Author's note: Anyone who's followed Hokuto No Ken aka Fist of the North Star knows at the end of the day, it's a fun, cheesy, martial arts manga/anime that doesn't take itself too seriously. I tried to balance that out with the seriousness that Mass Effect portrays the Reapers in. Hopefully it doesn't clash too much. For what it's worth, try to read Ken's dialoge in his voice. I think it helps.
Garrus cursed as the ground shook yet again. Bits of dirt and metal plinked off his carapace. Near by he could hear the screams of unlucky turian soldiers who had been caught in the blast. Bellowing shouts filled the air as officers and sergeants attempted to redirect soldiers to plug the gap where the perimeter wall had been destroyed. With a smooth pull of his talon, Garrus sent another round downrange. It plucked the head off a marauder at 500 meters. Childs play for Specter Vakarian. Unfortunately, against the backdrop of the enless Reaper horde, it was a drop in a very large bucket. They had to get out of here...
"General, this is Vakarian. Hate to rush you but if we don't leave soon, the Council will need to find another Specter AND another Primarch." He spoke into his headset as he sniped a Banshee lurking in the distance. He could hear its tortured death shriek from here.
"Specter Vakarian, this is General Victus. I was just about to call you. I've distributed battle plans to my commanders. They should keep Palaven afloat for now, but there's only so much my troops can do before the Reapers crush us through shear numbers." The general replied.
"Then I'm sure you realize the importance of us getting you off this moon." Garrus said as he abandoned his sniping position. "As cold as it sounds, we need a Primarch at the negotiating table, not a dead hero on a burnt moon. Stay at your command post. My team will meet you there. Then our ship will provide Evac." He switched channels before the general could respond. "Liara, Ken, show's over. Get back to the command post so we can get out of here." He informed his team.
"On my way." Liara breathed.
"Hai!" Came the single syllable response. With that out of the way, Garrus hurried to the rendevous. It would be embarrassing if he missed his own evac. A dead run back to the post left him a bit winded but still ready for action. He found the general, Liara, and Ken waiting for him. Victus looked unhappy. While Garrus could sympathize with the turian not wanted to leave his troops behind, the general had said it himself: The Reapers would take this moon through force of numbers. And Garrus couldn't let the new Primarch be there when it happened.
"Tectus, this is Garrus, we need a pickup at General Victus' command post. Time now!"
"Copy that, Vakarian. Tectus is en rouuwwoooaaah!"
"Tectus! Pravus, what's wrong? Pravus, did you blow up my ship again?!" Garrus yelled into his comm.
"Negative Vakarian, but you guys have big trouble headed your way! FIND COVER! " Lt. Pravus Forctis, Tectus' pilot, yelled.
"GET DOWN!" Garrus bellowed. Everyone in the area ducked for cover. And not a moment to soon. A sovereign class Reaper screamed overhead. It's cannon slicing a line through the compound. It landed outside the walls moments later. Only a few hundred meters from them.
"Sorry Vakarian, there's no way I can get close to you without that Reaper cutting the Tectus to slag." Lt. Forctis stated, sounding very apologetic. Garrus cursed. The Reaper seemed to loom down on them all like a malevolent god. It's cannon glowed ruby red as it prepared to fire. Garrus desperately tried to think of a plan to save his team and the Primach, but nothing came. Then he felt a meaty hand rest on his shoulder. He looked behind him to see Ken, looking even more somber then normal.
"Specter Vakarian. Don't worry. I will take care of this." Garrus gaped.
"Uh...how?" He got out. Ken merely gave him a stony-faced nod.
"I am glad to have met you Vakarian. You are a credit to your race. You have been a fine instructor in the ways of the universe. It was an honor to fight beside you. I wish you the best of luck. I know you will defeat this scourge." The tan alien turned to Liara. "Dr. T'soni. It was a pleasure to share so much with you. You have taught me much about the galaxy. You were patient with my ignorance as you explained the ways of the universe. Everyday I was in your company, you did your best to make me feel welcome. I truly hope you live as long as you say your race can. The galaxy will need souls like yours around for a long time." The both the archaeologist and Garrus opened their mouths to say something, but Ken was already off.
In the blink of eye he had already reached the outer perimeter and jumped over the walls. The beleaguered defenders could scarcely believe their eyes. From behind them the strange alien had leaped over the wall and was now in the thick of the reaper horde. Most were sure he was dead. The few who had seen him fight however...
Ken's arrival had not gone unnoticed by the reapers. The jury-rigged barrier generators attatched to his belt strained from the hail of incoming fire. And on all sides, salarian husks shambled to rip him limb from limb. Marauders and Cannibals spat hundreds of mass effect rounds at him. Further back, brutes bellowed and banshees shrieked at the intruder. For a moment, his stony demeanor fell. And a smirk danced on his lips. Just like old times.
"Senren Kyaku..." He muttered, just as the first wave of twisted salarians closed in on him. From the turian ramparts, it looked like the husks had brought the strange alien down. Surely he was being torn limb from limb.
"AHTATATATATATA!" The alien's shout proved them wrong moments later. The dozens of husks surrounding Ken flew back into the ranks of their twisted bretheren and spasmed for a few moments. Then they exploded in a spray of fetid black goo and meaty circitry. Ken did not idle. In a flash, he sprinted through the mob of reaper troops. Numbers and weapons meant nothing to the human as he blazed a gooey trail through the enemy lines. The defending turians could track his progress by the fountains of grey slime the exploding reapers flung into the air. Inside a minute, Ken had reached his destination: The Reaper itself.
With a powerful leap, he cleared the last line of abominations and cartwheeled gracefully through the air. Mere feet from the Reaper's legs, he extended his arms and planted his hands on the machine's hull. For the briefest of seconds, both had contact with each other. Then Ken pushed off and deftly landed in front of the behemoth. Then juggernaut seemed to tilt down and the battlefield paused. By now Garrus and Liara had made it to the perimeter walls. And soon found themselves gaping with the rest of the defenders as Ken and the metal nightmare stared each other down. The machine spoke first.
"YOU...ARE AN ANOMOLY. THERE ARE NO MENTION OF YOUR RACE IN OUR RECORDS." The giant being rumbled.
"My race is unimportant. My world even less so. What I can do, no one else of my race can. Besides, you should focus less on who I am and more on what I will do to you and your kind." Ken replied briskly.
"YOU ACT AS THOUGH YOU POSE A THREAT." The reaper stated. It almost sounded amused.
"You don't believe I could hurt you?" The human asked.
"A SINGLE ORGANIC. FLESH AND BLOOD. NO AUGMENTATIONS. NO WEAPONS. YOU ARE BUT AN INSECT. TO BE CRUSHED AND FORGOTTEN. LIKE THE COUNTLESS TRILLION OTHERS WE HAVE FACED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. WE HAVE ENTERTAINED YOUR PRESENSE BECAUSE OF YOUR BOLD IGNORANCE. YOU ARE A SINGLE STRAND OF BACTERIA. UNABLE TO GRASP THE MAGNITUDE OF WHAT STANDS BEFORE YOU. SHOULD YOUR KIND BE FOUND, THEY TOO WILL BE SWEPT UP IN THE HARVEST. THE RACES OF THIS GALAXY HAVE NO CHANCE OF STOPPING THIS CYCLE. YOU ARE A MERE VIRUS THAT WILL BE ERADICATED." The cannon on the behemoth charged and blast at Ken. It vaporized the spot he was standing in and tore apart the first rank of reaper troops that surrounded the human. After a sustained burst of a few seconds, the Reaper ceased his attack. In front of it was a blacked trench of a crater. Certain the being was dead, the Reaper turned its attention to the outpost a few hundred meters ahead of it.
"Was that your best attack?" Ken replied. For a giant metal monstrocity, the Reaper shifted itself to face the human remarkably quick.
"IMPOSSIBLE. NO NON-BIOTIC IS CAPABLE OF MOVING FAST ENOUGH TO OUTRUN BOTH THE WEAPON AND THE CONCUSSIVE BLAST." It paused for a second before continuing. "NEITHER BIOTIC ABILITIES OR STEALTH TECHNOLOGY WAS DETECTED. YOU WILL EXPLAIN."
"And if I choose not to?" Ken replied. The reaper shifted again so it's cannon was pointing at the outpost.
"I WILL OBLITERATE YOUR COMRADES. THEN MY SOLDIERS WILL TEAR YOU LIMB FROM LIMB. " It stated, sounding incredibly bored. Ken looked around and noted the horde of reaper abominations had surrounded him again. He did not look intimidated.
"Perhaps a demonstration would better suit an explination." He informed the metal beast and took a few steps back. Ken bowed his head, closed his eyes, and pressed his hands together. "Tenryū Kokyū Hō!"
Time seemed to pause for a moment, before lightning flashed from Kenshiro. The wind howled and the ground shook beneth his feet as the human gave a great bellow that could be heard from the turian lines. Then his shirt evaporated. Unnatural fire covered him as Ken took a step forward and pointed a finger at the metal giant before him.
"Reaper! You and your kind have been a scourge upon this galaxy for countless eons! You prey on the weak and feed off the defenseless! You take sons and daughters and turn them against their mothers and fathers! You pit lovers against each other! You turn the truest friends into bitter enemies! You have brought unimaginable pain and sadness to the universe time and time again! But today marks a new beginning! The beginning of your end! Prepare yourself coward, and taste the pure fury of Hokuto Shin Ken! YAAAA-TAAAAAH!"
Like a bolt of lightning, the human lept into the air and straight at the reaper. Seemly defying gravity, he rocketed up past the thing's legs and reared a fist back. With a great shout, he shot it toward's the reaper's 'eyes'. "Senjukai Ken! AHATATATATATATATATATA!" With blinding fury, Ken attacked the abomination with all his strength. From the turian lines, it looked like a thousand flashbang grenades were going off in front of the reaper. They watched the display in stupified amazement. Ken seemed to defy the laws of physics as his body floated upward while he rained down blows. And as far away from him as they were, the turian soldiers could still hear his battle cry.
"YAHATATATATATATA!" Each blow Ken landed hit with the force of a Thanix cannon blast. His body was an engine powered by the righteous fury of an enraged universe that rejected the abomination before it. Ken ferociously laid into the skyscraper sized robot. The reaper was stunned. For all it's eons of existence and sights seen, it couldn't grasp how this puny flesh scrap was hiting harder then dreadnaught blasts and completely bypassing its barriers in the process.
In a way, the reaper was a guina pig for Ken. When earth had been found by Specter Vakarian while he was hunting down a pirate group, Ken was suddenly faced with a universe that held completely different races. His techniques were now only partly effective. So Ken began to study and learn. Soon he discovered all organics had hidden pressure points. It was simply a matter of finding them. Further study made him theorize even machines had an equivalent. Coolent hoses and power cables functioned like blood vessels. Hydrualic pistons and synthetic cables functioned like super durable muscles. It was simply a matter of mapping them out.
To do this, Ken had creatd a special techinque. Ken would close in on his opponent and briefly place his hands on the target. Then he would send a pulse of his own Qi through the adversary's body. The Qi would flow through his enemy and then return to Ken, having mapped out their hidden pressure points. With all the enemies Ken had fought while at Garrus' side, the human had plenty of practice. And, while Ken punched impossibly fast for a human, his fists were far too slow for barriers to bother stopping.
"YAHATATATATATATATATATA!" Blow after blow Ken rained down on the monolith being. Each hit traveling deep into the reaper's innards and disrupting something. The turians watched in shock as the speck of light seemed to somehow push the giant back. Of course, such powerful blows came with a cost. While Ken was one of the most powerful humans in the universe, he was still just a human. Muscles began to tire and bones became stressed. Ken was an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object, and the reaper simply had the mass to soak up his strikes. Still Ken swung. With feet and fist, he drove the reaper back. His onslaught seemed to last for an eternity. Finally the Fist of the North Star reached his limit. With one last solid punch, he flipped back away from the towering monster and landed in front of it. He then immediately collapsed.
Back at the outpost, Garrus made an urgent call. "Tectus, this is Vakarian. Ken is down. We need two pickups. One for us, and one for him. And we need it immediately." He ordered.
"Airspace is still pretty clogged. Plus that reaper is right on top of Ken. You sure you just don't want to grab the Primarch and bug out?" Came the reply.
"Forctis, if I hear you say varren shit like that again, I will personally throw you out of an airlock and pilot the Tectus myself. Understood?" Garrus snarled back.
"Loud and clear, sir. Tectus en route. Can't have you piloting her. You'd back into a freighter five minutes into it." Forctis answered.
Meanwhile, back on the frontline, things were now grim. Ken found no matter what he tried doing, his body refused to move. Stress fractures ran up and down his arms and legs. Nearly every muscle group of his was torn and pulled. His energy was gone. He barely had the strength to force himself to breath. Lording over him, the reaper gloated.
"AN UNUSUAL DISPLAY. YOUR BODY WILL BE DISSECTED AND RESEARCHED. YOUR ABILITIES WILL BE PASSED ALONG TO OUR GROUND FORCES. YOUR CORPSE WILL CONTRIBUTE MUCH TO THIS CYCLE AND THOSE THAT FOLLOW."
"Hokuto Shin Ken could never-" Ken gasped for breath "-never be used by a souless machine like you." He finished with a hacking cough. The taste of copper flowed over his tongue. Oh well, not like it would matter in a few minutes.
"A FRAIL MORTAL COULD NEVER UNDERSTAND THE ABILITIES OF WE WHO ARE. WE WILL HAVE YOUR SECRETS. THEY WILL BE OURS AND WE WILL USE IT AGAINST THE REST OF THE VERMIN INFESTING THIS GALAXY."
"Unlikely..." Ken breathed. "But in any case...you will never bear witness to the outcome...You're already dead."
"EMPTY WORDS. THE LAST DESPERATE GASPS OF A DyIINngWgAhaAAAA" The reaper's snide remark was cut off mid sentence as its metal surface began to buckle and bulge. "WHaAAtTT Is-iS-IS tHII-" The machine lurched violently. Fire and sparks and red bolts of electricity spewed from rents twisting themselves into existence along it's hull. The reaper began to sway like a ruined tower caught in a wind storm. "THGISHIiiiIISs nOT POSsssiBlLLLLLLL-" The thing's bellow was cut short as a massive explosion tore apart the joint of its leg. The Reaper stumbled. It attempted to engage its engines to pull away from the moon's surface. Instead, another explosion blasted out part of its backside. The Reaper struggled to desperately stay upright. Until a third explosion sent it teetering to the ground. The entire turian command post felt the ground shake. A massive plume of dust and debrie flew into the air in all directions.
Ken shielded his face with his arm. Rocks and reaper trooper and turian equipment hurtled past him. Ken held fast. When the windstorm finally settled, he looked up. Pathetically lying on its side like a wounded varren, was the Reaper. Its skin shook and buckled and plumes of fire continually burst from its hull. The defeated giant's eyes flickered.
"ThIISsssSsSSiIIIssSSsSsS ImMMMPPoOOOSSibBBlLLeE..." It groaned. "HoOOwWwWW?"
Ken, despite his injuries, forced himself to stand. He faced the doombringer of a thousand races and fixed it with a hard stare. "Hokuto Shin Ken...could never be explained to trash like you." He grunted out. Behind him he heard a shuttle land. Probably Garrus come to rescue him. He may still have a chance at surviving yet. "Your millenia of wanton slaughter is at an end." He proclaimed. Ken raised his arm and pointed a finger at the fallen beast. "Go, and see if there is a hell for machines." He ordered. The Reaper screeched out the most unnatural scream he'd ever heard. Such a noise clawed at his very soul. Then the last of his strength left him. Ken began to fall backwards. His vision grew dark. But as his sight failed, he had the pleasure of seeing a rather large chunk of hull blast itself out of the reaper. As consciousness left him, Ken felt himself being pulled back.
The shuttle was already moving back to the Tectus before Liara had finished reeling Ken in with her biotics. She and Garrus hovered over him; wanting to help but unsure what to do. He looked terrible. Red blood leaked from his nose and ears as massive bruises formed along his skin. Behind them, the reaper's piercing wail was cut short as it exploded into a massive fireball. The monster's dying scream echoed in Garrus' ears even as the shockwave buffeted the shuttle about. Assuming he survived the Reapers, he'd never forget that sound.
Garrus looked back down at Ken. The human was barely breathing. Garrus was worried, but he had seen Ken in action. He always somehow got back up from a fight. It was a blessing and curse that all his species weren't like the man laying before him. A curse that they didn't have 10,000 more soldiers who could literally punch a reaper to death. A blessing that there weren't countless humans in the universe with the power to destroy anything that stood before them. "Heal quickly, Ken. Spirits know we need you now more then ever." Garrus murmured under his breath.
As the shuttle rose to space for pickup, the body of Ken slowly healed. But the spirit had other things to do...
Lightyears away from madness at Palaven was a ruined garden planet that orbited a yellow dwarf star located in a tiny, barely explored system. An apocolypse had burned the planet's surface, and the surviving inhabitants barely clung to life. On a volcanic plain of one of it's wasted continents was a towering statue. A formation of cooled magna that resembled a man seemed to stare in the distance. Legend had it that the figure was actually an unbeatable warrior. But the warrior's brother had been slain. And out of grief he had allowed lava to flow over him as he held his brother's body.
In truth, it was the great Kaioh. Supreme dictator over the Land of Asura. Once he had been called the Creator of the New Century. Or, when nobody serving him was listening, Demon Kaioh. His demonic fighting aura was so intense he required a special armor to absorb it. So as not to smother his underlings with it. He ruled with an iron fist and his word was law. He felt no pain, pity, or remorse.
Then Kenshiro arrived in his lands. Slowly, bit by bit, Ken wrecked a path of destruction through his lands. No lieutenant or general Kaioh sent after him could stop Kenshiro. Kaioh became so desperate that he murdered his own sister and blamed it on Kenshiro. So that her lover, his second in command and childhood friend, Hyoh, would destroy the troublemaker. Even that didn't work. Eventually the Fist of the North Star and the First General of Asura squared off. Their fight was powerful, destructive, and bloody. But when the dust settled, Asura saw the Demon defeated by Ken.
To make matters worse for the defeated First General, Hyoh had arrived at the battle site. However, Hyoh mortally wounded himself. And though he still could deliver the finishing blow, Hyoh instead forgave his friend. Then he passed away in Kaioh's arms. Distraught over the loss of his brother and his battle Kaioh wept. Now he was truly and totally defeated. He picked up his brother and moved to a spot near the lava and slammed his foot into the ground. Magma burst forth and had covered the two. It was a good death.
Or so it would seem. As the wind howled around the figure, suddenly the stone began to crack. The earth itself began to tremble as the hardened lava began to splinter and fall off. Then with a thunderclap that split the air, a mountain of a man burst free. Kaioh sucked in a massive breath of air and opened his eyes.
'I'm not dead...' He thought in confusion. Then he looked down. The still figure of Hyoh remained in his arms. Then he looked to the heavens and felt them. Seven spirits, blazing and pure. All behind one far stronger then them combined. Though unseen and unfelt by a normal man, Kaioh saw. Kaioh heard. And in an instant, Kaioh knew. He looked down at Hyoh. "A second chance..." He muttered. "The universe has given me a chance to atone for my evil sins." Kaioh hugged the body of his most loyal follower.
"The seven spirits and their better have told me what must be done. An evil far greater then I has blighted the universe. And I have been charged with destroying it. Hyoh, I will make you proud. You will find your forgiveness was not wasted on me." He stared at the sky once more. "Kenshiro, your Hokuto Shin Ken may surpass my my Hokuto Ryū Ken. But I will not fall to the adversaries you have! This is how I shall prove myself superior! I will be the one to remove this blight and rescue the stars above! In this I will be worthy to be called your better! Hear me ruler of this encroaching blight!" He bellowed. "I, Kaioh, the Creator of the New Century, will find you! I will destroy your minions and lay waste to your armies! No matter your size! No matter your numbers! The great Demon Kaioh will find and crush all that bears your standard!" Kaioh swore to the heavens. He looked down at his friend again. "But first, Hyoh, we shall give you a worthy burial." With that, the behemoth of a man strode off the volcanic plains to lay his friend to rest. And then to purge the heavens themselves.
In the darkness of space, half-way across the galaxy, Habringer suddenly felt remembered what it was like to feel unease.
Author's note: Yes Kaioh was killed by the lava in the series. But fuck it. This is Hokuto No Ken. The series about a muscle-bound guy in an apocalyptic wasteland punching other muscle-bound guys so hard they explode. Anything's possible.