he continued with a soft smile on his face, his voice flowing like silk. "They came to Outworld a short while ago in hopes of saving you. But they were outnumbered and captured. They are waiting in my dungeon now, waiting for you to make a decision."
"You're lying," Sonya hissed.
"Unfortunately, no. I am not." His smile became reassuring. "It was a valiant effort, but to no avail. However, as I so admire their eager determination, I will spare their lives… if you fight me now."
"I don't believe you. It's a trick, and I won't fall for it."
"You need proof? So be it." He snapped his fingers and a scuffling sound came from behind her. A few moments later, a number of monks appeared. Behind them, bound by chains and worse for wear stood Johnny, Liu and the exotic beauty Princess Kitana.
Sonya's heart pounded in her ears. "No…"
Tsung grinned. "As you can see, my sweet Sonya, this is no trick." He gestured to the three who were forced to their knees along the outer ring of the dragon engraved on the floor. "I will promise you this, Sonya. If you fight me and you lose, as you must, I will spare your life and theirs."
She eyed the sorcerer with contempt. "And if I refuse?"
"Sonya, you can't! Or Earth is lost!" Liu suddenly shouted from the side. He groaned as a monk slammed a fist into the back of his head, knocking him forward to the floor.
"Now do you believe me, dear Sonya? Your friend speaks only the truth. So I leave you with this offer: Fight me in Mortal Kombat. Do you accept my offer, or do you yield?"
The lieutenant's face reflected the deep anger that burned inside of her. The fate of millions rested on her shoulders. Her eyes drifted from Tsung's gleaming ones over to Johnny Cage, who was kneeling expressionless, his eyes never leaving her form. What do I do, she pleaded to him silently. He gave a simple nod, and she could almost hear him say, You can do it. Try.
She took a deep breath and turned back to the sorcerer. With a tight nod, she declared two words. "I accept."
The two monks freed her hands and she was pushed forward into the ring. Tsung threw off his silk robe, removed the black cap atop his head, and tossed them to the side. He bowed before his opponent. Sonya stood firm, ignoring the gesture of respect.
The two stared at each other for only a moment before Tsung charged her with a spinning elbow. She ducked, blocked his left jab, his right jab, but was unprepared for the foot sweep that stole her balance. As she fell, Tsung reached for her arm, planning to spin her body and pin her down on her stomach.
Sonya went with the move, instead thrusting herself into the turn. The sorcerer flipped over her and landed on his back, while she landed on her side. She rolled into a back walkover and snapped out her leg as she arced over, nailing him in the chin as he stood. Stunned, he was unprepared for the vicious combination of quick hooks and uppercuts from his opponent. Her feet were flying at his head with incredible speed, and her punches were so focused they moved like a blur of flesh.
Cries of encouragement from the sides cheered her on, but in the end it was useless. Tsung was faster and Sonya weak from her imprisonment. Too soon she began slowing, leaving Tsung able to detect a pattern in her attack, blocking her hit for hit. She attempted a few more kicks, including a jump roundhouse toward his temple. Her attack was thwarted and she was slammed down on her back.
Shaking the dizziness away, she flipped up to her feet painfully. In a flash of black silk, Tsung came at her with his own deadly combination of skill. Sonya tried to dodge, but as one hit landed, more quickly followed. Her arms were bruised and swollen and she could barely feel them. With the last ounce of her strength, she caught an opening at his head, and kicked up with all her might.
But her foot hit only air. She felt her supporting leg bend at the knee, and she was swept onto her back. Her head slammed back onto the floor, the force so jarring it shook through her bones. Slowly, the vision of Tsung approaching her was fading around the edges. Someone was shouting for her to get up, but she felt so heavy… everything weighed so much. A dark shadow with flame filled eyes stood over her, and two words flowed into her ears before she blacked out.
A flick of his wrist allowed the monks to step forward and pick up the unconscious warrior. "Take her to the room in the east wing, and see that her wounds are treated. She must be in fit condition for tomorrow's ceremonies."
"You are in no position to argue, Mr. Cage." Shang Tsung turned with a sickening smile to the two men struggling against their captors. The third warrior, Kitana, stood stoically, expressionless, always the image of royalty.
"Rayden was right," Liu spat. "You are a coward, Tsung, a spineless lowlife with no dignity or honor. You are a disgrace to everything sacred about this tournament."
The sorcerer approached the Chosen One. "And what would you know of the sacred rules of Mortal Kombat? You, who have only lived for a few decades, what could you possibly know?"
"I know that men who fight without honor are no men at all."
Tsung's head tilted back slightly, his gaze never leaving that of the young Shaolin monk. "I kept my bargain with Johnny Cage, I challenged Sonya, I gave her a choice, and she made it. What is so dishonorable about that?"
"You ran from your fear instead of facing it," Liu answered.
"It's no secret, Shang Tsung," Johnny continued. "Liu is the best of us and you avoided him like a frightened dog with his tail between his legs. You know you couldn't win, so you rigged the tournament in your favor."
"I did no such thing," Tsung reassured in a calm voice, the smile never falling from his face as he turned to face the actor. "I am not to blame for the loss of your realm. If the blame is to go anywhere, Mr. Cage, it is to you. After all, you accepted my deal without stopping to think of the consequences. Once again, your rashness has lead to your defeat, just like with your pathetic career choice."
Johnny said nothing, the sudden tension of his jaw the only indication the sorcerer's scathing words hit their mark.
Liu noticed this and shook his head. "Your deceptions will be your downfall. I will come for you, sorcerer, and next time you won't be able to run from me."
Tsung laughed and nodded to the monks. "Take these two below to the dungeons. I will see a proper ending for them later. As for her highness," Tsung mocked to the woman who remained silent through the exchange, "see her to her chambers. She will remain there until I return."
A chilling smile graced the victor's dark features. "I must send word to the Emperor… then the destruction of Earth can begin." With mild amusement, he watched as the three were taken away, unable to deny the pleasure at hearing their cries of revenge.
"Impudent mortals." Pivoting on his foot he turned away and waved his hand up to the far wall. A portal formed and he stepped through into a giant hall decorated with blazing torches and the rotting remains of fallen warriors. At the center of the hall upon a throne of bones sat a humanoid creature with glowing red eyes. The sorcerer stepped closer to the throne, and bowed in greeting.
"Your Eminence," he announced humbly.
"Shang Tsung, my darkest sorcerer. What news do you bring me?"
The human demon straightened and smiled proudly. "Earth is ours. Flawless victory."
The hall filled with a deep rumble of laughter, its chilling drone reverberating off the walls and traveling through out the dark castle. "Excellent. Rasheem!" he barked to a nearby soldier. "See to it that the armies are sent out at once. Earth's destruction begins now."
When the soldier marched off, the Emperor again spoke to the sorcerer. "And the warriors? What of their fate?"
"They are alive, for now, until we can choose an ending fitting for them. However, I request that the female be left unharmed. I would like her for my own personal prize."
"And you shall keep her. She is not the Chosen One; she is no concern of mine." The large muscular man stroked his hairless chin. "As for the others, do with them what you wish. They are no threat. I have what I want." A slow smile spread across his dark features, his eyes blazing in anticipation.
"After 500 years, I finally have what I want."
Difficulty breathing. Stiff shoulders. Aching legs.
These were the things to which Sonya awoke. As her vision cleared, she looked around the dark room. Surrounding her was finely carved wood furniture and elegant tapestries hung from the high ceilings. Woven around her body were silk sheets of an emerald color, and as she sat up to take in her surroundings, they slid off her body in a cascading display of shimmers. She gasped as she noticed the black corset wrapped tightly to her pale and slightly bruised form. Anger and shame rushed through her as she realized someone had taken the liberty of dressing her while she was unconscious…
An image came into her mind with such clarity she felt the color drain from her face. She was in a dark circular room with the dragon insignia of the Tournament. Her hands hurt from the shackles that had held her. Monks were lined up around her. Shang Tsung, the Demon Sorcerer, was smiling down at her in victory. The Final Kombat.
A small gasp escaped her. With dread coiling itself in her stomach, she recalled in vivid detail the final fight that determined the fate of the Earth realm.
The fight she had lost.
Her head fell into her hands as it hit her like a shotgun blast to the stomach. She lost, and everyone on Earth was damned to become slaves of Outworld, be it they were not executed on sight by the Emperor's armies. Her realm was going to be devastated and demolished, and she could do nothing to stop it now. She had let her friends down.
Her head shot up, panic seizing her heart. Her friends… where were they now? Sonya quickly moved from the large bed and over to the door, her mind already devising a plan to find them before the wedding. She froze as another wave of nausea crashed into her. Because of her loss, Shang Tsung was going to make her his wife.
The lieutenant shook her head, squaring her shoulders. "No," she thought aloud. "I'm not going to be his anything." Her chin lifted. She was going to find her friends; they were going to escape and set things right. They would find Rayden and would stop Shang Tsung once and for all.
Taking a deep breath, she pressed her head against the door and listened for movement on the other side. Quietly, she opened the door and glanced around, relieved to find the gothic hall empty. As she moved along the dark corridor, the only sound she could hear was the soft rustle of her long black leather dress as it swept around her feet.
Her eyes drifted up to the rafters when she heard a loud flutter of wings, pausing momentarily while several dark shadows darted across the moonlight from a high window. From where she crouched, the shadows appeared huge, and Sonya remained motionless until the hall became silent again. With one last sweeping glance across the ceiling, she returned her eyes to the path before her, to find her way blocked.
Shang Tsung regarded her silently, the softest of smiles on his weathered face. A chill ran through Sonya's body.
"You are awake."
"You are astute," Sonya snapped, irritated with how unnerved she felt in his sudden presence. How had he appeared without her knowing?
He said nothing, simply smiling at her, his gaze piercing her soul in a way that made her want to claw her own eyes out. After a moment, he held out his hand to her. "Come."
"Where?" she replied, her hands remaining at her sides.
The sorcerer gave a sigh. "You have much to learn." Her hand grasped her wrist and suddenly the world shifted around her.
Sonya gasped as things came back into perspective, the acute vertigo passing as quickly as it had come. She found herself standing on a stone platform hovering in a sky of black rolling clouds and crashing thunder. Lightening illuminated the sorcerer standing next to her; the contours of his face causing shadows that made him appear almost wolfish. She shuddered at the glow in his eyes and quickly turned away. "Where have you brought me?"
"Look for yourself, dear Sonya, and get a glimpse of the world you will rule."
Sonya's breath caught in her throat, her imagination conjuring a wasteland that was once her home, but still she approached the stone railing. Everything below her was dark as another flash of lightening blinded her. Then, slowly, her night vision returned and she was left to stand in abject horror at the world revealed to her.
Beneath her was Washington, D.C., reduced to rubble and set a flame. Thousands of deformed warriors with bladed arms and jagged teeth raided the buildings that were nothing more than skeletons of scorched metal and powered brick. Humans were lined up by the hundreds, their hands and feet bound together. They were dragged along by creatures that reminded her vaguely of the deceased Prince Goro. Those that fled in terror were cornered and executed, either by a falling blade or by fire. Even from hundreds of feet up, she could hear the screams of fear and agony.
It drove her to near sickness.
As the pentagon collapsed and the White House was trampled by the four-armed creatures, Sonya turned silently to face the sorcerer. Despite the raging emotions that boiled beneath the surface of her bruised skin, she did not react, refusing to give him the pleasure of her suffering.
He continued to watch her in quiet contemplation. Something about his piercing eyes unsettled her, because she could sense no mockery or triumph in his observation. But there was something else… something that didn't look natural in this demon's evil make up… something that bordered on sympathy.
Mentally she shook herself. "I will never forgive you for this."
"I never asked for it. However, you should thank me."
"Thank you?" Sonya spat, incredulous.
Carefully, he stepped closer to her, his arms open in a gesture of offered peace. "I have saved your life, and I am offering you a chance to rule over your home world. I could have easily seen your realm completely annihilated, but I reclined out of respect for you." A soft smile formed on his lips. "And I have kept your friends alive."
In spite of herself, her eyes widened at his last words. "Why?" she questioned him, already suspecting blackmail in the works.
Ignoring her question, the sorcerer reached his hand up to caress her cheek.
Sonya snapped her head away. "Don't touch me," she hissed.
His eyebrows lifted. "Soon you won't have a choice in the matter. As for your friends, they are worth more to me alive." He turned to face the chaos before them as he continued. "For how much longer will depend on you."
Sonya felt her stomach tighten. Haven't you done enough to me? she thought viciously, but she bit down hard on her tongue. Deep down, she knew he hadn't. For the dark sorcerer, he was just getting started.
As if hearing her thoughts, he turned towards her, his eyes narrowed. "Enough of this," he whispered. "We have a ceremony to prepare for." A wave of his hand and they were back in the gothic hallway in front of her room. He snapped his fingers and three female servants appeared. They were hideously deformed and walked with painful steps. Sonya could only imagine the torture they went through. "These are your escorts and your hand maidens. They will serve you in whatever way you need and request. Right now, they will help you prepare for our uniting."
"I would rather accept death." Sonya almost smiled in satisfaction at the reactions of the other women, the three cowering away in fear of the sorcerer's wrath.
Tsung simply laughed and again approached her. Sonya wanted to back away, to keep as much distance between them, but her pride kept her in place, her chin raised defiantly.
"Sonya, my beautiful warrior, you have been given a great honor. You and I, we can rule over Earth Realm together. The Emperor has bestowed upon me complete reign over this new part of Outworld, as I helped him win one of the most powerful realms in existence. You can have whatever you want; you can do whatever you please. Just ask, and I shall grant it."
"I want you to rot in hell, you spineless son of a bitch," she spat.
His calming smile never left his face as his controlled voice, soft as a summer breeze, continued to persuade her. "You have already lost your realm to the Emperor. Already he has begun taking souls of those who have resisted imprisonment. All of Earth is under house arrest, awaiting its fate. A fate that, once again, falls on you." A second time his hand lifted to her face, and he ran his fingers through her hair.
Gritting her teeth, she clenched her hands to keep from punching him, struggling instead to focus on his words and their meaning. "What are you talking about?"
"Marry me willingly, and you may decide what happens to your people. You may rule however you wish, and I will only interfere when I deem necessary." His voice dropped lower, softer, but into a more threatening tone. "But if you try to fight this union, I will subdue you into my own personal slave, and I will rule this realm with an iron fist. I will destroy what I want, who I want, when I want. And your realm will be filled with nothing more than pathetic slaves awaiting death at my hands…. your friends included."
Sonya's eyes narrowed as she weighed Tsung's hefty words. In her heart, she knew she would rather suffer death than to be his wife, but denying him would mean the utter destruction of Earth and its people, and a life of bondage for her. But if she agreed to marry him, and he kept his word, she would be the ruler of Earth… and maybe she could use that to her advantage to save thousands of lives.
Unless Tsung was lying, and this was just another sick game to twist her mind and break her will. But that was a chance she had to be willing to take. After all, it was her fault that this fate had fallen upon the earth. Now she had to do whatever she could to rectify her loss.
For countless moments, she stared the sorcerer down, and when he asked for the final time her choice, she nodded in acceptance.
Tsung's wide smile of victory made Sonya want to crawl into a corner and die. She felt as though she had just sold her soul to the devil. He addressed the women cowering by the door. "Have her ready by midnight. We will be wed on the hour of the first day of this new reign over Earth Realm. And you, my sweet," he whispered as a finger traced her jaw. "Will be mine… forever."
With trepidation, Sonya watched the dark moon continue its slow course across the clear sky over Outworld. Her hands were trembling, in anger or fear she wasn't sure, but she knew that no matter what she felt, she had to follow through with the dreaded events of the evening. Two of her maids busied themselves with fixing her white, silk gown which clung to her every curve. Black and green dragons clashed in intricate designs on the dress, their red eyes glowing with anger and domination.
A gong echoed through the room, Sonya's head snapping up toward the source. I don't want to do this, her mind suddenly screamed, but her body stood and continued toward the door where a number of servants stood waiting patiently. The maids beckoned to her to follow them along the dark corridor. When she passed a mirror in the torch lit hallway, her paleness surprised her. Her silken blonde locks were thrown up on her head in a stylish bun with braids falling to the sides, the gold strands accentuating her soft blue eyes gone wide in anxiety. She looked hauntingly beautiful, and it made her heart sink even more.
Minutes passed in silence, broken only by the shuffling of feet, and then they were turning around a corner into a wide hall. Black flowers and tapestries woven with the most brilliant of colors decorated the room. Monks and servants alike were lined up along the walls, heads bowed as she passed on her way to the altar covered in gold fringed black cloth.
Finally, her eyes fell on the bridegroom. Surprisingly, he too was dressed in white, with dragons and demons embroidered into the silk cloth. His hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail. If not for his burning eyes and lack of soul, he could almost be considered handsome. Sonya felt disgusted such a thought occurred to her.
A gloved hand stretched out to her and hesitantly she let herself be pulled up to his side. His eyes roamed over her for a moment, making her recoil slightly, and she turned her head toward the altar and the monk standing before them.
Words in a tongue she couldn't understand filled the hall, and all of Tsung's servants repeated them softly. A moment later they kneeled. Slowly she became disconnected from the horrifying event taking place around her, and as her mind wandered, so did her eyes. From the tapestries to the stone statues, she took it all in as she realized that soon this would be the world in which she would live for the rest of her life. Her eyes drifted over to the servants who lined the walls, and among them, a decoration that made her stomach twist in revulsion.
Her friends were chained together, their presence meant to humiliate the failed warriors ever more. Liu glared angrily at the sorcerer who remained oblivious. Kitana's face shifted from stoic to a look of pity for the lieutenant and her heinous fate when their eyes met. Johnny stood with taut shoulders, hands clenched at his sides, and his eyes fixed pointedly on the floor. Sonya willed him to lift his head, to forgive her for failing them, but a sudden jerk on her hand pulled her eyes back to the front, where she noticed the monk pulling their hands together, and a band being tied around their wrists.
"Reshigalok sounnamaclurel ihohasanliege." A knife appeared in the monk's free hand, and she flinched ever so slightly as he slit both their palms, causing the deep red blood to drip into a bowl below them. The monk pressed their hands together in unity, and performed a loud, deep chant that was repeated by the other servants. When the chant finished, the matrimonial cord was cut loose. It shimmered in a ring of coppery sparks that hardened to form a metallic band of entwined gold and copper on their wrists. The monk then backed away and bowed to the humans. Tsung turned to Sonya, lifted her chin, and pressed his lips to hers.
They were cold and unfeeling, and Sonya never felt more disgusted with anything in her life. Though she didn't resist him, she didn't return his embrace. Suddenly he was gone and rising, pulling her to her feet, and they were walking away from the altar. All of Tsung's servants fell into line behind them, following them without a sound. Through out the large hall, a loud gong was ringing every few seconds.
As she passed her friends, she couldn't keep herself from looking their way. Already they were being forced back to wherever they were being kept. Sonya closed her eyes as she wished that she was also being taken away with her friends, taken away from the life to which she was now committed, knowing she would rather accept a lifetime in the darkest jail than one night with the devil.
In that moment, she felt herself being pulled from her newly betrothed, and a thrill went through her as she wondered if her prayers were answered. As she opened her eyes, a strong grip seized her arm, pulling it back behind her, while a hand snaked up into her hair and ripped her head back, exposing her long neck. Through the sudden haze of pain, Sonya's eyes caught a glimpse of metal, and something cold cut into her throat. She was being dragged away from the wedding procession, and when her eyes darted around, they fell on the sorcerer's gaze.
She was surprised by the immense hatred burning in his black eyes.
"Well, now ain't this just a hell of a thing? Pretty little lassie getting married, eh? And to an enemy, no less. Seems to me she's got a darker side after all."
Sonya's blood turned to ice.
"Kano," she growled.
"Shut up!" He pressed the knife deeper into her skin.
"You incompetent fool. How dare you interfere in such matters?" Shang Tsung hissed quietly.
"I dare because I can deal quite a bargain with you for your lovely little wife."
Sonya struggled against the criminal's iron grip. "When I get the chance, Kano-"
"Now this is what we're gonna do, Mr. Shang Tsung," Kano mocked, ignoring Sonya's threats. "Me and Sonya here are gonna take a nice little walk around the city, and when you pay me for my service to you, then you get her back, and never hear from me again."
They were almost to the back of the hall. Sonya's eyes darted around, suddenly catching Johnny's face in the crowd, who watched them with trepidation and hope. It struck her that Kano's kidnapping could be a blessing in disguise once she escaped him.
Her plans were not meant to be. Kano was grabbed from behind, his grip on her suddenly gone. She was pushed away with such force she fell, and she rolled into a defensive stance as the room shook from a tremendous growl. Where Kano once stood was now a four armed and tiger striped creature, holding the Black Dragon member as he struggled in the choking grip.
"Well, well. What is this?" the creature growled loudly.
Kano struggled to speak but his windpipe was being crushed by the massive grip of the Shokanite.
"My dear," Tsung called to his wife, and when she looked up he was suddenly at her side, helping her stand. "Once again, I offer you the body and soul of your greatest enemy." He gestured to the criminal. "I place his fate in your hands. You may have our bodyguard Kintaro kill him now, or you may deal with him personally later." He smiled wickedly at her. "What shall it be?"
Sonya regarded the pitiful mortal struggling for his life. Not long ago, she wanted no more than to crush him for killing her partner, but now so many other things weighed on her shoulders. The once deep seated hatred for him was no longer the primary reason for her existence, and compared to the challenge before her, his transgressions seemed petty to the enemy she faced now.
While she still desired to see him brought to justice, Sonya had no desire for any more killing, not after seeing the destruction of Earth hours before. Her gaze shifted to the sorcerer beside her, and she felt repulsion at the anticipatory grin he gave her, expecting her to order the execution of her enemy.
She would not give him the pleasure. "I want him alive."
Tsung's face never changed. "Very well. Kintaro, take him down to the dungeons."
The Shokanite bowed before slamming Kano into the wall, rendering the struggling criminal unconscious. He was then carried away.
"Are you hurt?"
Sonya looked up at the sorcerer's quiet words. He examined her throat where the knife left a thin red line along her skin. Mutely she shook her head. He nodded and began pulling her out of the ceremonial room.
"Where are we going?" she asked him softly.
"Dinner. A great feast has been prepared by the Emperor in our honor. And after that," he turned to her with an unreadable expression in his eyes. "We will retire to my room."
For the first time in her life, Sonya wanted to die.