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Disclaimer: T'aint mine: the characters and basic plot from the games belong to Ed Boon and Midway as well as New Line Cinema and all those folks who worked to make the most excellent movie Mortal Kombat. The only thing I own is what the characters do­because who else would come up with this whacky stuff, hmmm?

Mortal Kombat II
Chapter Three: The Underworld

Johnny Cage was not pleased. Not only had his wife been kidnapped, his honeymoon interrupted, and his hair mussed by Kintaro, but he was now stuck in the very bowels of Outworld. It didn't take long to figure out upon stepping from the portal that the Tournament would be held in the underworld, the realm of the Shokan.

Looking around the gathered warriors, Johnny recognized Scorpion not far to his left. He wondered briefly how the nonhuman could have survived his spontaneous combustion when Johnny'd sliced him with that shield, but there were many things he didn't know about Outworld and its inhabitants. Despite everything, he was almost thankful for the sight of a familiar face­as long as he didn't have to fight him this time around.

As Johnny studied the yellow-clad ninja, he noticed how Scorpion's mood shifted from one of stealthy aloofness to primed attack. Johnny followed Scorpion's milky gaze to the far corner of the Hall and noticed another ninja, this one dressed in blue. Unlike Scorpion or the other ninjas Johnny had seen, this one did not wear a mask and in fact had an elongated scar running above and below his right eye.

Thinking about his first run in with Scorpion, Johnny remembered Shang Tsung's words. "Scorpion and Sub-zero. The deadliest of enemies, but slaves under my power." He wondered if Scorpion was now free from Shang Tsung and able to continue his enmity, perhaps with this new blue ninja.

"Hey, Johnny, we've been looking for you." Liu said, interrupting his thoughts as he and Jax came up behind him.

"It shouldn't have been too hard to spot me. I stick out like a sore thumb in this sea of weirdoes..." his voice trailed off as he turned to them and took in Jax's appearance.

It wasn't the fact that Jax's dark chest was bared that took Johnny by surprise, he was used to Liu running around like that. No, it was seeing the metal glint of Jax's prosthetic limbs that caught him off guard. He'd known that Jax spent four million dollars on bionic arms a couple of months ago when they were injured on a training run, but he hadn't actually seen them yet. If Jax had chosen to show them off for intimidation, it was working.

However, being one to never miss an opportunity to get a rise out of Sonya's former superior, Johnny eyed the arms with concern. "I hope you've got a couple cans of WD-40 with you, Jax. I'd hate for your arms to rust up before you even finish paying for them."

Jax glared at Johnny and Liu stepped back a few feet. He wasn't quite sure why the two held such disliking for each other, but he knew he didn't want to be in the middle of it.

He had enough on his mind; he was worried about Kitana.

She had spoken with him only a few minutes, but it was enough to make him nervous. She intended to enter the Tournament under the guise of defending Outworld, but was in fact going to challenge the Emperor in mortal kombat. He'd asked her to at least wait until they'd found Sonya-hoping to buy some time to talk her out of it­but he knew she would refuse. As she had said back in the church, she had her destiny. Liu just didn't know if he was ready to accept her destiny since it lead so far away from his.

Liu was pulled from his revelry by a poke in the ribs from Jax. Kintaro, followed by Sheeva, entered the Hall and stood, demanding attention.

Johnny clenched his jaw, wanting very much to rush the stage and demand that Kintaro return his wife, but restrained himself and listened to Kintaro prattle on about the sanctity of the Tournament and the extreme honor each warrior should feel for being chosen to fight. When it seemed as though he nearly finished, but not before throwing in some exulted words about Goro and glaring at Johnny, he said finally:

"The Tournament begins now. "

***

In her tent, Princess Kitana prepared for her first match in Mortal Kombat. Extending her leg before her, she leaned forward to stretch. Though she far from relished the idea of fighting the very Mortals who promised to help her overthrow Shao Kahn and reclaim her thrown, she had no choice but to make it look like she still believed in the Emperor's cause. For the moment, at least.

Stepping to the mirror, she adjusted the intricate braid she'd produced to keep her hair out of harm's way during her bout. Glancing down for another hair clasp, she looked up and gasped at the masked visage that appeared behind her.
Her scream never escaping her lips, the masked intruder expertly pinched the nerve in the base of her neck causing Kitana to crumple to the floor.

 

* * *

Mileena relished every aspect of her job. She was, in fact, the best. As an expert assassin, she was given high security clearance and was trusted more than some of the Emperor's own advisors. Her shapeshifting abilities allowed her to blend in anywhere and take on the shape of a close relation to her victim.

She stared with disdain at the crumpled form of the princess Kitana, a traitor to Outworld. She'd been prepping for this assignment since the first Tournament against the Earth realm ten generations ago. The princess openly sympathized with the Mortals even then and, now, at the rightful age of succession, she was an even greater threat to the Emperor.

Her companion, a personal servant to the Emperor, entered the tent. "Good, Reptile. The Emperor will be most pleased." Mileena leaned over the unconscious Kitana after Reptile placed her on the ground. "Sleep well, dear sister." The purple-clad woman bent over the huddled princess, her arm poised to strike. "Because soon you'll sleep forever." She brought her arm down...

...But it was caught Reptile's steel grip. She glared at him but the green ninja only raised a warning finger and shook it at her with deliberately slow movements.

Mileena pulled her arm from his grasp. "Don't worry, Reptile. I know she still has her usefulness. Why else would I have let her live even this long?" She turned her attention once again to the Outworld heiress. "Her form is easy enough to assume." She said, removing the mask that hid her deformed features. "And after I take her place, I intend to fully enjoy ruining her life."