Description: Brian discovers a King of Fighters tradition, with the help of a time-lost samurai and a B-Movie Superstar.
Brian Battler had a lot of responsibility.
After Lucky lost his invite, the USA Sports Team was in serious danger of not making it to the King of Fighters for 2019. And yet, the brown-haired football fighter was already weaving through the backstreets of Sunshine City. Why? Because Heavy D! made it clear that the trio would meet up with three invites at Sunshine City. Brian took to the backstreets, away from the planned path, with all three. Deep in the Industrial District of the city, he picks through the dirty alleyway, snarling at anybody who even -looks- at him. Why would they even look at him?
He was in freaking football gear.
"Brian Battler, you are a god damn genius." He mutters to himself as he kicks a trashcan. "Nobody will ever suspect that you have the KOF 2019 invitations! Heavy D! and Lucky will be so proud. Especially Lucky." He pounds his chest. "And all I had to do was threaten that little girls' for hers, and now Lucky gets one too! Now nothing bad will happen to our King of Fighters 2019 plans!" He gives another snarl as he goes down the alleyway, at a shadow. "Get out of my way!"
"Or else I'm gonna touch YOU down!"
The world works in mysterious ways. Time flows ever onward, but there are some who can gaze through it, peering forward and back toward points beyond mortal comprehension. Others can gaze between worlds. Still others seem to have a certain sense, some unknowable ability to trace the lines of fate and appear exactly where they are needed, when they are needed.
Further down the alley that Brian finds himself stomping through, one particular shadow shifts. Nearly seven feet in height with horns poking up from either side of its head, the shadow looms forward to meet the stomping man, clawed right hand reaching up and back to grip the sword hilt that pokes up behind its head.
"Brian Battler." growls the shadow, hard voice distorted slightly by the metallic crackle of electronics, "You carry three invitations to the King of Fighters tournament on your person. I am Hakumen, and one of them will be given to me."
As the figure continues forward, its feet clack heavily against the cement with armored clacks, a shaft of light breaking over a building to briefly illuminate its black and white form, red eyes glaring at the bulky sportsman from all across the distinctive armor. Above, the blank white faceplate is tilted forward, chin lowered so that the horns on either side of the helmet point toward the angry man. There is a sense about the figure. A vibration that runs through the universe, forcing the world into order around him. Lines between shadow and dark grow more distinct. Sounds ring out with greater clarity. The mysterious figure's very presence seems to force the universe into greater order, bending his surroundings to his will.
"Bad news, buckaroo."
It may be that specific shadow or maybe it's a different one. Whatever the case may be, the voice makes an entrance before the famous face comes stalking out of the woodwork. He's managed to be stealthy enough to wait for this moment and thus his stepping out into the path of one Brian Battler is as timed and as dramatic as possible.
Hang on to your sports teams, kids, it's JOHNNY CAGE.
Dressed to always impress, the jeans and the 'Sexy Beast' t-shirt are enough to make it clear that Johnny's not here in an official movie star capacity. In fact, he's even wearing his casual leather jacket and paying more attention to his phone than he is the person he's decided to interrupt.
"Hold on." Cage's finger is up and he continues to swipe and tap at his phone. "I'm playin' Panda Punch and I'm about to level up." Whatever is on the screen of his phone looks like a cross between Fruit Ninja, Candy Crush and Kung Fu Panda. It's amazing. "Yes! There we go!" Johnny swipes away the game after bossing it with ease and pockets the phone in time to look back up in Brian's direction. "What was I about to do? You remember?"
Johnny then smirks and reaches up to straighten the sunglasses he's wearing. That same hand drops down to brush off his shoulders. All moves to show how not serious he's taking this potential person he's going to have to punch in the face a few times.
"Oh! That's right. I remember. You made a little girl cry. Normally, that'd be no big deal but this little girl just happened to be a fan of mine. And I can't have you making my fans cry. Not while I'm in town. Tsk, tsk. No no no."
While Johnny's giving the more casual of the speeches, the arrival of the much more order-filled and mysterious figure happens and Johnny looks over in that direction and then back to Footballman. "Uhhhhhh." Johnny shrugs and decides to go along with such things. Because that entrance was pretty sick too. "Yeah. What Hackensackman said. Me too." Johnny snaps his fingers. "Give it up."
The arrival of Hakumen comes like a flash.
Brian Battler was expecting trouble, but the sheer presence of the staccato burr of mechanical vocalizations makes him stop. He does not, at least, try to kick or tackle. But he blurts out, raising up a hand. "What you mean THESE THREE TICKETS? I know about you, this is why we didn't meet up in Metro City! You're that samurai weeaboo gangster I heard about! You were going to team up with that meat head Marduk and that beef head Abigail! Well you guys aren't getting my tickets! Not even if you come here with-"
"Holy shit is that Johnny Cage?"
"I loved you in "Ninja Mime!" Brian coos, relaxing a bit. Of course, Johnny made a good point. "Well first of all, that little girl started it, she didn't deserve any King of Fighters tickets, and Lucky needed one too! Some Rust Jr. got his! I didn't even hurt her just pushed her around a bit! And secondly, uh, why are you guys... who are..." The gears in Brian's head were turning. "Wait, are you making a King of Fighters movie, Johnny Cage?! With the Gears Wars and shit?"
"And this guy plays the villain?"
"I know not of whom you speak, but it does not matter." Hakumen grinds out, there being very little patience or mercy audible in the demanding tone of his voice. "You will give a ticket to me," and here he pauses, 2 of the arm-mounted eyes swiveling to stare toward Johnny, "And Johnny Cage. Then you will leave this place."
Hakumen's right hand remains planted on the hilt of his sword, though he has not yet drawn it. Only Johnny is in a position to see just how ridiculously huge the weapon is, stretching from above the monster's head to mid way down his calves, a long slot cut in one side of the sheath to allow it to be drawn. There are popular animes with less ridiculously huge swords than this guy is threatening to draw. How he plans to use it properly in a dark alley against a close-in fighter like Brian Battler is anyone's guess, but the aura of danger radiating off of the white-armored figure is no joke.
"King of Fighters movie, huh? Not a bad idea. I'll make some calls." Johnny has to shake his head to get himself back focused on why he's here in the first place. "Hey! But don't think that's going to get you off the hook. You took something that didn't belong to you from a little girl that idolizes me. I'm gonna' need that ticket to show her that the world really does have heroes. Heroes named... Johnny Cage."
Johnny looks over at Hakumen's sword and his eyes bug out just a bit at the size of it.
"... and guys with giant swords like that one. Trust me, you're not gonna' wanna' get hit with that thing. Just give up the tickets and walk away while you still have limbs."
Good Cop, Sword Cop?
Brian Battler considers his options.
He realizes that these men were going to fight him. Being a skilled Football Fighter, he considers his options. If he goes for the big armored man, he could throw him off balanced with close quarters alpha strikes. As Johnny Cage is reeling, and uses one of his signature moves, Brian would turn the samurai over, to take the blow to the nuts. Then, Brian would throw him at Johnny, who would then-
Punch him in the nuts.
Then he considers taking on Johnny First. Johnny would interrupt him by punching him in the nuts. And then the samurai would cut him in half. Brian considers a moment longer.
Brian throws the tickets to the ground of the alleyway.
Brian throws his wallet on the ground.
"FUUUUUUCK THIIIIIS!" Cries the Football Man as he zooms straight down the alleyway, knocking over every trash can (and a motorcycle parked) in his way.
There is a moment in which the future is spread out before them. Possibilities unfolding endlessly. Battles could be fought. Lives could be lost.
The tickets and wallet strike the ground with much more finality than such simple objects should hold. In one swift move, Brian has not only insured that he will retain the capability to have children, but that he will not die pointlessly this day.
Two long strides carry Hakumen over to the discarded items, gauntlet coming away from Okami's hilt to reach down and pluck up one invitation between finger and thumb. As he does, his various eyes scan the alley in all directions, insuring that no others have come to challenge him for it. One such eye falls on Johnny, and the towering swordsman straightens back to his full height, faceless mask turning toward the movie star.
"Joining me in this task will not be simple, Johnny Cage. The Novus Orbis Librarium is investigating this tournament, and I must know why. Your proximity to me will likely have you labeled as a terrorist. But if this timeline is to have a future, I must know why the Librarium exists, and who is at its head. There is great evil moving behind the curtains of the organization, pulling its strings. Claim an invitation only if you are not faint of heart."
The dismissive warning offered, Hakumen turns away from the wallet and remaining tickets, starting on his way back up the alley. Sure he can't enter the tournament without 2 other members. But he has a feeling that will sort itself out, one way or the other. His part in this endeavor is done. The warning has been given. All that remains to be seen is whether or not Johnny is a true hero, or if the movie star is in this for fame alone.
The look on the face of Johnny Cage is one of complete confusion. He stared at Hakumen the entire time those words were coming forth and he did not understand one bit of them. Mostly because he didn't want to but also because it was such a long-winded speech... Johnny only pays attention to his own monologues. He can't memorize everyone else's lines for them! He already does so much!
"Whatever, man." Johnny strides over and scoops up an Invitation. It gets twirled between his fingers before it disappears into the inside pocket of his jacket. "I'm just here to kick some ass in the name of my fans. Nobody disses a Johnnyite and gets away with it. /Nobody/."
With his own epic statement made, Johnny goes for his phone again. "But if we're gonna' be teaming up through this whole thing, we gotta' do something about..." Johnny motions towards Hakumen's entire outfit. "... that." He swings his phone up to his ear. "Hey, it's me. Do you have time for a Makeover Montage because do I have a sad case for you..."
Johnny motions for Hakumen to follow towards the end of the alley. Where his car is waiting. Because that's how Celebrities DO!
Already half way down the alley, Hakumen ignores the beckoning hand of Johnny, continuing pointedly off in the other direction. Where, exactly, he is going is anyone's guess. Maybe he just likes dramatic Samurai-style walk offs into sunsets, grimy alleys, crowded markets. After all, the exit is just as important as the entrance.
It is while Hakumen is walking dramatically off into the darkness that the wind picks up, enough of a gust blowing through to lift the third ticket off of the ground and flutter it up into the sky. Carried on the breeze, dipping, rolling and flapping, it vanishes form the sight of the 2 men, floating off to parts unknown. Surely someone will wind up with it. A chance to prove oneself in a tournament like the King of Fighters is one that would be hard to pass up.
Besides, things like this have a way of working themselves out.
Log created on 18:26:55 06/02/2019 by Brian, and last modified on 20:57:36 06/02/2019.