GAINING AN EDGE: A MASSIVE FIGHTING GAME CROSSOVER
Robert Garcia entered a small pub in Venice, Italy. His cell phone rang.
“Hey Ryo, what’s going on?.... yeah I’m in Venice for that meeting that we talked about.... who did King lose to?” Robert took a seat in a corner booth. “...some tomboy named Leo Kliesen?... Can’t say I’ve ever heard of her. King must be down on herself. Wasn’t she in training to take on Sagat? Probably not the momentum boost she was hoping for..” (REF: LEO KLIESEN VS. KING (ART OF FIGHTING))
Robert’s eyes went to the pub’s door as a man and woman entered in.
“Ryo, I have to let you go. Benimaru and Athena just arrived,” Robert informed.
He hung up his cell phone and greeted Benimaru and Athena Asamiya with smiles as they sat down in the booth across from him.
“This better be very important, Robert,” said Athena. “It was a very long flight, and I might get irritable if I’m not here for a good reason.”
“You are here for a good reason, trust me,” said Robert. “Would either of you care for a drink?”
“I want to know why you asked us to meet you half way across the globe,” said Benimaru.
“It’s hard to hold a meeting with a world famous model and a female pop star without attracting some unwanted attention,” Robert explained. “I figure that a small pub in Venice is the last place anyone would look for either of you. Not to mention it’s probably the closest thing I could find to a mid point where we would all travel the same distance. Must be fair.”
“Still waiting for a reason as to why we are here,” said Benimaru.
“To settle our differences,” Robert answered.
“I was not aware there was any tension between us,” Athena remarked.
“Not in the traditional sense, no. Both of your teams, the Psycho Soldiers and the Japan Team have always been at the very least cordial with the Sakazakis and myself. But we are always so concerned with winning the King of Fighters tournament that we leave ourselves vulnerable to the Orochis and NESTS of the world,” explained Robert.
“What are you saying?” asked Benimaru.
“I’m saying we could accomplish a lot of good if we combined our forces.” A small smile appeared on Robert’s face. “Of course I’m not suggesting we would totally stop competing against each other to see who is the best, just a rearranging of priorities.”
Athena thought it over. “It’s an interesting proposition.”
Before Benimaru could speak, blue smoke suddenly engulfed their booth.
Athena‘s eyes widened. “What is going on here? Robert?”
“It’s not me,” insisted Robert.
A lone figure stepped out of the smoke. It was the Italian fortune teller, Rose.
Benimaru stood up and stepped into his fighting stance, “What is your business here?”
“I mean you no harm,” said Rose. “My name is Rose and fate has smiled upon me by bringing you all here in my city just when I need help the most.”
“Help? With what?” asked Athena.
“It is a long story.” Rose looked over to Athena. “You have the ability to read minds do you not? Perhaps it would be quicker if you just scanned through mine.”
The request caught Athena off gaurd. “How do you know that?”
“All will be explained eventually, but we are short on time. Viola will regain consciousness soon, and we don’t want that,” said Rose.
“Who is Viola?” asked Robert.
Rose ignored him and implored Athena. “So please proceed with my blessing.”
Athena used her telepathic abilities on a willing Rose and saw images of the cursed sword Soul Edge, of the Azure Knight, Nightmare, of Shadoloo, MIST, G Corporation, and the Mishima Zaibatsu, of M. Bison, Victor Donovan, Kazuya Mishima, and Jin Kazama. She saw images of warriors from different places and different times clashing in deadly battle. She saw images of the world plunged into darkness and the rivers flowing with blood.
Athena gasped. “What horrible and horrific things you have seen.”
“It is a possible future that I am trying all in my power to avert. But as you saw, there are many sides to this battle and many different scenarios that still end in disaster for this world,” said Rose. “I can not win this fight by myself and I can not win it fighting all sides at once.”
“She was one of the last people to see that cursed sword the last time it was unearthed. They thought they were helping to permanently rid the world of the sword by taking shards of it into themselves all those years ago. But, in reality, the sword was simply ensuring its own survival and manipulating them for an event such as this,” explained Rose. (REF: ROSE VS. VIOLA)
“I’m feeling a little left out here,” said Robert.
“Not to mention a little lost,” added Benimaru.
Athena looked over to Robert. “You were just talking about joining forces. I think we may have found our first common goal.”
“Which is what?” said Robert, with annoyance creeping into his voice.
“Robert Garcia, I apologize for the vagueness, but it is simply a consequence of our time restraints I assure you. I require your private jet so that I may travel the globe quickly to find others to help in this cause. Specifically my friend Guy, the warrior Ryu, and the astrologist Zafina. Her knowledge of ancient evil and her recent history with the cursed Mishima bloodline would be most helpful. If you would be so kind to fly me to these locations, I will explain everything along the way.”
“How do you know my name?” Robert glanced over to Athena. “Are you sure she is on the level?”
Athena nodded. “Her mind is pure. She seems to be motivated only by her mission.”
“Well okay then. Let’s do this,” said Robert.
“Athena, I need you to find a place to lock up Viola so that she does not further complicate matters,” Rose instructed.
“Will do,” Athena replied.
“And what about me?” asked Benimaru.
“Viola has a traveling companion who will undoubtedly be here shortly looking for her. I can’t concentrate on the tasks ahead if I have to worry about him coming at me from behind,” Rose began.
“You need me to take him down?”
“Yes. I have left some clues behind that should lead him to this place. Beware, in my visions I can’t quite make out his face, but I can make out an illuminated mystical lupine beast standing by his side. Be ready for anything.”
“Don’t worry about me. I’ll be ready. It takes a lot more than a glowing werewolf to scare me,”
Benimaru insisted. Electric sparks fired from his fingertips. “I can do a little illuminating of my own.”
“I thank you. And for all our sakes, I wish you good luck,” said Rose.
Rose motioned to Robert with her eyes and he nodded. The two walked toward the exit together. Athena followed behind them.
“Hey Athena,” Benimaru called. “Can you hang back for a second?”
Athena walked back toward Benimaru.
“Can you tell me what you saw in that fortune teller’s mind, so I can understand what exactly it is you got us into,” he said.
“I’ll do my best. When I’m done you should probably contact Kyo and the others and let them know what is going on. I’m sure they will want to help.”
Z.W.E.I. traveled to Italy immediately after he read Viola’s letter. He worried about his friend. The world had changed so much since they had made their fateful decision. They had spent most of their years away from civilization and he was not sure how she would handle the new world. Or how he would, for that matter.
It took him several days to find some people who had heard of Rose the fortune teller. But, once he did he was given the address to her shop. Z.W.E.I.’s pulse quickened as he entered Rose’s shop, unsure of what he would find. The anxiousness turned into anger when all he could find in the empty shop was Viola’s hood on the floor. Z.W.E.I. knew she would never travel without it. Something had happened to Viola, he was sure of it.
Z.W.E.I. returned to the same people who had given him Rose’s address and demanded to know another place where she could be found. The Italian shop keepers did not trust his look and feigned ignorance. Then they cowered in fear when Z.W.E.I. summoned E.I.N. in his frustrated rage. Finally, an older man mentioned a pub that she was known to frequent.
“I should make you taste the end of my blade for costing me precious time with your stubbornness,” Z.W.E.I. proclaimed. “But, it is reserved for whoever has taken Viola.”
Soon after, Z.W.E.I. pushed open the doors of the pub and shouted, “Where can I find Rose? I demand to know. Is she here?”
Benimaru stood up from the bar and turned to face him. “You must be the guy I’m waiting for. The one with the scary glowing lupine creature. Unless, of course, you’re just some poor sap who didn’t like the fortune he was given.”
“What? I didn’t catch all that,” said Z.W.E.I. “I asked, where is Rose?”
Z.W.E.I. summoned E.I.N. by his side. Patrons of the pub scattered in fear.
“Yeah, you’re definitely the guy.”