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King of Fighters '03
Storyline of King of Fighters 2003, The
The border of a certain country. Twenty-three hundred hours.
A full moon floats in a boundless sky with nary a trace of cloud.
The wind velocity is 1 meter per second. The temperature is 19 degrees centigrade. The humidity registers at 50 percent.
Without fog, one cannot hope for a shielding mist.
It is a 3-P night (peaceful, pleasant, and placid); in other words, the conditions are altogether unsuitable for this top-secret invasion.
"...Nuts. Hey, Clark. Couldn't you have chosen another day for this?"
"Don't set your guns on me! Right, Whip?"
"The changing of the border security force comes but once a month. ...It was Ralf who judged today as the only opportunity for our raid."
"That's how I remember it."
"See. Even Leona backs me up!"
"Jeesh! Doesn't anyone feel like sticking up for their leader? Everyone's so freakin' logical all the time!"

There is still quite a hike to the danger zone near the border.
A hint of tension clouds the faces and the behavior of these invaders, but the true test awaits a few kilometers down. That is where the carnage will take place.

Though night, the wasteland illuminated by the full moon's glow is amply bright.
The pace of the mercenaries garbed in field gear is light, but they fear being fully exposed. Though they know no watches them, they instinctively seek cover, from rock to rock and shrub to shrub. His trademark bandana gives Ralf away. Clark's the one with sunglasses forever fused to his face. Leona, the laconic lady warrior, and the master of the bullwhip, Whip, bring up the rear. The four shadows silently press on.

Whip, taking up the rear, suddenly freezes, produces her bullwhip, and readies herself. All quickly follow suit, a reflexive action brought about by their training.
At the slightest indication, the forward three immediately assume combat positions.
"Hey, what's going on, Whip...ster?"
When Ralf glances back and focuses on Whip, the image of her immediate vicinity being covered by a dark shadow hits him hard. A giant darkness grows behind her; and the "shadow" slowly engulfs the frozen Whip, followed by Leona, Clark, and Ralf himself.
"Leona, can you make out its speed?"
"Going by the shadow's velocity, I'd judge it at five to six kilometers per hour."
"Hmm. An observational flight, perhaps? Clark, what's the objective's height and size?"
"It's altitude's got to be about 1,000 meters. The total length...."
"Well? What's the objective's size?"
"Four hundred meters. Give or take."
"Four hundred meters?! Don't you think you're a little off?"
"I'm not off. It's about 1,312 feet, or 1,320 Japanese shaku. That's 212 Ralfs lined up end to end!"
"Uh, thanks. What's that length in cigarettes placed end to end?"
"Four thousand four hundred forty-four."
"...You scare me sometimes, Clark. So that balloon's bigger than an aircraft carrier?!"

The massive flying ship drifts through the sky.
The shadow hangs over all four, continuing to obstruct the moonlight.

It seems the objective has cut its engines and is drifting. It makes no noise. By the light of the moon, it is difficult to determine the ship's color, but it appears to be coated in a dark blue tint. The noble and elegant design is a lithe streamline shape.

"You got pictures, didn't you, Whipster?"
"Whips...Oh, all right, you little twit! Whip! You did get pictures, didn't you?!"
"Yup. And the data's already encoded and compressed. Shall I send it to Heidern?"
"It's got nothing to do with the mission directly...but we can't ignore it. Just that monster nonchalantly floating near the border's hot zone is one big piece of intel."
"Our position may be given away with the momentary transmission of this data."
"No kidding. How long do you think I've been doing this anyway? I know the risks. Send it!"
"Yes, sir."
Leona does not avert her gaze from the giant flying ship leisurely flying on by. She continues to study it, as if trying to remember something, and whispers to herself:
"I've seen that ship.... I just know it."
"You're rationalizing, Leona. You can't possibly recognize that levitating leviathan."
Ralf and Clark frown simultaneously.
There is no way Leona can know this craft. But this sense memory...?

* * * * * * * *

"Mistress Rose, the four life signs we picked up previously have begun moving again. It lasted but a moment, but there's a trace of an electronic transmission being sent - a transmission of encoded data. Perhaps agents from some sort of intelligence service?"
"Oh really...? Any word from my brother?"
The answering voice is that of a youthful woman. She is oblivious to the contents of the report.
The compact control room of the flying machine is packed with myriad consoles. A blonde girl appears on one of them. It is likely a closed-circuit system allowing direct communication with this girl in a separate room.
"Are we to rendez-vous over the Pacific as planned?"
"Yes.... Tedious, isn't it, Gwan?"
The girl called Rose coos to her black panther crouching at her feet while playing with her blonde tresses. Rose strokes the beast's brow with her foot, as if it were but a house cat.
"And what of those four we previously detected?"
"I'm not interested. Leave them."
"Very well...."

* * * * * * * *

"Heidern. KOF has just begun in all venues throughout the world."
"Good work."
The one-eyed mercenary Heidern is currently in cahoots with Interpol, investigating the hidden mystery behind KOF...the King of Fighters.

"Keep my apprised of the steady progress of our two participating squads."
"Yes, sir. And here are the estimated specs of the flying ship from last month's report."
In an exceedingly brief alignment of characters, the following appeared on the submitted transparency:
'Total length less than 400 meters. Total width, less than 50 meters. In addition to a maximum speed below 180 kilometers, a flight range of 60,000 kilometers is estimated. All data computed on the basis of image submitted.'
"For that amount of investigatory time, we still don't know the owner of this particular vessel?"
"My apologies. The tangible and intangible hurdles to attaining such intel were considerable. Further, the vessel, we surmise, is apparently equipped with some sort of radar-jamming system. ...This is all just supposition and conjecture on our part, though."
(This worries me... ...What is this apprehension I feel?)
Heidern orders further inquiry into the mysterious flying ship, but the submission of the official report from the investigative agency is scheduled for a date after KOF's conclusion.
Regardless, it was subsequently made known that the name of the sky ship was "SKY-NOAH."
And its owner...

Since 2006
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