What Brought Cinder to the K.I. Tournament

by SciFiMan.

Author's Note: I own nobody. It's that simple.

That night was supposed to be the biggest bust of John Maven's criminal career. That Porshce was the most beautiful he had ever seen, and he had been hired to steal it. There were two others with him. They had gotten past the security devices and were able to get the keys. They were now in the show room where the car was stored. One of his accomplices made a huge mistake. While John was unlocking the car, the accomplice tripped the alarm. The two ran off, but the alarm could nat be heard in the showroom because of the elaborate security system. Within a few minutes the police had the building surrounded. As John took the car out the door, he was surprised to see a squad of police cars.

"John Maven, step out of the car and put your hands in the air. You are under arrest for five charges of grand theft auto."

John put the car into park and turned it off. He slowly came out of the car and raised his hands. He realized he was caught and there was nothing he could do about it.

"I surrender." he said.

"Turn around and put your hands behind your back." John did so and was read his rights. He was placed into the cruiser and taken to jail.

A few weeks later, John was in court. He knew with the record he had, he would be in jail for a long time.

"John Maven, please approach the bench." John knew what was ahead of him. "It is the decision of this court that you be sentenced to fifty years without parole. Baliff, take him away." With that, John Maven was taken away from the court and sent to the state prison to await transport to a maximum security facility.

Over the next few months, John grew accustomed to his new life. The day began with wakeup and inspection. Sometimes the guards would plant somethign on somebody to cause trouble. One day he was the unlucky one to get busted. The resulting attack from the guards left him battered and bruised. He sat healing for weeks. He wished everyday for a way out, but things only got worse day by day.

One day the warden of the prison was conducting business with a few intriguing gentlemen.

"Good morning, gentlemen. What can I do for you?"

"We represent a company called Ultratech. We are interested in acquiring several of your prisoners to do some work for us."

"What kind of work?"

"We do not even know of that. We have been given large sums of money to persuade you. We are not going to sugar coat anything. We have ten million dollars to offer you. What do you say?"

"When do I get my money?"

"As soon as we get our prisoners."

"How many prisoners will you be needing?"

"We need about ten prisoners."

"You'll have them in the morning."

"Then you will have your money in the morning."

"It was a pleasure doing business with you gentlemen." With that the two gentlemen left and the warden went down to the holding area to find some victims.

The next morning, the warden had chosen his victims. Ten men had contraban planted in their bunks and were brought out for their beatings. John Maven was among them. He said that the ten men would be severely punished for what the had done. He then had them brought to the loading dock where the two men from Ultratech were waiting.

"Good morning, gentlemen. Do you have the money?"

"Do you have our prisoners?"

"Yes I do. They'll be back here in a few moments. What will happen to them anyway?"

"After our company no longer requires their services they will be granted parole and will be free to live in areas protected by Ultratech. They will be placed in an environment where they will no longer be a threat to society."

"Very good. Here are your investments."

"And here is your money." with that, the warden left. After the prisoners had been loaded into th van, a gunshot went off. When the warden opened the briefcase, a hidden pistol went off, killing him instantly. The two men got into the van and sped off.

"We have done very well. The boss will most definately be pleased." said the first man.

"He sure did. The warden definately chose some fine specimens for our experiments."

"It's only a matter of time before Ultratech has all the information they need to begin planning the overthrow of earth's government. Soon the homeworld will come and destroy these pathetic humans. Only those who are part of our experiments will survive if the Killer Instinct Tournament doesn't kill them first."

"Perhaps this batch will produce some strong fighters. We need fighters who can survive past the first round. It gets boring having to make new fighters."

After a long drive, the two men and the prisoners arrived at Ultratech Headquarters. They came to an area in the back and unloaded the prisoners.

"Gentlemen," said one of the businessmen, "today you have limited freedom. You will be allowed to have free access to several parts of our facilities. You have been chosen as part of an early parole program. You will be required to take place in several experimental situations where you will be subjected to almost torturous conditions. When you are no longer needed, you will be sent to a facility where you can live out the rest of your natural lives as free men."

"Are we going to survive your tests." asked John.

"We do have a great rate of success in our experiments. In the last forty years, only one man hsa ever died from our procedures."

"That's good to know. It makes me more comfortable to know I probably won't die. exactly how long will we be here?"

"At the most three months. As I said, afterwards you will be a free man in our private communities. Now if you will all follow me, I will take you to our award winning medical staff where you will all be given mandatory physicals." The men followed the suits to a medical office. During that time, Many people took notice of John Maven. He had a characteristic that they couldn't describe. He had something that set himself apart from others. Throughout the day, John surpassed all in the tests of skill. He could jump higher, he ran faster, and he was more agile than the rest.

A few days later, one of the businessmen came up to John with a proposition.

"Mr. Maven, we have a special project we would like you to handle. It is in our chemical weapons department. You are the strongest of the men we currently have."

"What can of work is it?"

"You would be working with explosive substances."

"Sounds good to me."

"You will be starting tomorrow morning. I need to give you an access card because you will be working in a restricted sector. When I stop by your room tonight, I will give you explicit directions and instructions.'

"I look forward to it."

John was given the rest of the day off to relax. Later that night, after dinner, the businesman came to John's room. He had a card with him. That was an access card for restricted sectors. John was told to report to building seven room 209. The first day would be more testing. The second day would begin the actual work.

The next day was busy. A rigorous series of tests was administered. The day didn't show much progress, but they were sure the next day would be more productive.

The next morning, John made his way to the labratory where the chemicals were being stored. The tests that day would consist of John spraying the chemicals on several materials to test its reactons. The tests went well until the afternoon.

"What's next?" asked John.

"Several types of rocks. Quite a standard test." another worker said.

"Bring them on." A hole opened up in the floor, and a pile of boulders came up. Nobody noticed one of the small rocks get kocked away from the pile and put a cut in the hose that was used to spray the chemicals.

"You ready?" asked the worker.

"Start pumping the chemical." When the hose began to fill, a small stream of the chemical seaped out of the cut, but when the pressure of the hose increase the cut grew and eventually the chemical began to spray over John. The burn of the chemical caused John to fall to the ground. Paramedics rushed into the room when the hose had been stopped. When they got in their, John was on fire. The thing is he wasn't burning. The fire seemed to be a part of him.

"Call me Cinder." he said.

Later he was taken to another part of the Ultratech facility.

"I see you are all right, John."

"It's Cinder now."

"Very well, Cinder. We have another proposition for you."

"what is it?"

"Ultratech is the primary sponsor of a fighting tournament. It is known as the Killer Instinct Tournament. It is full of people like you. I believe you have something everyone else competing doesn't have. You have my personal recommendation. We have a variety of fighters. Most are Ultratech test subjects. Just then, the other businessman came in with a competitor.

"Good afternoon. Cinder, I would like you to meet T.J. Combo. He is starting out here at Ultratech."

"The Undisputed Champion. Ejected for ruthless agression. It's good to meet you."

"It's good to meet you too. I was told I could meet people like you."

"Cinder, we must be going now."

"All right. I hope to see you again, Combo." Cinder then left.

"So, what do you say? Are you in?"

"I just want th echance to fight him."

"I'm sure you two will meet."

"I'm in."

Over the next few months, Cinder trained and trained. He was detremined to do what he could. He was told winning meant freedom and losing meant really bad things. He was determined and he was ready to take what was to come his way.