The Ties That Blind
The fighters had all returned to the Masters' mansion, Chun-Li, Guile and Sakura sitting around in the living room while Ryu stood outside on the patio, unmindful of the slight drizzle. The air inside the house was tense with worry. As everyone waited on the couch, Ken was in the hallway, talking quietly into his phone. After several long moments of hushed conversation, he slowly hung up and returned to the others, his face solemn.
"Well, guys," he sighed, "I'm afraid to have to tell you this, but…we'll have to wait a whole half-hour for our pizza to arrive."
Everyone gaped at him with flabbergasted expressions for a couple seconds.
"Wait, what?!" Chun-Li sputtered, sitting up. "Hello? What about Cammy?"
"Oh, her?" Ken blinked. "She'll be fine. The doctor told me no vital organs were injured-"
"Except her tits!" Guile cut in.
"Those aren't vital!" Chun-Li snapped, smacking him upside the head and hurting her hand in the process.
"They are for me!"
"I thought you were into men!"
"Am I the only one here who cares about the fucking pizza?" Ken asked bluntly.
"I care!" Sakura piped up, raising a hand.
"You're not getting any!"
"Because you're a black hole!"
"So, ANYWAY," Guile interrupted and began to explain their situation. "We've managed to get our hands on a research brief detailing a new weapon. The report is addressed to an emerging arms corporation…a corporation called S-I-N."
"S-I-N?!" Ken gasped aloud. "Ohmigosh that spells SUN!"
"…No it doesn't," Guile said.
"Shut up, Sakura!"
"Dear LORD it spells SIN!" Chun-Li burst in, losing patience.
"…I would have got it eventually," Ken huffed to himself. "That's just blatantly obvious. Why not just call their corporation 'Bad-Guys INC' or 'ASSHOLE'?"
"Yeah, between this and the BLECE thing, these guys really suck at names-" Chun-Li began.
"Wait, I've heard of this corporation!" Ken realized with a start. "I'm pretty sure their CEO is called…SETH."
"What an insidious name!" Guile gasped.
"You're kidding me, right?" Chun-Li stared at them blankly. "He sounds like a mother-fucking accountant."
-With Said Mother-Fucking Accountant-
"Ga-CHOO!" Seth, the large, pale man from before, sneezed explosively in his evil lair's evil office and wiped his nose with a hand.
"Bless you!" Maya said, standing before her boss's desk with an elderly scientist at her side. The entire office was surrounded by large fish tanks, the exotic creatures swimming about their glass prisons and giving an overall creepy feel to the room.
"Bless you, my evil master," Seth corrected her firmly. "Now what was I doing? Oh yes, explaining exactly why Billy Mayes would be our perfect spokesman. You see, not only is he handsome beyond all reason, he-"
"He knows Billy is dead, right?' The elderly scientist whispered to Maya as Seth prattled on. She shook her head sadly.
"I just can't find it in my heart to tell him," she whispered back. Suddenly she noticed the scientist's slouched shoulders and twisted back. "By the way your posture is horrendous. Why don't you stand up straight?"
"I can't," the scientist muttered. "Didn't listen to my mother when I was a kid. Now my spine is molded into this shape."
"Don't be silly. Here, let me try-"
-Back With the Others!-
"So, to dumb it down for the rest of you, specifically Ken," Guile was explaining to everyone as the huddled together on the couches, "once the device created by SIN is miniaturized, it can then be implanted inside subjects and will give that person the powers of the Satsui-no-Hadou."
"You mean…?!" Chun-Li gasped and covered her mouth in horror, Guile nodding in affirmation.
"Yes," he said, his tone completely serious. "They will become super-humanely gay."
There was a long, sober silence as everyone digested this information.
"…And what's so bad about that?" Ken finally asked.
"You're living proof, Twinkle-Toes."
"NOT a compliment."
"So, the missing fighters were used as guinea-pigs for their research," Chun-Li went on, the pieces finally fitting together, "and now they're after Ryu-"
"OH GOD IT'S HAPPENING AGAIN!" Ken suddenly exploded, covering his eyes and whimpering. "Seriously, what was the dub team thinking?! We've got like a three-second lip delay here! I can't TAKE it! Hurry and change the scene!"
-Aaaand Back With the Bad Guys Again-
"I'm disappointed in you, Maya," Seth growled, glaring over his desk at the woman. "I can't believe you fumbled the interview with Ryu so badly! You didn't even ask him for his references! And where the hell was the eye-contact?!" He sat back in his chair and studied her with an air of menace. "How do you suppose I should deal with this sadness?" He asked dangerously, interlacing his fingers. Maya thought for a moment.
"…Invest in some tanning?" She tried. "Because seriously, you are one pasty son of a-"
"No, really, it's proven that sunlight and vitamin D have a-"
"ENOUGH!" Seth slammed a huge fist on his desk, nearly cracking it in two. "This is your last chance. How are you planning to get Ryu?"
"Don't worry." Maya smiled with confidence and winked. "Plan B went into effect in any case of failure."
There was a short pause.
"…Gosh, I didn't know you were pregnant," Seth said awkwardly, looking flustered. "If I'd known, I wouldn't have been yelling-"
"Sir, I'm not pregnant."
"Well not anymore you're not."
-Now Back to the Good Guys!-
"Sakura don't you touch that pizza!" Ken barked over his shoulder, picking up the phone. "What is it?!"
"Hi, it's Maya! Remember me?" A woman's voice taunted from the other line. Ken scowled deeply as he struggled to recall anyone by that name.
"Are you a man?"
"Are you gay?"
"Do you have a penis?"
"Then no, I don't remember you."
"I'm the bitch with the flying shoes."
"YOU!" Ken gasped in recognition and tightened his grip on the phone. "What do you want? You wanna sell them?"
"Seriously, name your price."
"I'm not interested-"
"I have a Cher in my closet NAME YOUR PRICE."
"We took Eliza," Maya suddenly cut in, her tone deadly serious. Ken blinked.
"She's wearing your favorite sweater."
"The turquoise one with the frills?!" Ken nearly choked in panic. "I swear to God if you shrink it I'll hunt you down and-"
"Cool it!" Maya cut him off. "Now listen up. We're having a little 'party' tonight on a boat, and we want you to-"
"Be the male stripper?"
"NO! Just bring Ryu!"
"Why you…" Ken hissed out, his voice thick with loathing. "Casual or classy attire?"
"I just wanna know what kind of shoes I should wear-"
Maya hung up on him.
"Fine! If I show up overdressed then it's YOUR fault, bitch!" Ken shouted into the phone, then hurled it away in disgust.
"Sorry, Guile, I thought you were the wall."
"They want Ryu?!" Chun-Li cried after Ken told them about the phone call.
"Well they should pick a number and get in line!" Ken snarled and threw himself on the couch, still in a foul mood. "What the hell are we supposed to do?!"
"I'll go." Ryu had come in from the outdoor patio and stood amongst the others, his eyes bright, ready for anything.
"My God…Ryu…you'd do that…for me?" Ken whispered in a soft voice, tears coming to his eyes.
"I'd do anything…" Ryu replied carefully, "...to get away from you. Because I seriously can't trust myself around you with this whole Satsui-no-Hadou thing making me all gay."
"Ryu…I'm so touched," Ken went on. "…And by 'touched', I mean I am literally touching myself as we speak-"
"OKAY TIME TO GO!" Chun-Li interrupted, covering Sakura's eyes.
"I get shot-gun!" Guile squealed and shoved past the others.
That very night, a huge party was held on an enormous, multi-million dollar yacht, minus all the girls and booze and add guns and a shit-ton of guards. So it was one HELL of a party. Somewhere in the belly of the ship, Eliza was trapped in a tiny room with Maya, the former glaring angrily at the latter.
"You lied to me!" Eliza said in a tight voice, her fists clenched at her sides. "This boat does NOT have Wi-Fi!"
"Oh my God, you dumb bitch!" Maya couldn't hold it back anymore. "Don't you get it?! I tricked you and your hubby into finding Ryu for me and I also kidnapped and am now holding you as a hostage!"
"What? No! You wouldn't!" Eliza gasped in disbelief. "We're BFF's! Have these last few years-"
"-meant nothing to you?!"
"Gee, lemme think." Maya cocked her head and considered for a moment. "…Nope!"
"I don't even KNOW you anymore!" Eliza wailed aloud.
"You never DID!"
Elsewhere on the large boat, Chun-Li and Sakura, all dolled up with lovely dresses and make-up, walked down one of the many luxuriant hallways and approached a pair of guards.
"Hey, who are you two?" One of the guards asked gruffly, moving to block their way. Chun-Li fluttered her eyelashes and smiled at the man.
"Get lost, hag!" The man cut her off. "I was asking this little girl's underage breasts."
"Hag?!" Chun-Li's eyes narrowed in rage and it took all of two seconds for her to club the men into unconsciousness with her thunder-thighs. "That'll teach them!" She said smugly, standing over their limp bodies and dusting her hands off as Sakura stood to the side and gaped. "…Now help me write down their names and addresses because we have to put them on the sex-offender list."
"I said get their wallets!"
On the other end of the boat, Ken and Ryu were sneaking aboard, hopping over the rail onto the top deck while keeping a sharp lookout for guards.
"Okay," Ken whispered to Ryu under his breath, "first we need to- HUUUURGH!" He suddenly flung his head and shoulders over the railing and heaved violently, vomiting up his last meal. Breathing hard, he clung to the rail and wiped his mouth with an arm. "I… forgot I get sea-sick."
"But I won't," Guile growled dangerously, glaring up at him from the water below in a small raft, his prized hair covered in puke. "I called in a favor to the coast guard – help is on the way. In the meantime…I'll just…go back and…wash my hair or something." With one last murderous glance at Ken, he started up the boat's engine and cruised off into the darkness.
"He's such a tease!" Ken chuckled. "Needs to do something with that hair, though. No wonder Bison left him."
"Let's split up," Ryu suggested.
"What? No!" Ken immediately began to argue. "That's a horrible idea! We shouldn't separate!"
"Hmm, yeah, you have a point. It might be best to combine our powers and-"
"Then I won't be able to stare at your sweet ass the whole time! It's criminal!"
"…On second thought…bye!" Ryu spun on his heel and ran the fuck away.
Still within the ship, the girls were causing quite a ruckus, beating up guards left and right, distracting them for the men as they snuck around.
"Anyone ELSE think I'm a hag?!" Chun-Li roared as she dislocated a man's shoulder with a sickening pop.
"...Can't the young one beat me up?" One of the guards begged.
"Okay, that's it. We're taking down all your names! ALL of them!"
In several minutes, Ken had managed to become hopelessly lost on the large vessel, but miraculously wound up in the very same holding area as his wife. Maya stood blocking the door and smiled when she saw him approaching.
"Well, well, well," she chuckled. "I suppose-"
"Oh GOD not again! The lip delay's back! Just STOP TALKING!" Ken groaned. "It's like watching Lunar all over again!" He took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. "I've come for my sweater. Get out of my way!"
"Not gonna happen! You're no match for my sexy attack!" Maya winked suggestively and blew a kiss – which had absolutely no effect on Ken. He stared at her blankly, waiting. "What the…?" She paused, then flashed some cleavage. Still nothing. "…What are you, a homo?" She said with a snarl, throwing a punch.
"And proud of it!" Ken declared, easily catching the fist.
"Gay pride! My only weakness! Hssst!" Maya hissed and arched her back in fear, then whirled to run away.
"Not so fast!" Ken seized the end of her long braid and reeled her back in.
"Wh-what?!" Maya asked fearfully, eyes wide. Ken glared down at her.
"Oh dear God. Y…you can't possibly want-"
"BOOTS." Ken held out a hand expectantly. "NOW."
"Oh. Gay. Right."
Several moments later, the door to Eliza's prison burst open and Ken tottered in on the high-heeled boots, fighting to stay upright.
"Baby, I found you!" He cried in jubilation, flinging his arms wide.
"Ken!" Eliza smiled with relief and went to hug her husband. Ken moved toward her, then suddenly grabbed her sweater and whipped it off over her head, hugging it lovingly to his chest and smothering it in kisses.
"Oh thank GOD her titties didn't stretch you out I didn't know what I'd do without you baby-"
"I'm here too, asshole!" Eliza barked, crossing her arms.
"Oh. Right." Ken blinked at her. "Who're you again? My…" He snapped his fingers as he attempted to recall the foreign word.
"Beard, that's it! Come on, let's go!" He turned towards the exit. Eliza caught his hand and shook her head.
"I don't know, Ken," she said nervously. "I don't think I should exert myself like that. I mean…will running…hurt the baby?"
Ken stared at her with undisguised horror, eyes wide and mouth gaping.
"…Alright, whore, who the HELL have you been screwing because I sure as HELL didn't put that thing in there!"
"I used artificial insemination!" Eliza explained impatiently. "The baby is yours!"
"Oh." Ken blinked. "…Bye!" And he zoomed away on the jet-boots, leaving Eliza coughing in the smoky aftermath.
Ryu had snuck deep into the ship and now stood in a large theater, complete with red curtains and several rows of audience seats. A harsh stage light shone down from above directly into his eyes.
"Ow GOD it's like the searing rays of ten thousand suns!" Ryu gasped, shielding his eyes from the blinding light. "…Look, I can make a duck!" He turned and began making impromptu shadow puppets, giggling to himself all the while.
"Yes, wonderful!" Seth's voice boomed from below. The large man slowly rose onto the stage, being raised by a hydraulic lift. He'd ditched the suit and was bare-chested, his skin gleaming bone-white like a skull. "That'll be a wonderful adage to your sales pitch! I knew you would-"
Suddenly the lift juddered to a stop and slammed back down, Seth disappearing below the stage with a cry.
"Ow! What the- what's wrong with this stupid- a malfunction?! Are you kidding- too HEAVY?! How DARE you! I'll have you know that- fine! FINE! I'll just take the damn stairs!" Lots of stomping could be heard as Seth found an alternate means of getting up onto the stage, muttering darkly to himself all the while. Finally he stood opposite Ryu, the two one either end of the stage, like actors in a play. "Now, as I was saying- oh God those lights ARE bright! I can smell my retina's cooking!"
"Wow, you're one pasty bastard," Ryu commented, making a face at Seth's corpse-like complexion. "Maybe a little light would do you some good."
"Oh, how rude, I haven't even introduced myself yet." Seth cleared his throat and set his dark eyes on Ryu. "I…am SETH. The-"
"Wow, Chun-Li was right," Ryu interrupted. "You DO sound like a mother-fucking accountant." He paused, gaping at Seth's strange body in bafflement. "And what is wrong with your body? You look half-robot, half-alien. Seriously, is that a fucking marble in your tummy? Are you even human? How do you FUNCTION?"
"Like THIS," Seth answered testily, and slugged him in the gut.
"…Yeah you function pretty well," Ryu admitted with a groan, doubled over in pain. Seth then proceeded to wipe the floor with Ryu, pounding on his face and ribs with sledgehammer blows. "Okay you've proved your point!" Ryu cried, but the beat-down would not stop. The others finally arrived, Ken along with Chun-Li and Sakura rushing inside the theater and catching sight of the battered fighter.
"Oh no, Ryu!"
"STOP SAYING 'SAN'!" Chun-Li and Ken roared at Sakura.
Seth ignored the intruders and continued opening his can of whup-ass on Ryu, talking to him all the while.
"I'm disappointed in you, Ryu!" He cried between punches. "You are seriously not bringing your A-game to this interview! How on earth do you plan to make sales with that attitude? Or without a wrist, for that matter?"
"Without a wha-"
"AAAUUUUUGH!" Ryu fell to the ground, clutching his shattered wrist. "AAA- oh NOW I get it –UUUUGH!"
"Why do you fight against the Satsui-no-Hadou?" Seth continued, hauling Ryu back to his feet. "WHY?"
"Because then I'd be all over that like gravy on biscuits-"
"Ken, shut up!"
"Power means nothing unless it is put into action," Seth went on passionately. "If defines you! Everyone seeks power, and-"
"BOOO! BOOOOO!" Ken and the others were sitting in the audience seats, eating popcorn and hurling insults. "God, your lip delay is even worse than that braid-bitch's!" Ken threw his popcorn down in disgust. "I want my money back!"
"Seriously, wrap it up!" Chun-Li joined in. "We have places to be!"
"Okay FINE just gimme your power!" Seth summed it up, slugging Ryu one last time. The Japanese warrior tumbled back and smashed into the wall, groaning in pain. Despite his injuries, he slowly climbed back to his feet, determined to stay in the battle as long as he could.
"I…I'm not done fighting…" he choked out, raising his fists. "…And I don't run from the power I hold within. I too seek strength…but…it is the courage to strange against evil and emerge victorious and pledge allegiance to the flag of American Idol-"
"Okay, Ryu, we get it!" Ken called impatiently from the seats. "You can kick his ass now!" He paused. "Or make out with him, it's all the same to me."
"Just KILL him!" Sakura cried in exasperation.
"And then Ken," Chun-Li added.
Ryu rolled his eyes and obliged, reaching deep within himself to tame and conquer the fury of the Satsui-no-Hadou. He hunched over, hands together, gathering the incredible power into his palms.
"Here's my answer," he growled as a deep thrumming pierced the air, and Seth retreated a step, uncertainty in his eyes.
"N…no! Wait! STOP!" He cried desperately, but it was far too late. Ryu leveled his gaze at the man and smiled.
"Time for your makeover."
"HADOUKEN!" Magnified by the power of the Satsui-no-Hadou, Ryu's Hadouken shot toward Seth like a blazing comet, blinding everyone with its brilliant rays. The light blasted Seth mercilessly, charring every inch of his body to a nice, toasty brown. As the attack finally faded away, Seth staggered back, gaping at his newly-tanned body and choking.
"Wh…what have you DONE to me?!" He screamed in horror. "My lovely pale skin…RUINED!"
"Shit, talk about even color!" Ken jumped to his feet, waving his arms in the air. "Do me next! Me!"
Ryu promptly fell over onto his face and lay unmoving on the stage.
"DIBS!" Ken lunged toward him but was held back by the girls. Seth took his chance and fled, ducking out of the theater and onto the top-deck outside. As he crawled along the walkway toward a lifeboat, dozens of flood-lamps flipped on from the darkness and focused on him.
"No! No more tanning!" He begged, shrinking away from the light.
Guile and his naval buddies had arrived just in time, surrounding the expensive yacht with a small army of boats. Cammy, various body parts bandaged from her scuffle with Maya, leaned heavily on him for support. Guile picked up an intercom radio-box and faced the yacht.
"This is the US Coast Guard!" Guile bawled through the machine at Seth. "You are under- wow that's a really great tan, where did you get it? You have the right to tell me this exact moment! If not, I will appoint you my bitch!"
Cammy suddenly leaned over and snatched the intercom away, bringing it to her mouth as Guile squawked and swatted at her.
"You're all a bunch of kangaroo-humpin' wallabies-"
"I'M in charge of the intercom!" Guile snapped, grabbing it back and shoving her off the boat and into the water. "Oh and by the way the doctor said to not get your cast wet-"
The rough chopping of machine blades suddenly interrupted the argument as a sinister black helicopter appeared and lowered toward the boat, throwing down a rope ladder to Seth. He quickly clambered up the dangling ladder as the aircraft began to rise back up into the clouds.
"OMG Bison is that you baby?! Don't leave me!" Guile cried desperately. He dove off his boat and began swimming after the helicopter. "My heart will NOT go on!"
Cammy swam over and grabbed hold of him, the two beginning to wrestle and thrash about in the waters.
"Damn! It's Shadaloo!" Chun-Li said, dashing to the yacht's rail and catching sight of the helicopter.
"It's Shadow-LAW!" A voice called down in annoyance.
Seth had finally climbed to the top of the rope ladder and hauled himself up into the belly of the helicopter, gasping for breath. Squinting his eyes, he could make out two recognizable figures in the shadow – Balrog, the black boxer, and Vega, the incredibly effeminate matador.
"We bring you a message from Lord Bison," Vega said in an ominous voice, his eyes glinting behind his mask.
"…Couldn't he just have texted me?" Seth asked after a moment.
"Probably," Vega admitted with a shrug. "But it's sooo much cooler this way."
The helicopter disappeared into the dark clouds and flew off towards its evil destination.
"So, wait. What was the message?"
Vega slowly raised his wickedly-sharpened claws and chuckled.
"Tell him 'WTF'."
Back onboard the yacht, everyone had returned to the theater and gathered around Ryu, who still lay unconscious on the stage. Ken had been shoved into the back, kept at bay from the vulnerable fighter.
"Just lemme…just lemme smell him a little!" Ken begged, trying to duck past the others. "Come ON! Just gimme something to fantasize with for a couple of years-"
"You…guys…" Ryu groaned, slowly awakening from his stupor. "Did…you see me? I…totally controlled the Satsui-no-Hadou…and I…wasn't gay at all!"
"You were a little bit gay-"
"Ken, seriously, shut up!"
"YOU shut up, bitch!"
-The Next Day-
Chun-Li, Guile, and Cammy stood at the docks, staring out at the abandoned yacht and the empty ocean beyond, where Seth and the Shadaloo agents had disappeared, the answers to the mystery with them.
"Damn…we're right back where we started," Chun-Li sighed, inhaling a lungful of the salty ocean breeze.
"Yeah…now we can't prove any connection between the missing fighters and Shadaloo," Guile joined in sadly.
"But we all know who was really responsible for this," Cammy began.
"I swear to God if you say aliens one more time-"
"Don't be daft," Cammy snorted, rolling her eyes. The others relaxed. "It was bigfoot, obviously."
Guile and Chun-Li shoved her off the pier together.
Elsewhere in the world, Seth was back to his pale, evil ways. Seated in his new office, he spun around in his chair and coldly pressed the intercom button on his desk.
"Get me…the Sham-Wow guy," he hissed out, eyes narrowed to slits. "…And a latte. Sugar, no cream."
Evening was falling on the city, dark shadows creeping in as an orange sunset lit the sky. Maya sat in her car, talking quietly into her phone. She was reporting in to Shadaloo, feeding them ill-got information like a Russian spy. She quickly wrapped up the report and ended the call, sitting back and taking a deep breath. After a moment, she dialed another number and waited for them to pick up.
"Hey, it's me," she said once they did. "I have those assholes totally fooled. They actually think that I'm one of them. Seriously, how retarded-"
"Maya. It's us. Shadaloo," the voice said over the phone. Maya blinked. A long, uncomfortable silence passed between them. "…What was that about-"
"Oh, I punk'd you SO good!" Maya burst out, forcing herself to laugh. "Got you!"
"Oh, you GOT us, girl!" The person on the phone laughed along. "And here we were about to hunt you down and skin you alive. You are SO bad!"
They laughed together for a couple more seconds before Maya snapped her phone closed and hurled it into the backseat.
"SAVED it!" She breathed out a sigh and slumped in her chair. "I have GOT to get another phone. Being a double agent, you really need two."
-With Ryu and Ken-
Okay, everyone. Time for the gayest ending EVER. They pretty much dance a ballet and fart butterflies. Here we go. Ryu and Ken were in the middle of saying their goodbyes, standing together in a large field of wild flowers.
"I guess this is goodbye," Ryu said with a surprising trace of sadness. He smiled at his friend with true gratitude. "Thanks for everything, Ken."
"Why do you have to leave, Ryu?!" Ken sobbed inconsolably. "You're the love of my life, the reason I exist, the-"
"I'm right here!" Eliza cut in, standing right next to him and scowling.
"I'm TALKING, bitch!" Ken growled, then snapped his gaze back to Ryu. "…Do you want me to kill her for you? Because I will. I WILL."
"No, Ken," Ryu said hurriedly before he could move. "I have to leave…to train." He paused for a moment. "…And get the fuck away from you. But don't worry, I'm sure we'll meet again."
"Oh, we will, I guarantee it!" Ken replied with a wink. Ryu frowned, not understanding. "…Because I implanted a tracking chip in you while you were unconscious-"
"OKAY I get it goodbye!" Ryu whirled about and began to hurry away, casting wary glances over his shoulder every couple of seconds.
"You can run but you can't-"
Ryu burst into a full sprint, dashing for the woods like an animal being hunted.
…Which he was.
-End Part III-