SSR Goku Black (DragonBall XenoVerse 2) says...
I will give you your due punishment.
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King of Fighters XI
Storyline of King of Fighters 11, The
"Far beyond the mountain, happiness is what man fears.
A groan cannot convey the tears of those who walk alone."
There was a small public park across the street from the parking lot of a huge hospital, and a young girl was there playing, all alone.

"Look at that girl, Diana," Kula said to the tall woman standing next to her. It seemed the girl was always playing down there, or at least, at every opportunity. Her alabaster skin only accented her extremely thin body, and she regularly spent her time there on the swing.

"Would you like to be friends with her, Kula?" asked Diana gently, and Kula nodded her assent.

Tomorrow, Kula decided, she would call out to the little girl. She always seemed so lonely. In that, Kula felt she could sympathize. She had felt lonely every single day in the last three years. The girl was at the hospital regularly, but who knew what was wrong with her. But no matter... they would be friends, and Candy would be there with them in spirit.

The next day, the little girl did not show up as she normally did. Kula sat on the swings alone, barely rocking back and forth. There was no sign of the girl approaching from the hospital... and as Kula looked up in the sky above, there was a thin line of vapor winding its way up and out of sight. Eventually, it faded away and was no more.

Diana looked at Kula gravely. "I'm led to understand that she died yesterday, Kula."
"Yeah," Kula sighed. "I suspected as much."

Diana leaned against the supports of the swing and continued. "She went through many different operations. There were treatments that could have helped her live longer, but she wouldn't go through with them."

"What kind of treatments?"
"Machines, mostly," the tall, raven-haired woman replied. "She would have to stay hooked up to them to keep her heart beating."

Kula looked puzzled. "...So she didn't want to live anymore?"
"I think there was more to it than that."

This was met with a shake of the head. "I'd choose to go on living, no matter what," said Kula. "Even if they had to make me all machines. I could even handle being like Candy, if that's what it took to keep me alive..."

She looked directly at Diana and asked, "So what makes me different from that little girl?"

But Diana had no answer for her. Undaunted, Kula pressed on. "Come on, Diana. What makes me different from her?"


***

"I'm getting back some of my memories," said K'.

But what had returned was hazy and impossible to make sense of. Moreover, who could tell if they were real memories, or ones that had been implanted into his mind? Why did he go on fighting? Though he had never been to this blink-and-you'll-miss-it town before, it all looked so familiar.
He walked around for a bit, and the impressions kept coming to him. But most of these were neither the ancient memories that man had told him about, nor of his own past. It was of the things that he truly did remember on his own.

NESTS, KOF, Maxima, Kula, Kyo Kusanagi, Ash Crimson, Mukai.... If his true memories came back to him, what would happen to his memories of all these people and things? Then he scornfully clucked his tongue and shook his head. "Bah, this isn't getting me anywhere."

He figured he could leave the worrying to Maxima. For now, he would be content to give as good as he got from any of them... Ash, Kyo, Mukai or anyone.

As he walked down an unfamiliar street, he looked up at the sky, and saw a thin stream of smoke working its way upward. The clouds, too, seemed familiar to him.

"So, where did this memory come from?" he thought to himself.


***

As he stood on the balcony of his room, Maxima watched the sky turn colors from orange to a rich, vivid blue. Though he had quit smoking years ago, the old habit caused him to unconsciously reach a hand into his pocket for his cigarettes.

Looking down, he could see K', who had been wandering idly about the town all day. It looked like he was finally coming back to settle in. Maxima stared thoughtfully at his friend, thinking of all that had happened to him. The power of Kyo Kusanagi had been forcibly made a part of his body. This left him with ties to that occult figure, Orochi. Then there was Mukai and crew, who seemed dead-set on acquiring Orochi's power.

Perhaps it was possible for a man to change his own destiny. To stand against all odds and survive. Perhaps there would be more for the so-called "Second Flame of the Kusanagi."

"What's with the strange look, Maxima?" K' asked as he entered the room and stepped out on the balcony. "Something wrong?"

"Nah, nothing important," Maxima replied, scratching his head.

"'Far beyond the mountain, happiness is what man fears'..." muttered K' to himself.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

K' gave a wan smile and said, "I think it means that happiness is further away and more fleeting than a wisp of smoke."


Since 2006
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