Request by my buddy, obelisk-of-light of a ”happy post-MKX AU in which
Raiden never went dark and Liu Kang was resurrected. And they reconcile. (The
feels, girl, the feels …)”
So this takes place after MKX, with an alternate ending. I deliberately did not make it way too intense, because I want it to be happy. And also, beacuse Kombat Kids :P
I hope you enjoy this :)
A PLACE WITH NO NAME
The Sky Temple.
“It is a wondrous view, undoubtedly… Despite centuries of
godhood, it never ceases to amaze even me,” Raiden began, gazing upon the
sunrise. He walked, with his hands folded behind him, cowl lowered to his neck –
his white hair in a loose half up-do, tendrils floating behind him.
Liu Kang felt something in his chest – the inhibited flutter,
the nervousness of a student, caught unawares by a teacher. He was torn in
between this apologetic notion, the need to ask for forgiveness for some
unknown transgression, or to turn away, ignore the deity and not reply.
It had been a mere three days ago, but it seemed like a
lifetime had elapsed. Shinnok had been defeated by Earthrealm’s newest
champions, yet in his dying moments, he had perhaps gifted his allied revenants
with the sweet release from their bondage as slaves to the dark cause – a release
though welcome from the torturous life in the Netherrealm, yet one that
accompanied a plethora of dilemmas for all of them.
It had been Kitana’s prerogative to enter the Jinsei chamber
– to avoid the combined onslaught of the telepath’s son and Jax’s daughter for
a reprieve. He, alongside Sindel, Kitana and Kung Lao and ran into the chamber,
to witness Shinnok
laying defeated, and Raiden exiting the Jinsei after having purified it from the fallen Elder god’s vile essence.
The former Shaolin was unsure of what transpired next. Armed
with the corrupt energy of Shinnok, Raiden had blasted it onto the four
revenants – uttering hallowed words, combining the corrupted Jinsei’s dark energy
with his own godly powers. The concoction had been stronger than any sorcery
ever cast – immediately freeing the revenants from Quan Chi’s service,
dispelling the curse that enslaved them to him.
Restored, but confused and injured, he had retired with them
all at the Sky Temple – where Lord Fujin tended to their wounds, and strictly
ordered them to rest and regain their energies.
Liu Kang, instead, inhaled the fresh air, and closed his
eyes – realising that while he may have been restored, he still had more than a
bone to pick with his former mentor.
“In the deepest bowels of the Netherrealm…” began the
Shaolin, returning his gaze back to dawn, breaking behind the far-off
mountains. “Such images… They haunted
us… Reminded us of how far we’ve fallen – to a point of no return…”
It was true. Every single one of the revived slaves, under
Quan Chi had felt it, at some point. Repressed in some corner of their battered
minds, there was always that one single image, engraved onto the memory, or a
recollection; beautiful, innocent and seemingly harmless as it was, of their
past lives. The playful way one was thrown up into the air as a child, the soothing
sound of the rain, or in this case – the sun dawning over the land.
It would utterly tear them apart on the inside. For even the
sorcerer’s magic, had its small limitations. The remembrance, the realisation
and the stark difference, the detachment
of the memory from the gory hell of the Netherrealm - it was a punishment that
even the demon sorcerer could not conjure up for them.
Raiden nodded slowly to himself, but offered no reply.
“There’s no reprieve for your champions, ever, is there,
Raiden?” Liu Kang asked, his tone taking a darker edge, his lip curling in disgust.
“First, the training, the tournaments, then, the loss of allies… the fall from
grace.., and now, thinking of what we had become, as revenants…”
“No, there isn’t,” came an answer – full of utmost conviction,
that caused Liu Kang to pause momentarily in his thoughts.
Raiden then, came to stand beside him, as the sun broke over
the tops of the snow-capped mountains, its light shining like glitter upon the
peaks – while it’s brilliant golden rays chased away the darkness of the night,
in countless dark hues…
He turned to Raiden and arched an eyebrow quizzically. The
latter kept his gaze fixed at the horizon, not acknowledging Kang’s gesture.
“You remained my champions, even then. Trapped, defiled and
disgraced in the Netherrealm – but my
champions, nevertheless. All of you. Even you cannot alter that…”
“Is that it?” shot Liu Kang, infuriated. Raiden’s words had
set off a spark somewhere within the Shaolin, causing him to become a blazing
inferno of rage enclosed in his human form. “Is that your apology? Is that all that is required to absolve you of your mistakes, Lord Raiden?!”
A small silence fell in between the two – yet it was one
that was heavy with unspoken words and accusations by the now mortal warrior,
and unvoiced grief from the deity.
Raiden closed his eyes, though his posture remained
“Penance, Liu Kang – is a luxury not afforded to the gods,” he
began, his tone unwavering. “And that, is the greatest of all suffering…”
Liu Kang merely scoffed, shaking his head in disbelief, as
he turned away and fixed his gaze toward the horizon himself.
“Do not preach about suffering, thunder god. It is
unbecoming of you,” he taunted icily.
Raiden opened his eyes, subtly rolling his shoulders back as
he folded his arms across his powerful chest. “Your bitterness does nothing invalidate
my words, Kang.”
The Shaolin narrowed his eyes, and huffed indignantly, but
The dawn had progressed from a few rays, to an all-out
brightness – the sun now, a red-orange ball of fire rising above the mountains,
painting everything in existence, in matchless hues of yellow and fold.
Cerulean skies claimed the darkness of the black, seemingly endless night – in ways
that were directly reminiscent of the two beings staring at it from the Sky
Voices disrupted the aura of the place slightly, as Liu Kang
glanced below from the rail of the balcony. Kung Jin, the Shaolin warrior that
he indubitably was, was meditating quietly in a corner of the expansive stone
Quietly, that is, until Takeda and walked out from the
temple, his arm inter-linked with Jacqui Briggs’. They had let go of their
armour and gauntlets entirely, as both of them laughed to each other, leaning
in slightly and not moving their eyes from one another.
It was the picture of a pure, blossoming romance – until Kung
Jin said something sarcastic to the lovebirds with a haughty tilt of the head. Though
Liu Kang could not make out his exact words, it clearly angered the young
telepath; Takeda immediately growled at him, and Jacqui rolled her eyes. After
that, the two defiantly marched on, near the woods for their morning walk.
Just as Kung Jin finished his kata, Cassie walked out from
the temple and toward him – yawning and stretching tiredly.
“A new crop of ‘champions,’ huh?” Liu Kang remarked, from
the balcony to Raiden, as he saw Cassie put a forearm on Jin’s shoulder, and
glared at the receding figures of the telepath and his girlfriend.
Raiden smiled graciously at the young team below him. They
most definitely shared the blood of champions, but they had simply outdone
themselves in Shinnok’s invasion recently. He was incredibly proud of them –
perhaps just as much as he was of Liu Kang and Kung Lao…
“Didn’t take you that long to replace us…”
The comment caught the thunder god off-guard, and he
He exhaled loudly before continuing.
“They have all suffered in their own ways,” he said slowly,
before realising that Liu Kang was perhaps, never properly introduced to either
member of the young team. “Both Cassandra and Jin, grew up in the shadows of
their peers – Johnny Cage, Sonya Blade, Kung Lao… You,” he began glancing
briefly at the Shaolin, before looking back at the young team. “Doubting themselves,
their abilities, their own hearts…”
The duo now, seemed to be whispering ardently amongst
themselves – unbeknownst that they were being watched by the members of the
White Lotus above them.
“Young Jacqueline Briggs – had to live with the unrelenting
supervision of her father, who too suffered from the fate of a revenant… Yet
perhaps Takahashi Takeda –had the roughest stroke of luck…”
“Son of Kenshi?”
“Indeed,” answered Raiden. “Just a child, his mother was
killed by the Red Dragon in lieu for his father’s work against them. That was
when Kenshi discovered his existence. He trekked all across the world with his
stranger of a son, protecting him from the Red Dragon’s ceaseless attacks… before
ultimately deciding to leave him at the Shirai Ryu, to train under Hanzo
Hasashi – until his shadow war with the cult was over; to protect him…”
Liu Kang shook his head, disapproving of Kenshi’s action. “Kenshi
was always the reckless one – blinded by his revenge for Shang Tsung, not
caring what his actions meant for everyone else…”
“No, Liu Kang” Raiden answered seriously, his voice grave. “He
learned in time, just as we all do. Takahashi Kenshi’s wisdom rivals that of us
at times; but he was a victim of fate. He had no choice…”
Liu Kang turned and faced the deity then, looking him
directly in the eye, and speaking his mind with no holds barred, yet his tone
was soft, even apologetic.
“And did you, Lord Raiden?”
After several long moments, Raiden finally tore his gaze
from the young duo below, and met Liu Kang’s questioning gaze. He shook his
head in answer to Kang’s words, knowing he could offer nothing more at that
When he spoke again, his once booming-deep voice, was
drowned in melancholy – strained as if the deity was in physical pain at
voicing out his sentiments:
“Guilt, remorse, regret… I can count off the words in every
language of Earthrealm – dead, and alive - yet still fail to describe the burden over my heart these past decades
- for everything that had transpired, for all of us…”
He saw the pain etched into the face of the deity, and the
Shaolin champion found that neither did he have anything else to say to the
thunder god, nor a reason to doubt his words. Even in the face of an attack as
a revenant, he had always spoken about how both he and Lao meant to him – but
the cause of his death in the first place…
‘Let it go, Kang…’
spoke a voice in the corner of his mind. Despite the situation, Liu Kang smiled
to himself as he recognised it – his nagging conscious was back. And he had
sorely missed it.
Below them, Kenshi stalked silently up to the scheming duo
of Cassie Cage and Kung Jin. They had been miffed about the sudden, intense
closeness of two of their team-mates, and were hotly gossiping about them,
unaware of the swordsman’s presence. Kenshi appeared in between them, and twisted
both their ears with each hand in mock punishment, as he scolded them for even thinking of interfering in his son’s
Jin and Cassie waved their hands in the air, helpless and in
pain – and the comical sight made the duo in the balcony laugh,
The tension from moments ago immediately dissipated in the
air. The Shaolin now realised how self-defeating it would be to hold onto anger
and rage against Raiden. How could he enjoy whatever of his life-span remained,
in Earthrealm, if he continued hating its protector for what he too suffered in
his own, convoluted way?
For it was true. All that had happened, was truly in the
past now. He was restored, as was Kung Lao, Kitana and Sindel. He could finally
being a new life with his beloved Edenian princess – for the past no longer
could hurt them now.
Liu Kang nodded to the thunder god, accepting the unspoken
apology that belied the words of the deity – finally understanding the scope of
his own punishment, served to him in his higher capacity, even if he did not
entirely grasp what it was fully.
“What now, then?” he asked, as he folded his arms and smiled
at the scene below. Cassandra and Jin had an arm around each other’s shoulder,
as they silently gazed a tad too intently at Takahashi Kenshi’s form, as he
walked to the other end of the courtyard.
He too, was not wearing his armour-coat or guards, opting
for a vest over his trousers at that point, though still armed with the Sento
at his back.
Kenshi suddenly paused in his tracks, and with a visibly
annoyed side-glance, held up an arm and sent a wave of telekinetic energy at
the duo. Cassie and Jin were caught completely unawares, and thus, sent flying
back a few feet, until they both landed unceremoniously on their behinds,
groaning from the impact.
It took a second before Liu Kang finally understood that
they were perhaps, silently admiring the older swordsman’s backside too loudly in their minds, and the telepath
decided to punish them for their childish, invasive thoughts.
“Well,” began Raiden, chuckling softly as he shook his head
at the antics below them. “Talented as the young generation is, they definitely
require more discipline-”
Raiden gritted his jaw, and clenched his eyes shut at the
annoying term of endearment that was casually drawled-out by the actor – who had
now joined his daughter below them at the courtyard, as he waved up to the
“We gonna get a buffet-breakfast here, or what?! I’m starvin’!”
called out Johnny Cage, as cupped his mouth to shout out the words to the
thunder god, in the wake of his deliberate silence.
Liu Kang let out a hearty laugh and Cage’s words, and put a
reassuring hand on his shoulder. “Indeed, you have suffered far more than what
you signed up for, Lord Raiden,” he returned, trying to keep his laughter at
The Shaolin felt as if certain clouds over his conscience
had finally abated. There was hope for them – for all of them. Far beyond the
clutches of the Netherrealm, far beyond the maddening limbo, the place with no
name where he thought they’d be stuck forever.
He had something more to look forward to, despite his
absence. That he would be celebrated, and more than that – acknowledged for the
human being he knew he was despite his past.
Raiden gave a wry-lopsided grin in acknowledgement, but
proceeded to grip Kang’s shoulders with his own hands, his heart revelling in the
paternal affection of seeing his young finally reclaim himself in his eyes.
Shaolin monks training, Zhengzhou, China.The world famous Shaolin Monastery is known to many in the West for its association with martial arts, specifically Shaolin Kung Fu. The physical strength and dexterity displayed by the monks is incredible, although they exude a deep serenity.