Shang Tsung's Offer

Would you like this to be considered canon?

  • Without a doubt

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  • Yeah, I guess

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  • Not really

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  • Absolutely not

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Sub-Zero crept through the lower levels of Shang Tsung’s Palace. The night before he discovered his nemesis Hanzo Hasashi returned from the grave and was waiting for the opportune time to avenge his own self. As if he didn’t have enough pressure with the Tournament. He wasn’t scared of defeat. Sub-Zero had never known defeat. He was the most formidable warrior on Earth so far as he could tell. Yet something inside him was restless. This Tournament was more than met the eye. Nevertheless, he had come here to complete a mission – assassinate Shang Tsung. He never failed to complete a mission. So now he crept in the shadows, listening, waiting, letting his senses guide him. So far only a few Palace Guards had crossed his path. He was able to avoid most of them without drawing their attention. Those he did not avoid, unfortunately for them, were no longer breathing.

Suddenly, he heard voices.
He crept toward an open door and, undetected, perfectly silent, listened. It was Shang Tsung. Sub-Zero remained in control, not letting his pulse rise or his brow sweat. Years of Lin Kuei training had taught him to keep his emotions and focus in check. This gave him the advantage and prevented him from being noticed by even the keenest prey. Tsung was talking to someone. A slave. He was giving the slave orders regarding the next day’s activities. The slave departed, walking right past Sub-Zero. As the door closed, the assassin slipped through and hid in a corner of the room. Not more than 30 feet separated him from his objective now. As Tsung moved about the room, busying himself with what was presumably his bedtime routine, Sub-Zero moved ever closer. Now he stood behind a pillar and Tsung was directly on the other side. As he heard the sorcerer come round the pillar he followed so as to attack him from behind. Standing directly behind him he prepared to grab Tsung’s throat and choke him to death. He reached out his hands, steadily, one hand high to grab the sorcerer’s forehead and the other forearm to press against his windpipe. But just as he was about to strike, something happened.

Someone grabbed him.

Tsung spun around. He looked genuinely surprised. Sub-Zero really had the sorcerer off guard and could’ve killed him were it not for this foul, hissing, man who was incredulously strong. He held Sub-Zero by the throat and the legendary Lin Kuei warrior could do nothing to be free. But the worst part was he now realized that all the time he was employing his superior skills of stealth he himself was being stalked, unaware. This… man… thing had bested him! He felt his pulse rising uncontrollably and he began to flail at the creature’s arm at his throat. Just when he started to see black it let him go and threw him to the floor.

That was foolish, he thought, now he would surely gain the upper hand and kill this impertinent being and regain his honor. As he took his stance, he heard Tsung laugh.

“Well, mighty Sub-Zero. It seems even you are no match for my personal protector. May I introduce, Reptile?”

The creature in front of him, who Sub-Zero saw wore a green version of his own uniform, hissed a disgusting, otherworldly, laughter.
“His people were once inhabitants of this Realm but they were forced, by your Thundergod I might add, to relocate. Nevertheless they prospered and it happened that my master, the Emperor, took their new Realm as he will in just two day’s time take this one.”

Sub-Zero, caring nothing for the sorcerer’s words, moved to attack his new adversary.

But it was no use. Every attack Sub-Zero launched was either easily blocked or deftly countered. This continued for several minutes with Sub-Zero slowly feeling himself tire and his opponent showing no signs of wear. Sub-Zero redoubled his efforts, now letting his anger get the better of him he grew wilder in his onslaught, trying desperately to throw Reptile off guard, while his opponent only seemed to enjoy destroying his focus. Then, to add insult to injury, Reptile acrobatically dodged a freeze attack with an aerial cartwheel and when he landed he performed a Slide and knocked Sub-Zero off his feet. Then stood, watching in amusement.

The nerve!

That was Sub-Zero’s technique!

Now, Sub-Zero felt himself become enraged and, in almost desperation, he leapt at Reptile.

The Outworlder was ready, however, and launched a Spear, catching Sub-Zero in the chest. Reptile drew Sub-Zero close. The agony was unbearable and he screamed in pain. Reptile held Sub-Zero and spun him around so they faced the same direction. Sub-Zero reached for the Spear in his chest but Reptile twisted his head so that the pain in his neck made him drop his arm. Now Tsung was close. He spoke. His tone was that of someone bored of seeing the same futile display for the 10,000th time.

“Reptile is a formidable warrior, you see. His skills are unmatched by any in this pitiful realm and many other pitiful realms like it. It is no dishonor to lose to him, Sub-Zero.”

Reptile hissed and acid drool leaked from his face guard, dripping on Sub-Zero’s exposed neck. The Lin Kuei warrior winced at this new pain.

“Since it is such a waste to let you die here, and since I know you would prefer to die than to admit defeat, let me offer you a third, albeit temporary, reprieve.” He paused, as if he expected Sub-Zero to say something. Then he continued, “Serve me these next two days as a guardian. This way Reptile can remain hidden and continue protecting me from the shadows while the attention of any would-be attackers is focused on you. You will do my bidding during the Tournament. Then, when it is over, you will be spared the horrors that await your fellow humans. And before you say something both foolish and vulgar, let me inform you that you will not be alone. Another as already been given this same choice and agreed.”

Reptile spun Sub-Zero around and in the other corner of the room stood, much to Sub-Zero’s shock, was none other than Scorpion.

“No! It can’t be!” he said through pain-clenched jaws.

Scorpion bowed, then walked to Tsung’s side. “Yes, your arch nemesis has already met defeat at Reptile’s hands and saw the wisdom in joining me. What do you say, Sub-Zero?”

Sub-Zero paused. He felt his head getting light from the loss of blood due to the wound in his chest.

“You had better answer soon. Reptile mercifully missed your heart, but unless you see my healers shortly, your choice will be made for you.”

“Okay.” Was all Sub-Zero was able to mutter to give his assent.

“Excellent! Two ninjas – excuse me – a Lin Kuei and a ninja at my service.”

Sub-Zero fell unconscious with the sorcerer’s laughter in his ears.

What he didn’t know was that Tsung was afraid of a certain Kombatant and Tsung knew that ordering Reptile to attack him would violate the rules of Mortal Kombat. But if another Earthrealm warrior such as Sub-Zero or Scorpion was to, of his own volition of course, murder this Kombatant, well then that would just be an unfortunate turn of events. The murderer would of course be put to death. But Tsung and the Tournament would carry on with Tsung’s victory guaranteed.
This is pretty cool; ever consider writing more to this?

I like how you portrayed Reptile as his original incarnation. ^^

I also like the potential for re-directed Liu Kang/ Sub-Zero conflict.
While this writing is cool, I would prefer for Sub-Zero to team up with Scorpion (similar to Sub-Zero's MK9 ending), to kill Quan Chi in MK10.

Keep up the good writing, though. ;)