The Cost of Memories (An X-Men/Street Fighter II Crossover) – by Victor Moore
Disclaimer: Okay Marvel owns everyone from Marvel, and Capcom owns everyone from Street Fighter II.
Continuity Watch: The SF characters are from the Animated Movie and NOT the games (Though info from those games will be used to fill in some blanks. This story takes place a couple of months after my other fan-fic "Rememberance".
A light wind snaked its way through a small forest, bringing with it an early autumn chill. Leaves rustled in its path, barely showing the color changes of the season. As it entered a small clearing, it came across two women finishing lunch and tugged gently at their hair. Then it continued on its journey.
The blonde woman had her hair in braided pigtails that ended near the small of her back. She wore a loose light-green blouse and blue jeans. A scar ran up her left cheek and ended some centimeters below her eye. With some measure of sadness, she finished her last egg roll. Her companion handed her a cup of warm tea touched with the scent of honey.
"Thank Chun." Drinking the tea, Cammy realized that for the first time since regaining some of her memories, she felt relaxed. No living in fear from a tyrannical master, or having to fight needlessly for him. Her thoughts rested on Bison, her former master, and she felt shivers run down her spine.
If evil had a name, his would be it. Through mind control, he owned her. She did things for him that was unthinkable and unforgivable. When he wanted someone silenced quietly, she killed them. When he longed to touch a woman, he forced himself on her then beat her for being weak. At that time, there was only devotion in her, absolute obedience to him. It was her existence. When Interpol captured her in her homeland, England, she was imprisoned. But without his commands she would just sit there and do nothing.
That was where they first met. Chun Li was a young Interpol agent working with members of the global intelligence community for the sole purpose of bringing down General M. Bison and his Shadolaw Empire. Li had interrogated her and was shown, through pictures and words, glimpses of her past, before him. Where her memory was and in most cases still a blank. A former M.I.6 operative of the British Intelligence, one of the youngest ever, top of her class, and the only survivor of a mission against Shadolaw, where she had been presumed missing in action.
"Cam? Cammy? Are you all right?" Chun asked with worried brown eyes. She also wore blue jeans though now comfortably faded. The bottom of her yellow tee-shirt was tucked in those jeans.
"Huh? Oh sorry luv." The blonde woman scratched the back of her head and smiled weakly.
"You were thinking about him again, weren't you?" She asked in disgust.
"Yeah, a little bit." Laying down on her back, let her gaze wander to the sky above, watching the billowy white clouds sailing by. After a few moments, she spoke again. "I was also thinking about the first time we met. Like me, you were driven. By different reasons, but because of the same man. Fear of disobedience and failure for me, and for you, your father's death at 'is hands."
"It the end, it wasn't us who defeated him, but those two boys, sorry men, Ryu and Ken. But that was over ten years ago. Why bring up bad memories, Cam?" Li asked as she sat next to her.
Cammy brought her sky blue orbs to rest on Li's face. "You 'ave such beautiful eyes. Father?"
"Mother." A twinge of sorrow flashed in those eyes.
Cammy noticed. "What was she like?"
"She was so beautiful and so full of life. I remember her looking at me tenderly while she sang a beautiful lullaby. I was so young when she passed away, but even to this day, I can still hear her voice and see her smile. I miss her so."
Cammy reached a hand up and wiped a tear off Chinese woman's cheek. "I envy you. You 'ave memories of her. I don't 'ave any of my mother. I can't even remember the colour of 'er eyes. My past starts upon my first mission for that bastard." A sigh escaped her lips. "Sometimes, I can see a shadow in my dreams reaching out to me, but I can't touch her no matter how hard I try, but I know it's me mum, I can feel it."
The sound of the wind through the trees dominated the next few minutes. The leaves rustled loudly in the light breeze. Standing up, she stretched her arms out and rotated her wrists in slow motions until they audibly rebelled.
Chun Li tucked some of her long dark brown hair behind her right ear. Normally she wore it in tight buns on the sides of her head, covered by white silk hoods with flowing tails. Today she felt lazy, so she let her hair flow naturally to her mid-back. She noticed Cammy staring at her. "Cam? What is it?"
The movement triggered a memory of someone. "I saw a woman in my past. She 'ad purple hair? I've got to be wrong, who in their right mind would 'ave purple hair?"
"She was the person, who broke Bison's hold on you. You're not supposed to know, it was top secret at the time."
"Who was she Chun, I 'ave to know?"
"Yes, I suppose so." She gathered the remaining lunch items as she continued talking. "When we discovered that you were under some sort of mind control, M.I.6 demanded that you be turned over to them. That didn't go over smoothly as you were our only real lead to Bison at the time. The U.S. Military Intelligence stated that they could contact an outside source that has dealt with this kind of thing before, but the British stated that they have someone, but we were to keep it a secret.
"The woman you remember was a British agent. She worked with you for months until you were freed. Sadly, she told us she couldn't help restore your past. Actually, she was a nice person, but kept mostly to herself. We were not allowed to know her name, and only called her by her rank."
Li looked at the edge of the forest intently. "Sorry Cam. We'll have to finish this talk later. We're not alone." She dropped what she was carrying and entered a battle stance. Cammy followed suit.
From the edge of he clearing, seven men and three women approached them from all sides. None made a sound. Their garments were identical and red, like blood. Their weapons were varied. Some had katanas, some had sais, one woman had a bo-staff, a dark skinned man wielded a scimitar, and another man carried a naginata.
Cammy heard Chun Li gasp. "Bloody 'ell. You know them?"
"Yes, I had a run in with them on my first assignment with Interpol. They're assassins, really really good ones. If we become separated, go to Hong Kong Harbor and look for Rose Wu at Landau, Luckman, and Lake. Tell her 'the Beautiful Justice' sent you. She'll know what to do." She whispered. "Be careful."
"Will do, luv. Good luck."
"Nice to see you care," Li joked than she raised her voice and spoke to the man six meters in front of her. "What do you want genin?"
He pointed to Cammy. "Our employer wants her dead. But since you know us, you have the honor of joining her." At a slight nod of his head, the assassins rushed the two women.
The woman with the bo-staff struck at Cammy, but she dodged effortlessly to the side and backhanded the woman. A katana came dangerously close to slashing her, but she had no time to attack that assailant as another tried to get at her. Knowing that she would not survive fighting them en mass, she decided to get some distance and separate them. She had faith that her best friend would survive and would meet her at this Rose's place. Now all she had to do was survive long enough to get there.
Jumping over an attack from the staff, she caught the woman unawares in a scissor-kick. She wrapped her ankles tightly around the assassin's throat, and spun her body. The sound of a neck breaking reached her ears as they hit the ground. After rolling away, she sprang towards the forest as fast as her feet would allow. Four of them followed her.
The female ninja's skin and body twitched violently as it began to disintegrate into a dark foul-smelling smoke leaving the clothes and weapon intact. It was over in less than a minute. The wind caught her ashes and the odor, and carried them with it through the once peaceful forest.
Thirty minutes later, Cammy broke through the edge of the forest, and skidded to a halt. In front of her were three more assassins, one of which had a sub-machine gun with a silencer attached to it. She turned and ran back into the tree line.
The man with the automatic weapon fired at her. The gun spitted out lethal projectiles with whispered protests. One of his teammates had exited the tree line and Cammy flipped over him. Multiple bullets ripped through his flesh and clothes as if he was made of paper.
Running through the trees, Cammy could hear the lead objects puncture wood behind her. Then it stopped. In order for her to survive, she knew she was going rely on the training that she had acquired from her years with Bison. It scared her, but she had no choice.
Some branches were lower than others, so she leapt at one, grabbed it and swung herself up. Then she jumped for the next higher one, and the next. Once she was in position, she silently waited until the assassins ran past.
The one with the gun stopped and examined the ground. He saw where the footprints ended and looked up in time to see source of them land in his face. When he hit the ground, he did not move.
Cammy scanned the area as she broke his neck to make sure he was dead. While taking his weapon and spare magazines, she saw the body begin to dissolve. Putting the sight out of her mind, she got up and began to hunt her assassins one by one. She never felt the wicked smile play on her face as she killed each of them in turn.
Nightfall began to creep over the shops and buildings of Hong Kong Harbor, washing away the faint reminders of the sunset. Neon billboards and other signs sprung to life as numerous people wandered the streets. Between a building with a sign stating 'Exotic Dancers' and 'Chen's Electronics', stood a decrepit three-story building. At the left of the entrance was an engraved metal plaque inscribed 'Landau, Luckman, and Lake.'
After a minute of checking the entrance, Cammy opened the old wood door and entered inside. The interior was clean and had an old Victorian era look to it. Antique furniture resided here and there, and there were plies and piles of books. From the hallway, she heard voices talking. Living with Li for the last four years had taught her the local language of Cantonese, though she still felt uncomfortable speaking it.
"I don't know about this Zoe. He won't be happy, you know." The voice was feminine and well into her years. "I don't want to see him get hurt again."
"He'll be okay, after all he's our best client." The second also belonged to a woman, but she spoke with a strange accent. "A debt is a debt, you know that and so does he."
"The person you're waiting for has arrived a day ahead of schedule."
"Can't be. Oh well then, I'll see you later and give my regards to Emmet."
A large Chinese woman approximately in her sixties appeared in the hallway. She readjusted the reading glasses at the tip of her nose. Grey had almost claimed her once raven-colored hair. "Maan ngon."
Cammy recognized her as the first voice. "Maan ngon. Umm... nei wan bin yan... uh, yat..."
"English is fine, young one." The older woman smiled as she motioned Cammy to sit down.
"Thanks." After sitting down on the couch, she stated, "I'm looking for Rose Wu".
"Any particular reason why?" She asked with scrutinizing eyes.
"I know this is going to sound daft, but..." Cammy stated while rubbing the back of her head.
"Well, 'the beautiful justice' sent me. And she said Rose would know what to do."
"I see." The old woman walked to a table and grabbed the telephone. "Ruth, I need some tea in here please." Then she sat down across from her. "Zoe was right, you are early." She mumbled to herself then held out a hand to the young woman. "I'm Rose Wu. May I ask why do you need his services?"
" 'is? Look Li told me you would know what to do, and I don't know if she's still alive!"
"Calm down, who attacked you?"
Cammy sighed and sank into her chair as a young teenager brought a tray with tea and set it down in front of them. "Assassins. I don't know who exactly, but Li does and she was scared."
"Thank you Ruth." Rose said as she took the offered teacup. "This is my granddaughter Ruth. Ruth this is... I'm sorry I didn't catch your name."
"Cammy, Cammy White," she answered as she also took a cup. "Thanks."
At Rose's gesture, Ruth left the room. "Described what they looked like, Cammy. Did they have bright yellow costumes with some kind of bee keeper's helmet?"
"No, they looked like ninjas except their clothes were red and had strips of cloth on their forearms and calves."
Rose sighed. "I should have known. Whenever he's involved it's always them. Just once I wish it were A.I.M. or Hydra. They're easier to deal with."
"Excuse me, but who is this guy your talking about?"
"Do you see the photograph behind me?" After seeing the blonde woman nod, she continued, "the man in the picture is 'him'. And the assassins are old enemies of his."
Cammy examined the photo on the wall. It showed a short but powerful looking Caucasian man in a gray jacket with a strange hairstyle, almost like wings. He had his arm around the waist of a Chinese woman in a red dress and black jacket. They stood in front of futuristic city with tall buildings jutting up into the sky.
"Is that Ruth with that man?" She asked.
Rose laughed. "No that's me when I was much, much younger, along with Logan."
"You were very pretty."
"Thanks. But we're not here to reminisce about my past, now are we? Whether you know it or not, you just called in a marker, a very expensive one. And we at Landau, Luckman, and Lake, take those markers very seriously. Especially when it concerns the Hand."
...to be continued
NOTES: The image and description of Rose Wu's place has not changed at all from Uncanny X-Men #257. Also, I like the Hand, I just try and not make them simple 'bad guy society' cardboard cutouts that plague Marvel.
Well I hope you've enjoyed the preview! - Bic