Arc 1: Three Brothers of Destiny
Chapter 1: Generations
Year: 2345. Location: Northern China near the former capital of Beijing. An archaeological search for fossils of ancient ancestors is being held here. 12 men began drilling and scoping the area for anything valuable. The leader of the expedition, Cao Lung, was 54 year-old man. He had long black hair down past his shoulders. For a man in his mid-50’s, he was fit like a 30 year-old body builder. His own ambitions were hidden from his team and his superiors. Whatever he was looking for, it was out here.
“Sir! I found something!” shouted a worker.
Cao Lung spared no time and hustled over to the area. This interested all other workers and they promptly headed over there. Cao Lung stared closely. At first he saw nothing.
“You imbecile. There’s nothing here. You got me excited over nothing”, Cao Lung said angrily. He turned around and walked away cursing silently. “Keep working!”
The workers scoffed in disappointment and continued as ordered. A worker put on a wrist device known as the “Wrist Reader”. If programmed to find a certain object, it would not stop until that object was found. The device slipping on like a watch. The worker pressed a button on the side and pointed it to the ground. In seconds, a hologram projection of the inside of the ground appeared. They could see what was in the ground. This device was highly advanced. Unfortunately, the device was a high-cost gadget, thus only one was permitted to each expedition group.
The worker walked around the ruined landscape scoping the ground. He walked around rubble and giant pieces of debris.
“My god…” he said to himself. “How could this have happened?”
Cao Lung was back on top of a hill. He was thinking to himself. “Hundreds of years. Descendants upon descendants. Still nothing. I swear to you I will not fail”.
Cao Lung left the hill and ran for the man with the Wrist Reader.
“Give me that”, Cao Lung said yanking it away. “I’ll show you how you use this”.
Cao Lung switched the objects he was searching for. Cao Lung scanned the area and sure enough, there was a red object showing in the hologram. Cao Lung turned around and smirked. He ran towards the object. What was it? Could it have been what Cao Lung was searching for?
Cao Lung and the other workers had reached the area. Everyone was panting really loud because of how far it was from the area they had been in. Cao Lung was the only one who wasn’t phased by the running. He looked around at all the workers. “Well what the hell are you waiting for? Dig you lazy bastards! Dig! Dig! DIG!!!”
Just like slaves to their master, they began digging. Cao Lung was smiling like he never smiled before. He nearly died from excitement.
“Sir! We found something!” a worker shouted. “Good! Good! Bring it up! Bring it up!!” Cao Lung shouted hungrily. “Ow!!!” someone shouted wincing. “What is it? Is something wrong?” Cao Lung asked.
“I…I’m fine sir. It’s just that…this hat. It cut me”.
“Yes”, Cao Lung thought. “This is it. I’ll finally appease my ancestors!” “Carefully bring it out!” Cao Lung said out loud.
Slowly, the object reached the surface. Cao Lung grabbed it and marveled in what it was. “Such an odd hat. Sharp as a sword yet hideous as a bastard’s clothes. Good find gentlemen. Let’s go”.
Suddenly, the ground began shaking. “Whoa whoa what’s this?” a worker said. There were four workers where the hat was found. The ground began shaking and a small crack appeared under their feet. They slowly began walking back to the group just to make sure that any sudden movement could trigger something. Cao Lung and the eight other workers watched on.
Suddenly, a giant crack in the earth occurred. A thundering crash echoed through the land. This was the sound of the earth splitting open and swallowing any debris around. The four workers ran towards the others, but it was no use. They too was swallowed by the planet. The others watched in shock, but not Cao Lung. In fact, if anything, he was smiling, like he enjoyed it.
The hat Cao Lung was carrying began to glow a blue color. It leaped out of his hands and began spinning violently in the air and shot into the giant hole in the ground. Everyone could hear the screams of the four workers and they heard limbs being cut off. Suddenly, a bright light shot out of the hole. It went through one worker hitting him through the eyes. At first he thought he was going crazy as he was seeing everyone was sliced between the waist.
He was wrong.
Half of the worker’s head came off and the blood poured to the ground. The object wasn’t a light, it was that hat. It cut men in half, it cut off their arms, it cut off their legs, it cut them vertically, horizontally, diagonally, and it even lifted some into the air so they’d die up in the air. Cao Lung was the only one left alive. He looked around at what happened to him. “Yes! 3 seconds and I didn’t even see what happened!!!” Cao Lung looked around and noticed not a single body. He looked up and there were dismembered people hurtling towards the ground. Their bodies landed all around Cao Lung and then their blood trickled down like rain landing everywhere.
Suddenly, a body jumped out of the hole. Before the blood even touched the ground, he had already caught his hat and put it on his head. The blood stained his hat, but he didn’t seem to mind. After the blood stopped falling, he swiped his hand around the sharp round part of his hat. His hand formed a blue light when he did this. Cao Lung could not see his face, but he knew who he was. He noticed that this figure was wearing a black coat and blue pants. He was wearing no undershirt at all. He was pretty muscular, but smaller than Cao Lung. That didn’t mean Cao Lung was stronger. There was something about this man that made Cao Lung fear for his own life.
Cao Lung slowly approached him. This man stood there in stance like he was ready to kill. His head was facing the ground. Cao Lung decided to speak. “So…”
Before finishing, the man looked up and grunted. His hat flew off his head and spun towards Cao Lung. It swirled around him and a speed so fast, the wind from it began to cut his skin. Cao Lung looked at the man. “Why…? WHY?!?!?!” he shouted. The last thing he saw was the man walking towards him clenching a tight fist.
Another man walked up the hat-swinging man. “Now Lao, was that really necessary?” He put his hand on Lao’s shoulder, but Lao shrugged it off. “Cut the bullshit Jian. We have no time to waste. The Shaowuji will be sealed if we don’t hurry and get them out here. I don’t even know why you had me fight these people”.
Jian clearly was in a light-hearted mood.
“You didn’t feel good releasing the souls of those men working for Cao Lung?” Jian asked.
“I don’t kill anymore. You know that. Not after that fight with Limitless”, Lao said.
“Limitless, Limitless, Limitless. Is that all you talk about? Come on! Technically, that fight was over 2,000 years ago. Get with the times Lao. We’re in the 2300’s now”.
“Yes! For about two hours. Remember our mission. Come here, explore the land, get them, and get out. No where does it say linger here while listening to your older brother babble nonsense”, Lao said.
“Alright alright. Lao Shen, I am proud to call you my brother and all, but you need to lighten up a bit. I’ll go through the Shaowuji and get our champions. You find some peace here in this time and get rid of Cao Lung. Sound good?” Jian asked.
“It’s a plan”, Lao said watching Jian walk away. Lao turned to walk away when he just remembered something. “Hey Jian!” Lao shouted. Jian turned around. Lao tossed the hat at full speed towards Jian, but Jian caught it with ease and even put it on his head. “Give it back to him would you?” Lao asked. Jian winked and smiled and walked away.
Jian stood still and shouted “Ying Xiong Shaowuji”. A swirling blue portal appeared. “1997. China”, Jian said. The portal grew brighter and it sucked Jian through. Lao looked on. He smiled and thought to himself, “This may not be so bad after all. Then again, this may be one of the only times of peace we get”.
Lao went to pick up the conscienceless Cao Lung to kill him. “It’s a shame you had to be this way, fighting for your ancestors. You could’ve been something if you fought with us instead of them”. Cao Lung opened his eyes.
“I’d die for my ancestors. They’d die to see your head on a platter”.
Lao was shocked at how Cao Lung was still alive. Suddenly, a green portal opened. Lao heard the laughing of a maniac and green skulls shot out. Lao dropped Cao Lung and jumped back hitting any skulls that got near by.
Lao saw who walked through. He was clapping and laughing at the same time. This person was Quan Chi.
“Quan Chi!!! I recognized your bad life force the second you entered this realm with that Jue Shi Tianxin portal you created. How dare you defy the Elder Gods and use time travel?”
Quan Chi was still laughing. “Lao Shen. Oh Lao Shen. If I recall, you did the same thing with your little Shaowuji”, Quan Chi said chuckling.
“We had approval of creating it by the Elder Gods! They enlisted us to hunt you down!” Lao said boldly.
“Elder Gods this, Elder Gods that. I’m tired of Elder Gods. I’ll just kill you, your brother, and we’ll take over this time. And my dear descendant here is quite valuable to this plan”, Quan Chi said addressing Cao Lung.
It was quiet. Suddenly, Quan Chi twitched his neck. “Oh my. It seems we have to finish this some other time Lao Shen. Cao Lung! Follow!” Quan Chi ordered. They returned through the Jue Shi Tianxin with Cao Lung waving goodbye.
After getting out of the Jue Shi Tianxin, Quan Chi and Cao Lung were in a dark palace room. It was clear that it was not in this time period and was from long, long ago. In the back of the room was a throne and someone was in it. He was covered with a black cloth in a dimly lit room.
“Just why did you pull me out then? I could have killed him and you know it!” The figure lifted his hand and grunted. Quan Chi was chocked and subdued to the ground. He was then lifted into the air.
“It hurts doesn’t it?” the voice said coldly. “Like getting hanged by a rope. You ever talk back at me like that again, 1000 deaths won’t be able to repay your mistake”.
He dropped Quan Chi. Quan Chi was coughing loudly. “I have a job for you Quan Chi!” the figure shouted throwing a piece of paper to Quan Chi.
“What is this?” he asked. “Three names. These are the foretold men who bring down Outworld. They are the eventuality of hundreds of years of descendants. The three descendants of Liu Kang, Shao Kahn, and Shang Tsung! Destiny is fated to unite them and they will be the strongest fighters in the history of existance!”
“What is my job?” Quan Chi asked humbly. “Kill their ancestors”, the figure said. “You are to use the Jue Shi Tianxin and kill Liu Kang, Shao Kahn, and Shang Tsung”.
“Understood”, Quan Chi said. “Can I ask one question?” Cao Lung asked abruptly. The figure shifted his focus to Cao Lung. “Speak”.
“Where did you get this knowledge from?” Cao Lung asked curiously. “That is MY business and not YOURS!” the figure snapped back. “Now get out”, the figure ordered. Quan Chi and Cao Lung bowed and left.
On the way out, Cao Lung stopped to talk to Quan Chi. “Ancestor! Why are you bowing to this man? You’re strong enough to–” Quan Chi stopped him and choked him with his hand.
“Listen to me you mortal brat. Somewhere down the line, my powers got lost and my descendants turned into humans. I don’t want you with me, but you’re a key piece in my plan. That man back there can crush you if he so even coughed in front of you. Do not ever try to talk back at him. Got that?”
Back to Lao, he was sitting with a worried look on his face. “Jian, where are you? Where?”
A blue light flashed and out walked Jian with two people behind him.
“I’m back”, Jian said smiling.
Lao stood up and bowed sincerely to who was in front of him.
“Master Liu Kang, Master Kung Lao. It’s an honor. My name is…”
Liu Kang cut him off. “We know, Jian told us everything. We were expecting you earlier. What happened?”
“We have much explaining to do”, Jian said.
“And we have even less time to do it”, Lao said.
“Is there no way to extend the Shaowuji?” Kung Lao asked.
“I’m afraid not”, Jian said. “Our master took the secret to everything about the Shaowuji to his grave when he fought”.
“With him…” Lao said coldly. “With Limitless….”
Everyone looked at Lao. Lao was clenching a fist and staring at the ground in anger. Jian tried to shrug it off. “Come on. We have about 100 minutes left before the Shaowuji closes and we get stuck here. We need to inform you on what’s going on and you need to complete your tasks”.
“We’re ready”, Liu said.
“Good. Follow us”, Jian said leading the way.
There are many questions that are asked: what is the Shaowuji? What is the Jue Shi Tianxin? Who is Quan Chi working for? Who or what is Cao Lung? What was Lao doing in the ground? These questions and many more will be answered in time.
To be continued…