Chapter 1: Bladed Cage
She did not understand why she was here. She knew why, but didn't understand why.
As Juri Han slunk through corridors, her mind couldn't help but wander. Was it a game? A tournament? Were there "winners"? Or was it more of a meat grinder; a blood sport where the participants bleed and die for untouchable onlookers?
She knew that they were being watched by someone. There were all sorts of hints for anybody paying enough attention; glints from lenses of surveillance cameras in dark corners, passageways that opened and sealed shut at just the right moments, and the toys... by god, the toys. Whoever had sprung for this place must have been loaded. Nothing ever stayed the same from "arena" to "arena". So far she had traveled through a forest, an office building, the edge of a volcano... some tech-y stuff which she thought was supposed to look like the inside of a spaceship or something... and the only recurring theme were these drab basic corridors used to lead the winner to the next zone.
Was there a winner? Was anyone truly making it out of here? Juri was no idiot; she had been paying attention to the "competition" she had carved through, and the only consistency she could spot was that some sick bastard out there would probably pay good money to watch them die. Including herself. But that's the thing-
Hold that thought. Juri had finally made her way out of the passageway and into the light of a new area. It... looked like something had already ruined the place. Fine specks of ash danced through the air and covered the ground in a light layer of grime. There may have been a castle or shrine here some time ago, judging by the elaborate pedestals and stone carvings of dragons, but only fragments of any former glory remained. But down a hill, in a small, flat clearing, Juri finally spotted what she was looking for: A woman. Waiting. For her.
Juri did not know how she got here. She did not understand most of what was happening. She did not even know if there was a way to "win" in all of this madness. But that's the thing:
As long as she was here, Juri Han was the true winner.
All of these tender morsels delivered straight to her. One after the other in a neverending stream. For all she cared it could go on forever.
Licking her lips in anticipation, Juri Han descended upon her next plaything.
-=-Juri Han couldn't help but appreciate the location her target chose for this confrontation; sporting a decent amount of stone floor tiling left intact and a few stone pillars flanking the sides, it could almost pass as an actual arena. But what undoubtedly excited Juri the most of all was the woman herself.
This one was definitely going to be interesting. She was dressed in bordering-on-ceremonial military fatigues, complete with a dog-tag necklace. What obviously was not ceremonial, though, were the strange mechanical gauntlets covering the backs of her hands and most of her forearms. Although the woman was facing her, Juri could spot the edges of a long, braided ponytail behind her as she shifted her weight in preparation for a confrontation. Her icy blue eyes, lined with the starting hints of crow's feet, narrowed in concentration as she also looked her opponent over.
"Well well well...", Juri began, "It looks like this one has a bit of experience under her belt. It'll be a nice change of pace to crack open an old bird."
Juri's opponent let out an exasperated sigh before replying.
"Great, another one of these types. I really needed another one in my life. But I guess it doesn't matter too much..."
The woman brought up her hands and balled them into fists, assuming a combat-ready stance.
"You won't be around for long. The name's Sonya Blade, General of the Earthrealm Special Forces. And you're a speedbump."
Juri started off with a charge to close the remaining distance between them, while Sonya stood her ground. Juri leaped into the air on the final step and started a forward flip, intending to bring the heel of her foot down onto Sonya's skull. The general saw this coming, however, and had a trick of her own to answer with. Before the blow could land Sonya had pulled a metal cord from one of her gauntlets -- usually utilized as a garrote -- and tangled Juri's leg with it as it descended. She then used the momentum of Juri's jump against her to slam her onto the ground behind Sonya.
Recovering quickly, Juri pushed off the floor with her hands back into a standing position and began to circle the officer. This crone is tougher than I expected, Juri thought to herself. Good. I like it rough.
Trying a different tactic, Juri harnessed a fragment of the power of her Feng Shui engine to "kick" a burst of purple fire at her target. Sonya managed to step out of the way of the blast, however, and replied with two shots of purple plasma from her gauntlets. Juri quickly realized that this was going to go nowhere fast; although she was easily nimble enough to dance through all of Sonya's blasts, her own energy was lacking in both the range and speed to blindside this opponent. Clearly, a mix-up was in order.
During the next volley of energy blasts, Juri flipped over them and once more closed in on Sonya. The officer, seeing Juri approach, drew out her garrote wire again and prepared to catch the fist that Juri was drawing back.
A fist which never came, as it was only a feint to cover her leg sweep.
Caught by surprise and unprepared, Sonya's garrote withdrew back into her gauntlet as she was swept onto her back. And, sufficiently jostled, she had no time to avoid the following foot which stomped onto her stomach and left her gasping for air.
"I have to give it to ya, Granny..." Juri chided, leaning over Sonya to pull off and toss away her cap. "...You gave me a bit of trouble for a little while there. Pity that you just couldn't keep up."
"You're the one lagging, freakshow.", jeered a voice behind Juri, accompanied by the feeling of a barrel on the back of her head
In any normal fight, this would be the end. But of all the things Juri could be called, "normal" was not one of them.
Even with the aid of the Feng Shui Engine, though, it was a close call. As Juri moved her head to the side she was slightly singed by the gunpowder explosion and her cheekbone received a shallow cut from the passing bullet. After that moment, though, Juri was off and dancing about the entire arena.
"Damn it, Cassie..." Sonya wheezed, "Don't warn them before you shoot. This isn't one of your father's movies."
"You're welcome for the save, Ma." Cassie replied, as she stepped over Sonya and shot off a few more rounds at their opponent.
Juri was bleeding, temporarily deaf in one ear, and worst of all furious. She couldn't believe that she had been blindsided by such a basic trick. That dusty hag chose this location because of all the columns her little brat could hide behind until the best moment to strike. It took all of her willpower to not rush the mouthy catsuited twerp right away, handguns be damned.
It seemed like ages before until she ran dry, at which point Juri leapt in before she could reload. To the kid's credit, though, she didn't even try; quickly holstering the pistols and drawing a baton instead.
Cassie was actually not too bad all things considered, but she was still not quite up to snuff with what the Feng Shui Engine could muster. Cassie swept her baton low in an attempt to take one of Juri's knees out of commission, but only scored a glancing blow as Juri grabbed her arm and cartwheeled over it. Still holding the arm, she used her momentum to swing back under and smack the top of one of her feet against Cassie's face before pulling the brat down to her knees with the full force of her body.
Rolling aside and standing back up, Juri stood in front of the dazed Cassie as her mind tried to parse what just happened. After a moment she shakily reached up and removed the battered frames of her now shattered aviators from her face.
"Those were fifty dollar glasses." Cassie mumbled.
"I'd worry more about the plastic surgery." Juri replied, right before grabbing Cassie by the back of her head and slamming her knee into the brat's nose with a satisfying crunch.
Juri would have been just fine with keeping that up all day, but she was suddenly pulled away by a cord around her neck. Turned out that Sonya had finally gotten her literal second wind back, and was more than ready to put her garrote to good use.
Juri had little time to lose here. All the power she had would do nothing to help brain starvation, and Sonya had made herself damn near impossible to remove in time by wrapping her legs around Juri's torso. Thinking fast, Juri decided that if Sonya wanted to commit so hard to this tactic she might as well pay for it.
Drawing as much power from her Feng Shui Engine as she could, Juri leapt backwards into one of the surrounding stone columns. Juri was pleased by how the column shook and the grunt of pain from her attacker, but the garrote's stranglehold still held fast. Juri drew forward and slammed her back into the column over and over; her augmented strength creating a widening crater in the stone and doing god knows how much damage to Sonya's insides. Gradually Sonya's grip began to loosen, and when Juri finally got enough leeway she untangled the garrote from around her neck and let out one more superhuman kick back into the torso of Sonya Blade.
As Juri caught her breath back, she could hear Sonya slide down into a sitting position behind her. Interested in the damage Juri reached down, grabbed Sonya's feet, and pulled her through her legs so that the general was now lying flat in front of her.
If Juri hadn't already killed most of the S.I.N. scientists by now, she probably would have thanked them. After all, who else could do this without power tools? Or a truck? Sonya was still alive, but it was clearly a matter of time until the inevitable. The lower half of her torso was a mess; dripping with blood and fragments of lower ribs which simply couldn't take the stress. Her upper torso was not as bad -- in the sense that it was still there -- but the fragments of bone which were visible lower down had obviously done a good enough job pureeing the organs hidden within. Sonya herself was astonishingly still conscious. Drooling blood, but conscious.
Juri had to cut the inspection short, however, as she was punched in the jaw and thrown aside.
Juri scrambled to her feet, and was met with two more lightning fast blows to her face before she could raise her guard.
Still reeling and unsure of what was happening, a straight kick to her stomach left her gasping.
One more blow to the jaw -- an uppercut this time -- sent her flying into the air and rolling on the ground.
Given a moment of respite, Juri finally got a grip on what the hell was happening. Sonya's ratty child had gotten back up for another go, and something major had happened since Juri had broken the twerp's nose. She was positively radiating with some sort of bizarre green energy which made her hard to look at; every one of her now absurdly fast motions leaving behind a neon afterimage.
"You're going to pay for everything you've done and more, you slutty circus clown."
Before Juri could reply, Cassie was on top of her and hoisting her up by the chest. Letting go and allowing Juri stand shakily on her own, Cassie then split her legs to drop down and deliver a bone-shattering punch to Juri's groin.
Juri was seeing stars and barely hanging on to consciousness at this point, but knew that her life depended on acting fast and decisively right now. Through her haze of pain, she watched as Cassie unsheathed her pistols and...
...held them by the barrels?
As Cassie drew her arms back and apart, Juri figured it out: Always the flashy type, this idiot was going to beat her with the gun handles. Elaborate. Crowd-pleasing. Impractical. Slow.
Cassie was still too fast to outpace, but speed meant nothing if you already knew where they're going. As the showoff brought her arms together, meaning to crack Juri's skull with her pistols, Juri already had her hands up to catch Cassie's forearms. And with the brief moment that she had Cassie blindsided Juri hopped onto the child's shoulders and pushed back on them until two heavy pops echoed across the arena.
Juri stumbled backwards as Cassie sat there; gaping dumbfoundedly as her green glow faded, her now-useless arms fell to her sides, and her pistols skittered across the ground.
Then the shock wore off.
That's when the screams began.
Although Juri could have listened to the shrieks for days, there was still unfinished business to take care of. With a sharp kick to the chest, Juri knocked Cassie flat on her back.
"Now don't you worry, kitten..." Juri purred.
"...I'm not the type of girl to leave you..." she continued, firmly wrapping an arm around each of Cassie's thighs
Juri placed one foot on Cassie's crotch, bent at the knee.
With a sudden jerk, Juri pulled back and straightened her knee, causing another set of pops to ring out alongside the now redoubled screams.
Satisfied with her work, and sure that the kid was absolutely helpless at this point, Juri sauntered back to the top half of Cassie and grabbed her by the back of her catsuit's collar.
"Now don't pass out on me, brat...", she continued, as she began to drag the fallen agent. "...We still have to check up on mommy."
-=-Juri was pleasantly surprised to find Sonya Blade still alive and aware. She was wheezing, coughing up blood, and beginning to turn deathly pale, but that was still more than almost anyone else could manage in the same condition. She was a tough old bird, no doubt about it.
Juri, ever the considerate one, threw the helpless Cassie on top of the dying Sonya so they could have a final face-to-face talk.
"Mom..." Cassie sobbed, staring into her mother's eyes. "...I couldn't do it. I'm..."
"You shouldn't...", Sonya sputtered, "have warned her... about the shot..."
"Shut up, Mom!" Cassie spat, her despair now overtaken by anger. "She dodged a point-blank bullet! Who can do that?"
"You know... at least three people... who c-"
"Is this really the time for this? Really?"
"Aww..." Juri cooed, hunched over the two with one foot resting lightly on the back of Cassie's head. "This was really supposed to be a touching moment. Maybe I should help you two kiss and make up!"
With that Juri pressed down on Cassie's head, forcing her and Sonya's faces to lock in a full kiss. Juri could feel Cassie's frantic thrashing underneath her, but she was much more interested in observing Sonya's reaction. Juri watched with joyous hunger as Sonya's eyes blazed with rage and disgust, only for it all to slowly drain away as her grievous wounds finally finished their jobs. Juri got a front-row seat to witnessing Sonya Blade -- professional military woman, hardened survivor, and general of the Earthrealm Special Forces -- die tasting only blood and the panicking tongue of her own daughter.
Once Sonya was truly gone, and Juri had her fill of the spectacle, she turned her attention to Cassie. Easing up on her foot, waiting for the plentiful profanities and slurs the child must undoubtedly have ready at this point, Juri was surprised to be greeted by only sputters and a few whooping breaths.
Juri clutched Cassie by what little hair she had and lifted her up slightly for inspection, curious as to what was going on.
The revelation came to her as soon as she saw Cassie's swollen, broken nose once more. She could only breathe out of her mouth! As fun as that last bit was, Juri almost spent her other toy too soon just by blocking it up!
"Yooou... biiitch..." Cassie moaned, finally starting to come-to again. "You... beehive... haircut... biitch..."
"Now now," Juri chided, "language. What would your Mommy think?"
"She'd give me a medal, you carnie slu... what are you doing?"
Juri had begun to pull down the zipper on Sonya's jacket, completely undoing it and pushing the edges aside.
"I think baby's cranky.", Juri mused.
Juri once again raised her hand to the top of Sonya's chest; catching the top of her shirt with her fingernail, and pulling downwards to tear it the whole way.
"And what do we give cranky babies?"
All that was left was a black bra, simple and plain. With a skillful flick Juri tore through the fabric in the middle and brushed away the cups; leaving behind Sonya's bare, unmoving breasts covered in cooling sweat
"Please..." Cassie begged, the horror of what was about to happen dawning on her. "You can't. Anything but this. Anything but-"
"Drink up, baby!" Juri cheered, as she pushed Cassie's face into one of her dead mother's mounds.
Try as she might -- and boy did she try -- Cassie had no power to raise her head or prevent her mouth from being completely enveloped by Sonya's breast. And with her nose swollen shut, this completely cut off her supply of air as well. As Cassie grew weaker and weaker, she could feel Juri shift positions on top of her. The spidery bitch was now laying on top of her; it would almost be akin to cradling if her hands were not occupied with smothering her. As the spots in her vision grew larger, and she began to fade away for the last time, she was accompanied by the sensations of her mother's cold, sweaty teat on her lips and a psychopath grinding against her ass.
-=-Juri lay there a while, long after she was sure that both of the women were dead. Feeling the heat leech away from their bodies and watching the ash begin to settle on their unblinking eyes. After a time -- a long, blissful time -- she rose to her feet again and chose a direction to walk in. She knew that eventually she would find another passage, which led to another area, which led to another morsel.
She did not understand why she was here. But she embraced it with all her heart just the same.