CHP 22: Path to Netherealm
Sitting up in bed the sun rises over the hemisphere, he wonders if the nightmares will ever stop. Perhaps it is a reminder of what his destiny in life is; to make sure what happened to him never happens to another, the pain of the past is what fuels his strength/drive. Getting out of bed he reaches for his cowl fully suiting up. From what Liu Kang said, both Jax and the wall crawler were taken by a sorcerer by the name of Quan Chi, the quicker they can get them back the better. Stepping out of the room he travels down the hall to where both Naruto and Zatanna lay asleep. Entering into the room moving around slowly he walks over tapping Naruto on the shoulder waking the leaf village ninja.
"What's going on, is it time to go already?" Naruto asks yawning.
Bending down a bit Batman lifts up Naruto's shirt from the ground tossing it over to him.
"Yes it is time to get dressed, I will only need one of you just let her sleep."
Both look at one another, than over at Zatanna who stands fully dressed adjusting her hat over her head.
"I'm coming with you, I'm tired of sitting around and doing nothing."
Batman steps forward to say something but stops in place clinching his fists; he isn't sure she can be fully trusted given their earlier encounter. But she is a valuable teammate and her traveling with him would enable him to keep a close eye on her.
"Forget it kid just get your rest; lets go Zee."
Looking up at him she is surprised, it's interesting he didn't argue with her opinion.
"Why don't we all go after them?"
"This isn't the invaders we're dealing with, Zatanna along with Kung Lao and myself will be enough. If the invaders are to return here it's better if more of us are here to fight them off, just trust me."
Laying back Naruto nods informing the capped crusader he understands. Smiling walking forward Zee wraps her arm around Batman's walking them both toward the exit.
"Lets not keep them waiting, see you later Naruto." Zatanna says.
Pulling his arm away from her, Batman opens the door leading them out of the room. Something still seems off about the magician, but he can't quiet put a finger on it. Hopefully it is just a process which she will soon be normal, a lot has happened lately it could be stress. Once downstairs the two meet up with Kung Lao who leads them out the front door.
"I have a good idea where Quan Chi could be, but I must warn you he is very dangerous and we must stay on guard when we get there. He will not hesitate to kill, so just be aware of exactly what we'll be facing."
Departing from the front gates Zee wonders why it is only three of them going, any sorcerer is nothing to be taken lightly. There are many things she loves about Bruce, but his stubbornness is not one of them. It would have been smart if four of them were apart of this. Hopefully Peter is ok, but than she shouldn't worry while he posses that of super human strength and has that of Jax at his side. As far as she's concerned the best chance for them to fight back at the invaders would be to get some extra help from their home world such as the JL. But for the moment that is out of the question.
"When you say sorcerer, does he have the abilities of one; or is he just another material artist like most everyone around?" Zatanna asks.
Kung Lao looks over at Zee a bit unsure what to think of her somewhat sarcastic tone, sometimes the most powerful adversaries are those without super abilities. Aside from that he's glad she's the one to tag along with he and Batman; besides Raiden she might be the most powerful of them all.
"Ok I feel like I'm talking to myself, does this guy have or don't have magic abilities?" Zatanna asks again.
"Yes he indeed does, but he'll most likely have others with him. Who that may be I have a few ideas, but we'll wait and see."
Looking forward Kung Lao cuts through the forest entrance remembering this could be a shortcut to their destination. It is still dark as the sun has not completely raised making it hard to see through the dark forest. Using a small hand flashlight Batman brightens their path making it easier to move forward.
Sitting up yawning Mia gets out of bed walking toward the bathroom entering getting into the shower. There is much which is planned for the day, and laying around will get none of it done.
"What more must I do to capture the full attention of Azun, he is my lover and mine alone."
The thought and reality of him sleeping with other women has angered her for some time, but there is nothing she can do about it. He is top in command among almost everyone from their world, so questioning any of his decisions is a definite negative. How things have been moving the worlds they've set to conquer will be complete very soon, no real threat has stepped forward up till this point. Finishing up, she steps out drying before stepping into her clothes. Standing over a mirror she brushes her hair which rests a little past her shoulders. Exiting the room she walks down the many stairs to the main room.
"Good morning miss Mia," A knight bows down, "If you're looking for Azun he isn't up just yet, but I'd give it another two hours or three; he worked late last night."
Fully entering into the room she takes a seat within the softest couches. Laying back she crosses her left leg over her other taking a deep breath. Thats what is so great about him and why she loves him, he is such a hard worker. Oh how her lust for him grows, somehow she must get him to see things her way.
"It's all fine, I'll speak with him whenever he awakes." Mia replies.
Continuing their move to that of the temple of the Shalion Monks, Subzero studies the surroundings. It had been some time ago when he had fought side by side with the earth realms worriers of the MK tournament. Whenever they get there a plan must be formed, but for now they hope they don't run into another set of individuals who may want to fight with them both.
It does not surprise him in any way that some have become violent in this time of darkness; from their perspectives it may feel as though the world is coming to an end. Stiffening up Raphael reaches out catching an arrow in mid air which comes at him full speed.
"Watch your surroundings," Raph throws the arrow off to the side, "we're not alone, I'm sure we're completely surrounded."
Thank goodness for his ninja training, if it weren't for that he'd have died many times over. Making themselves visible is a clan of men suited up in samurai armor.
"It's incredible how we keep crossing paths with the wrong people; very well we must hurry and take them out." Subzero suggests.
looking around Raph wonders if maybe they haven't come to fight, perhaps somehow this is all just a misunderstanding; and if not maybe they can talk out whatever the problem may be without fighting.
"We as the people of this world have done wrong in our lives, which is why the gods from above have sent demons to destroy us all. But we can fix all of that with a sacrifice, the two of you must die to save us all."
Subzero shakes his head while Raphael pulls out both his weapons. This group of people really are crazy, it would seem everyone has their own reasons for attacking. At this rate it won't be long before family and friends turn on one another; the sooner they can defeat the invaders the better.
"Wait hold on a minute you don't have to do this, why don't we all just relax and talk this over. I'm sure there are plenty of other things out there which can be sacrificed besides us."
Walking forward the words of the mutated turtle are ignored, the group truly believes this is the only way to fix the problems of the recent invasion. Just as a sword is swung at them both everything seems to freeze except the two of them.
"What in the shell!" Raph yells out glancing over the Samurai's who stand frozen in some strange way.
"Funny to see you here," Stepping from the back of a tree is Batman along with Zatanna and Kung Lao, "It's good to see you're still alive, who's that with you?"
The Samurai fighters are frozen in place, but he Subzero and everyone else can move, what is this?
"His name is Subzero, he's the grandmaster and leader of the Lin Kuei," Kung Lao steps in front of both Zee and Batman, "I'm sure you both have seen the progression of these outsiders, and know that it's becoming a huge problem."
At this point it is known to them that Subzero and Kung Lao have known one another.
"Mission accomplished, we were actually on our way to your home temple to join forces with you and the rest of the earth realm heroes. So where is Liu Kang, we'll need his services along with everyone else."
"He is back at the temple along with his brothers," Batman points over at Raphael, "Before we can do anything against the invaders we must recover a few of our teammates to get back too full strength."
Wow that is the best news he's heard in some time, all of his brothers are safe which will allow him to focus 100% on the real problem.
"Since the two of you are here I guess you can tag along with us, it isn't much further for us to reach the sorcerer. We're sure thats where they are being held, hopefully they haven't been moved." Zee says.
"May I ask who this sorcerer is?" Subzero asks.
"It is Quan Chi, so we must be extra cautious once we get there." Kung Lao answers.
Closing the conversation everyone follows the Shalion Monk who leads the way.
"nu zeerf." Zatanna says after they're out of sight.
The Samurai's unfreeze, all confused as well as surprised. How did the green creature and man just disappear like that? The world must really be coming to an end.
"So it was you who froze them in place, quiet impressive; are you some type of Witch or something?" Subzero asks in all seriousness.
Wow did he really just emphasize she's a witch? She's surprised she doesn't feel the slightest offended.
"I guess you could say I'm something like that." She replies grinning,
Traveling down the path the group arrives after some time to the shrine fully on guard, observing the entire area. Batman sets his lenses to detect mode trying to locate any type of security and or anyone hiding out nearby.
"Enough wasting time lets enter who cares if they're expecting us or not." Zatanna says running ahead of everyone.
Reaching out Batman tries to stop her but has no success watching her force the front door open entering casually. The remainder of the group look at one another not believing what just happened, does she have no clue of the meaning element of surprise/stealth. Either she is very confident, or entirely stupid. But they can't stand around, she might have already been attacked stepping into the shrine recklessly. All of them hurry entering, walking up behind Zatanna. Stepping forward to grab her, Batman's eyes widen jumping out of the way of a poisonous dart.
"Quan Chi was right, you heroes are incredibly predictable."
With the press of a button the front entrance closes and locks keeping them all inside. Moments later a door off to the left opens with a group of ninjas entering.
"Why don't you make our guests feel right at home gentlemen."
The ninjas run over attacking the group. Both Raphael and Kung Lao jump up over the attackers flipping into the middle of the room. This gives them more room to work with, not getting in each others way. Grabbing one of them by the arm, Kung Lao twists and shatters it smashing his palm into the face of the enemy knocking him out. Subzero freezes one of them solid, throwing another of them into him shattering his body into pieces! Dodging a few hits Bats stoops down leg grabbing one of them throwing him into a table. Getting up he is grabbed from behind being chock held, while another punches at him. Glimpsing over in a mirror just ten feet away, his eyes narrow at the sight of Zatanna who just stands in place smiling just watching. His attention is taken off of that being kneed in the stomach, just as he is punched onto the ground. Swinging a staff at Raphael it breaks in half colliding with that of the turtle's shell. Spinning around Raph roundhouse kicks the aggressor to the floor knocked out. Seeing as they're almost defeated the leader of the group gets in on the action. Getting up Bats helps Raphael take out three ninjas leaving only four.
"Why don't you guy's just tell us what we want to know, you're completely out matched." Kung Lao says.
The ninjas do not seem to care continuing their attack. Subzero snaps one of their necks throwing him off to the side being kicked by another of them into Kung Lao who just side steps him. After doing so he runs over taking two of them down leaving only one left, who Batman runs over grabbing him by the neck putting him against the wall.
"Now that you're officially out of business, why don't you tell us where Spiderman and Jax are being kept. Don't you dare say you have no clue what I'm talking about, you already mentioned Quan Chi involving us."
"Perhaps I do have answers to what you want, but telling you what you want to know would only make the game to easy."
Roughing up the individual a little bit gives him the information he wanted throwing the ninja off to the side. That was a bit easier than usual, the criminals in this world are similar but at the same time different from those back in the city of Gotham.
"So what did he say, where are they?" Kung Lao asks.
"I doubt he's telling the truth, he said they're located in some place called the Netherealm; sounds like a child's fantasy world to me."
Seeing the reaction from both Kung Lao and Subzero gives him the impression this place may actually exist, and it probably isn't pleasant.
"That isn't good at all, it is a realm in which the souls of very evil beings lurk, getting there is no problem it's just getting out." Subzero informs.
Walking past both Kung Lao along with the grand master of the Lin Kuei Bats marches over placing his hands on the shoulders of Zatanna applying a tight grip.
"You mind telling me why you sat around and did nothing while we fought, with your aid we could have taken them out sooner!"
"What do I look like, an item out of your utility belt," Pushing at him she has no success getting him off her, "I don't recall us voting you as leader, take your hands off me before I do it for you!"
Standing off to the side Raph shakes his head, why are they arguing like a married couple when they have bigger problems.
"Obviously your head is elsewhere, I should have brought Naruto instead," His grip tightens over her shoulders,"Before we continue I need to know if you're on our side or not!"
Looking him up in the eyes she tries to see through his lenses frowning; how dare he question who's side she's on! Within he realizes what he just said, feeling regret.
"sdnah ffo hsup kcab!"
Batman's eyes widen as he is tossed back the other way 20 ft into a book shelf, with several books tumbling falling over. The Dark Knight does not get up right away trying to stretch out his now injured back. The others do nothing just standing off to the side, watching Zatanna who makes her way toward the capped crusader. Standing over him she places a foot on his chest just below the bat emblem, applying pressure to keep him down.
"You might have your fingers wrapped around the rest of them, but you will not order me around. Don't you ever ask me what side I'm on, you know the answer to that; I'm perfectly fine so quit worrying about me like I'm some child."
Lifting her foot off him she turns her attention to Subzero.
"So how can we get to this Netherealm?" She asks.
Getting up from the ground Batman stretches out stepping away from Zee. For now he needs to stay on her good side; from the way things are unfolding one would never guess he and she were sexually involved just a few hours ago. Regardless of what she says something isn't right about her.
"If you all follow me I'll show you how we can get there, but I have to warn you it will be very dangerous and maybe smart if I go alone."
Disagreeing at the same time is both Batman and Zatanna.
"It's best if we all try and stay together, the next thing we need is losing you." Bats explains.
Kung Lao steps forward making a point that it is best that they don't all travel to the realm, but instead have two or three of them go; all of them together would enable enemies to spot them too easily. Off to the side of Subzero a circle of flames form with Scorpion appearing before them all. Looking around he assumes the faces unknown to him are more recruits. The Lin Kuei member is pleased with the timing of the ninja spectre's arrival, he can teleport to the Netherealm at will. The situation is explained to the ninja; talking it over they decide which of them will travel over to the realm. During the conversation those who survived of the ninjas managed to escape.
"So you have no more information than that they're in the Netherealm? Lets remember that it isn't a small place, it's going to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack."
"It may not be that hard as it seems, I managed to place a bat tracer on the uniform of Spiderman; but we can't be sure if it's still there or could have been possibly destroyed in a scuffle."
Closing up the conversation Raphael, Zee, along with Batman stand at the side of Scorpion.
"We'll be back as soon as we can." Scorpion says teleporting out of sight with the three.
Both Subzero and Kung Lao just stand around for a little while, even if they're to somehow acquire back the wall crawler and Jax would that be enough to stop this new threat. Most with common sense would say no; their only real chance in the mind of Kung Lao is to somehow figure out what happened to Raiden, he may be their only real chance of succeeding. But then something else comes to mind , that of princess Kitana, she along with her followers could be very valuable allies. Before either of them leaves they take a look around hoping to find any information but have no luck doing so.
"It's best if we leave now, there's no telling if Quan Chi or one of his minions will be returning soon." Kung Lao suggests.
Agreeing to return to the Shalion temple both men exit out of the Shrine. As far as numbers are concerned they're completely out matched, even in strength the scale tips the other way; a true case of under-dogs.
Over an hour passes with Azun awakening. Taking care of his morning bathroom refreshments he departs from his quarters walking down to the main area.
"Does anyone have anything for me, have we retained Sasuke and Naruto yet? Besides the two of them escaping, things have been almost close to perfect."
Much happens throughout the room with individuals coming in and out installing new equipment to update security and the facility overall.
"No we haven't, but we haven't heard from the particular squad in some time, they could be bringing the two of them here as we speak."
He doesn't think too much of it, eventually the two leaf village ninjas will be back in his custody, other than that things couldn't be better. Stepping out of the room Azun enters into one of the many kitchens within the building pouring himself a glass of sweet tea. One thing is for sure he has a lot on the agenda for what must be done during the day. Leaning back on the counter he takes a sip hoping all of his problems will be corrected soon.
"What are you doing in here all alone, Mia's been asking about you all morning? I assume you have just awoke, when ever you're ready, you can find her out in the garden area."
Picking up a folder off the coffee table Quila exits.
Hiding behind a boulder is Scorpion with the rest of the group, keeping themselves out of sight till the skeleton soldiers are out of view. The lifeless beings march in a straight line going up a hill to an unknown province. Aside from the ninja spectre, the others can't believe what they're seeing especially that of Raphael. This is something that you'd see in one of Mikey's comic books! The Dark Knight and Zatanna shouldn't be surprised, after all they've experienced some weird situations in the Justice League.
"So how exactly are they moving around like that, is it some sort of magic?" Raph asks whispering.
What else could it be, skeletons can't just get up on their own and just start moving around. The four wait as the last of them step out of sight.
"Try not to think about it too much, when in this world you will get use to seeing things which don't humanly make sense."
Stepping from behind the boulder they make their way onto a road made of dark green and black marble.
"We may not know exactly where they're being held, but if their abduction has anything to do with Quan Chi I have a good idea where they might be being held. We will scout out all of Lord Shinnok's prisons." Scorpion tells.
"As far as numbers are concerned, how many prisons are we talking?" Zatanna asks.
"I haven't been to them all but I'd say anywhere from six to ten, we must work fast and keep a low profile; their are several beings within this realm which can take away the soul within you."
Continuing forward they come across a bridge which they step onto moving slowly within a pit of lava present below them. Another interesting sight which amazes the three new to the realm is that of a massive Raven flying above covered in flames with glowing eyes of purple. Exiting off the bridge Batman pulls the tracking device from his utility belt, seeing if their targets are indeed traceable. Messing around with it a bit, he quickly realizes they'll have to do this the hard way.
"So who is this Shinnok, a sorcerer like Quan Chi?" Batman asks.
"Quan Chi is someone to be aware of, but Shinnok is much more powerful and dangerous when at full power; we should feel lucky we don't have to deal with him."
The three listen in hearing about the godlike abilities of the ruler. It is felt between them all hoping the invaders don't have him or anyone else of Shinnok's level on their list to capture and obtain abilities.
"Hopefully Pete is ok, I was so cold to him the last we were together, just hang on we're coming." Zatanna says under her breath.
Little does she know Batman caught every word. Boy is she a hard one to figure out, why should he care who she has feelings for? Looking forward Raph quickly pulls out both his Sai's, approaching them at relatively high speeds is black horses suited in silver armor with unknown creatures riding on them.
"Stand your ground, try not to let them separate us." Scorpion informs.
The four are surrounded being circled by the horses, what the meaning of this is yet to be known. Raph spins his Sai's while the others just stand in place waiting for them to make a move.
"Three of them are live specimens, the other is not new to this realm; I can feel the evil within him. Kill the live individuals, only dead beings and lost souls belong in this world." One of the creatures speaks.
Stepping down they send their horses away, who gallop out in the distance eventually out of sight. The weapons which the creatures carry is a variation of spears, machetes, knives, as well as several different daggers, not saying a word they attack. Fully on guard Batman raises his arms blocking the blade of an ax using his gauntlets, countering he kicks the enemy off to the side throwing a batarang into his arm. Even though the creature has no heartbeat the pain is still felt ripping the projectile from out of it's cold flesh revealing purple blood. One of them wraps it's arms around Zatanna, reaching up and applying a tight grip around her neck.
"Make it fast, we have a schedule to keep."
Another of them tries to do the same to Raphael but with less success, this is in huge part due to his shell. Kicking off the massive monster Raph slashes it in the stomach and stabs the other Sai into it's knee pulling it out afterward. Grabbing it's now bloody knee it falls back on the turf grasping it's wound. The rope spear of Scorpion passes by the head of Raph going directly into the head of an enemy.
"Thanks." Is all the turtle manages to say caught up in the moment of battle.
The ninja Spectre just nods blocking the fist of another of of them. Passing out the creature lets go of Zatanna who just falls forward seemingly lifeless. Sliding down Batman dodges a boomerang which Raphael slashes in half. Both look over to see Scorpion being whacked across the head with some weird shaped metal bar of some sort. Being blind sided the blow knocks out the ninja. Glancing over both realize that Zee has also been taken out at this point both know they must stay on guard if they're going to survive this assault.
Leonardo has just finished meditating, getting his body and mind ready for what he and the rest of the group will be facing in that of the invaders.
"I've faced them and failed, please tell me we've got more help than this on the way?"
Looking over his shoulder Leo is somewhat surprised to see that of Sasuke. But what he said is true, currently they don't have the numbers, nor fire power to realyl fight back against those guys.
"I sure hope there is Sasuke, but at this point all we can do is pray."
To Be Continue