Mortal Kombat - Smoke Ch. 01byKindasortacrazy©
Hello! I'm back! Yes, I know I've been gone for a while, but as much as I love you people, my classes are slightly more important than my writing. But here I am again, so you're now allowed to scream and jump around like a crazy fangirl/boy.
This is my first fan fiction story, so be nice. It's based on the Mortal Kombat video game franchise (a personal favorite). If you don't know what MK is, Google it and discover its awesomeness (if you watch the MK 2011 story mode videos on YouTube, it explains all the characters and the storyline). This story centers on Smoke (a real MK character) and a young woman of my own creation. Enjoy, and please tell me what you think.
Chapter 1 -- Strangers and Shadows
The chime of the register did little to snap him out of his trance, trying but failing to bring him back to the waking world. His mind had been elsewhere as he'd watched the young woman ring up his purchases, entranced by the slow, fluid motions that she'd perfected over the years. It took only two minutes for her to add everything up and ask him for his card, but it was enough time for him to nearly lose his mind.
This young woman was something else entirely.
"Alright," she chimed, peering at the computer screen for a moment. "Total comes to . . . wow, forty five even." She turned and smiled at him. "Well done. I don't get those very often."
He continued to stare at her, unfazed by her attempt to break through his mind. He was still entranced by her, still wanting to stare at her a moment longer. The credit card company could wait.
The woman's smile faded, concern now crossing her face. She cleared her throat and blinked at him, cautious. "Sir?"
Her tone finally snapped him back into reality. Blushing furiously, he stammered unintelligibly as he fumbled for his card, handing it to her with shaking fingers. He offered her a small apologetic smile, to which she answered with a warmer, more accepting grin. She took his card and swiped it, drawing his attention back to her hands, then up her slender arms, across her shoulders and finally down to the small dip in her blouse that granted him a tiny glimpse of cleavage. His body trembled as he waited on her, begging him to say something -- anything - that would grab her attention.
"Thank you," she chimed, handing him his card. "And now, we wait."
His eyes snapped up to meet hers, narrowing in confusion. "For?"
She sighed and shot him a sorrowful look. "These are very slow machines. The receipts take a while to print out." She motioned to the lines of cashiers working furiously next to her. "Drives us nuts."
"Ah," he stammered. "I suppose it's a good thing that I don't have anything going on today."
That in itself was a boldfaced lie. He'd rushed through the store and bought candles, cake mix and party hats for his daughter's eighth birthday at the last minute. But now, staring at this young woman, all thought of his wife and children faded into the boiling pot of unused male hormones that he'd kept locked inside him for five years.
She smiled again, silently enjoying his attempt to be funny. "I hope so. I haven't had anyone die waiting yet, and I don't want to break that record now."
Thank God. She's got a sense of humor.
But her sarcastic wit wasn't what had first caught his eye about this young cashier. He'd been standing in the ever-growing line, waiting impatiently to purchase his meager finds, when she'd opened up her register and called him over. He went over eagerly after seeing her, his heart pounding in anticipation of talking to this exotic little piece of eye candy.
She was tall for her youthful appearance, not looking a day over twenty two. Himself standing at six-two, he noted that she was able to look him in the eyes with just the slightest tilt of her neck, making her no less than five-foot-ten. Her form was slender, yet her thinness was deceiving. Wearing a short-sleeved blouse, he could see the lean, lithe muscles of her upper arms and shoulders. Slender, yes, but in very good shape.
Beneath her filmy blouse, he could make out the outline of the rest of her frame: tight stomach, slender waist and high, firm breasts. From the small notch in her shirt that gave him a partial view of her chest he could see that, although no more than a handful at most, her breasts were perfect. Full and soft, with a fine spattering of youthful freckles across her olive skin, they were enough to make his gut clench and his cock rise an inch. Her legs, miles long and clad in fitted navy jeans, made up most of her towering height. The rest came from her toned abdomen and long, graceful neck.
Her allure didn't stop there. Her face was a perfect oval, her jaw line slender, cheekbones high and razor-sharp, small nose narrow and perfectly straight. Long ink-black hair was pulled back in a sleek ponytail and hung just past her shoulders. Her eyes, a startling electric blue that froze him in his tracks, contrasted with their almond shaping and upward tilt. Her skin, a light olive tone, helped her eyes expose her strikingly Asian heritage. Her lips were full and stained a light red, making them seem more succulent than usual.
Her beauty certainly wasn't something to take lightly. He saw the other two female cashiers -- along with a slew of women waiting with him in line -- narrow their eyes at her in envy once she walked up to the counter. She was one of those rare, naturally drop-dead-gorgeous women that every other girl loves to hate.
Asian, but with blue eyes? What kind of...
Out of curiosity, he dropped his gaze to the small plastic nametag that was clipped to her blouse. In small black letters, the name SARA ISHIGAWA stood out against the deed burgundy plastic.
So she's Japanese. But here eyes are still...
The register chimed again, and a thin strip of receipt paper rolled out of the machine. The young woman ripped the paper away and gently stuffed into the plastic bag, turning it upright and passing it to him. She smiled at him, showing two rows of straight, blindingly white teeth.
"Have a good day, sir. Thanks for coming in."
He smiled nervously and took the handles of the bag. "Thank you, Sara."
She smiled back at him, her cheeks glowing. "You're welcome. Have a nice day, sir, and please come again."
"Sara," he sighed to himself and smiled. "It's a very lovely name."
She dipped her head gracefully. "Thank you. It means shallow field."
He nodded. "Is your mother Japanese as well?"
She shook her head. "No. Mom's Irish."
Ah, that explains her eyes.
She nodded, then chewed her lip nervously. She inhaled sharply and cleared her throat, her eyes darting to the line behind him. His heartbeat picked up and he chuckled nervously, stepping aside an inch so she could see. He remained at the counter nonetheless, his bag of party favors still resting on the slick countertop.
Her eyes followed him, narrowing in nervousness. "Uh, sir..."
He cleared his throat, wiping his palms on his jeans. "Listen, Sara, if you're not busy tonight-"
"C'mon, man! Move!" An angry, undeniably male voice yelled at him from within the line. "We have shit to buy, too!"
He whipped around to glare at the faceless voice, furious that some unnamed man was ruining his chances at scoring a night with this lithe young seductress. He hadn't had a lay like her in fifteen years, and it would be good blow off a little steam with a body like that.
Sakura blushed and shook her head, her once-friendly eyes hardening slightly and narrowing at him. "No thanks. I'm stuck here for the next two hours, so I don't really have time."
His will refused to be shut down so quickly. "Later, then. I could pick you up after your shift and we could-"
Her eyes turned cold and irritated. "I don't think your wife would appreciate that, Marcus. And neither would your children. Leah is turning eight today. Go home and spend time with her."
What the fuck?
His heart nearly stopped. Their previous conversation had been about the stresses at his work and the irritation he had toward his employees never showing up on time. And yet, without him ever saying a word about his personal life, she'd scolded him about his wife and daughter and correctly guessed his name. The alarm bells went off in his head, alerting him to the fact that this young woman wasn't normal and probably very dangerous. No one who could pin his intentions like that was bound to be safe, no matter how attractive.
Flushing furiously, he snatched his bag off the counter and headed for the door, tucking his tail between his legs as he sulked away. Humiliated and horrified, he crossed the parking lot, fishing his keys out of his pocket and fumbling to open the car door. He stepped in, slammed the door, turned on the ignition and sped away, wanting to put as much distance between himself and that strange young woman as possible.
* * *
Ugh. Disgusting freak.
I scowl after the man, fully grossed out that he'd even think of sleeping with me. The guy was almost fifty, married with three kids and trying to hit on someone more than half his age. As much as I hate reading people's souls like that, I'll admit that scaring off philandering fathers does give me a tiny bit of satisfaction.
I tell you, some people are nuts.
"That was awesome, Sara!" Emma yelled out, nearly laughing her ass off.
I shake my head, secretly smiling as I brush scraps of receipt paper off my register counter. "I still don't like doing that. I feel like I'm invading their personal space."
"Maybe, but for guys like that, I think it's acceptable. They need to be taught a lesson somehow."
Sneaking out from behind her own register, Emma skips across the slick tile floor of the store towards my counter. Her pale blond hair -- she's a natural blonde, not one of those bleached porn stars -- bounces on her shoulders, her emerald green eyes sparkling in the oh-so-reliable fluorescent lighting. She's one of those natural beauties that every guy wants to date, screw, and then dump after bragging to his friends. She's also incredibly sweet and loyal, the friend who'll defend you to the death even if you're completely wrong.
The bad news? For all her good looks and soft heart, Emma's a bit of a ditz. Not the clumsy kind, but the 'when did they start putting letters in math?' kind. Don't get me wrong, she's a smart girl, but she's not the sharpest tool in the shed. At least not when you compare her to my annoyingly perfect grades. Emma struggles just to get a B in geometry and I couldn't fail a class if I tried (trust me, I have. I still aced the damn thing). Still, I love her. She's one of the few friends I have that's willing to put up with me and my nerd-ness.
She skids to a halt beside me and throws a slender arm across my shoulders, grinning like the loveable idiot that she is. "And if there's one person who can put those assholes in their place, it's our own resident Necromancer."
I sigh. Necromancer. My bloodline clan of freaks and hooligans who raise the dead, commune with lost souls and help complete the final rites of the dying. Yes, we're the people who bring dead people back to life and talk to the real ghosts of the world. Yep, that's us. Hello world! We exist!
Let me give some background information on us. There are three main Necromancer clans: Japanese, North American and European (don't ask why we haven't spread to other places -- I don't know). The Japanese clan is the oldest and most powerful of the clans, followed by the European, then the American. Despite the distances, all three clans stay closely connected and rely on each other for reinforcements in case things with outside societies get out of hand.
While our main line of work is dealing with the dead and dying, we're a warrior clan by nature. We're trained form an early age to fight and use a myriad of weaponry. It's a tradition that started back in Japan's Feudal Era when every clan had to fend for themselves and fight for their land. Our people started out as pacifists, doing death rituals for profit and basically staying out of the way of everyone else. Unfortunately, we were continually pushed farther and farther north as other clans moved in on our territory, so our Elders (the leaders of our clan) decided that our people should learn to defend ourselves. We slowly started to learn traditional fighting styles and techniques, and in time we were more than able to hold our ground against any invaders.
Honestly, I love my heritage. I come from two separate Necro bloodlines, making me a simultaneous full-blooded mixed-breed. My father is the Lieutenant General of the Japanese Necromancer army, so I was basically raised to be a badass. My mother is the youngest daughter in a line of Irish Gatekeepers, a sub-clan of Necromancers who guard the entrance to the underworld. In most cultures, half-breeds are reviled or looked down upon. In our world, half-breed children symbolize the unbreakable bond between the three clans and are treated with respect and pride. My father, in particular, was elated to know I would be a half-blood. It meant that he'd helped keep the clans connected by making a child that was half of one and half of another.
Also unlike other cultures, Necromancer sons aren't held in any higher regard than daughters. While sons may carry on the family name and legacy, girls are the ones that give birth to the future generations. In Necromancer society, the birth of a daughter is celebrated with just as much enthusiasm as a son. Because there's no pressure to have one child over the other, the birth rate is almost perfectly even. There's no bride price or arranged marriages. You marry who you want and everyone walks away happy.
Despite common beliefs, our reputation as zombie-makers hides who we really are. We're a kind, generous, tolerant people who will take you in and care for you no matter who you are, and we rarely exile one of our own. The exceptions being murderers, belligerent drunks and those who act in overly selfish or narcissistic ways. In a culture that makes its living on constantly dealing with the dead, we don't have the time or the patience to deal with the self-absorbed.
Unfortunately, despite our generosity, outsiders don't necessarily like our kind. When someone from another clan dies, their family generally doesn't want to do the dirty work of cleaning and burying the body, so they hire us to do it instead. Our main jobs are cleansing the body and conducting burial rites to make sure their souls will have a safe journey to whatever mythological place they believe in.
The irony is that the other clans often revile us or see us undesirable because we work so closely with their dead, doing the jobs they're too lazy and grossed out to do. It's basically like saying police officers are disgusting and untrustworthy solely because they have to deal with society's filth. Complete, idiotic bullshit.
Thankfully, some people are able to look past that stigma and see us for the kind, caring people that we are. I still stay on the side of caution and keep my heritage to myself, but there are some people who do know about it. Emma's one of those people, and she's managed to keep it to herself for the last few years, something I'm extremely thankful for. She happened to find out in the worst way possible (the whole 'we raise zombies' part is true), so her not telling anyone really helps prevent a panic.
There are times, however, where I let pieces of my heritage slip out. As a full-blooded Necromancer, I inherited the ability to 'read' people's souls. Basically, I can look into a soul and find out someone's age, blood type, family structure, memories - the works. It's a gift I don't use very often -- I think it goes way beyond the usual definition of 'personal space'. However, if I'm in an uncomfortable position (say, being hit on by a married father of three), I'm more than willing to dig into their lives a little and freak the hell out of them. Works like a charm every time.
I sigh and shake my head. "Some guys...I don't know what to do, Emma."
She gives me a pitiful smile. "Just trudge ahead, I guess. There'll always be another middle-aged horndog trying to come on to you. Just roll with it."
I shrug my shoulders. "What else can I do?"
She shrugs back and races to her counter. A fresh line of customers is waiting for us to start checking them out, all of them tired and wanting to go home. I can sympathize with them. I've stood here at this counter for the last three hours -- my break was barely enough to keep me from going nuts. My feet hurt, my head aches, and I'm in no mood to get hit on again. All I want is to hammer through the last two hours of my shift, go home and fall asleep on the couch while watching Criminal Minds reruns. Is that too much to ask?
I sigh to myself and plaster a smile to my face, mentally preparing myself to face the whiny hoard of people about to come my way. I usually don't mind people at all. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they're happy, jovial and easy to work with. It's that last one percent who make me want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them (you know who you are!). But they're mostly easy and warm, which makes my job as a cashier tolerable.
The first person to step up to my counter is a handsome young man of about twenty-five. He's slightly taller than me, about six foot (yes, I'm a giraffe), with dark hair and clear grey eyes. He's good looking and built like an ox -- perfect for Emma. Myself? Not so much. Personally, I'm not into bodybuilders and roid rage, but I'll happily chat with them on a slow day.
He sets his stuff down and grins at me, showing his Colgate smile. "Hello gorgeous."
Oh, God. Not again. Well, at least he's in the right age range.
I smile back -- genuinely -- and start scanning his purchases. "Hello back."
His grin never fades. "That old man freaked you out, huh?"
I nodded, my smile fading unconsciously. "Yeah. I tend to get a lot of those."
"Not hard to imagine with the way you look," he winks.
Okay, I get it! I'm very pretty. Please stop staring at me and pay the bill.
"Thanks," I mutter shyly, my blush appearing regardless of my command for it to stay hidden.
Despite the fact that I get complimented every day, I can't hold back my blush. Honestly, I've never really thought of how I look. I'm the farthest thing from those bitchy, self-absorbed girls who doll themselves up everyday just to get attention. I'm fairly low-maintenance: I wake up, shower, dress and leave the house. I'll put a little color on my lips before I leave, but that's it. I don't have the time or the patience to go the whole bronzer-foundation-blush-shadow route. I'm a minimalist when it comes to make up, but I manage to look just as good after five minutes as Jenessa does after thirty.
The man tries again, but I'm not in the mood to play. I'm tired and irritated, not a good time for someone to try asking me out. I let him down gently, seeing that while he may be pumped full of steroids, he's a genuinely nice young man. It's nothing too personal, he's just not my type and I'm not in the mood. I bag his stuff and send him on his way, watching him just in case he's not able to fit those bulky shoulders of his through the doors.
The next hour is filled with the same usual redundant banter: older men hitting on me with everything they've got, younger men stumbling their way through an offer, and women of all ages glaring at me in envy. It's the women I hate the most. Old lechers are disgusting, but at least they're not as viciously catty as we girls can be. If we don't like someone -- and a lot of women hate me just because of the way I look -- we'll do anything we can to break them down. I'll admit, I've bitched about some hot actress who dates all of the cute guys in Hollywood, but for the most part I'm on the receiving end of the glares.