Dead or Alive Dark Horse

Fireworks



Two days later. 12:00 hrs Tokyo, Japan.

Neon reached a temple that was in the city. It was not that big compared to the last one he went to where he took out four people and talked with Kasumi and Ayane. He's wearing a green short-sleeved shirt, white cargo pants with a white jacket tied around his waist, an orange scarf around his neck and orange sneakers. His long white hair was not in a pony-tail leaving it hanging, reaching his waist.

He went to an altar that was in the area and stood in front of it in silence. Memories of multiple people dying in many different ways flashed before his eyes, some killed by him and some he witnessed dying.

Memories he had tried to forget completely and was successful in doing so until he killed more people again to avoid capture thanks to a certain old bitch who hadn't heeded his warnings.

"WHY?! WHY?! WHY?!" Neon lamented.

He looked at the palm of his left hand and for a brief moment saw blood on it before it vanished from him. He formed a fist with that hand and gritted his teeth as he tried to suppress more memories that were trying to surface.

'I never asked for this at all! This accursed power or job as a mindless weapon, ruthless executioner or even mass murdering monstrosity.'

"It is all her fault!!! That damned Mako Yashiro!!!" Neon muttered to himself.

After a few minutes of contemplation, he dropped a coin into the offerings box before he performed a quick prayer.

"I know that it's still not enough but once again I hope that those who didn't deserve to have their lives extinguished can all rest in peace."

Neon then turned around putting his hands in his pocket.

"I know that you've been tailing and spying on me since I left the coffee shop this morning, so just come out."

He heard foot steps from in front of him as once again he saw someone he didn't want to come across again: Christie, wearing black leather trousers and open jacket with blue flame detailing and jaw-shaped leg guards, red-and-black boots, and red belt and jewelry.

"Fancy meeting you here Mr. Cross." Christie remarked, "Never thought of you to be the religious type."

"Everyone has their own god or deity they worship, even those who have killed a lot." Neon bluntly replied.

"Interesting isn't it? For a man like you to say that."

"What do you want again, assassin? I don't have time for chit-chat with you."

"Because of your match today? Yes, I know that and it's not going to begin until 3:00 pm tomorrow, so I'll try not to take too much of your time so that you can train."

"Answer my question assassin."

"I have a name, just so you know and it's Christie."

"Like I give a fuck!"

"No need to be such a grouch Mr. Bounty Rook."

Neon froze on the spot in shock but managed to quickly recover.

"Surprised to hear that name again?" Christie continued.

"That was a name from a long time ago and one that I have left behind." Neon answered, "What do you want from me?"

"Ever since I saw you on the ship, I've been curious about you as you seemed familiar but I couldn't put a finger on it not until two days ago when I recounted some of my old jobs and found one that involved a simple hit on some diplomat with really big connections."

Neon stayed silent as he let Christie continue.

"Just as I was about to snipe him I heard gunshots and lots of screaming. Whoever it was, subtlety was not in their mind causing my target to freak out and try to get away while leaving his men to die at the intruder's hands. Said intruder was very ruthless and precise with the way they took down those that were foolish enough to get in their way. They finally cornered him and proceeded to sadistically beat him to kingdom come for something. As they were about to execute him I made my move and took him out."

"So you were the assassin that was meant to shut him up. Why am I not surprised?" Neon remarked.

"Yes and you chased me down across the rooftops, trading gunfire with me and then nearly beating me to death trying to get me to divulge my employer's name, before I managed escaped into a nearby stream to get away from you." Christie answered before she sighed, "And since then I had been looking for you to pay you back for that attempt on my life but you had mysteriously gone off the grid. Just like that you were gone. I eventually forgot about that until I saw you again and talked to you at the party."

"Let me guess you're still holding a grudge." Neon stated, "That was just me doing my job then and after you stole my kill I was ordered to chase your ass down and get answers from you. A professional like you should know that."

Christie scoffed, "I know that we were both professionals just doing our jobs and besides, I know better than to mess with the UN and end up on their shit list."

"Whatever. Thanks for the unnecessary trip down memory lane and once again stay out of my way and I'll stay out of yours."

"I take it that you know who my target is and yet you are making no attempt to stop me."

"If I was still working for UN you'd be dead already, but since I have no obligation to them I don't give a shit about who you want to kill. So feel free to take out your target unless it's me then that'll be a different story."

Christie sweat drops at how casually Neon just said that.

"Well then sayonara to ya Christie." Neon says as he walks away.


14:55 hrs Tokyo Shopping District.

Neon arrived at the shopping district, wondering how the heck he even ended up there to begin with as he didn't even plan on going there. However he chose to just go with the flow and ride the wind like the drifter he is as he entered the Tokyo mall.

Walking around he was amazed at the size of the place, he had been to other malls in the US, England, even Nigeria and South Africa, and this one is very large in its own right.

"I may not be a fan of .... screw that I'm not a fan of shopping but I can make an exception and at least buy something." Neon said, "Good thing I have some money on me."

"Hello Mr. Cross." Neon turned around to spot a woman that seemed familiar to him but couldn't recall seeing her at all.

"I'd like to say "hello to you too" but who are you and how do you know my name?" Neon asked with an inquisitive look.

"My name is Lisa Hamilton. Nice to meet you and I know you because I saw your fight against Brad Wong. Plus people are calling you the tournament's Dark Horse." Lisa answered.

"I'm not surprised about that. I had a feeling that people were not expecting me to even make it to this point and a few people are actually banking on me to win it all." Neon mentions.

"You're the wild card here." Lisa said, "You the mysterious fighter who came in blitzed through everyone in the prelim and even defeat the drunken master Brad Wong. That's the kind of stuff that'll open people's eyes."

"Is that right? Well then expect me to do more then, and by the way have we met before? You seem very familiar but I can't put a finger on it."

"Maybe. Maybe not." Lisa answers. 'Actually you have but I don't have to tell you that now do I?'

"I see, it must be my imagination." Neon said.

"Are you here shopping? You don't look like someone who enjoys it." Lisa asks.

"I'm not much of a shopper except for the basic stuff." Neon answers, "But since I'm in a mall I might as well get something at least even though I didn't plan to even be here."

"Well then have fun, Mr. Cross. See you tomorrow and good luck in your match." Lisa said before she went her own way.

'I can now say that I have met her before. She's very familiar.' Neon thought as he continued looking around the mall.


After an hour of aimlessly walking about, Neon was about to lose it before he saw a certain antiques shop which caught his attention.

"Dragon's Antique Shop. Interesting enough for me." Neon said as he made his way towards it. He entered and was very intrigued by the interesting pieces of antiques on the shelves and the how well organised the shop was.

"Welcome can I help you?"

Neon turned to his right to see a the owner of the shop, a young man in his early twenties with brown hair tied in a pony-tail, green eyes and looked to be in his physical peak. The green eyes especially got his attention as he thought that they were dragon's eyes.

The man in front of him had looked at his new customer and was surprised though he did a good job of hiding it. He came out of the back of the store after the bells rung to signal the person's arrival but did not expect the man in front of him to be the one who had arrived.

"Just looking around for now." Neon answered after getting out of his stupor, "You have quite the interesting and rare antiques you know, and you definitely know how to run your store."

"Thank you very much, sir. I am responsible for my store and I run it properly like a professional. Anyways let me know if you need help." The shop owner said before going to the counter.

Neon looked around the shelves of the shop, looking for something to that interests him or as a souvenir. He found a small sculpture of a silver dragon which he definitely wanted to buy and took it from the shelf and went to the counter.

"I see that you have an interest in dragons." The shop owner said.

"Yes I can say that I'm intrigued by them as they are quite the unique and regal creatures. Especially considering that you have the eyes of one to say the least." Neon said, "Right, Ryu Hayabusa?"

A silencing seal was cast in the store as the man now revealed as Ryu Hayabusa had a serious look on his face while Neon kept his neutral look and both folded their arms.

"That's so that no one eavesdrops on us." Ryu said.

"I painfully, obviously know that Dragon Ninja." Neon said, "And may I know what you want to talk about?"

"Who are you and what is your business in this tournament?"

"You know my name already but I'll reintroduce myself anyways. Name's NEON 'GRIM' CROSS and I'm nothing more than a lone drifter. As for why I'm in the tournament, that's for the fun of it as I entered it out of boredom and what better way to get rid of it than to fight some hopefully decent opponents. May I know why you want to know?"

"I wanted to know for myself who you are and whether you were a threat or not since you are bit of an enigma coming into the tournament."

"You as a ninja already know how useful information can be and I don't intend to just tell you everything about me and I trust that you won't push the issue since I have every reason to keep my secrets to myself and a few people."

"Okay one more question, are you sided with DOATEC or not?"

"Why the hell would I be affiliated with that company? I sure as hell have no reason to be working with them."

"Forgive me if I don't trust your words like that."

"I don't care if you trust me or not. I prefer to let my actions do the talking not my mouth."

"I see. Well don't be surprised if Hayate confronts you to get answers for himself, since he doesn't trust you or like you at all and Ayane seems to hate you already."

"I don't care if Hayate and Ayane have their issues with me but if they think that they can intimidate me then they are in for a rude wake-up call."

"I see..."

"How about you Hayabusa?" Neon asked, "Do you see me as a potential threat or ally?"

"While you may be secretive about yourself I can tell that you are definitely not an enemy." Ryu answered, "But you also seem to be neutral in all this."

"You are right about that, Ryu, I don't want to be involved in anything that has nothing to do with me. I just wanna win this damn tournament and get on with my life."

"I hope you get to do that Neon, but a word of advice, watch your back because there is trouble just around the corner."

"You don't have to tell me. I already know that firsthand but thanks anyway for the warning."

The silence seal thwn went down and Ryu went back to his shop owner role, "Okay that will be 350 yen please."

"Here you go. Have a nice day, sir." Neon said, as a happy customer.

"Same to you."

Neon got his purchase in a box and left the antiques shop. As he went past it he detected another presence and just grinned before he continued on his way.


20:11hrs at a random park

Neon was at the park going through his motions and keeping his skills sharp for tomorrow's match. He is also thinking about his match with Hitomi, whom he had sparred with earlier.

'Hitomi's a karate fighter and from my spar with her on the ship I can tell that she's really good. Plus since that sparring match she'd have an idea of how to fight me so I'll have to change my approach.'

Neon then spends an hour fighting with an imaginary opponent. While this may seem insane to some people, it is a way that he has used to practice his martial arts and prepare for opponents if he can't find a sparring partner. After he was done he felt that he'd done it things right.

'Well I'm ready for you, Hitomi. You'd better be ready for me too. Let's give the fans a show they'll never forget.'

Meanwhile somewhere else Hitomi was thinking the exact same thing.

'I am ready for you Neon. Don't hold back on me because I won't.'


Next day, 13:00 hrs, DWA Ring

The crowd were excited as the upcoming match was about to begin between the Karate black belt Hitomi and the Freestyle fighter Neon Cross. The ninjas were on the top of the arena watching from above though Kasumi was hidden behind the lights, Jann Lee, Lei Fang, Zack, Kokoro, Eliot, Lisa and Helena were in the seats with the crowd. Everyone waited for the two contestants to arrive.

Fortunately they didn't wait long as both fighters made their way to the octagon for their big match to get closer to the top.

Hitomi is in her white karate gi, with a black belt on her waist and a black tube top underneath the gi.

Neon was in a black fishnet shirt, black and white MMA trunks with orange trims, white MMA style fight gloves and his feet in wrappings.

As they both entered the octagon both had their focus on each other and those present could see their determination on their faces. The announcer looked at the both of them before he got things underway.

"THE SECOND FIGHT OF THE QUARTERFINALS IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!! FIGHTERS TAKE YOUR POSITIONS!!!"

Both fighters took their fighting stances. Hitomi in her karate stance and Neon smacked both of his fists against each other and got into his upright orthodox stance.

"Osu!! Show me what you got Neon!!"

"Alright Hitomi, let's dance!!"

GET READY....FIGHT!!!!

Neon rushed at Hitomi with a three punch combination which Hitomi parried before retaliating with her own three punch combo, backing Neon off. Undeterred Neon charged right back into the fray with a straight, left elbow, right body blow, and left leg kick combo which Hitomi defended.

Neon continued with a triple elbow rush combo forcing Hitomi to cover up, allowing him to get the Thai plum and attack with quick and sharp knees to her body. Hitomi defended against them and pushed Neon off and attacked with a 1-2 roundhouse kick combo, with the strikes being dodged but the kick partially blocked. She threw a right spinning back kick which Neon ducked under and followed up with a right snap kick that hit his body and pushed him back. Neon then came back with a feint step left roundhouse kick that Hitomi evaded. Neon switches to southpaw.

They moved around the ring, with Neon stalking Hitomi. She was using feint steps to her sides to bait him and not get cornered but he was not biting. Neon then fired off a left front kick which Hitomi blocked while narrowly avoiding the follow-up right spinning back fist and getting away from the ropes. Neon continued to walk Hitomi down, pumping his left jabs and the occasional overhand which the girl avoided. He then threw a jab-right leg kick combo which Hitomi countered with a well timed straight while he threw the kick, dropping him on his behind. Neon popped back up immediately.

Neon lunged in with a hook but Hitomi dodges and counters with a four punch combo with the fourth one dropping Neon but he springs back to his feet while smirking.

Hitomi launched a right head kick but Neon caught it and tripped her to the canvas. She manages to get up before Neon could pounce.

Both fighters connect with a right rolling sobat/left spinning back kick to the body. Neon lands a 1-2 combo that snaps Hitomi's head back and she retaliates with a straight to left snap kick to the body combo. Neon throws a left head kick which is blocked and launches a slashing right flying knee that Hitomi steps away from.

Hitomi steps in and gets a hold of Neon's arm and throws him to the canvas while still maintaining her grip. Before she could follow-up with a knee strike Neon escapes from the hold and gets back up. Hitomi throws a left hook which he ducks under and puts his left arm under her outstretched arm and across her neck before tripping her with a osoto gari throw. A scramble ensues and both are back to their feet.

Hitomi dashes in and fires off a three punch combo which Neon ducks under. She then follows up with a seoi nage throw but Neon denies her and kicks her off him. Hitomi throws a body straight but gets dropped by a standing knee from Neon. She manages to scramble up but finds herself in the Thai plum. She manages to whip herself around and breaks from his grip while avoiding a knee to her head.

Neon rushes Hitomi with a straight, left body blow, right leg kick combo. She blocks the punches then checks the leg kick and counters with a right reverse elbow that staggers Neon but then he immediately stops her follow-up with a reverse elbow that staggers her. Hitomi recovers quickly and launches a jumping knee which Neon catches and slams her down on the canvas. A scramble ensues and both return to standing position.

Neon switches to orthodox again as Hitomi circles away from him. He rushes in with a flurry of strikes but Hitomi parries and drops Neon with a left hook that sends him flying to the side. Neon manages to recover as Hitomi followed after him and he backs her off with a 1-2 head kick.

Hitomi throws a straight right which Neon counters with a left overhand that stuns her and sends her stumbling back across the ring with Neon chasing after her. He corners her on the ropes and cuts loose with a flurry of punches as Hitomi cover ups while trapped on the ropes.

The fans are going wild thinking that a finish is about to come, however Hayate looks on with a worry on his face. Then the momentum shifts as Hitomi manages to pick the right time and cracks Neon with a counter left hook, dropping him on one knee and she reverses the position and fires off her own flurry. Neon though doesn't back down and fires back at her with his own flurry. The wild exchange on the ropes sends the crowd into a frenzy. They get even more excited when Hitomi drops Neon with a right hook during the exchange, dropping him on all fours. Before she can follow up Neon grabs her left leg and rushes for a single leg takedown. Hitomi defends well and slips out of his grasp, but that was enough for Neon to get the stars out of his vision and back to his feet.

Hitomi runs and leaps in with a flying kick which Neon sidesteps out of the way of. She throws a back kick to the head but misses by a mile. Neon lands a left snap kick to the body and then adds a switch-right kick which is blocked. Then he throws a flurry of punches which are easily blocked, but that was to make it easier to land a leg kick. He then adds another high low combo after.

Both move back to the center of the ring with visible signs of damage on them. Hitomi has cuts under her eyes. Her left feeling heavy and barely able to stand on it. Neon has a broken nose and a cut under his left eye. Neon switches to southpaw and then suddenly drops Hitomi with a superman punch, putting her on her back. Neon immediately pounces and begins throwing down ferocious ground and pound. Hitomi covers up for a while before pushing him off of her and getting back to her feet.

Neon walks Hitomi down to the corner. Hitomi fires off a quick punch kick combo. Neon blocks them and returns fire with a body kick before stepping in with a straight. Hitomi parries the punch and lands a counter uppercut that stuns Neon and makes him stagger back. Hitomi attempts to blitz him but gets dropped by Neon's left check hook as she rushed in. The crowd is once more on their feet and going nuts as he then rushes on top of her and pounds away with hammer fists seeking a finish but Hitomi still manages to defend herself from the onslaught.

Unfortunately she leaves her neck out and Neon wastes no time latching on and sinking in an arm-in guillotine choke before he sitting on his back. Hitomi is desperately defending against the submission but Neon maintains his hold and cranks harder until she stops struggling and goes limp from the submission. Seeing that Neon immediately lets go of Hitomi and pushes her body off him. The announcer sees that she's out and ends the match.

"WINNER!!!"

"Damn, Hitomi! That was one hell of a crazy fight."

The medics came to check on the unconscious Hitomi as Neon stayed with them waiting for her to recover. She regains consciousness a minute later and sees the faces of the medics and a relieved Neon.

"Awww!! I lost!!" Hitomi lamented.

"Don't get too upset over it, Hitomi." Neon said, "You nearly had me there too you know. Thanks for really pushing me to there."

Hitomi managed to help herself up but stumbled a bit before Neon caught her.

"Easy there. Your leg's still banged up, don't rush it." One of medics warned.

"How about getting both of us to the hospital if you don't mind?" Neon asked.

"Yeah, we definitely need to patch up our injuries and get our heads checked since we both got our clocks cleaned!" Hitomi added.

"Exactly! AHAHHAHAHAHA!!"

Both of Hitomi and Neon laughed as they were brought to the ambulance on stretchers and taken to the hospital to treat their wounds and recover from the crazy fight.

"That was one CRAZY FIGHT!!!" Zack shouted, "They sure got the crowd on their feet!!!"

"That was very exciting. I admit that the fight was breathtaking." Lisa said.

"I agree. That was a great performance from both of them." Helena said.

"Started technical before it went completely wild." Lei Fang commented, "What do you think Jann Lee?"

"It was....entertaining to say the least." Jann Lee answered.

"Both gave their all and pushed each other to the brink!" Kokoro exclaimed in excitement.

"Hitomi-san fought well but Neon-san fought even harder. The finish especially was a shocker." Eliot said in awe.

Kasumi was glad that Neon won the fight as she nearly had fainted after he was hurt and nearly finished. Ayane was pouting because she was hoping for Hitomi to win and put Neon in his place but didn't get the desired result. Hayate was not happy about the finish as he nearly lost it when Hitomi went limp but calmed down when he saw her recover and Neon actually concerned for her health. Ryu Hayabusa remained indifferent to it all but deep down was glad that Hitomi was alright, because if not Hayate would no doubt have gone after Neon's head.

Meanwhile somewhere else a certain individual wearing a black suit and a lab coat is in an office and had just finished watching the 'fireworks'. A huge smile came on the person's face, impressed with Neon's hard fought victory and abilities he displayed.

"Looks like she is correct about him. I may have found just the perfect person to help with the next stage of the Alpha project."


Chapter 6 End.
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