Chapter Twenty-Eight: Reiko's Blood Reigns
Havik continues to observe as Raiden rains lightning down on Kotal Kahn and Mileena's forces. Finally, the cleric of chaos calls Raiden off, explaining that the coming ritual calls for mortals blood, specifically champions blood, and indicates the unconscious fighters around him. Havik then orders the Red Dragons to take Reiko's body to the Flesh Pits to be revived and that the fallen fighters be brought to the throne room, while Kotal and Mileena's forces are to be corralled into the dungeon.
As the Red Dragons carry Kotal Kahn and Mileena off, several insects begin to gather in the sand, D'Vorah's voice whispering "This one" over and over as a new body begins to form for her.
Sonya Blade awakens bound to an alter, horrified to discover her blood, along with the blood of Kotal Kahn, Mileena, Johnny Cage, and Ermac is being drained into a large fountain. Havik is speaking of the seven Kamidogu when he notices Sonya waking up. Pausing in his speech to mock her, Havik resumes, declaring the champions blood to be the sacrifice while Reiko is to be the vessel and that today they will unleash a god. Reiko sits on the throne while the Blood Code possessed Raiden, Cassie Cage and Jacqui Briggs stand close by, observing.
Havik collects a goblet of blood, telling Sonya of the tortures he inflicted on her daughter. Returning to Reiko, Havik presents the goblet to the general and bids him to fulfill his destiny. Toasting to godliness, Reiko drinks the blood and declares himself ready. Havik and his Blood Code possessed slaves each stab Reiko with one of the Kamidogu, declaring "Reiko's blood reigns!"
Reiko is consumed in a storm of Blood Magik as the bound champions watch on. Reiko collapses on his throne, seemingly unconscious, before snatching Havik by his neck. Eyes burning with power, Reiko states that he has died enough today and that as the Blood God rises others are now due for sacrifice in his name.
In the Jinsei Chamber in the Sky Temple, Takeda watches as Fujin is healed by Earthrealm's lifeforce, the wind god feeling strong enough to tear down a mountain. Takeda is eager for both of them to follow Raiden's trail to Shang Tsung's Island, but Fujin reveals he will not be going, stating that his responsibility is there in the Sky Temple to protect the Jinsei in Raiden's absence.
Takeda reminds him of the Kamidogu, but Fujin dismisses them as already being in the enemy's hands. Takeda is angered that Fujin would stay and allow people to die, but the wind god declares that to abandon the Jinsei would be to abandon all life in Earthrealm. Fujin states that a god's duty is to the greater good, with Takeda saying it was that reasoning that Hanzo hated Raiden.
Fujin places his hand on Takeda's shoulder, telling the boy that he said he could not come with him, not that he would not help him. Presenting Takeda with a traditional Shirai Ryu mask and a set of high-powered, serrated whips, Fujin reminds Takeda that Hanzo taught him the value of striking from a distance. Testing his new weapons, Takeda tells the god that Hanzo taught him to fight, not for vengeance, but justice.
Bathing in the light of the Jinsei, Fujin orders Takeda to go into battle.
Chapter Twenty-Nine: The Blood God Cometh
Rising from his throne, the Kamidogu impaled in his body glowing with Blood Magik, Reiko muses how he thought the power would rejuvenate him, but observes that he feels older, like his god-self has been trapped inside him all along. New armor forged from blood forms on his body as Reiko declares that he now starves for tributes as the Blood God, madly grinning as power gathers in his outstretched hands. Havik observes along with his Blood Code possessed slaves, stating that their newly immortal lord must be ravenous for mortal sacrifice.
Licking his lips as he wonders where to start, Reiko moves over to the bound Kotal Kahn and Mileena, wondering if he should take his vengeance on the imperials who failed to recognize his coming glory. Turning to Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade, Reiko muses he may launch a preemptive strike against those who would deny his claim on Earthrealm. Havik interrupts Reiko before he can choose, saying the champions are otherwise useful to him. Explaining that Johnny and Sonya are vital to his study of the deadly green energies of Cage's bloodline, and that Outworlders, while having a bad habit of rejecting authority, asks who would reject Reiko's after he publicly executes his imperial enemies.
Explaining he knew Reiko would demand tributes, he orders the prisoners brought in. When Reiko asks how many there are, Havik explains they have a hundred strong, which pleases the new god. After a Tarkatan spits on Reiko for betraying Mileena, Reiko strikes him with streams of Blood Magik while demanding that Havik bring up the remaining prisoners so their sacrifice will invoke jealousy in the Elder Gods.
In the shores off the island, Kintaro and the Shokan witness a beam of red light flash from the island. Confused, Kintaro orders scouts to investigate, despite queen Sheeva's orders to remain on the ship. Kintaro belays her orders, reasoning they need to investigate what they are to eventually fight, wondering just what Havik has unleashed on the island.
In Shang Tsung's Palace, Reiko is knee deep in blood, bones, and entrails of the prisoners he has consumed, all the while demanding more. Havik explains there are none left, and that Reiko has already consumed a hundred mortals in a single blast. A confused Reiko states he is still hungry for tribute and as Havik explains he must learn patience, Reiko suddenly orders him to stop talking and attacks the cleric, shoving Havik into a pillar while demanding to know what he has done to him.
Havik manages to choke to Reiko, asking him what is wrong. Reiko rages that while Havik had spoke of the power he would receive, he is not prepared for the pain, the hunger clawing him from inside. Pushing himself away from Havik, clutching his chest, Reiko asks what could make a god suffer. As Havik asks how badly it hurts, Reiko screams that it's tearing him apart, and rips his own chest open from the pain.
Raiden, Cassie, and Jacqui speak as one, declaring that with great power comes great suffering, and that is the Blood Code. Reiko pleads for help as he uncontrollably starts tearing his own body apart, when his head begins to melt and collapse in on itself. Havik stands over Reiko, revealing to his 'lord' that he was never a candidate for godhood, and that his true purpose was to be a vessel to summon a real god.
Gouging Reiko's eyes out with his thumbs, Havik splits Reiko's skull open and tears the Outworld general's own brain out. Crushing Reiko's brilliant mind between his hands, Havik feigns sudden confusion and turns towards the bound champions. With his Blood Code possessed puppets behind him, Havik asks that one of his guests confirm something for him as he presents the Amulet of Shinnok before them, revealing the amulet to have been the cleric of chaos's true goal all along.
Chapter Thirty: Chaos
Havik mocks Raiden and the Elder Gods for believing they could hide the amulet using literal cloak-and-dagger tactics using the Kamidogu. Havik states that the Amulet of Shinnok refuses hide, much like the uninvited guests among them. Outside the palace, the Shokan Kintaro sent to spy on Havik realize he is referring to them and one begins to panic. He attempts to flee back to the ship but is stopped by another, who wants to see what the amulet can do.
In response, Havik kills one of the Shokan with the amulet, causing a massive explosion that sends the rest flying and destroys part of the palace. Pleased with the amulet's 'demonstration', Havik approaches a surviving Shokan and pins his head down with his boot, and summarizes that they are scouts sent by Queen Sheeva. Deciding not to keep the queen waiting, Havik gleefully rips off the Shokan's arm.
On the ship, Sheeva is furious at Kintaro for undermining her orders. Kintaro attempts to justify his actions, but Sheeva reminds him that she needs loyalty from him, and draws her sword, making it clear the only reason she won't kill him is due to how many Shokan died in the Battle of Z'Unkahrah. A shokan alerts Sheeva of the scout boat's return, and sees the body parts of the scouts impaled on blades in the boat.
Turning back to Kintaro, Sheeva tells him to carry their deaths on his conscience. Looking through binoculars, Sheeva demands to know what is happening on the beach when they spot Havik, holding the amulet which is glowing brighter and brighter. Sheeva quickly realizes what is about to happen but her warning comes too late as the ship is struck by an energy blast. On the beach, Havik observes the ship's destruction alongside Cassie and Jacqui, while in the sea, Sheeva saves Kintaro from drowning and begins swimming them both to the shore, telling her general that she expects him to fight once they reach the island.
Back in Shang Tsung's Palace, Havik and his possessed Blood Code slaves stand over four of the captured champions, Kotal Kahn, Sonya Blade, Johnny Cage and Mileena, each armed with a Kamidogu. Havik is explaining to Kotal Kahn that Reiko had a blinding ego and mocks the general for being his slave with three simple words, no magik but words and Reiko's own ambition used against him. Havik further explains to Kotal that each champion shares the same belief that history can be shaped by powerful individuals like themselves but mockingly laughs in the emperor's face before revealing no mortal, champion or otherwise can alter the course of history.
As each of Havik's slaves raise the Kamidogu over their captives, the cleric rants that chaos is the greatest force inherit in nature that shapes history. Explaining to Kotal that Shinnok's defeat led each champion into believing they could enforce order, Havik calls this a fool's errand and states that today he will learn that order cannot resist chaos before stabbing Kotal, as each of Havik's slaves stab one of the champions, corrupting them with the Blood Code and enslaving them to Havik's will.
Havik's newest slaves each speak one-by-one, praising chaos and declaring order to be death. Havik calls death order and holds up Shinnok's amulet, revealing his ultimate plan is to destroy the Netherrealm, declaring it a great evil. Standing over Ermac, Havik begins to absorb the construct's souls into the relic, revealing Raiden's cosmic barriers between Earthrealm and Netherrealm protect it as much as they blockade it. Havik reveals that Ermac's souls will charge the amulet and give it enough power to punch through the barriers.
Before he can finish draining Ermac of his souls however, Havik finds his wrist caught in a razor whip and his hand holding the amulet severed. Takeda, having arrived armed with his new whips, comments on how busy Havik looks as he stands ready to fight.
In Order of Appearance:
- Johnny Cage
- Kotal Kahn
- Sonya Blade
- Cassie Cage
- Jacqui Briggs
- Red Dragon
- Reiko (Death)
- Takeda Takahashi