MASTERS OF THE OUTWORLD
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PART 1: THE RETURN OF SHANG TSUNG
In the depths of the Outworld, in the dark, deserted regions where no-one dared venture alone, the emperor Shao Khan sat alone in the chamber of the Black tower. He was grieving with defeat. After so many years of being seen as a virtually invincible warrior, he had now undergone another defeat, and his reputation was suffering. He even risked losing his position as emperor of Outworld if he continued to lose. He may never be able to rule the Earth, and Outworld could even end up being ruled by good.
Another Mortal Kombat tournament had just ended with his defeat. And again, it was the warrior monk, Liu Kang, who had defeated him. This warrior may not look more powerful than Khan, but obviously he was. Khan had only just escaped death in his last battle with Kang. Before that, Khan had erased the world of all human life, making it a part of the Outworld itself, sparing only those who deserved to compete in Mortal Kombat- but after Liu Kangs victory, a former assassin, Sub-Zero, had reprogrammed two robots to destroy the Shao Khan tower. One of them, Sektor, had gone into self-destruct mode and blown the tower up just as Kang escaped. Princess Kitana had then closed the Outworld portal, sending Khan and his minions back into the Outworld and returning the Earth to normal.
Kitana had once been his favourite assassin, and adopted daughter. But he had always known she was good at heart, and even the magic of the great sorcerer Shang Tsung had failed to stop her from joining forces with the Earth warriors, two tournaments ago. Now she was permanently on their side. Khan had hired further assassins to bring her back- Mileena, Jade and Reptile- but Kitana had defeated all three of these with ease. Her power was greater than theirs all put together. Now it looked as though there may be no way of getting her back.
And it wasnt just Kitana that Khan had lost to the Earth warriors. In the last tournament, he had hired the Shokan warrior Sheeva as an assassin, but she was displeased with his choice of electing Motaro as champion. Motaro was a centaur- and the centaurs were the main enemies of the Shokan. Sheeva had defeated Motaro, then turned against Khan and helped Liu Kang to break into the tower and defeat him before returning to her home world.
And an even worse loss was his queen, Sindel. He had resurrected his long dead queen, wiping her memory of her good past and using her to try to recapture her daughter, Kitana. But the Earth warriors had foiled his plans, and restored Sindels memory, and she had helped in driving Khans assassins from the Outworld. Now she was permanently on the side of the Earth warriors.
There had been two further losses in the last tournament. The bumbling idiot Kano, who was finally defeated by his enemy Sonya Blade, was no great loss- but the sorcerer Shang Tsung, who had been granted more power than ever, perished at Liu Kangs hands in the tower. Could Khan ever hope to win a tournament again? But he had to remember- he was still a strong and powerful fighter, and there were still many great warriors in Outworld. He would have to train them further, and train himself further, so they may stand a chance of victory over Liu Kang and the Earth Warriors.
All of a sudden, the door of Khans chamber burst open, and in ran Baraka, one of Khans most trusted henchmen. Baraka was a strange creature with long, sharp nails which could shred an enemy to pieces. He spent most of his time feeding on the flesh of victims in Khans dungeons, and rarely entered the chamber.
"What brings you into my chamber, Baraka?" said Khan, in his deep, booming voice. "I am deep in thought. You had better have a good reason for interrupting me."
"I have a good reason indeed, sire." hissed Baraka. "There is a visitor to see you, my Lord. And hes more than just any old visitor- hes the great sorcerer, Shang Tsung."
"You have mis-seen, you fool!" growled Khan. "Tsung was killed in the last tournament."
"Maybe so, sire." replied Baraka, "But Im telling you- the mans here."
"Bring him in!" Khan shouted. But Baraka didnt need to bring him in- the sorcerer materialised out of thin air before Khans throne.
"Greetings, Shao Khan." spoke the sorcerer.
"How did you get to be here? Liu Kang killed you, in the last tournament!"
"Maybe so, my Lord." replied Tsung. "But one of the many secrets of my magic powers is that I can never stay dead for long. I was impaled on a spike in your tower- but my powers had me resurrected, as powerful as before. And I am here at your services again, my Lord."
"Do you really think I would need your services again now?" growled Khan angrily. "It is thrice that you have failed me now, you fool. I think you would be better off staying dead!"
Khans eyes blazed an angry red, and glared threateningly at Tsung. But the great sorcerer did not even flinch. He had absolutely no fear of Khan.
"My Lord, do you not realise that we two are in the same position? Yes, I have failed you thrice, but you have failed twice in your attempts to defeat the Earth warriors. We should be working together. We are in the same boat, my Lord."
Khan pondered for a few seconds. Then he admitted: "Yes. You are right, Shang Tsung. Both of us have failed to defeat the Earth warriors, and we both are likely to fail again, even if I admit it myself. We must train our Outworld warriors at once. We must make ourselves as powerful as possible for the next tournament!"
"But that is just what we did last time!" replied Tsung. "Even with the powerful Queen Sindel, and the centaur Motaro on our side we failed. Now we have even lost more warriors to the humans of the Earth. We need to recruit new warriors. Warriors from .. elsewhere in the universe."
"Like where?" sneered Khan.
"My Lord, there are many battles between evil and good throughout the universe. There are many planets we do not know of, on which great warriors live with skills we could never dream of. We need to find some of these to help us."
"And how would we go about that?" Khan sneered sceptically.
"Easy, my Lord." replied Tsung. "We must speak to the Emperor of all evil."
"I am the Emperor of all evil!" growled Khan, and shot up from his throne, glaring angrily at Tsung.
"I am afraid you are not so, my Lord." said Tsung. "The Emperor of all evil in the entire universe is a being named Horde Prime. You may not know of him- but he will know of you, as he is aware of all evil forces in the entire universe. I must say that his power is probably greater than yours and mine put together. Rarely does he take part in battles himself, but he knows many evil warriors, throughout the universe. If we speak to him, he could easily find us the very fighters we need to win the next Mortal Kombat tournament."
Khan considered the idea. He did not like the thought of an evil being who considered himself to be superior to Khan- but then, this may be Khans only chance at winning the next tournament. So he decided on going ahead.
"Yes." he replied. "I will speak to this Horde Prime."
"Then we visit him now." said Tsung, and raised his arms. "I shall take us to him."
PART 2: A VISIT TO HORDE PRIME
Shang Tsungs magic teleported him and Shao Khan into a large room, full of electronic equipment and computers. There were several robots working away on the computers, and large windows looking out into space. Several great planets and bright stars shone away in the distance.
"Where are we?" asked Khan.
"This is Horde Primes ship." replied Tsung. "It is this ship in which he patrols the universe, watching over evil."
"Then where is this Horde Prime?"
"I AM HERE!" came a loud, booming voice from around a corner. The voice was so loud and terrifying that even Khan froze for a second. Khan and Tsung turned around the corner- and were greeted with what looked like a huge space, with black mist swirling around.
"I see nothing." said Khan. "Where did that voice come from?"
"FROM HERE!" came the spine-chilling voice again. "YOU FACE HORDE PRIME!"
So Horde Prime was meant to be amongst all that smoke! How could he be? Khan saw nothing. How could a living being be concealed in that huge, vast space amongst all that smoke?
"I am not fooled." laughed Khan. "Horde Prime? It looks to me as though this Horde Prime is nothing but a trick! I cant even see anything! Lots of black mist and someone talking through a microphone. Thats what Horde Prime is!"
Suddenly, an absolutely huge metal hand emerged from the smoke and seized Khan by the waist. It lifted him high above ground! The hand was so strong and large that it could easily crush the life out of Khan. The strong, fearless warlord was almost scared for the first time in his life. The hand was three times as big as his gigantic body!
"SO!" came the voice again. "YOU THINK ME A HOAX! THEN YOU HAVE INCURRED THE WRATH OF HORDE PRIME! DO I LOOK LIKE A HOAX NOW?"
"No!" screamed Khan, only just managing to speak with the huge hand clamped so tightly around him. "I admit- I was wrong! Now please let me down!"
"AS YOU SAY!" said Horde Prime, and dropped Shao Khan to the ground. His super-strong body meant that the force of the fall barely even hurt him, but he was severely shaken by what had just happened. So how big, then, was Horde Prime? Khan had always thought he was of gigantic stature- but this being must be at least 30 feet tall! And how could he fit inside this ship? The ship must be massive!
Bolts of electric lightning crackled through the mist, and Khan saw a pair of blazing red eyes shining through. This being was amazing. He was surely what Khan needed to defeat the Earth warriors- but would he agree? Boldly, Khan stepped forward and looked up into the red eyes.
"We .. have come for your help." he said.
"AND WHAT HELP DO YOU NEED, MORTAL?"
Mortal! That was the first time anyone had dared call Shao Khan anything like that! If any normal being had said that, Khan would have slaughtered them- but Horde Prime was way to powerful for Khan to even dare oppose.
"We .. would like you to help us to find warriors." he said. "We need more powerful warriors to help us in our struggle against the fighters of planet Earth- in the tournament called Mortal Kombat."
"THE MORTAL KOMBAT TOURNAMENT! YOU NEED TELL ME NO MORE. I KNOW THAT YOU ARE SHAO KHAN- AND YOU FAILED IN YOUR LAST TWO TOURNAMENTS! NO WONDER YOU NEED NEW WARRIORS AFTER FOOLISHLY LOSING ALL THOSE FIGHTERS TO THE CRETINS OF EARTH!"
"Yes .. can you help us?" Khan felt like a feeble idiot asking Horde Prime this.
"I CAN INDEED PROVIDE YOU WITH HELP, WARRIOR." said Horde Prime, his eyes blazing brighter as the electric energy crackled. "ON PLANET ETERNIA THERE IS A VICIOUS STRUGGLE GOING ON BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL. THE SORCERER SKELETOR HAS TRIED IN VAIN TO TAKE OVER THE PLANET BUT HAS ALWAYS BEEN STOPPED BY THE PLANETS GUARDIANS. I WILL ALLOW YOU TO USE MEMBERS OF HIS ARMY! PERHAPS SKELETOR HIMSELF WOULD BE READY TO HELP YOU!"
"Of course," said Shang Tsung, seemingly unshaken by the sight of the tremendous being. "I know of Skeletor. The Universal council of magic have mentioned him in the past."
"THEN LEAVE AND RETURN TO OUTWORLD!" boomed Horde Prime.
"Wha .. arent you doing anything?" stammered Khan.
"JUST DO AS I SAY AND RETURN TO OUTWORLD! I WILL CONTACT SKELETOR AND HE SHALL JOIN YOU WITH HIS SELECTED WARRIORS! NOW LEAVE!"
"Okay .." Khan stammered.
"Thank you for your help, Horde Prime." said Tsung, and he raised his arms, and the two warriors vanished in a puff of smoke.
Horde Prime sent a mind signal to one of his robots. The robot went over to the computer radio and switched on.
"Skeletor .." it said in its mechanical voice, "We have orders for you to join the dark regions of Outworld .."
PART 3: SKELETOR GETS THE MESSAGE
Blade was enjoying himself. There was nothing he loved more than slaughtering innocent people. He laughed to himself as the man he had found trembled at his feet.
"Please .. dont do anything! I beg you!"
"You beg me? Well, beggars cant be choosers, Im afraid. Im the chooser round here. And I choose that you give me all your money! Skeletor just hasnt been paying me enough lately."
"Then Ill give you all my money! If you promise not to hurt me!"
"Yeah, I promise alright. Hand it over!"
Terrified, the man fumbled through his pockets and took out his wallet, handing it to Blade. "There!" he said, "Thats all the money Ive got. Now please leave me alone!"
"Thanks very much." said Blade, taking the wallet and shoving it into his belt. "You dont know how grateful I am for that. In fact, you deserve a good .. >slashing!"
Blade took out his swords and slit the mans chest open with them both, drawing gallons of blood. The man screamed and fell to the ground, clutching his chest.
"You .. you promised not to hurt me!" screamed the man.
"I never speak the truth to weaklings like you!" hissed Blade. "From people like you- I can claim your money- and your life!" with that he slashed one sword right through the mans neck. The mans head flew off and hit the ground, a pool of blood spilling from the gash where the head had been severed.
Blade admired the short work hed made of the man, and then raised the sword to his mouth and licked off the blood. Then he examined the money in the wallet.
"Im stinkin rich." he said to himself. "Even with Skeletors low rates of pay!"
He made his way back to the Fright Fighter, so he could fly back to Snake Mountain. He entered the cockpit, and started up the engine, rising the vehicle up into the sky.
Just then, the radio began to crackle, and a voice could be heard through the crackles. Blade slowed down the Fright Fighter and listened to the voice. It was a striking, metallic voice, like a robots.
"Skeletor .." it was saying, "We have orders for you to join the dark regions of Outworld .. orders from Horde Prime .. to join the emperor Shao Khan in the tournament called Mortal Kombat .. defeat warriors from Earth .. select warriors to compete .. to the Outworld Skeletor .. by command of Horde Prime."
Now this sounded interesting. Blade had never heard of Outworld, or this Mortal Kombat tournament, but it really did look as though Skeletor was being asked to compete in this tournament himself with several selected warriors. With the order coming from the super-powerful Horde Prime, there was no way Skeletor could refuse. If Blade were to enter this tournament, it could mean extra slashing, extra killing! He would have to persuade Skeletor to let him take part. Messages that came through to the Fright Fighter were usually automatically recorded, so Blade made sure of this by pressing the replay button under the radio, and playing the message again.
Then he switched the Fright Fighter into its fastest mode, and zoomed back to Snake Mountain.
Once Blade had landed the Fright Fighter in the landing bay of Snake Mountain, he played the message one last time to make sure he had heard it correctly, then he made his way into the ancient base of evil to speak with his maniacal master.
He always hated approaching Skeletor. What he didnt like was the way that Skeletor was always so sceptical with his warriors, as if they couldnt be trusted to get anything right. Blade was at least glad that he wasnt Beast Man, as Skeletors tortured wild henchman got a beating almost every time he dared approach his master. Blade was one of Skeletors most trusted warriors, so he didnt have to suffer as much as half the rest of the army. And then, if Skeletor ever really annoyed him, he could always use his swords on his master ..
Blade approached Skeletors chamber, where Skeletor was constantly sitting alone thinking of ways to defeat the heroic warriors. He hated people interrupting him- but Blade was sure that this time Skeletor would be glad in the long term. In a tournament, he could quite easily prove his skills.
Blade tapped on the door of Skeletors chamber.
"Who dares interrupt Skeletor?" came the skull-faced warlords voice.
"Blade does," he replied, "with something very important to tell you."
Blade entered the chamber. Skeletor was seated on his bone throne, with his havoc staff at his side. His trusted sorceress and second-in-command, Evil-Lyn, sat in the corner, practising her magic.
"What do you have to tell me?" asked Skeletor, in his deep, gruff voice.
"Horde Prime has ordered you to enter a tournament in some region called Outworld- to help some evil emperor defeat warriors from Earth. He has asked for you and some selected warriors to go to Outworld at once." he did not mention anything about how eager he was to enter this tournament, but he knew that he had offered great services to Skeletor with his sword skill and agility, and was more than likely to be entered.
"Where did you hear of this?" Skeletor demanded.
"Some robot sent a message through and the Fright Fighter picked it up. I have it recorded on the Fright Fighter radio."
"Then show me!" ordered Skeletor, his eyes lighting up bright red. "Lead me to the Fright Fighter!" He rose to his feet, and Blade turned to lead him to the landing bay. Skeletor followed behind, his long cape gliding over the ground as he banged his havoc staff heavily with each stride he took.
In the landing bay, Blade entered the cockpit of the Fright Fighter and pressed the replay button. The message played again, and Skeletor listened with great insight.
"Now this does sound interesting." he said lowly, in his rarely heard calmer tones. "Yes, I shall obey this command. I shall leave Eternia with several of my warriors- and enter this Mortal Kombat tournament."
"Leave Eternia for good?" asked Blade.
"No, Blade- not for good- but I have a plan. Come, Blade- we shall return to my chamber and call a meeting of my warriors."
Skeletor and Blade journeyed back to Skeletors chamber. Skeletor approached Evil-Lyn, and said "Quit that magic practice and call a meeting of my warriors. We two- and Blade- are leaving Eternia to take part in a tournament."
So Skeletor was entering Blade! That was one huge relief for the swordsman. He didnt even need to ask! Skeletor was obviously already impressed by Blades skills.
"Were leaving?" asked Evil-Lyn. "For good?"
"Not for good," hissed Skeletor, "but I shall explain my plans once you call a meeting. So do it now!"
Evil-Lyn lifted her voice beam projector and held it to her mouth.
"All warriors present to Skeletors chamber" she called, "there is important news. I repeat- all warriors present to Skeletors chamber, there is important news."
Within the next few moments, warrior after warrior began appearing in the large, dark chamber. More and more of Skeletors dastardly henchmen made their way into the chamber, eager to hear their masters announcement. The warriors muttered amongst themselves as they gathered, presumably wondering about what such an important announcement could be.
Once Skeletor was satisfied that enough of his warriors were present, he banged his havoc staff loudly and heavily on the ground. The muttering stopped as each warrior fell silent, turning to face their master.
"I have received an important message." began Skeletor. "I shall be leaving Eternia temporarily with a select few warriors- to travel to a place called Outworld. There we shall take part in a tournament called Mortal Kombat. Our aim there is to defeat warriors from the planet Earth. You are to keep He-Man busy back on Eternia while I am away- and destroy him if you can." he spoke the last part with a touch of sarcasm. "I shall be fighting alongside an emperor called Shao Khan. Earth is not a planet known for its warriors- the Earth warriors will pose no threat to Skeletor. But once we are through with them- I turn on Shao Khan, and rule Outworld myself. No doubt that Horde Prime will grant me more power after I conquer Outworld- then I will return to Eternia- and He-Man will be shocked to the death as he perishes at my hands." Skeletor raised his right hand, as if to show it as the hand that will crush He-Man.
More mutters ran through the crowd of evil warriors, excited at the thought, and no doubt all hoping that they would be entered for the tournament.
"Silence!" shouted Skeletor, and banged his staff. "I am not finished. Evil-Lyn shall accompany me- I may have use for her magic. Blade is also coming- his swords will shred the Earth warriors to pieces." Blade bristled with pride at the mention of his skill. How the other warriors must be envying him now!
Skeletor scanned the sea of warriors faces, to make the choice of who else to enter in the tournament.
"Saurod .. Ninjor .. you come too. You have shown me powerful skills since you joined this army. You are most suited to this tournament."
The two warriors stepped forward at the mention of their names- the masked reptile in his gleaming black armour, hissing with evil pleasure, followed by the black-hooded shadow ninja with his sharp sword.
Skeletor then called out Karg. The hook-handed henchman stepped forth.
"Karg- you are to take charge of the army while I am away. I do not expect you to beat He-Man but at least keep him occupied. If you manage to destroy him I will promote you."
"Yes, Skeletor." hissed Karg, "I will destroy He-Man for you."
"And I do not want a word of this tournament breathed to anyone else in Eternia!" Skeletor shouted, his voice becoming louder as he gave these strict commands. "If He-Man finds out, he may follow us. Understand?"
"Yes, master." said the warriors, all together.
"Then we leave!" boomed Skeletor. He called to his scientist, Comtech- "Set the portal to take us to Outworld. Our destination- Mortal Kombat!"
PART 4: EVIL WARRIORS UNITE
Over the desolate landscape of Outworld, inches away from the Black tower, a huge, white portal began to open. A strong wind blew from the portal. Ermac, one of Shao Khans ninjas, caught sight of the portal through one of the windows of the Black tower. A hooded figure stepped out from the portal, with a large staff, and a ghastly, fleshless face. He was followed by an attractive, but evil-looking woman, dressed in elegant clothes with a spiked helmet. Behind them came a shaven-headed swordsman, with a patch covering his left eye, a ninja warrior dressed all in black, looking not too dissimilar from Ermac himself, and a strange, reptile like creature wearing a metal mask and armour.
These must be the warriors from Eternia, whom Shao Khan had said earlier would be joining him for the next Mortal Kombat tournament. And Ermac had to admit, they sure looked powerful. Ermac made his way to the chamber, and bowed before his master.
"The warriors from Eternia have arrived, my Lord." he said. "They look .. very powerful."
"All the better!" laughed Khan, and shot to his feet. "I will give them a warm welcome .. if they prove themselves worthy!"
Khan made his way outside, accompanied by Ermac, Baraka and Shang Tsung. The warriors of Eternia stood before Khan, as the portal closed behind them.
Skeletor stepped forward. "Shao Khan?" he said, approaching Khan.
"I am Shao Khan." replied the giant armoured warrior. "And judging by your appearance I would imagine you are Skeletor."
"Yes, I am Skeletor- Lord of destruction. These are my warriors- Evil-Lyn, Blade, Ninjor and Saurod. The new entrants in your tournament."
"Excellent." replied Khan. "Enter the Black tower and prove your skill."
Khan led the warriors into the Black tower, and quickly explained the history of the Mortal Kombat tournament, and their current state.
"We think you could be the warriors we need to defeat the interfering Earthlings." he told Skeletor. "But first- you must prove yourselves. You may fight my warriors- but no fatalities allowed, as every warrior is valuable on our side. Save your killing power for the Earth warriors."
Shang Tsung gave orders: "Skeletor- fight me. Blade- fight Ermac. Saurod- fight Chameleon. Ninjor- you fight Scorpion, and Evil-Lyn fight Reptile."
The three ninjas entered- the transparent Chameleon- the resurrected and deadly Scorpion, and Reptile, who was eager to prove himself after failing to recapture Princess Kitana in the last tournament. Each warrior stood opposite their opponents, and Shang Tsung ordered "Fight!"
The warriors sprung into battle. Skeletor and Tsung proved to be of almost equal skill as they fought one another with their great powers of evil magic. Blades superb sword skill caused several deep wounds to Ermac, and Saurod amazed Shao Khan as he almost set Chameleon on fire with the sparks from his mouth. Ninjor and Scorpion proved worthy opponents of one another with their splendid high-kicks and karate chops, while Evil-Lyns magic bewildered the powerful Reptile as she called upon the powers of the ancient demons to fire super energy blasts from her fingertips.
"STOP!" called Khan. "I have seen enough. Warriors of Eternia, you impress me with your skills. You are all entered for the tournament. Skeletor, you are my chosen champion for the tournament. Once we have won, I will give you the earth to rule!"
"Once we win," hissed Skeletor under his breath, "I kill you and rule not just the Earth but the Outworld."
Baraka approached Blade from the shadows, and slashed him across the chest with his long nails. For a second Blade drew back in pain, but then he licked blood from the gash in his chest, and said "Thank you very much. I havent had a decent cut in ages."
"Ive never seen such skill with swords!" hissed Baraka. "We two should fight alongside one another. We can slash those Earth fighters to pieces."
"And slashing humans to pieces is my main reason for existence." laughed Blade, and he and Baraka licked the blood that dripped to the ground.
"Now we can let Mortal Kombat begin!" said Khan. "The next step is to deliver news to the Earth warriors of the tournament!"
Unknown to the evil warriors, their every move was being watched through a viewscreen by Zodac, the cosmic enforcer of the universe, and Rayden, the thunder God. Zodacs computer had detected that the Evil forces of Eternia had travelled to Outworld, and Zodac had called his close friend Rayden to his space station to watch them. Zodac and Rayden knew each other through their patrol of many realms, and had shared several adventures together.
"You have told me much about the evil warriors of Eternia, Zodac," said Rayden grimly, "and now it appears as though I will actually be meeting them. And even if I say it myself- they look powerful. They are a possible threat to the safety of the Earth. Thank you for calling me here, Zodac, or they would have sprung a surprise on us."
"I had to warn you of this danger." said the masked cosmic enforcer, in his low, monotone voice. "I am not permitted to act in the battle between good and evil unless the cosmic balance is severely threatened, so I will not enter the tournament- but I knew you had to know about this."
"And I will take immediate action." said Rayden. "These evildoers do not know that we know their plan- so that means that I can spring a surprise on them."
"Will you warn the Earth warriors?" asked Zodac.
"I will warn the Earth warriors," replied Rayden, "and I will try to do so before they receive news of the tournament- but first, I must recruit new warriors. One question, Zodac- is Skeletor close to conquering Eternia? Does he ever win battles?"
"Skeletor has tried hard, but is still not even on the verge of conquering Eternia. The Guardians of Grayskull prove too powerful for him."
"Then the Guardians of Grayskull are the very people I need. I will call for the help of He-Man, and his trusted warriors. Well soon show Khan and Skeletor that theyve no chance."
"Then you must act quickly, Rayden. Take action before you are too late."
"I shall act right away! I will teleport myself to Eternia. Goodbye for now, Zodac- and thank you for the warning."
The thunder God spread out his arms, and was surrounded by bolts of electrical energy, which concealed his entire body, which then vanished as the great Rayden teleported to Eternia.
PART 5: HE-MAN MEETS RAYDEN
Prince Adam sat on the balcony of the Royal Palace of Eternia, looking over the busy city of Eternos below. The tall, elegant towers of Eternos gleamed in the bright sunlight. As Adam watched and admired the great city, he recited his favourite Eternian poems in his head. Hed heard them so often that he did not have to sit and read them. He knew the words off by heart. And he loved to spend time alone on the balcony, his own place of peace and luxury, and a break from the many times he had to save Eternia from danger as He-Man.
Suddenly Adams peace was interrupted by a noise from behind. Adam spun round on his heel. Was this an attack? There came a sudden burst of crackling electricity from out of nowhere. Crackling bolts circled through the air, before joining together and forming a human shape. Then the bolts died down, and the human shape formed colour and features, taking on the form of a man with long, flowing hair, wearing a strange pointed straw hat.
"Who are you?" Adam asked.
The strange man stepped forward, and shook Adams hand. "Greetings, Eternian." he said, "I am Rayden, God of thunder. I have come to you seeking help."
"Erm .. how can I help you?" Adam asked, confused.
"I spend my time patrolling realms- and one such realm has led me to become involved in a tournament called Mortal Kombat. Most of the warriors in the tournament come from the evil realm of Outworld- or from planet Earth."
"Earth!" exclaimed Adam. "The planet my mother comes from!"
"Indeed. In charge of the tournament is the evil emperor Shao Khan- but in recent years Khan has undergone defeat by the Earth warriors, and his rule of Outworld seems threatened. But, to help him win the next tournament, he has recruited some new fighters. And these new fighters, I believe, are familiar to you."
"Familiar?" said Adam. "Who are they?"
"Their names are Evil-Lyn, Ninjor, Saurod, Blade and .. Skeletor."
"Skeletor! So hes been entered for the tournament!"
"Indeed so. The extra power added by the Eternian warriors is a possible threat to the Earth warriors safety. Not that I dont think we could defeat them- theyre all very powerful- but we could do with some extra help. And I feel that you are just the person to provide that help!"
This is strange, thought Adam- why was Rayden talking to him as though he was He-Man? He must be mistaken, Adam thought. But he knew he could still provide help- he could change to He-Man after Rayden had gone.
"Im sorry, my friend, but I think youre mistaken. Much as I wish I could help, Im no warrior. There are many good warriors on Eternia, but I am not one of them. Im afraid I cannot help you."
"Ah, but if you change into He-Man you can!"
"But .. how do you know? Who told you I was He-Man?"
"When you patrol the universe, and watch so many people, you pick things up!" replied Rayden. "And I, together with my close friend Zodac, often watch the universe together. We both know your great secret- as do several other watchers of the universe- as we basically know everything. But dont worry- we wont reveal it to anyone. Now you must change- as we must get to the tournament before its too late!"
"Then Im most glad to help." Adam said, and raised his sword of power.
"BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL ..
I HAVE THE POWER!"
A flash of light emerged from the sword, surrounding the prince completely. Once the light and energy died down, he was transformed into He-Man, mightiest man in the universe.
"Just one thing before we leave, Rayden." He-Man said. "I must make sure youre telling me the truth."
"Youre not saying you suspect me of trying to trick you?" asked Rayden.
"No," replied He-Man, "but I must make sure. The evil warriors on this planet can play many cunning tricks- so for all I know, you could be an evil warrior trying to trick me into leaving this planet. I will use my sword to ensure you speak the truth."
He-Man held his sword in front of Rayden, and the sword glowed bright white.
"If the glow turns red, it means you are trying to trick me." said He-Man, "so just repeat what you told me."
Rayden repeated what he had said about the tournament. The sword did not flash once.
"The sword tells me you are not evil. I will accompany you at once! But first we must go to Grayskull, to let the Sorceress know were leaving!"
He-Man quickly sought out Man-At-Arms, and informed him that he was leaving. Man-At-Arms said he would tell the other warriors. He-Man then called Extendar to his side, and then Rayden teleported himself and the two warriors to Grayskull, leaving Man-At-Arms in charge of the citys defence.
They materialised inside Grayskull, where they were quickly greeted by the Sorceress.
"Greetings, my friends." she said. Then she turned to Rayden, and said "Please introduce yourself, stranger."
Stunned by her beauty, Rayden explained that he was the thunder God and had sought out He-Man to help him in Mortal Kombat, and that Shao Khan was using Skeletor as his champion.
"Then I wish you luck in the tournament." said the Sorceress. "And remember, if you need any extra help, I will be here."
"Well remember, Sorceress." said He-Man. "Now lets make our way to Outworld. We have no time to waste."
"Not yet, my friend." replied Rayden. "I think it would be better if we went first to Earth. There you can meet the Earth warriors, whom you will be battling alongside. It will also give you time to prepare for battle."
"Then you may use the dimensional portal to reach Earth." said the Sorceress.
"We dont need to-" said Rayden, "I can teleport us!" He spread his arms and the three of them were engulfed by electrical energy.
"Once more, I wish you luck!" said the Sorceress, and the two warriors and the thunder God were gone in a flash.
PART 6: THE ETERNIANS REACH EARTH
After their victory in the last Mortal Kombat tournament, most of the Earth warriors had returned to training. Sonya Blade, and her partner, Major Jackson Jax Briggs, had returned to hunting down dangerous criminals after they finally defeated Kano. Liu Kang spent most of his time training, accompanied by Princess Kitana, as the romantic relationship between the two became more serious. They now lived in an apartment, along with Kitanas mother, Sindel, who was determined to defeat Shao Khan, the man who had brainwashed her before Kitana restored her memory.
Kurtis Stryker, who had beaten Ermac in the previous tournament, had returned to his job as a riot-stopping cop- and he was helped by none other than the mysterious Kabal, the disfigured ex-minion of Khan, who was still determined to wreak revenge on Khan and his forces. Sub Zero had bought a small apartment in Chicago which he shared with Smoke, the former ninja who had been trapped in a robot body in the previous tournament and been programmed to terminate Sub Zero. Zero had restored Smokes memory, and the two now lived together with Sub Zero helping Smoke to recall more of his lost past. However, it looked unlikely that Smoke could ever be human again- there seemed to be no way to release him from his robot body.
Nightwolf, the American Indian, had returned to his homeland, and although the other Earth warriors had heard nothing from him since the last tournament, they knew that the power of his shaman was always with them, and they could always call on him for help.
The Earth warriors soon found that their training had been worthwhile. Each of them awoke one morning to find a slip of card, depicting the familiar dragon logo, declaring the words:
YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN TO TAKE PART IN MORTAL KOMBAT.
And very soon, most of them were gathered aside the remains of the Shao Khan tower, Khans Earth base from the last tournament which had been blown up after Sub Zero programmed Sektor to self-destruct inside the tower.
There was no sign of Nightwolf, but the other warriors assembled to a heart-warming reunion. Liu Kang looked upon the small crowd of warriors with him, and thought of how so much had changed since the first Kombat he had taken part in. Kitana had been entered as part of Khans army first time- now she was his lover and closest battle partner since the death of Kung Lao. Sindel had been pure evil at the start of the last tournament, so had Sub Zero and Smoke before that. Kang had gained many new allies since he first entered Mortal Kombat, and with each tournament, they came a step closer to defeating Khan.
"I wonder what Khan will have in store for us this time?" he said.
"Probably a new champion." replied Sonya. "A Shokan, I should imagine, after the way that Motaro was killed by a Shokan in the last tournament. But no matter what he has in store, its not gonna be anything we cant defeat. If I was in Khans position Id have given up by now."
"At least were rid of that Tsung guy, thanks to Liu." said Jax, "I just wonder when Raydens gonna show up. Hell know whats happening, no doubt."
"In my opinion," said Stryker, "this tournaments pretty pointless. Khans lost just about everything he had- those ninjas are no match for us, even that Baraka guy poses no threat. Were gonna kick these guys butts when the tournaments barely even started!"
"You never know." said Kitana. "Khan will never start a new tournament until hes convinced he has a great chance of winning. I do not feel this tournament will be as easy as you think, Stryker. He must have some trick up his sleeve."
"Stop looking on the black side, babe." said Stryker. "I think were gonna kick ass- nothing Khan brings up is gonna be any match for us, with our strength."
"Im afraid it might, Kurtis Stryker." came a voice from behind him.
Stryker spun around and saw the thunder God Rayden standing there, accompanied by two unfamiliar looking warriors- a tall, muscular man with blonde hair and a heavy tan and wearing very little. The other warrior, the fighters could not see that well- his face was entirely hidden by a mask and he was dressed entirely in shiny metal. He could be anything, thought Stryker.
"Rayden!" exclaimed all the warriors together, and Liu Kang stepped forward to greet the thunder God.
"Am I glad to see you!" he said. "But who are these new fighters you bring?"
"First of all," Rayden said, "I must warn you that this tournament is not going to be as easy as you think. Kitana is right to doubt its ease. Shao Khan has recruited new warriors."
"He recruits new warriors every time," said Jax, "but I always thrash em!" he flexed his bionic muscles in egotism.
"Dont think too big for your boots, Major Briggs." said Rayden, who had never appreciated Jaxs huge ego. "These new warriors are probably more powerful than the Shokan .. or the centaurs. They all come from the planet Eternia, a planet very far from our own. Khan has elected the leader, Skeletor, as his champion- and I must warn you that Skeletor is an extremely powerful sorcerer and is only the third most powerful being on Eternia itself. The warriors he brings are also extremely skilled. To make things more difficult- Shang Tsung lives again."
"But thats impossible!" said Kang. "I killed him in the last tournament!"
"And if you remember, you killed him in the first tournament-" said Rayden, "Tsung never stays dead for long. Neither has he lost any power."
"Lius beaten Tsung before, he can beat him again!" said Stryker.
"Yes- but as for Skeletor, I am not sure, for it looks as though this being may actually be more powerful than Khan himself. So do not let your ego get the better of you. This could well be your hardest tournament yet."
"So who are these guys?" asked Liu Kang, eager to be introduced to the powerful-looking warriors.
Rayden held his arms out to introduce the new fighters. "My friends, let me introduce you to He-Man, the champion of Eternia, and Extendar, the tower of power!"
"Tower of power?" said Stryker. "What the hell do you mean there?"
"Show them, Extendar!" said Rayden.
Extendar spread out his arms, and his hands shot out from his wrists, then his waist shot up from his legs, then his head from his neck, then his feet from his legs. He grew even more, until he was towering above the rooftops! The warriors couldnt believe their eyes. Now this was a powerful warrior- and they were glad he was on their side. He was no ordinary human being- he was a super-powerful cyborg.
The ordinary citizens looked up in amazement, seeing the unusual being towering way above the rooftops and skyscrapers of the city.
"I am Extendar, Tower of power!" boomed Extendar. "I was given my powers by an evil warrior, and was briefly turned evil- but I threw off that spell and now I fight for justice!" his powerful voice could be heard all over the city.
As the other warriors struggled to come to grips with this amazing being, Sonya was busy admiring He-Mans muscular frame.
"Id like to see He-Mans powers." she said. "Will you show me some?"
"This guy sure looks tough." said Rayden, "and hes even tougher than he looks. Show them, He-Man!"
"With pleasure!" said He-Man, and he raised his fist and smashed a brick wall, left standing amongst the remains of the Shao Khan tower, into pieces.
"With these guys on our side, were sure gonna win!" said Sindel. "Now weve just gotta wait for Khan to show up."
She couldnt have spoken sooner- for that very moment, the sky clouded black as the night and a thunderstorm roared above. A sphere of light appeared in the sky, and beamed down on the crowd of warriors. Extendar shrunk to normal size as the sphere of light surrounded them.
"Its starting .." said Rayden, "and we are ready!"
The warriors rose into the black sky, awaiting the dark regions of Outworld, muscles tensed, and ready to fight!
PART 7: MORTAL KOMBAT BEGINS
The barren land of Outworld was quickly overrun with powerful warriors. The gruesome minions of Shao Khan marched in hordes, the shadow ninjas leapt through the darkness, and the warriors from Earth followed behind, all strong and dignified fighters, accompanied by the thunder God Rayden, and the two powerful guardians of Grayskull.
"I shall leave you now." said Rayden to the other warriors. "Call me whenever you need me. May you fare well in this tournament."
And with that, he was consumed by electricity, and was gone.
"Wheres these new guys?" said Jax, eager to fight.
"I should think theyll show up soon." replied He-Man. "Skeletor is always eager to make himself known at times of battle."
"Whats he like, this Skeletor?" Sonya asked, still fixed in admiration for He-Man.
"Hes powerful, and hes cunning- but he can sometimes make mistakes. Just be prepared- his magical powers are always growing. It can often be harder when he has Evil-Lyn on his side- she is his Sorceress, and her powers are almost equal to his. If they combine their magical powers with this Shang Tsung who Rayden mentioned, they could definitely pose a challenge. But for a good fighter, no challenge is too much."
"Wise words, He-Man." said Sonya.
Kabal then spoke for the first time since the Eternians arrived. "What about the other evil fighters?" he asked. "Do they pose a challenge?"
"Blade does-" said He-Man, "he is one of the most skilled swordsmen on Eternia- and also one of the most dangerous psychopaths. You have to be very quick to avoid him. We know rather little of Saurod and Ninjor as yet- but they are known to be masters of stealth, so we must always be on the lookout."
"Ill stomp on these guys," said Jax, "literally, that is." then he went over to Extendar and gave him a nudge. "You and I can do some good together. I learnt to morph to giant size in the last tournament. Well show em."
Then Kitana suddenly said "Be prepared- we are approaching the Soul Chamber, one of Khans lairs. Khan is likely to declare Kombat in there."
He-Man drew his power sword. "Then we are ready!"
In the Soul Chamber, Khan waited for the Kombatants to arrive, with Tsung and Skeletor by his side. Ermac rushed toward his master.
"They are coming, my Lord. All the warriors of good and evil are on their way."
"Good." replied Khan. "And no doubt Princess Kitana and Sindel will be amongst them. They were stolen from me by those interfering warriors from Earth. Skeletor- tell your men that they must recapture Kitana and Sindel for me. Then Sindel can be my queen again- and Kitana my slave! I will show you them when they arrive in the hall."
"I will indeed, Khan." replied Skeletor. "I have longed for ages for some capture, torture and killing- without that interfering He-Man to stop me!"
Little did Skeletor know that his hated enemy was amongst the many warriors who burst into the hall a few seconds later. He-Man and Extendar caught sight of him on the balcony with two other warriors- one of huge stature, wearing an iron mask, the other a type of sorcerer, with a long cape and tied-back hair.
"Who are those warriors?" He-Man asked Liu Kang.
"They are Shao Khan and Shang Tsung." he replied. But his gaze was fixed on the even stranger-looking being with them- the figure draped in black, his face all decayed, with black, hollow eyes ..
"Hes Skeletor?" asked Kang.
"And I thought the Outworld guys were strange looking."
Moments later, Shao Khan called for silence.
"If you dare- face my new champion- Skeletor!"
The huge crowd of warriors looked up at the hideously decayed being on the balcony. Some felt instant panic and terror, others were instantly struck with an eagerness to fight the decayed warlord.
"The warrior who defeats Skeletor has the right to face me!" declared Khan. "As usual- fight only the warriors from the opposite side until you feel you can face Skeletor!"
Skeletor laughed silently. None of those puny warriors would stand a chance against the Lord of Destruction. They probably wouldnt even get past Beast Man, if he were with them. He would defeat them all- before challenging Khan himself and claiming rulership of Outworld. He felt further amusement at the thought of He-Man, back on Eternia, puzzled at Skeletors absence from the evil warriors, searching every corner of Eternia for him. He-Man had no chance of stopping this scheme, surely.
Khan spotted Kitana and Sindel in the crowd, and pointed them out to Skeletor. Skeletor called Blade to his side.
"Blade- make sure that you or any other of our warriors captures those two women before long. Khan wants them for his own- but I shall claim Sindel as my queen of Outworld once I have destroyed Khan. If you do well, I may let one of you have Kitana."
Blade liked the thought. Kitana was definitely very beautiful- she could be even better for him than money!
"Yes, master, I shall capture them." he said. "I know women- theyll be no trouble for me."
"Then go now! Tell Saurod and the others!"
Khan gazed upon his former queen and adopted daughter. Soon they would belong to him again. If hed had warriors like Skeletor and Blade all that time ago, hed have recaptured Kitana before she could even escape. The tournament could now start- and the Earth warriors would all perish.
"Let Mortal Kombat begin!" he declared, and the entire hall rushed into battle.
PART 8: SEARCHING FOR SKELETOR
He-Man fought through the crowd of warriors by swishing his mighty power sword. The many ninjas from the different realms were amazed at this muscular fighters skill. For each warrior who dodged out of the way of the power sword, He-Man would deliver a mighty punch, knocking the warrior to the ground unconscious. He-Man heard someone cry:
"Im leaving this tournament! Theres no way I can defeat that muscle-bound hero- hes worse than ten Shao Khans!"
"Except that I fight for justice!" He-Man called in reply. Very few of the warriors around him were brave enough to challenge He-Man, and those that were were lying on the floor in tremendous pain and agony within seconds.
"Hes magnificent!" said Sonya, admiring He-Man as he knocked the warriors aside.
"Lets give him a hand disposing of those creeps!" said Jax, and flexing his mighty bionic muscles, he punched the ground with great intensity. The punch shook the whole room, scattering the enemies about like flies.
Liu Kang helped by using his amazing bicycle kick to propel himself through the air at the ninjas. Many of them were already fleeing in terror at the sight of the warrior monk, who had defeated the evil of Outworld so many times before. Kitana sliced through the heads of her opposition with her sharp fans, and Sindel pierced the air with her scream, paralysing the enemies so she could beat the crap out of them.
He-Man began to fire bolts from his mighty sword at his enemies, scattering more and more of them about. Then he found a door in the side of the wall. It was a heavy stone door- but the most powerful man in the universe had no trouble in heaving it aside. He called to his friends. "Quickly- through this door!"
The Earth warriors and Extendar followed him through the door, and into the dark caverns beyond.
The battle continued to rage in the hall, but Shao Khans caverns were silent. Strange sculptures were carved in the walls, and slime dripped from the ceiling.
"Youre not running away, are you He-Man?" asked Liu Kang. "Ive never seen skill like that before- you were amazing in the way you scattered those warriors!"
"No, I never flee from anything!" replied He-Man. "Its merely that I have no time to fight weak warriors like them. I must oppose Skeletor and put an end to this tournament as soon as possible. I can not waste my strength on such minor skills when I have the power to battle the tournaments masters!"
"Too right." replied Stryker. "With you around, the Outworld warriors dont stand a chance. We must find Skeletor and you can kick his butt while we take care of Tsung, Evil-Lyn and the others!"
"Who are all these fighters anyway?" asked Extendar.
"They come from many different realms." replied Kitana. "Many of them are on neither Khans side nor ours- they merely want to claim the tournament for themselves. But they are not experienced fighters, and pose little threat to us. We must deal with Khan."
"Im eager to get to Skeletor!" said He-Man. "I dont know how he can expect to win against the powers of good!"
"The best point is that he doesnt know youre here yet!" said Sindel.
As the fighters made their way through the dank, slimy corridors, He-Man suddenly stopped.
"I havent had a proper introduction to you all." he said. "Since this is about the only time were safe from harm, would you mind telling Extendar and I a little more?"
"Fine." said Liu Kang, and one by one the warriors introduced themselves to He-Man and Extendar. Smoke was the last to speak out.
"My reason for entering this tournament .." the robot said lowly, "is to find myself .. a new body. A .. human body."
"You sound very humane for a robot." replied He-Man. "And somewhat tragic. Why is this?"
Sub Zero butted in. "We were both ninjas from the Lin Kuei who refused to be automised when they decided on turning their ninjas into robots. We tried to escape, but Smoke was recaptured and turned into a metal monster, sent out to destroy me. I managed to restore his memory, but couldnt find a way of returning him to his old body. Chances are the Lin Kuei may have disposed of it. We must find a way in this tournament to give Smoke a new body!"
"Then I will help you," said He-Man, "Im sure I can find a way to make you human again. The warrior Snout Spout on my planet has suffered torment by being trapped in a cyborgs body with an elephant head, so you are not alone in the universe, Smoke."
"I was once human," said Extendar. "But I dont mind this new body- it gives me so much power! Still, I appreciate your feelings, Smoke."
He-Man then turned to the masked Kabal. "I could help you, my friend." he told him. "You told me you were disfigured. Will you show me your face?"
"I would rather not." replied Kabal solemnly. "It is too hideously deformed. I must remain masked. The only person who has seen it is a ninja named Rain, whom I scared to death by showing him my face. So my face has become a weapon- I would prefer to stay deformed for now. If I can use it on Shao Khan or his extermination squads, it will prove that them scarring my face only did me good in the long term."
"I appreciate your views, Kabal. Now we must continue our search for Skeletor and his evil warriors."
Up on the balcony of the Soul Chamber, Skeletor gazed at the huge mess of blood and cadavers scattered around one area of the Soul Chamber. Many warriors were now battling elsewhere, but who had defeated all those warriors, lying on the ground either dead or in pain?
He pointed to the bloody mess. "What do you make of that, Khan?" he asked the emperor.
"I have never seen anything like it." the warlord replied. "Surely one person couldnt have done all that!"
"I did not see what happened there .. I just hope the warrior who did it was on our side. After all, most of those warriors are merely ninjas from other realms, siding with neither us nor the Earth warriors."
He hoped dearly that the warrior who did it was on his side. Surely there could not be an Earth warrior with power that great .. power like .. He-Man?
But he must not think of that now. His main goal at the moment was the capture of the two women Khan wanted. He flicked on a walkie-talkie and punched in Saurods code.
"Saurod- have you seen any sign of the women yet?"
The hissing voice of the mutant reptile came crackling over the walkie-talkie.
"Not yet, Lord Skeletor. But Evil-Lyns magic has sensed them, and is leading us towards them."
"Good. Make sure you capture them- and you would be welcome to slaughter some of the Earth warriors as you do so. Over and out."
He-Man, Extendar and the Earth warriors were still making their way through Shao Khans murky caverns.
"I do not know of the way to reach the balcony." said Kitana. "I rarely went in here while I was on Outworld."
"As long as we reach it eventually, nothing matters!" said He-Man. "And Skeletor will pay for his many crimes!"
"I think we should split up." said Kang. "That way, we can attack from all sides. The evil warriors may stand more of a chance over us if we are all gathered together."
"Youre right." said He-Man. "We shall each go in twos- I will accompany Extendar."
"Ill accompany Smoke." said Sub Zero. "Sonya can go with Jax, Kitana with Sindel, Stryker with Kabal. And Liu?"
"I go alone." said the warrior monk. "Do not worry about me- nothing will stand in my way."
"Then good luck." said He-Man. "Good journey."
The warriors split up, and each duo, and the lone Kang, took a different passage through the maze of tunnels. Little did Kitana and Sindel know that there was someone waiting for them at the end of their chosen passage ..
PART 9: THE CAPTURE
Kitana and Sindel made their way further along the dark tunnel. The only sound the warrior women heard was that of the moisture and slime dripping from the ceiling. Their only thought was to find a way to reach Khan and oppose him and Skeletor. Kitana already disliked Skeletor- he was definitely evil beyond belief from what she saw of him, and possibly more powerful than her former foster father. But even if he was more deadly than Khan, she could not hate him more than Khan. Khan was nothing but a sadistic tyrant who loved war and torture- at least Skeletors outward approach seemed vaguely more respectable, with his neat garments, his long, dark robe. She could easily love a man dressed like that- if his face wasnt so hideously decayed and gruesome.
Evil-Lyn lurked with Saurod at the end of the tunnel. Evil-Lyn could not see the women approaching, but she could sense them with her magic powers. She held out her crystal ball, which was glowing steadily. The brighter the glow grew, the closer her captives were coming.
Saurod could see both women- he had good vision in the dark. The dimension he had come from had been permanently dark, and his people were specially adapted to see in the dark. These tunnels felt like home to him, like the caverns in which he had dwelled before he donned his mask and became a galactic mercenary. He held out his laser gun, ready to spring a surprise on the women when they came closer.
"I want to attack them, Evil-Lyn." he hissed in his low, reptilian voice.
"Not yet, Saurod." Evil-Lyn replied quietly. "We strike when they are close. We must not run towards them, or they stand a higher chance of escape. Unless we shock them, we have less chance of succeeding."
"If I had a spear like the ninja Scorpion I could pull them close." Saurod hissed.
"Be patient, Saurod. The women will come- and we will capture them."
Unaware of the evil warriors awaiting them, Kitana and Sindel moved further down the tunnel, into the darkness of Khans caverns.
Suddenly, Sindel noticed a faint glowing light in their path. Could it be an enemy? She spun around to warn Kitana. But Kitana was nowhere to be seen.
"Kitana?" she called. "Where are you?"
"Right .. here .." came a quiet, hissing and terrifying voice from out of the shadows.
"Whats that? Whos there?" Sindel looked around her, trying to see through the blackness. "Where are you?"
Suddenly there came an abrupt shower of sparks from out of the darkness. Sindel screamed and flinched back. Present in the cavern with Sindel was a deadly enemy.
But Sindel could not afford to feel fear. She was a warrior, and must face whatever was with her- even if she met her death trying. She let out a yell, and switched into fighting pose.
"Show yourself, whatever you are. I am Sindel and I am fearless!"
As if in answer, another shower of sparks roared from out of the blackness. The light from the sparks illuminated the figure from which they emitted, for a split second. Sindel saw a metal face, with evil, devil-like eyes and a strangely-shaped mouth, like a metal trap. It was like nothing she had seen before- it was way more terrifying than Khans ninjas.
More sparks shot through the air. Sindel was quick enough to avoid most, but several hit her, causing minor burns. But this was no drawback to her. She must find some way of tricking this creature!
Her power of flight could be just right. She soared into the air, and the sparks missed her, and made dents in the rocky wall.
Saurod was puzzled for a second. He seemed to have lost his prey. She had just seemed to disappear from view. He turned around, and looked around him for the woman he had been firing at. But there was nobody there.
Too bad he didnt look up. Sindel swooped down on him from the air, grabbed his shoulders and knocked the reptilian warrior to the ground. He hit his head on the rocky wall, which stunned him for a few moments. But his helmet protected him from feeling much pain, and he got to his feet, and pursued Sindel into the caverns. She wouldnt get far- Evil-Lyn was waiting, with her captive- Kitana.
Sindel glided along the cavern like an eagle, escaping from the strange spark-shooting creature. She had to find Kitana. As she flew around a bend she heard Kitana softly saying "Mother .. I am here .. you must help me."
Kitana must be in danger here if she needed help. Kitana had always been able to take care of herself. She flew towards the sound of the voice, and just made out a figure in the blackness, wearing a shiny gold helmet. She swooped down on this figure, and made out that it was a warrior woman, wearing a long cape, and clothes covered in jewellery. This must be Evil-Lyn, the sorceress who He-Man had told her about.
"Thanks, mother." came Kitanas voice. "Evil-Lyn had paralysed me with a force field- but Im free now. Now lets kick her ass!"
"Ill deal with Evil-Lyn- you fight the other warrior! Theres a creature coming down the corridor after us- you deal with him!"
"Right away!" said Kitana, and sped off down the cavern. But just as Sindel was about to turn on Evil-Lyn, the warrior sorceress managed to inflict her powers on Sindel instead! Sindel was trapped in Evil-Lyns force field, and unable to escape.
In the next cavern, Stryker and Kabal were exploring- but Stryker was convinced someone was in danger. "I heard someone scream before!" he told Kabal. "Im sure theres a fight going on in the next cavern."
"Should we help?" asked Kabal.
"Ill go through and sort it out- you stay here so you can fight any evil warriors who might be lurking nearby!"
Stryker left Kabal in the cavern and, with his pistol and his Riot Klub at the ready, ran towards the next tunnel.
Kitana had run into Saurod, and the two were engaged in battle- Kitana was just managing to deflect some of Saurods sparks with her sharp fans. She would decapitate him once he was helpless.
"No use trying .." hissed the reptilian mercenary, "you are coming to Shao Khan with me!"
So thats why he had come after her- he wanted to recapture her so Khan could have her again! And there was no way she was going back to him.
"I dont think so!" she said, and threw a high kick at him, knocking him back against the wall.
Saurod got up again. "You have made me angry!" he cried. "You will pay for this!"
He fired a blast from his gun, stunning her and knocking her back. Then he turned his back to her, and reached out his long tail, and tied it around her, squeezing her tightly!
Kitana tried to escape from his clutches, but it was no use- she just couldnt break out!
"I have you now!" hissed Saurod. "You can give up struggling! You are just lucky that Im not going to kill you!"
"Drop her now!" came a voice from out of the darkness. This was a friendly voice- the voice belonging to Kurtis Stryker.
"Youve got me to fight before you do anything with Kitana!" Stryker shouted, and fired a blast from his gun at Saurod. The blast hit Saurod in the chest and crackled across his torso. Saurod loosened his tail, and Kitana broke free.
"Now youve got two of us to deal with!" said Kitana, and reached out her fans.
"I will still capture you, woman!" hissed Saurod angrily, and charged forward at Kitana, attempting to seize her. But he was no match for her skill with fans. She spun the fans rapidly, and the breeze it generated lifted Saurod into the air and spirited him back into the cavern. Within a few seconds, he was running back towards them, but Stryker charged towards him with his Riot Klub and flung him across the cavern.
Saurod landed heavily. He was badly hurt- not unconscious, but too badly hurt to fight. Evil-Lyn came towards them, with Sindel trapped in her force field, almost completely paralysed!
"Let my mother go!" shouted Kitana.
"I dont think so." replied Evil-Lyn. "But you two are most welcome to join her. Im sure Khan will appreciate an extra prisoner!"
She held her hand out, ready to trap both Kitana and Stryker in her force field. The two warriors knew that Evil-Lyns power could be no match for them! She would never give in!
Then, suddenly there came a voice behind them.
"Stop!" it shouted, "In the name of Grayskull!"
Kitana and Stryker spun around to see He-Man, with Liu Kang and Extendar by his side. They had obviously all heard the sounds of battle.
"Youre no match for me, He-Man." said Evil-Lyn. "I dont know how you got here, but it will not matter once I have you trapped!" She threw out a blast of power from her fingertips, but He-Man held out his power sword, which absorbed it all at once.
"Give up, Evil-Lyn." he declared. "You are no match for the power of Grayskull."
Evil-Lyn lowered her hand, and admitted defeat. "As yet, I cannot beat you, He-Man." she admitted. "But I have still won. You still have Kitana, but I have Sindel!"
Evil-Lyn teleported herself away, with Saurod- and Sindel, her captive.
"Khan will try to turn her evil again!" said Kitana. "We must find where they have taken her!"
"And we will find Evil-Lyn." said He-Man. "we must continue searching these caverns, and find a way to reach Skeletor- and he will pay for this!"
The five warriors split again, prepared to search the caverns. There was no way they would let the forces of evil win this tournament in a million years.
PART 10: THE WRATH OF SKELETOR
Skeletor sat aside Khan in Khans arena, watching the battles raging past. Several ninjas had been brave enough to challenge Skeletor, but he had beaten them to death after merely seconds, his fatalities impressing Khan, who claimed the soul of each dead warrior.
"Victory looks assured this time." Khan said. "You will have killed all the warriors before long, Skeletor- and their souls will increase my power. I shall then be able to take over Earth itself! And I will give you your own segments to rule, Skeletor. Horde Prime should reward us both greatly once the tournament is won."
Skeletor nodded in false agreement. He knew that he held more power than Khan. Once the last of the Earth warriors was wiped out, Skeletor would turn on Khan. For now, he must bide his time. And even if Khan proved a match for Skeletor, he would not be in the way for long- Skeletor would call his warriors to his side and they would dispose of Khan in no time.
"Soon Evil-Lyn will arrive with the women you want." Skeletor said. "They will stand no chance .. and Sindel will again be your queen."
He was only saying this so Khan would be tricked into thinking he was loyal to him. Sindel would end up as Skeletors queen, and he would wipe Khan from her memory altogether. How it would be good to suck He-Mans memory dry .. but the power of his sword had always prevented him from doing that. But what was he thinking about He-Man for? That muscle-bound do-gooder was a thing of the past for Skeletor. Perhaps luckily He-Man was even perishing at that moment at the hands of Karg and the rest of the evil forces.
Just then, a bright light appeared in front of Skeletor and Khan, and Evil-Lyn and Saurod stepped out. In her clutches, Evil-Lyn held Sindel, who was clearly under Evil-Lyns paralysis spell, trapped inside a kind of force field.
"I have the former queen of Outworld in my possession." said Evil-Lyn. "You can do what you want with her."
"And the Princess?" asked Khan. "Why do you not have Kitana?"
"I am afraid," said Evil-Lyn, "that we failed in our attempt to capture Princess Kitana. We were stopped."
"Who by?" asked Skeletor. "Liu Kang?"
"No," replied Evil-Lyn, "Lord Skeletor, I am sorry to tell you this, but .. it was He-Man. He-Man stopped us."
Skeletor was struck dumb with anger and amazement. He arose from his seat, and his eyes lit up an angry red colour. Then he bellowed out angrily:
"Tell me you are not serious! Tell me my hated, cursed enemy has not pursued me here!"
Saurod shrank from his masters anger, and Evil-Lyn said "I am sorry, my Lord. How he got to Outworld, I do not know. I tried to trap him in my force field, but his sword absorbed my power. I could not beat him." She lowered her head in partial shame.
Skeletor flew into a mad rage. "WHY?!!!!" he screamed. "Why does that cursed, interfering bastard have to show up wherever I go?!!!!!"
Even Evil-Lyn shrank from him this time- and so did Khan, although he did his best to hide it.
"I HATE HIM!!!!!!" screamed Skeletor. "Let that man perish in the fires of Infinita!" he held his hands up to the sky, as if calling upon a God. "Let him be torn apart by the fiercest creatures imaginable until he is nothing but a collection of flesh and blood! Let him be cast away- away to a place where he can never, never trouble my minds genius ever again!!!! Let him DIE!!!!!"
And with that, Skeletor charged into the arena, and threw a bolt of power from his fingertips at a huge crowd of warriors. The whole crowd was incinerated alive, and crumbled into bone on the ground. The remaining warriors now saw what a deadly enemy they were facing. They could never face a being with a wrath so strong! Several ninjas even fled from the arena in terror at the decayed warlords rage.
Evil-Lyn watched Skeletor with pity and sorrow. She saw exactly where he was coming from. Whenever he seemed just about to win, or had just enacted a brilliant plan, He-Man always seemed to show up out of the blue and stop him. It just wasnt right that a man as evil as Skeletor, and with his talent, should have to put up with some interfering hero with not half the amount of brains.
Skeletor was in the greatest rage shed ever seen him in, so she had to use her charm to soothe his anger. She walked over to him, laid her hand over his chest, and said "Fear not, my Lord. I still think we stand an excellent chance over He-Man. He and his Earth friends are on the wrong trail. They are searching the caverns surrounding the Soul Chamber, believing you are still on the balcony. You can still succeed- and maybe even find a way of trapping them there for eternity."
Skeletor looked down to face her. The blazing red light from his eyes dimmed down, and for a split second Evil-Lyn thought she saw the look of tragedy in the sunken eyes. It was the look of a man who had tried so hard, without giving up, but had never once succeeded.
Skeletors abominable wrath was soothed by his warrior goddess. "You are right .." he said lowly, "I have been mistreated .. by this man .. who follows me. Who foils my every plan. And he will pay. He will meet a gruesome death at my hands this time." he really was speaking from his heart.
Khan walked over to them, with Saurod boldly following. "Yes." he said. "I have not met this He-Man yet, but I already dislike him to extremes. We will destroy him by the end of this tournament."
For that moment, Skeletor was grateful that he had Khan on his side, even though Khan was a sadistic madman with no feeling in his heart. The mans power and sadism would help Skeletor defeat He-Man at long last.
"You must help me, Khan. We must work as close allies. He-Man shall get what he always deserved. And I must find out just how in the universe he found out about this tournament."
"I suspect my hated enemy Rayden." said Khan. "He is the thunder God, and often gives messages and advice to anyone on the side of good. He will be responsible."
"Then if we come across him," said Skeletor, "we will destroy him too. Everyone on the side of good will suffer in some way."
Khan looked behind him at the captured Sindel, trapped in Evil-Lyns force field, unable to even struggle. "That girl was powerful." he said. "With her back on our side, we stand an even greater chance."
"Then let us brainwash her." hissed Saurod, and the four evil warriors stepped towards Sindel, ready to convert her once more to their side.
And Skeletors hatred of He-Man had increased even more. There was no way he was letting He-Man escape this time. This time, the man would perish. Skeletors newfound desire to rule Outworld and Earth as well as Eternia was now second to one thing in his mind: the death of He-Man.
PART 11: SINDELS POSSESSION
The heroic warriors were once again travelling through Shao Khans caverns in twos. Liu Kang was now accompanied by Princess Kitana after the capture of Sindel. Each duo of warriors was desperately searching the caverns for a way of reaching Skeletor and Khan.
He-Man and Extendar made their way fearlessly down another dark tunnel, the walls covered by a glowing green fungus which gave the only available source of light other than that of He-Mans power sword, which glowed brightly in his hand.
"Im beginning to wonder if these tunnels really lead anywhere at all." said Extendar. "We could end up trapped."
"Fear not, Extendar." replied He-Man. "Remember that we guardians of Grayskull can never really lose. I will find us a way out of here."
"But Skeletor probably knows were here now. Evil-Lyn will have told him."
"I know- and that is a disadvantage for us, as it means we cannot spring the surprise attack on Skeletor that I would have liked. But we will still find a way to reach him."
"I can never doubt you, He-Man, but its sure gonna be hard to get outa here. I doubt if we could even retrace our steps to find that way we came in. We could even be going round in circles for all we know."
"Im sure were not," said He-Man, "my power sword will tell me if we travel the wrong way. At the moment, the glow is very bright, indicating we are heading just the right way."
"Then lets keep it that way," said Extendar, "I dont wanna run into troub .."
All of a sudden, secret doors on both sides of the walls were flung open, and from each one came a black-clad ninja.
"You trespass on our caverns- we allow no-one past!" one of them spoke, and they both lunged into battle.
"You take care of that one Extendar- Ill deal with this guy." said He-Man as one ninja began kicking at him violently.
This ninja seemed pretty confident of victory- but hed underestimated He-Mans strength. The several high kicks he delivered barely staggered He-Man, who threw one mighty punch at the ninja, knocking him straight to the ground.
The ninja rose to his feet again. "Youve made a mistake- Im no-one to be messed with!" he said, his angry voice muffled by his hood.
"If anyones made a mistake here- its you!" said He-Man, and kicked the ninja straight in the face, then blasted him with the power sword, before lifting him high above his head.
"No-one who fights for evil should even hope to defeat the power of Grayskull!" he said, and flung the ninja back into the secret tunnel he came out from. The ninja toppled back into a large snakepit, and there came the sound of biting through flesh, ripping of skin as the ninja perished among the poisonous snakes.
Extendar was faring well against the second ninja. Failing to realise Extendar could be anything more than a normal human being, the ninja had been stunned by Extendars power to extend his body. When he least expected it, he was punched in the face by Extendars fists as they sprung out from his wrists, then kicked across the cavern by Extendars feet. Realising he could not possibly defeat the super-powered cyborg, the ninja fled back through the secret tunnel he came out from.
He-Man went up to Extendar. "Now they were no trouble," he said, "though I doubt if Khan will be that easy to deal with. Theres probably a snakepit down there, like there was in the other tunnel."
But they heard not the sound of the snakes biting through flesh, but the sound of footsteps, banging as they ascended iron steps.
"Theres a staircase there!" exclaimed He-Man. "Lets follow him- the staircase may lead to a way to find Sindel!"
"Right on, He-Man," replied Extendar, "but what about the others? Should we let them know first?"
"If we made them come with us, we may lose out- they may find something interesting in their exploration of the caverns. But make sure this passage stays open, so they can follow us if they find it."
So He-Man and Extendar entered the dark tunnel, and ascended the set of iron stairs which the ninja had climbed. At the top, they found a grand room, richly furnished and elegant. And in the center of the room was a glass dome. Inside the dome was Sindel, and there were bolts of energy encircling her.
"Sindel!" exclaimed He-Man. "What has Skeletor done?"
Sindel only just managed to speak: "He .. is brainwashing me .. to be queen of Outworld again .. you must .. save me .."
"Fear not." said He-Man. "I can break this glass dome with the force of my fist!"
He-Man smashed his fist against the glass violently, but he didnt make a dent. The glass dome still stood in one piece.
"This .. glass is protected .. by Shang Tsungs magic .. combined with that of .. Skeletor and Evil-Lyn .. it will .. not break."
"Then we must find them straight away before they can brainwash Sindel completely!" said Extendar.
But could they be too late? Sindel was already beginning to look evil .. her eyes were becoming darker, more bloodthirsty. They must act quickly!
"No .. I must .. destroy you! You .. are my enemy!"
The power died down as the brainwashing spell was completed, and Sindel reached out her fist and smashed the glass! She fixed her eyes upon He-Mans power sword and smiled evilly but enticingly. Then she let out her penetrating scream, which paralysed both He-Man and Extendar, and she shot a fireball from her mouth at He-Man, and he fell back and dropped the sword of power. Sindel swooped towards it, picked up the sword, then flew off with the precious sword in her clutches.
She had long left the room when He-Man and Extendar had recovered.
"We must go after her!" said Extendar. "Without your sword, we are lost!"
"My thoughts exactly." replied He-Man, and the two warriors ran out of the room to pursue Sindel. They ran through several dark corridors before coming to another large room. Sindel stood there with the sword in her grasp. She was fully evil now. But she was still as beautiful as before.
"Okay, I cant beat you." she said. "You can have your sword back." she held out the sword, and He-Man and Extendar walked forward to reclaim it.
But they had not realised she was only leading them into a trap! Just as He-Man was about to take the sword from her, the floor below him gave way, and he and Extendar plunged down into a dank, foul-smelling dungeon, where skeletons hung from chains on the wall.
The warriors saw Skeletor appear, with Khan, Evil-Lyn and Shang Tsung at his side.
"Good work, Sindel." he said. "Now He-Man cannot trouble us any longer. We shall dispose of his friends in no time."
Then he looked down at He-Man. "How noble you must feel, you fool. Following your enemy all the way to this realm. Well I can let you know that you have only come here to meet your death. Stay in that dungeon and enjoy it for now, but once the tournament is complete you will suffer the most extreme of all torture and pain."
Then his eyes lit up an angry red. "How you must feel proud of the many times you have sneaked up on me when I am on the verge of victory! Do you not realise that you are dealing with a God? You have been a mere nuisance in my quest for domination of Eternia- and very soon, you will meet the fate you always deserved, you interfering bastard!" He took out his havoc staff and fired a bolt at He-Man, blowing him off his feet for a second. Then he slammed the trapdoor shut, locking He-Man and Extendar in the dungeon, away from light and sound.
Then Skeletor turned back to his fellow warriors. He shook Sindels hand. It was rare that the warlord should ever actually express congratulation towards another warrior, but he was so glad that this beautiful woman had trapped his most hated foe ever that he had to show his gratitude.
"I am grateful to you, Queen Sindel." he said. "Once this tournament is done with, and He-Man has perished, I will give you an extra special reward." And he knew that that reward would be to rule by his side. Once he had disposed of Khan, he would complete the brainwashing spell and wipe her of all memory of Khan.
Turning to Evil-Lyn, Khan and Tsung, he said "Now we must find where Blade, Saurod and Ninjor went. We need them to help us destroy the Earth warriors."
"Precisely." replied Khan. "I will find them- along with my ninjas and henchmen, so they can go down into those caverns and destroy those fighters! Then we can give this He-Man what he deserves!"
Skeletor looked forward to torturing He-Man more than anything else. But first, he would gladly watch the slaughtering of the Earth warriors, and make his plans for his future rulership of Outworld.
PART 12: EVIL WARRIORS ATTACK
The Earth warriors continued to patrol Khans caverns, unaware that He-Man and Extendar were trapped. They searched the dark tunnels for a possible exit, hoping to find a way to lead them to Sindel. But none of them knew that there were other beings in the caverns- searching for them.
Skeletor and Khans evil henchmen- Ninjor, Blade, Saurod, Scorpion, Baraka, Reptile and Ermac- stalked the Earth warriors through the caverns.
"We must find Princess Kitana." said Blade to his companions. "She can once again be trapped on Outworld- and this time He-Man will not be in our way."
"Even if I say it myself," replied Baraka, "Kitana is very strong and powerful. She is a match for us all. We must not get her near Sindel- in the last tournament she found a way to break the spell."
"Evil-Lyn says she has a cunning plan to capture the Princess," said Ninjor in his low, quiet voice, "but that is all she says."
"We can trust Evil-Lyn," hissed Saurod, "she rarely ever fails in these attempts."
"Then we shall stalk the other heroes," said Scorpion, "and my hated enemy Sub Zero shall kneel at my feet."
"If I dont shred him to pieces first!" said Baraka, brandishing his long nails.
"You leave Zero alive." said Scorpion, "and he shall pay at my hands, for betraying his clan and his long dead ancestor!"
"We must kill Kang too-" said Reptile, "it was he who killed the original Sub Zero in his first Mortal Kombat."
"It would be wiser not to take on Kang-" said Ermac, "you know of how he has defeated Tsung and Khan in the past. Let him survive- so he will challenge Skeletor and be ripped to pieces!"
"Hush- I hear a sound." said Reptile. "Someone is approaching."
The evil warriors backed into a crevice, and watched the warriors pass. It was Sonya Blade and Jax.
"Ive wanted to rip that woman apart for ages." said Baraka.
"Then let her pass," said Blade, "and we shall attack from behind!"
They waited for Sonya and Jax to pass. Neither of them saw the evil fighters hiding in the crevice.
"Let me take the woman!" said Baraka.
"And Ill deal with the strong man." added Ninjor.
"Then attack!" commanded Blade, and the two warriors- the long-nailed, fang-faced demon and the shadow ninja speeded through the shadows until they reached Sonya and Jax.
Before the warriors could turn around, Baraka slashed Sonya across the neck with his nails. She spun around quickly, then Jax also turned round, failing to notice Ninjor, whose black dogi caused him to blend exactly into the darkness.
"Alright, creep." Sonya said to Baraka. "You want to face me, you got it."
"And youre pretty stupid to attack alone when Im here too!" added Jax.
Suddenly, Jax was smashed in the face by an unseen kick!
"Baraka is not alone .." came a voice out of the darkness. "You face Ninjor!"
And with that, Ninjor launched into the air and came down with a flying kick, hitting Jax on the jaw and knocking him to the ground. At the same time, Baraka and Sonya launched into a fierce battle, nails against Sonyas powerful energy rings.
"Im not to be defeated that easily!" said Jax as he got to his feet, and fired a double fireball from his bionic arms, hitting Ninjor in the chest. Ninjor responded with a ground roll, sweeping Jax off his feet.
The Kombat raged between the long-nailed beast and the warrior woman, and the shadow ninja and the bionic soldier. The other evil warriors watched unseen from the crevice in the wall, silently cheering their companions on.
Eventually, Barakas nails proved a match for Sonya- he threw himself on top of her and scraped her down the chest, producing a deep, bloody gash.
Sonya was unafraid, but she knew she risked death. Luckily, Jax noticed what Baraka was doing, and turned away from his fight to help- but when he wasnt looking, Ninjor threw a high kick at him and Jax went flying across the cavern.
Blade emerged from the crevice. "Finish her!" he shouted to Baraka. Baraka lifted his nails, ready to perform his classic decapitation fatality. This was surely the end for Sonya ..
Not on your life! The other Earth warriors rushed into the cavern out of the blackness, having heard the sounds of battle.
"Away from her!" screamed Liu Kang, and threw a fireball at Baraka, knocking him away from Sonya.
"Well deal with these guys in no time!" said Sub Zero, preparing for battle.
"There are more of us than you think." said Blade, and the other evil fighters emerged from the crevice to face the Earth warriors.
"FIGHT!" Blade commanded, and the evil warriors launched into a vicious battle against their enemies. Sonya began throwing her energy rings at Baraka to keep him away- but she knew something was wrong. After stunning Baraka with a nine-hit combo, she took a glance around at the other warriors around her. And then she realised what was wrong- He-Man and Extendar were not there.
"Wheres He-Man?" she called out.
"He probably just hasnt heard!" replied Sub Zero.
"Or hes in danger." said Kitana. She turned back to her opponent, Ermac. "What have you done with He-Man?" she asked.
"Thats for us to know and you to find out!" Ermac replied, unleashing his mighty fireball at her.
Angrily, Kitana picked up Ermac and threw him violently against the wall. And as his body hit the wall, a secret door swung aside. It led into a long tunnel- with a spark of light at the end.
"That could be a way out!" said Jax. "Lets follow it- it could lead us to Sindel!"
Suddenly a voice rang out from the tunnel. It was Sindels voice.
"Kitana .. help me! I am trapped here!"
"What a stroke of luck!" said Jax. "She is down there!"
"And shes not evil yet either!" said Kang. "Lets follow this tunnel!"
The Earth warriors all ran down the tunnel, forgetting the evil minions as they pursued them. Beating them was no longer important- first they must rescue Sindel.
They came to the end of the tunnel, which led out onto the shores of Outworld. Sindel was trapped in chains by the exit, looking weak and worn out.
"And it leads outside!" said Sub Zero. "Once weve rescued her, were out of this place!"
"Ill get you free, mother." said Kitana, and stepped towards Sindel, unlocking the chains and releasing her.
"Youre free now, mother." she said. "Youre safe now."
"Thank you .." Sindel said weakly, "thank you for .. helping us out!" her voice changed dramatically, then her form changed, and she became the evil warrior goddess, Evil-Lyn.
"It was you all along!" exclaimed Jax.
"How observant, you fool." answered Evil-Lyn. Then she grabbed Kitana by the wrists tightly, and unleashed her force field on her. Kitana was instantly paralysed.
"Now we have both the captives we desire!" she said, "and you stand no chance of winning!" The evil warriors appeared behind their enemies, looking triumphant and victorious.
"And dont say that He-Man will save you," continued Evil-Lyn, "as the great He-Man is in our clutches too!" Then she stepped aside and held her arms out, and said "Step outside, Earth warriors, and await your fate! And dare not try to attack me, as I will paralyse you too!"
Boldly, the earth warriors stepped out of the cave, and looked up onto the rocks over the shore. A huge thunderstorm roared violently in the dark sky, and lightning crackled strikingly through the air.
Standing high on the rocks was Shao Khan, accompanied by Skeletor, Shang Tsung, and Sindel- now clearly brainwashed!
"Mother!" Kitana called out from Evil-Lyns force field.
"Traitor!" answered Sindel. "How can you have dared turn against the great Shao Khan?"
It was no use trying to persuade her now. She was back on Khans side, and there was no stopping that.
"Victory is mine!" declared Khan. "The great saviour He-Man is trapped, along with his cyborg friend. There is no-one to save you now. You should surrender! But, of course you weak, pathetic fools will refuse to surrender to me as long as you live. So why dont you challenge Skeletor! My supreme champion, who earlier today wiped out a whole group of warriors with one energy bolt! Challenge him, and meet your fate! You might as well die trying to save your world!"
The Earth warriors looked at one another. Now it really did look as though Khan had won. Liu Kang knew he could defeat Khan again, but would Skeletor prove a match for him?
They all knew they must continue the fight. First they must wipe out the other warriors from Outworld and Eternia.
"No matter what you say, Khan," shouted Kang, "we will still fight for justice!"
"Then fight for justice!" answered Khan. "Defeat this lot!"
And in answer, a whole host of Khans extermination squads came charging over the rocks, weapons at the ready!
PART 13: RAYDEN TO THE RESCUE
The extermination squads charged down over the rocks, brandishing their powerful weapons.
"Its the same warriors who disfigured me." said Kabal, and, brandishing his spears, said "They will pay for what they did."
But Liu Kang looked worried. This was not how the tournament should be. In the past, it had always been one warrior against another- but this time, Khan was sending a whole army after them! And the Earth warriors were outnumbered by millions- there was no way they could defeat them. Sonya was already badly injured enough by the wounds inflicted by Baraka.
"This is not a fair fight, Khan!" Liu Kang called up to the Emperor. "You know this army will eliminate us within seconds- but the tournament should not be about whole armies fighting. Play fairly!"
"Why play fairly when I can destroy you all this easily!" sneered Khan. The extermination squads charged into battle, joined by the evil warriors who had pursued the Earth fighters in the tunnel. The Earth warriors launched themselves into battle, even though they knew they could never defeat so many warriors. Liu Kang knew he had to give in, and join the fight. He would have to face this army, ready to meet his death and watch his world from the heavens being consumed by Khans evil, and watch Kitana once again fall prey to Shao Khan.
He was just about to launch into battle, when suddenly the crackle of electricity filled the air, and the electric energy formed itself into the shape of Rayden. Rayden held up his hands and called a stop to the fighting.
The extermination squads ceased action on the call of Rayden.
"This is the worst Ive seen you yet, Khan." Rayden said. "I thought it was bad enough when you started that tournament after Shang Tsungs defeat in what was supposed to be the last tournament .. but this is your worst move yet. Call this a tournament? When you send your entire army after only seven warriors? Id hardly call that a fair fight. This tournament is a disgrace- rather like you. I order you to disband these warriors at once!"
"You ridiculous fool, Rayden." replied Khan. "Theres nothing that these fighters deserve more than torture amongst my extermination squads!"
"And you were the bastard who told He-Man I was here!" added Skeletor angrily.
"Surely youd know by now that you can never escape from the fighters of justice, Skeletor." replied Rayden. "I dont know what you thought you were doing coming here in the first place!"
"You complete fool!" shouted Skeletor. "You must think youre so clever, sending He-Man after me. But your move only payed off badly- He-Man is my prisoner! And how I would like it if you could join him!" With that, he fired a bolt of energy from his havoc staff at Rayden. But Rayden dodged aside, and it hit Scorpion instead. The ninja took a step back, yelled in pain and clutched his side.
"Youre no threat to me, Skeletor." said Rayden. "But if Khan wont disband this army, I will."
"How can you break them up?" laughed Khan. "They will never obey an idiot like you!"
"I do not intend to make them disband by words." replied Rayden, and he spread out his arms and threw rapid bolts of electricity all around him, scattering the extermination squads about in all directions, sending some of them fleeing across the shore, others rushing terrified up the rocks to their master.
"Now theyre no match for my warriors." said Rayden. "I know you will only try to attack again, so I will teleport these warriors to a place of safety. But dont for a moment think were gone for good- well be back to find wherever you put Kitana!"
With that, he spread out his arms, and the whole band of warriors vanished in a cloud of electrical energy.
They emerged inside a small cove by the shore, overshadowed by a large rocky cliff above. Sonya was seriously wounded, and collapsed in a heap on the ground, her chest bleeding badly.
"Will she die?" asked Kang.
"I dont think so." said Rayden. "Just make sure she rests, and let her recover." he ran his hand over the deep gash in her chest, from which the blood seeped, staining the sand of the shore and sparkling in the moonlight.
The other warriors gazed out onto the sea as it calmed down after Khans thunderstorm. The terrifying flashback crawled back into Liu Kangs mind .. the dream he had had on the night of his brothers murder .. as Shang Tsung battled with his brother in the temple of light, and as he killed him, shouted "Your brothers soul is mine! You will be next!"
Since then, of course, Kang had defeated Tsung and Khan twice .. but could it all be over now? Sonya was too injured to fight, someone would have to look after her, and Khan had brainwashed Sindel again and now captured Kitana .. and he had those terrifying warriors from Eternia on his side .. while the only possible saviours of good, He-Man and Extendar, were imprisoned. Was all lost?
Kang wasnt too worried about Khan- his main concern was Skeletor. Kang knew he could still defeat Khan, but perhaps Skeletor would be more powerful and would wipe him out?
Kang turned to Rayden. "Is all lost now?" he asked.
"All is never lost." replied Rayden. "As long as we still maintain our fighting spirit, we still have the chance of defeating Khan, however slim it may seem. Remember, He-Man may have been captured, but he is still alive, and from what I know of He-Man, a trap can never hold him for long. And not only has He-Man defeated Skeletor many times, but if he were to come face to face with Khan he would smash him to the other side of the universe. So we need to free He-Man and Extendar, and also find where Khan is keeping Kitana. It is unlikely that he would brainwash her like he did with Sindel- he would be more likely to simply torture her and use her as a slave."
Kang rose to his feet. "Then I must find Kitana at once, and see if I can rescue He-Man too! Once we have them free, He-Man can challenge Skeletor. After all, that was the only reason he led us into the caverns in the first place- so he could find Skeletor!"
"Perhaps it would be wiser to rest first." said Rayden, "and you can regain your strength."
"There is no time for resting." said Kang. "Every moment lost is a moment for Khan to become more powerful- perhaps he will even kill He-Man and claim his soul- and then he would be unstoppable! I must go now- and try my best to find the captives and free them!"
With that, he sprang off along the rocks, and was quickly lost from view.
"May the Gods protect him." said Rayden solemnly, proud of the young fighter.
Then he turned to the others. "And what will you do?" he asked.
"I agree with Kang that we shouldnt waste any time." said Stryker. "So while he rescues Kitana and He-Man, Im gonna challenge Blade and all those henchmen. Defeating them will make it a hell of a lot easier!" He took out his gun and got to his feet.
"If youre going- Im going too!" said Smoke, his slow, electronic voice suddenly becoming all fast and aggressive. "Perhaps Ill be able to persuade someone to give me a new body!"
"Youre not going without me, Smoke." said Sub Zero.
"Or me for that matter!" added Kabal. He drew his spears, and the four warriors all prepared themselves for Kombat.
"I wish you luck!" said Rayden. "Jax- I think you should stay here and help Sonya to recover. It is unlikely the evil forces will find you here, but if they do, Im sure you can deal with them."
"I sure can, Rayden." answered Jax. "You can bet on me!"
"I shall leave now," announced Rayden, "but remember- I will be with you whenever you need me!" The electricity crackled around him, and teleported him away.
"Good luck, you guys." said Jax to Stryker, Smoke, Sub Zero and Kabal. "I hope you thrash those bad guys."
"Well deal with them in no time!" said Sub Zero. "Now lets go!" The four warriors made their way along the rocks, all fully eager and determined to challenge evil and rid the Outworld of its mad, dangerous and corrupted ruler, Shao Khan.
PART 14: THE ESCAPE
Throughout the dark regions of Outworld, thousands of warriors were slaughtered by the evil warriors. Absolutely none of the fighters who dared challenge Skeletor lived to speak of the experience. And the brainwashed Sindel, along with Shang Tsung, Evil-Lyn and the rest of the evil warriors ripped all the fighters who challenged them to shreds.
Skeletor had been approached by another ninja from another dimension in the hall of the Soul Chamber. Like most of the others, this ninja had virtually no skill. His battle techniques consisted merely of simple punches and kicks which didnt even stagger the great warlord.
"You fool." he said, looking down pitifully on the ninja. "Did you really think you could win against Skeletor?"
"I am the greatest ninja in the universe! Call yourself a warrior?"
Mockingly, Skeletor answered "If youre that confident, come and get me."
The ninja ran up to him and kneed him in the chest. Skeletor did not even react. He felt absolutely no pain.
"To defeat me, you need the most extreme of strength. And so simple attacks like that are no use! I feel insulted that you should think I would fall at such feeble attacks! You have incurred the wrath of Skeletor!"
With that, he fired a bolt from his eyes at the ninja, paralysing him. Then he launched himself forward, and punched the ninja in the face, following with a high kick and a blast from the havoc staff! The ninja lay motionless for a few seconds, but then he arose and began to move towards Skeletor again. Skeletor summoned all the evil power in his body, and let it emerge through his hands as the ninja ran towards him. His hands began to glow yellow, and burn with fury. Skeletor let the power build up, then once the ninja reached him, he unleashed the power, in the form of a blazing fireball, which blew the ninja to the other side of the hall in intense agony. The ninja lay screaming on the ground. He was defeated.
"FINISH HIM!" shouted Khan, stepping into the hall.
Skeletor walked up to the ninjas fallen body, banging his havoc staff on the ground, shaking the whole room. Then he fired a bolt of energy from his fingertips, which spread over the ninjas entire body, and began to eat away at his skin. The skin peeled off bit by bit, revealing the bones, which in turn began to crumble into a heap of ash on the ground.
"FATALITY." announced Khan, and the ninjas soul began to rise from the ashes as a screaming spirit, entering Khans body, becoming a part of him.
"His soul is mine." said Khan. "And with every soul I claim, I become even more powerful."
Still not as powerful as me, thought Skeletor. That was another down- now it would not be long to go before he challenged Khan himself.
"I wonder where that fool Rayden teleported those weak warriors." sneered Khan. "We have not seen them yet. Perhaps they have seen sense and given up."
"Even if they return, they have no chance." said Skeletor. "And once they are down, I will kill He-Man using an even worse fatality .. one that he deserves after all the torment he has caused me! I cannot wait to kill that heroic bastard."
"Liu Kang shall also perish." said Khan. "He has probably realised by now what a pathetic fighter he really is. He will feel like just some lucky fool once this tournament is over- before I kill him."
"We have both suffered because of heroic fools." said Skeletor, "and my genius has never deserved this. But soon the tables will be turned .. in favor of evil."
"You have not won yet, Skeletor!" came a voice from the other side of the hall. It was Kitana, who Khan had trapped in a cage by the wall, which pulsated with evil energy, preventing her from using her powers to escape.
"Have we not won?" said Khan, walking up to the cage. "You cannot do anything now, while you remain trapped in there. You have betrayed me seriously, Kitana, having the nerve to leave Outworld for that idiot Kang. Once this tournament is over, you will suffer the penalty- and I think at your mothers hands would be ideal!"
"Remember, I unleashed Sindel from the spell last time, Khan- I can do it again! Once Im out of this cage, Im free to act again!" She gripped the bars of the cage and shook them in fury.
"Then I shall make sure your power is fully drained!" Khan said, and turning to Skeletor, added "Lets see how our other warriors are faring."
Kitana watched from her cage as the Emperor of Outworld and the Lord of destruction left the hall to go in search of their warriors. She knew she was not trapped in Khans clutches for good- she was just too powerful. If only this was a normal cage, so she could find some way of breaking through!
Just then, she heard a creaking from across the room. She looked around, and saw that the hidden entrance to the caves was opening slowly. Was this friend or foe? She waited anxiously as the door continued to creak open ..
And out leapt Liu Kang, looking determined and aggressive. He saw her at once, and ran towards the cage.
"Kitana! How can Khan actually believe he can hold on to you? Ill get you free!"
"Hold on Liu- the evil energy in this cage prevents me from using my powers- so I cant get free myself, and I doubt if youd be able to break through either!"
"Maybe not." replied Liu Kang. "Not in this form anyway- but my animality should be able to do it!"
He flexed his muscles, and called upon all his inner power. A glowing sphere of light surrounded him, and his body changed shape, morphing into the huge, powerful Mortal Kombat dragon, which had famously defeated Kintaro in Kangs second tournament.
Kang reached his dragon head down to the level of the cage, and bit through the bars, the evil energy causing no harm at all. After he had bitten several more bars away, the cage collapsed into a mere pile of wooden boards and sticks, and Kitana was free.
"Thank you, Liu." she said as Kang morphed back to his normal form. She rushed to him and hugged him for a few seconds. Then she said "Weve no time to waste- we must find my mother and restore her memory- then she can help us defeat Khan!"
"I agree-" answered Kang, "but we also need to rescue He-Man and Extendar! They are our main hopes for winning the tournament- we must find where they are kept and set them free!"
"Then lets explore this place," said Kitana, "and we dont need to keep quiet- well thrash every warrior who stands in our way!"
They made their way around the whole building, keeping watch for any place where He-Man could be trapped. At first they found no sign of him- until they entered one richly furnished room, with a smashed glass dome in the centre.
"Perhaps they kept He-Man in that dome?" asked Kang.
"Id have thought a glass dome would be a bit too simple for He-Man to escape from. But he could be around here somewhere .."
Then she thought she heard He-Man shouting "Im here!"
"Did you just hear that?" she asked Kang.
"I thought I just heard He-Man shout! Perhaps hes nearby!"
"I heard nothing. Are you sure?"
"Im right here!" came He-Mans voice again, even louder this time.
"Now I didnt imagine that!" said Kitana. "Did you hear it?"
"I think I did .. but where is he?"
"Im right under you!" they heard He-Man shout. "Theres a hidden trapdoor in the ground- and we cannot escape!"
"Hidden trapdoor? Where?"
"In the left corner!" replied He-Man.
Kang stepped over to the left hand corner of the room, and blasted the ground with a fireball. The carpet and the floorboards beneath were instantly burned away, revealing a deep, dark dungeon beneath- and He-Man and Extendar were inside!
"Thanks!" said He-Man. "Now we can escape and find Skeletor and Khan- they stole the power sword- so thats a loss to us- but no evil being can use it properly, so they can do no extra damage! We must find them!"
"How you gonna climb up to escape?" asked Kang.
"Theres no need to!" replied He-Man. "Extendar will get us out!"
At He-Mans words, Extendar extended his whole body to its full size, until he completely filled the deep dungeon. He lifted He-Man out to the safety of the floor above, then he grasped the edge of the ground where the trapdoor had been, shrank to normal size and pulled himself out.
"Now we can search for Khan!" said Kitana.
"Not so fast!" came a voice from behind. They spun around to see Evil-Lyn, holding the sword of power, with Sindel at her side.
"Did you really think you could escape that easily?" she said. "Now I can trap you all in my force field- and He-Man does not have the power sword to help!"
The warriors were about to charge forward to attack her, but she was too fast for them- she held out her hand and fired her force field at them. All four warriors were instantly paralysed- and with no way of getting free!
Sindel smiled sexily and evilly at the sight of the heroic warriors trapped in Evil-Lyns force field. "Now, Kitana-" she said, "you shall get what you deserve for betraying the great Shao Khan!"
And she stepped towards her daughter, and shot a blazing fireball from her mouth ..
PART 15: EVIL CHALLENGES EVIL
Skeletor and Shao Khan were atop the Black Tower, looking down on the raging battles which consumed Outworld. Ninjas fought ninjas, strange creatures fought stranger creatures, and good fought evil.
"Soon we win .." Khan said, his tones full of evil joy. "I cannot wait to see the whole Earth become like Outworld .. and you can rule it, Skeletor. You have done me great help."
"Quite so .." Skeletor replied lowly. Unknown to Khan, Skeletor was biding his time before his planned attack on him. If Khan ever saw the Earth become as desolate a place as Outworld, it would be as Skeletors slave .. for if by some slim chance Skeletor let him live, he would give him no better position than that. He was in some ways grateful to Khan for having helped him and stuck by his side .. but he would still kill him. Once good was defeated, it was between them.
Suddenly the two warlords were interrupted by Baraka, his nails dripping with blood from his last victim.
"My Lord, Evil-Lyn has just teleported inside the tower!" he said. "She has something for you .."
"Let us see her!" demanded Khan, and Baraka led him and Skeletor down the spiral staircase to Khans chamber.
Evil-Lyn stood there with He-Mans power sword, and Sindel was at her side. Also with her were four captives- He-Man, Extendar, Kitana and Liu Kang- all trapped helplessly inside her force field. Kitana was also badly hurt- part of her neck was scarred black.
"The scar is from my fireball." said Sindel, pointing to the scar. "Just what she deserves, having turned against your great self, Khan."
"Excellent, Sindel." replied Khan. "I knew you would sought this lot out if they broke free. He-Man and Extendar- you are probably used to escaping on Eternia- but Outworld is a different matter- once a prisoner, you are always a prisoner! And you are in my clutches!"
Skeletor stepped forward to Evil-Lyn. "And well done on capturing He-Man!" he congratulated her, "I cannot speak of my joy at seeing this bastard helplessly imprisoned .. at last." Facing He-Man, he said "You have eluded me many times in the past, mortal .. but this time, the power of evil is too strong- even for your powerful self! You will never escape- and best of all, you will die!"
He-Man was held back too much by Evil-Lyns force field, preventing him from answering back. Skeletor was more than glad- he always hated the way that He-Man had always contradicted him as if he were some hopeless fool. But He-Man would never see him that way again. Skeletor knew he could have killed He-Man at that precise moment- but he decided to spare him for the time being- he wanted his most hated enemy of all time to witness him becoming ruler of Outworld, Earth, and Eternia. Then he would kill He-Man, so that the man who had interfered so many times with Skeletors genius would die the painful and tortured death he deserved.
Skeletor knew that having Kang caught was an advantage too- now there was no way that the warrior monk could ever win another tournament. The victory of good in Mortal Kombat would become a thing of the past- as would Shao Khan ..
"We must announce our triumph, Khan." said Skeletor. "Evil-Lyn- keep guard of these fools. Make sure they witness the fall of their friends. Khan and myself will let Outworld know of our upcoming victory!"
They ascended the stairs until they were back atop the roof of the Black Tower. Skeletor fired a blast from his havoc staff at a rock on the ground- and the rock exploded with a loud bang, silencing the whole of the desolate land.
"People of Outworld-" he announced- "Our forces have won. The great Liu Kang is our prisoner- as is the so-called saviour He-Man. Unless you wish to perish at my hands- I advise you to leave this place at once. Or come and kneel at my feet, pledging me your lifelong service!"
Khan was beginning now to become suspicious of his ally. Skeletor seemed to be speaking as though he was the ruler of Outworld- whereas he was only meant to be ruling Earth! Khan would have to make it clear to Skeletor that although he would hold a position of power, Khan would still be in full control. Skeletor was beginning to think too big for his boots, it seemed. But still, Khan would have to add to the announcement himself, and make it clear that he was still the real ruler.
"There is no-one on the side of good who you can count on to win this tournament now. I will torture all those who disobey me! The Earth will be reduced to a mere wreck, full of miserable, poverty-stricken fools! All at my hands! Once the last of the Earth warriors is wiped out- the rule of evil over Earth shall begin!"
Blade, Scorpion and the rest of the evil warriors watched their masters from down below. Blade turned to the others, and said "Lets enable the rule of evil to begin as soon as possible. We must find the remaining Earth warriors and kill them all!"
"Youve already found us." came a voice from behind. The warriors spun round to see Stryker, Smoke, Sub Zero and Kabal, ready for action.
"Alright then .." said Blade through gritted teeth, "get ready to die!"
"Were ready to win!" replied Stryker, and the warriors took their positions, and sprung into battle.
Back in the Black Tower, Skeletor and Khan were gazing down on their four prisoners, whom Evil-Lyns magic was now holding captive in the main fighting hall of the tower. "This is where the final battles shall take place." said Skeletor, "and we knew that you wouldnt want to miss seeing us win. Just watch your friends perish at my clutches!"
Then, he turned to Khan. Now that He-Man was watching, and the last Earth warriors would be dealt with in no time by the other evil warriors, it was time for the battle against Khan.
"Listen to me, Shao Khan." Skeletor announced, his eyes blazing red. "You have been my ally throughout this tournament. You have stuck by my side .. I will not deny my gratitude. But I have strived for a long time to rule the planet Eternia. And the only reason that I came to Outworld was so I could take my place as ruler of this realm- before returning to conquer Eternia! So now that we have ensured the victory of evil- it is between us to determine the true ruler of Outworld!"
Khan was shocked at Skeletors move, and slightly afraid- he had indeed almost frozen at Skeletors wrath when the warlord had discovered the presence of He-Man on Outworld. But he must not flinch from this fight. He had to hang on to his rule of Outworld- and battle this being to prove he was still the most powerful evil warrior on Outworld.
"Youre on, Skeletor." he said. "Let us fight!"
"Excellent, Skeletor .." whispered Evil-Lyn in admiration. "You shall rule the universe .."
Having overheard, Sindel spun round angrily. "What do you mean, sorceress? Khan is the definitive ruler of Outworld- how can you turn against him?!"
"I have been at Skeletors side for a long time with no intention of ever betraying him." she replied calmly.
"But anyone who turns against Khan is an enemy of mine!" said Sindel angrily, and threw herself forward at Evil-Lyn. But before she could hit her, Evil-Lyn threw out her force field, paralysing Sindel along with the heroic fighters.
"Alright, Khan." she said. "You have no chance now against Skeletor!"
The hall was filled with savage evil battle cries, as Khan and Skeletor became immersed with one another in Mortal Kombat.
Havoc staff met Khans heavy green fireball as the battle between the two evil
warlords raged through the hall of the Black Tower. Evil-Lyn watched in admiration as her
master fired bolt after bolt at Khan from his staff, eyes, and fingertips. Sindel watched,
paralysed in the force field, silently yearning for Khan to win. And He-Man, Extendar,
Kitana and Kang watched from their paralysis, praying that the two warriors would destroy
one another, and set Outworld free.
"Youll never win!" shouted Khan as he advanced on Skeletor with his super-fast dash. But Skeletor blocked the move, and uppercutted Khan across the room before he could recover.
"Dont make me laugh!" sneered Khan as he arose, and he took out his huge mallet, and ran towards Skeletor, with the mallet raised high above his head.
"I will crush your skull!" he shouted, and swung the mallet down to smash Skeletor on the skull! But Skeletor quickly aimed his havoc staff at Khans waist and blasted him, causing the warlord to drop his mallet and fall to the ground.
"I win." said Skeletor triumphantly as he looked down on Khans fallen body. "Now it shall be I who rules Outworld. You, Khan, will be but a mere memory. And as Outworld kneels at my feet, Horde Prime will grant me enough power to crush Eternia with one blow! Then Outworld, Eternia and Earth will all bow at my feet- and I shall brainwash Sindel into becoming loyal to me- so she can rule at my side!"
"Rule at your side? Sindel?!!!" cried Evil-Lyn in alarm, rushing towards Skeletor. "What did you always tell me on Eternia? You promised me that I could rule at your side once you conquered the planet! And now you choose Sindel?!!!"
Skeletor stopped, turned to her, and lowered his havoc staff. "Yes .." he said slowly as he recalled the promise he had made. "You were always my first choice to rule beside me .." but Sindel had helped him capture He-Man- and she was so powerful- she had to rule Outworld at least with him!
"Sindel will rule Outworld with me .. I will still let you rule Eternia!"
But Evil-Lyn was not satisfied. She felt betrayed.
"I want to rule the universe with you, Skeletor!" she cried out loud. "How could you betray me like this?! After the so many years we have fought together? After how closely we have been allied? How could you betray me?!"
"I have not betrayed you! Sindel is just so powerful .."
"And youve barely known her five minutes! Forget about Sindel! I shall rule beside you- no-one else is fit enough to aid you, Skeletor! I should rule at your side!"
But Skeletor could not accept this. He must have Sindel. Her outstanding beauty and evil charisma was almost equal to Evil-Lyns. He must have her to rule Outworld with.
Sympathetically, he laid his hands gently on Evil-Lyns shoulders. "I am afraid that Sindel is my queen of Outworld. You will still rule Eternia .."
"Thats not good enough- as I said before, you and I should rule the universe together. I am so much better than Sindel. She can never be your queen- not on Outworld, not Eternia, not anywhere!"
"She must be my queen on Outworld!" cried Skeletor, and rushed towards the paralysed Sindel.
But Evil-Lyn fired a bolt of power at Sindel from her fingertips, releasing Sindel from the force field and the spell. "Then try taking a good woman for your queen!" she laughed.
"I would never be your queen, Skeletor-" said Sindel, "Or Khans for that matter. You bastards brainwashed me! Twice! But never again- I will make sure that neither of you win!"
She turned to the four captives. "I must free them!" she declared.
"What have you done, Evil-Lyn?" shouted Skeletor. "Her memory is restored! Get her back to my side!"
"I will fight her," said Evil-Lyn, "but I will kill her. I am not letting the bitch rule at your side anywhere!"
"Get her back!" roared Khan, getting to his feet as he recovered from Skeletors blasts. "You traitors! You come here to help me and then you turn against me and release my queen! You will get her back- and get her back to my side, not yours!"
"No chance, Khan." said Skeletor. "Id rather she were dead than ruling by you. You are a pathetic, pitiful warrior. You have no mind- whereas I am the greatest thinker in the universe! You shall not rule!"
"How can you speak about a great fighter like myself in those words?! You traitor, Skeletor. YOU SHALL PERISH!!!!!"
He fired another great green fireball from his helmet, which Skeletor backfired with his havoc staff. The fight was on again.
Evil-Lyn, still feeling betrayed by Skeletor wanting Sindel as his queen, watched her master as he began to fight with Khan again. This was her chance. While they were distracted, she would kill Sindel. Then there would be no way that Skeletor could ever have that weak bitch as his queen. Sindel was trying desperately to find a way to release He-Man and the others from Evil-Lyns spell. She would never succeed- only Evil-Lyn herself could break the spell. So she would attack Sindel herself.
"Care to face me, bitch?" she said aggressively. "You can never have Skeletor!"
"I dont want Skeletor, you lunatic. I will never again join the side of evil! Now free these people at once- you cannot win!"
"Oh can I not?" sneered Evil-Lyn. "Then feel this!"
She shot a powerful bolt from her fingertips at Sindel- and Sindel was surrounded by a glowing bright flame. She writhed against it, tried to escape- but she was trapped- and it was draining her energy fast.
"This is the end for you!!!!!" laughed Evil-Lyn, watching Sindel struggle for her life against the flame. She would not survive! All hope for her was lost!
"Stop right now, Evil-Lyn!" came a voice from behind. Evil-Lyn turned on her heel, losing concentration and freeing Sindel.
She was now face to face with the Sorceress, who had teleported inside the tower, her wings spread wide.
"When my friends need help," she said, "I give it! Now release them from the spell at once, Evil-Lyn!"
"No chance!" replied the warrior goddess. "You coming here was no use! I will not free them- and I am the only person who can!"
"No youre not, Im afraid." replied the Sorceress, and fired an energy beam from her palm at the trapped heroic warriors, releasing them at once.
"By God, I can move at last!" said Liu Kang, relieved to be free from the spell.
"Thank you very much, Sorceress." said He-Man. "Now lets deal with these evil cretins!"
The heroic warriors all launched into battle pose and faced Evil-Lyn. Skeletor and Khan stopped fighting and spun round.
"He-Man!" shrieked Skeletor. "Youre free! But not for long. Let us fight to the death!"
He raised his havoc staff. The Sorceress grabbed the power sword from Evil-Lyn and tossed it to He-Man. He-Man raised the power sword, and the heroic warriors charged at their enemies, ready for the battle of their life.
PART 17: THE FINAL BATTLE BEGINS
Skeletor charged at He-Man with determination.
There was no way he could lose this time! The fight was made harder for him by the way
that Khan was now completely against him and could strike him dead at any time. And even
worse, Evil-Lyn was feeling betrayed by Skeletor
.. but surely she wouldnt harm
Still, Skeletor knew he had to fight on and face any difficulties if he was ever going to rule Outworld. His havoc staff crashed against He-Mans power sword for the millionth time in the two enemies long history of fighting.
Evil-Lyn and the Sorceress were engulfed in Kombat, their magical powers clashing together. And Liu Kang was flinging himself through the air at Shao Khan.
"Give up, Skeletor." said the Sorceress, after a blast knocked Evil-Lyn to the ground. "You have no chance against us now. Your evil warriors have already failed back on Eternia. Even Kargs leadership failed to destroy Eternos. The heroic warriors dealt with them in no time. You should surrender now!"
"The great Skeletor will never surrender!" he roared, and turned away from He-Man, and lifted his havoc staff, ready to blast her. Then he remembered the kicking hed got off the Sorceress in the battle where hed unleashed the magic of the Tower of Terror on He-Man, and backed off to return to the fight with his long-hated foe.
As the battle raged on, Kitana, Sindel and Extendar recovered their strength, and launched into battle pose.
"Youve no chance, Skeletor." said Kitana, "You are outnumbered. Were gonna kick your ass in no time!"
Before Skeletor could reply, there came a voice in answer. It said "Outnumbered? I dont think so!"
Kitana looked up to see Shang Tsung entering the hall, with Baraka, Ermac and Chameleon. "You havent won yet!" he said, and the three evil warriors dashed towards their enemies.
Down below, outside the Black Tower, Stryker was battling furiously against Blades swords, Smoke against Saurods sparks, Sub Zero against Ninjors high kicks and Kabal against Scorpions spear.
Kabal hit Scorpion with his fireball, then he quickly dashed at the ninja, spinning him round rapidly. Then he called on all his inner power to call up the wheels of death- which rose up from the ground and caught Scorpion up in a whirl of spikes, tearing the flesh from his skin. His blood spilled all around, and Scorpion collapsed to the floor.
"Now I can finish you, ninja!" said Kabal, and he stepped towards Scorpion, and removed his mask.
He revealed the hideously deformed face which had frightened Rain to death in the previous tournament. The face was scarred badly, wizened and discoloured .. one eye higher than the other, the nose and mouth a mere fleshy mess, and a huge, black scar across one side.
Scorpion shrank from Kabal, and pulled his hood over his eyes. "No!" he screamed. "I will not meet the same fate as Rain! I must not see that face! I must not!"
And he jumped to his feet and ran screaming into the distance, until he was lost from sight.
Kabal covered his face again with the metal mask. Sub Zero froze Ninjor with an ice blast, then went over to Kabal.
"You poor man." he said solemnly. "I never knew your disfigurement was that bad .."
"No need to apologise." said Kabal. "It is not your fault I look like a freak. And it has done me good- that is the second ninja whom I have defeated by exposing my face. My face strikes terror into the hearts of the evil .. but the good are unaffected. Because, despite my hideous appearance, my body contains only justice."
"Then lets use your face to further effect!" said Sub Zero. Then he turned back to Ninjor as he broke free from the ice that surrounded him.
"I am not fighting!" screamed Ninjor, pulling his hood over his eyes. "Not with that face around!" and he fled off into the distance.
"Two beaten!" exclaimed Sub Zero. "Now lets help Liu and He-Man in the tower- theyll need our help! Im sure Stryker and Smoke can deal with Saurod and Blade in no time!"
They ran into the Black Tower, and straight to the hall. They saw the battle raging furiously between the heroic and evil warriors.
"Excellent!" said Sub Zero. "He-Man and the others are free! Now to give them a hand!" He fired an ice blast at Ermac, froze him completely, then he ran towards him, lifted him above his head and ripped him in half, sending ice and blood showering around the room.
"We strike for justice!" he declared.
"And us too!" came the voice of Jax. The crowd of warriors looked around to see Jax entering the room with Sonya at his side. Her chest was still bloody, but she was obviously now strong enough to resist the pain and fight. It amazed Sub Zero what strength that girl had.
At the sight of Jax and Sonya, He-Man said "We outnumber you now, Skeletor! Especially now that ninjas just a mess of ice and blood! You may as well surrender!"
"How many times have I told you?!" roared Skeletor angrily. "Skeletor will never surrender to weak, heroic fools! We will fight until one of us falls, He-Man!"
"Even against guys who can grow big?" said Jax, and tapped Extendar on the back. The two fighters began to morph to their giant sizes, until they towered above the other warriors, and became as tall as the room!
"Lets see you win now, Skeletor!" boomed Extendar. "When we can crush you with the heels of our boots!"
All the evil warriors stepped back in terror at the sight of the two giants. Could they possibly win now? Even though the chances were looking slim- they were warriors and they must try even if it meant their death!
"Okay, Skeletor." said Khan. "We shall work together one last time to defeat these fools!"
"Yes .." hissed Skeletor angrily, embracing his havoc staff. He held it high above his head, and craned his neck. His eyes, blazing bright red with anger, stared into the courageous eyes of the two giants, along with the demonic eyes of the havoc staff. Below the giants, He-Man, Liu Kang and the rest stood at the ready.
Skeletor summoned all his strength, all his courage, all his anger and blood thirst, and called "Let this battle be the decider!"
PART 18: THE DECIDER
The huge heels of Jax and Extendar scattered
the evil warriors about. Shang Tsung and Evil-Lyn fled to the other side of the room from
"Give in, Skeletor!" Evil-Lyn called to her master. "There is no way we can defeat those giants- especially when they fight alongside He-Man!"
"Are you going out of your mind, Evil-Lyn?" snapped Skeletor in reply. "How many times do I have to say that the Lord of Destruction never gives in?"
"Why keep fighting when you can live to destroy them another day?" she answered.
Skeletor stopped fighting for a second, backed away from He-Man and lowered his havoc staff. She was right. He had to admit it himself- there was no way he could defeat He-Man when he was backed with two giants, a powerful martial arts champion, a fearless warrior princess and the former queen of Outworld! He would meet his death amongst them. So he had to escape- he could still live to destroy them- but maybe sooner than another day ..
He turned his back on the heroic warriors and made for the door.
"Follow me, evil warriors!" he called. "It is unwise to continue to fight against enemies we cannot defeat!"
"Are you mad, Skeletor?" growled Khan. "Why should we give in against such fools?"
"You cannot win, Khan." replied Skeletor. "You have lost against Liu Kang before, you will lose again- and you have no chance against He-Man. Why continue fighting when your defeat is ensured?"
Khan stopped and turned to face Skeletor, who was standing by the door.
"Yes- youre right, Skeletor!" he called to his companions. "Tsung- Chameleon- follow me!"
Tsung, Chameleon, and then Evil-Lyn, turned to follow their masters out of the hall.
"We did it!" cried out Liu Kang, throwing his arms in the air. "Another Mortal Kombat won- and this time they gave in!"
"Do not rejoice yet, Liu." said Kitana. "I fear there is more than this than meets the eye."
"You are right, Kitana." said the Sorceress. "Skeletor doesnt give in that easily .."
The evil warriors ascended the staircase.
"Have we given in?" asked Chameleon. "Are you going back to your homeworld?"
"Do you take me for a fool, ninja?" replied Skeletor. "We can still destroy those warriors- by combining our powers."
"I will do so, Skeletor." said Khan, "but remember- you will be dead soon after we have destroyed them!"
"Or WE shall be fighting." replied Skeletor. "But that is of no importance just now. We need to think of some trick we can use to destroy them .."
"I can turn invisible!" cried Chameleon. "Virtually invisible, I can blend in with the background!"
"Then we shall use that for our trick!" said Khan. "I think they may follow us- so we must act quickly .."
"I think maybe we should follow them." said Sindel to He-Man, back in the hall. "You never know what trick they may be hatching .."
"You are right," said He-Man, and brandished the sword of power. "I will go after them. You can accompany me, Liu Kang."
"I will, He-Man." replied Liu. "Sonya- Sub Zero- you guard the entrance to this hall! Jax and Extendar can stay inside to stomp on anyone if they get past you!"
"The rest of us should accompany you." said Kabal. "You may need us for backup."
"Then you follow behind- but only strike if we need you!" said He-Man.
So He-Man, Kang, the Sorceress, Kitana, Sindel and Kabal ascended the staircase. It was the only place the evil warriors could have gone. Eventually they reached a dark room, resembling the caverns theyd been in before- lit up by a strange, glowing green fungus.
"Well investigate this room." said He-Man. "You four can continue up the stairs and well shout if we need you."
"Good luck, He-Man." said the Sorceress, and she continued up the stairs with the other warriors.
He-Man and Extendar stepped into the dark room. There was no sign of any evil warriors. They explored the room for a few minutes, and noticed that there was a large drop down into a pit full of strange reptilian creatures. But nowhere was there any sign of their enemies.
"It doesnt seem like theyre in here." said He-Man.
"Yes," replied Kang- "Seems we picked the wrong room. Lets go up and join the others .."
Just then, Kang felt an unseen force tug at his arm. Before he could react, it flung him over the edge, spiralling towards the pit below.
"Liu!" shouted He-Man, thinking Kang had merely slipped off. "Do not fear- Ill rescue you!"
"Then get down there to save him!" came a sinister voice from out of nowhere, and He-Man was pushed off the ledge and down into the pit.
Up above, the Sorceress and the others were exploring another room where human bones lay scattered about. They had not yet seen any sign of the evil warriors.
But all of a sudden, He-Man emerged from the blackness. "Thank goodness youre all safe!" he said.
"He-Man!" she cried in astonishment. "How did you get here? We left you down there .."
"I found a secret passage leading up here!" said He-Man. "Skeletor and his evil companions were hiding in there, and Liu and I defeated them in no time! Weve won now!"
"Wheres Liu?" asked Kitana.
"Just cleaning away Shao Khans remains!" replied He-Man. "Hell be with you soon- but we can be on our way home." He stepped forward to shake her hand- at the same time paralysing her completely. He picked up her body, and threw her into a steel net!
Then his body began to change form- and he turned into the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung! "Whos next?" Tsung said evilly.
"Theyre all next!" came the voice of Evil-Lyn. She appeared behind the warriors, spread out her arms and trapped them in her force field. Tsung threw them one by one into the net, then used his magic to open up the floor, sending them plummeting down, all caught up in the net! He grasped the net tightly and looked down below at He-Man and Liu Kang in the reptile pit!
As he and Liu Kang battled to get free from the savage, poisonous reptiles, He-Man looked up and saw Shang Tsung gripping a steel net- with his friends caught inside it! Up on the ledge, Chameleon appeared out of nowhere. It must have been him that pushed He-Man and Kang off the ledge!
But surely not all was lost- the Sorceress should be able to use her power to escape!
"Sorceress-" he called, "can you not escape?"
"Not while she is trapped in my paralysis field!" came the voice of Evil-Lyn. Then the gruesome forms of Skeletor and Shao Khan came out of a hidden doorway in the wall. Their figures stood upon the ledge, and looked down at He-Man, like two gods of evil looking down on their inferiors.
"So, He-Man." said Skeletor triumphantly. "You still lose. Those reptiles will make a meal of you and Kang!"
"And evil wins Mortal Kombat again!" laughed Khan. "Once the reptiles have destroyed you, your friends shall all meet their fate at my hands!"
He-Man struggled against the powerful, deadly reptiles, which slithered around his body, squeezing him tight and biting through his muscular flesh. Was all really lost? He looked over at Kang, whose throat was about to be torn out by a snake-like creature ..
He had to struggle his hardest- or all was lost for Outworld, Earth- and if Skeletor defeated Khan, Eternia. And He-Man could not let that happen. He just managed to wrench his arm free of the reptiles clutches, and he reached behind his back and drew his power sword. He had to call for extra power from the elders to break free.
"BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL!" he called. There followed a blinding burst of light, which scattered the reptiles in terror. Feeling more powerful than ever, He-Man swished his power sword through the air, and sliced one of the snake-creatures in half!
"I HAVE THE POWER!" he called as parts from the reptiles body flew to opposite sides of the pit. Then he went over to Kang, and cut through the body of the reptile crouched over him! Kang was safe, and the reptiles fled from the two warriors, frightened by the burst of light and He-Mans power.
Kang and He-Man looked up to their enemies. "Care to try any more tricks?" asked Kang, sarcastically.
Khan laughed in mockery. "You are weak, Kang." he said. "And as for you, He-Man, you have caused me too much trouble. How can Skeletor put up with you on Eternia?! I will make sure you bother neither of us ever again!"
He threw a huge fireball at He-Man from his helmet- but He-Man dodged aside and it burnt away some reptiles instead. Then he used his powerful legs to propel him upwards- and with one blow of the mighty power sword, he knocked Khan over the edge into the pit of reptiles! Khan gave a loud scream, landed heavily, and his large body was covered up by the slimy reptiles.
Free from the reptiles, Kang used a bicycle kick to propel him upwards and join He-Man on the ledge. Now only Skeletor stood in their way. They knew that Tsung, Evil-Lyn and Scorpion posed no real threat.
"Care to face us, Skeletor?" said Kang. "I hope you do- because I challenge you to a fight!"
"You fool .." hissed Skeletor, "you may have beaten Khan before- but I am more powerful. I will be the cause of your destruction!"
Skeletor brandished his havoc staff, and charged at Kang like a raging animal. But Kang was too quick for him- he ducked and threw a low fireball at Skeletor, blowing the warlord straight across the room! Skeletor hit his skull on the rocky wall, and collapsed to the ground, motionless.
He-Man patted Kang on the back. "Well done, Liu." he congratulated him.
"You havent won yet .." came Tsungs voice. "We still have your friends- and they will meet their doom amongst the reptiles!" He let go of the steel net, which plummeted towards the reptile pit!
But that was no problem for He-Man. He leapt towards the falling net, caught it, then embedded his sword in the rocky wall to keep him from falling. He reached out the net, Liu grabbed hold of it, and laid it on the ledge. Then He-Man leapt back to join Liu on the ledge.
"Theyre still under Evil-Lyns spell!" said Liu.
"Ill change that!" said He-Man. "My power sword can undo that spell!" he fired a blast from his power sword at Evil-Lyn, and she fell back, losing her concentration, and releasing the warriors from her spell. With a burst of heroic might, they smashed themselves out of the steel net, setting themselves free.
"Youve still got me to deal with!" said Tsung.
"And me!" added Chameleon, appearing beside Tsung.
"Against all of us?" asked the Sorceress. "I wouldnt say you stood much chance .."
"And against us!" added Sonya, entering the room with Sub Zero and Jax and Extendar, now back to normal size.
Tsung and Chameleon backed off. They had no chance. The Mortal Kombat tournament was over- and won by good again.
Tsung spread his arms, said "I declare Mortal Kombat- over!" and he and Chameleon and Evil-Lyn vanished into thin air.
In came Stryker and Smoke, in one piece. "Blade and Saurod have had it!" said Stryker. "Theyre out there collapsed on the rocks- exhausted!"
"Then weve won!" cried Liu Kang. "Victory is ours- again!"
"It is indeed!" said Rayden, teleporting inside. "I knew you would not fail."
"You .. spoilt my plans .. again." said Skeletor, groggily, rising to his feet, dazed and battered. "He-Man .. I curse you .. you follow me everywhere " then he took a deep breath, and shouted "BUT I WILL DESTROY YOU IN THE END!"
"Im amazed you havent surrendered." said He-Man. "You should know by now that you can never defeat the power of good!"
Skeletor turned away. "Someday, He-Man .. someday .." he flicked on his wrist- radio. "Comtech .. teleport us back .. to Eternia .."
The dimensional door opened within seconds, swallowing up Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, then spreading out to consume the other defeated Eternian warriors.
Rayden spread his arms across He-Mans and Kangs shoulders.
"I really am proud of you two." he said.
"And so am I." said Sonya to He-Man, in admiration. "Well done- you really are amazing."
"Now lets go home!"
The heroic warriors emerged on Earth, in the streets of Chicago, by the remains of what was once the Shao Khan tower. They looked strange amongst the normal people of Earth- but they were truly victorious.
"Well done, He-Man." congratulated Kang. "Youve got us one step closer to defeating the evil of Outworld!"
"And youve got us one step closer to defeating Skeletor!" he shook Lius hand.
"You warriors of Earth have helped us greatly." said the Sorceress, "and you deserve some rewards!" She spread her arms around Smoke, and his robot form vanished, replaced by a new, handsome human form.
"Thank you very much!" he said, and shook her hand. "Youve done the best thing anyones ever done for me!"
Sub Zero slung his arm round the all-new Smokes shoulders. "Now we can be normal again!" he said.
Liu Kang and Kitana embraced one another passionately, pleased to be free again from evil. Sindel joined them, and said "We can go home now- and Im never joining Khans side again!"
"And we can go back to stopping riots!" said Stryker, patting Kabal on the back.
"Would you like me to restore your face?" the Sorceress asked Kabal.
"No thanks," the warrior replied- "I quite like this face now! Its the best weapon Ive ever had- and it can defeat evil in seconds!"
"You are a true warrior." said the Sorceress- "You all are, and if we ever need your help- well call for you!"
"Were always at your service!" said Kang. "Id like to see this Eternia someday!"
"Then I look forward to meeting you again!" said He-Man.
"Eternias a nice place, Liu." said Rayden- "and Id better be going there now- Im sure I can celebrate with He-Man back on his homeworld!"
"We shall be going back now-" said He-Man, "but maybe I will return here someday- its been interesting to see some of my mothers planet! Im sure we will meet again!"
"Ill look forward to it!" said Sonya.
"Goodbye, Eternians!" said Liu.
"Good journey, my friends!" replied He-Man. "May the first be with you!"
The Sorceress spread her arms, and her and He-Man and Extendar, along with Rayden, were engulfed by a bright light, waving goodbye to their new-found allies as they teleported back to Eternia, leaving the Earth warriors in peace and harmony, to celebrate their supreme victory over evil. For the moment, the greatest evil forces in the universe were defeated, and the universe blossomed with peace as the forces of good reigned supremely over all that was evil.
Deep down in the reptile pit, the reptiles slithered over the slimy ground .. a mess of green, slithering creatures .. evil as could be. Suddenly the ground shook, and a hand emerged from the sea of reptiles. It grabbed at the wall, and a whole, powerful body wearing an iron mask rose up from the pit, greeted on a ledge above by a powerful sorcerer.
"Shang Tsung .." spoke the great figure, "Mortal Kombat continues .. we must win .."
"We continue " replied the sorcerer .. "we stand undefeated."
The figure stood tall and strong, aside the sorcerer on the ledge. "Tsung .. " it spoke, "the tournament starts soon .."