There, in a 'bubble,' was a young guy. It was hard for Leona to tell much about him, as it looked as if he had been abandoned by--Krizald's forces perhaps. That is what they believed they were dealing with. Maybe, or was it some other force. She found a strange emblem above the door, as she stepped inside--a skull with wings?!
The guy looked starved, scarred, and if he wasn't already dead, he could be on the verge of it. There was so much pain and terror in the air, Leona shivered, trying to fight the memories, and remain focused on the mission.
Whip grabbed a clipboard near the prison, and skimmed it, before announcing her discoveries to Leona.
"According to this, this is the very first Kyo clone. 'This project has subjects powers, but lacks his appearance, memories--everything that we need for the killer instinct. It has been long enough, says Krizalid. Now that they are ready, there is no need to keep this one. Dispose of it, along with all other failures. Still, being the first--I'll dispose of this one last.' That's all that's there. I guess they split, and forgot about this one. Guess I'll do them the favor."
Leona, who had been wondering what to make of it, turned at Whip's last remark, and was shocked to see her friend point her gun at the man's skull. Leona grabbed her hand, and looked fiercely into her eyes.
"What do you think you are doing?" Leona demanded, trying to keep her rage in check.
"You heard it as well as I did. He may look like a man, but he's been programmed. If we allow him to live, however much doubt we may have of his survival, he will carry out his orders. Even if it's only one man; with what he has, he can easily erase a lot of people, in a hurry."
"You'll condemn him, just for that?!"
"Don't go there, Leona! We can't--hey!"
"Unless you're going to help me, than go."
Whip sighed, and helped Leona carry the body out.
Back at headquarters, there was a tense silence. They all knew the orders given on this mission: clean up the area. If you find anything that could be a threat, neutralize it. In bringing the clone there, Leona was in, and deep.
Jedrin cleared his throat, and they all stood at attention.
"At ease. I'll get straight to the point: Leona, what were you thinking? We all know about your past, but there are times when you have to put the past away. Why did you disobey orders?"
Leona felt very hot. Although only he was looking at her, she could feel everyone else looking at her too. Why did she insist upon bringing the clone there? She couldn't even answer her own questions about it.
"I can't explain, sir. There's just something...different about him. He doesn't look like he's a threat, nor does he even appear to be anything like Kyo."
"True, but neither is K'. I'm sorry, Leona. But until you..."
"Sir. If I may."
"Hmm. What is it Clark?"
"If I may, sir...given what we know, and what may be going on, may I suggest a probation."
After a moment, to reconsider, he agreed--for the entire team! Five months probation. Inwardly, they were stunned, but they knew that he couldn't be seen as 'playing favorites,' not only to his fellow teammates, but to his 'daughter.'
"That was a bold move, old buddy!"
"I know, Ralf. But an entire team probation is better than Leona's suspension..."
"...or worse," added Whip.
"I'm--sorry. I'm always causing this team so much trouble. I..."
"Don't worry, Leona. You're still young. You're entitled to make a lot of mistakes. The point is, to learn from them."
"Good advice, Ralf. Now, when will you follow your own advice."
"Hey! Well, at least you're feeling better, Leona. Hey, look! It's Kim! That's right, there's that new tournament on tv!"
They entered the break room, and watched the replays of the finishing moments of the day's fights.
The first one had Kim facing some man named Guy. Kim rolled past Guy, only for Guy to catch him as he got up. Suddenly, there was a bright flash, and for a few seconds, the screen went pure white. As the picture came back, Guy was pummeling Kim with a series of punches, drew his fist back, and sent Kim spiraling from a fireball!
"Woah! Now that's gonna hurt!"
Guy bowed respectfully, and turned to leave. There were several gasps, as Kim got up, and flew toward Guy. He began to unload on Guy, launched him into the air, and dropped him back to the ground!
"KO! Winner is, Kim!"
Kim whipped his brow, saying something too low for them to hear. He then went over, and helped Guy up.
"Isn't that Andy Bogard?"
"So it is. Quiet, I missed how this one ended!"
Andy grabbed some military guy, and slammed him into the ground, before punting him. He ran went in for the kill, only for it to be sidestepped! As he landed, the man ripped his hands through the air, and leveled Andy with an intense projectile.
"Winner is Guile!"
"Go home and be a family man!"
A lady in a real tight outfit came, holding a small bundle.
"I guess he already is. Wife, kid...wait a second. That kid..."
"Will you look at that? It's Captain America, in the flesh! He's got Geese's number one! Cap's got his hands full!"
Perhaps, given the situation, Billy had his hands full. He was able to swat Cap's shield, and was choking him with his bo! Cap's eyes shut, and he fell.
Kane released him. He poked him with his bo, and got a rude surprise, as he was yanked down, and his jaw met Cap's fist. He then flipped back, grabbed his shield, and dove, smashing it into Billy's face!
"Winner is, Captain America!"
"Freedom prevails!" he saluted, before leaving.
"Don't get me wrong, he's a great fighter and all, but you think he can come up with something that has some--feeling?"
Leona didn't stay to here anything else. She needed to be by herself, and to try and figure out what was going on with her, and her entangled feelings, a chore she rarely cared to endure. Perhaps, a little time in the gym, to vent would take her mind off her trouble. It would have to do.
As Leona went outside, and headed toward the gym, a tall woman, with ghost-white hair stood in front of her.
"You are the 'Ice Maiden,' Leona? From the stories I heard, I was expecting--more. I don't see how you could scare my shadow!"
"Move it, hoe! I've had a bad day, and don't have time for some loud-mouth. Just who the Hell are you, anyway!"
"Call her Morrigan. I'm detective Li, from Interpol. I'm here to see Heidren."
"I suggest you talk with miss Heidren here, Chun Li. She obviously doesn't know what I am. As for you, I'm sure you've heard of this new tournament. If you're as tough as they claim, you'll meet me there. I'll look forward to it."
Morrigan then vanished, and for the first time in a long while, Leona actually showed surprise.
"Odd, I don't recall Heidren having a second girl. According to the briefing I had, his daughter and wife were..."
"You'd say I'm adopted!" Leona snapped, "What do you want here?"
"As I said, I'm with Interpol. Actually, I'm retired. However, your--commander seems to be impressed by my record, and wants me in on this case. According to him, I should have a very strong interest in this case."
"Whatever. Not that I care. Well..."
"I had thought that you could take me to see Heidren, as you know where he is."
Leona sighed, knowing that it was one of those days. The only comfort was that it was nearly over with. Maybe, when she woke up, it would be just one bad dream. Now that in itself was a dream.
"Yes, Leona. What is it?"
"Some lady from Interpol is here."
"Good. Show her in. Oh, and I wish for you to remain. I need you to clarify what you found at the site earlier today."
She saluted, and brought Chun Li back in, wondering what this was all about. Could it have to do with that Kyo clone she found? Maybe, there was something more than a mere clone involved? She would find out soon enough.
As always, Jedrin made quick introductions, and got to business. He summarized Chun Li's achievements, both in the fighting circuit, and as an officer. He then summoned up the day's mission, leaving out the part regarding the clone. He then had Leona describe the marking she found.
"It can't be! That's the mark of Shadowloo! They fell a long time back, when Bison fell. Then, Gill took over the crime circles. Wait, I saw him, at this new tournament. If what you say is true, than this Krizalid could be in some nasty company. I..."
"Commander! It's the man Leona brought in! He's going berserk!"
It was as if she had been cued, when Leona fell to the ground, and shook with a violent seizure. She then began to cough up blood. Heidren yelled into the intercom for Ralf, Clark, and Whip to get there. He knew, and they knew from his voice, what was happening. Leona was experiencing a Riot of the Blood. There was only one who could trigger it, but he never would have thought a clone could trigger it.
While trying to ease Leona, he tried, as best he could to explain his daughter's--situation. Chun Li shivered...it reminded her a lot of when Ryu fell to his dark-side. She wondered if there might be some remote connection.
They all came in, and Chun Li got out of the way. They each came, and knelt beside her. They then talked to her, almost like they were talking to a scarred child. It was all they could do, since none of them knew of a better way to ease the fire of Orochi.
After several minutes, Leona stopped shaking, and was in a half-sleep state. Finally, they put her on the couch, and let her rest, while they headed toward the clinic.
"Commander? We don't know. We were just going to clean off his blood, when he awoke, and...see for yourself. It's like he's possessed, or worse! We need to stop him, and do it fast!"
They all turned in surprise, and saw the young man look at them. He then leapt, and brought Whip down. As Ralf and Clark went to help her, he unleashed an orange explosion, sending them all reeling. Chun Li went for her Demon Blade Kick, only for him to seemingly throw something to the ground, and an explosion erupted, bringing her crashing to the ground.
He turned his attention back to Whip, only to see Leona there, eyes ice as she glared through him.
"I just saved your life, and this is how you repay me, by trying to waste my friends!"
He blinked, and looked around the room. He looked at the medics, and everyone around.
"This, this, I was freed from my nightmare...I thank you, miss. I don't like your share of friends, especially that one. She was going to put a bullet through my skull!"
Leona turned back to Whip, recalling what had happened that afternoon. What a mess!
"I think I heard your name as Leona. I owe you my life--if that can be said as much. I'd been under their torture for so long, I'd forgotten who I am. A clone--not a happy life. I leave you."
To make sure no one would stop him, he unleashed a Serpent Wave, like Kyo, and then was gone.
"Great! Now what!"
"Clone or whatever, he's going to need sleep, food, and those things. I doubt we'll see him tonight."
"Probably right, Clark. Leona? Where're ya going?"
"Out, Ralf. I need some time to think. There's been way too much for me. I've had my share of nuts for this day. Don't wait up."
"I guess I'll be seeing you guys again. If you will, Jedrin, I'm going home to my family."
"Of course. I shall call you at noon, tomorrow."
Chun Li got in her car, and headed home. Ryu would never believe what she had just seen. Hell! She didn't believe what she had just seen! What scarred her most was some of the vague similarities between the 'Riot Of The Blood,' and the dark-side of Shotokan. It also reminded her of another evil--Psycho Power.
"Bison," she hissed, "I'd seen you, yet...I don't know. Trouble just seems to find us."