GAINING AN EDGE: A MASSIVE FIGHTING GAME CROSSOVER
Nina Williams attacked quickly in an effort to dislodge Setsuka’s sword from her hands. (REF: SETSUKA VS. NINA WILLIAMS) But, after all of Nina's quick strikes, Setsuka’s sword remained firmly within her grasp. Setsuka grinned as it was her turn to go on the offensive. Nina had to tap into a quickness she didn’t even know she had to avoid Setsuka’s continously fast strikes and slashes. Setsuka caught Nina with an unexpected blow from her umbrella that knocked Nina to the ground. Nina kicked at Setsuka’s legs and hurriedly returned to her fighting stance. The two women exchanged a variety of kicks. As Setsuka went back for her blade, Nina entangled her arms and the two fought for control of the sword. The struggle continued with neither woman able to get full control and knock away the other. Nina jumped in the air and wrapped her legs around Setsuka’s head. She flipped over, bringing Setsuka to the ground and putting her in a painful armbar. Nina pulled with all her strength and Setsuka finally dropped the sword. Setsuka powered out of the hold before Nina could completely break her arm. Setsuka was the first to her feet and went immediately toward her sword. Nina, still in a crouched position, grabbed a knife out of her boot and jabbed it behind her as she felt Setsuka’s approach. She stabbed Setsuka in the chest. Setsuka stumbled backward and fell to one knee. She gathered her strength to stand again. By now, Nina was in possession of Setsuka’s sword and stabbed her a second time, thrusting the blade completely into Setsuka’s body. Setsuka fell to the ground.
Nina breathed heavily as she kept her eye on Setsuka to make sure her job was complete. She checked Setsuka’s vitals to confirm her death. She looked around, a little bewildered by what had just happened.
“There was definitely something of great value here to have warriors this strong protecting it,” Nina thought aloud. “Perhaps this sword is the real deal. I must include this in my report to Jin.”
She looked back down at Setsuka and noticed a blade shard that was not there before. “What do we have here?”
Nina bent over to pick it up. When she touched the shard, it emitted a strange glow and a powerful sensation shot through Nina’s entire body. She gasped and dropped the shard.
Nina took a moment to settle her body. She looked over the shard on the ground and lifted an eyebrow. “Interesting. I’m going to need the lab rats to look this over before I touch it again though.”
In the hundreds of years since both went along with Siegfried’s plan to permanently cripple Soul Edge (REF: ROSE VS. VIOLA), Ivy Valentine and Hildegard von Krone forged an unlikely friendship based on mutual respect and a need for help to better adjust to the constantly changing times. Like the others, they could feel the impending re-emergence of Soul Edge. (REF: HWANG VS. HWOARANG) They also felt the defeat of a few of their mystically bound allies. (REF: BENIMARU NIKAIDO VS. Z.W.E.I., MAKI GENRYUSAI VS. TALIM)
Hilde decided that they should strategically plan a course of action instead of just barreling out into the world which is what she feared the others were doing. Ivy agreed. The two women decided to go after specific targets that they knew would be involved in bringing back Soul Edge. The first target was the descendants of the Fygul Cestemus cult, creators of the golem, Astaroth. Hilde was a little unsure at first that they should be considered a great threat, but Ivy was certain of their involvement. Their ancestors were always around during Soul Edge’s heyday and they were some of the few people on the entire planet now that know about Soul Ede’s existence.
Ivy had always kept taps on the cult just in case such a situation would ever arise, so it was not hard to locate their temple. Once they infiltrated the temple, Ivy’s suspicions were confirmed. Illustrations and carefully constructed models of Soul Ede were everywhere as well as designs for a new Astaroth. Hilde and Ivy tore their way through the temple, slaying every cult member in sight. Some of the cult members cackled and boasted that the monster had already been sent. This revelation concerned the female warriors and they immediately went off in pursuit of Astaroth after finishing off every wicked Fygul Cestemus member in the temple.
After a couple of days searching, Ivy and Hilde tracked Astaroth’s location to a small village in large part thanks to eyewitness reports of a monster. Ivy and Hilde were not prepared for what they saw when the finally reached the golem. Astaroth was headless and left alone in a giant field. (REF: MAXIMA (KING OF FIGHTERS) VS. BRYAN FURY)
Hilde gasped. “Do you think Maxi did this? Do you think he destroyed another iteration of Astaroth?”
Ivy inspected the body. “It really doesn’t look like Maxi’s handiwork. Although, hundreds of years can change a man. I suppose it is possible.” She looked up at Hilde. “Whoever did this is obviously very strong. We either have a powerful new ally on our hands or an even more dangerous new foe.”
Hilde stared up ahead. “There is only way to find out which one.”
The two women pressed onward until they reached the Mad Gear training facility. The bodies inside had been removed, but the floors and walls were still stained with red from the onslaught that had occurred earlier. (REF: LARS ALEXANDERSSON VS. ASTAROTH)
“The blood is still fresh,” Ivy remarked. “We must be getting close.”
Inside the village, Lars Alexandersson, Leona Heidern, Ralf Jones, and Whip walked the streets after several hours of burying the dead from the massacre. Whip eyed Lars’ labored walking closely.
“I hope you don’t mind me pointing this out, but you appear to be very exhausted,” she noted.
“I’m fine,” Lars replied. “There is still a lot of work to be done. I need to arrange safe transport for the corpses of several of my men and I need to inform the families.”
“All of which could be done in the morning,” said Whip. “Don’t forget, you went toe to toe with a huge monster today. That could not have been easy."
Ralf spoke up. “I, for one, fully support the suggestion that we get some rest.”
Whip snickered. “Yeah, I figured you would, colonel. That spastic Mad Gear nut really did a number on you.” (REF: ROLENTO F. SHUGERG VS. RALF JONES)
"He was a slippery little guy.” Ralf showed embarrassment in his face.
Lars acquiesced. “Very well. There is a hut down the road where they are very hospitable. I’ve stayed there before with a few of my men when we came to confront Rolento.”
“We should have someone keep watch while we stay there,” Leona suggested. “Who knows when Jin Kazama and the Mishima Zaibatsu will send another hitman or even when another monster might show up.”
The others agreed.
“I volunteer to take the first watch,” Leona said flatly.
“Thanks Leona. I will relieve you later,” said Whip.
Ivy glanced at Hilde’s suit of armor as they entered the village. “Did you really need to wear that? It brings so much unnecessary attention to us.”
“I always wear my traditional Wolfkrone armor when I go off to battle. I don’t care what year or era it is.” Hilde replied. She eyed Ivy up and down. “You are not exactly dressed very inconspicuously yourself with that outfit.”
Ivy smiled in response. She turned her attention to a blue haired woman standing outside a hut. “Look over there. Look at her posture and the expression on her face. She is definitely not from around here. I bet she can tell us what happened.”
Leona stiffened as Ivy and Hilde approached her.
“Excuse me darling, can you tell us what happened out in that field. Do you know who killed the monster?” Ivy asked.
Leona did not respond and she glared suspiciously at the two women.
“Did you not hear me? What happened out there?” Ivy inquired.
“That information is classified,” Leona responded.
“So you do know who killed Astaroth. Who was it?” Ivy implored.
“I am not at liberty to tell you. It is vital to my mission,” stated Leona.
“What are you, a robot? Who talks like that?” Ivy wondered.
Hilde stepped in front of Ivy. “She is no robot, but she is definitely carrying a secret. Look at her eyes. Can’t you feel it, Ivy? There is something dark, evil... demonic in this woman.”
“I am not Orochi, I am human. I can control it,” Leona insisted.
Ivy smirked. “Orochi you say? Interesting. Did we have a little freak out at the facility over there? Is that why there is blood splattered on the walls?”
“That was not me. I can control it,” Leona repeated.
“Control it? I have seen first hand what the potential for great evil can do when it goes unchecked. I will not make that mistake,” said Hilde.
Hilde pulled out her sword. Leona looked back and forth between Hilde and Ivy.
“I am of the opinion that there is a little darkness in all of us,” Ivy remarked. “But if Hilde feels that this needs to be done, I will not interfere.” She glanced over at Hilde. “Be sure not to kill her right away. We still may get some information out of her about what happened to Astaroth.”
“Prepare yourself for battle, demon woman!” Hilde shouted.