Chapter 2: GENOCELL Research
South Korea - 15 years ago.
It was getting late, and a family of three was hurrying home from a trip to a relative's house. A small red-headed boy held on tightly to his fathers hand, and the mother was holding onto the fathers other hand. Since it was very late in the evening, the streets were almost completely empty. The family did not, however, notice that they were being followed. The man following behind them, was wearing a long brown trench coat. From out of his coat pocket, the man drew a silenced pistol. The small boy barely heard the muffled gunshots, but he could clearly hear the screams coming from his mother. He looked on in horror as his both parents fell dead at his feet. He knew that if he did not do something quick, he would end up dead right next to them. His father had taught him how to defend himself, and had also given him a small pocket knife just in case. The boy drew the small knife from his pocket and proceeded to throw it in the direction of his parents assassin. The man tried to move out of the way, but the knife still caught him in the cheek. He cried out in pain and clutched the wound with his left hand. It was then that he finally stepped out into the light. The child glanced up at the man, and was able to get a good look at his face. The man was somewhat tall, and he had short blond hair. The other thing the boy noticed, was that his knife had created a small scar on the mans cheek. The last thing the boy saw was the assassin pulling his right arm back and sending a punch directed at his face.
Los Angeles, California - Present Day.
Hwoarang awoke from his nightmare, drenched in sweat. It took only a few moments for him realize he had only been dreaming again. Hwoarang had been having the same reoccurring nightmare of his parents death, for several weeks now. He was unable to piece most of it together, though. To this day, he still did not understand why the assassin had not finished him off. What he did know, however, was why his parents were murdered.
The murders had taken place nearly fifteen years ago, when Hwoarang was only six. Hwoarang's father had been a high ranking office in the South Korean Police Force. He was on the verge of solving a huge case, that would send almost an entire syndicate to prison. Hwoarang knew that his parents were murdered in order to silence his father for good. Since that day, he still has not been able to track down his parents murderer. But if he did, that man would have hell to pay. Hwoarang then decided that he would drop the subject for now, it was really not something he liked to think about. He wiped the sweat off his face and then began to look around his tiny apartment.
'What a dump!' Hwoarang exclaimed. The once white wall paper had now turned a yellowish color, and it was also beginning to peal. There was no carpet on the ground, only a hard stone floor. The only furniture he had in his house were his bed and a small couch. He had no money for anything else, not even a television. Hell, he barely had enough to pay for the apartment itself. He was beginning to believe that he might have been better off staying with the Korean army, instead of running off to fight in some silly tournament.
He could always go back to making money through making dishonest gambling wagers once again. He remembered the old days when he used pick fights with others, and then manipulate the odds by concealing his true strength. His opponents were quick to accept the bet, but soon realized how foolish they were. Hwoarang quickly and easily disposed of all challengers. Though they would get severely pissed at him for his bluffs, they had no choice but to pay off their losses.
He had promised himself, however, that he was going to make an honest living from now on. He wasn't really sure how he was going to do that, though. After all, fighting was the only thing he was good at. Hwoarang was a master of Tae Kwon Do, which he learned from the great Baek Doo-San. But like everyone else who was important to him, Baek was now supposedly dead. His death though, came at the hands of that beast Ogre. He did not need to seek revenge, however, since Ogre was now dead as well. Ogre had been defeated during the Third King of Iron Fist Tournament, by a combined efforts of several different fighters.
There was one person though left though, whom Hwoarang respected. His name was Jin Kazama, and he was the grandson of Heihachi Mishima. The first fight Jin and Hwoarang had ended in a draw. Hwoarang, however, was never able to get revenge on Kazama for that embarrassment. It was just then, that and idea hit him.
'Instead of sitting around here all day, I'll go find that asshole myself. At least that is better than waiting for that old geezer Heihachi to announce the next King of Iron Fist Tournament.' He thought to himself that perhaps, Marshall Law might know Jin's whereabouts. Hwoarang knew that Law had a Dojo just over in San Francisco. That was all the encouragement he needed to get out of that crumby apartment. Grabbing what little clothes he had, he quickly stuffed them into a duffle bag. With that, he headed out for Marshall's Dojo.
Julia Chang stretched out her arms and yawned. The twenty year old Native American had been sitting at her computer all day, and it was starting to get to her. The reason for this, was that she was trying to find more research into the GENOCELL project. Unfortunately for her, Dr. Abel had stolen most of it when he ran off to the Mishima Zaibatsu. Julia had been on the brink of uncovering the entire project, when Abel suddenly ran off with the data. She needed to report it to the authorities, so as that atrocity would never be released upon the public. Julia was so wrapped up in her research, that she did not even notice the young man who was now looking over her shoulder.
'Julia?' the man asked, with the slightest bit of concern in his voice.
Julia nearly jumped out of her seat in surprise, 'Oh Tim, sorry, you scared me.'
Tim chuckled and began to scratch the back of his head. 'Yeah, sorry about that. I was just wondering, what are you up to' You have been at that computer all day!'
Julia then began to smile at him. Everyone who knew Tim, could tell that he had a little bit of a crush on her. He was about the same age and height of Julia, and his hair was light brown hair. Though he was shy and a bit of a geek, he was still an all around nice guy. Julia actually found him to be quite cute at times. She quickly pointed toward her screen and responded to him, 'Well I have been looking for more information on the GENOCELL Project. Though so far I have been unsuccessful. I also would like to find out just where Heihachi's headquarters are located. If I can find that, I will find Dr. Abel and the research.'
'Mishima eh?' Tim replied, while scratching his head once again. 'If we knew where Heihachi's base was, G Corp would have already went after them both.'
Julia sighed and turned back to her computer screen. Just then, she noticed something. She had been looking at old files on Dr. Abel, and she came across several photos. One of the images showed Dr. Abel standing next to another scientist who was about the same age. She studied the picture a few moments before turning in her chair to face Tim again. 'Just who is that in the picture with Abel?'
Tim moved his head closer to the screen, in order to get a better look at the picture. He had seen it before, and he was pretty sure he knew who the other man was. 'I believe his name is Dr. Boskonovitch, or Dr. B for short. Brilliant scientist, now works closely with the Manji Clan I believe.'
Julia's eyes practically lit up upon hearing this. 'The Manji Clan' That's Yoshimitsu's group right?'
'Yoshi'what?' Tim replied with a hint of confusion in his voice.
The look on Tim's face caused Julia to giggle. 'Never mind, it's a long story. Anyway, do you know where I can find this Dr. B's laboratory?'
Tim nodded his head in response, 'Yeah, I believe he has a lab somewhere in Japan. Just a moment, let me go look it up.'
'Thanks Tim.' Julia smiled, and then stood up to hug him. She watched him leave, and then began to go over the situation in her mind. If anyone knew the location of the Mishima Zaibatsu, it would be the Manji Party. Since she was going to meet Dr. B, maybe she would be able to convince Yoshimitsu of the dangers of Abel's experiments. She knew Yoshimitsu was no fool, and he would provide her with the assistance she needed to in order to end those deadly experiments once and for all. The only problem was, she now had get some money so she could buy a plane ticket to Japan.
'Everyone deserves a second chance' right?' These were the thoughts that were running through the head of Craig Marduk as he headed towards the Mishima board room. He had never meant to kill that man' and if he could turn back time he would have changed everything.
Craig had watched Armor Kings matches for many years. He respected Armor Kings abilities as a fighter, and always hoped that one day, he would be able to have a match with the legend himself. Marduk's dream of finally meeting Armor King came true, at a bar out in Arizona. Armor King agreed to the match with little hesitation, and they then had their bout right in the middle of the barroom. Marduk, however, let himself lose control. He ended up pile driving Armor Kings head right onto the stone floor. This caused King's neck to snap, and he was killed almost instantly. Marduk panicked, and he ended up fleeing the scene of the crime. The police found him, however, and arrested him without any struggle on his part. The witnesses that testified against him, claimed he started the brawl while in a drunken state. He did start the fight, but he was neither drunk nor did he mean to seriously hurt anyone. No one believed his side of the story, and Marduk was convicted of second degree manslaughter. Marduk ended up sentenced to ten years prison. After two years, though, his bail was paid off by an anonymous benefactor. Soon after his release, Marduk received an invitation to fight at the Fourth King of Iron Fist Tournament. Marduk never really knew why he accepted, but he went nonetheless. He was not looking for fame or fortune, neither of those interested him. There was just something deep inside of him that was telling him to go.
It was at the tournament, that he learned the true identity of the anonymous benefactor who had paid his bail. That person was none other than King, the prot'g' to Armor King. Marduk was somewhat relieved, but at the same time worried about having a confrontation with King. He knew King was out for revenge, he just hoped that he would be able to convince the wrestler that it was not his intention to kill Armor King. During their match, Marduk tried his hardest, but he just could not convince King of his innocence. King ended up literally beating him to a pulp. His heart just wasn't in the fight, and he ended up hospitalized because of it. Three months after the tournament, Marduk was finally deemed fit for release from the hospital.
Soon after, Marduk was approached by Heihachi Mishima. Heihachi made an offer to Marduk, asking him to work for the Mishima Zaibatsu in return for the financial security of both his parents. Craig was once rich from his Vale Tudo bouts, but he no longer had the money he once did. Most of his assets were lost in a lawsuit with the family of Armor King. Marduk did not want to align himself with Heihachi, but at the same time he knew his parents would not be able to support themselves for much longer. He loved both of his parents, and he would not be able to live with himself if something were to happen to them. He regretfully decided that he would work for Heihachi, as a personal bodyguard.
Marduk then realized, that he had been standing outside the board room daydreaming for several minutes. He laughed at himself and then pushed open the double doors. Upon entering, the first thing he saw was the look on Heihachi's face. He could tell that Heihachi was obviously pissed off at him for being late, but Marduk could really care less.
'Well I am glad you finally decided to show up, Mr. Marduk?' Heihachi remarked sarcastically.
'Go to hell,' Marduk mumbled under his breath. He quickly and quietly made his way to the only open seat left at the large table. He was sitting all the way at the far end, directly across the table from Heihachi. He began to let his eyes wander around the room at the other people attending the meeting. Sitting on the right hand side of the table, closest to Heihachi, was Dr. Abel. This man was supposed to be some sort of brilliant scientist, but Marduk believed he was nothing but a complete wacko. He was dressed in a white lab coat, and he was also wearing a pair of tacky red sunglasses. This, Marduk found, to be quite odd. Though compared to some of the others in the room, Abel looked quite normal. Sitting directly across from Dr. Abel was Anna Williams. She looked to be a little overly dressed for the meeting. She had on a long red gown, complete with red high heels, and a pair of red leather gloves. Marduk had been hearing rumors about Anna and Heihachi from some of the other guards. Though Marduk found this to be quite disturbing, he decided it best to just mind his own business. Next to Abel and Anna, were eight men dressed in suits, four sitting on each side of the table. Marduk wasn't sure, be he believed they might have been some sort of important committee. They did, however, seem to be just as full of themselves as Heihachi was. Many of them had shot annoyed glances toward Marduk when he had entered the room. Marduk then noticed two others, who were not seated at the table. Standing over by the door was Cypher, Heihachi's head watchdog. Marduk had never seen Heihachi wandering the halls without Cypher somewhere close by. Cypher was dressed like most other guards, except for the fact that his outfit was red instead of black. He knew the man to be a powerful fighter, as well as a resourceful one. During his fights, Cypher would utilize several different weapons to help him gain the upper hand. At the moment, he was also holding a submachine gun. For what purpose, though, Marduk was unsure. Marduk's eyes then moved toward the back corner. Leaning against the wall was a young woman. She was dressed in a purple body suit with a loose fitting yellow shirt overtop, and a pair of dark red pants. She wore what appeared to be a white fox mask over her face. Her arms were crossed, but Marduk could still clearly see the large dagger she was holding. If his memory served him correctly, he believed her name was Kunimitsu. He wasn't completely sure, though, since he had only seen her around a few times.
'Is something wrong Mr. Marduk?' Heihachi asked, which caused him to snap out of his train of thought.
'Its nothing' sorry'.' Craig said in reply.
Heihachi nodded and looked back toward the rest of the group, 'Good! Now then, lets get down to it. Our first order of business is this..' Heihachi removed a gold item from his coat pocket and placed it on the table in front of him. 'This my friends.. Is the Staff of Ogre. It is going to change the face of this company.. And of me?' Heihachi trailed off cryptically.
One of the suits, an overweight man with a beard, shot in, 'Heihachi, we are in serious financial trouble, we have no time to look at your art collection!'
'Calm down there Henry, you did not allow me enough time to finish.' Heihachi replied calmly. 'You see, ever since most of our funds had been stolen by the Manji clan'.' Heihachi was cut off by someone snickering in the back of the room. Marduk did not even need to turn around to know that it had been coming from Kunimitsu. Heihachi quickly shot her a glare, and retuned his attention to the committee. 'As I was saying, since one of our vaults was stolen by the Manji Party, we have been in serious financial trouble. That is where this item comes in, as well as Dr. Abel's research. Let me have him explain it to you.'
Dr. Abel got up from his seat and cleared his throat, 'Well as Heihachi has just said, the research I have been engaging in is with something called the 'GENOCELL'. For those of you who don't know, the GENOCELL is needed in order for human cells to be able to merge with the Devil Gene.' Dr. Abel began to draw a makeshift diagram of the GENOCELL and the Devil Gene on a large chalkboard.
Marduk was beginning to wonder if this man thought that everyone else in the room, besides himself, were complete morons. Marduk decided he would make some sort of comment, just to be an asshole, 'Your not coloring inside the lines Dr?'
Dr. Abel was hardly amused by Marduk's wise crack, 'Be quiet Marduk, I am doing this for the benefit of the mentally handicap in this room, such as yourself. As I was saying, now that I have completed my GENOCELL research, we will be able to merge the Devil Gene with Heihachi. In order to do this, we have captured both Kazuya Mishima, and his son, Jin Kazama. We will need samples of their blood so that we can complete the Devil Gene exercise.'
Heihachi cut in, 'Now, as for this artifact. My men have already recovered the body of the God of Fighting, Ogre. What I plan to do is awaken the beast from it's eternal slumber, with this staff. The beast must be alive in order for it's genes to be useable. We will use some Ogre's blood, to merge with my own cells. Of course, my blood will already the Devil Gene flowing through it. Once we have completed this, I will become the most powerful warrior in the entire world. No one will be able to oppose me, and the world will have no choice but to kneel before the Mishima Zaibatsu. Also, we will then use this staff to control the reawakened monster, Ogre. He will help in providing extra defense to our home front. But before we strike, we must lure the worlds greatest fighters to this location, and finish them off one by one. They are our biggest threat at the moment. That is the reason why I have assembled the group of fighters that you now see before you.'
The fat man, Henry, burst out laughing. 'Are you completely insane Heihachi' We are in serious financial trouble, and you come here spouting this nonsensical dibble' You have wasted millions on some lame brain experiment, and on top of that you hired a bunch of freaks to kill off martial artists' You actually think this plan of your's, is going to help you conquer the entire world?'
The rest of the council looked as displeased with Heihachi as Henry was. A man wearing glasses was the next to speak up, 'Henry is right, we cannot sit idly by as you waste what's left of our companies funds!'
Marduk could tell that Heihachi had heard enough from the committee. He also noticed that Mishima was now motioning his head toward Cypher. Cypher returned the nod and slowly began to walk toward the council members.
Heihachi smiled toward the committee, 'Well I am sorry, if my council does not agree with my plans, I am afraid I am going to have to liquidate it?' Heihachi waved his hand toward Cypher, who responded to the gesture by opening fire with his machine gun. All eight of the council members were dead before they were even able to realize that they had been betrayed. Anna quickly jumped out of her seat in fright, and hid behind Heihachi. Dr. Abel simply sat there and watched the carnage unfold with a look of amusement on his face. It was hard for Marduk to tell what Kunimitsu was thinking, though, since her face was hidden behind a mask. Marduk was, however, able to take note of the fact that Cypher seemed to be overly enjoying himself. He knew this from the faint sound of laughter that could be heard emanating from under the man's gas mask. In fact, he didn't stop shooting until his gun's clip had completely run dry. Marduk knew that even if he had wanted to help them, he would just been killed with the others.
'That's enough Cypher?' Heihachi said with a grin. 'I think they are pretty much dead. Though it is a pity, I forgot to inform them that we have a new benefactor who has been supplying us with the needed funds for the experiments. We were once bitter enemies, but he changed his tune once I informed him of my plan. It is amazing how much a little money and power can corrupt someone. I simply offered him a chance to further his development of Combot, and he was more than happy to join up. So with that. let me be the first to introduce my adopted son, Lee Chaolan!'
Marduk turned his head toward the door as he heard it open. Into the room, walked a man wearing a white suit and a blue vest. The most distinguishing feature about this man was that his hair was the color silver. The one called Lee was followed closely behind by a woman wearing perhaps the shortest skirt Craig had ever seen. Marduk figured she must have been his secretary or something along those lines. As far as Marduk could tell, Lee was just as arrogant as his adopted father. He simply walked right passed the slaughtered committee as it they weren't even there. However, though Heihachi seemed overly impressed with the man, Marduk noticed that no one else in the room was. This Marduk found to be rather amusing.
'Thank you father.' Lee replied with a smile. 'It is a pleasure to be working with you all! Most of you I have already met, or maybe even just seen, at previous Iron First Tournaments. I would just like to let it be known that Combot Version III has been completed and is now ready for mass production. In the next few weeks, you should begin to see several of these Combot models patrolling the halls here at the Mishima complex. They will simply be here as protection, in case someone would attempt to storm the building and halt the progress of our experiments. Now, if no one was any further questions for me, I am going to head back to my lab.' Lee began to strut toward the door, but then stopped momentarily and turned toward the table once again. 'Oh and lastly, I would just like to thank you all for your attention and I hope to be able to get to know you all a little better within the near future.' With that, Lee turned and headed toward the door again, followed closely behind by his secretary.
'Ah yes, I see Mr. Chaolan likes to keep his speeches short, and to the point.' Heihachi remarked after Lee was gone. 'Anyway, is there anyone else here who has anything they would like to say?'
Dr. Abel began waving his hand frantically until Heihachi finally acknowledged him. 'Yes I have something to report. It seems Julia Chang has gotten wind of my research and is now dead set on stopping it. I need you to lure her to this location as well, but please do not kill her. I want her alive so that I can carry out the very same experiments she plans to stop, on her own body.' Dr. Abel now had a demented smile on his face.
Heihachi paused momentarily, almost as if he was in complete shock at the words of the madman. 'Ok'. We can do that' Now if no one has any further questions, I am going to return to my office and await Dr. Abel's go ahead to begin the operation.' Dr. Abel nodded in response, and then got up to leave. Once he was gone, Kunimitsu silently walked out the door. Marduk decided he did not want to be left alone with the three lunatics, and quickly followed her out.
Once they were gone, Cypher spoke up, 'Do you think we can trust those two?'
Heihachi nodded and turned to face Cypher, 'I am not sure at the moment, just make sure to keep a close eye on them both.'
'Yes sir.' Cypher nodded his head and then headed toward the door.
Heihachi waited until Cypher had left the room, and then turned to Anna. He moved closer to her and kissed her on the lips, 'It will all soon begin my dear..'
'And just what is that?' She asked with curiosity, while at the same time wrapping her arms around his waist. She laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes.
'Why.. The end of the world as we know it!' Heihachi replied with a smile.