by Izumi Ryu
A street fighter gets a challenge that pushes his limits, but is there more to this?
|The warehouse district had a few virtually abandoned buildings. It was a prime location in the city to have some street fights. Perhaps even worse took place there, no that it mattered to Shane as he wandered through the district. He grinned when he heard cheering from one of the buildings. Shane jumped up on one of the loading docks where a door to the place was opened. The crowd of young men surrounded an opening where two men were in the middle of a heated fight. The larger one suddenly grabbed the other and picked him up, flipping him around and slamming him down into the concrete floor. The pile driver almost knocked the opponent out cold easily.
The crowd instantly roared at the end of the fight, the now unconscious man had to be dragged away by his friends. “That’s ten in a row! Is there any question who’s the best?”
“Until you defeat me, you shouldn’t say that,” Shane spoke up. The crowd seemed to part away from him as Shane walked forward.
The big guy only chuckled at the response. “Another upstart? I hope you can back that up.”
The crowd started egging the two on. Most calling for the big guy to kill Shane, either recognizing him or just hating how full of himself Shane seemed.
As Shane walked in, the two seemed to walk in circles for a while, sizing each other up. Suddenly, Shane’s opponent reached out to grab him. Shane ducked immediately, letting the arm fly over him before swinging a leg around in a sweep kick and tripping the big guy up. He fell towards the ground, catching himself before hitting it. Shane almost expected this and suddenly flipped back, kicking the man square in the chin and launching him into the air for a short time. He hit the ground hard headfirst the moment Shane landed in a crouched position.
Realizing Shane’s opponent wasn’t getting up anytime soon, the few that knew him tried to boo Shane, but was quickly drowned out by the cheers of what they just saw. Someone that was virtually unbeatable just got taken down easily.
And for Shane, that just opened the door for new challengers. It happened right then as someone pushed his way through the crowd. “That wasn’t easy. You’re good...” The way this man carried himself, he could tell this wasn’t a hack. “Time to see just how good.”
Shane briefly studied the man that approached him, who was at least older than he was, maybe in his mid-twenties. He definitely looked cleaner cut than Shane, but not by much. He carried a deadly serious attitude, like he was wiser than he should be. “Bring it on, old man,” Shane said, taking a defensive stance.
The man only chuckled, looking over Shane for any openings in his stance. He was impressed, as it seemed Shane left no room for an attack. If it weren’t for Shane’s quick reactions, the last opponent would’ve been right to go for a grab. But this level of skill wasn’t why the man took interest in Shane.
“Not enough,” the man said before rearing back a fist, and aiming it down at the ground. Most wondered what the man was doing, but Shane’s eyes went wide, knowing exactly what he was doing. With one swift motion, the man punched the concrete floor, causing the entire floor around them to shake and crack. The crowd around them fell to the ground in what looked like a domino effect while Shane stumbled back a couple of steps, regaining stable footing quickly.
It provided the man an opening as he rushed Shane and punched him square in the gut. The force he hit Shane with launched him back into the fallen crowd.
“Maybe this was a mistake. You looked like someone I was looking for.”
Shane suddenly chuckled from his fallen position, slowly standing to his feet, making the spectators wonder how he could get up after that. “Were you looking for something like this?” Shane asked, as he looked more relaxed.
The man looked surprised, seeing the energy sparking around Shane. While he was down, he took the opportunity to channel it. Smart kid, he thought, wondering if this was really the kid that has shaken up the gangs here.
Shane and his opponent rushed each other, attacking at speeds unmatched by anything the crowd had seen before. Those that knew of Shane never knew how tough he was, no one’s ever pushed him this far.
Suddenly, the two hit each other with enough force that they were launched into the crowds, only to rush back to their feet. They confused the crowd when they suddenly stopped, as if to change the mood. It didn’t take the crowd to be sensitive to the energy to see what was about to happen. The man’s hands started to shine with a strange white energy that he suddenly combined together, holding his wrists together. Shane, on the other hand, looked like he just erupted into flames, focusing the fire into one fist. “What is this?” someone asked.
“Let’s get outta here!” another screamed in panic, knowing something bad was about to happen. The crowd mostly agreed, much of them forcing their way out the warehouse’s exits while a few stayed behind, curious as to what was about to happen.
At the same time, Shane and the man threw their energies forward. A beam of white energy rushed forward as Shane threw a massive blast of fire. The beam collided, then pierced right through the flames, not enough to cancel Shane’s attack out. The man had barely enough time to brace himself as he was virtually engulfed by the flames, while the beam slammed into Shane and threw him against the wall. The force the collision caused threw those that stayed behind or couldn’t make it out in time.
When things became a little clearer, it looked like both fighters took enough of a beating. Shane only slowly got to his feet. “That what you were lookin’ for, old man?” Shane muttered before falling forward, falling unconscious.
Shane’s eyes slowly opened, letting morning light seep in. When he realized he wasn’t where he was before, sleeping on a mattress instead of concrete, he shot up, almost regretting the move when his muscle ached in protest. He looked around, seeing he was in a plain bedroom. Aside from a chest of drawers and the bed he was on, there were no decorations on the plain white walls.
“Where am I?” Shane muttered.
“My home,” another voice spoke up. “I had to get you out of there before the cops showed up.”
Shane looked towards the door where his opponent from yesterday stood. “That was impressive. Someone your age mastering that.”
“I was surprised to meet anyone else that could do that,” Shane remarked.
The man only nodded. “It explains a lot. You’d be surprised what news gets around the underworld. Many street gangs are almost afraid to establish here because of you. You’re just lucky none of the serious ones like the mafia haven’t shown up.”
“Screw that. I don’ care about that. So what of those guys are too chicken to come after me?”
“That’s besides the point,” the man told him. “A normal street brawler hasn’t been known to dismantle gangs single-handedly. You are far from normal. If any gang had you, they’d be nearly unstoppable.”
“Not gonna happen,” Shane said defiantly.
The man only sighed, not believing what he was dealing with. However, it didn’t change things. He still wanted to see for himself what this kid could accomplish. “I tested you for a reason back there,” the man told him. “There’s something big going down soon that you will probably want to take part in. It will give you a chance to fight with others like us.”
Shane could only smirk at the thought of such an event. “I’m interested…” Shane told him.