The World Warrior's Legacy

By Metal Harbinger

Chapter 2: Rivalries Remain

San Francisco, CA U.S.A.

The anxious crowd was going wild in the abandoned theater, which had since been converted into a fighting arena where illegal underground street fights were held.

The atmosphere was still red hot after a night of nonstop action and now it was time for the main event.

In the center of the arena was the ring itself, an old wrestling ring with frayed ropes and a mat covered in dried bloodstains, a testament to the multitude of battles that had been previously fought within its confines.

A sleazy-looking individual with his hair worn in a large afro stood in the center of the ring, dressed like a stereotypical pimp with his shades outlined by flashing lights, bright red suit and numerous golden rings and necklaces. A microphone was in his left hand and he waited for the crowd to die down before speaking.

"Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've all been waiting for has finally arrived…our main event!"

The crowd once again went wild and again the announcer waited patiently for them to express themselves before resuming his introductions.

"This is the moment you've all been waiting for and now let's meet our contestants!"

A catchy hip-hop tune began playing over the loudspeakers and a spotlight shone upon a curtained entranceway at the left side of the building.

"About to make his way to the ring, from Harlem, New York…he is the originator of the hippest new fighting style making waves today, "Breakung-Fu," ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for…KING…COOOOOOOOBBBBBRRRRAAAAA!"

A bald, slender African-American male clad in a black karate gi made his way to the ring. In addition to his gi, he also wore gold fighting gloves, a gold belt and gold necklace around his neck, and athletic sneakers.

A small number of fans cheered for the martial artist and he played to them by spinning around and executing a moonwalk midway down the aisle. Once he was within a few feet from the ring, he performed a graceful back flip onto the ring apron and then leapt over the ropes, tucking and rolling into the ring until he reached the center, where he then stopped and began showing off some of his moves to the crowd, arousing a few more cheers.

The hip-hop music suddenly stopped and was replaced by a fast-paced, high-energy rock tune, causing the fans to suddenly go wild.

"And his opponent, from right here in the great city of San Francisco, California…he is the former U.S. Martial Arts champion, as well as a world-renowned street fighter, actor and playboy…ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm hometown welcome to the one and only…KEN…MASSSSTEEERRRRSSSS!"

A thunderous roar came from the crowd as the famed street fighter Ken Masters made his way down the ring, clad in his iconic bright red karate gi, black belt and dark brown fighting gloves. His blond hair fell to the bottom of his neck and his blue eyes gave him an "all-American" appearance in contrast to his mixed Eurasian ancestry.

Making his way to the ring, he took the time to high-five a few of his fans in attempts and stopped to pose for any fans that had been fortunate enough to bring their cameras along with them. Pumped up from the adulation he had received, he made his way to the ring, hopped up onto the apron and flipped himself over the top rope.

He shouted triumphantly to his fans and spun around to find King Cobra waiting patiently in the center of the ring, having already gotten into his fighting stance.

"I hope you brought your 'A game' Masters, 'cause I'm gonna school ya' in ways you've never imagined," King Cobra declared, throwing a few practice jabs as he waited for his opponent.

"I always do and you're right, class is about to start and it's going to be you having to take notes when all is said and done!" Ken shouted back before getting into his fighting stance.

"Bring it!" King Cobra shouted as the bell rang.

The crowd began going wild as both fighters circled each other, waiting eagerly to see who would make the first move.

Cobra quickly went low and spun both his legs, using his hands to hold him up and spinning around like a Capoeira fighter.

Ken leapt backward to avoid the maneuver, but then rolled forward to catch his opponent off guard as he recovered. However, Cobra had been quickly than expected and performed a graceful corkscrew flip over him and then attempted a roundhouse kick as Ken rose back to his feet, leaving him barely enough room to block the attack.

Having blocked the attack high, it left an opening for Cobra to deliver a high knee attack to his opponent's stomach, knocking the wind out of him. With Ken buckled over from the attack, he followed up with a scissors kick that knocked him face down to the mat.

King Cobra had already proven to be a relentless adversary, following up with a forward flipping leg drop onto Ken's back, forcing him to cry out in pain. He followed up with a submission hold he called the "Cobra Strangle," in which he wrapped his legs around his opponent's throat.

"Your ass is mine now chump!" the black-clad fighter shouted as he released the hold and flipped himself against the ropes, only to be cut off by a backward roundabout kick to his stomach while he was on his hands.

"Not tonight!" Ken grunted in reply as he staggered backwards, the crowd going wild at his sudden recovery and began chanting his name to pump him up.

Cobra struggled back to his feet and barely brought his arms up in time to block a heel kick directed at his head. Knocked backwards by the blow, Ken took advantage and grabbed the man, falling backwards with his leg extended and spinning both of them like a wheel in a move he called the "Hell Spin," much to the delight of his fans, who continued to chant his name.

King Cobra shook off the pain and used the ropes to pull himself back to his feet. He was now getting visibly frustrated and charged towards his opponent in a blind fury, attempting a combo of high angle spinning kicks, all of which were either blocked or dodged by his opponent, until Ken got his fist up to parry the last blow and knocked him backward.

"HADOKEN!"

Ken launched a neon blue basketball-sized projectile at his opponent and sent the man reeling backward against the ropes, following up with a flying kick that knocked the man flat onto his back as he stumbled forward.

"Time to finish this joker off," Ken told himself as King Cobra persistently staggered back to his feet. He waited for the man to get within range before going for his next move.

"SHORYUKEN!"

The playboy martial artist launched himself into the air with superhuman speed, the full force of the blow catching his opponent beneath the chin and sending him airborne. It was an awe-inspiring move that prompted main "oohs" and "ahs" from the crowd, followed by the blinding flashes of cameras. Ken landed gracefully on his feet, as Cobra struck the ring with a dull thud.

"Ladies and gentlemen, your winner…KEN MASTERS," the announcer proudly proclaimed.

The crowd exploded with delight as Ken proudly displayed his trademark victory hand signal, basking in the adulation of his passionate fanbase.

"Not so fast!" a gruff voice called out, silencing all fans in attendance.

All eyes suddenly turned to the curtained entrance where King Cobra had initially emerged from.

Stepping out from behind the curtain, and almost ripping it down with him as he made his way through, came a tall, grotesquely overweight man with a long braided ponytail wagging limply from the top of his head and a prominent mustache, which at the moment was filled miscellaneous crumbs and damp from recently consumed sodas. His clothing consisted of a yellow and black sleeveless jumpsuit with padded shoulders, which couldn't be zipped up all the way due to his bulbous gut and exposed the world to his unsightly lower abdominal hair. Black gloves and black shoes barely covered his meaty hands and feet respectively.

"Alrighty there, this night ain't gonna be over 'til the so-called 'mighty' Ken Masters has once again fallen before the might of the one and only Rufus, the mightiest warrior in all of America!" the obese man proudly proclaimed as he made his way down the aisle, his large gut grossly swaying back and forth with every step he took.

"Uh, are you going to eat that?" he asked as he spotted a large bucket of popcorn midway. Before the spectator could even answer, he had already swiped the bucket out of his hands and continued his walk.

"Okay, where was I? Oh yeah, the mighty Ken Masters is set to fall before the awesome might of Rufus!" the man continued to ramble, spitting out bits of cornels with every word, much to the disgust of those around him.

"Oh my god, not this loser again," Ken thought to himself, shaking his head in disbelief as Rufus continued his nonstop rant down the aisle. "You'd think he would've gotten the message when I kicked his ass last year…"

"…but yeah, I promised my girlfriend Candy I was going to kick this Ken Masters fellow's butt and then afterwards we were going to go on a vacation to the Bahamas to celebrate my hard fought victory. Oh boy, it's going to be so awesome! Maybe I'll be able to buy her a house on the beach like she's always wanted…" Rufus continued to shout to random fans as he finally reached the ring.

He struggled against his own girth as he tried to pull himself onto the apron, only to stumble repeatedly before he managed to get a steady grip and pull himself upward, a miracle the frayed ropes were able to hold under his massive weight. When he finally did get a leg over, the ropes became tangled and he literally fell head over heels to get inside.

Everybody, including Ken, was laughing their asses off at the spectacle as the overweight man pushed himself back to his feet and made his way over to the still unconscious King Cobra.

"Alright Ken Masters, now you're going to know what it's like to taste the foul nectar of defeat!" he shouted towards the fallen man, who now began to stir at the infernal racket as Rufus hopped up and down next to him.

"I'm…not…Ken…Masters…" King Cobra weakly replied.

"Yeah of course you are buddy, don't lie to me!" Rufus roared, "I'd know that karate gi and those fancy gloves anywhere! Not even all that intense tanning is going to fool me! You hear me?"

Ken stood off to the side sighing as he shook his head and rubbed his forehead. "Okay, this has been somewhat entertaining and everything, but now I'd better step in before some guy files a lawsuit against me for mistaken identity."

"Uh excuse me, I'm over here!" the real Ken said waving both hands, "I'm right here if you want me so bad!"

"Ha!" Rufus shouted, leaping around with his hands raised and assuming his fighting stance, "I knew that tip wasn't a sham, I knew I'd find ya' here after all Ken Masters! You cannot hide from the mighty Rufus!"

"Now just how could I hide from some blimp like you? I mean, you obviously can float can't you?" Ken joked, rousing plenty of laughs from the spectators in attendance.

"Why you, little…" Rufus shouted, getting red in the face, "…I'm gonna teach you not to disrespect your superiors! My girlfriend Candy says I have an amazing body and I'm gonna snap your puny body in half like the twig it is…and then glue you back together and do it again…and then I'll do it again!"

"Yeah, sure…" Ken chuckled while adjusting his gloves.

"Okay ladies and gentlemen, it looks like we have an impromptu match on our hands…" the announcer spoke over the microphone and then looked over to Rufus, "What's your name, sir?"

Again Rufus grunted in frustration, "My name is Rufus! The mighty Lord Rufus! I am a legend in both the biking world and the martial arts world! Pretty soon, people are going to start building all sorts of martial arts dojos and statues in my honor! I tell you, I'm going to be bigger than…"

"Bigger than what?" Ken asked, "You're already bigger than this ring!" he shouted to more laughs from the crowd.

"Okay, ladies and gentlemen, this next bout will be between Ken Masters and Rufus!" the announcer called out.

"You got my name wrong, it's the mighty Lord Rufus! Not to mention my name should come first, I'm the mighty Lord Ruf-"

The announcer quickly motioned for the timekeeper to ring the bell before Rufus could go on another long-winded rant.

Ken quickly leapt out of the way as Rufus came sailing towards him, forgetting how fast the man had moved for his size. He barely had time to dodge a series of rapid fire palm strikes directed at all levels of his body and finally had to roll backwards to avoid a palm thrust.

"HADOKEN," Ken cried as he launched a fireball at the bigger man, now remembering how he had a tough time at longer range.

Yet Rufus had seen the projectile coming and quickly leapt over it, attempting a flying kick that Ken again rolled underneath and tried to follow up with another Dragon Punch.

"SHORYUKEN," Ken announced as he launched into the air with his fist extended, only to be cut off as Rufus launched into the air with his own attack.

"MESSIAH," Rufus called out as he performed a back flip kick with amazing grace and agility for a man of his size, something the spectators hadn't anticipated. Still, they remained firmly behind their hero and groaned in anguish as he was knocked to the canvas by the blow.

"I forgot how hard this guy hits too," Ken grunted as he forced himself back to his feet. Already Rufus was charging towards him, but he halted the bigger man's advance with a backward roundabout kick that caught him square in the gut, bouncing it around in several different directions. He quickly followed up with a high roundhouse kick and ducked low with a sweeping kick that knocked the man from his feet and caused the ring to shake beneath them.

"The bigger we are…the faster we get up stick boy!" Rufus chuckled as he kipped back to his feet and then proceeded to spin his body like a tornado.

"GALACTIC TORNADO," the big man shouted as he spun his body and ended with a straight punch that knocked Ken back to the mat.

"Not going down that easily," Ken hissed as he propelled himself into the air for another attack.

"TATSUMAKI SENPUU-KYAKU," the martial arts champion shouted as he leapt into the air with his foot extended and spun around several times, landing a multitude of hits upon his corpulent challenger.

"Ha ha, that tickles little man!" Rufus laughed as he bounced off the ropes and attempted another special attack, one where he leapt into the air and attempted a heel kick midway through.

Again, Ken went for another Dragon Punch and this time connected, his fist surrounded by flames and igniting his opponent. The bigger man was launched even farther into the air and came back to earth like one large meteorite, crashing through the ring's surface as he landed.

When there were no signs of life from the smoking hole, the outcome was obvious.

"Ladies and gentlemen, your winner…KEN MASTERS!" the announcer again triumphantly proclaimed.

Once again the crowd went wild as their hero had again emerged victorious.

"I'd better get outta here before some other yahoo tries to challenge me. I don't think Eliza will take to kindly to me coming home in a body cast," Ken thought to himself as he exited the ring, again stopping to high-five a few fans on his way out.

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"He's still got it after all these years, will be nice for when we finally have our rematch," a red-haired man with prominent sideburns observed from the crowd, applauding Ken's successive victories over both opponents.

The man was Allen Snider, another martial artist and former U.S. Martial Arts champion, who was once considered to have been the best fighter in all of America at one point in time himself, until he was defeated by Ken.

Initially angry over his loss, he eventually came to terms with his circumstances and decided to follow Ken's advice that he should try to seek stronger opponents and expand upon his skills, or risk forever being a "big fish in a small pond."

He had heard Ken was in the area and hoped to visit with his old friend and rival to catch up and hopefully have their long awaited rematch.

"Guess I'll have to wait until-" Allen was muttering to himself when he was suddenly cut off by a red and black blur that nearly knocked him from his feet.

"Huh? What the hell?"

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Ken made his way back to the dressing room area, where several other fighters and arena workers were on hand to congratulate him over both of his hard fought victories.

Making his way back to his personal locker room, he was quick to shower and change his clothes before gathering his belongings and ready to take off when he was walking through the corridor towards the back parking lot.

"Um…excuse me…M-M-Mister!" a youthful voice suddenly called out from behind.

Quickly whirling around, the martial artist turned to find a dark-skinned boy in his early teens standing before him, clad in a Brazilian soccer jersey and khaki pants.

Ken carefully eyed him up and down before speaking, "How did you get back here kid?" he asked suspiciously. His tone suddenly changed to his usual confident timbre, "Ah, you must be looking for an autograph I take it? Well sorry kid, I'm in a hurry and don't have a pen on me."

"N-N-No sir…" the boy stuttered before jamming his hands into his pockets and rocking up and down on his heels while staring at the floor. "M-My name is Sean and I wanna be just like you!"

Again Ken smiled broadly while giving a thumbs up, "Thanks kid, I get that a lot. Well if you stay in school, exercise and eat all your vegetables, I'm sure that will be plenty possible. Now if you'll excuse me, I…" he said turning on his heel.

"No, Mr. Masters, seriously," Sean said reaching for him, only to stop when the martial artist again turned around, "I really want to be just like you and I want you to train me!"

Ken was stopped dead in his tracks and eyed the boy warily, "Excuse me?"

"Yes Mr. Masters, I want you to train me to be a fighter! You're the greatest and I'll do anything to have you teach me!" Sean continued, now sinking to his knees with his hands clasped, literally pleading for an opportunity.

"Look kid, I'm flattered by your offer and everything, but I'm too busy for a student right now. I mean, I've got a wife and kid now, I'm training to take over my family's business, I've-"

"Ken Masters!" a woman's voice suddenly shouted, one filled with an incomparable fury that made the Ansatsuken fighter nearly hit the ceiling as he jumped.

Slowly turning around, he was met by a beautiful woman with long flowing locks, sapphire blue eyes, a delicately-shaped face and amazing figure for a woman now in her early thirties. At the moment though, her beautiful features were corrupted by an angry scowl and her upper lip twisted into a near snarl.

"Oh…hey Eliza…," Ken timidly squeaked, his cheeks turning the brightest shade of red they could manage, "…I was just getting acquainted with one of my fans!" he said wrapping his arm around Sean's shoulders and pulling him close while laughing nervously.

"I saw what happened out there, don't you dare lie to me!" she snapped with the fury of an angry lioness, "You promised me that once we were married you would give up participating in tournaments!"

"Only as long as Ryu was participating…" Ken blurted out inadvertently.

"But he's not here," she said walking over to her husband and placing her hands on his shoulders, "Think about it Ken, you've got everything you've ever wanted now. Do you want your own son to become an orphan and never get to know his daddy? That's what's going to happen if you keep this up."

"I know, I know," Ken said looking away in shame, "But I can't help it. I miss the thrill of the fight."

Eliza's gaze softened upon her husband's reaction and she embraced him warmly, "I know Ken, but I love you and I don't want to see anything happen to you, especially after all those encounters with those bad people you've had in the past."

Ken's thoughts darkened as he remembered the villains she spoke of and how he had nearly lost his life on more than one occasion while locked in combat against them.

He then thought of Eliza and his now year old son Mel, how he knew it would destroy them if something ever happened to him. For now, he couldn't allow something like that to happen.

"Alright honey, let's get going," he said leading Eliza along and then turned to look over his shoulder at Sean, who was giving him the big puppy dog eyes nobody could resist.

"Oh alright," he sighed looking back towards the youth, "we can discuss things over dinner about you possibly becoming my student."

"Yahoo!" Sean triumphantly shouted, leaping into the air with his fist raised, very similarly to another martial artist Ken knew named Dan Hibiki.

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Oni Fang Cave, on an island off the coast of Japan

A figure sat cross-legged before a makeshift altar in deep meditation, remembering his past battles and those who had escaped his grasp in the past.

"Ryu, you truly were a fool to refuse your ultimate power. Gouken, my brother, you were even more foolish to interfere in our personal business," the man thought to himself as he opened his glowing red eyes and stared through one of the crevices to early evening sky outside.

The man was under six feet tall with fiery red hair that matched his eyes, long enough to be worn with a top ponytail. He also had bronzed skin that almost resembled that of a burn victim and bushy black eyebrows and sharp, fang-like teeth that made him look more demonic than human.

A pitch black karate gi covered his muscular form and with it, he wore a set of mahogany prayer beads around his neck, a frayed rope tied around his waist, ancient sandals on his already calloused feet, and a pair of dark brown fighting gloves.

"Within due time, I will have my revenge," the man declared as a glowing blood red symbol suddenly materialized on his back, the kanji "Ama," which could mean "sky," "heaven" or "providence."

The entity was Akuma, formerly known as Gouki, brother and enemy to Gouken, as well as his successor Ryu.

Long ago he had sacrificed his own humanity for the sake of attaining ultimate power and sought out strong warriors for a "perfect match."

So far, the only warriors who had been capable of matching up to him were Gouken, Ryu and the Chinese assassin Gen, all of whom were well versed in the Ansatsuken martial art.

Nobody else though, could give him the kind of fight he wanted, not even that pitiful tyrant Bison.

Turning his attention away from the altar, the demonic warrior turned his attention to a shadowy corner of the cave, where another individual sat in deep meditation. Sensing Akuma's gaze, the obscured individual opened its eyes to reveal the same burning embers similar to those of the dark Ansatsuken master's.

"Soon my apprentice, your time will come. Mark my words, your time will come."

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Author's Notes: Alright folks, before I go any further, I just wanted to give a very special thanks to both Vammy and Speed Reader for giving me my first reviews of this story, and more importantly, on the first day I had this thing posted! Once again, a special thanks to both of you.

As I'm sitting here updating this, I've also read a review from Somniyo and I also thank you for your review and feel glad I was able to make you think of Warbringer, a KICK ASS band!

Now for my additional notes:

Canonically, this story will take place in the year 1996, one year after the events of Street Fighter IV. Since Ken's son Mel is 3 years old by the time of Street Fighter III, which technically takes place in the year 1998 according to canon guides, naturally I'd assume that this would make him only a year old in 1996. If anybody else knows anything different, feel free to float me the info!

As for King Cobra, he is not really an original character on my part.

According to what I read on , King Cobra was intended to be the original design for Rufus, a bald, slender African-American martial artist who utilized his own martial arts style called "Breakung-Fu" which incorporated Kung Fu with break dancing. As proof, here is a link to copy and paste to an image:

.

Why his design never made it to the final finished product? I personally assume some designers probably thought he looked too much like Sean or Akuma, anyways, anybody who has played Street Fighter IV will see that his outfit eventually goes on to become Ken's alternate costume in the game.

To tell the truth, I have not yet played SF4, but know of this stuff thanks to the internet and video game magazines. I'm waiting for March when Super Street Fighter IV comes out, which I know at this point will also have T. Hawk, Dee Jay and a newcomer named Juri added to the mix, along with 5 additional, as of yet unnamed competitors.

Believe me; my mind had a mini orgasm when I first read they were updating SF4…not that any of you probably needed to know that, but at least it saves me from going out and buying the regular SF4, only to have me wanting to take it back months later when the new and improved version comes out!

According to what I read on the Street Fighter Wikia, the meaning of Akuma's kanji on his back means "Ama," or "sky," "heaven" or "providence" as opposed to "Ten." Then again, this has been a universally debated issue in the Street Fighter universe and I'm not attempting to ruffle any feathers, this is just based solely on what I've read!

Also, the scene with Sean executing a victory pose that reminded Ken of Dan Hibiki is intended to be an inside joke seeing as Sean hates Dan.

Well I believe that's all I have for my rants and raves so until then, I thank all who have been kind enough to read and review and ask that you please do so again!

This is Metal Harbinger saying SPREAD THE SICKNESS, ONE MIND AT A TIME! \m/