Description: What are they trying to return? This important question will be answered, and the answer must be heeded closely in this special DLC episode for King of Fighters 2019.
Implausible as it was for all the world has been through the last few years - transformative and frightening - there at least remained one town somewhere out in the northwestern reaches of the United States. World events seemed to see it fit, as if by coincidence, to largely let it be.
It had a reason. If it was any reason other than 'it forgot,' it also forgot. It might have been for the best, then, that it did. Or didn't? The structure of the query was already a thing of confusion.
It could instead be just accepted that it was all implausible. It just was. What it was, was a quieter town out in the state of Oregon. (It was not named Implausible. That would also be implausible.)
What it is... is just another day, in a house whose only primary feature was having three bathrooms. The third is a years-old expansion, placed in a fashion that should have rendered it largely inaccessible by any sort of reasonable architectural design. No doors accessible to the common man led into it. Only a window, and a labyrinthian plumbing and electrical design surrounding it.
The top-heavy form of a long-haired man slipped through the open window and shut it deftly with their left hand, black-gloved fingers dancing across a series of locks and latches. The strong winds outside were as silence. A sound-proofed design. No sound could come in, no sound could leave.
A small piece of the world, entirely to himself.
"C-Can't disagree with what was said about... oh. That's... that's a lot..."
A blood-stained right hand, glove and all, found itself underneath a faucet of his design. Crimson washed from the glove, leaving behind a thinning red color as it all drained. He took the glove off, exposing perpetually dry flesh that looks as though it could never take moisture again.
"...Hope they didn't hear any of that out there."
The water of the faucet rolled off of it like the flesh of his very hands were hydrophobic. The use of soap, while a necessity, was never a pleasant experience for said hand. The still-gloved left reached for a dark red-colored towel, meticulously folded from a pile of no less than six, and placed it against their scalp after having wetted it with water.
Their black - more dark purple, in the light, but for descriptive purposes black - hair hung low, unkempt. With one hand on the towel against his head, he took a brush and started to detangle what hairs were clumped together. This much hair took a while.
It was such an arduous process he reached out with a stretched leg and tapped a button in the wall with one of his toes. The television turned on to some advertisement about crabgrass removal specialists or another.
"I got a reason to go out at," they murmured as they sat down on the toilet, which sufficed as a place to sit in absentia of whatever else. They leaned forward, huddled inward, right arm resting on their lap as their left continued to hold the towel up against their head, "but... where."
They jogged a leg up and down, as if a ball of energy that could not have it in them to come to rest even now. They exhaled as they leaned back, gaze having tilted upwards towards the TV as it completed the advertisement about some new Greek wrestling academy or another opening in the area.
"Greece?" He thought aloud, a smile on his face. "Oooh... hadn't been there since I was a kid. I remember when my biggest sister--"
A jazz instrumental interrupted, as the Terry Roger Show came on. Oh, hey, he didn't normally watch that channel. Maybe he accidentally hit an extra button with his toe. He wondered why the buttons were so small. He did not wonder why he couldn't have just used his fingers instead.
"Well, I am pleased as punch now to introduce you all to, well, as my producers tell me, Lightning Spangles herself!" Said the man himself, Terry Roger, referring to that young woman in blue jeans, the red, white, and blue rhinestones. That black domino mask...
"Huh!" He found a bit of laughter in his voice. "Necromancy...! Brings me back."
Of course, the woman in that interview deflected the subject, as he reminisced about all sorts of weird and crazy things. Weird and crazy things were more the 'norm' today. This never served to help make him come off as any less... himself.
"...As I understand, you have... a tournament?" Terry asked.
"Not just any tournament, Terry!" The one and only Lightning Spangles stood up and saluted.
"Mmmm." It wasn't too many years ago that he had a short stint as the World Champion of the Neo League. A controversial stint where rumor had it that insurers and medical professionals balked at how he even got in that bracket, as though they were looking at information from at least a decade old rather than the man that stood before them now. Washed up, moronic, a liability--
"It's a King of Fighters tournament!"
At that point, the rest of the words didn't matter, as the towel-bearing long-haired man shot up straight.
"Oh wow... yep! That's perfect!" What was perfect, one would wonder, when he was systematically rejected from every team since that one meager appearance alongside Alexis and his distant friend he made when he decided to hand-deliver a strange message that was accidentally delivered to him by mistake. This should have held no meaning to him, for there was nothing he could do about it. Nobody in the fighting world treated him with any degree of seriousness any more.
He started for the window, undoing a few of its mechanisms until he stopped and looked in the mirror.
"Ohh... yeah... better do something about this first," he said as he held some of his hair in his free hand. "Hmm..."
A few hours passed. The hours felt like they could have gone on for days, sometimes.
"Y-Yes... later..." Stammered Jao, a Thai teenager who backed away as a small cloud of dust rose from the latest collapsed piece of furniture within the household.
A solid steel work table, rated for industrial use, was bent and warped into an unrecognizeable heap. This seemed something of an afterthought compared to a few hand-torn strips of paper - photocopies of textbook pages where simple math problems went unfilled. There were no pencils. There were fragments of lead, rubber, and wood.
There was also a furious young elementary school girl. These two events were probably, if improbably, related.
"Never!" She shouted, as she struck a foot against it. It noisily whimpered under her potent rage. "Yes never!"
Jao had no desire to argue the point further as he backed away slowly. She went over to the television in the next room over, sat on her knees, and took the remote to change the show to some childish dreck aimed at children even younger than herself with an entranced look.
"So, Natalie," spoke a heavy-set older grade school student with a french fry hanging out their mouth, "still not going to do your--"
"Never," she reaffirmed.
"Right. Well, that was good while it lasted." Trevor sighed. "Almost got to hear the weather this time."
"...Yeah." Trevor slunk off the couch and went out the front door to check the mail. There were nine separate mail boxes posted about the yard. There was supposedly some sort of legal agreement between the postal office and the family whose details made only so much sense. Trevor looked up to see at least one window upstairs was open. He shrugged, and opened the seventh mailbox. Today's mail.
"...Bills... noise complaint notice... huh." Trevor looked at one envelope. "Who's a 'Lucky G.'?" Wrong mail. Oh well, he got the mail. When he head back inside, he picked his favorites of the lot. The bills, mostly. Adults weren't a big fan of bills, he reasoned, so it was fine for him to open. If they wanted the bills, they should say so to begin with.
The 'Lucky G.' one had no return address. He held it up against a lamp's light, gave it a shake, and even spat on the envelope proper. After this, and a few other tests, were conducted to his satisfaction, he flung the letter atop the ruined work table and went towards the kitchen.
"Are you going to do anything?" The much older Jao asked his younger brother. Though Jao was adopted, there existed no less famlial a bond.
"I got to make some calls," Trevor said as he stabbed the stub of the soggy french fry into a ramekin of ketchup like it were an ash tray, and grabbed a new one. "I've been putting it off, you know?"
"I mean, a-about..."
"Ehh." Trevor waved his hand as he slapped the bills on the kitchen counter and meticulously opened them. His favorite bill was the utilities bill. "Sometimes you just got to step aside and let her do what she wants."
Trevor set a new french fry in his mouth. "I got homework to do, Jao, you know how it is."
"Trevor!" Came the voice of an aging long-haired man as he stepped out through the garage, running a comb through his hair which have been meticulously done up in buns. Buns that would be more appropriate on Natalie's head - not his own. "Sooo, you know about the return--"
"I'm making that call now, dad." Trevor replied as he didn't look his father in the eye, as he reached for the land line phone. "Also we got mail for some Lucky G--"
"Eh?!" The father's face turned pale. "Lucky Gl... err... y-you mean someone heard?"
"Oh! Nothing! Nothing." The father laughed as he stepped out to the living room. He saw the ruined workbench, and a pleased-looking Natalie who had decided her time was better spent watching television.
"...Ahhh, had another accident, huh, Natalie," the father said with a nervous smile, "don't worry, I'll fix that one up about--"
"Stand still!" Natalie giggled.
The father laughed as he took a few steps forward, hand on one of his buns as it turned to a grin and a soft hiss. "Okay... okay... you bet. Where's the..."
He found the envelope. The envelope titled to a 'Lucky G.'
"...Just... Lucky G.?" The father picked up the envelope and squinted. "Why would--" No return address. No identifying marks. He opened the letter without hesitation. This man's name was not 'Lucky G.' This action was rude and impolite at minimum.
His eyes widened at what he saw.
Jao looked from the staircase he was ascending. He clutched at a dangling yellow crystalline bracelet from a necklace, and immediately grew nervous. Lights from within faintly moved about.
"Hey! Jao!" The father waved around the letter. One of his thumbs, still wet, smudged out the text on a name. Only 'LUCKY GL' was legible. "I don't know how they heard about it at--"
"Heard what, father?"
The father's eyes widened as he cringed. "Ahh... whoops, whoops, I mean... it's kind of weird, buuuut, I got an invitation!"
"The King of Fighters 2019! Just as I saw it on the telly!" He laughed. "What're the odds? And so soon after... uhhh... yep!" He rubbed the side of his head again. "Maybe it'll be the last time that-- aaaanyway! I'm headin' out! You want to come with?"
"...No." Jao shook his head.
"...Maybe next time, then!" He said as he smiled and waved. "Got plenty of years between us, and a whoooole lot of world ahead, eh?"
"...Okay..." Jao was helpless to watch as his father just merrily went right out the door.
"I'm calling to inquire about a return," Trevor spoke into the phone as the door closed, hugging the phone between his right shoulder and head as he lifted up a video recorder in his left hand. He maneuvered the soggy french fry dangling out of his mouth to keep it firmly clasped between his teeth, as if to fight the wilted nature of a partially disintegrated foodstuff between words on the other end. "The warranty's said it's good for at least a few years, so-- huh?"
A loud noise filled the house as steel bent and squealed obnoxiously again. Whoever was on the other end had all the cause to ask why, so they did.
"What is that? Oh. You mean what is it?" Trevor looked over the video camera, having made an attempt to gloss over the elephant in the opposite room. "Look, I'm trying to call in about a return, it's--"
"Take it!" Natalie shouted. "You deserve it!"
"N-Natalie, are you going to repeat everything you see..." Jao said, incredulously, at the increasing carnage of tiny angry girl against a helpless tangle of steel.
"It's Canon! That's all you need to know." Trevor shouted above the chaos. "It's Canon! And there's going to be a return--"
There was a clicking noise on the other end.
"I'm giving you all there is to know about this-- hello?"
Trevor wondered why they seemed to lose interest in this return. He put the expended french fry in the ramekin full of ketchup, and picked out another fresh one as he sat back and went over the bills.
Log created on 02:44:58 05/02/2019 by Rust, and last modified on 23:30:48 05/09/2019.