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Subject: "Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT"     Previous Topic | Next Topic
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Gryphonadmin
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Dec-20-10, 03:47 PM (EDT)
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"Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT"
 
   Hey, gang. BATTLE 06: INDEPENDENCE is almost ready to go, but it's hit a small delay on account of I need a signoff from a Suspect who has, we think, been eaten by an update to a massively multiplayer online game.

While we wait, I was thinking of posting a third 06 teaser, a bit in which Gryphon briefly describes an incident from his formative years in order to cast some light on something that's happening in the story's "present day"... and then I decided to flesh it out into a full-on prequel/mini/extra type of thing instead, and here it is. Hopefully it'll tide you over while we wait for word from Azeroth on whether 06 passes muster (fingers crossed!).

Mahalo,
--G.


NOTE: Most of the dialogue in this story is translated from the Japanese.

Eyrie Productions, Unlimited
presents

Street Fighter: Warrior Dawn
The Contract

Benjamin D. Hutchins

© 2010 Eyrie Productions, Unlimited


Gryphon's personal journal
Sunday, June 22, 19XX
KAGOSHIMA, Japan

Well, I seem to have been played for a sucker. And by my own Valdritkar, to boot. I thought it was a little weird when Rose insisted that we fly into Kagoshima instead of someplace a bit more obvious, like Tokyo, for our grand tour of Japan. I was expecting something strange to happen, but I figured it would be something like an introduction to some ancient master or a trip to a forbidden shrine.

What I was not expecting was for her to disappear somewhere between Customs and baggage claim, leaving me to stand next to my suitcase wondering what was going on until a man dressed as an airport janitor suddenly came up to me and handed me an envelope.

"What's this?" I asked, but he had already disappeared. I looked around, startled, but there was no sign of him anywhere. If not for the envelope I still held, I would have considered the possibility that I'd imagined him. Still puzzled, I opened the envelope and took out a note, which read:

Benjamin -

Here is where your summer's training begins. You now have 60 days to make your way to the history museum at Abashiri in Hokkaido, on the Sea of Okhotsk. What route you choose and how you traverse it are your own business, but I would encourage you to pace yourself so that you can see and experience as much of this great country as you can along the way.

Your wit and skill should be sufficient to overcome any challenge you encounter on your journey, so to make things more interesting, I have arranged for a few surprises for you. You will not see me often, but I will be watching.

ROSE

The first thing I did, instinctively, was look at my watch and note the time. When Rose says I have a particular deadline to meet, she means it exactly, so when she said 60 days in this note, I knew she meant precisely one thousand, four hundred and forty hours. In this case that meant I had to be at that particular spot in Abashiri (and hopefully there's only one history museum in town) no later than 9:32 AM JST on Wednesday, August 21. If I showed up at mission elapsed time 1440:00:01, I might well have to walk home.

I read the note over a couple of times and put it in the top pocket of my jacket, then shrugged and reported to the currency exchange. Now I knew why she had instructed me to pack light, though I could have wished she'd at least hinted more strongly that I ought to bring a backpack or something instead of an old Samsonite suitcase that didn't even have wheels.

I felt little more than a strange sense of calm as I made my way through the airport and out onto the street. I had suspected Rose of being up to something, and now I knew what it was; the suspense was over. The more I considered Rose's scheme, the more I realized how elegant it was. I didn't have enough money to just buy a plane ticket to Hokkaido, probably not enough to get all the way there on trains, either. I was going to have to hoof it a good bit of the way, or get creative, or both.

I wasn't really sure how far it was from Kagoshima to Abashiri, but since the one was at the far southwestern end of the Home Islands and the other at the far northeast corner, I expected it was pretty far. Probably not too far to walk in the time allotted, but far enough that I didn't care to try.

What she was doing here, I realized as I walked into the city from the airport, was at least a threefold training exercise. One, I would have to work to get where I needed to be in time; two, I would have to meet people, make contacts, and speak the language to get it done; and three, I'd see the country from one end to the other, at ground level. The only restriction I had, apart from my limited resources, was the deadline.

I didn't make it very far today, but that's OK. A journey of a thousand miles, and all that. [Ed. note I now know it's actually about 1600 miles - more like 1900 by the route I ended up taking. --G. 3/3/20XX] When the time came to think about stopping for the night, I was in a lightly built-up area on the outskirts of the city. I briefly considered staying at a place that looked eerily like a Motel 6 (Moteru Roku?), but decided copping out on the first night and staying in a Western-style motel wouldn't really be in the spirit of the challenge, so I'm at a sort of guest house - not quite a ryokan, though I hope to find those later on, but somewhere in between that and a Western B&B. Regardless, I think I'm the first gaijin they've had here in a while. They don't quite know what to make of the fact that I already knew I should take off my shoes.

I've decided that thinking about where I'm supposed to be at the end of this trip would just be too disheartening at this stage, so I'm going to set myself one destination at a time. The first one is the Atomic Bomb Museum in Nagasaki. And speaking of people's reactions to gaijin, I wonder how awkward that will be? But I can't be at large in this part of the world and not pay my respects.

Two days after my 13th birthday, I'm at large in a strange country with an imperfect command of the language and customs, a little pocket money, and a deadline.

My mother would have a seizure if she knew.

And so to bed - or, well, floor.

[...]

Saturday, June 28
FUKUOKA, Japan

Fukuoka is a very fine city. It's pretty and green, and everyone's friendly. Not that I've run into anybody who wasn't, so far on this trip - except the ninja, and even they're very polite.

Oh yes, the ninja. They come out of nowhere every now and again, as ninja do, and make my day more complicated. I thought at first that I had inadvertently violated some local custom or managed to offend some powerful person, but this morning in the train station, one of them very formally handed me a piece of paper before trying to kick me in the head. Later, back at my room in the ryokan (I finally found one!), while I was icing my hand, I finally had a chance to read it.

It basically says the ninja I'm seeing are members of the Ibuki-ryû Kagetded auburn hair, and a note.

Dear Caatoraito,

(Did I get that right this time?)

Here is a little something to remember me by. I wanted to come along with Uncle Hanzo and his team to watch over you on your journey, but Grandfather says I have to go to Nagano for I don't even know what. Something about training with the new boy who's come to study under Father. Another gaijin, apparently. That might be interesting, but I'd rather be out on the road with you.

Enjoy the rest of your time in Japan. Maybe I'll get to see you again before you leave. If not, I'll find you one day. In the meantime, you'll always be my LOVE RHINO.

XO,
Your Great White Hunter,
MAI

I smiled, tucked the note away, and fiddled the cord into a loop around my right wrist, a task I finished just as our train arrived. As it pulled in, I caught a glimpse of a grey-clad figure clinging to the roof; he gave me a jaunty little wave before ducking down out of sight of the civilians on the platform. Logan spotted him too, and he had a little smile on his face as he caught my eye and led the way onto the train.

"This is a great country," I said.

"It sure is," Logan agreed.

THE CONTRACT: The End


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Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT [View All] Gryphonadmin Dec-20-10 TOP
   RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT BZArcher Dec-20-10 1
   RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Droken Dec-20-10 2
      RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Gryphonadmin Dec-20-10 4
          RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Droken Dec-20-10 5
   RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT trigger Dec-20-10 3
   RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Prince Charon Dec-20-10 6
      RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Gryphonadmin Dec-21-10 8
   RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT A Vile Gangster Dec-21-10 7
   RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT s3yang Dec-21-10 9
      RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Gryphonadmin Dec-21-10 10
          RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Peter Eng Dec-21-10 11
              RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Droken Dec-21-10 12
              RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT pjmoyermoderator Dec-21-10 13
              RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Gryphonadmin Dec-21-10 14
          RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT cuso4 Dec-24-10 16
              RE: Warrior Dawn: THE CONTRACT Gryphonadmin Dec-24-10 17
   because I could Gryphonadmin Dec-21-10 15


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