Disclaimer: Not mine, don’t sue. Thank you kindly.
Note: To Sonya fans: I apologize if you feel cheated this chapter. While Sonya does have a fight, it’s not that detailed, cause if you read Johnny’s fight, uh, he got most of the action, and I ran out of fight ideas that wouldn’t be repetitive. I didn’t really mean for it to work out that way, maybe I’ll fix it sometime (though not likely), it’s just that I had originally intended for this thing to be a big long fight chapter… and my motivation kind of died. So again, I apologize. PLEASE DON’T HURT ME!
Balford lost track of Johnny and Kyoufu, so instead rerouted to the storage room where Spekly was keeping their special guest busy. He opened the door to find Lt. Blade gone and Spekly curled in a heap on the floor.
"Danny!" Checking over him, and slapping him a few times, Balford managed to rouse him from his unconscious state. "Danny, get up."
"Fuck, Rick, what the hell-"
"Apparently, our captives have flown the coop, so to speak. And it looks like our little ray of sunshine here wasn’t too thrilled with your form of entertainment."
"What about the kid?" Spekly asked as he steadied himself on his feet. As Balford began to answer, Spekly noticed movement to the left, and threw himself against his companion, carrying them both to the floor as the bullet lodged itself into the wall above.
"Shit!" Balford turned on his back and fired at the Major who had tailed him to the storage room.
In the hall, Jaxx bent down behind the doorway, waited, then turned back in and fired again. Balford retaliated, and Spekly took the opportunity to run up next to the doorframe. When Jaxx leaned around to take a shot, Spekly kicked the gun from his hand then attacked Jaxx. They fell onto the wet floor, both thoroughly soaked by the sprinklers, and wrestled for the upper hand.
"Fuck, Spekly, what the hell are you doing?!" Jaxx shouted before nearly choking on his spit as he was punched hard.
"Trying to get my fair share of money, you stupid shit!"
Balford slid into the hallway and aimed for the large black Major, and fired. The bullet went into the ceiling as another body slammed into Balford, making them fall into a mass of limbs atop the other two men. After minutes of struggling, Balford and Spekly managed to get to their feet and both raced down the hall.
Jaxx quickly stood and helped Johnny. "Thanks, man," he breathed in response to the close call with Balford’s gun.
"Forget about it." Johnny dismissed the comment, as he charged the two retreating figures, Jaxx no more than a step behind. "Was that Spekly fighting you?" Johnny called behind him.
"Yeah! Appears he’s been on their side all along!"
"The bomb at my house, the murder in the police station. That was all him?"
"I’d say he’s the best suspect. He was closest to us, and I’m betting the most flexible in the group."
"Fuck, man. First Balford, then Nise, and now Spekly. Whatever happened to loyalty between friends?"
"Hey, I’m still here, ain’t I?" Turning various corners in the large building, the two fighters found themselves outside, a two level dock before them, the ocean rolling in the distance, and ominous clouds of black curling in from the shore.
"Where-" Jaxx began to question, when he spotted one man running toward the parking lot. A moment later, he realized it was Spekly. "Found our rat."
"And I got Balford." Johnny shot off in the direction of the loading area on the top dock, and Jaxx made his way after the former FBI agent.
His feet pounding on the wood matched the pounding in his heart as he turned off of the small wooden incline onto the old dock. Around him were crates of fishing tools, nets, and pieces of trash lying about. He cautiously walked around, looking for anything out of place. When he reached the banister at the end of the dock, Johnny walked over and looked down the ladder to see if Balford had climbed down to a boat or the lower dock. Finding nothing, he began to turn away when a pair of feet came up from below and hit him solidly in the stomach. Johnny stumbled back as Balford came up from under the dock where he had been hiding.
"Care to dance, little boy?" Balford taunted as Johnny got to his feet.
Not wasting a moment on pleasantries, Johnny swung a hook. Balford blocked. He tried a snap kick. Balford blocked again. So Cage tried a series of uppercuts, cross punches, knee jabs, and arm locks. But it was to no avail. Balford blocked everything, and when Johnny finished his attempted combo, Balford hit back ten fold. His pace increasing, Balford retaliated with his won series of attacks. Johnny was familiar with the first few, matching block for block with the traitor’s left hook right uppercut right knee jab spinning roundhouse that was his trademark combination. Then things changed, and Balford suddenly flipped over his head, and as Johnny turned, a swift front kick slammed into his jaw. Then a punch to his stomach, followed by a left cross, a right hook, and jumping back fist sent Johnny reeling. Balford’s high sidekick crashed through the door to the lighthouse as Johnny ducked into a roll and sprang into a handstand before flipping onto his feet, spinning, and smashing his heel into Balford’s upper cheek. He flipped sideways, landed roughly on his knees, and Johnny moved in. Balford spun onto his back and swept Johnny. Both flipped onto their feet, charged, and they met in the air with a sidekick that caused them to crash onto the deck together, their combined weight causing the wood to bend and split beneath them.
In unison, they shared equal looks of shock before they fell. "Shit!" Below them was a series of crates and fishnets that painfully broke their fall. Balford was the first to get up, and he looked around for his opponent. He turned over boxes and shoved broken pieces away, but Johnny was gone. Then Balford turned, and feet connected solidly with his chest, knocking him backwards as Johnny dropped from above.
"Oof!" Balford stumbled back into the railing and barely managed to dodge the drop kick Johnny brought down on the wood, splintering it to bits in a moment. Balford countered with a side jab into Johnny’s stomach, grabbed the younger man’s head, and flipped him onto the hard deck. Johnny cried out as he fell, then shifted his weight and managed to toss Balford over him. Balford rolled, stood, and jump kicked at Johnny. Johnny dodged, and brought up a front kick that was blocked and another sidekick that connected with Balford’s shoulder. Balford countered by throwing a spinning punch to Johnny’s neck causing him to stagger back, and Balford took the opportunity to run and leap into a flying sidekick. Johnny didn’t have time to block, and he was pushed back through the wooden railing to the next deck below.
"Augh!" Johnny coughed and rolled onto his elbows and knees, trying to regain his breath. There was a shout from above, and Balford jumped next to Johnny, landed in a crouch, and swiftly brought his right elbow onto the base of Johnny’s back. He screamed and collapsed. Balford stood, grinning cruelly.
"Stupid boy. Did you really think you could out do me?" He picked Johnny up by the collar of his torn black satin shirt, lifted him over his head, and tossed him into a nearby electrical pole. Johnny hit it and fell, groaning as blood dripped from his bit tongue. Through blurry eyes, Johnny looked up and noticed a coil of rope with a knot that was attached to an anchor above, keeping it from swinging down into the dock and creating a large hole. Balford strolled over arrogantly, and squatted before the bruised combatant.
"You should have stayed out of it, buddy. Overtime, we could have been partners in arms, and in money. You would have finally received the fame you’ve been dying for." Balford chuckled without humor.
"Right, that would have lasted until the FBI and Special Forces came and bombed the shit out of you and your fucked up organization," Johnny hissed. Carefully, he moved his arm in a gesture so as to go undetected by Balford as he reached for the rope. A gasp escaped him as Balford seized his neck and began to squeeze.
"I’ve never choked anyone to death. Shot, yes. Stabbed, when necessary. But strangulation has always been something I’ve wanted to do. It’s an art form, like all other types of killing. And this is going to be quite enjoyable… well, for me, at least." Odd sounds began to escape Cage’s throat as he began to suffocate under Balford’s tightening grip, and his hand jerked wildly as his fingers came closer and closer to the rope.
"No…" Johnny sputtered as his eyes began to blacken on the edges. Then his fingers clasped around the rope, and he pulled the soggy straw into his palm. A small smile passed over his lips, and with a last burst of strength, he yanked. The knot came loose, a swift rush of air sounded in the rain, and suddenly the anchor was flying down toward the dock. Balford barely had time to blink before it hit him, sending him flying into the air as the large steel object crashed through the wood into the raging sea below. Johnny rolled away as the dock began to groan and shift, and the part that was once under him fell into the waters. Careful not to injure himself more, Johnny rose to his knees, and looked for his enemy. The older actor was nowhere in sight.
"Blasted back to hell, I hope." Gunfire erupted from the parking lot, and Johnny looked over to see Jaxx and Spekly running at each other, guns firing wildly into the night. For a moment, he watched the fight between the two, watched as their military training challenged each other to the limit. Then stars burst in front of him, and he fell to his knees.
Johnny grunted as he was hit again from behind, and he rolled to the side to avoid another blow to his head. "I’ll kill you, you bastard!" The iron rod slammed down again, nearly severing Johnny’s ear. Thinking quickly he spread his legs under Balford, causing the bloodied man to fall into a painful straddle that left him stunned. Johnny grabbed the rod, and threw it down on Balford. He stopped Johnny, and they struggled. As they tossed each other from side to side, Balford finally got the upper hand and head butted Johnny back onto the dock. Swiftly, he jumped to his feet, and was knocked away as the rod cracked into his jaw, followed by an inside crescent kick and a low roundhouse to the back of his knees. Again, Johnny was grounded. Balford pounced, and brought the bar down again and again, spilling Johnny’s blood from multiple wounds on his face and neck.
"Get…" Johnny breathed through his teeth, repositioned himself, and brought his knee up to the joint of Balford’s legs. "…OFF!" Balford howled, Johnny flipped him, and the two changed positions, with Johnny on top. He took the advantage like a lifeline. Blow after blow landed, severing Balford’s skin with each connecting hit. Soon, his face was broken and bleeding to where it was undistinguishable. He twitched a few times then fell still.
"Stay down this time, you prick," Johnny panted. Then he screamed. The knife embedded in his side sent waves of pain coursing through him, and Balford laughed maniacally as he began to turn the knife, increasing the pain.
"How does that feel, baby? And I thought you said you enjoyed a little bit of pain in your relationships!" Balford yanked the blade out, slicing more of the wound open, before slashing the blade across Johnny’s face. He rolled off of Balford, one hand holding his side, as the other pushed himself up. A few steps away, Balford was swaying unsteadily while the knife in his hand spun like the roulette wheel of life, threatening death at any moment.
"Goddamn… don’t you… ever… quit?" Johnny’s chest puffed and rivers of blood flowed down his face and arms into the folds of his soaked clothes.
"Not until I get what I want."
"And… that is?"
"Money, power, a beautiful woman at my side, who I can rape and hurt whenever I’m pissed." Johnny’s face contorted in disgust. How could he ever have liked this man? "I thought Sonya would have fallen into the part nicely. Talk about your perfect woman. Perfect legs. Nice ass. Too spirited for my taste, though." A sick smile revealed blood covered teeth. "Glad I have my cheatin’ FBI agent to fix that." Johnny’s breath caught.
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"A good fighter, yes. A smart fighter, no." Balford laughed. "Danny’s been wanting a piece of her for a while. And he has no problem being rougher with the ladies. Besides, he’s had experience with… breaking them in." Everything around Johnny stopped. "I left him with her not more than an hour ago, and from the screams I heard when I was walking out… well… let’s just say he’s rather to the point in such delicate situations."
"No… NO! YOU LIE!"
Balford laughed. "Do I?" White. Everything was white. And it burned. It seared his flesh to the point of insanity. Then it was red. The rain was of blood, the sea rolled in currents of rouge, and Balford was the only way out. A scream of ungodly nature silenced the thunder above, and Johnny charged. His only feeling: hate. His only desire: to kill Richard Balford.
From that point on, everything for Johnny was a blur. He couldn’t remember what his moves were, when he disarmed Balford of his knife, or how he managed to continue blocking through his increasing fatigue, but he and Balford continued fighting blow for blow. Evenly matched, and both to proud to give in, the match continued until somehow Johnny stumbled. He landed on his behind and found himself to weak to stand. All his energy had been depleted; the fire to live had suddenly gone from his veins. And as much as he had wanted to stand up and fight, he could do nothing more than stare mutely at the man stalking him, murder evident in his eyes.
"Finally, the great Johnny Cage has met his match. Perhaps you should have called out sick and let your stunt doubles do the work, as usual," Balford stated evenly. "I’m sure they would have lasted much longer." Balford took a step back, and fell into a strange meditative stance. His hands joined together at his side, the air suddenly sizzling with unseen energy. Out of thin air, a blue ball of electricity appear, and as it began to pulse to Balford’s heartbeat, Johnny realized what exactly was headed his way. A special finishing attack Balford had learned from a Japanese street fighter.
But Johnny’s mind wasn’t focused on the orb of energy Balford was creating or the words that usually hurt him so. Instead, it was on a little round object hanging from Balford’s belt. Something he hadn’t noticed before. And something, he realized with a shock, that could end this fight in a heartbeat. Just like it ended his fight with Scorpion.
Balford’s hand closed together, his body became taut with control, and with a roar command a blue fireball shot from his hands, streaming through the air at the younger fighter. And it crashed into the base of the factory building twenty feet away, making Balford’s face frown in a split second of conclusion when he suddenly felt something dig into his gut, making his eyes bulge and his mouth fall open as it attempted to pull in the air that was so suddenly dispersed. At that moment, Johnny pulled the pin and forced the small grenade inside Balford’s mouth, forced his mouth closed, then punched him right underneath his nose combined with an uppercut to the chin. The sudden force of both blows made Balford swallow the large object, and he stumbled and gagged as it lodged in his throat. Some last bit of logic in his brain made Balford reach out and use a numbing death grip on Johnny’s arm as another hand squeezed the younger man’s neck, keeping him in close enough proximity as to blow them both to kingdom come.
Johnny struggled to free his arm, but as the seconds ticked by, a dread feeling in the pit of his stomach swelled into doubt. Absently, he thought to himself, this sort of stuff never happens in the movies.
And then there was a small, sharp shout, shocking both men as a little body was knocking into Balford’s side with a small but surprisingly powerful sidekick. And then Balford was pin wheeling backwards and fell over the side of the deck. Johnny walked to the rim to see him hanging below. He grinned suddenly as an old line came back to him.
"This is where you fall down."
And Balford did just that, falling a few feet before his body pulled apart in a thousand different directions. The limbs tumbled and splashed into the waves, in moments disappearing into the rolling salt water and washing out to sea.
A soft hand enveloped his, making him look down at the angelic face that was tear streaked but smiling.
"Thanks for those few karate lessons, John-san."
The wood sprayed in bursts of dust and splinters that rained onto the crouched figure. When the firing ended, he turned and shot three rounds that knocked two crates down, their contents crashing to the wet dock as they shattered with the wood.
"Fuck!" Out from his hiding place, Spekly dove into the freezing rain, rolled on the deck, and fired again. Jaxx shot also, and both men took a wound that knocked them down.
"This isn’t going well," Jaxx mumbled as he pressed his hand to his hip. Only a nick. Good.
"Hey, Jaxx!" A pause. "Major!"
"You know, I’m thinking-"
"Oh, that’s a first."
"-that maybe we should lose the weapons, and try to kill each other with our bare hands. You know, mortal combat."
Jaxx smiled as he thought of the tournament Sonya and Johnny tried to convince him actually happened.
"Ya know, like civilized people?"
Jaxx tucked his barreta into his belt and reached for his desert eagle, a little gift he got from a friend in England. "Well, Danny, there’s only one problem with that."
"Yeah?" Spekly shouted back.
"I don’t trust you." Jaxx spun out from behind the crate, aimed for the cable wire over head, and fired. It came loose and tumbled about on the wet ground, sparks flying in a dozen directions. With the sudden distraction and the increased bursts of light, Jaxx spotted Spekly and charged him.
They tackled to the cement. Sliding for a few feet from the wet surface, they stopped in a muddle of limbs, both struggling to get on top. It wasn’t until Jaxx landed a solid punch across Spekly’s chin that he finally managed to get the advantage. He pressed the heel of his hand down into Spekly’s throat, making him gag, but Spekly used a scissor kick to hit Jaxx in the head twice, making him tumble over Spekly.
Before he could rise to his knees, Spekly kicked him in the ribs twice, then grabbed his head and cracked it against the pavement. Jaxx shuddered and went still.
"About… fucking… time," Spekly panted.
And then Jaxx shifted, and groaned as he spun his body around, sweeping Spekly. Putting one leg under his opponent’s head, he lifted the second leg high in the air and brought it down on Spekly’s chest, once, twice, three times hard when a satisfying crack reached Jaxx’s ears.
Spekly groaned loudly and seized Jaxx’s leg, hugged it to his body, and rolled backwards, twisting Jaxx into an awkward angle on his side. Then he grabbed the major’s ankle and yanked it hand in the wrong direction, making it break. He grinned at Jaxx’s shout of pain before clamoring to his feet and running off into the parking lot.
"You bastard!" Jaxx hissed and also stood, wobbling as he tried to keep his weight focused only on his left foot. Just as his balance became steady, two bright lights began to blind him, and a large truck came racing down the parking lot towards him.
The van swerved out of control as the unconscious driver fell heavily upon the steering wheel, his foot pressed down on the gas pedal. Increasing in speed, the car flew out of the parking lot, onto the dock, and through the wood railing, making it topple down into the dock’s junkyard of scrap metal. As Spekly came awake, not even the breath to scream came fast enough as the car plunged down upon a large vertical piece of metal, that ripped through the engine and plunged right into Spekly’s body, slicing it in half. Through the windshield his upper body fell down onto the scraps, intestines dripping around the face frozen in fear and death.
Up above, Jaxx looked down upon the wreckage in silence. In the darkness of the gory moment, only one strange and unknown thought crossed his mind.
The trigger pulled back and Sonya grunted when the gun went off. The hammer clicked back, and nothing happened. The gun was empty.
"Bitch!" Sonya grabbed Kyoufu’s wrist and twisted the gun out of her hand, before kicking her knees out and bringing the Australian down onto the deck with her. Slaps and punches resounded through the night sky, becoming dulled by the low rumbling overhead. Sonya threw an uppercut that lifted Kyoufu off the ground and she landed a few feet back. With quick reflexes she rolled onto her feet, threw her arms out behind her, and completed three full back handsprings before landing a good ten feet from Sonya. Both were panting lightly.
"What are you running away for?" Sonya taunted. As soon as the words passed her lips, there was blur of a figure as Kyoufu ran at her with incredible speed, and Sonya barely managed to get out of the path of the dark skinned warrior. Not stopping as she ran at the side of the cabin, Kyoufu jumped in the air, put her feet out, let her knees bend as the momentum carried her closer to the wall, then she pushed off and executed a flip and twist in midair. Pushing one leg with the twist, she swung her leg in a wide arc that nearly severed Sonya’s head, and she tumbled to the wet deck with a loud crunch as her right shoulder landed on a wooden crate. As it splintered and broke, various weapons and explosives slid out into the rain.
Through the sudden pain flashing behind her eyes, Sonya managed to grab the closest gun, a colt .45, and she fired at her opponent. Kyoufu dodged around behind a stairwell as Sonya shot off three rounds. It wasn’t until she held her fire when she realized how perfect Kyoufu’s place of refuge was for taking the gang leader out. Right next to the stairwell was a small sailboat hanging from suspension cables, obviously having been in the process of being loaded on the ship. Her sharp hearing picked up a click, and then Kyoufu was running sideways, a gun of her own smoking from the exploding bullets. Sonya lifted her arm and shot out the ropes holding up the sail, and it fell to the deck in a heavy fluff of material, trapping Kyoufu underneath. Sonya wasted no time in getting to her feet and charging the writhing figure, who fired off four more bullets before the clip emptied.
Sonya hit Kyoufu with as much force as she could gather, not halting in her charge and keeping as much traction on the wet surface as possible. Sonya landed lightly on her feet after performing a forward handspring, while Kyoufu screamed various curses in multiple languages as she tried to find her way out from under the heavy cloth. A kick to the ribs, another to the head, Sonya soon lost track of how many times she had hit her opponent. As Sonya went in for a finishing axe kick, there was a loud rip and slash as a large knife cut through the material. Sonya jumped back in time to miss the cut that could have severed her leg. Suddenly Kyoufu was out from under the sheet, her face contorted in rage, and Sonya was blocking again.
"Goddamn you people!" the blonde lieutenant swore loudly as she almost lost a hand to the rapidly slashing blade. "Can’t you think up weapons to use other than these fucking bloody knives?!"
"I’ll enjoy slitting your throat like Kano did to your partner!"
And that was the last straw for Sonya. As if it wasn’t enough that this woman aided in the killing of numerous innocents, orphaned and kidnapped a child, tried to steal her boyfriend, and had to be her worst enemy’s sister, now she had to go and bring up her dead partner. So she used that new found fury to grab Kyoufu’s arm, snap her wrist, grab the felled dagger, and slash up that pretty Aussie face to where she knew stitches couldn’t even make the skin stay together. And listening to the girl’s screams of pure hatred wasn’t half bad either. Sonya then pressed her foot roughly into the woman’s stomach, making her stumble back. The knife disappeared over the side.
"My face…" Kyoufu nearly sobbed.
"Maybe now you can get an entire face plate, considering that style seems to run in the family."
Kyoufu screamed unintelligibly and ran at Sonya, hell bent on homicide.
Not flinching in fear and without hesitation, Sonya went on her palms in a hand stand, wrapped her legs around Kyoufu’s neck, and used the Australian’s momentum to flip her over the side into the cold waves below.
For a moment, Sonya watched her struggle and sputter in the rolling tide and realized absently that the rain had stopped. It then became noticed that the fighter was being pulled back toward the ship, and with a final scream she was pulled under the waves. Sonya realized the propellers were on and rotating rapidly in the blue depths. But instead of saying condolences, only one phrase came to her mind.