Dead or Alive Dark Horse

Shadow of Bushinryu

07:30 hrs Tokyo, Japan

Neon Cross is in his hotel room, on the phone with three people he hadn't heard from in six years after his escape from the secret Bounty Rook facility he had been kept in.

The first is Jake 'Red' Lewis, an ex-Delta Force soldier, an ex-NATO ranger, retired Vale Tudo fighter, his godfather and the UN Chief of Security and former superior. He was Neon's father's best friend ever since their service in NATO's counter-terrorism unit.

Second is Ron Russell, Red's nephew, a member of the counter-terrorism unit UNWOP, a brother figure and was sometimes his support during some of his missions as the Bounty Rook. It was he whom found out his identity and informed his uncle about him before he made plans to get him out of the accursed project.

The last person is Dr. Dunnan Vela, the psychiatrist who helped him to become human again through her effective therapy.

"It's been a long time you three. I hope you're all okay." Neon began.

"I'm good but still getting a freaking' migraine with all the damn paperwork that is dumped on front of me almost every time." Red shouted.

"I'm alright and been having fun training new recruits." Ron said excitedly, "Great to hear from you."

"Thank goodness you're okay Neon. I'm also doing well especially with my new job at a hospital." Dr. Vela said.

"So has anything new come up?" Neon asked.

"Someone tried to hack into the UN database." Red said in a serious tone.

"Really? Someone must have guts to pull off that suicidal stunt."

"No kidding. Problem for them was that we already know who they are and where they tried to do it from." Ron added.

"Then they are officially fucked. Who's the unlucky individual?"

"Someone from the CIA." Red said in disgust, "Those shit bags really think they can do whatever they want without consequences."

"I agree with Red here." Dr. Vela said, "They need a wake up call."

"True. Anyways what's the hacker's name?" Neon asked.

"Irene Lew." Ron said.

"Irene Lew huh? I know that name."

"You do? How?" Dr. Vela asked.

"I met her more than enough times during my drifting around the world that it's no coincidence. Plus she's a good friend of Ryu Hayabusa, a participant in the DOA tournament."

"Ryu Hayabusa? The super ninja? That's quite a friend she's gotten there." Red said.

"Did she even succeed in getting what she wanted?"

"No. More like we gave them to her with a warning that if that info got into the wrong hands then she's dead meat."

"Was that info on The Bounty Rook Project?"

"Yes. While I hate the CIA a lot, they are still some of the people there who are trustworthy enough especially when one of them is a pal of a ninja like Hayabusa."

"I hope that trust isn't misplaced since the CIA are like the snake."

"No worries Neon. If she double crosses us then she's going down." Ron stated.

"Alright. Now you all wanna know how I'm doing especially with the DOA 4 tournament?" Neon asked.

"Yes/Yeah/Of course."

"I've had a good life ever since I left that hell hole six years ago thanks to you three and that I'm grateful for. Drifting about the place and helping out here and there has been great. Then out of boredom I entered the DOA 4 tournament and I'm now in the semis. However Mako Yashiro has found me and has tried to get me back."


"You've gotta be kidding me!!!"

"Not good, you've been found out now. What will you do?"

"Is she doing this on her own or with someone's support?" Red spoke up.

"I couldn't say when she sent bounty hunters after me earlier that I eliminated but from what I uncovered from a few people I'd say that she'd more than likely be working with Victor Donovan of DOATEC who's one nasty lunatic." Neon said, "Does Project Epsilon ring a bell to any of you?"

"The vile shit that's almost similar to that Bounty Rook project? Yep it rings too many bells!!" Red said, "My undercover agents in DOATEC got that info before I pulled them out."

"So that bastard wants to create the ultimate soldier and now he's working with that bitch Mako!!! Damn it!!" Ron shouted.

"Worse Donovan most likely has you in his cross-hairs now." Dr. Vela added.

"I know he does and not only me, he also has Hayabusa and the Mugen Tenshin ninjas too gunning for him." Neon stated.

"Not surprising especially since the leader Hayate and his sister Kasumi the runaway ninja were especially involved in the lunatic's project." Red said.

"Not to mention that Hayate and Ayane seem to have issues with me for no reason and I have a feeling that they'll want to deal with me first before DOATEC. Hayabusa's on the sidelines about me until he sees for himself if I'm trouble or not and Kasumi seems to trust me and has been unusually concerned for me. Heck she even knows I'm the current master of Bushinryu Ninpo."

"That shouldn't be surprising." Dr. Vela pointed out, "Since she's a runaway ninja she'd most likely heard of Bushinryu or even seen someone who practiced it."

"Point taken there. So what about Mako Yashiro and DOATEC?" Neon asks, "Will you deal with them or does it fall to me to do so?"

"You don't answer to me anymore Neon." Red stated, "It's up to you if you want to get involved in this or not, just be careful about Code: Rook and utilize it at the utmost discretion."

"I knew you were gonna say that and besides I am already gonna get involved due to Hayate's ninjas trying to kill me even though he didn't know that then but he'd know that by now and from there I'll be involved in their war against DOATEC."

"Neon how much control do you have of Code:Bounty Rook?" Dr. Vela asked.

"I can now utilize up to 75% without losing it by just willpower alone." Neon answered, "However anymore than that and I go Tasmanian Devil."

"Let's just hope that you don't have to utilize more than that." Ron mentions, "It'll be hell to get you back to normal after all the carnage you'd unleash."

"Well then good luck to you Neon, in the tournament and in dealing with DOATEC." Red says, "Just don't make too much of a mess that would be traced back to you."

"I can't make promises on that Red but I'll do my best." Neon said before he ends the call.

'Looks like it's time for The Bounty Rook to return to the fray. The kid gloves are officially off.'

12:00 hrs Tokyo, Japan

Standing on a building is a man wearing a white body suit that looks almost like a special ops suit, with matching gloves, boots and a scarf around his neck. On his left thigh is a gun holster with a Glock 17 pistol in it.

He's casually watching the city with his back to the wall and at the same time has his senses working to make sure nothing sneaks up on him. So far nothing unusual was going on but the man clearly had no sign of boredom on him as he maintained his watch before he decided to move on.

Jumping to another building the man easily made his landing and he crouched down to scan the area below him. As he stood up he managed to pick up the sound of three projectiles flying towards him, and in one quick motion he drew out his gun, blasted the projectiles away and holstered his weapon as a smirk came on his face.

'So they've finally found me. They sure took their sweet time...well that was due to me not letting them detect me to begin with. Time to humor them.'

The man led his pursuers from rooftop to rooftop, through the city, leading them on a wild goose chase around the area. He'd sensed four very familiar people chasing him, two of them with bad intentions, one of them neutral and the last one with worry in them. He decides to end the chase and lands on a balcony of a traditional Japanese building with a Ninja-esque theme. He enters through the wooden doors and waits in one of the rooms for his pursuers to arrive.

Standing in front of him are Ayane, who's wearing a pink-and-purple patterned dress with red rope ties, matching purple sleeves and stockings, and ankle boots, and Hayate wearing his white shozoku with black mesh shirt underneath, a dark blue headband on his forehead and two swords on his back and behind his waist. Ayane's looking at him with sadistic smirk on her face and Hayate has only a calm, serious look on him.

"About time you two caught up, I thought I was gonna lose you too easily." The man deadpanned.

Ayane scoffed, "You wish, Neon. Like you can escape from us."

"If I wanted to leave you two in the dust I'd have easily done it." Neon stated, "So what do you want from me, Hayate, 18th Master of the Mugen Tenshin Ninja Clan ?"

"Neon 'Grim' Cross, 42nd Master of Bushinryu Ninpo or may I say UN's best kept secret, The Bounty Rook." Hayate said.

"Hold on!! He's the 42nd Master of Bushinryu Ninpo?! No way!!" Ayane exclaimed.

"Yes I am the Bounty Rook though I no longer work for UN and the only reason why you even know that is because you were allowed to, Miss Lew is now tredding on thin ice with the UN." Neon said, "As for the Bushinryu I became the current master by defeating the 41st Master, who was my mother in combat. So no need to be surprised kunoichi."

"I see. Anyways Neon, I want you to stay away from Kasumi." Hayate demanded.

"No." Neon bluntly stated.

Hayate growled. Ayane was shaking her head and Ryu Hayabusa had just arrived and could tell that the situation could get ugly.

"I'll only say this once, stay away from my sister!"

"Oh so now she's your sister. That's rich coming from you and last time I checked you wanted her dead, you spineless fool!"

"What was that?!"

"I don't need to repeat myself. You were more than happy to be a bitch of that council of yours and send ninjas to kill your own sibling!! You couldn't even grow a fucking spine and put your foot down and let those assholes know that you're the boss and handle Kasumi's situation your own way. You disgust me, you waste of space!!"

Before any retort could be made Hayate found himself flying to the end of the other room before his back made impact with the wall and slumped down. Ayane was shocked as all she could see is Neon standing at Hayate's spot with his left leg extended. Ryu and Kasumi barely saw Neon close the distance, turn around and deliver a powerful back kick that sent Hayate flying back.

"Ayane, Master of the Hajinmon Sect, you're just as bad as him!!!" Neon spoke, "You were born into the world as a pariah thanks to a bastard who's burning in hell where he belongs but yet you decide to be a petty bitch because of Kasumi's status as a princess in the village? Pathetic!!!"

"You know nothing about me!!!" Ayane shouted, "You don't know what it's like....Oooff!!!" She was cut off by a knee to her solar plexus by Neon who had an indifferent face on him.

"You're correct. Although Kasumi told me about you I still don't know everything about you but I also know what it's like to have to deal with shit beyond your control." Neon said and then toss her into the other room with ease, "I never asked to become The Bounty Rook, the ultimate soldier, a mindless weapon and if I really had any say I'd turn it all down and enjoy a normal life."

Neon is then on the defensive as Hayate had recovered from the initial kick and rushed at him throwing a flurry of strikes at him. Much to the Mugen Tenshin leader's surprise, the Bushinryu master was easily elbow blocking his attacks before ending up on the receiving end of a barrage of kicks to his head, body and legs before a left sobat sent him flying back into the other room again.

Neon then caught Ayane's spin kick that was aimed at the side of his head and lifted her off the ground leaving her hanging upside down in shock. Next he savagely kicked her head five times before throwing her at a charging Hayate that had to stop to catch her. Before Hayate could react Neon rushed at him and dropkicked him in the face sending both ninjas towards the balcony.

When they both got to their feet they saw Neon standing some distance from them, with his arms folded staring at them like an eagle ready to swoop in on its prey. "What the hell just happened? Did he just make us look like genin?" Ayane said. "He's not even breaking a sweat Ayane." Hayate stated, "He's clearly not fighting the way he's been fighting in the tournament."

"Congratulations for figuring that out! Someone give him a prize." Neon mocked, "Unfortunately this is getting boring and unless you two do something to turn up the heat, I'll be putting an end to this joke of a fight!!"

"Turn up the heat!?! I'll do more than that I'll burn you away when I'm through with you!!!" Ayane shouted as she charged right at Neon, attacking with strikes, spinning about like a mini-tornado. "Great. She's like a female Tasmanian devil." Neon sighed. Hayate too joined her with his onslaught of attacks. Ryu and Kasumi were surprised at what they're seeing as it looked like Neon was indifferent to the tag team onslaught from both Ayane and Hayate as he easily dodged and blocked their attacks.

Ayane and Hayate were getting frustrated at their inability to land a hit, and they kept up their pace and finally landed a kick and punch respectively on Neon's face which had an unimpressed look on it.

"You two bakas finally satisfied?! Because that was free!" Neon mocked as his two opponents leap back from him. He cracked his neck before glaring at them with both of his eyes red, "I was hoping that you two attacking me at the same time would be at least fun but your frustration pissed me off and so we're done here." Neon became a blur as he rushed at Ayane and Hayate, who were stunned at his speed and then viciously pummeled them senseless before sending both helpless ninjas crashing through the balcony and falling to the ground below them. Luckily Ryu caught both of them before they could land on the hard floor. Ayane was out cold and Hayate was barely conscious.

Neon shunsined in front of them and stood there relaxed and indifferent. Then he looked up at a building where Kasumi is standing on the rooftop staring into his red and green eyes in terror. He then stared back at the three ninjas in front of him.

"Hayate......You may have known already that I killed a few of your ninjas who tried to kill me and Kasumi. Whether you knew that they did or not doesn't matter as it's a clear that you picked a fight with me. Since you read my file you should know that I can easily wipe you, Ayane and the whole Mugen Tenshin clan from the face of the Earth if I want." Neon said, "However I am letting you all know that I'm going to assist your attack on DOATEC but for my own reasons like you all have. And finally if any of you or your ninjas dare come after me again, your lives are forfeit and it's not a threat but a promise. You've been warned."

Neon then focused his attention at Ryu with a smirk on his face "By the way Ryu Hayabusa I look forward to fighting you in the tournament and also tell your friend Irene Lew that she's on thin ice with the UN since the individual there who allowed her to get my file has a grudge with the CIA and only trusts her with it because he trusts you to make sure she doesn't screw up or else she'll be dead meat. So sayonara to you all and good day." Neon did a two finger salute before he shunsined from the area leaving the ninjas alone.

18:00 hrs at the DOA dome

Neon is on the center stage with three others that had made it to the semi finals with him: Jann Lee who had beaten Lei Fang, Ryu Hayabusa who had beaten Bayman and Kasumi who had beaten Ayane. He was happy that the two people he wanted to fight with were at here and he had a chance to end up fighting one of them in the semi finals and the finals but he also knew that he'd fight Kasumi who he'd been able get along with but still be cautious with because of her fear of him losing himself and causing damage to himself and anyone around him. He pushed those thoughts to the back of his head as he tuned out the announcer and waited in anticipation for who he'd fight next as the screen above them began to show the semifinal match ups.

Chapter 8 End.
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