Suicide Circus (Shadaloo Oneshot)

With one final punch, the sandbag was swept off its hinges, spilling its grainy guts across the floor and it flew backwards before crumbling on the ground, partially emptied from the beating it had just received. With the chain holding it up falling to the ground broken, the sandbag’s attacker exhaled deeply as the sweat on his face gleamed in the florescent lights. “…forty-eight seconds, final punch registered at 2540 psi,” a voice from the loudspeaker stated, echoing throughout the enclosed metal room as the man looked over at his “victim” lying on the floor in the heap. “It’s not Balrog’s level, but still very noteworthy. We shall report this to Master Bison at once!”

The man said nothing as he turned to the wall where his towel and beret were sitting. Carefully placing his beret back on his head before going for the towel, the man exited the room where light applause was awaiting him. He didn’t really see why they seemed so impressed with his work: 2540 psi was actually less than what he could do when he was in peak condition. Back when he worked as a mercenary, with his adrenaline pumping and emotions running high, he could probably strike somewhere in the range of 2700 psi, with his kicks exceeding even that. It might not have been something on the level of Balrog, whose forceful punches were rumored to have killed an elephant in a single blow, but the fact of the matter was that he was not hitting his best.

Even as the scientists in the room nodded their heads in approval while continuing to look over his data, Moshe was displeased. Master Bison severely punished anyone who underperformed during his tests, and thanks to his Psycho Power and how much time Moshe spent with Bison as his aide, the consequences would be swift and severe. *Perhaps this time, he’ll finally kill me, *Moshe thought grimly while maintaining his composure, making his way to the door that led to the main hallway. Not that it would make any difference. Every single day living here is Hell.

Though he wore the uniform and crest of Shadaloo, and held a rather enviable position within the organization, the tall man with dark blond hair found nothing enviable about his employment within the massive criminal empire. Many of the people who worked for the organization did so under the promise of power and wealth, and more still joined the organization because they were under the delusion that Shadaloo would one day rule over the world, no matter what side of the law it existed on. Despite all of the horror stories that surrounded the organization, and the effort made by others to shut it down forever, it continued to thrive because there were those who believed that if Shadaloo were to succeed in its mission for global domination, the world would be set right.

When Moshe joined the organization, he didn’t really care much for any of that. As a mercenary from Israel, a country that was almost continuously plagued by wars and skirmishes with its neighbors, Moshe lost count of how many times he heard someone talk about how they were going to change the country and bringing order out of chaos. Despots didn’t see themselves as despots, and in most cases, neither did the people they ruled over. Despots legitimately believed they were the heroes in whatever war they fought, and the people would listen to what they had to say.

That’s why Moshe became a mercenary instead of joining the Israeli Defense Force, or the Mossad: while his younger sister Saarah might have believed in things like justice and righteousness, Moshe was not so optimistic about the world. There were heroes, and there were villains, but at the same time those heroes were villains in the eyes of the enemy, and the villains they fought for were the heroes. It was impossible to be completely righteous in battle, because fighting in and of itself was sinful. As long as Moshe had his wife by his side, it mattered little who was the hero or the villain in the war: as long as he could provide for his family, his life was fine.

Shadaloo made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse, so Moshe joined them. He didn’t realize at the time how much he would loathe the organization, or how being in their presence for so long would make him realize that maybe Saarah was right after all of there being distinct “good guys and bad guys” in the world. But none of that made any difference now: Moshe’s stature and strength made him valuable in this organization, where fighting prowess was valued over all other commodities, which included drugs and weapons. The organization’s leader, the infamous and terrifying Bison, was so impressed with Moshe’s disposition that he made Moshe his personal aide: a position once held by Bison’s second-in-command Vega.

Walking through the long corridors of the Shadaloo base, Moshe couldn’t shake off the strange glances he was receiving from his comrades. During his stay in Shadaloo, Moshe had received a few compliments about his appearance from his female colleagues, telling him that he was handsome, but Moshe would quickly remind them that he was a married man and intended to keep it that way. The stubbles on his chin and cheek were supposed to help divert their attention away from him, but with all of those eyes on him he wondered if perhaps he’d be better off shaving again. Though he held an enviable position as Bison’s aide, Moshe’s uniform was no different from the others in the hallway. Maybe that test he just took winded him more than he originally thought…

Finally having enough, Moshe pulled aside one of the young men staring at him. “Why is everyone looking at me like that?” Moshe said lowly as he turned from left to right to see that those in the hall were now staring right at him. “Did something happen?”

“…you seriously don’t know?”

“…apparently not,” Moshe muttered. “I was in one of the labs. What happened?”

“There were armed guards carrying your son into the combat room,” the young man replied, apparently legitimately surprised that Moshe didn’t know what he was talking about. “The only time we’ve seen armed guards escort someone they way they were carrying your son is if they were going to take him out back to execute him. We figured you’d be going right after them.”

Moshe’s eyes widened in anger as his comrade explained the situation. Quickly shoving him aside, Moshe’s walk evolved into a full run as he raced to the combat room. Why in the world had no one notified him of this while he was in the lab? He knew that Shadaloo was a den of murderers and thieves, but was every last one of them heartless enough to keep him in the dark while they whisked away his infant son? Bison always seemed to enjoy asking Moshe about how his son was doing, taking some sort of twisted delight in how Moshe would squirm over that topic. Was Bison going to execute an infant just so he could watch Moshe squirm some more?

With his adrenaline pumping with fear and anger, Moshe continued racing towards the combat room, which unfortunately for him was on the other side of the base. Perhaps if Moshe’s mood was more akin to this when he did his testing, his punching power would register something more akin to his maximum potential, and there wouldn’t have been any doubt as to just how strong Moshe truly was. Either way, if those armed guards were foolish enough to harm his helpless child, they were going to find out first hand how strong Moshe could be…

Two minutes later, Moshe stormed into the combat room, expecting a wave of guns and knives to come at him trying to interfere with their execution of a baby. Instead, all he found was his son, sleeping peacefully on the other side of the vast room. How the baby could do so in this room that still smelled of dried blood was something Moshe could only guess at. If there was such a thing as a haunted room in this base, the combat room was most certainly it.

The combat room of Shadaloo was notorious for being the final testing site for Shadaloo’s weapons and soldiers, where the organization would use live test subjects to see how effective their weapons were. There was one instance that Moshe witnessed where Bison ordered six of his top prospects for a promotion to kill each other within the next five minutes, with the winner becoming the promoted soldier. Like lemmings off of a cliff, the soldiers brutally slaughtered one another until there was only one left standing…and then Vega stabbed him through the chest, as he didn’t win within the allotted time.

It was as pointless as it was barbaric, but Bison showed no remorse at losing six good soldiers. In fact, Bison seemed rather pleased with himself, and told Moshe that their deaths would cull out the pretenders from the worthy. “You should try it sometime, Moshe,” Bison said that day with a sadistic grin on his face while Moshe looked visually repulsed. “I’m sure someone of your willpower would be able to clear the five minute mark with no problem.”

When Moshe entered the room, his heart filled with rage at the possibility of what those armed guards would do to his son, he planned on killing them in under three minutes. Fortunately for him, it looked like none of that was necessary, and Moshe ignored the smell of blood so that he could walk towards his baby. Due to the complications of his son’s birth, even though at the time he had the support of the more legitimate Masters Foundation, Moshe and his wife hadn’t even found the time to name their son. Moshe had a few names in mind, but he couldn’t get his wife to agree on any of them.

*I’ll have to change that today, *Moshe grumbled as he approached his slumbering son. Bison has kept me so busy that I haven’t been able to pay attention to my own child. This time I will not let him out of my sight, no matter what that madman has me do…

“There is no rule against bringing children into my quarters, Moshe. In fact, I believe I would enjoy having a young one witness my work and perhaps learn something.”

A familiar, chilling voice echoed throughout the room, causing Moshe to freeze in place even as a florescent blue wall of light emerged from the floor and enveloped his son within it, all the while with the infant oblivious to what was going on around him. “A force field,” Moshe growled, recognizing the wall of light as the same energy that once cost an unfortunate soldier an arm when he didn’t move his body in time. Doing his best to regain his composure and not make his situation worse, Moshe inhaled deeply before standing to attention and saluting. “Moshe Sheffer reporting for duty, sir. I request that I take my son back to the medical facility where his caretakers are awaiting him.”

Bison’s statement was an unwelcome reminder of how much control Bison had over Shadaloo. He not only held control over his subordinates through rank, but he also held control over them on an interior level. Telepathy was but one of the many gifts his Psycho Power granted him, and thanks to that telepathy he had access to the minds of every one of his underlings, no matter where they happened to be. With that power, he could address even the slightest suspicion of betrayal before anyone said anything about it, and he had done so many times in the past. As long as you were under the employ of Shadaloo, it was against the code of the organization to even think about insurrection, and Bison made sure those who broke the code paid for it dearly.

So whatever doubts Moshe had about being a part of Shadaloo, or how much being in Bison’s presence made him uneasy, Bison was fully aware of them and allowed Moshe to think those thoughts. If Bison wished it, he could have executed Moshe with his bare hands, for even Moshe’s strength was nothing compared to the unholy wrath that Bison was capable of. Maybe that’s why Bison lured Moshe into the combat room: he had finally grown weary of Moshe and was going to relieve him of his duties as his aide by pummeling him into a bloody pulp.

“…you are curious as to why I ordered my men to take your son, are you not?” the voice of Bison asked Moshe as he continued standing at attention. “I know you are not naïve enough to think that I commanded my nurses to care for your son in your wife’s stead out of the goodness of my own heart. You have all sorts of suspicions going through that head of yours, and every one of those suspicions make you wish that you could wring my neck until my throat pops out of my mouth.”
"…why am I here, sir?" Moshe said with a light growl as he trembled with anger.

“Because I have been very pleased with your growth as my aide, Moshe,” Bison responded as Moshe looked up to see the shadow of his caped leader standing behind a window of a darkened room that was several meters above the floor of where Moshe was standing. “Little by little, the fear and anger in your heart has festered in my presence, tempting you with every passing moment. You learn from my example and allow that negative emotion well up inside of you, hoping beyond hope that one day you can be free of your debt to Shadaloo so that you can have the excuse to slaughter everyone in this organization that makes you cross. It is this negative emotion that made me offer you a chance to become a student to Psycho Power.”

“I have no interest in Psycho Power, sir,” Moshe replied sternly, still remaining at attention. “Until you relieve me of my duties, I shall remain loyal to Shadaloo and its cause…regardless of what I might think of our actions as an organization.” Lifting his right hand to look at the gold band on his middle finger, Moshe sniffed before continuing. “I sold my services to you in exchange for my wife’s life, even with the wealth of the Masters Foundation banking on her survival. For that, I will be eternally grateful…”

“Target sighted. Designate: Moshe Sheffer. Rank: Lieutenant.”

Moshe quickly darted around at the female voice behind him, his eyes widening in surprise to see the reason of his employment with Shadaloo standing before him. When he first met his wife, she was a shining beacon of tranquility and happiness: a stark contrast to the stark profession Moshe was a part of. There were many times that she would try to convince Moshe to pursue more peaceful occupations, but Moshe insisted that being a mercenary would insure that she and their future child could live life to the fullest. Even when her health started to deteriorate as her pregnancy reached its final stages, she would smile as if to tell Moshe that nothing was wrong, and all she needed was his presence.

That smile, and that woman, no longer existed.

When Shadaloo offered to save his wife’s life in exchange for Moshe’s exclusive services, he foolishly believed it to be no different from any of the other deals he’d make with less-than-savory employers. He didn’t realize that the real reason they made that offer was to mask their true intentions: to pump her full of chemicals and brainwash her thoroughly in order to train her to become the next generation of super-soldiers that Shadaloo were once famous for. If Moshe knew they were going to do that, he would have moved on and tell himself that his wife’s death was an unavoidable event.

Standing before Moshe now was someone who merely assumed his wife’s appearance, wearing the form-fitting black uniform of Shadaloo’s formerly-retired “Doll Corps” with her toned exposed legs capable of crushing a man should they ever wrap around him. Her light brown hair blew behind her along with the air conditioning of the room, with her armored gloves hands at her side, hovering over one of the many weapons wrapped around her hips. “…what is Ilyana doing here, sir?” Moshe asked after a gulp of anxiety.

“We at Shadaloo would prefer you address her by her ‘work name,’ Moshe,” Bison replied with cruel sadism as Moshe’s wife stared at him with her eyes devoid of any kind of compassion or emotion that Moshe once associated her with. “Now she is Agent Beit, the first of the next generation of my beautiful Dolls who shall carry out my will to the world over.” With a cold sweat coming down from Moshe’s head, Bison continued. “As to why she is here, I have decided to give you a chance to redeem your honor, Moshe.”

“My…honor, sir?”

“Despite eradicating every last ounce of goodness in my soul years ago, I am not completely beyond reason,” the demonic crime lord explained. “I am offering both you and Agent Beit a chance to earn your freedom. Should you succeed in what I am about to ask of you, I will allow you and your child to walk away from the organization with the word of the mighty Bison that Shadaloo will not bother you or your family again.”

Moshe could hardly believe what he was hearing. Ever since becoming Bison’s aide, Moshe was fully aware of what kind of monster the Shadaloo leader was capable of being. A mercy like the one Bison was speaking of wasn’t just out of character: it was completely impossible for a man of Bison’s warped code of ethics. Still, if there was a chance he could finally end the nightmare he lived every single day as a member of Shadaloo, Moshe would be a full not to take it. If not for himself, at least he could free his infant son from being reared in the deceitful ways of the criminal empire.

With Moshe at attention, Bison chuckled eerily before continuing. “All you have to do…is kill Agent Beit, before she kills you. Whoever is the last person standing will be free of my employ, and earn the freedom of your child.” With Moshe darting around in surprise to hear Bison issue his ultimatum from the control room high above, the former mercenary watched the shadow of Bison reach for the microphone and issue his fateful order. “Agent Beit, destroy Lieutenant Sheffer!”

“Acknowledged,” Beit replied robotically before pulling out a revolver from one of the holsters on her body and pointing it at Moshe. “Commencing attack!”

With the sound of gunfire echoing throughout the combat room, Moshe quickly rolled out of the way of the bullets and continued running even as Beit emptied an entire clip’s worth of bullets with the intent to kill him. What sort of nightmare did he stumble into, his own wife trying to riddle him with holes? *No…this isn’t my wife, *Moshe grumbled as he waited for the sound of gunfire to cease before charging forward and using all of his strength to tackle Beit to the ground. This is a machine wearing her skin. My wife died the day I joined Shadaloo…but instead of passing on peacefully, her body now belongs to evil.
Even though that’s what he told himself, Moshe couldn’t bring himself to use the knife that he forcefully pulled off of Beit’s person and end this fight to the death before it spiraled out of control. Moshe was no stranger to killing an enemy, even before he joined Shadaloo, and he’d lost track of how many times he had killed someone using their own weapon. But even though his brain told him that Agent Beit was an enemy, his heart told him something very different while looking at the woman’s face.

It was a hesitance rewarded with an unwanted flight through the air as Beit used muscular legs to launch Moshe into the air as she spun back to her feet. Pulling out a second knife, Beit looked into the air and waited for Moshe to fall down to earth, where he would be gutted like a pig. Maneuvering his body in mid-air, Moshe instead landed several feet away from his wife with the knife still in his hand. “Call her off,” Moshe shouted to his master, even though he knew it would do him no good. “Call her off now!”

“Why would I want to do that, Moshe?” Bison hummed as Agent Beit lunged forward with her knife at the ready, forcing Moshe to lift his own blade and parry her swipe. Even though Beit was considerably smaller than Moshe, the experiments performed on her gave her the strength of someone much bigger than she was. It wasn’t the kind of strength that could come naturally: only Shadaloo’s heartless disregard for the human body could yield a woman with this much power despite her size and build. “I thought you hated being a part of Shadaloo. Are you not elated that I am offering you a chance to walk away?”

Feeling his grip on the knife loosen, Moshe muttered a silent curse before spinning around and delivering a pivoting chop to Beit’s ribs, forcing her to drop her knife. With a monstrous boot, Moshe launched Beit backwards, but it was only a temporary reprieve. With Beit spiraling around in the air with almost impossible grace, the Shadaloo Doll landed on her hands and feet before again springing forward, spiraling clockwise with her legs tucked inward.

Moshe had seen the technique before, while studying videos of the British MI-6 agent Cammy when he needed to perform a duty where encountering her was a possibility. He couldn’t remember the exact name of it (something about hooligans), but he’d seen the deadly effects of the attack enough to know that he was in trouble if he didn’t do something fast. With Beit wrapping her legs around his head upon falling on his shoulders, Moshe did the first thing that came to mind even though it made him sick to do it to Beit.

Using all of his might, Moshe let out a shout and hurled Beit to the ground with a power bomb, leaving a dent in the floor even though Beit wasn’t much more than 120 lbs. Hearing Beit groan in pain, Moshe’s eyes widened as he quickly backed away, fearing that he just broken his wife. “Ilyana,” he said with a whisper as he slowly walked forward, seeing Beit writhe on the ground. “…what have I done?”

“Damage minimal,” Beit said as she again spiraled to her feet, resuming her fighting stance as she pulled out another knife. “Resuming mission!”

With Beit thrusting her knife forward, Moshe opened his stance and caught Beit’s attacking arm, just like he was taught in his formulative days as a soldier. Twisting Beit’s arm until she dropped the knife, Moshe used his impressive strength to deliver a sharp palm to Beit’s chin before tossing her to the ground with a shoulder throw. With Beit crashing down hard on the floor, Moshe maintained his hold on her arm and fell to the ground to place her into a scissored armbar.

“NGH! Submission hold identified: Cross Armbar,” Beit stated to no one in particular, except perhaps her master Bison that was watching from above. “Initiating countermeasure!” Before that moment, Moshe only knew of about three ways to break out of a cross armbar, and each of them required being significantly stronger than the user of the hold. That was before Beit introduced him to a fourth way: rolling towards Moshe on her side and using her exceptional flexibility to free herself from beneath Moshe’s legs so that she was now standing above Moshe with her arm still in his grasp, but now she could use her other hand to deliver a fatal stab wound.

Moshe broke his hold before it came to that, and decided that he’d had enough of this. “…I’m sorry, Ilyana,” Moshe said before tapping on his left shoulder pad, causing it to open slightly to reveal a metal knob. Putting his hand around the knob and pulling it outward, Moshe revealed the one weapon that all Shadaloo members of his rank were required to carry: a crackling rod of stunning electricity, once used to subdue even the mighty Ryu. If the stun baton could fell even someone that Bison deemed a major threat to his plans for global domination, then surely it could stop Beit in her tracks.

Brandishing his weapon carefully, Moshe waited for Beit to lunge forward again before forcefully grabbing her hair and putting the rod of electricity next to her neck. Putting a stun weapon of any kind against exposed flesh was a cardinal sin for anyone with a sense of decency to them, due to how dangerous it was for the victim, but Moshe wasn’t going to take any chances. Whatever Shadaloo did to her, she was now something greater than human, and he needed to be sure this was going to put her down.

“AAAAAAAH,” Beit let out a blood-curdling scream as the volts flowed through her body, causing her to convulse wildly as every cell in her body reacted out of control. “HEART RATE EXCEEDING SAFE PARAMETERS! BODY TEMPERATURE EXCEEDING SAFE PARAMETERS! ERROR! ERROR! ERROR! ERR-”

Tossing Beit away, Moshe relieved his former wife of her pain and felt his own heart racing with fright. Even though the words coming from Beit’s mouth were something akin to a computer, the panic in her voice was something else entirely. He’d heard it so many times before, whether it be from his fellow mercenaries or innocent civilians: it was the kind of tone that someone would make if they feared for their life. Moshe used the weapon thinking that Beit was no longer capable of that kind of emotion, but now he was starting to wonder.

Was it possible to break the brainwashing Bison put her through?

Running over to where he tossed Beit, Moshe put his baton back in its holster on his shoulder and knelt down to where the Shadaloo Doll was still shuddering from the massive shock she received. “Why are you hesitating, Moshe,” Bison boomed over the loudspeaker even as Moshe watched Beit open her eyes and regain control of her breathing. “That was your best chance for victory. Do you not care for the welfare of your child? Do you not want the two of you to be free of Shadaloo?”

“I will not kill my wife,” Moshe growled before slowly turning his head away from his wife and to the shadow of his loathsome commander. “I would rather die as your slave than live as her murderer!”


Though it was only a moment that Moshe turned away, it was enough time for Beit to launch herself off the ground and deliver a rising thrust kick to Moshe’s muscular jaw, launching the big man high into the air as Beit backflipped away. The Cannon Spike was a technique reserved only for the Doll Unit, and there was a long tally of victims who were killed in action upon receiving the kick to one of their vital areas. Moshe took one right to one of the nerve points in his face, and as such he couldn’t even will himself to scream due to the blinding pain the kick put him in.

Landing on the ground in a heap, Moshe’s mind rapidly spun out of the control to the point where he felt like was going to vomit. The only thing he could make out clearly in the terrible haze was the sound of Beit’s slow footsteps approaching him. Even though his eyesight was a blur of stars and sparkles, Moshe used what remained of his willpower to roll over onto his stomach. If he was going to die, he was at least going to die standing up. He at least had that much left of his dignity.

Moshe let out a quick shout as he felt Beit grab a clump of his hair to lift him upwards, causing his beret to fall onto the ground. Being lifted up by the hair was humiliating no matter how much pride someone had, especially if it was by someone so much smaller than you. With his vision clearing, Moshe opened his eyes and looked into the vacant eyes of the woman that used to be the person he said his vows with. Even when she was like this, Moshe heart raced at how beautiful she was. She was so close to him, and there was something about her breath that smelled sweet.

“Target subdued,” she said softly before bringing her face closer to his, still breathing that strange sweet substance. “Administering sedative…”

Though Moshe let his guard down enough to allow Beit to deliver her strange and unexpected kiss on the lips, the former mercenary quickly realized that it was a moment of weakness that he paid dearly for. A horrible nauseating sensation filled his lungs, clouding his mind with rapid thoughts like his entire life was flashing before him. Even as Beit’s soft lips pressed against him for the first time in many months, Moshe couldn’t find the same joy in the kiss that he did before all of this happened…before he sold both of their souls to evil.

Using what little remained of his strength, Moshe pushed Beit off of him and fell onto his knees, gasping desperately for air. As much as he hated the foul stench of blood in the combat room, it was much more preferable to whatever kind of fumes that Beit was emanating. “K-knockout gas,” Moshe sputtered out as he carefully stumbled back to his feet to see Beit flip back onto hers. “You f-filled her with gas…why!”

“Forgive me, Moshe. That was unexpected,” Bison replied as Beit knelt over to pick up the knife she dropped earlier. “The orders I gave to your wife were to kill you, not capture you. It would seem that her programming still has a few bugs in it.” Seeing how Moshe stumbled back and forth, having trouble maintaining his balance with the strange drug now coursing through his body, Bison’s voice lowered. “But you are stronger than that, Moshe. It will take more than that sedative to defeat someone like you…”

“…Lord Bison,” Moshe hissed as he did his best to suppress his rage at Bison, reminding himself that it was his commander who held all of the cards. “I beg of you…end this madness. I don’t care what happens to me, just…stop it. Stop all of it.” Turning around to face Bison, Moshe knelt down onto one knee and bound his head. “I’ve sworn my allegiance to you once already. End this, and I will swear my life to you, as well.”


Moshe watched the shadow of Bison stroke his chin thoughtfully as he pondered his aide’s words. As Bison stroked his chin, the force field around Moshe’s still-unnamed son lowered, clearing Moshe’s path to the thing that brought him to this terrible room in the first place. But before Moshe could cradle his son and take him away from all of the madness, Bison belted out an even more terrible order. “Agent Beit, change targets. Destroy your son!”

“Acknowledged,” Beit nodded her head as she pulled out her second firearm, pointing it at the infant that was now beginning to cry from all of the noise that woke it from its slumber. Just as Moshe was about to step in the way, Beit fired off a single bullet into Moshe’s right leg, causing him to scream in pain as he collapsed to the floor. With nothing left to interfere, Beit pointed the weapon at their unnamed son…and pointed…and pointed…and trembled.

“M…memory error,” she said softly, the trembling in her hand increasing with each passing second. “Unauthorized images streaming into central processing unit. Clearing memory…MEMORY ERROR!” The trembling only became worse as it spread from her arm to her entire body. Whatever was coming over her, it was preventing her from performing this most terrible deed, and Moshe used this distraction to quickly drag his bleeding body over to where his child was laying.

But even as the seconds passed and Moshe was able to reach his baby, the trembling of Beit only worsened, and it looked as if she was going to explode from stress. “HARD REBOOT FAILED! EMERGENCY OVERRIDE FAILED,” she screamed as the hand holding the gun slowly but shakily pulled away from her son…and towards her head. Realizing what was going to happen, Moshe opened his mouth to say something, but Beit would have any of it. “EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN INITIATED! ERASING MEMORY BANKS!”


With a start, Moshe’s eyes dilated as he heard the sound of popping enter his ears. As he fully came to, he noticed that it wasn’t popping, but a light applause. Turning his head from left to right, Moshe realized that he was now back in the lab, with the scientists and subordinates applauding him for whatever reason. Turning around fully to see the door behind him that led to the test room, with the torn sandbag still spilled out from behind the window, the tall man realized that he wasn’t back in the room, but rather he never left it.

Being in the combat room, fighting the Shadaloo Doll that used to be his wife, receiving a poisonous kiss, even watching her commit suicide when she couldn’t kill their son…all of it was an illusion.

Hearing the sound of a door hissing open behind him, Moshe turned around before quickly standing at attention, with everyone else in the room following suit. Standing before them now was their infamous and illustrious leader…or at least, the current form of their leader. Whereas Bison was best associated to the world as a muscular man in red and silver, in his current body he was a young man just barely into his twenties, with an ebony uniform going alongside his trademark metallic shoulderpads and boots. With his purple hair slightly obscuring his glowing white eyes that shone from the shadow of his crap, Bison grinned as he lifted his head to see Moshe standing before him.

“How did you enjoy my training session, Moshe?”

“…sir?” Moshe said incredulously.

“Though only an instant passed here, in your mind you were experiencing what I determined to be your worst fear,” Bison said with his chilling grin widening before turning his head slightly to see his trusted Agent Beit standing behind him, holding her son even though there wasn’t any sort of motherly emotion in her eyes. “It told me much about how you have matured as an agent of Shadaloo…and I am very pleased, indeed.”

“Why is that, sir?” Moshe said lowly, fighting the urge to break the youth’s face for putting him through so much heartache.

“When you first came to me, your worst fear was merely losing Agent Beit…but now your fears have matured, and with it, so has your potential for greatness,” Bison explained as he lifted his hand and charged it with crackling purple energy: the visual embodiment of his dreaded Psycho Power. “You are afraid of losing Agent Beit, but you are also afraid of resigning your son to evil, as well as dying before you have the chance to liberate them both. It is only by realizing your deepest, greatest fear that one can master fear itself. Through that fear, there will come anger…and with that anger, there will come mastery of this marvelous power in my hand.”

“I told you before, sir,” Moshe said before swallowing. “…I have no interest in learning Psycho Power.”

“Not yet, Moshe…but you will,” Bison said with a Cheshire-like smile as he lowered his hand. “You believe that I asked you to join us so we could create Agent Beit, but you are mistaken. Dolls, even one as exquisite as Beit, will come and go, but you are a long-term investment. Though you are a mewling puke right now, one day your fear and hatred will reach its maximum, and when that happens I shall make you my student as well as my aide.”

Turning around and putting his hand around Beit’s chin, Bison smiled further as he could detect Moshe’s anger for him build up again. “You will desire my Psycho Power because you wish to strike me down, but the debt you owe Shadaloo is too great for you to ignore. When I decide the time is right…I will allow you the chance to end me, and then you will take my place and carry out my wishes as the new leader of Shadaloo, until I decide to ret-URK!”

Suddenly keeling over, the man called Bison started growling in pain as his clothes started to contort and shift like a faulty reception of a television station. “I-it’s appears that my ‘visiting hours’ are up,” Bison said through clenched teeth before standing upright and surrounding his body with purple ki. “When I regain control of this body, we’ll discuss this further. In the meantime, my loyal subjects…carry on until it is time for my return…hmhmhmhmhm…”

Like an apparition, Bison faded into nothingness until he vanished completely, causing everyone in the room to breathe a sigh of relief. With Bison gone, Moshe allowed himself to think about everything that transpired. Though he still couldn’t believe it, Bison had just put him through a perverse test to see if he worthy of becoming next in line for Shadaloo leadership. Though Bison’s hierarchy in Shadaloo was clear, being trailed only by Vega and Balrog, he had never explicitly stated of anyone he preferred to follow in his footsteps. Moshe was nothing like Bison, and was often appalled at the terrible things he would do in Shadaloo’s name.

Was Bison right about him? Was he only a stone’s throw away from being the next major despot on the world stage?

“Designate: Ariel.”

Raising an eyebrow at the words that came from Beit’s lips, Moshe quickly walked over to her and looked down at the child she was now cradling in her arms. “…Ilyana?”

“Designate: Ariel,” Beit said softly as Moshe carefully picked up their son from her arms, being careful not to wake him. “Lieutenant Sheffer, Lord Bison has requested that you go to his quarters immediately for a debriefing on his instructions while he prepares for his next visit.”

“I see,” Moshe said with a thin smile as he noticed Beit slowly reaching out for their newly-named son. Giving Ariel to Beit, Moshe felt the slightly hint of light enter his dark soul. “What will you be doing?”

“Ariel…is requested in the medical facility,” she said quietly before turning around and walking out the door.

For all of this time, Moshe cursed himself for not even having the time to name his baby, and just when he was about to abandon hope, Agent Beit went through the trouble of naming him for him. *No…not Beit. Her name is Ilyana, *Moshe thought with his smile widening slightly as he followed Beit out the door. What a fool I’ve been. I’ve forgotten the very most important rule of soldier life. Never give up, no matter how bad things have become.
With those words fresh in his mind, Moshe made his way to Bison’s quarters and prepared to resume his daily duties.