A/N: Here's the next chapter, and thank you Evan Jones andBeni-kunfor actually reviewing. (Evil glares to everybody else) I don't own King of Fighters, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Star Trek, or Fatal Fury, but I have done plenty of thinking about the characters of the SNK games. I still like Street Fighter more in terms of storyline, but I also like KoF.

"So… what's a girl sixteen doing working for a businessman?" Geese asked as the young woman walked in front of him. "Back at Southtown I'd usually hire people in their twenties."

"Mr. Goenitz hired me and my fellow secretary for… personal reasons," the brown-haired girl answered passively, but with a ferocity hidden underneath. "Besides, it's a summer job."

"And what would your name be?" Geese asked.

"You can call me Vice," she answered again, tapping him on his shoulder so he'd turn around and shake hands.

Geese chuckled quietly when he heard the name. "Vice? Isn't that little mature of a name for a girl?"

"Oh no," Vice answered, laughing a little bit herself. "Mature is the other secretary for Mr. Goenitz, and ironically, she's a year younger than me." She quieted and stepped in front of Geese, leading the way now. "You should know that it's 1885, so you've been whiling away seven years here in Japan. Unfortunately, you'll be spending at least one more here."

"Japan is fine," Geese answered. "Provided the Shiranui clans keep away from me."

"That won't be a problem. We have a plan of making you… disappear."

"How's that?"

"You'll see," Vice answered, smiling.

There was a limousine waiting outside, and Vice opened up the door for him. "Just relax. We have gone over this plan a hundred times, and even rehearsed a worst-case scenario."

"Who's we?" Geese asked as Vice walked up to the front and got in to drive. Aparrantly this Leopold Goenitz had high expectations for people.

"Just some friends of Mr. Goenitz. Do not worry, you're not going to die here."

"I'd like to believe tha-" Before Geese could say anything else, the car exploded.

"We're losing him!" shouted a voice as Geese slowly regained consciousness. He could make out the ceiling. A Japanese hospital, probably the emergency room. Well, it was better than what America had.

"Dammit!" shouted a female voice as Geese heard the heart monitor slowly draw closer to flatlining. But oddly, as the seconds ticked by, the more he found himself awake. He tried to call out and criticize the ineptness of the doctors, but he soon found his muscles were stunted. He couldn't move.

Before the medics could even charge up the defibrillator, he flatlined, legally considered dead, hauled off to the morgue for the autopsy later that day, and left alone.

Staying inside that dark container was maddening. Geese slowly felt his muscles regain their strength, and he slowly breathed, using as little air as possible to survive. But he couldn't move his arms, and itches were springing up everywhere.

And he still couldn't call out.

Just when Geese was about to just give up and curse this Leopold Goenitz, the slide moved out, and standing there was a man in apparently… European priest robes?

"Ah, Mr. Howard," the man said with a German accent as he extended a hand. Geese quickly found further strength in his body, and hesitantly reached up.

"Leopold Goenitz?" Geese asked, irritation practically dripping from his voice. The man nodded.

"Sorry about the cloak and dagger," he said, sighing. "Just had to fake your death with some assistance from some associates of mine. But talking here is dangerous. Somebody might see you." He walked over to the door and looked out. "Perfect. We have thirty minutes before somebody comes down here. Can you-"

"Walk?" Geese asked as he stood up. "Yes. And I want answers. Now."

Goenitz turned to him and sighed again. "Let's just say without your help, I've got less than half a year to live in the way I want to. You're everything to me alive, and if you die, well, I might as well kill myself."

"Isn't that against the Christian religion?" Geese asked as he stepped outside. Goenitz led the way, making Geese sometimes go out of his way to avoid being seen.

"Compared to what I'd be capable of, I think I'd much rather burn in Hell than rule it."

When Geese and Leopold got outside, it was nighttime. Whether that was a good thing or bad, Geese didn't know. Outside and waiting was the same limo as before, with Vice as the driver and…

"What really happened before?" Geese asked, very confused.

"I called in a favor from a different clan," Goenitz stated. "The Kagura family has an instrument capable of creating actual illusions. In return for what I have planned, they used it to fake an explosion and severe burns on your body. Congratulations, Geese Howard, everyone in the world thinks you're dead. Well, maybe two hundred people at the very most know you're alive. Come on, I've got a lot to explain." He went back into the limo, and as Geese did, his thoughts trailed back to the explosion earlier. He hadn't felt any heat, and his lack of burns proved whatever he had felt hadn't really happened. "Now where should I start…" Leopold asked, lost in his own thought.

"Preferably with who you are, why you doing this, what was the deal with the explosion, and where are we going." Geese answered plainly. "In that order, if you could."

"A modest request," Goenitz answered. "Essentially, I'm just a European Roman Catholic priest, who happens to have two young girls working as secretaries for me for a summer job, and am here on a business meeting with the Kagura clan, as I have already stated."

"Why would a Roman Catholic be in a country mostly consisting of Shintoists and Buddhists?" Geese asked, wondering why he was more and more confused about who Goenitz was the more time went by.

"To be fair, why is Geese Howard, leader of what was once the most powerful criminal organization in all of Southtown doing spending seven years of his life in Japan?"

"'What was once the most powerful criminal organization?'" Geese repeated, completely confused.

"You never heard, did you?" came Vicer's voice from the driver's seat. "Mature, would you?"

Geese took a look to see a young woman, similar in apparel to Vice, sitting up in the front passenger seat. So this must be "Mature". What crazy names… "The Southtown massacre?" Mature asked,"Bogard's two little boys practically killed off all your employees. I heard they slammed Mr. Big's head on a pike in front of the criminal justice center."

"And the Sakazaki's and their associates…" Geese asked far more quietly, suddenly lacking much of his confidence.

"Perfectly safe in the mountains of China, training, and completely incommunicado, for most of them. The rest, like that bouncer you once employed, she's fine," Goenitz stated. "With any luck, you'll get your chance to head back to Southtown and do what you will. But I think I better continue on with what you need to know.

"Geese," he continued, "Have you ever heard of the old Orochi legend? The one of the three clans, the sword, shield, and mirror that sealed away the snake demon?"

Howard nodded. "Enough times. What does this have to do with anything?"

Goenitz sighed, and he noticed Mature up in the front seat had become a ways more solemn. "Every nine hundred years," Goenitz said, now very quiet, so that Geese could barely hear him over the sound of the wind beating against the car, which he now noticed was nearing a Christian church on the outskirts of Osaka. "The Orochi selects eight people born to be its servants. At a point of great stress, or once they reach a certain age, the desire inside of them to bring about the Orochi's return swells inside of them. Vice and Mature are not just my secretaries so they can get some spending money. They're two of the eight, and I'm another," Goenitz said, almost completely quiet. "It's ironic if you ask me, a man of God, selected to be the servant of a demon and bring about its return."

"And where do I fit into this?" Geese asked, thoughts of additional power swirling in his head. It would be easy enough to reclaim Southtown with the power of a demon at his command. And if not, well, the mystery of the explosion and the lack of injuries were proof this wasn't all a lie.

"You're going to help me exorcise it. I have three months before I turn into a Heavenly King of the Orochi." He bent down, his hands in front of his face in a manner like Gendo Ikari's from the popular anime show. "Vice has another seven years, and Mature has eight, provided I don't use my powers as a King to bring it out prematurely. We're running out of time, Geese, and I will reimburse you sufficiently for your actions."

"What do you mean?"

"That clan I mentioned, the Kagura clan, and I have been going over a plan to exorcise the Orochi blood inside of me. All I need is a man strong enough to hold off my Orochi-powered self long enough for them to do the ritual. I figured it would be best if I chose a man that would do it for his own reasons, which I believe you are. I am planning on diverting several hundred million dollars into a bank account of your choice in return for your services."

"And if I weren't here?" Geese asked.

"I'd keep looking for you. Even if it meant I would run out of time, you're the man that I want to help me out."

"Seriously," Mature stated from the front as the three got out of the car. A sixteen year old driving a car, risking his sanity in exchange for finding Geese in time... Goenitz certainly had high expectations for people.

Geese thought about it. Getting a payment for this would be nice, and if there was the possible offchance of getting additional power, it would be great. Worst case, this was just like a Star Trek convention. You played along, laughed behind the guy's back, and got a big fat check when it was all over.

"Count me in," Geese said, shaking Goenitz's hand.

"The level of power I will gain from becoming a Heavenly King is unknown," Goenitz said as he stared down Geese in a fight. "I hope you'll be strong enough." He charged, fist raised.

"Don't worry, I am." One kick later, Goenitz was on the ground, groaning as he grasped his gut. "You okay?"

"Yeah…" Leopold muttered, "Just not that good of a fighter. It seems the Orochi has a rather odd way of choosing candidates."

"Well, I honestly doubt you're going to be that much of a challenge if you don't even know how to through a punch properly," Geese sighed, shaking his head at Leopold's ineptness. "See, don't curl your fingers around your thumb, do that and you'll break it!"

"So put your thumb here?"

"Yes, that's a start," Geese said. "Now let's see just how hard you punch." Leopold landed his best punch into an unflinching Geese's stomach. "Wow. Seriously, what the Hell is the Orochi thinking, picking a man of God to do all of its dirty work?"

"Actually, there are four Kings of the Orochi," Leopold stated. "And if what Maki said was correct,I'm just supposed to awaken the others. I'll be the weakest, and probably not strong enough to gather the energy to actually awaken the Orochi itself."

"No surprise there," Geese muttered, letting out a small laugh. Goenitz returned it in full; it seemed, at least, the guy could take a joke.

"Grandpa, is he going to get here soon?" asked a young, red-haired girl in a red ninja outfit.

"He should be popping up any time now," Hanzo Shiranui answered Mai as he looked around, only to feel somebody tapping him from behind. He turned around to see standing there, a young boy just turned eleven. "Well Andy! I see you've been doing extra practicing in sneaking up on old men!"

"Thank you, Master," Andy said as he bowed, taking the moment to look at Mai and smile at her in that way she loved. "I thank you for letting me visit my brother back home."

"And the downfall of Howard's company?" Hanzo asked.

"Totally complete. Terry may be older than me by about a year, but he needed by help finishing the job." He turned and looked at Mai and smiled again. "I heard you have some good news too!"

"Yep!" the nine-year old girl said happily. "We finally got rid of that nasty Mr. Duck once and for all!" She handed the young Bogard a newspaper turned to the obituary papers. Sure enough, Jeff Bogard's killer was among the dead listed.

"Mai, his name is Geese Howard," Hanzo said, causing Andy to laugh while the ninja-to-be blushed.

Mai just thought for a moment with her index finger's knuckle to her lip in an act of thought. "Well, yeah, but… why should we call such a mean man by his right name? We shouldn't respect him?"

Andy just smiled, walked up to her, and ruffled her hair in a playful manner before heading off with his teacher. Geese was dead, perfect. He could ease off a bit on training, spend some more time with Mai, it looked good. Andy still felt anger towards the man, but with news of his death, Andy felt closer to being at peace.

A motorcycle blazed across the asphalt as several other bikers trailed behind it. The young girl in it, her raven-black hair kept underneath the helmet, just smiled as she zipped through the traffic. She loved street races. The speed, the sights, the adrenaline pumping through her blood, Chizuru Kagura was addicted to it. And it wasn't like she didn't have a serious side, it was just that she could never see how Maki could spend so much time researching and honing her powers. True, Goenitz would go Orochi in just a few weeks, but the entire clan was all set up to deal with it, and it seemed that Geese Howard was at least willing to go along with the plan.

Goenitz… the thoughts drifted through her head about the man. Maki and him barely got along, that much was obvious. He was a Roman Catholic, she was a Shintoist. He didn't believe in the Mirror of Yata's power for what seemed like ages, much less believed he was going to turn against his beloved God. Chizuru never figured out what made him change his opinion.

The roadway slowly melted away into a forested region, which melted away further as the young girl finally stopped some three miles away from a clearing. Standing there, arms crossed, white flowing robe moving in the gentle breeze, was Maki, her 23-year-old big sister with short black hair in contrast to Chizuru's long hairstyle. "Chizuru, you know what would happen if you were caught," she said with a stern look on her face.

"I was just doing some investigation, that's all," Chizuru said nervously, knowing she had stepped over a line one too many times. "It seems the Shiranui clan really thinks Howard is dead."

"That all?" Maki asked, raising one eyebrow at her much younger sister, causing Chizuru to sweat in a rather comical fashion. Maki then smiled, and started walking away. "Well then, if that's all, I'm sure I can look the other way this time." Her voice held a relaxed and happy tone to it, and Chizuru laughed as she ran back up to her big sister.

"So everything's set up for Goenitz's exorcism?" the younger Kagura asked.

"Yes," Maki answered. She then chuckled quietly. "Funny. I wonder what would've happened if Goenitz hadn't have found Geese in time. Then again, there's nothing saying Geese is strong enough. We don't even know how strong the priest will be."

"So where exactly are we going?" Geese asked as Goenitz thrusted several briefcases into his hands.

"I need to pay my respects to a few people," Goenitz answered. "The people that proved to me what I'm going to become… the one tribe of the Orochi that have pacified themselves."

"Why haven't you gone through their treatment?" Geese asked, wondering exactly why Geese was taking him along.

"Getting exorcised the Kagura clan is the treatment, Geese," Leopold answered. He talked into his study to see Vice going over some papers while Mature was talking to a church patron on the phone. "You two going to be able to keep the home fires burning for about a week?" They both looked up and nodded in their own way.

"If we have to," Vice said as she rubbed her eyes. "Just watch yourself, sir."

"God will provide," Goenitz answered. If not for me… then at least for them. He thought.

"Good night, Leona," said her father, the allegedly Orochi King Guidel, who had long ago finally exorcised his entire clan from the damned snake. He smiled as she curled up under her blankets in her hut, and Guidel smiled. "Get well soon." Leona hadn't been feeling well today, but a good night's rest was likely all it would take to help her through.

His short, grey hair hung down as he looked around at the village. He had been hesitant when the man Leopold Goenitz had come to see if there was any truth to the Orochi legend, and the remnants of the demon that still flowed through Guidel's blood had been enough for the devout priest to sense at a moment's notice. Just as Leopold was condemned to be the Orochi King of Wind, Guidel had been destined to be the King of Water until the Kagura family and Guidel's own ancestors stopped the madness by being the first to exorcise the evil inside of them.

Guidel didn't see why Leopold wanted Geese Howard, of all people, to aid him in the exorcism. Howard had been the scourge of the United States mafia, and would no doubt just do it for personal gain. I hope that Christian is right, Guidel thought as he heard Leona moan in her sleep and get up, so he turned around and walked back to the hut. "Leona?" he asked as he opened the door. "You okay?"

Guidel never saw the bloody and feral creature lunge before it was too late.

Orochi Leona tore his throat out in one motion, and then looked to the rest of the village. Only one thought was in her mind…

KILL! The Orochi commanded, desiring for the village of traitors to die… and when he came, Leopold Goenitz.

A/N: Geese sees just how dangerous the powers of the Orochi are when he finds himself thrust into battle against a bloodthirsty eight-year old! And with Goenitz unable to fight, lest the Orochi in him come to the surface, can our story's unlikely hero stand a chance against a killing machine with powers Geese never thought possible? Find out next chapter, Orochi Water is Thicker than Blood.