Gang Smasher Alpha – Episode One
Author's Note: Originally conceived as a tribute project to Fighting Games and Side-Scrolling Beat 'Em Ups, "Gang Smasher: Alpha" serves as an OVA-styled prologue to the actual story, which is supposed to be a comic series. "Gang Smasher: Alpha" is shooting for three to five episodes to set up for the real story where the heroes take the fight to the streets!
Indigo City Airspace, Early Morning
Eddie Lewis-Okamura awoke with a jolt as his plane started its final descent into Indigo City, USA. He couldn't sleep for the past twenty four hours, and the moment he finally gets some shuteye, he's jerked awake like a sudden splash of water to the face. Eddie looked out of the plane's window, the early morning sunrise peeking over the clouds, and sighed in relief.
"Home, sweet home," Eddie spoke in a low voice. He could hear the snoring of his fellow passengers and now, as the plane descended towards the ground, they too began to stir. "It'll have been about two years to the day since I left. I really hope Uncle Willy's waiting for me."
Indigo City Airport
"Listen, you know I love, but I just can't take this/you know I love you, but I'm playing for keeps/although I need you, I'm not gonna make this/you know I want to, but I'm in too deep." A thirty-something man with lean muscle stood at the Terminal Gate for arrivals from Asia, listening to an iPod, singing obnoxiously. He wrung his hips, both eyes closed, and pumped his arms in and out in sync with his music.
Several people with suitcases walked by, shooting him weird, confused looks. Some even managed to snap pics of him, but the man didn't care, or rather, he didn't notice. He was in his own little world as the music of Genesis sent him into an impromptu serenade.
Eddie walked quickly down the Terminal's path, minding his manners as he calmly excused himself past the other departing passengers. His left hand held his bag, which was slung over his shoulder while his right was fitted in his pocket, depressing buttons to change songs on his iPod. As he emerged into the Airport, he was stricken with the sight of his Uncle Robert Williams, nicknamed "Willy", dancing slowly as if he were hugged up with a woman in a seedy nightclub.
He could do nothing but raise an eyebrow.
"Unc. Uncle Willy. WILLY!" Eddie belted out as he craned his head slowly closer to the older man's ear. His final shout managed to blast its way past his earphones and bounced off of Willy's ear drums, causing him to snap his face around.
Willy threw his leg into a swift ax kick, bringing his heel down with tremendous force. Eddie brought his bag up to block the kick, and immediately crouched into a sweep kick. Willy jumped clear over the sweep and perched on the floor like a panther. Eddie, still crouched, raised himself up, a confident smirk stretched across his tanned face.
Willy looked over his nephew briefly – he was wearing a white muscle shirt underneath a gray hooded jacket, blue jeans that were big enough to be considered baggy, and a pair of worn sneakers. He looked as if he only had a single change of clothing, if any, while he was abroad. Eddie's hair also grew out a bit into a nice little natural puff of hair, probably enough to braid.
Of course, Willy himself tended to only wear a blue and white spandex shirt that accentuated his muscles, black training pants, and a head wrap that allowed his long braids to drape from the back of the wrapping. The two weren't that far off.
"Two years to the day, nephew," Willy commented as he outstretched his arms to welcome his family back home. Eddie stepped forward and hugged his uncle, both glad to see each other after so long.
People still shot Willy weird looks; now he's hugging a grown man.
"I'm so glad you're back!" Willy began to sob, and the number of people who shot them strange looks increased. Eddie strained to pull his head free and noticed the people around the two.
"Unc, you're scaring the straights with the waterworks…"
"But I'm so happy…" Willy continued the comical sobbing, and Eddie grew a frustrated vein on his forehead.
"KNOCK IT OFF!" Eddie barked, startling Willy out of his crying, as well as the other staring people in the Terminal Gate. Willy wiped his eyes and cracked a trembling smile. "Still the man-child, aren't you, Unc?"
Willy said nothing in response; he merely shrugged his shoulders. Eddie could do nothing but smile and pat Willy on the shoulder.
"Let's head to the car, Ed. I need to hit the bank before we head to the Dojo."
The Dojo. That's a place that Eddie thought of each time he went to train in whichever country he was staying in. Thailand, Japan, Asia, Europe… It felt nothing like the familiarity of training with Willy at his Dojo for all those years.
As they walked to the entrance of the Airport, Willy took a look at his nephew – he was kind of skinny when he left, but his skills did the talking for him, but now… Eddie had more muscle; he was stacked like an Olympic-level boxer. "Whatever the hell you've been doing on the other side of the world, it did you good, nephew!"
Eddie knew Willy referred to his body type and chuckled – he wasn't used to being praised for how he looks, so each time it did come up, Eddie couldn't stop chuckling. "I drank a shitload of milk."
"Now, now, I know you've done massive loads of training. So spill it; what did you learn?" Willy, being a master himself, was curious about his nephew's martial progress.
"Let's see…" As Eddie responded, he began to move emphatically, pantomiming each respective style that he mentioned. "Savate, Shaolin Kung-fu, Muay Thai, Hapkido, Kyokushin Karate, and surprisingly Boxing."
"A lot more to add to the Alpha Style I originally taught you." "Alpha" was a martial art developed by Willy as he toured the fighting circuit of Southeast Asia. In some ways, Eddie was following the same path as his uncle in terms of being a fighter. The two held one axiom as truth: ideas evolve with the times.
After fifteen minutes worth of introspective silence, Eddie and Willy made it to the limits of Indigo City, a burgeoning metropolis on the Northeast coast of the United States. Designed and built by Japanese architect Nobumori Aohura, Indigo City is home to people of different races and interests. Yet, since Eddie has been gone, the city itself has taken a turn for the worst.
It has a cancer: crime, and it seems that no one wishes to find a cure for the blight on the metropolis. Willy knew this all too well; he sighed and fought to keep from letting Eddie see his sudden switch in his persona.
"How's the Dojo been holdin' up? Brad been holding things down since I've been gone?"
"Brad made me promise not to tell you; he went on his own Warrior's Journey. He went to Korea, then traveled around the States for a couple of years – Brad's been back for a week now."
"So that's why I hadn't gotten any letters from him. He always stressed that he wasn't a contender, that he wasn't talented like I was. No idea where he got that idea from." Eddie always saw Bradley Yong as his equal. Ever since Eddie came to live with Willy after his parents…became absent, Brad was there to become the brother he never had.
"It's exactly the reason why he went on his journey," Willy began, turning his car onto a street moderately populated with people in business suits. "Brad kept thinking he was gonna be left in the dust once you got back in town, so he wanted to step his game up."
Eddie craned his neck towards the car window and looked out of it, the sight of several small businesses and a coffee shop swiping by like book pages.
Brad, man, you don't have to prove anything to me. Trust, being a Contender isn't so glamorous. Dudes always wantin' to take a shot at the title…probably can't even shit without worry some knucklehead's gonna kick the damn door down. We need to get a Heart-to-Heart in, Brad.
Willy pulled into the Indigo City Bank and parked. The discussion with Brad still lingering fresh in his mind, Eddie silently volunteered to accompany his uncle into the bank, as he felt that a change of scenery could help clear his mind.
The two walked into the moderately-populated bank and was immediately met with a blast of an air-conditioned breeze and the smell of Jasmine flowers. Eddie took a quick but deep breath and sighed; the smell was immensely pleasant to him.
Willy, on the other hand, had to animate his reaction to the smell: "Ah, will you smell that Store-bought perfume!"
"Unc, it's air-freshener. Smells like the shit in High school bathrooms." The comment about High school bathrooms made Eddie think casually about his school years, which were nearly non-existent. Thank God for the General Education Diploma.
"Well, I'm gonna handle business for the Dojo; I shouldn't be long at all," Willy said as he began to walk towards one of the Bank Tellers.
"Unc, you know if they got any coffee?"
Willy shrugged his shoulders, muttering a quick and audible "I don't know," although it sounded like a responsive grunt than intelligible words.
Eddie looked around – there were the Bank Tellers, the pathway to the bathrooms and the safe, the Bank Manager's office…his eyes searched until he spotted a small table on the back wall of the bank that had a silver pot and Styrofoam cups. He moved expediently towards the table and opened the pot, making sure that it was coffee and not tea.
He wasn't too fond of tea, at least, unsweetened.
Grabbing a cup, Eddie poured himself some coffee. He knew it wasn't going to be the delicious creations he had the pleasure of sampling in Paris, but it didn't hurt to try…
Eddie took a sip…and immediately spat it out, coughing loudly and sputtering from the horrible, stale taste of the Bank coffee. "What the Hell was that? Did they brew coffee or mud?!"
He looked forward as soon as the taste of the coffee was free of his taste buds and found that he spat the foul liquid all over a man's face and shirt. A man who stood a bit above Eddie's height. Someone who was holding a Glock Nine Millimeter.
"I'm going to pretend you didn't just do that, kid. Now, as I was about to say, before I was horribly interrupted, this is a robbery."
As if on cue, the people inside began to create cries of worry and fright as more men piled into the bank, all dressed outlandishly in costumes that were themed after playing cards. Willy took a quick moment to assess the situation and observed these men. He knew of them and even found himself making them look like scared babes a couple of times.
They were the Children of King gang, individuals obsessed with the teachings of their boss, King. They were all packing assault rifles but a number of the robbery team had a slight tremble to their hands, an indication of fear. Willy took note of this and smirked.
"First timers," Willy uttered under his breath. "Never even held a gun in their lives."
"Hey! Shut your mouth!" One of the King robbers said, hoisting their rifle at Willy's chest and motioning for him to join the other hostages that were being rounded up.
The man who held a gun in Eddie's face dressed slightly different than his comrades; his face was hidden behind a mask designed to bear the blank countenance of a Clown, although Eddie could see the man scowling behind the mask. His head was concealed in the black hoodie of his jacket, and he shuffled about in baggy pants and sneakers. He held the gun tightly in his gloved hands.
Willy looked over to his nephew and he recognized the look present on Eddie's face – Eddie is geared to act, but just as he was taught, the opportunity needed to present itself…
…And there it was! Eddie's hands moved quicker than greased lightning, disarming the higher ranked King member. Eddie's foot snapped upwards to strike the Clown-faced thug in his mask but surprisingly his opponent matched his speed, blocking the kick with his own.
Willy chuckled and snapped himself into action, swinging his leg to sweep one of the gang member's legs out from under him. The gang member fell to the ground and Willy dropped his heel on the man's cheek, knocking him out cold. The master stood and dodged an attempted gun butt to the face without a second's notice. He grappled that gang member's arm and applied pressure, causing him enough pain to force his hand to drop his weapon.
"Time to take a little spin!" Willy playfully suggested as he twisted the gang member roughly, forcing him to spin like a runaway top into his comrades who were moving in to quell the fighting. They clunked into each other like a makeshift bowling ball colliding into a set of pins.
Eddie and the Clown drew their legs back and instantly snapped around into a kick, canceling each other out again. They looked at each other and narrowed their brows at one another.
"A lot tougher than you look, Clownface," Eddie said as he strained to keep his leg up against his opponent.
"The name's Joker, and everything in this city belongs to King! We're just collecting dues!" The newly-named Joker spoke with a filtered tone from behind his mask, and Eddie broke away from the kick.
Joker moved to attack again, putting Eddie on guard, but suddenly the gang member was grappled from behind. A female voice run out, "You're under arrest, asshole!" before Joker was brought a few feet backwards into the air and slammed headfirst into the floor.
He was German Suplexed into submission by a woman wearing a brown Bomber Jacket, a blue tank-top with her midrift bare, tanned cargo pants, and steel-toed work boots. Her Strawberry blonde hair extended past her shoulders and well down the small space of her back. She was stunning, as well as a Cop.
Eddie looked at the female officer who pulled out a pair of handcuffs, and at the door of the bank. Sure enough, Police had the Children of King gang members at gunpoint, and Willy was speaking inhumanly fast to avoid being arrested.
"Ijustcameherewithmynephewtopaythebillsonmydojoyouseei'mamartialartsteacherandmynephewjustgotbackintownfromglobetrotting…" His explanation blended into one rapid-fire belch of sounds. Eddie sighed and pressed his face against his palm.
"All right, all right! Calm down. I know you – Master Willy of the Alpha Dojo, correct?" The female officer asked after she finished handcuffing Joker.
Willy nodded his head anxiously. "We take new students of all walks of life! I can get you started with some kickboxing or some Kung-fu—"
The officer held up one hand to stop him before he passed out from the sudden loss of air. She took out her badge and flashed it. "Chief Inspector Elisa Wayne, Organized Crime Task Force. And I'm well versed in combat myself, Mr. Williams; I'm ICPD's Boxing champ three years running."
Eddie walked over to the two, unaware that Joker was regaining consciousness. "You guys respond fast. The Station must be around the corner."
"We've been on top of these guys for a while; one of our snitches said that Joker here was gonna hit this bank. I figure they need money for some operation, although I don't have the slightest idea—"
Her words were interrupted by Joker, who pounced back onto his feet and bolted for the back door. Inspector Wayne was the first to see him and broke into a mad dash to pursue the criminal. Eddie followed, and the Inspector drew her sidearm, intent on putting a bullet in Joker's knee. Joker managed to make it outside of the bank, and the two followed.
"Stop or I'll shoot, dickhead!" the Inspector barked as she took aim as soon as the fleeing Joker was in her line of sight.
Joker came to a tall gate and on the other side, a car pulled up and one of the doors opened. In a single bound, Joker somersaulted over the gate and hopped into the car, and the vehicle sped off.
Inspector Wayne cursed as she holstered her sidearm. Eddie skipped to a stop and looked down the street as the car whipped into a tight turn.
"One of the top ranking guys in the Children of King gang and he got away!" She yelled as she pulled out a cell phone. Dialing a number and waiting until the line picked up, she ordered, "Bring the Van around and get these gangbangers to the station. Put 'em all in different rooms by the time I get there."
"Look, I'm sorry we couldn't catch him," Eddie apologized. "I can't believe the gang problem got this bad while I've been gone."
"It's not your fault, err…what was your name?"
"Eddie. Eddie Lewis-Okamura. Pick whichever last name you'd prefer."
"Okamura?" Elisa questioned, examining him closely. "You don't look Japanese."
"My mom's Japanese and my dad's Black. I like having two last names."
Inspector Wayne giggled at the young man. The two didn't look to be that far apart in age, she realized. She was twenty six and Eddie was twenty one.
"Thanks for all of your help, Eddie. I'm sure either one of us will catch him sooner or later."
Eddie turned to walk back into the bank but stopped short. He said, "I hope we can meet away, under different circumstances."
Inside of the Car
Joker exuded enough physical strengthto break his handcuffs and throw them out of the window. He sighed exasperatedly. "Did you get what you need, Ganryu?"
His words were directed at a hulking boulder of a man who sat on the opposite side of the car. He was black, bald, and had a beard that stretched underneath of his chin and rounded out at his mouth. Ganryu was clad in all black, a gold necklace acting as his bling, and he wore a jacket with the Kanji of "Power" emblazoned on the back. His eyes were glued on a cellular device that played a video.
The video was of Joker's brief fight with Eddie, and it kept looping over and over as if Ganryu was memorizing how Eddie moved and reacted. He handed the phone to a blonde haired man in the front seat, who immediately began watching the video.
"You did well, Joker. I'm surprised you jumped ship SO quickly. I thought the Kids of King was like a church." Ganryu responded through a deep, firm, and assertive voice.
"They praise that man like a God. Fucking weird. You offered a sweet deal and a paycheck," Joker answered, chuckling through his filtered voice.
"Il est si faible. Il peut à peine tenir le coup. Et ils l'ont laissé gagner le tournoi!" (He's so weak. He can't even hold that kick. And they let him win the tournament?!) The blonde haired man spoke in agitated French.
Joker, who couldn't understand French, uttered, "What the hell is he saying?"
"Calmez-vous, Allen. Il est sur le point d'obtenir un réveil brutal. Alors soyez patient." (Chill, Allen. He's about to get a rude awakening in due time. So be patient.) Ganryu, showing off a fluency in French, assured the man in the front seat that things will go their way, leaving Joker to look at the two men with curious eyes.
Joker cracked a smile from behind his mask. "This should be interesting."
END OF EPISODE ONE