Dead or Alive Dark Horse

Kasumi's concern



Since winning his opening match, Neon didn't have to worry about anything else nor did he care to watch the other matches. After some rest he’d begin training for his quarterfinal match.

So far Neon's met some peculiar people in this tournament.

Hitomi is a German high school student who is a black belt in Karate and a very good cook based on the delicious dish enjoyed yesterday. She's also a hard working person as she helps her father with running the dojo they live and train in and she’s a very friendly person to be around with.

Tina Armstrong is an American who was living her dream like many American women. She's a wrestling champion, an actress, and a model. Even with all that she's still not satisfied and now wants to be a rock star. She's very ambitious to say the least and very sociable too. Although she has an overprotective father who still can't get the hint that she's old enough to live her life the way she wants.

Speaking of Bass Armstrong, he's a legendary wrestling champion who has dominated the wrestling ring for a long time and he got Tina into the pro wrestling circuit too. He's proud of her as a champion but he's still not happy about her other accomplishments and future ambitions. He tried to intimidate Neon earlier but ended up humiliated by the Dutch-Japanese man at the welcome party and is still after him.

Christie as Neon could tell is an assassin who's in the tournament to take out a specific target. While he has no intention of getting in her way she still annoyed him with her talk of how similar they are as people who have killed before but Neon doesn't share her opinion.

Jann Lee is a Jeet Kune Do fighter who's very skilled and well-built for his fighting style. He seems to like taking on tough opponents and has got Neon in his cross-hairs and the freestyle fighter too is eager to take him on in the tournament.

Then there are the four ninjas that are also in the tournament and so far he's met only two of them. Ayane is nothing but prideful and incredibly arrogant. She thinks she's the hottest thing since sliced bread and Neon would have no problem giving her a whole mouthful of humble pie. Kasumi however has been beating around the bush ever since he met her at the welcoming party. She's been so concerned about him for reasons he doesn't know and has tried to get him to leave the tournament. She also seems to know that he's the 42nd master of Bushinryu Ninpo which he has kept hidden and not utilized for a while time though he still keeps training in it to not lose his edge with it. He's very eager to know why the kunoichi is so concerned about him.

10:00 hrs. Tokyo, Japan.

Neon woke up on his king size bed in his hotel room. He was feeling very different than yesterday. Much more alert and aware of his surroundings. He has had this feeling before whenever he had a won a hard fought battle against a capable opponent. A feeling he neither likes nor dislikes as he never seemed to care about it or even know why he experienced it after every fight.

He got up from the bed and walked towards the bathroom putting on the radio inside it and proceeded to have a shower. The station that was on was talking about the DOA tournament and about the fighter that many are calling the Dark Horse of the tournament which was obviously Neon himself. Soon he was done with his shower, cleaning of his teeth and put on a black shirt, orange cargo pants, Adidas sneakers, black gloves and a white trench coat on top of his shirt before leaving his hotel room.

At the hotel lobby Neon spotted someone he did not expect to see: Kasumi, who was wearing a school girl outfit and her hair loose and sitting in the lobby while pretending to read a magazine.

'Talk about a bad disguise to wear in a place like this? And how the heck did she find this hotel?'

Neon also sensed another presence that was in the lobby that did a good job of hiding from physical view but not from his sixth sense and he knew who it was.

'Great. That annoying kunoichi Ayane's found me too? I got to give her the slip while I find a way to corner Kasumi and get answers out of her.'

Leaving his room key with the receptionist Neon leaves the hotel and moves at a quick pace down the street. After turning a corner, he once again sensed Kasumi and Ayane and four new people, all following him.

'More of those hunters again?! You got to be kidding' me!?'

He broke into a sprint as he attempted to lose his pursuers. The six individuals followed suite after him trying to not lose sight of the man/target they were following.

Kasumi and Ayane were wondering why Neon suddenly started sprinting and from the rooftops they saw two men and two women sprinting after him.

'Why are they chasing after him?' Ayane thought. She was still observing the Dutch-Japanese like Ryu and her half-brother Hayate ordered her to. She had found the hotel where he stayed but she also found another person there to.....Kasumi who she wanted to eliminate. When Neon left the hotel Kasumi also followed him which made her wonderWhy is she following him? Does she know something that I don't?'

Meanwhile Kasumi had managed to locate where Neon was staying for the tournament and it was a four-star hotel. She was waiting in disguise in the lobby for him to show up before she talked to him about his situation but then discovering that Neon had seen through her disguise and also detected Ayane hiding in the lobby. 'Why is Ayane here? Did Hayate send her to spy on Neon?' She then saw Neon leaving the hotel and she followed suite too. While she was following him from the rooftops, she sensed the presence of the four individuals that caused Neon to run almost immediately with the four following. 'I have a bad feeling this is not going to end well for them.'

11:00 hrs. at Sakura temple

"Okay why the fuck are you insects here?" Neon said as he was glaring at the two guys and two gals that were trying to catch their breath after chasing him past 8 blocks non-stop.

"We're here because someone wants you back really badly." One of the women said stepping forward. She is British, standing 6' tall with a slim frame, short brown hair, and brown eyes and wearing a white dress shirt with a red tank top under it, black jeans and black shoes and she'd just finished wiping the sweat off of her forehead, "And that same person promised to pay us a handsome amount of money for your return."

"Really? So you are willing to run to your deaths for money?" Neon deadpanned.

"As if you can take us?" said one of the men. He is Russian, standing at Neon's height of 6'3" tall with a bulky muscular build, bald, green eyes and wearing a black suit over a blue dress shirt, black trousers and white shoes looking confidently at the Dutchman, "It's four against one. The odds are not in your favor."

"Don't underestimate him, Durgon." the other man beside him said. He is Chinese, standing 5'10" tall, with a medium build, black hair, and blue eyes and wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans and black Nike sneakers, "You read the file. He killed 21 people at the ago of 17 before his escape from the facility so the numbers won't matter."

"Listen to Li, you baka!!" said the other girl that is Japanese and impulsive, standing 5'6" tall with a slim build and a developing bust, long black hair reaching her shoulders, red eyes and wearing a red long-sleeved kimono with dragon designs on the skirt, an obi sash around the waist, tabi socks and wooden sandals.

"What was that you geisha wannabe!?" Durgon shouted in response, "Not like you can hold your own against me not to mention him."

"Enough you two!! Save your bickering for another time!!" The leader shouted, "As I was saying Neon 'Grim' Cross, you're coming with us."

"What's your name?" Neon asked.

"Alisa Mason."

"Did that good-for-nothing bitch send you four to your deaths?"

"What do you mean to our deaths? Our employer only told us to just bring you in."

"Well then......Right now I'm giving you four one chance to get the fuck out of my sight and tell that bitch-born whore that she'd better leave me the fuck alone or I'll send any fools she sends back to her in fucking body bags!!!" Neon said.

"I see. So that is your final answer?" Alisa asked again.

"I have no intention to repeat myself. So what's it gonna be? You go back with your lives or I send you all to the afterlife? Choose wisely." Neon said.

Hiding in different trees Ayane and Kasumi were observing the scene in front of them with different opinions.

'So he's an escapee from some facility huh? Is he that special that those four were hired to catch him? And I get to see another bloodbath again! This should be interesting.' Ayane thought.

'Please leave now. Consider his offer and leave with your lives intact or else none of you will make it.' Kasumi thought with dread all over her.

'So they are both here to watch huh? Well depending on this quartet they will get a show or none at all.' Neon thought after sensing the two kunoichi in the area. Then he looked at the four people in front of him once more.

"So what's your answer Alisa? Or do you need me to pick for you?"

"We can't do that. We were hired to bring you in and we intend to see it through." Alisa answered bluntly.

"Exactly Mr. Cross!!! Say goodbye to your freedom!!" Durgon said with glee.

"Save us all the trouble and not resist." Li said nonchalantly.

"Exactly! There's no way you can stand a chance against us." Norami said in excitement.

Neon closed his eyes in frustration. He had given them a chance to leave with their lives but money had already blinded them making it impossible to reason with them. That and their arrogance, thinking they can take him down together. He'll have to send a message to the bitch who sent them.

He opened his eyes and glared at them only this time both eyes were red, freaking out the four bounty hunters in front of him.

"Well then since you're willing to die then I'll be happy to give your one way trip to hell!!!"

Alisa was trying to draw out her revolver but was quickly overwhelmed by Neon who twisted her arm that had the gun behind her before kneeing her in the solar plexus dropping her on her knees, taking her revolver from her grasp and hitting her at the back of her head and knocking her out. Durgon was about to charge in to help Alisa only to end up with a switch blade right between the eyes courtesy of Neon's precision throw. Li already had his Colt .45 out and unloaded the full clip only to hit the corpse of Durgon that Neon was using as a shield. Before he could reload his weapon blood and brain matter erupted from his head as Neon shot him right between the eyes too with Alisa's revolver. Norami was caught flat footed by the sudden actions before her and tried to run only to end up shot in the back.

All this happened within the span of 15 seconds.

Ayane was surprised. No shocked out of her mind at what had just unfolded right before her. Neon had just taken down the four individuals and all with speed and precision. One of them who seemed to be the leader was down on her face knocked out, while the other three were dead. She had to let Hayate and Ryu know about this.

Kasumi on the other hand was trying to fight back tears in her eyes. She had just seen Neon ruthlessly incapacitate one and kill the other three in cold blood and with no remorse on his face. She was hoping that they'd leave him alone after he asked them to so that he wouldn't have to needlessly kill them, but their greed and arrogance got them all killed.

All except one, which was Alisa who was groaning as she struggled to get up while still in pain from the knee to her solar plexus. Neon had heard her and was walking to her at a quick pace with the revolver still in his left hand. Kasumi and Ayane watched to see what he'd do next and what they saw next was not what they wanted to see.

Neon walked to Alisa's side and soccer kicked her in the head flipping her onto her back with her arms out this time and with Neon's right foot on her chest. He then shot her left hand and right hand both as if he was crucifying her. Alisa was screaming in agony while Neon looked on with a blank face. She looked up and into the eyes of the man above her. It was void of emotion, mercy or remorse.

"Alisa." Neon spoke.

"Finish what you started already! I hope you live to regret it." Alisa shouted while barely ignoring the pain.

"You brought this on yourselves not me." Neon countered, "I gave you the chance to leave with your life intact but now you'll be my messenger girl instead."

"What message do you want me to deliver?"

BANG!!!!

"This one."

Alisa went limp as the last bullet went through her forehead ending her life.

Neon got his foot off her corpse and searched it and then the others. He got some money, their IDs and their phones and left the area while disposing of the empty gun in a nearby trash bin. Kasumi and Ayane both vanished from their hiding spots as he left following him to where he was going next.


Leaving the Sakura temple, Neon proceeded to walk somewhere else as he heard the police and ambulance sirens approaching. While on the path in a forest, where he saw sakura trees all around him one of the phones he looted rang. He checked and saw that it was Alisa's phone that rang and answered it.

"Alisa have you found him yet?" a female voice asked.

"She found him alright." Neon answered, "But she also found death too."

"Who's this and what did you to Alisa and her colleagues?"

"Simple. I sent them on a one way trip to hell courtesy of Neon 'Grim' Cross."

"Ah!! Neon it's been a long time, too long to be exact!! How has life been treating you?"

"Well enough to at least enjoy it without you breathing down my neck until now!!!"

"Aww! No need to be hostile. I'm just looking out for you."

"Cut the bull crap bitch!!!!" Neon shouted, "My life has been a living hell thanks to you!!! I have done nothing but run, fight, kill and keep on running, fighting and killing just to be away from you and live my life in peace!!!"

"It's not my fault. You're a mistake that I regret making and I intend to correct it."

"Nice try!! The only mistake you made was coming after me after I left that hell hole you dumped me in."

"If you hadn't decided to break out of the lab facility while leaving the 21 personnel dead then we won't be having this conversation."

"The only reason why I'm even talking to you is because you didn't get my message the first time you good-for-nothing bitch!!! It was simple. Leave me the fuck alone and there will be no problems however you just couldn't accept that the weapon you created was out there not under your control."

"There was no way I could do that. All through the years you had made so many enemies that I couldn't risk you getting out there while they wanted payback or falling into enemy hands."

"Well you don't have to worry about that any more as I made sure to reduce that list of enemies until there is only one......and it's YOU!!!"

"This is getting nowhere. Give up this pointless resistance and come in peacefully so that it'll end once and for all."

"How about screw you and shove that stick up your bitch ass you cunt!!! Now this will be the last time I'll say this leave me the fuck alone and there will be no problems."

"You know that I can't do that. As long as you exist I have no choice but to keep hunting you down until I bring you in."

"Then I hope you have a lot of body bags and are prepared to explain to a lot of people about why their loved ones are not coming back."

Neon cut the line and then dumped all the cellphones in a trash bin he spotted as he walked by. While he was still walking Ayane appeared in front of him wearing a purple butterfly dress with a yellow bow purple stockings and purple boots an evil grin on her face.

"Aren't you quite the sadistic and ruthless killer?" She teased.

"Get to the point, Ayane." Neon said coldly.

"C'mon. You ruthlessly took down three people with the speed and precision close to that of a ninja. Then you executed the last one in cold blood. It looked like you'd done this more than once." Ayane continued. I'd bet that you are a ninja or have some form of ninja training, right?"

"None of your fucking business girl, now leave my presence."

"Okay sure. Oh by the way where's Kasumi?"

"Why the hell are you asking me? I'm not her keeper."

"Well because I intend to kill her when I find her and just want to let you know that if you get in my way I'll kill you too."

"And if you don't get the fuck out of my sight I'll kill you too."

"Hmph. Whatever."

Ayane then vanished from the forest leaving Neon behind.

'What's that bitch's problem? She sure as hell a sadist and an arrogant ninja too. What does she want with Kasumi anyways?' he thought before looking to his left. "I know you're around here Kasumi. Show yourself as you got a lot of answering to do."

Kasumi appeared in front of him with a surprised look on her face as sakura petals were dispersing from her.

"Before you even say anything, I had detected you and Ayane long before I left the hotel this morning." Neon answered before she could even ask, "And seriously you need a better disguise than a Japanese school uniform."

"What's wrong with it? I actually like it." Kasumi pouted.

"Whatever." Neon scoffed, "Now back to business."

Kasumi looked at Neon with a serious look on her face.

"Why did you kill those people?" she asked.

"Why do you care? They've got nothing to do with you." Neon answered harshly.

"They didn't deserve to die. You could have just...."

"Knocked them out huh? And then have them come back for me again? Very smart......"

"Still you didn't have to kill them in cold blood."

"The pot's calling the kettle black!" Neon scoffed, "Aren't you a runaway shinobi that has killed many ninjas that were after your life?"

Kasumi was shocked at this. How did Neon know that was a runaway shinobi even though she hadn't told him?

"In case you're wondering why I know, Ayane's big mouth and her stalking of you and me made that obvious, though I'd like to know why she wants you dead." Neon once again answered as if he read her mind, "And no I don't read minds."

Kasumi regained her composure as she proceeded to tell her story about her life as a child of the Mugen Tenshin head family, her reluctance to become the head of the clan, Raidou's betrayal and actions, Ayane's resentment to her, how she killed Raidou to get vengeance for Hayate, becoming a nukenin and how she has been on the long for so long dealing with ninjas sent by her own brother Hayate the current leader of the Mugen Tenshin clan to kill her. Needless to say Neon wasn't just pissed, he was beyond furious right now especially at Ayane and Hayate.

He never cared for Raidou as he saw him as refuse burning in the fires of hell but as for the Ayane and Hayate it was different. While he felt sorry for Ayane for being treated like crap because of a situation she had no control he found her current attitude towards Kasumi very stupid, petty and pathetic.

Hayate however Neon had no love for as he saw him as a spineless piece of shit that didn't even deserve to be called Kasumi's brother considering that he didn't hesitate to send ninjas to kill his own sibling and easily let some council make him to do so.

However Neon respected her more for her ability to take action and get justice for her family while giving the rules the proverbial 'F-You' but he also felt sorry for her as she was almost like him constantly on the run, barely enjoying their freedom, constantly on alert and sleeping with one eye opened because at any time it can end badly. While he saw her as a naive pacifist who always looked for peaceful way out, he respected her willingness to take action and even take a life unlike him that did so without thinking twice.

"Let me get this straight, your half-sister is mad because she thinks of you as a spoiled brat although you never cared for the princess treatment while that piece of trash that calls himself your brother has no problem sending ninjas to kill you because of the Mugen Tenshin's bullshit laws. How pathetic." Neon summed it up in disgust.

"I understand your frustration but you don't have to be so harsh on them." Kasumi said, "While I admit that you are right about some things I still respect their decisions to come after me. Hayate in fact is in a difficult spot."

"Either kill you to prove his loyalty to the Mugen Tenshin or refuse and be seen as a traitor and also hunted down. Still pathetic of him to still try to kill his own sister because of some bullshit loyalty." Neon scoffed.

Kasumi went silent after he said that. She couldn't believe that Neon could be so harsh about her siblings and decided to get back to what she intended to do.

"Neon, can you tell me about yourself?" she asked.

"Why do you want to know my life story?" Neon asked with a raised eyebrow.

"Well I told you mine."

"I only asked for why Ayane wanted you dead but you gave me that and more."

"Well can you tell me anyways?"

"Tch, fine. Long or short version?"

"Long."

Neon sighed.

"I was the third born out of four other kids. My father was a retired counter-terrorism operative and Muay Thai champion while my mother was a lawyer and the 41st Master of Bushinryu Ninpo. My older brother and two sisters saw me as a weakling because they thought they were stronger, more athletic and smarter than me. What they didn't know was that I was holding back on my abilities because I hated standing out. My parents of course saw through my facade and knew that I was much better than the others plus I was more adaptable, so they decided to secretly train me. My father trained me in the art of Muay Boran, a much more lethal version of Muay Thai and military tactics while my mother trained me in the art of Bushinryu and how to see underneath the bull crap. When I was 13, I beat her to become the 42nd Master and she was very proud of me. My siblings kept treating me like dirt but I ignored them and did not stoop down to their level."

Neon paused to gather himself, "Then my life took a nose dive when terrorists came to our home and murdered my parents and siblings but I somehow survived but was comatose for three years. When I woke up I found myself in some kind of lab facility. I had been experimented on to create a super soldier for the United Nations' Bounty Rook project and that facility belonged to them."

"You were experimented on?!" Kasumi said in horror, "How could they do that to someone at that young?"

"They did it because they could." Neon said, "The project was a success as I became a mindless super soldier with only loyalty to the UN. I was sent in to neutralize terrorist threats, civil uprisings, assassinations, demolitions and all sorts to maintain world peace."

"How did you leave though?" Kasumi asked.

Neon continued, "Well three people did not like the fact that I was a just a mindless weapon with no free will. One of them was my psychologist Dr. Dunnan Vela, who was a very nice lady. She helped me to regain my free will and become more human. Next was the UN Chief of Security who went by the name 'Red'. He was actually a good friend of my father when they were both in counter-terrorism and when he found out that I was his friend's son, he was pissed off about what the UN had done to me and he secretly got the plan to get me human again and also planned my escape attempt. Last was his nephew Ron Russel who was my support during my missions who was always concerned about my behavior during the missions. He secretly hacked into UN files and found out everything about the Bounty Rook project including me and told his uncle about it all. All three of them helped to plan my escape from the lab facility I was kept in. On the day when I escaped, Dr. Vela had left the facility for some implied off base work. I killed all the 21 personnel that got in my way and escaped in a chopper that Ron had arranged to pick me up."

"So the three of them helped you to become a normal human and get away from that place. That's nice of them." Kasumi said.

"Yeah. They are the only ones that I considered friends and even family." Neon said with a smile.

"Are they alright?"

"Yeah they are. Even today no one has any idea that they were involved in my escape or how I became human."

"Still how come you are being hunted?"

Neon's face changed from happy to very angry.

"The leader of project Bounty Rook was a bitch and unrepentant old school military nutcase of a scientist named Mako Yashiro. She's the one who made me into the perfect weapon she wanted in the name of world peace. She is nothing but a hypocrite who would sell her whole family for power and world domination which is exactly what she wanted to use me for, to eventually destroy the UN, gain control of the world and rule it with an iron fist. Unfortunately she now can't because I am not around and she can't create another me because I am the only one she could create and the files for repeating it were wiped out by me when I escaped and blew up the facility."

Kasumi was very shocked by what he said. It reminded her of Victor Donovan who wanted to create the ultimate soldier for his own insane plan for world domination.

'That Mako Yashiro is more or less the same as him. Power hungry and obsessed with creating the ultimate being.'

Her thoughts were interrupted when Neon got in her face with an inquisitive look on it.

"Now let me get to the reason why I really wanted to see you before the side tracking. Why are you so concerned about me?" Neon asked, "You mentioned that I was a lost soul who had suffered a lot which is true. I've had to deal with the death of my family, the guilt of all innocent civilians I had killed while I was a mindless weapon and being on the run from the bitch Mako and her mercenaries and bounty hunters. But still why do you give a damn about my situation when it doesn't involve you?"

"Well..." Kasumi began, "I had been having nightmares about a man was getting more hostile, blood thirsty and even sadistic the more he fought until many people had to band together to take him down and they still could not stop this man. He eventually destroyed himself at the end of it after his own friends had to kill him."

"And I am this man right?" Neon inquired.

"Yes. When I saw you on the ship I couldn't believe that you showed up and with the way you thoroughly defeated those opponents from the prelim, Brad Wong, and even killed those bounty hunters you are getting closer to the deep end."

"Is that so?"

"Yes I feel that you should leave the tournament before this gets worse."

Neon just stared at Kasumi after what she said before he began chuckling and then bursting into full blown psychotic laughter causing her to be confused.

After regaining his composure he got serious once again, "Like that's going to happen."

"Don't you understand?"

"No! I don't see anything I should understand. Just because you had some nightmare about me going insane and battle crazy doesn't mean that it'll happen."

"But..."

"No need to worry yourself. I have self-control so the odds of that nightmare coming true is 0. So there's no need to be concerned."

Kasumi however was not convinced since she had heard his conversation with Mako on the phone earlier and she still believes that Neon's enemy would still send people after him.

"You know that she wouldn't stop until she either captures you, you end up dead or you kill you." she spoke up.

"Yeah I know that. I was hoping that she just gives up on this pointless chase." Neon sighed, "If she did then I'd easily move on with my life instead of being a drifting mercenary."

"You are a mercenary?"

"Yeah but that's not something to make a fuss over. Anyways you don't have to worry about me going berserk okay. And I don't intend to lose to anyone in the tournament even you, Ayane, Hayate or Ryu Hayabusa." Neon answered as he turned around and began to leave.

"Uh Neon."

The mentioned person stopped but didn't turn around.

"If you are the 42nd Master of Bushinryu Ninpo then why haven't you used any of those skills yet?" Kasumi curiously asked.

"It's because I don't like too much attention which the use of Bushinryu in this tournament will attract since it hasn't been seen since the days of the 39th master Guy, one of the heroes of Metro City." Neon answered, "However if I fight someone worth my time in this tournament then you may get a glimpse at least of it."

Suddenly he vanished in a gust of wind while saying, "Kasumi, you'd better not die or I'll drag you out wherever ya end up and beat the crap out you!!"

Kasumi just stood there with an amused face. 'Don't worry Neon. I don't intend to let anyone kill me.' She then vanished too in sakura petals.


Chapter 4 End.
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