Ch 14: My Friends Will Come
"God, what has he done to you?"
Sonya continued smiling, moving her body close up to his. The unnatural energy radiating from her body made Johnny flinch away. The binds resisted his attempt to crawl back into the wall behind him.
"Oh, believe me, God has nothing to do with this." Her hands rested on his shoulders and began to make their way down the front of his torn and dirty shirt. She pressed over a wound on his side, making him hiss. "Now this won't do."
Heat filled his side and suddenly the pain was gone. He looked down to find the long cut healed.
He lifted his eyes to hers once more. "No," he answered, his voice soft with disbelief. "No, it's not. This is wrong!"
"What is?" she asked, her face and voice the perfect representation of innocence.
Johnny's eyes swept around the room. "Everything! You've killed Li Mei! Liu is dying right now! Sonya, stop this, stop it now!"
"Why would I stop what I want?"
"Because it's not you, Sonya, it's Tsung. Fight him, fight back!"
Sonya's head fell back, a loud and melodious laugh leaving her lips. Her body pressed forward into his, using him for support as the laughter racked her body. She brought her head back to his, her lips inches from his own. "Oh, my handsome, powerful, stupid mortal. Tsung never had anything to do with this… except to act as a vessel. Now, I have a much nicer model." She gestured to herself, smiling broadly. "And I don't recall you having any complaints, either."
Sonya patted his cheeks, her eyes dancing. "Don't worry, she really did care about you." Her voice became a mockery of the lieutenant's normally serious tone. "It meant a lot to her, too. As for me, it served my purpose," she commented lightly, patting her lower stomach. "Such a powerful little soul. Wait until you feel him kick."
The actor said nothing, the confusion and anger in his face speaking volumes.
"Don't be like that, baby," she soothed. "You are chosen, you lucky thing, to be my permanent mate. Such a strong soul, and a handsome physique," she cooed as her fingers traced his muscular arms, "you will give me such a perfect little army of demon soldiers." She smiled up at him again. "Doesn't that sound nice?"
"You sick bastard."
"That's not nice to say to your lover."
Johnny's face twitched like he'd been slapped. "Never."
"Too late. How do you think I got here?" She pressed her lips against his cheek. "With your love, and Sonya's body ready and willing, why, we were a match made in hell." Her tongue snaked out, leaving a wet trail from his chin to his temple.
Johnny flinched away. "Damn you."
"Too late. But don't worry, you get to have this body whenever you want, because the more powerful innocent souls I devour, the stronger I will become, and the faster I can take over the universe to raise the One Being." She wrapped both hands around his face, pulling his gaze to hers. "You've changed the course of history. You're ego must be booming."
"I will kill myself before I help you."
Sonya's eyes hardened. "I wouldn't… if you care for her as much as you think." She tapped a manicured finger against her temple. "She's still in here, watching the show. I can bring her out, anytime. And anything I do to this body, she will feel."
Johnny became still as the possessed woman pressed closer.
"So think carefully before doing anything rash, you ignorant mortal. Because if you die, I will make her suffer. Endlessly."
Johnny knew the creature that spoke to him was not lying.
The sound of arguing tore Sonya's blazing eyes from his. Johnny looked over to see Rayden and an older Shang Tsung locked in battle, heated words filling the air.
"You have lost your place, sorcerer. There is nothing for you now but your own death,"
Rayden rasped, dodging a blow to chin but failing to block the knee that caught him in the stomach.
"Not before I see your broken body at my feet!"
"Well, well, well," Sonya purred, pulling away from Johnny to turn fully to the fight before them. "Look who's still trying to be best in show."
Tsung swept Rayden off his feet, cracking his head into the rough ground. The aged sorcerer turned to Sonya, his body heaving with the exertion it was barely withstanding. "I can serve you better than he could," Tsung begged, his voice dripping with disgust as he gestured toward Johnny. "You know, I've served you faithfully for centuries. Give me life again, and I will not disappoint you."
"How I love when men fight over me." Sonya pressed herself into Johnny, tucking her head under his chin while staring back at Tsung. "Prove to me you're strong enough, Tsung, and maybe I'll be generous. Kill Rayden."
"No!" Johnny yelled, struggling against his bonds. His cries were ignored, and the dark clad sorcerer circled the white robed mortal in a battle almost fairly matched. Rayden was mortal, but Tsung was old and weak. But that didn't mean Tsung didn't still have a few tricks up his sleeve.
They attacked, dodged, attacked again. Thunder rolled from outside, flashes of lightning illuminating the cracks in the ceiling. One gained the upper hand before quickly falling to the power of the other, and back again. Johnny watched with his heart in his throat, too afraid to speak for fear that he already knew the outcome.
After all, Liu had seen it.
Too soon, the fight was over. The blows rained down, the robe went red with blood, and in a fit of inhuman strength, Tsung lifted the injured body of the once Chinese Thunder God over his head and slammed him into the dirt. Rayden cried out as bones broke with the force.
Johnny felt his heart race as Sonya shivered in delight, already dreading the words he knew she would speak. "Shang Tsung, my faithful pet, finish him."
"With pleasure," Tsung growled. He reached out his trembling hand, his eyes fixed on the half-lidded gaze of his dazed opponent. "Your soul is mine."
White light filled the room and a screaming wind kicked up as the sorcerer used the last of his powers to rip the soul of Rayden from his broken body. The glow filled Tsung, turned his body firm and his skin supple, and suddenly the youthful Shang Tsung remained over the gray and stiff body of Rayden.
Sonya clapped her hands and laughed. "Oh, darling, you remembered what I taught you. You are stronger than I gave you credit for." She gave a sidelong glance to the actor, lewdness evident in her blue eyes. "While you won't replace my Chosen One, you will serve a purpose… somewhere."
Tsung said nothing in reply. Instead, he was leaning over Rayden's body, his hand on his robe. He stood, and Johnny saw the glint of light on a metallic surface.
The demon was speaking to him but he tuned her out. His mind was rapidly searching through the thousands of years of Rayden's memories, looking for the key that would unlock the amulet.
'Recite the words and pray your power will be strong enough to activate the spell,' the mortal said before the battle.
Rayden's powerful soul hummed energy through his veins, but already it was diminishing. After all, it was not the soul of a god, not anymore. Then, it was there, bright in his mind, the receiving of the amulet from the Elder Gods, and the incantation with it.
He spoke the words as if he'd been speaking the dialect for years. At first, they were soft, almost whispers from his mouth, and then his chest began to reverberate with the power that built from them. Thunder echoed in his ears, matching the race of his heart as he felt a surge of electricity run through him. The spell finished and time seemed to inhale in on itself, a great constriction forming around his lungs and squeezing the life from him.
Take me back to the moment when everything went wrong.
He looked up to see everything stopped. The flash of lightning, held still over head. The fall of sand from the unstable roof, hovering at eye level. The ripple of blood as it spilled from Rayden's dead body, halted in its current across the ground.
The look of confusion on Johnny Cage's face.
The rapidly blooming hatred on Sonya's face, as the demon came to understand… too little too late.
Then everything shattered, and the Shang Tsung of this time was no more.
…Tsung's heart leapt in his throat knowing the Chinese god was still alive. He had to get to him…
…"You've taken such good care of me," she whispered, one hand wrapping tightly around his coat as she pressed herself against him with affection. "Now it's time for you to rest…"
"…Still foolish, Hero," Johnny/Tsung sneered before turning and throwing Cage across the room into a stand of metal shelves…
…deeper inside the sacred grounds, it was unclear how many souls were present. Closer to the edge, however, he could detect the presence of at least one person, a man by the feel of it. "Just bleed," he answered, and Jarek did…
"…Kahn already possesses Edenia, Outworld, and OrderRealm, and now he has Earthrealm," Jade interjected. "He only needs two more..."
…the spell was seizing his body and forcing it to contort in unnatural angles. He bit down on his tongue to hold back the sobs, to stop the begging that longed to burst from his drooling mouth….
"…behave yourself," he spoke softly. "You can't fight this. This is your destiny." "I never wanted this," she responded. "Learn to…"
"…and where are we supposed to be going, Mr…"Without turning, the mysterious fighter answered, "Smoke. And we're going to save your world..."
"…Mileena, regent of Edenia, I have your first task." As she stood, he handed her a small scroll from his throne. "Find this and bring it to me..."
…she watched the hay begin to glow, then crackle and set. It was slow moving; stretching on forever as the flames rose and engulfed the princess…
…desires raced through him that he once thought had died with his mortal self those thousands of years ago… A man who dwells in the past cannot proceed into the future...
"…a toast to us, my lady, and to the trust that will grow from our bond." He clinked his glass to hers and drank...
…Tsung turned to Sonya, lifted her chin, and pressed his lips to hers… and they were wed…
He stumbled. A hand reached out to embrace the stone door frame while the other covered his eyes against the blinding flash in his skull. A moment later, he recovered, his composure back to the mask of victory, knowing EarthRealm was finally his for the taking.
Especially with the glimpse of the future the dark spirits had sent him.
He and Sonya, wed.
This night could end no other way.
Smiling, he proceeded down the passage towards his chambers as he waited for the final kombat, unaware that this time, Kitana slipped down the hall unnoticed to meet Liu Kang and Johnny Cage at the entrance to Outworld.
"My friends will come! My friends will come!"
"They're already here."
Shang Tsung's face revealed nothing, though a knot formed in his stomach. Something didn't feel right. Regardless, he replied, "Right on cue, so much like an actor. Are you challenging me now?"
"No, demon," Liu Kang answered. "I challenge you."
Coldness filled him, a sudden dread that this was not supposed to happen. "Seize them!"
But Kitana stopped him, the royal bitch. And he was helpless to her threat. Then again, he had seen the future. He squared his shoulders.
It was an act of desperation, fueled by the need to win, and a deeper need to survive. He snapped a flying sidekick at Liu's head, but the monk duck and rolled, clearing a path for Tsung to land on the very edge of the arena.
He overbalanced, stepping his foot back to stop his fall… but nothing was there. Suddenly he was falling, and from deep inside a voice screamed in anger, words spilling from him for his shadow warriors to aid him. But they were not there… only the spikes that pierced his body with burning fury.
This wasn't supposed to happen…
Tsung's eyes stared up at the Chosen One, his body quickly failing as a great black shadow screamed in agony inside of him. Like a bubble breaking, he felt the release of all the souls he owned and watched a blackness fill the air and dissipate.
His breath left him, a long lost name falling from his bloody lips.
Then, Shang Tsung was gone.
Back on Earth, Sonya and Jax apprehended Kano, Johnny was trying to get a signal on his phone, and Rayden was walking away into the joyful crowd of monks at the Shaolin Temple. Liu hurried to follow up. "I guess you knew it would end this way?"
The Thunder God turned to him, his hands clasped behind his back. "I didn't have a clue." He smiled. "You humans are so unpredictable."
"I thought gods knew everything."
Rayden quirked an eyebrow at him before flicking a bit of lint from his robe, his eye catching the glint of his amulet in the sunlight. For a second, he felt something… a flash of sadness and despair, a sense of mortality… then he was back in the present. "You think this is the only world I have to worry about?"
Thunder peeled and he returned to the heavens, a sense of homecoming hitting him more strongly than it had in a long time.
A/N: Hi all, I hope you enjoyed the conclusion to a ten year story in the making. Totally couldn't have happened without the brilliant minds behind the MK2011 story mode (sorry, I saw the video and it just made for the perfect ending). I know I am THRILLED to be able to put COMPLETE on this. Wow, I never thought I would get it done. Thank you for the reviews and the followings, and I wish you the best in future endeavors. This will likely be the last MK story for me, but you never know. I go where the Muse sends me.
Happy Labor Day!