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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 Four: Kombat

The Tournament was divided into three rings, each with its own array of characteristics to hinder or aid each kombatant. Johnny watched as robed Outworld guards escorted Jax, Liu, and Kung to their respective rings. He flashed a double thumbs-up at the trio and put as much encouragement as he could into one of his blockbuster smiles.

As they moved out of site, Johnny eyed the remaining guards. As much as he would love to wait around for the opportunity to kick another Shokan butt, his priority was to save Sonya. With most everyone's attention focused on the matches, this was his best chance to sneak away and find her.

* * *

Kung Lao faced Baraka, the nomadic mutant who led the charge on the Temple of Light. Relying on his training as a Shaolin monk he managed to control the rage that threatened to consume him. He would not dishonor the memory of his slain brethren by fighting in anger.

His face a mask of calm, Lao brought his hands before him and performed a traditional bow to the nomad. Baraka grunted in response and snarled as he lunged at the monk.

With a backwards flip, Lao avoided his opponent's reach and landed in a crouch to us Baraka's momentum to grab and launch him outside of the ring.

Baraka hit the ground hard, rolling to a stop before the officiating guard's podium. Without thought to the guard, he broke a support beam from beneath the podium and charged at Lao, using the beam as though a club.

Lao grabbed his hat, with a blade like a saw blade, and threw it at the beam, cutting the wood in half.

Baraka snarled again and threw the pieces at Lao. Lao placed his hands in front of his face for protection. He looked up again at his opponent...

...only to find that he'd disappeared.


* * *

Surrounded by cliff rock and sand, Jax didn't feel much in the way of confidence as he eyed his opponent.

Though he'd been fascinated with Greek mythology as a boy, he appreciated the fact that he would never actually have to tangle with any half man-half beasts and could safely enjoy the stories his mother read.

Of course, his mother never mentioned that the Centaurs of Greek myth were actually based on Shao Kahn's brute forces.

Motaro, with the body of a draft horse, the torso of a giant, and the head of the devil, loomed menacingly over Jax. Even the comfort of his bionic arms­which easily made him the strongest man on Earth­did little to ease the growing anxiety building inside him.

The gong sounded. Motaro advanced. Jax dove between the creature's legs, evading the strong arms reaching for him. Rolling safely behind the creature, Jax assessed his situation.

He's a hell of a lot bigger than me, he thought, but none too quick on his feet. He dove again between the massive hooves as the Centaur charged again.

Repeating his earlier motion, Jax rolled safely away as Motaro hurriedly spun in search of his prey. He snorted loudly and lunged for the mortal. This time, as the little man dove under his legs, Motaro stopped abruptly.

Jax finished his role, only to find himself still under Motaro. The creature had stopped moving and thus Jax had only rolled halfway out. Standing as quickly as he could before the Centaur crushed him, Jax was unprepared for the mighty hooves that imploded into his back and launched him out of the inner ring of rock.

Managing to brace his impact with the bionic implants, Jax watched as his arms became embedded in the fragile rock. He quickly pulled himself free as chips of flint rock rained down upon him.

The downpour increased with the approach of Motaro's massive bulk. Jax quickly scrambled up one of the rock faces.

"So you want to play rough, do ya?" he shouted, putting as much bravado into his question as he could muster.

Motaro growled in response and punched the rock face, causing it to crumble beneath Jax's feet.

"I take that as an order for rough play, then." Jax said, rolling into his fall to land just out of reach of the Outworlder. He quickly regained his feet and rushed at Motaro.

Moving quickly, Jax grabbed the creatures tale and one hind leg and pulled. Motaro lost his footing and Jax grabbed the other leg. The army intelligence officer then began to spin, watching in surprised satisfaction as Motaro lifted into the air.

Jax released his hold on the Centaur and watched as it flew into another of the huge rocks. With the force of Motaro's impact, the rocky surface broke apart and rained down upon him­but just as he was about to be engulfed by the maelstrom he vanished.

* * *

This is familiar, Liu thought to himself as he watched Kitana move toward him. He expected this bout with her to be no different than at the last Tournament­a graceful dance to prove that Kitana still worked for the goals of Outworld.

Facing each other, a small smile passed Kitana's features and Liu visibly relaxed. Of course Kitana would go easy on him because she needed his strength for later.

Bowing to each other, Liu took the offensive and kicked out at Kitana. She side stepped it easily, playing to the rhythm that would fool the Outworld hosts. She returned his attack and kicked low at his legs, managing to bring him to his knees and have her second kick blocked.

On they went, easily deflected kicks and punches traded back and forth. Liu almost wondered if they were being at all convincing as he took his turn as the aggressor.

Spinning, he aimed a kick at the princess' head­and had the wind knocked out of him when she charged his unprotected chest.

He backed away, gasping for breath, a look of surprise on his face quickly turning to one of betrayal.

Smiling cruelly, Kitana attacked him again with a rapid succession of punches to his side and abdomen. "You pathetic mortal." She spat, kicking his legs out from under him. "You really believed I would betray my homeworld for you?"

"Kitana," Liu rasped between jagged breaths. "Why..?"

She bent over him, her face inches from his. "For the same reason you believed I would fight for you." She removed her mask and kissed him, biting his lip harshly and relishing at the metallic taste of blood­and pain­she caused him.

"For the love of my father, I betray you, Liu Kang." She turned away, the biting sound of her vicious laughter carried by the breeze.

* * *

Far from the Tournament, Kitana woke to the steady beat of her throbbing head. She slowly opened her eyes and groaned as the harsh light blinded her. She immediately closed them­causing a moan of pain to escape her parched lips.

"The sleeping princess finally wakes," a voice announced above her, the sound burning on sensitive ears. Even in her disoriented state, she recognized the voice of her adopted father's most loyal servant.

"Reptile..." she whispered, forcing her eyes to open as she looked for the voice's source.

A blurry image moved toward Kitana and stood above her. Blinking, Kitana was able to bring the green ninja into focus.

She wished to demand why she'd been brought to his lair, but her throat refused to work past the dryness it felt.

Laying back again, she felt cool metal against her lips. "Drink this." Reptile commanded, helping her to sit up and swallow small amounts of warm water.

"Why am I here?" she croaked, the water helping only a little with the constricting dryness in her throat.

Reptile turned away from her and refilled the cup, this time with cold water. He handed it to her and then sat across from her on a meditation rug.

"Why do you think you are here?"

Kitana drank the water, draining the cup and ignoring the rivulets that ran down her chin. "The Emperor ordered it."

Reptile nodded.

"But how will it look to the masses if his own adopted daughter does not fight in his honor at the Tournament?" she asked.

The green ninja remained silent. "You should rest, Princess." He rose. "You have a long journey ahead of you."

Before she could ask him what those cryptic words meant, Reptile left. Kitana realized she was suddenly very tired and, as she drifted off to sleep, realized the ninja had drugged the second cup of water.

­ ­ ­

If anyone is interested, I could really use some help with jazzing up some of my fight scenes (as you could tell). I'm really only good with the characters I have a solid feel for (like Johnny and Sonya) and I struggle with coming up with cool stuff for the other kombatants. Any takers? I could also use someone just to bounce ideas off of for some upcoming stuff and how best to integrate it. Contact me at if interested.