CHAPTER 23 (REMIX / THE TAKEOVER)

Has Masternever met his match? WORDS: ILLMATICAL

ART: ED WATSON

Masternever walked in the dimly lit hallway until he reached the office door that read: TONY JAI / MANAGER.

He cautiously opened the door and scanned the room. He didn’t see anyone and entered, closing the door behind him. City lights illuminated the large office.

Masternever walked until he reached tinted windows that faced the interior of the club below. His mind briefly drifted as he thought on some of the curvy women who danced below. He sighed and returned to the task at hand.

“Damn, where is he?” he said aloud, not realizing that he was being watched.

“Many, have asked that same question recently” replied Lin Shantou who then blurted an eerie chuckled from the silhouette of the office entrance.

Masternever was momentarily jolted.

“Tony Jai has met with some unfortunate circumstance” chuckled the Soul Stealer.

Lin took a step forward into a beam of florescent light that came in from the window.

“Young master! We finally meet. I’ve heard a great deal about you!” said Lin.

He pulled back the hood on his robe and proudly revealed his decrepit and ghoulish features.

Masternever stumbled backwards, bumping into the desk, causing the Soul Stealer to blurt out a horrible chuckle.

“Your legacy precedes you. It’s most unfortunate that you should meet your demise like this. For years, I’ve followed and studied your kind, you and the masters before you. I’ve planned, waited and now, my genius will be revealed” said Lin.

“I know who and what you are. You’re the Soul Stealer. I’m not afraid of you” proclaimed Masternever, positioning himself in a fighting stance, with his fists at the ready.

“BAH! For a great many years, I could not figure out how I would defeat you and your kind. Then, I realized it would take another great master, to defeat you. In fact, to destroy you, I realized that the master had to be someone greater than yourself. I have conjured the fighting powers of the legendary master Zhou Tong!” said Lin.

The name that I could not find in my vision, the name that eluded me when Masternever visited my layer. At that time, I could not see into the depths of the Soul Stealer’s plans.

At that moment, Mr. Lo emerged from a dark corner in the room.

Mr. Lo had now possessed the fighting spirit of Zhou Tong the famed kung fu legend of China’s past. He was still dressed in his black suit, but the transformation from the Soul Stealer provided him with a great white mane.

Masternever recognized Mr. Lo from the mural that he saw in my lair.

With great delight the Soul Stealer spoke: “Now that you have met Zhou Tong, meet his famed disciples, Wu Song, Lin Chong and Lin Junyi.”

These three, on there own had defeated armies and had legacies as great as Zhou Tong himself.

The three disciples came forward from several locations in the room.
Like Mr. Lo, his three henchmen had received the fighting spirits of the great warriors from the past. They too, had changed physically but still wore black suits and white shirts.

Henchman #1 inherited the power of “Wu Song,” he had a bald head with the tattoo of a black dragon. Henchman #2 had the power of “Lin Chong,” his face was covered by black hair that was formed likes knives and had white tips at the ends. The henchman who inherited the power of “Lu Junyi” wore black sunglasses, and had a spiked black haircut, with red tips.

The three henchmen surrounded Masternever. The Soul Stealer stood near Mr. Lo, both looking on with delight in Masternever’s discomfort.

The Soul stealer had never been so confident, never so sure of himself. He had the young, inexperienced master exactly where he wanted him.

The Soul Stealer pointed his decrepit finger towards Masternever.

“Kill him!”

Masternever knew he needed an attack that would protect him against all three fighters. He had learned a few styles from the great scroll, and decided to use the “Fury of the Rain.”

He spun and as the three disciples attacked, they meet a barrage of blinding kicks and punches which were unseen.

The three disciples fell to the ground. Masternever stands confidently looking at Mr. Lo and Lin Shantou.

The Soul Stealer is enraged.

“Your time is coming to an end!” says Lin.

Henchman #3, who had the soul of Lu Junyi, charged at Masternever. Masternever used a palm strike that sent him through the window that faced the interior of the club. The giant glass was shattered and rained on the dance floor below.

Chaos followed. The confused patrons, rushed towards the entrance.

The music stopped.

Masternever jumped to the floor below, frightening the remaining men and women who looked on with concern. Two of the club’s bodyguards attack Masternever and he uses one kick to dispose of them both.

Henchman #1 and #2 jumped down onto the club dance floor.

Masternever wondered who would attack first. He briefly looked above and could see Mr. Lo looking down from the office above.

“What is he waiting for?” Masternever thought to himself.

At that moment Judi and Gavin were in a separate section of the club, making their way through the chaotic screams and yelling of the exiting crowd.

The first two henchmen attacked Masternever with a series of open handed strikes and punches. Although he was able to counter and block their strikes, he could sense their superhuman strength. He returned two powerful blows hurling the men to the ground.

Masternever knew that he’d have to end this battle quickly. He used the Dragon King technique from the scroll, transforming his hands into a claw formation which emulated metal. He struck Henchman #1, cutting him barely. Henchman #2 attacked with a kick and was unable to connect, Masternever returned the kick and sent him back to the ground.

Henchman #3 rushed in and was met with a backhand strike which made him spin. All three of the disciples lay on the ground alive, writhing in pain.

Mr. Lo jumped from the window. There was no sound when he landed in a kneeling position, in the pool of glass shards.

There was a strange confidence the erected Mr. Lo. He stood, in the middle of the dance floor with his hands behind his back in the midst of several beams of light.

Masternever briefly glanced up at the window above and saw the Soul Stealer’s wicked grin.

Mr. Lo lunged at Masternever and attacked with a series of kicks and punches. Masternever blocked them, but he could feel his power, and precision. He had never faced a foe this strong. Mr. Lo’s kung fu was good and it was the best he had ever encountered.

Mr. Lo landed a palm strike, Masternever found himself on the floor looking upwards at his opponent. 

Victory was in the air, the Soul Stealer looked on with delight.

“Come now, young master” said Mr. Lo with a sense of derision.

Masternever flipped onto his feet. He struck at Mr. Lo with a furious series of punches and kicks, then used the FIST OF THE WIND technique. In the past, when he resorted to this technique from the scroll, his opponents would be easily defeated. On this evening his blows were deflected by Mr. Lo, who seemed to be somewhat unimpressed.

Mr. Lo laughed and responded with several kicks and a vicious backhand slap that spun Masternever’s entire torso wildly before he hit a wall. Despite his healing power, Masternever was heavily bruised.

The three henchmen rose and join Mr. Lo.

Despite the odds, Masternever found the strength and courage to rise again. The Soul Stealer looked on with admiration and delight and said “The moment has finally come! Life eternal!” 

At that moment, Judi and Gavin entered the dance floor with their guns drawn.

“Hands over your head. Don’t fucking move!” said Gavin.

“Or what?” replied Mr. Lo.

Judi was perplexed by Mr. Lo’s appearance, and wasn’t sure if it was him. She remembered the face, but Mr. Lo’s change in physical appearance confused her.

Mr. Lo laughed and began walking towards Gavin.

“I said stay there mutherfucker!” said Gavin.

Mr. Lo grabbed Gavin’s arm and forced the gun into his torso. Gavin tried his best to struggle, but Mr. Lo fired the weapon.

Gavin slumped to the ground and was instantly surrounded by a large pool of blood. Judi fired at Mr. Lo, who maneuvered past the bullets. Henchman #3 kicked the gun from Judi’s hand and grabbed her by the neck with one arm. Judi tried to break free of his grip, but he was too strong. The henchman laughed, delighting in his newfound power.

Masternever struck the henchman with a kick to the head that sends him crashing into the wall. Judi fell to the floor gasping for air.

The first two henchmen attack Masternever simultaneously, with a series of punches, which are quickly blocked. Masternever responds by striking one in the face using an open palm technique. The first henchman falls to the floor.

Henchman #2 received a harsh backhand slap that send him crashing.

Judi gained her composure and picked up Gavin’s gun and shot at Mr Lo who moved behind a column. She looked up at the hole in the window above. She aimed at the Soul Stealer, but out of pure fear, she could not shoot him.

Masternever yelled “Get out. Run! Leave now!”

Judi looked at Masternever somewhat puzzled, but rose to her feet despite the confusion. Masternever ran to Gavin and placed him over his shoulder.

With Gavin on his back, Masternever looked at Judi “GO!”

Judi fired several shots at the henchmen. They were able to dodge the shots. Judi was terrified and she followed Masternever towards the entrance of the room. Before exiting, she looked back and knew that there was something strange about Mr. Lo and the three men who stood near him. 

“What the hell is going on here? Who are these men?” she thought to herself.

The two ran down a corridor which led to the entrance. As they neared the the club exit, two of the club’s body guards stepped in front of them with guns drawn.

Masternever halted and Judi ran in front of him, disposing of both men with accurate shots.

Masternever and Judi ran out of the door and escaped the depths of Club Sin.