The story so far:
Run In With A Foe
Several weeks before the battle between Andre and Deonta, we find a young man, Andre. He is dressed in a black shirt, black jeans and black and white Nike's with black fingerless gloves on as well as the two key necklace his mother gave to him. Andre was out bored, remembering some prior events of a huge battle that he and his friends fought to save his family. Remembering how hard they all fought together and worked as a team. He decided that he would talk with Jenny and Deonta to see what they were doing, and to see if he could convince them to train with him. He knew that he wasn't the strongest that he could become, and only wanted to push himself further to get better. He didn't want to keep living in his brother Diamion's shadow for the rest of his life. Andre was tired of constantly losing to Diamion, and he was even more fed up about the fact that he still hadn't run into the person whom he hated most, Trevan Lynn.
Andre's battle with Trevan became one of the most talked about fights in their neighborhood, but it never came to a conclusion, due to Trevan running off and not finishing the fight. Andre had already looked for him everywhere that he would normally be, but couldn't find him anywhere. That was his main reason for deciding to find Jenny and Deonta. He knew that if he couldn't find Trevan, he must be making himself stronger, and that he wasn't going to allow himself to be beat by a punk who couldn't even finish the first fight.
Andre started searching for Jenny first, when he didn't find her at home, he figured that she must have stayed behind at the school library. Which takes us to Adelphi Road in Hyattsville Maryland, in front of Northwestern High. Well, he found her dressed in a blue and white blouse and slacks, the school uniform, little did he know though, she was having a bad day, and just didn't want to deal with anyone at that moment.
Andre: Hey! Jenny! Come here for a minute!
Jenny just kept walking, trying to ignore him and go about her business. He just kept persisting to get her to talk running even to close distance.
Andre: Jenny! Hold up! Wait dammit!
Jenny: Leave me alone! I really don't want to be bothered right now. Just go somewhere. Get the hell out of my face!
Andre: Who bit you in the ****? I just came to talk, stop being so damn bitchy.
Jenny stopped dead in her tracks, and turned around slowly, looking at Andre with a glare that would have turned Medusa to stone.
Jenny: (aggravated) Oh, I'll show your punk **** bitchy alright...
Jenny dropped her bag and immediately started attacking Andre. He narrowly dodged each punch, kick, elbow and knee. Jenny's hands and feet just being out of reach of his body. As she got more frustrated, her moves seemed to get more focused, to the point where he couldn't dodge anymore, he had to block the attacks. That is...until he couldn't play defense anymore and had to start fighting back.
Andre struck Jenny across the jaw, and she hit him with an uppercut to the chin. He kneed her in the ribs, she kicked him in the back. He backhanded her, she gut punched him. They kept exchanging blows. Andre was becoming angry because he was being attacked and Jenny was getting angrier. And each hit got harder and harder. Any normal person who would have been hit by either of them like this would have needed a hospital visit, but that they are fighters, they've been conditioned to take hits like these.
Andre finally jumped back and took a defensive stance, realizing that his offensive wasn't stopping her as well as the fact that he needed to take control of the situation. Jenny came running in and threw a punch directed at Andre's body, he quickly blocked the punch and kicked her in the side, she stumbled back, but didn't stop. She kicked at him this time and he blocked it again, this time clipping her leg from under her. Jenny flipped back to her feet, punched for his face, he knocked her hand away and punched her in the stomach, mouth, ribs, and then nose. Jenny was stumbled again, but yet not off of her feet.
Jenny decided to attempt a new approach, she kicked at Andre again, but when he caught her leg, she flip kicked him in the face, knocking him off balance for a couple seconds. Upon landing she charged him and landed a quick combo of her own, two gut punches, an elbow to the face, and a jumping knee to the chin. Andre was still stumbling backward, Jenny started building up ice around her right hand. Andre sensed it and built a flame around his right hand. Jenny threw her punch at Andre, but he grabbed her with his left hand and spun off of her, and then punched her with his burning fist, knocking her off of her feet and away from him.
Andre: (panting) Jenny, I wasn't trying to fight you...I just wanted to talk. This isn't worth it though, I'm **** leaving.
Andre walked away from her pissed off, went to chill himself for a while. He stopped at a nearby library and started looking up tournaments on the Internet, none of which looked promising to him, he'd win them all too easily. While he was sitting there, Andre kept feeling someone's eyes on him, but he wasn't sure about where they were staring from. He surveyed his surroundings slowly, and saw some strange guy about five feet away from where he was sitting. As Andre's eyes reached him, he turned his head away.
Andre: (whispering to himself) So you're the one who's been watching me? But what are you watching me for? Let's see how far this goes.
Andre sat and wasted time for a little bit longer, hoping that he could draw out the true intentions of the one who was keeping an eye on him. But to no avail, the strange man who was watching him just got up and left. It didn't make any sense to Andre why that man was watching, nor did he even know who he was. He began to remember the fight he, Deonta, and Jenny had with the Lejinwu. Wondering if one of his former enemies from that group was keeping tabs on him.
Andre wasted a bit more time, thinking that maybe the guy only needed to watch him for a short while, hoping that it was over. He finally decided to get up and leave, walking around a little bit longer, knowing that he wasn't going to have a chance to run into Deonta until later.
While Andre was making his way down an empty neighborhood street in University Park, he enjoyed the looks and sounds of the nature around him. He felt a weird presence near him, it was similar to the guy who was watching him, but this power wanted a battle, the one before was more calm and only wanted to survey him. But the one thing that remained the same about the to was the feeling of dark energy. For some reason, this affected Andre in a strange way.
Then from out of nowhere, a blast of dark energy flew over Andre's shoulder. It was only a warning shot, intended to get Andre's attention, and it did.
Andre: So, why were you watching me at the library? What do you want?
The same tall and skinny Caucasian male he had seen before was standing behind him now.
Andre: The least you could do is tell me your name, as I'm sure you already know mine. Speak!
Man: My name boy, is Charles Melro, but those who I've beaten tend to call me Huck.
Andre: Huck? That's a joke, well then Huck...why not show me why you feel so confident in yourself as to blatantly miss me? That was a very dangerous move you pulled there...
Huck stood ready to move and react to Andre, but he waited patiently and examined him a bit further. This being his specialty, knowing how to react to an opponent depending upon how their muscles and body move within the area around them. It was why he got to where he is today.
Andre stood completely still, getting a read on Huck's power level, which seemed to be similar to his own, so he was no slouch, but that didn't mean that the fight couldn't have been an easy one. He ran a few scenarios in his head about possible moves and the outcomes, and which would be the best way to start this fight and break through this tense moment.
Andre back flipped from where he was next to where Huck was standing, who didn't seem the least bit phased or scared.
Andre: (turning his head to Huck) You're pretty strong aren't you? But about equal in power to me, that's about all, unless you're hiding your true power to give me a false sense of security. Look Huck, I'm not some punk who will be deterred from a fight, so unless you were serious about the threat you just made to me with that blast of energy you threw my way. I'd say now is the time for you to walk away, because you are nothing compared to what I am and will be.
Huck: Are you done? I'm tried of you running your mouth, make a move, or I'll kill you right here.
Andre: I was hoping you'd say something like that.
Andre started by throwing a quick punch toward Huck's face, he deflected it quickly, and returned with one of his own which Andre in turn blocked away. Andre and Huck stepped away from each other with smirks on their faces, ready to fight, knowing that they were near equal opponents. As Andre looked at Huck, he realized that he was nearly the same height, around the same weight, their arms were nearly the same length, and they both had similar attitudes. If this fight wasn't set up by someone else, he didn't think he'd ever had a fight with more coincidences.
Andre: So who sent you, because this wasn't your own doing. We're too much alike for you to have just shown up on your own to be ready to fight me. Who told you about me and why are you here?
Huck: You'll find out soon enough. (Huck charged and threw another dark bolt of energy at Andre) Dark Blast!
Andre jumped out of the way of the attack and returned fire with one of his own.
He struck the ground and a wave of fire sped right at Huck, who easily dodged, but wasn't expecting Andre to be quick enough to move to where he was jumping and got hit in the face with a very strong right-handed haymaker. Huck was sent spinning into a tree face first.
Andre: I knew it, you're not anywhere near as skilled as I am, though you are good, you are lacking the same level of experience as me, even you being my senior. Come on, time for me to teach you a lesson Huck.
Huck stood away from the tree, angry that he was caught with such a cheap tactic. But he wasn't really fighting in the first place, he was only there to be a key to unlocking Andre's power, and it wasn't working yet.
Andre: I really wish you would get serious about fighting me, I can tell when someone is holding back, and I won't get any better by beating you if you don't make me work for it.
Huck: Alright, I'll give you a good fight, come on boy.
Andre jumped at Huck with a diving kick, he was caught by his leg and swung toward the ground, but instead of letting himself fall on his face, Andre caught himself with his hands and then kicked Huck in the jaw. Once he was released, he stood up and punched Huck's jaw again, then threw a flying knee into his chest, and jumped off of him while pushing him down to his knees.
Andre: Come on Huck! (yelling) You can do better than that!
Huck decided that it was time to get serious with Andre, and actually use his power against him. It wasn't what his boss wanted, but at least he could have some fun with the boy.
Huck: Alright, I'll give you what you were looking for. I'll really fight you.
Andre was getting excited, a good fight, it's been a while since he had one of those, but as Huck released his power, Andre felt his heart rate rise, and thoughts of murder became to run through is mind. This started to mess with him, this unusual feeling, this desire to destroy another life. He never had a feeling like this before. It was as if there was another person trying to make him break this man. The evil that he was thinking, it was worrying him, even now when he was so excited to fight an opponent who was equal to him.
Huck seemed to notice the change as well, and he finally realized that this is what he was supposed to do. Using the minimal power that he was using wouldn't engage the dark energy within the boy, it had to be a power that could threaten him in order to cause it to awaken. So while Andre was still trying to make sense of what was happening to him, he made his move.
Huck jumped toward Andre and punched him in his nose, then grabbed him by his head while he was still floating over him and threw him toward the very same tree he was knocked into, but he made Andre crash through the tree. Just before he could finish falling, Huck got himself underneath him and mule kicked him back into the air, with the power of the kick nearly breaking Andre's back.
All this did was anger Andre and make him want to dismantle Huck piece by piece. Andre recovered from the attack and landed on his feet. His dark power was starting to come out, and his eyes had now changed color, they became the color of blood, a crimson red, and they looked horrific. The air around them started to become warmer than it should have been, and steam started to rise off of his body. Though Andre at this point was still in control of himself, he felt his blood boiling at the site of Huck, and could only remember one other person whom he had thoughts like this about. But his body never reacted this way before.
Andre: (confused) What is this? Why am I feeling this? Where is this power coming from? Why do I feel like I'm losing myself?
Before Andre could regain his composure, Huck attacked again, hitting Andre with an uppercut to his chin, and then kicking him in his stomach halfway across the street. Andre was now refocused on his current fight, and started to push back the darkness that was trying to get out, willing it back down. Huck noticed this, and was surprised, but he had done what he was asked, so now he could actually enjoy the fight.
Andre: I don't know what you did to me, but you won't do it again, I'm not falling for it.
Huck: I did nothing to you boy, I just woke you up, that's all.
Andre: Yeah, I was asleep alright, don't worry though, you'll get what's coming.
Andre was now paying his full attention to Huck, and wasn't going to allow him to land another hit. Impressed by his strong will power, Huck came at him, and threw a right hook. Andre did the same and as his hand was reaching Huck's, he ignited his flame and hit Huck's knuckles, hitting his nerves and making his arm powerless to move. When Huck had figured out what he did, he tried to run, but it was too late, Andre had his sights set on him.
Andre: (screaming) YOU'RE NOT GETTING AWAY BUDDY! I'VE ALREADY HAD ONE FIGHT END LIKE THAT AND I'M UNSATISFIED!
Andre tackled and mounted Huck, then began pummeling away at the back of his head causing his face to bounce off of the pavement underneath them. It only took about ten hits to make the man stop squirming and fall unconscious. He was left with bloody lips and bruised cheeks. Andre stood up and started to smile.
Andre: Looks like you weren't as tough as I thought you were. It was a waste of my time to fight with you. Next time I won't be a nice as I just was.
Andre turned and walked away, rubbing his jaw which was sore from that uppercut he received. Though Huck stopped resisting, it was only because he had to call his boss and tell him that he succeeded in his mission.
Huck: Well, it's done, he's ready for you whenever you want, he's going down the street toward the Elementary School, University Park.
?: Good, you can return when you're ready, I'll handle it from here. (click)
Huck got to his feet and started heading back to his hideout to await his next orders. Meanwhile, Andre was just making it passed the school. He knew the school was out for the day and that no one should be there, but the front door was still open, and he heard a familiar voice. He felt a boy who's potential was very similar to his own, a child whom he decided to try teaching his style of fighting, Rodney. Rodney was wearing a green v-neck shirt, short sleeved, with black jeans and black and white Nike's.
Rodney: Dre? What are you doing here?
Andre: I could ask you the same, it's after hours for school isn't it?
Rodney: I'm here waiting for a friend.
Andre: Good, I heard noises and came in to see what it was, if you were a thief I would have buried you by now.
Rodney: Well, while you're here, I could use a little training and a workout.
Andre: Alright, but are you sure you're ready for this?
Rodney: Yeah sensei, I'm ready, teach me.
Andre: Good, watch.
Andre started doing various moves that he had yet to show Rodney before, mostly his offensive movements. Rodney stood and watched diligently, as Andre moved with each pose and stance. He then started to mimic what Andre had done before, and he had pretty much done each movement perfectly. Andre feels satisfied with Rodney's progress, he bows to him. Just after they finish, Rodney's friend arrives, and Andre bids him goodbye.
While walking out, Andre could sense another power, similar to the one before, but stronger, and much darker than the other. When Andre made it to the threshold, a man called out to him.
Andre looked over and saw the man standing in the middle of the sidewalk, wondering who he was.
Andre: Who the hell are you?
The man remains silent and just takes a stance, one similar to that of Karate. Andre is frustrated but also notices the man's clothing, looking very much like a business owner with a red suit jacket, matching slacks, a dark purple button up collared shirt, and burgundy shoes, with very short, dark hair. He also could see that this man was of Asian descent, Japanese maybe. Andre yelled to the man again.
Andre: Who are you? Answer me!
The man still remains silent and just waits in his position. Rodney runs out hearing the commotion.
Rodney: What's going on?
Andre: This guy looks like he's been searching for a fight. Stand back Rodney, cause I'm about to give him what he's been wanting. (Andre takes his fighting stance and smirks, his tone becomes aggressive) Whoever you are, you're about to get it. Today is not the day to **** with me, I'm ready to crush you right now...
Andre slides his foot a little, the man slides his foot. Andre slides again, and so does the short Japanese man. Andre instantly leaps high into the air right toward the man who at this point wasn't moving an inch, he just stood ready for the oncoming attack. Andre did a flipping dropkick that was deflected by his new enemy. Andre hit the ground but quickly rolled back up to his feet, ready for what the battler he was facing had planned. But he did nothing, just stand there, as if he knew he had the fight won.
Andre was watching him intently, looking for any slip up, any miscalculated move, or breath, any opening. But there was none, no opening, not anything that he could use that would break down this man's defense. That wasn't the worst part of it, Andre could feel the power radiating off of his body, and though he was trying not to concentrate on it, it caused him to flinch, giving his opponent the opportunity to attack with an extremely quick strike on him, a punch to the chest, which also knocked the wind out of Andre's body, as well as knocking him into the wall of the school.
Andre: (Thinking) How does he have so much power? Why can't I hit him? Where is his speed coming from?
Man: I can tell you're a bit distressed, but please boy, come now and finish this fight. I don't have much time and must be getting back home.
Andre just decided to allow his instincts to take over and began attacking wildly. The short Japanese man just kept avoiding his attacks and taunted him. He stuck his chin out toward Andre and jerked back quickly. He attempted to do it a second time and Andre struck him right under his jaw with a hard right-handed uppercut. Seeing this as his moment of opportunity, Andre unleashed a barrage of attacks on the man, hoping to weaken him, after Andre did a reverse roundhouse kick to his chest that sent him flying back into a tree, he stood waiting.
The man just stood up and brushed himself off as if nothing even happened. He wasn't hurt after all that Andre had just done. He seemed to be impenetrable.
Man: Your technique is good, but you have to hit me far harder than that if you plan on hurting me any. My cats could hit harder than that.
Andre: (angry) **** bastard, I'll show you!
Andre started gathering flames to both of his arms and increased the power as far as he could. The man just held one hand out with a small ball of energy in it.
Andre: You've had your laughs, now it's time for me to quiet you. Take this...Crimson...
Andre shifted his left arm down and his right arm up, and widened his feet. He then punched downward toward the ground with his right hand while moving his left hand into position so his fist would pass his other hand and gather the remaining flames. He also made sure his knuckles were facing his new enemy so that there would be a straight shot right at him.
He punched the ground, releasing the flames from his hand. A big, dark red flame sped across the ground, coiling in two smaller flames back and forth as they flew toward the short man who didn't move, not even flinch. The wave left scorch marks as it traveled toward the intended target, and as it got closer it seemed to intensify. It was just a half a second away from hitting the man when it got absorbed into the ball in his hand. The dark ball of energy held the flame in a cross around it, the man just let go of the power and it faded away.
Andre stood stunned by what he just saw. Did this man truly just pick his wave up and throw it away? Andre didn't know what to make of this situation, whether he should be excited, or afraid for his life. He knew that he didn't like that someone could make him look like an amateuristic fighter. It bothered him to his core that someone could belittle his power. And in that moment, something snapped in him, he wanted this man destroyed.
The man could sense that he had pushed Andre to the point that he wanted, so he got out of his stance and stood straight up. This frustrated Andre even more, making him want to rip the man's head off of his shoulders, but this wasn't Andre's mind, these were not his thoughts, it felt like it was coming from someone else, but the voice in Andre's head was his own, how could this be?
Man: You did well, you've got some impressive skills, but they could be better. Once you've improved, I want you to come see me, and we'll fight again. My name is Sasuke Soshimatsu.
Sasuke takes a paper out of his pocket and tosses it toward Andre, he catches it, and opens it to reveal a cruise ticket.
Sasuke: Use that ticket to have some time to train, and make sure you get better, I don't want to fight you again at this minor level, your potential is far greater. Until then, I'll be waiting for you in Kyoto. Don't disappoint me...
Sasuke walks away, leaving Andre feeling powerless, knowing he could do nothing at that point to back his feelings. The only thing that was left behind was rage, and this voice which kept telling Andre that he needed to destroy his new foe. While Andre is thinking about all of the things that are going on around him, he has to fight back these demented intentions that keep beckoning to him to take life.
Andre: (muttering to himself) Arrogant **** bastard, I'll break him...
Rodney: Don't worry about it Dre, I know that you can beat him, just calm down.
Rodney's words fell upon deaf ears, Andre had already begun walking away and wasn't listening to anyone or anything around him. He drifted off with thoughts of fighting Sasuke again, and defeating him. The only thing that was currently on his mind was a visit the local area gym. He'd hoped that he'd find someone who would help him regain proper focus.
He arrived to the Gold's Gym in Greenbelt, MD, and asked for a sparring partner for kickboxing. Though Andre knew he wouldn't be using kickboxing, he'd take out the usual boxer too fast, and wouldn't get to use his legs. Once he was in the ring, he stood against a very muscular man, bronze complexion, but still he looked like he was fast, and capable of breaking some bones. The fighter was adorned in silver striped, red trunks, with his hands and feet taped, no shin guards or gloves. This guy apparently liked bare knuckle contact better. Which worked out for Andre, if he got hit, he wanted to feel the punches and kicks.
Boxer: You ready?
Andre: Yeah, I'm ready. Make your move.
The kickboxer ran right at Andre and kneed him in his left side while hitting him with uppercut with his left hand. Andre was instantly dazed from the uppercut, and the knee had his ribs feeling like they might fall out. This guy was strong, almost comparable to Diamion's strength, but not strong enough to knock Andre out.
Before Andre could even think of even his first move, the kickboxer hit him with a right hook across his face, and jumped kicking him with his left leg. And from these movements, Andre figured that he was just about the same speed as him, but his attacks were a little bit more precise than Andre's were. He was trying to end the match quickly and get Andre off his feet.
Not even letting his feet touch the ground, the kickboxer swung a hard haymaker down at Andre's head, and connected, sending his head toward the mat. But Andre still held his balance somehow and didn't collapse. This had the kickboxer stunned, he knew his attacks should have laid Andre out, but he wasn't even on the mat. Each attack was done for maximum damage and with such precision and speed, no normal fighter would have withstood that type of pounding. He backed away, and gave his opponent another look. He realized who the boy he was fighting was.
Boxer: I'm glad to know that I'm not fighting a normal opponent, you're Andre Ratchford correct?
Andre: (Standing back into position) Yep...that's..me.
Boxer: You had me shocked for a second. It's nice to find out that you're not one of their paid punching bags. I'm happy that I'm fighting someone of your caliber, you'd help me improve my techniques whether I win or lose.
Andre: 'My caliber' huh? Man, I wish I knew what that was. I used to think I knew what 'my caliber' was. Now I'm at a loss, and you're talking about me as if I'm some great, unstoppable fighter.
Boxer: I never said you were unstoppable, but a great fighter, yes you are, as well as your brother Diamion. He's the man I truly wish to fight. You share your brother's fighting style, therefore, you are the perfect opponent for me to battle.
Andre: Well, at least you have your focus. I'm lost, completely lost. He was my focus for such a long time too, because I've yet to beat him. Now I have a greater opponent in mind, far greater a fighter than I or my brother may be. And he proved that to me today.
Boxer: (hysterical laughter) Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! You mean to tell me you had a loss, and you're letting it affect you this much? From what I've seen of you, you've got the spirit to be one of the best fighters to ever walk the face of the earth, or at least you used to have it. Let me help you find it again.
The boxer again advanced in on Andre, landing a combination of blows. A high knee to the chest, a kick to the ribs again, and another uppercut followed by a strong punch to the gut. This left Andre hunched over while the kickboxer continued to talk while holding him down with his left hand.
Boxer: You're letting this fighter put fear in your heart, making you anxious and easy to beat. You probably had the thought that there was nobody out there that could beat you. That's the wrong way of thinking. Never underestimate any opponent, and never think that you are the best, even when other people tell you that you are, always stay ready for an opponent stronger, faster, and better than you. And never lose your spirit as a fighter.
His words made it through to Andre's heart. He was done allowing his body to take so much punishment. He was ready to fight again.
Andre: Thank you for that, the pummeling and the wisdom. Your words are too true to be ignored. Now, I'd like to continue this fight, but the right way. What's your name?
Boxer: Jack, I'm Jack Shibara, remember that name.
Andre: I will Jack, I'll always remember the fighter who helped me return to my correct path. You ready?
Jack: Yeah, I'm ready.
Jack released Andre and stood back to his ready position. Andre was now somewhat back to normal, and was ready to fight, his trademark smirk appeared on his face, and Jack knew he was serious.
Andre leaped toward Jack and tried to drive his knee into his forehead, but Jack avoided the attack and countered with one of his own. He punched Andre right in his spine, sending pain through every nerve in his body. Still undaunted, Andre returned the favor by spinning around with a right handed haymaker that connected right with Jack's left cheek, and it sent him flying into the ropes which he got hung up on.
Andre: Like that punch? I'm still perfecting the technique behind it, but what do you think of it so far, did it hurt?
Jack: (Rubbing his face) That was a good attack, you must've been working on that one for your brother. I'm honored to have it used on me first. (Jack stands ready again) But it's going to take a lot more than that to stop me.
Without another word Andre had just that quickly gotten into Jack's defenses and landed a strong elbow to the chin, along with a left hook to the ribs, a right knee to the ribs, and a double uppercut to his jaw. Jack stumbled back, but Andre wasn't done yet. Before Jack could get too far away, Andre kicked the back of his knee to make his slouch down, and then geared up for another attack, one that would knock Jack out. And witnessing this move, Jack knew he couldn't do anything, and that he would just have to accept defeat. Andre came with a strong haymaker right handed, this time combined with the motion of an uppercut. The attack connected with Jack's temple, and he was K.O.'ed. His body briefly spun, and Jack fell on his face.
Andre: Thank you Jack, you helped me get my head back together, I hope to get to have another fight with you.
Andre left the ring, got his stuff, and went home. He rested as best as he could, still having Sasuke on his mind, and trying to figure out how he was going to beat him. This was an enigma that was plaguing him. Hopefully he'd discover something through his training...