Street Fighter V(isions)

Hi all,

I’m starting a little project to write some post SF4 fan-fiction showing how I’d handle the SF canon as outlined in some of my posts in the canon thread. Feedback is appreciated!

1: Rhythm of life…

Pausing to check the name of the street intersecting his path, Bob narrowed his eyes a bit to compensate for the brightness of the Miami sun peeking over the edge of the sign. For a long moment he lamented having forgotten his sunglasses somewhere in the airport after arriving. Raising a hand to shield his eyes further, the light playing over his freckled face, the young man verified the name; Blanks Drive. Finally! Turning down the road, he picked up his pace, eager to see the purpose of the invitation his friend had sent him. As he walked, his destination made itself clear in no small part by the uptempo beat of music coming from a boombox. Bob knew that music.

Now nearly jogging, Bob passed by a music store with all the barred window trappings of a pawn shop before reaching the plot of land situated on the address he was given. The lot was large, even sprawling, still speckled with the remnants of debris and overgrowth in some areas, but even now workers were laboring to clear that out. In the front, the skeletal structure of a building had already been raised, carpenters and electricians moving about within to continue adding meat and veins to it. Looking over the site, Bob felt a mix of curiosity and amusement mingle in him. He had definitely been invited here for something interesting, that much he could be sure of. Finishing the scan of the area, his eyes came to rest on a simple sign standing at the edge of the lot. ‘Future site of the Comet Youth center’ was written across it in bold letters.

“Hey, Bob!” The voice interrupted the young man’s thoughts, the elongated ‘ey’ in the greeting along with the enthusiasm of the voice making the source of it obvious even as a brawny armor with a cannonball bicep enwrapped Bob’s neck, pulling him down into a playful headlock, another hand moving over to apply a light noogie to Bob’s head of blonde hair. “So, whatcha think?” Not bothering to struggle against the headlock, Bob simply smiled, waiting to be released as he answered “It looks nice, Dee Jay” Bob replied as the constrictor-strong arm unwound from around him, the jovial gesture one he was used to from the good-natured Dee Jay. With his hands on his hips now, Dee jay gave Bob one of his usual large, ivory-white grins but, even for him, the expression was particularly beaming and the sparkle in his eye spoke of a level of excitement that surpassed the Jamaican’s typical pleasant demeanor.

“It’s gonna look even better once it’s all dones. I’m telling you, I can’t wait to see it all together” Dee Jay said, the enthusiasm carrying over into his voice, making it nearly infectious. Of all of Dee Jay’s talents, and from his kickboxing skills to his musical aptitude, he had many, Bob always considered his greatest attribute to be his charisma. It was an almost palpable sensation radiating off him, making him a natural center of attention and the life of nearly any situation. It was the sort of natural star power that came around very rarely, especially wrapped up in someone Bob would consider a genuinely good guy.

Sure, some entertainers could fake it for a few hours at a time in-between bouts of crushing meloncholy or primadonna tantrums, but with Dee Jay it was different. It was who he was and that, amongst all the talent he’d manage in his time, was what made Dee Jay, first and foremost, a friend rather than just a client. Even dressed in a simple red tank top and a pair of knee-length basketball shorts above a pair of sandles, Dee Jay had a presence that was undeniable. Of course, some of that came from his height and impressive, muscular build but the rest of it was a total intangible. That “it” factor that so many people talked about but so few possessed.

“I can tell. Finally spending some of that music money?” Bob asked, slapping a hand against the much larger man’s upper arm and holding it there. Dee Jay nodded, looking from Bob to the site
under construction “Almost all of it. Land ain’t cheap out here but it’s gonna be worth it” Bob found himself nodding in agreement even while knowing little about the project. Looking it over again, he furrowed his brow lightly as his curiosity piqued “A youth center, huh? I know you talked about opening up your own club like the Lemony. What changed your mind?”

At the question, Dee Jay’s smile disappeared, a more serious expression moving over his face as he thought over the various goals and aspirations that had brought him to this point. “Half a million sales, Bobby. Half a million sales and a movie changed my mind” Bob blinked at the answers, withdrawing his hand from Dee Jay to fold his arms over his chest lightly, knowing Dee Jay wouldn’t leave him hanging. “I sold all those records and performed a bunch of shows. Made a buncha money. Then I got that gig for the Dragon’s Game movie with Fei Long” Bob nods, that deal having been one of the last he set-up for Dee Jay before he’d decided to take a haiatus from media. “Dragon’s Game was great though.” Bob remarked, his tone slightly quizzical as he tried to get to where Dee Jay was leading him with the conversation. “Oh yeah. Yeah it was. Great time making it too” Dee Jay nodded in agreement, clearly remembering back to the production of the movie, a smile touching his lips again though without turning into a full grin. “Towards the end though, I got to see what a real star was like” “Fei Long?” Bob asked and Dee Jay nodded again “That guy. He was something else, I tell you. Just seeing him made me feel real bad about how I was acting”

Now that shocked Bob for a moment, the young man feeling a flare up of total confusion. Dee Jay had always been on the straight and narrow, never falling into the many pitfalls and vices of fame. At least not as long as Bob had known him. And he’d rarely known Dee Jay, a friend he knew to always follow his heart, to regret decisions. “What were you doing that was so bad?” “Nothing. I wasn’t doing nothing” Dee Jay answered, the weight in the word ‘nothing’ filled with noticeable regret. “All those record sales and time on the big screen, and I wasn’t doing nothing with it. Just making some money and having a good old time. Yeah. I had plans to make a club like Lemony. Export some of that Jamaican fun. Fill that club with my music and all. And…?” The last word came out as an inquiry directed to Bob, Dee Jay’s bright, brown eyes settling on him. “And…what?” Bob asked, now totally baffled. “Exactly! Nothing, Bobby. Nothing but fun for me. More money, more music and more fun. No, man. No. Ain’t what I should be doing” Dee Jay shook his head, totally dismissing the club notion as if it was a mouthful of sour milk being spat out.

“While I was over there in Hong Kong, working with that Fei Long, I saw what he did. With the money, with the fame. No clubs and no goofing of all the while. He was teaching folks to box or just helping them. Really putting in time. You know? He came up like me. Not a lot of money. Learning to box to make something of ya.” Bob nodded his head slowly, catching on now. He’d been around celebrities enough in his life to see some of them have the occasional fits of guilt that lead them to pay some lip-service to helping out the less fortunate. It was often just to make themselves feel better about having so much but, with Dee Jay, he didn’t get the same impression. “So that’s why you spent almost all your money on this?” Bob asked, Dee Jay nodding again as he folded his muscle-corded arms over his chest “Yeah. Gotta start somewhere and this place is good as any. I had my fun, now I gotta put in the work. I been real lucky with what I’ve done. Doesn’t feel right not to spread that luck around”

Bob nodded again, turning to look over the construction with Dee Jay, the two standing there silently amid the sounds of hammers hitting nails and saws cutting into lumber. Finally, Dee Jay broke the silence, the twinkle back in his eyes and the grin back on his lips. “That’s why I called for you, Bobby” He said as he clapped a hand down on Bob’s shoulder, the strength of the man causing Bob’s knees to bend lightly to absorb the strength of the limb coming down. “I don’t…” Bob started, momentarily confused again before Dee Jay continued “I need someone to help run this. Someone with a head for business. For money. I can teach music and fitness, you know? The money and the business though. No, that ain’t me” Bob blinked his eyes once, then twice as the realization hit him. “You want me to manage the center?” Dee Jay nodded slowly and with purpose, the grin still dominating his face, excitement radiating from him in waves “You’re the best man I know for the job, Bobby.”

Turning over the offer in his head, Bob turned his attention from Dee Jay to the sign announcing the center. “Dee Jay, I think I might need some time. To think this all over, I mean” Dee Jay lightly patted Bob’s arm before lowering his hand “Don’t worry, man. I’m not gonna twist your arm and make you decide right now. We got a whole heap of catching up to do anyway. Come on and meet the folks putting this all together” With that, Dee Jay gave a gesture for Bob to follow as he walked towards the construction area to start introducing him around, neither of the men noticing the tall figure observing them from beneath a billboard set atop a building across the street.

The second half of this part will be up soon!

1:2: Rhythm of death…

As the two friends walked out of the restaurant and into the cool Miami night air, Bob turned to Dee Jay, sinking his hands into his pockets “It really seems like you have a good group of people working on the center” Dee Jay nodded his head as they walked, his right hand idly snapping out a beat that he had been working on. “Some of them are fans. Some of them are just guys that believe in what the center can be about. Lots of them gave me good rates on the work. Helped keep costs down.”

Walking down the sidewalk, Bob lifted his head, watching a car pass by, unable to suppress a smile as he heard one of Dee Jay’s songs coming from the vehicle. “So. What you thinking? Any chance you might take me up on the offer?” Dee Jay asked him. Over the course of the dinner they’d caught up with one another, shared some stories and some laughs and avoided the looming question of Dee Jay’s business proposition. The question almost immediately wiped the smile from Bob’s face, replacing it with a contemplative expression, his lips pressed together in thought. Stopping at a crosswalk, Bob glanced from the passing traffic to Dee Jay “It’s a pretty big career change. Not to mention having to move.”

As the signal changed, the two began walking again, Dee Jay blinking before retrieving his cellphone from his pocket as it buzzed with an incoming alert. Flipping it open, Dee Jay gave the screen a quick read, Bob becoming immediately concerned as he saw Dee Jay’s lips downturn and his brow furrow. “Something wrong?” Bob asked “Yeah. Been some one creeping around the place at night. One of the boys been keeping a look out and he says the creep is back” Bob blinked at that, not having been aware of any issues at the construction site. “What do you want to do? Call the police?” Dee Jay shook his head to Bob’s question, giving one of his grins “No reason to call them up. If he’s a problem, I’m gonna take care of him right quick” Dee Jay motioned for Bob to follow before quickening his pace, jogging down the sidewalk to head back towards the future site of the youth center a few blocks away.

“Stay here!” Dee Jay told Bob, the other man nodding as he stopped on the sidewalk. Nearing the plot of land, Dee Jay stopped, taking a quick look around as he jumped the waist-high chainlink fence with a small hop, eyes quickly scanning “Hey! Better not be trying to play a card on Dee Jay now! I’m in no mood to romp so come on out!” Dee Jay called into the darkness even as he hopped up onto the floor newly laid over the fresh foundation, his sandaled feet slapping against the bare wood. “Be careful” Bob cautioned the fighter but knew that Dee Jay generally had very little to be concerned about. A hoodlum or thief wasn’t about to get the better of the Jamaican warrior.

Dee Jay narrowed his eyes a bit as he peered into the dark shadows cast by the adjacent building, the night otherwise fairly bright thanks to the full moon. “If you’re looking for something to steal, this here is the wrong place for-” Dee Jay cut himself off as he turned his head, spotting a towering figuring standing in a half-constructed doorway, filling the two-by-four frame that had been erected there. Immediately, the fighters instincts kicked in as he looked over the other man. This wasn’t some burglar or bum looking to make a quick buck. This man was something different. Tall and broad shouldered, the figure looked back at Dee Jay from beneath the brim of a fedora hat, his body covered by a long coat that should have been too warm to wear in the Miami heat, especially layered over the button-up shirt complete with tie he wore beneath. Most striking of all, however, and what dominated Dee Jay’s attention, was the pair of yellow eyes staring at him, glowing from within the steel mask that encased the man’s head.

“Who are you then?” Dee Jay asked, his voice slowed from its usual rapid-fire delivery, weighed down by his burgeoning curiosity. In response to his question or, possibly, for reasons of his own, the figure lifted a white gloved hand slowly from his side, looking down at it as he curled the digits of the hand inward. Now more confused than curious, Dee Jay squared his shoulders, his lips pursed just slightly as he tried to suss out just what this unusual man might be looking for. In his time, Dee Jay had seen his fair share of peculiar and odd things, but this was definitely up there. Q had that affect on people. “You gonna give me some kind of answer or-WHOA!” Dee Jay leapt to the side as his question was interrupted by a sudden burst of violence, the agile kickboxer somersaulting to his right as the masked man lurched forwards, covering the room-wide distance between them in the blink of an eye, the hand he had been looking at lashing out with a powerful punch.

The punch missed by a country mile as Dee Jay rolled back up to his feet. Turning slowly, methodically, Q caught a pair of sandals to the face, the footwear bouncing off the metal mask. “Now I don’t care who you are!” Before the sandals had time to fall the distance from Q’s face to the wooden floor, a kick swung into the beings mid-section, Dee Jay drawing the foot up and around with switchblade speed. Continuing the motion of the kick, Dee Jay twisted himself at his hips, the rest of his body following before his opposite foot pistoned out behind himself, his heel slamming home in Q’s gut. To Dee Jay’s surprise, Q responded to the Double Rolling Sobat by simply taking a step back, remaining otherwise insensate to the attack.

Pulling his foot back, Dee Jay tossed his tank top off and took his fighting stance, lifting his fists in front of himself as he began bouncing lightly on the balls of his feet. “You’re tough. I’ll give you that. But you throw a punch at me and you got a wicked ass beating coming! You can bet on it!” Dee Jay said, keeping his eyes trained on his strange opponent. Dee Jay couldn’t quite put his finger on what it was that bothered him so about the man. There was some quality, some intangible thing, that just didn’t sit right. He didn’t have time to consider that, however, as Q launched another attack, once more telegraphing a powerful punch as he dashed forward with his impressive speed.

Seeing it coming, Dee Jay lifted his right leg, preparing another Double Sobat, this one aimed to smash in the mask on Q’s face. His foot cutting through the air, Dee Jay anticipated the initial impact, already preparing to spin into the second kick a moment before he felt the first kick whiff. At the last moment, Q’s head ducked down, the sobat swinging just over his hat as his fist careened into Dee Jay’s ankle, knocking the man to the ground. Dee Jay hit the floor shoulder first, feeling a splash of pain across his tricep to match the flaring pain in his ankle. Ignoring all that, Dee Jay rolled forward onto his back, his feet swinging forward together over his body, propelling him back to a standing position just as a heavy foot crashed into the floor where his head had been, splintering the wood as Q attempted to stave his skull in.

Back on his feet, Dee Jay attempted to fully take the offensive lead as he stepped in, a boxing left straight striking the side of Q’s face plate. Turning the mysterious fighters head to the side, Dee Jay cocked his right hand back deep, swinging it forward and up with a powerful uppercut that hit Q cleanly under the chin, the giant man actually reeling for the first time in response to a blow as he took several steps back to regain his balance. Dee Jay was intent on preventing that from happening. Planting his right foot, the kickboxer planted a simple but devastatingly powerful straight kick into Q’s chest, sending him backwards and through a pair of two-by-fours, splintering the wood with the mass of the fighters body. Q slammed into the floor of the next room over awkwardly high up on his shoulders, his legs slowly slumping forward over him, folding him up in a ignominious position.

Cursing the damage done to the wooden frame of what was going to be an office section of the youth center, Dee Jay strode forward “You stay down and maybe I’ll let you off with just that. Otherwise-” And, for the second time, Dee Jay was struck silent by Q as the man simply rolled to his side and stood up, straightening his back and even reaching up to readjust the hat atop his head as if waking from a simple nap. As he did, the being let out a series of garbled, unintellible words from behind his mask, released along with a low breath. The giant turned towards Dee Jay once more, pulling his arms up and crossing them over his chest, Dee Jay watching as if to decipher just who or what Q was. Q’s arms shot out to the sides and upward, a surge of power rushing over his frame, fluttering the edges of his jacket as Dee Jay felt the tangible, physical force of the beings fighting power burst outward. “Gonna try and tell me this was warm up, yeah? Okay, well I’m warmed up too, creeper”

Even as he spoke, Dee Jay dashed forward, launching the weakest variation of his Double Sobat, throwing only the initial kick. It bounced off of Q’s forearm as the big man blocked, Dee Jay hopping into the air, his left leg swinging upward across his chest before he swung it downward like the head of an axe aimed for Q’s skull. As his heel struck through the air, Dee Jay felt an explosion in his left hip as Q twisted his body, throwing an awkward but fast high kick that drove the toe of his shoe into the soft flesh where Dee Jay’s thigh met his body. The kick sent Dee Jay tumbling through the air, spinning him vertically. The Jamaican fighter raised his hands as he tucked his head in, landing hard on the back of his neck even as Q’s kick sent him off balance, the masked man falling clumsily to the floor on his side.

The two fighters hit the ground at almost the same time, but Q got back to his feet faster, if less gracefully, a flaring ache in Dee Jay’s leg causing him to take an extra second to recover. Reflexively, Dee Jay covered up, protecting himself with a traditional boxing peek-a-boo defense as he formulated his next attack. Q stole the opportunity from him, however, as he reached out not with any kind of strike but, rather, with a grab that snatched Dee Jay by his wrist with a powerful grip. Pulling him forward with his hand, Q sent his other hand up towards the other man’s jaw. Thanks to his prepared defense, Dee Jay managed to use his free hand to absorb the impact, placing it between his chin and Q’s fist. Still, the power of the impact sent Dee Jay off his feet and up into the air, knocking him skyward.

As he tumbled through the air, Dee Jay was buffeted about as a barrage of flailing but powerful high speed slaps from Q slammed into his body, the tall being swiping at him again and again before the last smack knocked him away. Dee Jay flew back from the impact of the last slap, his body slamming into the corner of the room. A red-hot pain caused Dee Jay to grit his teeth as the shaved side of his head hit the corner edge of a toolbox, gashing it open, immediately releasing a torrent of blood down onto his shoulder. Sucking in a breath, Dee Jay assessed the damage across his body, several of his ribs protesting the motion thanks to the battering they had received a moment before. His left leg ached at the hip and his torso had received some solid blows from those slaps. He was still far from out, however. And now he knew why he was having so much trouble and why Q had such a bothersome presence to him. The man had no rhythm. None at all. He didn’t move like a regular opponent. There was no bounce, no style and no beat to him. Dee Jay was used to meeting an opponents rhythm with his own, turning the fight into a song that he could turn over in his brain, feel in his bones and win with his fists. Q had no music. Nothing for Dee Jay to play off of. That was just fine with Dee Jay though. He’d find the beat solo just as if he were shadow boxing.

Getting back to a kneeling position, Dee Jay snapped his dark eyes to where Q had been last, finding the spot vacant. Immediately, he looked up, spotting the huge man leaping through the air, his fists cocked back to his shoulders, preparing to drive them forward straight into Dee Jay. Rocketing from the ground, Dee Jay cut Q off mid-air, his right leg twisting forward to collide with Q’s side just below his arm-pit. The hit twisted Q around, the two fighters corkscrewing now with Dee Jay dictating the pace as his left leg swung about, heel driving into Q’s back on the man’s opposite side as he spun 180 degrees. Completing the Jackknife Maximum, Dee Jay lashed out with his right leg again just as Q spun around from the previous kicks a full 360 degrees so he was facing Dee Jay once more. The right foot colliding with Q’s head, the trenchcoat clad man flying backwards as his hat popped off the top of the metallic mask.

Q’s body slammed into a table saw, crushing it with more weight than even his considerable height would normally have. The silent fighter remained in a crumpled heap on the ground for several long moments before a gloved hand lifted up, pressing down against the floor to push him back up with the slow, determined pace that seemed to define the creature. Standing up once again, Q reached to his head as if to adjust his hat. Finding it missing, gloved fingers paused before passing over the metal dome, yellow eyes searching the floor, the fight seemingly secondary to recover his headwear. “Hey! You loose something?” Q turned his attention to Dee Jay as the man let loose with the question, the kickboxer offering a wide grin that wasn’t diminished by the crimson curtain of red that covered his right ear, the edge of his jaw and the side of his neck, blood still flowing from the cut. Atop Dee Jay’s head sat Q’s hat, the man having plucked it out of the air as he landed from the Jackknife kick.

Q stared silently at Dee Jay for several moments before letting out a low, non-commital “Hnnnnn” from within the mask. That was followed immediately by a deep exhultation of breath as Dee Jay’s foot seemed to materialize in his stomach, the kicks impact lifting Q onto the tips of his toes. The force of the sobat kick drove into Q before Dee Jay rode the momentum of the twisting strike, swinging his heel up and around to send a pair of flip kicks into Q’s shoulders, driving the man downward. Becoming a whirling pinwheel of motion, his feet crashed into Q, a snap of a leg sending him up off his feet before a hopping heel drop spiked him back into the ground.

“Welcome to the carnival! Don’t bother getting back up because the ride is over!” Dee Jay slung the words towards the fallen Q as quickly as he had his feet a moment previous. Turning his back to the motionless Q, Dee Jay reached up, snatching the hat off his own head as he called out in a louder voice “Bob! Give the police a call! Tell them I got a real headcase for them to come pick up!” As he said that, he lazily tossed the hat aside, a white gloved hand immediately snatching it back. Dee Jay blinked and turned his head back around, confounded by the sight of Q standing as big as life and apparently none the worse for wear after eating the Sobat Carnival.

“You…” Before he could say anymore, Dee Jay was cut off as the wind was driven from his lungs by a bone-jarring punch delivered to his gut, Q’s hat crumpling around his fist as he buried it below Dee Jay’s solar plexus. The Jamaican kickboxers eyes all-but popped out of his head as he doubled over, clutching his abdomen, the movement sending spatters of blood onto the wood floor beneath him, as much coming from his mouth as from the open wound on his head. As Dee Jay’s legs wobbled, knees turned to jelly by the blow, Q raised his hands, putting his crushed hat back atop his head before clasping his hands together. Driving the axe-handle smash downward, his fists collided with Dee Jay’s spine right between his shoulder blades with the force of a small truck. Dee Jay let out a cry of pain as the force of the hit seemed to blast through his entire body, the pain of it eclipsing the secondary impact of his body hitting the floor. Hitting it so hard, as a matter of fact, that he bounced off it like a superball back into the air as if he’d landed on a trampoline.

With a detached look, the yellow eyes of Q’s mask watched Dee Jay’s thrashed body rise into the air and then fall back down, landing limply on his side. Motionless now, conciousness fled Dee Jay, the man drifting off even as Q reached down and casually brushed off his jacket. Afterwards, Q looked back to the fallen form of the man known as the Southern Comet, regarding him with a slow cant of his head like one might regard an abstract work of modern art.

Having heard Dee Jay cry out after telling him to call the police, Bob’s caution was overcome entirely by concern for his friend as he ran into the skeletal framework of the youth center. “Dee Jay! Dee Jay, you alright?!” He called out, panicking when he heard nothing in response. Bob stopped suddenly as he came upon the scene of the fight, spotting Dee Jay’s fallen form as a staggeringly tall figure in a long coat stood over him, his foot resting on Dee Jay’s left calf, the heel twisting and grinding to crush the limb. “Yo! The fight’s over! Get off of him!” Bob felt not a shred of fear, instead launching himself towards Q, attempting, as futile as it might be, to push and batter the big man off of Dee Jay. The impacts of his fists all-but bounced off of Q, but Bob kept swinging until he looked up, his arm stopping in mid-swing as he saw the bizarre mask that acted as the man’s face. Stunned for a moment, Bob stood with his mouth open as if waiting for something to happen. Waiting for some kind of response from the giant.

Q, seemingly otherwise oblivious to the strikes of the much smaller man, none-the-less looked down to Bob and then stepped back, removing his foot from Dee Jay. With Q’s attention on him now, the wave of fear that had been kept at bay by seeing his friend hurt hit Bob with full force, the manager lifting his hands in front of himself as he anticipated a potentially deadly reprisal from the bizarre being. Instead, Q stepped back again, moving away from Bob, uttering something totally impossible to understand in his low and loud but entirely muffled voice. Turning, heavy footsteps carried Q away from Bob as Bobs brain caught up with the fact that he wasn’t going to be attacked. His thoughts turned back to Dee Jay immediately and he moved to his friends side, calling his name repeatedly as he shook him lightly. Seeing the extent of Dee Jay’s injuries, Bob fumbled in his pocket, pulling his cellphone out, and nearly dropping it in the process.

By the time the ambulance and police arrived, Q was nowhere to be found.

-Great way to start off the story. Start with a newcomer, so we can see things through his eyes and buildup

-I like what you’ve done with Dee Jay. He was always someone who I was happy to see, but didn’t think too too much of him. I guess it was mainly because as a kid, I was happy to see and relate to a black guy who was a good guy and friendly. I like Balrog as a villain, but y’know variety, hah.

Anyways, as I was saying, yeah, I like that you gave Dee Jay some heart and depth and nicely connected him to Fei Long.

-I like how Bob’s mulling over the decision. sometimes in stories like this, people can be too eager to drop everything and sign on to their friend’s dream wihout really turning it over in their heads to see how it’ll affect them. In this case, new field of business and moving for Bob.

-I like how you described the fights and also, man, I can picture how unsettling Q must look. The small detail that you mentioned, him looking out of place due to how he was dressed and the Miami heat was a great way to really let on that something is seriously wrong here.

Can’t wait to see more man!

Thanks much for the kind words! I am going to be doing up the epilogue to this part and launching into the next pretty soon.