Disclaimer:The Power Rangers are the property of Saban/Disney. Cassandra Jensen is the property of Helen. Mackenzie Dekalb is the property of Karilee. Shadow and Mirabilis are the property of David Knight. KOF/Fatal Fury is the property of SNK. The names McAllister and Keller are the property of Universal. Mentions of Adam Pearlman's universe are property of the author. Sei Tin is the property of Devil's Due as well as mentions of the Arashikage. Kincaid and the Night Rangers are creations of John Chubb. No profit is being made.
COE:Prelude to Minion's Legacy
King of Fighters '96 Training Days
By: the Q-team
King of Fighters '96 Training DaysBy: the Q-team
In the reality of the Night Rangers Jeff Kincaid was looking in as his girlfriend slept. Smiling as he figured that in a few days he was going to be married.
The chapel was all registered and paid for. Wedding invitations were going out. Family and friends were being contacted. Things were taking shape quickly as everyone was fighting the clock to get a first class wedding together in so short a time. The reason for the rush, was that Kincaid's daughter was almost ready to be born.
-A daughter. Who would have thought?- Kincaid smiled as he adjusted to the thought of being a father. A thought he found himself welcoming.
Kincaid kissed the forehead of the woman he loved, pregnant with his child. Mackenzie Dekalb stirred in her sleep as Kincaid said "I'll be right back." With that he left the bedroom and went to the kitchen to see what he could prepare for his girlfriend's late night cravings. When he arrived he found not much in the fridge, but someone else was there.
Kincaid turned around and saw Shadow leaning against the kitchen door. Kincaid didn't let his guard down as he had seen in the ID War that while the Shadow Grid Ninja was a great ally he also had plans of his own. That much was clear as he left them before the final battle began. The only good thing that came out of that was that Lord Mirabilis had left the Order at the same time.
"What do you want Shadow?" Kincaid asked. Knowing that this involved another foray into another world. Shadow said there would be more of those.
Shadow then pulled out of his ninja vest a sealed envelope. The seal on the envelope was stylized in the symbol of a mirror. He handed the envelope to Kincaid who asked "What's this?"
"An invitation. For you and two of your choosing." Shadow said as Kincaid opened it up and read the contents.
"'King of Fighters Tournament'?" Kincaid blinked.
"This is a tournament being held in the world I am in residence at this time. That world happens to be the world of one of your allies during the ID War. Specifically, the Ranger Teams that your Matrix of Creation's team picked up." Shadow replied. "All of the best fighters in the world compete."
Kincaid stared at Shadow. "And you usually come around only when it's interesting enough to have people come from other realities. What else is there in this?"
Shadow smiled behind his mask as he placed down on a table a file for Kincaid. "For starters, your Yellow Night Ranger double in this reality had a much better childhood than she did. No offence mind you. You might want to read the file to see how she is doing now." He then looked seriously at Kincaid. "But more importantly, at this tournament, there will be revealed the identity and presence of a force of darkness that will make Stygan and Destructor combined pale in comparison."
That got Kincaid's attention.
"I thought you might want to show up considering if this force isn't stopped by the defenders of this world, it will then cross over into OTHER realities." Shadow replied. "Incidentally, the defenders of that world are the same ones you fought alongside that were under the Q's control."
"Where Jessie Belle and Katie Star lived." Kincaid said. Shadow nodded in understanding. "Is there a point to me visiting this world?"
"Other than the Night Powers being needed there? Maybe." Shadow said. "I'll be back in 27 days to pick you and your teammates up should you decide to attend. Good bye Jeffery Kincaid." With that the Shadow Grid Ninja then vanished into the shadows leaving Kincaid to wonder what new force was coming.
After some calls the Night Rangers, Turbo Rangers, and the Nightfighters all met in the living room of his home. Mackenzie was awakened and immediately came down to take part in the conversation. She might have been pregnant but she was still a Ranger. Kincaid then mentioned the visit from Shadow and the invitation in the King of Fighters tournament.
"So who's Shadow?" Adam asked.
"An ally of ours during the I.D. War." Kyle explained. "He calls himself that because he's kind of got a Shadowy nature."
"Shadowy nature?" Cassandra asked.
"Meaning he knows a lot about the power of an aspect of the Morphin Grid called the Shadow Grid in his universe. And he draws some power from it." Jessica said.
"Shadow Grid?" Ivana of the Turbo Rangers asked.
"It's an aspect of the Morphin Grid that just 'is.'" Kincaid explained. "Its primary focus is to maintain the balance between good and evil so neither side can get the upper hand."
"Kind of like that Star Trek episode 'Balance of Power." Bruce said. "Where Captain Kirk made sure both sides fought so they wouldn't be annihilated? And they'd eventually come to a sort of peace." Kincaid nodded at Bruce's assessment. "Something like that Bruce. Yeah."
"So are you going to accept the invitation?" Mackenzie asked concerned for the man she was about to marry.
Kincaid sighed. He didn't know what this 'evil' Shadow was talking about. But it must have been grave if he wanted Kincaid involved. There were also other things he needed to look into. Such as the Emperor that had taken up residence in Adam Pearlman's dimension. Some other evils had been setting up plots that were little more than brush fires on some planets. Kincaid wasn't too concerned about that, the other Night Rangers, as well as other Ranger teams could handle them.
His main concern however was to his wife Mackenzie. She was eight months pregnant with his child, and he didn't want to leave her side. He spent enough time away from her side, and he wanted to be there when their baby was born. But he also knew that if he had just turned away, then he might as well have been allowing the 'evil' that Shadow mentioned to run free. He had a responsibility as a Ranger, and he couldn't turn away. Mackenzie knew that and said so before Kincaid even said a word.
"You're going aren't you?" she said. Kincaid nodded as if saying that he would.
"I'm going with you then." Mackenzie said. Kincaid couldn't believe what he was hearing.
"But Mickey..." he said.
"No buts mister. I'm going! And don't worry. It's not like I'm going to fight or anything. I just want to be close by so that when I go into labor you don't have far to go to be with me." Kincaid smiled and shook his head as he heard Mackenzie say her peace.
"All right you can come. But I still need two fighters to accompany me." Kincaid turned to the members of his teams and wondered who would be the best fighters to take. He looked at Bruce, and remembered all the times they dreamed of being part of a major tournament like King of Fighters promised to be. He also looked at Cassandra. Her powers and Martial Arts skill made her an immediate contender for the KOF tournament.
He also looked at the McAllister-Kellers. David and Sarah were a package deal. Where one went, the other followed. And if Kincaid took them, then that meant Bruce and Cassandra couldn't go. Cassandra wouldn't have minded, but to refuse Bruce would be like refusing their dream. -Both pairs are good. Both are capable. And who do I refuse to take with me?- Kincaid asked himself.
"Refuse neither Kincaid."
Kincaid spun around and then stepped back when he saw Shadow was right behind him. "Damn! Does it ever occur to you that someone someday may actually hit when you pull this surprise appearance routine and besides I thought you were going to be coming back in 27 days?"
"No to the first question, I lied to answer your second, and before you ask 'why?' the answer is I never really left. I was just waiting to see who you were thinking of choosing." Shadow replied as he pulled out another invitation and handed it over to Sarah. "An invitation for you, your brother and one more of your choosing should you so desire." Shadow then looked up. "And now if you excuse me... I really DO have to leave now. I'll be back in 27 days... and I mean 27 days." with that Shadow then left.
In a swirl of smoke a figure materialized. He was of human stature and then solidified to the form of an Oriental man who had a look of death and danger about him. He looked around his surroundings trying to determine his whereabouts.
"Where am I?" the man asked.
"You can be a difficult man to find Kane Okasa."
Kane turned around, still in disbelief about his situation. One moment he had been in continuing his search for his quarry and now he was in an ornate and elegant room. The decor of the room reflected upon ancient cultures, he even saw in some places relics from ancient Chinese and Japanese dynasties.
Kane looked up and saw Lord Mirabilis sitting on a crystal throne. "Welcome to my home. Forgive my need to pull you out of your world," Mirablis then eyed Kane making him keep his mouth shut. "But I did it in your best interests. And before you ask, I will tell you. A chance to eliminate the McAllisters-Kellers. Are you interested?"
Kane took a deep breath. Here was a man offering him a chance to gain revenge on his hated rivals. To wipe away the stain of betrayal brought about by his clan. He seemed ready to accept but something prevented him.
"What is the cost of this arrangement?" Kane asked.
Mirabilis nodded. "The cost of this arrangement is that I choose the place of battle." He reached into his robes and pulled out an envelope similar to the ones Shadow carried. "What is this?"
"An invitation." Mirabilis said as Kane took the envelope and opened it. Inside was a similar invitation like the ones Kincaid, David and Sarah received.
"King of Fighters tournament?"
"A tournament where the most powerful warriors are gathered to fight." Mirabilis said. "To show their skills, and their power."
"Our rivalry with the McAllister-Kellers is not a contest." Kane said. "It is a battle of honor that can only end in death."
"I know." Mirabilis said. "But in this case I must ask that you forgo the death aspect until after the tournament."
"Their betrayal..." Kane said as Mirabilis rose to his full height radiating a dark power. "You do not wish to make an enemy of me. Right now I am asking. Do not have me 'force' the issue."
Kane decided it was not a good idea to provoke Mirabilis, besides he wanted the chance against the McAllister Kellers. And if they were going to be at this tournament then that was where he would be. And he also thought he might be able to arrange a tournament 'accident' if his cards were played right.
"All right." Kane said. "I accept. What does this tournament entail?"
"Powerful warriors." Mirabilis said. "Making use of the power of life itself called 'ki' or their own innate skills. A true test for a warrior." Kane nodded intrigued by the notion, but he still had a few concerns.
"And how do you expect me to survive such a competition if you say the warriors of this world are stronger than my own?" Kane asked.
"You're going to be training with the best ninjas." Mirabilis snapped his fingers and then appeared two different men. One in a dark purple ninja suit and the other in red. "May I present respectively, Eiji Kisaragi, the Master Ninja Assassin, and from the Red Ninja clan Sei Tin.
Kane looked at both ninjas and wondered why they were there. "What are these two for?"
Mirabilis smiled icily. "They are your partners for this endeavor."
"I need no partners." Kane said. "I only need myself."
"Right, and that has done you so well in the past." Eiji said. Kane looked in Eiji's direction wondering what he meant by that comment. Eiji was quick to explain.
"Only that you have tried to kill those two kids only for them to escape and become even more powerful. While I have more than a few tricks up my sleeve."
"Really?" Kane asked not too impressed.
"Of course. Shall I arrange a demonstration?" Eiji asked. Mirabilis then motioned towards a practice floor where four figures materialized. Eiji stood in the center ready for combat.
Kane looked at the figures. They wore black ninja gis giving no identification of clan loyalty. Apparently these were ninjas without a clan. Ninjas with no honor that sold their services to the highest bidder. Kane would not care about their fate, unless they emerged victorious. Then he would kill them.
He would not have to worry about killing them. Eiji had that matter well in hand.
He moved like lightning, kicking the sword out of one's hand using it to impale another, then behead the previous bearer. He then delivered a wheel kick to the back of another's leg palming a throwing star from his belt and stabbing the throat with it. The third ninja died spurting blood.
"You haven't seen it all yet Kane." Mirabilis said. "Watch this last one."
The last ninja opponent stood ready to give one last strike. He ran at Eiji at full speed then drew his sword. Eiji drew back his hand and unleashed the last strike he would need to give in this contest.
A small blast of energy shot out of Eiji's hand hitting the ninja. The ninja burned to death.
Kane nodded impressed. He then looked to Sei Tin and asked him "So what's your story?"
"I am head of the Red Ninja clan." Sei Tin said. "An offshoot of the Arashikage clan banished for standing behind our principles."
"Principles?" Kane asked.
"We took objection to a westerner joining our ranks believing that he would be the downfall of the clan. And for that we were banished." Sei Tin explained. "And it turns out we were right in our assessment. For the head of the Arashikage was murdered in an attempt to kill the westerner. The Young Master of the Arashikage was framed for the crime and the clan disintegrated after that."
"Interesting." Kane said. "So how are your skills?"
"Watch." Sei Tin said as he asked for new training partners. Four appeared before Sei Tin and Sei Tin began his attack.
A red blur moved through three attackers. Striking lethally and efficiently. Three of the no clan ninjas fell in three seconds leaving the fourth to face Sei Tin. The fourth stood frozen as Sei Tin looked deep into his soul.
The fourth ninja didn't move. He felt himself being removed from his body and hovering between nothingness. That was when he felt the burst of pain through his chest and his soul ascend beyond the mortal plane.
Sei Tin looked down at the body of the fourth ninja standing victorious. Okasa looked on in horror as he realized what Sei Tin had done. "That....that is a forbidden power. You subvert the power of the mind set."
"No." Sei Tin had said. "I merely used the power of the mindset to its fullest potential. I do this to see justice done."
"Justice? What justice?" Kane asked. Sei Tin turned and looked Kane and Eiji dead in the eye. Both seemed to feel a slight fear at Sei Tin's gaze as if he would look into their souls and rip them out of their bodies. Sei Tin smiled briefly under his red cowl, knowing his 'allies' could fear him. Still he told his story.
"A westerner came and brought with him a curse that brought my clan to ruin. I seek to know the power needed to bring this westerner down. And I will take any risk, pay any price, to see this done. Surely Kane Okasa, you know this better than anyone." Kane listened to Sei Tin. Yes, Kane would pay the prices asked of him to bring down the McAllister-Kellers. But was he willing to go as far as Sei Tin had gone?
Kane knew what his answer was. Mirabilis then asked "Well Kane Okasa, do these allies suit you?"
Kane nodded. -This might prove to be fruitful after all.- he thought.
Night Ranger reality 24 days later
Three days left.
That was how long Kincaid, Cassandra and Bruce had to prepare for the KOF tournament. And they had been going through sparing partners like junk food junkies in a potato chip factory with no intention of stopping. Sure enough their will to win was being bolstered by the sparring they were doing, and the victories they had accumulated.
They however refused to commit fully to the training until Kincaid and Mackenzie's wedding. No way were they putting that off. Everyone there thought it was a beautiful ceremony, but Kincaid knew there were some not on the guest list. Fortunately they made no trouble.
Kincaid and Mackenzie then left the chapel, now husband and wife. Now the focus was getting ready for the KOF tournament.
David and Sarah chose their third teammate. It was Ken Tanaka. The aggressive style he employed was a contrast to the grace and skill of the ninjitsu taught to them. But sometimes David and Sarah found Ken's aggressive path to have its dividends. Five sparring partners injured was proof of that.
"Easy killer." Sarah said showing her guts coming up to an aggressive Ken Tanaka. "What's up?"
"I just...."I just have this feeling there's something not being said." Ken said. Bruce overheard the conversation and asked his own question. "Something we need to know."
"This isn't a powers tournament is it?" Cassandra asked. Kincaid shook his head. "Not as far as I know why?"
Cassandra looked off to the side at a training log standing in the center. Trainees often used it to spar on and work out frustrations. Cassandra eyed it suspiciously as she brought her hands back and a ball of emerald green energy formed in her hands. A ball that looked ready to explode unless Cassandra launched it....
.....which she did.
"PSI BOLT!!!" Cassandra shouted launching the lethal energy ball towards the log. When the ball made contact with the log it shattered into a million splinters. Not even enough to made a toothpick.
"No reason." Cassandra said. Everyone looked at Cassandra and wondered what that was. Sorrero however asked the question.
"What the @#!*% was that!?"
Cassandra gave a lop sided smile and answered. "Just something I was experimenting with. I thought maybe it was a good idea to experiment with the civilian powers a bit. See if I could do more than read minds, levitate stuff and do astral projection."
"Looks like you succeeded." Kathy said as she saw the mess of splinters where the log used to be. Cassandra just waved her hand and said "No. That's just an experiment. Something I'm working on."
"Good work if you ask me." Mackenzie said off from the side.
"Let's not get ahead of ourselves." Kincaid said. "We don't know what to expect here. So let's just focus on keeping things fair here shall we?" Everyone sparring in the gym nodded.
The two teams went back to their training. They continued until it was either time to sleep, time to eat, or time to leave.
For Kane, Eiji and Sei Tin they trained even more grueling. Hate in their hearts. Vengeance consuming their souls. Especially for Kane when he heard the latest news from Mirabilis. The McAllister-Kellers would be present as competitors.
Every sword strike, every punch, chop and kick was directed towards the McAllister-Kellers. For every sparring partner Kane took out he saw either David McAllister-Keller's face or Sarah McAllister-Keller's face. For a brief moment he felt regret that he would have to hurt Sarah, as he considered her at times to be a beautiful young woman with the heart of a fine warrior.
Then he remembered his duty to his clan, and that the McAllister-Kellers had to die. To pay for the sins of their grandfather.
Sei Tin was just as brutal, but he showed no remorse for any of his actions. No doubt, no misgivings. He had power, he would use it. He had skill, he would use it. Any in his path would either follow him or be destroyed.
And that was what he saw his opponents in the King of Fighters tournament as, obstacles in his path that would either follow him, or be taken out of his path. And his allies....were merely a temporary convenience for him.
For Eiji, it wasn't his first trip to the tournament. He longed to have another chance again, to wipe away the sting of past defeats. Especially the one last year with Rugal. All too often he seemed to be teamed with losers. He hoped his two new partners would not be like all the others.
He would know soon enough as Mirabilis had arrived to survey the latest 'training exercise' of Kane's 'team'. And the bodies left behind.
"We are ready." Kane said. "Now we go to the tournament."
Mirabilis nodded, and with a wave of magic the three evil warriors were on their way.
At Port Clinton in the Night Ranger reality Kincaid walked out of the house with a lot of bags. Some of it his own clothes, the rest Mackenzie's maternity gear. Helping Mackenzie out were Bruce and Cassandra. David, Sarah and Ken also came out with their own bags ready to offer support.
"It's okay Mickey, we gotcha." Bruce said. Mackenzie rolled her eyes at Bruce and said "I'm pregnant, not an invalid."
"All the same." A voice said off to the side. "I think it would be best if we didn't complicate your pregnancy too much by riding on a Harley don't you?" Everyone turned to look to see who was speaking. It was Shadow, and with him was a horse drawn carriage with four black horses pulling it. Kincaid gave a lop sided smile at the sight of the horses and carriage as it looked like something an old English noble would ride in down a cobblestone street.
"Nice carriage." Kincaid said.
"Figured she'd want to ride in style, and comfort." Shadow said. "Besides, a motorcycle might not be good for the baby, wouldn't you agree?" Kincaid looked at Shadow and couldn't help but agree.
"Bruce, Cassandra, take my bike." Kincaid said tossing the keys to Bruce. "She'll co-operate with you. I'm riding with Mickey." Bruce and Cassandra both nodded as they went to Kincaid's Harley. Kincaid and Mackenzie went to the horse drawn carriage and boarded it. Shadow also boarded it and shouted "Forward." The carriage moved forward with the Harley's following behind.
A vortex then opened as the carriage and four Harley immediately went through it. Kincaid, Cassandra, Bruce, Mackenzie, David, Sarah and Ken all left for the tournament. Everyone hoping there was unexpected surprises to show up.