The Dragon Boat docked and set down it's plank, and hundreds of fighters began to disembark. There was a path set for them outlined by red flags set on poles of bamboo. The path wound through a forest and a quarter way up a huge mountain, leading to a large temple.
Upon arrival, the fighters were instructed by cloaked figures to find a room, put their belongings there, and return to the main hall.
Sakura saw Jason take a room, and she took the one next to it. She wanted to talk to him later.
She headed to the main hall and looked for him, but since the temple was so huge, and there were so many people there, she found it impossible and gave up. A few minutes later, when everyone had arrived, a gong sounded, and it became quiet.
An old man with flowing robes, and long white hair walked out onto a small elevated platform, followed by.....Bison! Sakura recognized his cape and armour, and the evil grin he always wore. The old man started to speak.
"Welcome, warriors of the world, to my island. You few have been chosen from all the world because of your great skill and....." The old man was cut off when Jason stood and yelled,
"BISON!!!" Bison, still wearing the evil grin, searched the crowd and spoke.
"Does my reputation precede me?" he said in a mocking tone.
"Bison, you killed my parents! Now I'm going to get my revenge!!!" Jason screamed and leapt at Bison. He shot a jump kick, and it connected.....with absolutely no effect. Bison just grinned and grabbed Jason's ankle, slamming him onto the ground. Jason lay there motionless.
Sakura cut through the crowd of fighters and ran up to his limp form, checking for a pulse. The old man who had watched the entire thing just smiled and started talking again.
"I am Shang Tsung, and my island will be your battleground. The competition begins tomorrow. I suggest you all get your rest. You will need it."
The next morning, main hall
As the fighters piled into the main hall in the morning they noticed a ring had been erected overnight. The whole thing was filled with sand, and some had been colored red to outline a roughly circular shape.
As soon as most of the fighters were in the main hall, Shang Tsung and Bison walked to one side of the ring and sat on two chairs side by side. Tsung stood up and said,
"Let the tournament begin!" Bison stood and said the names of the first two combatants.
"Liu Kang and Guile, step into the ring."
Liu Kang, a young Chinese man wearing a pair of black baggy pants and no shirt stepped into the ring, followed by Guile, who was dressed in his USAF fighting outfit. camo pants, olive green tanktop, and dogtags around his neck. His golden hair stood almost straight up like a mop. But no one ever said that to his face for obvious reasons. He was ripped. Liu Kang bowed low to Guile, who just stood there glaring at his opponnent. They both stepped into fighting stances and circled each other, looking for an opening. Guile thought he saw one and rushed in, sending an elbow uppercut towards Kang's jaw. Liu sidestepped and kicked out Guile's feet from underneath him. Guile used the momentum gained by this to backflip and land on his feet. Just as he landed, Liu sent a round-house into Guile's right shoulder, sending him reeling. Guile spun around and back-handed Kang in the jaw. He fell to the ground, but got up almost instantly. He shot a lightning fast kick to Guile's head and Guile ducked. Realizing the mistake he had made, Liu braced for impact. While crouching, every muscle in Guile's body tensed and then released. He flipped backwards at the speed of sound, catching Liu's jaw with his foot.
"FLASH KICK!!" he yelled, sending Kang flying across the ring. Kang got up shakily and could barely stand. Guile reared his head, chest and arms back as he yelled, "SONIC BOOM!!"
As he said the last word, he threw his arms forward, crossing one over the other. Two spinning discs of yellow energy shot toward Kang. The energy exploded on impact, and sent Kang flying. Liu flipped backwards and landed on his feet. He rushed toward Guile and jumped when he was halfway there. Kang extended his foot, and caught Guile on the chest, sending him flying out of the ring. Liu took a step towards where Guile had fallen off of the ring, bowed, and walked away.
Bison stood once more and said, "Jason, and Sakura, Enter the ring."
Sakura felt her chest clench. "I don't want to fight him...." She thought to herself.
"And even if I did, I probably wouldn't have a chance..."
She slowly and reluctantly stepped into the ring, followed by Jason. She bowed low and so did he. Without warning, Sakura visciously kicked Jason in the head.
"Oh well," she thought "Might as well give it a shot."
He spun before hitting the ground. Jason got up and Sakura sent a punch toward his head. He grabbed her arm and flipped her over. She got up and made a mad dash towards him. He grabbed her by the collar of her sailor suit, and used his legs and her momentum to flip her and send her flying out of the ring. The crowd cheered and he walked away.
"Wow." Sakura thought to herself, still lying on the ground dazed. "That was pretty fast."
She slowly got up and made her way to her room.
"Scorpion and Allen, get into the ring." said Bison, obviously bored with the monotony of his job. A man with messy red hair, sideburns running down to his chin, and wearing a purple gi stepped into the ring followed by a tall ninja dressed in a black bodysuit covered with a yellow mantle.
Allen squinted his eyes to make sure he wasn't seeing things. The ninja had a faint golden glow around his entire body, and Allen also noticed that the ninja had no pupils, his eyes were pure white. Allen was so lost in the strange appearance of the ninja, he was caught off guard when Shang Tsung signaled the start of the match. Scorpion landed a volley of punches on Allen's face and finished the combo with a spinning hook kick to the head which sent Allen spinning to the ground. He got up, stumbling, cursing and gritting his teeth. He wiped the blood from his face and rushed at Scorpion like a freight train. He lunged forward and knocked Scorpion twenty feet away with a vicious body-check. Scorpion got up and into a strange stance that Allen had never seen before. Scorpion's left hand was bent parallel to his right side, hand in a fist. His right hand was resting on his left, palm facing Allen.
Allen didn't know what to expect, so he stood his ground. For what seemed to them like a long time, they just stood there. Then a dark slit appeared across Scorpion's palm, which was pushed outward into the size of a small hole, by what looked to be a mutant rat's head made of steel. The "rat" opened it's mouth and emitted a sound like nails on a chalkboard. Without any further warning, Scorpion thrust his right hand forward, and yelled, "Get over here!"
The steel rat shot towards Allen, and he caught it between his palms about half an inch from his face. He didn't know about the steel cable it was attached to.
While distracted by the thrashing rat, Allen didn't realize until it was too late that it was wrapping it's steel wire around him. Suddenly the creature stopped thrashing, and the steel cable was tightened around Allen's body. He screamed as the cable tightened even more, catching him in a vicious bear hug. He soon passed out from the pain, and Scorpion retracted the harpoon and wire back into his palm. Allen fell to the ground in a heap and Scorpion walked off the ring. The crowd of fighters were too shocked to cheer.
Sakura lay in her bed looking up at the ceiling when she heard a knock at her door.
"Who is it?"
"Uh...it's me....Jason..." Came the shaky reply.
Sakura's eyes widened and she shot towards the door, tripping and falling on her face in the process. She quickly got up and opened the door.
Jason stood there and when he looked at her, his face turned red and he quickly lowered his gaze to the floor. Sakura wondered why, for a moment, but dismissed it.
"Yes?" She said a little more coldy than she had intended.
"Um...I just wanted to talk to you about the fight today..."
"Alright, come in. Here, sit down." She patted on the bed next to her.
"Sakura, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry if I hurt you at all....I just thought that if I showed any restraint, Bison would think we knew each other and come after you.."
"So you hurt me to help me....? I guess I understand."
"So...you're not mad at me?"
"Not really. I'm just surprised that you're such a good fighter. You could probably give Ryu a run for his money."
Jason brightened and smiled. "Really? Thanks." He quickly looked down at the floor again.
"Why do you keep looking at the floor? Am I that ugly?" Sakura joked.
Jason, eyes still on the floor quickly said, "No, no! You're very pretty.....it's just that..."
Jason pointed at her chest. She looked down and saw that she was wearing only a bra. Sakura shrieked and ran to the small storage space provided as a closet. She emerged wearing a baggy sweater that was a few sizes too big. Her face was bright red as she said,
"Well, I guess I gave you quite a thrill."
Sakura sat down and interrupted him.
"Jason....do you really think I'm....pretty?"
He looked into her eyes and nodded once. She leaned forward slowly and touched her lips to his lightly.
After she pulled away, he started to mumble something about needing to get back to his room and stumbled out the door.
"Wow," She thought to herself, "I think I'm in love...."
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