Shadow of a Doubt

Shao Kahn makes numerous attempts on Kung Lao’s (series regular Paolo Montalban) life before being stopped by his stepdaughter, Princess Kitana (guest star Audie England).

Episode opens with Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) being attacked by the warrior Rain (guest star Percy ‘Spit Fire’ Brown), who has the ability to summon lightning from the sky to strike his opponents. Shao Kahn has sent Rain to kill Kung Lao, which would give him control of the Earth Realm, as well as keep Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) in the Cobalt Mines for eternity.

Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) and Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) come upon the fight causing Rain to flee. Unfortunately, Rain has hurt Kung Lao badly and he’ll require a few days’ bed rest. Shao Kahn decides this is the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the trading post and finish the job Rain has begun.

In order to gain access to Kung Lao, Shao Kahn calls upon the warrior Mileena (guest star Megan Brown) who he transforms to look like his stepdaughter and friend to Kung Lao, Princess Kitana. He sends this substitute Kitana to the trading post with orders to kill the weakened Kung Lao. The evil Kitana arrives saying that she heard that Kung Lao needed some nursing, and she wanted to repay the favor for the time he helped save her life.

When Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) learns of Shao Kahn’s plans to kill Kung Lao, he immediately dispatches Vorpax (series regular Tracy Douglas) to foil the plans. If Shang Tsung ever hopes to escape the Cobalt Mines, it is he alone who must vanquish Kung Lao.

Vorpax convinces the evil Kitana that Shao Kahn is using her and once she kills Kung Lao, she too will be finished. Vorpax tells her that the longer Kung Lao lives, the better off she is. The evil Kitana begins an affair with Kung Lao and making excuses to Shao Kahn.

Taja has become suspicious of Kitana’s behavior–it is markedly different from the last time she visited from Outworld. Coupled with the fact that Kung Lao is getting worse instead of better, Taja becomes increasingly wary of this Kitana.

Meanwhile, Siro has been tracking Rain since his attack on Kung Lao. When Siro comes upon Rain in an abandoned temple, he’s not ready for the intensity of his attack. Just as Rain is about to finish Siro with his trademark lightning blast, Rain is struck from behind by one of Princess Kitana’s fighting fans.

It turns out that in a last ditch effort to keep Kung Lao alive, Shang Tsung alerted the real Princess Kitana (guest star Audie England) that Shao Kahn had sent Rain (a former Edenian and friend of Kitana) to kill Kung Lao. In her pursuit of Rain, she came across the fight in the temple in which she saved Siro’s life. Following this, Siro asked how she had been able to get from the trading post to the temple so quickly. At this point they realize that the Kitana at the trading post is an impostor sent by Shao Kahn.

The real Kitana hurries to the trading post and confronts the impostor–a raging fight ensues. In the midst of the fight, the women are transported back to Outworld by Shao Kahn. He punishes Mileena by taking away the beauty she had received to pose as Kitana; when he turns to the real Kitana, she tells him that she was not disobeying him when she went to Earth Realm, rather she was serving him by exposing Mileena as a fraud who was both impersonating her and trying to kill Kung Lao–something Shao Kahn is forbidden to do by the Elder Gods. Kitana trumps Shao Kahn’s plans and is safe for the time being.


Thicker than Blood

Siro’s (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) long-estranged brother (guest star Dean Cochran) turns up in Zhu Zin as a warrior for the evil Scorpion (guest star Chris Casamassa).

While Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) and Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) are busy recruiting prospective warriors, Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) is running her bazaar out of the trading post’s courtyard. A mysterious woman approaches Taja looking for Siro. When this woman, Hannah (guest star Eva Mendez), tells Taja that she once almost married Siro, Taja is stunned and intrigued.

Hannah, it turns out, is now married to Siro’s long-estranged brother, Cassar (guest star Dean Cochran). She has come to Siro because Cassar is missing and she fears that he’s in trouble. Siro, who was dumped by Hannah years ago, is ambivalent toward her plight and tells her she’s on her own.

Meanwhile, Scorpion (guest star Chris Casamassa) reports to Shao Kahn his plans to raise a dark army in the Earth Realm. He’s recruiting only the deadliest fighters to carry out his plans. Unfortunately, Cassar has fallen under the spell of Scorpion and has joined him in his quest.

Cassar and another of Scorpion’s warriors go to the trading post to recruit Hannah to join them. When she resists, a fight breaks out and Cassar escapes, but the other warrior is captured by Kung Lao, Siro and Taja. With a little persuasion and big dagger, Siro and Kung Lao ‘convince’ the captured warrior to tell them where Scorpion is headquartered.

Since they’d be outnumbered by Scorpion’s warriors, Kung Lao and Siro devise a plan to infiltrate his operation and get to Cassar. They decide to send Hannah to Scorpion, pledging her loyalty to the cause as her husband has. Once she gets Cassar alone, Hannah leads him into a trap set by Siro and they take him back to the trading post where they work to ‘deprogram’ him.

Cassar and Siro attempt to sort through years of sibling rivalry which was fueled by their father who always made them compete with one another. Finally, Kung Lao, Taja, Hannah and Siro are able to convince Cassar to stay and join them in their noble quest.

Following a celebratory feast, Siro and Cassar are at the trading post, catching up on the years they’d been separated. Scorpion appears and says he’s come to reclaim what is his, meaning Cassar. For the first time in their lives, the brothers fight alongside each other instead of against each other. Scorpion, seething from Cassar’s betrayal has only one goal–to kill Cassar–and he does, then vanishes into the night.


Unholy Alliance

Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) partners with the evil sorcerer Quan Chi (guest star Adoni Maropis) to lure Kung Lao away (series regular Paolo Montalban) from the Earth Realm, leaving it vulnerable to attack.

Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) is once again being plagued by visions of his own defeat–visions that Rayden (series regular Jeffrey Meek) tells him can only affect him when he’s filled with self-doubt and uncertainty. Kung Lao is feeling the pressure of being the victor of Mortal Kombat and is becoming resentful of the sacrifices he’s had to make because of it.

In an elaborate and ambitious attempt on Kung Lao’s life, Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) engineers an uneasy partnership with the evil sorcerer Quan Chi (guest star Adoni Maropis). While both are powerful in their own right, this alliance, in theory, could make them unstoppable.

With Kung Lao in his weakened and vulnerable state, Shang Tsung has Quan Chi lure him away from the Earth Realm into a parallel realm that contains everything his heart desires, including his simple pre-Mortal Kombat life and his beloved Jen. As is most often the case with Shang Tsung, there’s more, much more, than meets the eye.

The ‘parallel realm’ that Kung Lao has been lured to does indeed have everything he’s been longing for–in fact, whatever he desires appears before him. What Kung Lao doesn’t know is that this isn’t a parallel realm at all, but a 24-hour illusion being maintained by Shang Tsung. When the 24 hours has passed, Kung Lao will become Shang Tsung’s prisoner for eternity, which would leave the Earth Realm without a defender in Mortal Kombat and could ultimately free Shang Tsung from the Cobalt Mines to return to his destructive ways.

The plan is proceeding without a hitch, until Shang Tsung double-crosses Quan Chi. Originally Shang Tsung had agreed to share the secret for drawing the life force out of one’s victims and harnessing that power for one’s own gain (in exchange for Quan Chi luring Kung Lao away from the Earth Realm). Once Quan Chi had this knowledge, however, he would become much more of a challenge to Shang Tsung, so Shang Tsung reneged on his deal.

As one good double-cross deserves another, Quan Chi goes to the trading post and tells Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) and Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) exactly what’s going on and what they can do to stop it. While they’re reluctant to believe him at first, they realize that if Quan Chi has come to them in an effort to foil Shang Tsung, there must be serious trouble.

Quan Chi transports Taja and Siro to the ‘parallel realm’ and they’re able to see that it is an illusion and one that’s fading fast. Kung Lao, on the other hand, isn’t as easy to convince–it’s not until Siro drives a dagger into Jen and nothing happens, nothing at all–that he’s able to see he’s being manipulated by the forces of evil. With only seconds to spare, Kung Lao, Taja and Siro make it through the portal back to the Earth Realm, once again scrapping Shang Tsung’s plans.


Quan Chi

The evil sorcerer Quan Chi casts a spell over Kung Lao, Taja and Siro to lead to their self destruction and downfall.

The evil sorcerer Quan Chi (guest star Adoni Maropis) dispatches a trio of deadly women from the NetherRealm, which he rules, to do away with Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban), Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) and Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt). However, it’s not an ordinary execution Quan Chi has in mind for Kung Lao, Taja and Siro, but a plan by which each would die in shame.

Quan Chi has his three she-warriors, Mika (guest star Jamie Pressly), Siann (guest star Dana Hee) and Sora (guest star Renee Tenison), insinuate themselves into the lives of Taja, Siro and Kung Lao and with a little trickery, each is able to ‘infect’ her intended victim with a potion of Quan Chi’s creation.

The potion that was given to Kung Lao, Taja and Siro masks all of their good qualities and enormously magnifies their shortcomings–Siro becomes an obnoxious drunk, Taja goes back to thievery in a big, big way, and Kung Lao finds that his temper is uncontrollable to the point of violence and paranoia. Unaware that they’ve been the victim of sorcery, Kung Lao, Taja and Siro don’t recognize their own destructive behavior and only see how out of control the other two have become.

At one point, Kung Lao attacks Siro at the trading post and nearly kills him, throwing him out of a second-floor window. During this fight, Rayden (series regular Jeffrey Meek) appears and after seeing the irrational Kung Lao and the near-dead Siro, surmises there’s more at work here than meets the eye.

Rayden then finds Taja just as she’s about to be executed for stealing from the villagers. Among the mob chanting for her death he recognizes Sora and things start to make a little more sense. Rayden corners Sora and makes her tell him what’s going on. Once Sora explains Quan Chi’s spell to Rayden, it’s up to him to convince Kung Lao, Taja and Siro, that only they can break the spell by accepting that life contains both darkness and light and they must choose to live in the light and contain the darkness.

When Quan Chi learns of Sora’s betrayal, he is furious and decides that he’ll take care of Kung Lao himself. Quan Chi’s hope was that Kung Lao would kill an innocent person in a fit of rage. As a warrior, Kung Lao would be disgraced and banned from his temple, sure to die a broken man. Quan Chi would then take Kung Lao’s soul back to the NetherRealm where he would sell it to the highest bidder–most likely Shang Tsung who would use it to win his freedom from Shao Kahn.

Rayden explains this scenario to Kung Lao and warns him that if he is to fight Quan Chi, he must remain focused and not fight in a blind fury. Kung Lao heeds this advice, and when Quan Chi sees that he cannot win the battle he returns to the NetherRealm.

Despite the bruised egos, hurt feelings and broken bones, Kung Lao, Siro and Taja realize what they mean to each other and return to trading post to put their lives back in order.


Undying Dream

Episode opens with Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) being followed by a mysterious hooded figure. When she catches a glimpse of her pursuer, she thinks it’s her father, from whom she’d been separated years ago (she tells everyone she’s an orphan, we learn she many have been abandoned). He then flees and she follows him into an alley where he grabs her and pulls her through a portal into the Cobalt Mines of Shokan. She is squarely deposited at the feet of Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) and Vorpax (series regular Tracy Douglas). Throughout her ordeal in the Mines, Taja is alternately befriended and betrayed by Vorpax.

The following day, Shang Tsung sends a vision to Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) telling him that Taja has been taken prisoner and he must come to Outworld to free her. Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) also sees the vision and is determined to fight alongside Kung Lao in Outworld.

Kung Lao is not convinced that the Shang Tsung’s message is anything more than a trap to lure him to the Cobalt Mines. When he and Siro are unable to find Taja and hear rumors of her abduction, they begin to take Shang Tsung’s message seriously.

Deciding it’s the only way to save Taja’s life, Kung Lao heads for his appointment to be transported to Outworld. Siro surreptitiously follows him and when the portal appears, he leaps through it against Kung Lao’s demands. When they land in the Cobalt Mines, Shang Tsung is quite pleased–he believes his trap has worked and Kung Lao is now on his turf and will be dealt with by his minions.

Not one to walk blindly into such an obvious trap, Kung Lao has brought with him the crystal they had earlier discovered (episode 3) that allows for travel between realms. Just as Kung Lao is about to use the crystal to transport them back to the Earth Realm, Taja runs into the mines saying she must find her father–if it was in fact him who lured her to the mines and not a trick being played by Shang Tsung and Vorpax.

Shang Tsung grabs the crystal away from Kung Lao, imprisons both him and Siro and dispatches Vorpax to find Taja. When Vorpax catches Taja, she continues to taunt her–one minute saying her father is in the mines, the next saying it was all a conjuration by Shang Tsung. When Taja won’t cooperate with her double-cross, Vorpax returns Taja to Shang Tsung. Gloating, Shang Tsung prepares to present Shao Kahn with both the prisoners and the crystal.

Futilely, Taja attacks Shang Tsung, before he throws her in the cell with Siro and Shang Tsung. Fortunately, this is exactly what she had wanted–the attack on him was just a ruse for her to get close enough to Shang Tsung to employ her skills as a pickpocket and get the crystal back from him. Once she’s thrown in the cell, the threesome use the crystal’s power to transport them back to the Earth Realm.


Debt of the Dragon

An ancient underworld organization threatens to overrun Zhu Zin unless Taja, Siro and Kung Lao can stop them.

To make extra money, Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) opens a bazaar in the trading post’s courtyard. One night as she’s closing up, Jola (guest star Andreea Radutoiu) and her body guards force their way into the courtyard and demand that Taja, Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) and Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) vacate the premises.

According to the intruders, the trading post is theirs, owed to them by the Baron to cover a gambling debt. When they won’t surrender the post, Taja, Siro and Kung Lao are attacked by Jola and her co-horts. As the fight intensifies, Jola’s brother, Kebral (guest star Greg Vaughan), arrives and demands that Jola stop the fight and leave. Kung Lao, Siro and Taja mistakenly think that Kebral has put an end to this nonsense when he ominously states that they will be back to take possession of the trading post.

It turns out that Jola and Kebral are members of The Black Dragon, an underworld organization known for its deviousness. The Black Dragon is a familial organization led by Bannak (guest star Dave Corey), who opposes Jola’s use of force and agrees with Kebral that there are other ways to intimidate, extort and exploit.

Siro knows of The Black Dragon and their ways–he wants to strike back at the organization and show them that they will not be able to prey on him, Taja or Kung Lao. Kung Lao is opposed to any use of violence against The Black Dragon and asks Siro to restrain himself.

Concurrently, Jola is furious that the men in her family have sided against her and seeks out Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) in the Cobalt Mines. It turns out that Jola and Shang Tsung have had dealings before and were once lovers. In the Cobalt Mines, Jola begs Shang Tsung to return to her the powers of the Dragon–forces that her family once used to control and destroy their enemies. Over generations, the powers surged out of control and the family turned away from them as they became too dangerous. Jola seeks the powers to settle the score with her family and anyone else who gets in her way.

True to their word, The Black Dragon begins a campaign of terror against Kung Lao, Siro and Taja by killing one of the Temple’s monks and hanging his body on the wall of the trading post. Affixed to the monk’s body is a note that says one more shall die each day the threesome resists The Black Dragon. Against the counsel of Kung Lao, Siro begins a retaliatory crusade of his own.

When Bannak turns up dead, The Black Dragon assumes it’s the work of Siro. Unbeknownst to everyone, it is Jola who killed Bannak. Later in the Cobalt Mines, Jola makes a deal with Shang Tsung for the powers of The Dragon.

With her new powers of darkness, Jola visits the trading post with the intent to kill Kung Lao and settle her debt with Shang Tsung. What she’s not counting on is the unified front presented by Taja, Siro and Kung Lao. Despite the fact the her new powers have made her a fierce fighter with the ability to throw flames from her palms, Jola is pulled back to Outworld by Shang Tsung just as Kung Lao is about to finish her. Telling her she’s failed him, Shang Tsung intends to keep Jola in the Cobalt Mines where he will train her in the use of the powers.

For the time being, the trading post and Zhu Zin are free from the reign of The Black Dragon.


Noob Saibot

A mysterious seer summons an underworld warrior to defeat Kung Lao and gain favor with the Emperor Shao Kahn.

Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) is attacked in the bazaar by four would-be robbers but is too proud to call out for Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban). Luckily, Kung Lao’s instincts led him back to the bazaar where he was able to help Siro defeat the thugs.

Both Siro’s body and ego took quite a bruising–he’s angry (yet a bit grateful) that Kung Lao came to his aid. As he’s leaving the bazaar, Siro is approached by Ankha (guest star Tahitia), who tells him that she has a friend who is a seer and can give him the keys to becoming a great warrior.

Curiosity and foolish pride combine to lead Siro, with Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) in tow, to the seer, Kiri (guest star Sung Hi Lee). Kiri tells Siro that Zhu Zin is built on the ruins of great buried city with a shrine guarded by two powerful warriors. She assures him that if he seeks out these warriors and defeats them, their strength will flow into him and he’ll be as fierce as Kung Lao.

Siro, intrigued by what Kiri has told him, sets out to explore the underworld city, again with Taja in tow. As they’re heading through the tunnels and passages, Taja and Siro notice that the deeper they go, the ground is covered with an oily muck. Finally, they come upon the ruins of a shrine as Kiri said they would–but there are no warriors guarding it, only clay statues of warriors. As Siro presses on, the two clay warriors come to life and attack him, knocking him to the ground trying to suffocate him in the muck. Upon hearing the struggle, Taja comes to Siro’s aid, using an iron rod to attack the clay warriors, who shatter like broken pottery.

Covered in muck, the two return to the trading post and deposit their filthy clothes in a corner of the courtyard. Once again, Siro’s pride is hurt. He asks Taja if she feels the warriors’ strength within, since she’s the one who defeated them. She tells him the only thing she feels is that Kiri set them up by sending them to the underworld.

It turns out Taja’s instincts were right. From the pile of discarded garments in the courtyard, the muck seeps until it’s a solid form that slithers out of the courtyard and off to Kiri’s house. Once at Kiri’s the ooze coalesces into the warrior Noob Saibot. Kiri used Taja and Siro to not only kill the guards that were keeping Noob Saibot in the underworld, but also to transport him to the surface. Kiri’s purpose for summoning Noob Saibot–to kill Kung Lao and win favor with Emperor Shao Kahn.

Noob Saibot appears at the trading post, announces that he’s Kung Lao’s executioner and then disappears. He leaves behind a footprint of the oily muck that Taja and Siro recognize from the underworld. Taja reluctantly tells Kung Lao of the previous day’s events and the two head for the underworld to search for Siro, who has disappeared. When they come upon the temple ruins, there’s no sign of Siro, but Noob Saibot quickly materializes and attacks Kung Lao. Siro arrives on the scene and rescues Kung Lao by igniting Noob Saibot, who shatters into fiery shards. Kung Lao, Taja and Siro literally run for their lives as the underground city begins to burn and then explodes into a fireball.


The Essence

Kung Lao is called upon to protect the Essence of Edenia, the Edenian race’s only hope of ever escaping the treachery of Outworld. It is learned that the Essence of Edenia has been smuggled to the Earth Realm by the warrior Daahraan (guest star Hank Stone). Thought to have been destroyed, the Essence is all the Edenian race has left after their Realm was overrun by Shao Kahn. The Essence provides Edenians with the hope that they may rise again–precisely why Shao Kahn wants to destroy it once and for all. When Princess Kitana (guest star Dara Tomanovich), Kahn’s stepdaughter and herself a vanquished Edenian, hears of the Essence and Daahraan, she and her lifelong friend, Qali (guest star supermodel Roshumba Williams), set forth to retrieve the Essence. Since their intent for the Essence is in direct opposition to Shao Kahn’s, this is literally a life-or-death mission. Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) also wants to get his hands on the Essence in order to get back into Shao Kahn’s favor. He dispatches Vorpax (series regular Tracy Douglas) to follow Kitana and Qali. Kitana convinces Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) to go with her to meet Daahraan. When they get to the warrior, they find that he is dying, having been brutally attacked. As Kung Lao tries to help him, he utters his dying words–that Kitana is Shao Kahn’s stepdaughter. Kung Lao is incensed and goes after Kitana, not knowing two important facts about her: She is not an agent of her stepfather’s evil, but an Edenian trying to protect her race, and she is a fierce warrior with special powers including a pair of fans that act as both a shield and a weapon. Once Kung Lao learns of Kitana’s true mission, he agrees to help her by hiding the Essence somewhere in the Earth Realm. A series of double-crosses (some well-intended, some not) leads Qali, Vorpax and Kung Lao to a face-off over the Essence. In the middle of this, Shang Tsung appears (having temporarily left the Cobalt Mines), grabs the pouch containing the essence and escapes back to Outworld with Vorpax close behind. Kitana is despondent when she learns that Shang Tsung made off with the Essence. What she does not know, is that the pouch Shang Tsung has is a decoy and Kung Lao had successfully managed to protect the Essence, thereby preserving the hope of the Edenian people.

Immortal Kombat

When Shang Tsung’s sorcery puts Taja and Siro’s lives in danger, Kung Lao risks all of the Earth Realm to save his friends.

Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban) takes Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt) and Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) to the Temple of the Order of Light for some meditation and reflection. What Siro and Taja discover after some reflection is that this isn’t for them and they decide to leave Kung Lao and head back to the trading post.

As they’re leaving the post, and elderly monk notices a water sack hanging on a post, and assuming it’s theirs runs after Taja and Siro to give them the sack. The monk drinks some of the water before he gives it to them. The sack, as it turns out, is Kung Lao’s, but his friends take it anyway.

The monk returns to the Temple and dies shortly thereafter. As the other monks are preparing his body for burial, it continues to age and disintegrate until there is nothing left except a pile of dust. It is clear to the other monks that the dark powers of sorcery are at work.

Vorpax (series regular Tracy Douglas), having completed her mission, is discovered trying to sneak away from the Temple. Kung Lao chases her and she narrowly escapes through a portal back to Outworld. Piecing together the events of the day, Kung Lao surmises that Vorpax, acting for Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke), put something in the water sack that was meant for him, not the monk. He then realizes that Siro and Taja have the water sack and are probably drinking the remainder of the potion that caused the monk to age into oblivion–and will do the same to them.

The monks tell Kung Lao of a woman, Omegis (guest star Angelica Bridges), a sorceress who has defeated mortality and can reverse Shang Tsung’s potion. Unfortunately, the monks warn, Omegis is a friend to no one and only serves her own desires.

Arriving at the trading post, Kung Lao discovers that his friends have already aged almost 20 years from the day before, and the aging shows no signs of slowing. Their journey to Omegis is labored, considering that Taja is more than 50 years old and Siro is well past 60. Sensing time is running out, Kung Lao leaves his friends at an abandoned temple and goes on alone.

Kung Lao tells Omegis why he’s come, but as he was warned, she is unsympathetic and unwilling to help. She tells Kung Lao that he should get used to seeing his friends die–since he’s immortal (until he’s defeated in Mortal Kombat), he’ll outlive everyone he meets. Kung Lao persists and Omegis finally relents, giving him a potion to reverse Shang Tsung’s sorcery.

By the time Kung Lao gets back to Taja and Siro at the temple, they have been taken captive by Shang Tsung. Unless Kung Lao agrees to face off with Shang Tsung there and then in Mortal Kombat, Shang Tsung will keep Taja and Siro from getting Omegis’ potion. It’s fierce battle, but once again, Kung Lao is victorious and defeats Shang Tsung (who barely has the strength to make it back to Outworld) in just enough time to get the antidote to Taja and Siro.

With Taja and Siro back to normal and Shang Tsung back in Outworld, Rayden (series regular Jeffrey Meek) visits Kung Lao and berates him for selfishly putting all of the Earth Realm in danger by engaging in Mortal Kombat to save two friends. Oddly enough, Rayden’s warning echoes Omegis’–immortality comes with a price.

Cold Reality

Kung Lao, Taja and Siro must keep an ancient magical crystal from falling into the hands of Shang Tsung and the diabolical Lin Kuei’s assassin/sorcerer Sub Zero.

Episode opens at the Lin Kuei compound where a strange ceremonial initiation is taking place. The Grand Masters of this cadre of assassins for hire are training a fierce new warrior in their ancient arts. As is the case with most things diabolical, Shang Tsung (series regular Bruce Locke) has a hand in this evil.

Meanwhile, following his defeat of Scorpion, Kung Lao (series regular Paolo Montalban), accompanied by Taja (series regular Kristanna Loken) and Siro (series regular Daniel Bernhardt), heads back to the city of Zhu Zin, specifically to the trading post of the now-deceased Baron Reyland. As the Baron’s daughter, Jen, lay dying in Kung Lao’s arms, she gave him the key to the entire compound, and the threesome have decided to use the post as a training center for future fighters in Mortal Kombat.

When Kung Lao, Siro and Taja reach Zhu Zin, the men decide to get provisions at the bazaar and Taja heads straight to the trading post. Upon her arrival she discovers that the post has been ransacked and, even worse, the marauder is still on the premises and proceeds to attack her. Kung Lao and Siro arrive momentarily and stop the attack, only to discover that the ‘burglar’ is actually a Ninja from the Lin Kuei.

It turns out that before his death the Baron had purchased a magical crystal that makes inter-Realm travel possible and hid it somewhere in the trading post. Shang Tsung will stop at nothing (including the Lin Kuei) to get his hands on this crystal to buy his freedom from Shao Kahn.

After the first attempt at retrieval failed, Shang Tsung has the Lin Kuei dispatch three more Ninjas to the trading post–where they are eventually defeated by Kung Lao, Taja and Siro. As the defeated Ninjas retreat from the trading post, Siro secretly follows them back to the Lin Kuei training compound and witnesses the unveiling of Sub Zero, a Ninja/sorcerer who, in addition to being a fierce martial artist, is able to fire deadly blasts of ice and cold from his palms.

Realizing there must be something extremely valuable hidden in the trading post, the new tenants beginning searching every nook and cranny. Kung Lao and Taja find the crystal just as Siro comes bounding in to tell them what he’s seen at the Lin Kuei compound. Unfortunately, Sub Zero comes bounding in right behind him and a heated battle over the crystal begins. In the end, Kung Lao, Taja and Siro are able to defend the crystal and send Sub Zero on his way, but the battle is far from over.