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Part 2: The School Of Hard Knocks




Part 2

--In the locker room of the Grand Cross-Galactic Budokai Tenkaichi Arena--

M.Bison’s grip tightened around Vin’s neck, pushing her further into the crumbled heep of a locker.

"Game over-" blood spilled from his grin. He held his side with his other hand where Vin's coin had struck him. He wasn't sure how she could move metal, and he didn't care. She was dead.

Vin gagged a faint breath as Bison braced himself to finish the job.

That was until Shrek's pair of tree trunk-like arms wrapped themselves around Bison's head.

Shrek, who'd been tossed around for the last minute and a half by Bison, finally got the upper hand and reared Bison off of Vin.

He pulled him back a few paces, holding him with massive ogre strength. But Bison did not submit. He sent fist and elbows to Shrek's face and midsection. Little by little, his hold loosened giving Bison leverage to escape.

In desperation, Shrek let out his ogre roar. Bison broke the hold but being so close, he absorbed much of the sound.

"GAHHH!" M.Bison reached for his ears as they started to bleed.

Shrek fell backwards after his roar, but used the back wall to steady himself. The struggle had exhausted him, but he wasn't about to give up. Before he could go at Bison any further, the doors of the locker room busted open.

In quick succession, arena security separated the three of them and cuffed them with energy binders. It took five guards to stop the fight.


"And stay out!" The security officer shouted at the trio as they were forcibly removed from the arena grounds.

They stumbled past the open gate as it slammed shut behind them.

"Well…" Shrek said, speaking to himself instead of the others. He was trying to gather his thoughts on what just happened.

Security had come, but the rest of it was a blur. He wasn't in any pain from the fight and his proper clothes replaced the towel that was at his waist. How'd they do that without him noticing?

Shrek turned to others, "How 'bout lunch?" He decided it was better to just to forget the whole ordeal and make friendly.

He could see M.Bison, in full garb and cape, walking down the street already. And the girl, Vin, took out a coin and dropped it to the ground. She suddenly sprang into the air, leaving Shrek behind.

Now he was alone. And the city before him was massive. Bigger than anything he'd ever seen, with more lights and people than he'd ever seen. Honestly, he couldn't look away.

There were humans and children, animals that were like people and animals like pets. Strange looking people with odd colors. And they all mingled together on the street, in shops and in vehicles.

Shrek had the feeling he wasn't going to stand out here.

With little choice, he decided to venture out into the city.

Verse City, a name he read on several screens and buildings. Strange name for a place, but no stranger than that arena he supposed.

Walking down the concrete road told him more about this place. A stack of papers being pulled from the back of a truck read, 'Verse City Gazette' with the headline, 'Pop Culture Icon Apollo Creed Runs for District Mayor!' Before he could read more, two people grabbed a newspaper each.

"So why don't you just tell her how you feel?" said the blue skinned avian to an upright wolf companion.

"It's not so easy, Garrus. We're not even the same species-" the upright wolf responded.

They walked past Shrek who was eavesdropping.

"That's the best part. Me and this woman, Terra--" the one called Garrus responded back. The rest of his words drowned out by the roar of a siren somewhere.

This world was too stimulating.

The growl of his stomach became another distraction. "Oh boy, really?" When was the last time he ate? At home?


Shrek searched his person for the check that the arena clerk gave him. His hands turned up empty. He must have dropped it in the locker room…

He turned towards the arena gate, it was impossibly tall. No way he was getting back in there. But he needed a way home somehow.

Shrek ran over to the duo with the newspaper, catching their attention with a green hand on their shoulders.

"Excuse me, sorry. Do either of you, um, gentlemen happen to know how I can get home? I'm not from here."

Garrus and the wolf man looked at him confused, but spoke with a casual demeanor. "No problem, most of us aren't. There are vortex points that take people to and from the city. There are access points every couple of blocks to portal you home."

"Thank…you?" Despite his confusion, Shrek carried along in the direction Garrus pointed him.

He walked down two streets and passed many strange buildings names until he found a corner that read 'Central Manhattan Vortex' and underneath it 'Access Point XC.52'

He went inside only to be turned away a few minutes later. Can't use the portal without money. Shrek gave the employees a piece of his mind, but he walked away before causing too much of a scene. Last thing he wanted was a fight.

Instead, he continued further into the city. If he can get some quick cash, he'd be back home in no time.

Looking for options, he found two wanted signs across the street from each other.

'Henchmen Wanted!' Tryouts Today!'

'Hiring now for Mr. Clean's Cleaning Crew! Looking for hard working citizens!'

Shrek met eyes with a bald white guy standing outside the cleaning crew sign. The guy, apparently called Mr. Clean, smiled and thumbed toward the inside of his shop. His eyes alone were enough to make Shrek uncomfortable.

Shrek decided that he wanted none of that, and turned inside the door with the other wanted sign.

"Bwah-ha!" A gutteral laugh shook Shrek as he entered.

The room was large. Strange characters littered the place with quite a few of them unconscious on the floor. They surrounded the middle where a raised wrestling ring stood. A hulking turtle creature was alone in the ring, bellowing.

"None of you are fit to lick my boots, much less compete against Mario!"

"Um, hello?" Shrek said, speaking over the group. "Wondering if you would lend an ogre a favor? Need some money for that portal thing--"

"You!" The beast in the wrestling ring leaned over the ropes, pointing directly at Shrek. "Get in here! If you want money, you gotta earn it!"

Shrek was intimidated by this guy. It was rare he met people his size… or bigger. But to get home to Fiona, he'd have to bite the bullet.

"Alright I'll knock ya one. And when I do, I'm heading back home. And you're paying for it!"

Shrek shoulder bumped every guy on his way to the ring. He pulled his way up, slid through the ropes and stood toe-to-toe with the big guy. He could feel the intense heat coming from this guy's grin.

"Kick his ass, Bowser!" Someone in the crowd said.

Bowser chuckles. "When I knock you down, you'll be standing back up as my henchmen!"

Shrek cracked his knuckles, "We'll be seeing about that."




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