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Marionette Chapter 2

"Life As A Human Puppet"

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A forest in the Makai, midnight...
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Shadow watched Marionette from the shadows of his tree as she slept. Frustration clouded his mind. It was bad enough that he only had partial memories, the only useful ones being of the powers he once had, but now he simply could not understand why his creation had not slaughtered the rest of the werewolf pack as he commanded her to do.

Could some aspect of the child's mind have resisted him?  No. Impossible. There has to be another reason. Shadow thought for a moment.  No. No. Couldn't be that simple. There has to be something more. I think... I think it's time to test if my theory on my new form is correct.

Shadow left his tree, and went towards his creation. To anyone who was watching, they would think that a black panther was jumping out, landing on Marionette, and then simply sinking into the ground beneath her. In truth, Shadow was merging himself with the girl's shadow, taking control of her body. As he sank into her shadow, he began to regain feeling as his essence asserted itself over Marionette's. As he merged totally with her shadow, he felt her mind start to come into focus.

Hrrrmmm...  Shadow peered about her mind curiously.  Not that many memories to erase, so how... he peered into her mind further, searching through the dim recesses of what she once was. And then he found it. When he did, he began to laugh. He seized control of her totally, and stood Marionette's body up.

"So that was it. The simple innocence of youth. It was that simple," he laughed, moving her body as if it were his own. Shadow closed Marionette's eyes and concentrated, looking over his discovery, in the form of a pure white light at the center of her soul. He looked it over, searching for some weakness. And then he saw the tear.

In one corner of light that represented Marionette's innocence was a small tear. He looked over it carefully, and saw that the tear was slowly letting in the darkness that he had implanted in her soul. He thought back to yesterday, trying to figure out where it came from.

Oh yes... Shadow chuckled out loud in Marionette's voice, This is getting better and better. She was in pain from killing that fool Rowdman. This is glorious.

"All I have to do is take my little puppet on a killing spree. I will destory her accursed light forever, and make her into my perfect servant," Shadow said, thinking out loud. He searched through her mind to learn how she flew, and then tugged gently on the strings attached to Marionette's arms and legs, and was lifted up into the air. With a mental command, he guided her body forward...

...and promptly banged Marionette's head into a tree branch. *WHAP*

"OW!" Shadow backed away, rubbing his head. "Apparently this new possession ability has it's limitations. I can feel the pain of whomever I have taken control of."

whu... What's going on? came a voice from the back of Marionette's mind.

Excellent. She's awake. Now I can have some fun.  "Good morning, sunshine. How'd you sleep?" Shadow said, making Marionette's voice as perky as possible.

I... I can't move my body. What's going on? What have you done to me? Marionette said, panic edging it's way into her voice.

"Oh, that's easy. I've taken control over all aspects of your body and basically locked you in a box in the back of your own mind. Fun, huh?"

What?! But why?

"Because, my dear Marionette, I need you to be ruthless. Devoid of any human feeling. Because you were a mere five years old when I changed you, you possess a core of innocence. Part of that was damaged when you killed that miserable werewolf. I intend to destroy the rest of it. Let's go."

No! Please! Don't do this!

Shadow ignored her, and reached out with Marionette's hand and gripped the air. With a quick tug, he ripped open a hole, revealing a city park in the world of humans.

Nice to know that I still have SOME of my old powers, Shadow thought drily as he drifted on through.

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Central Park...
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Shadow/Marionette appeared behind some bushes. Shadow surveyed the scene, trying to decide who to kill first, ignoring Marionette's cries. He looked around, and grinned, spying a police officer nearby, smoking a cigarette. He began to sing, and then his body began to glow...

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Over by the unfortunate man...
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Officer Mulcahy was tired. His guard shift was almost over. The chief had been so paranoid lately, assigning him to guard duty in the park. He sighed and checked his watch, waiting for the last half-hour of his shift to end.

*FWASH*

"What the hell?!?" I really don't need this right now. I really don't, he thought, drawing his gun and going off into the treeline where the flash was. He quickly made his way to approxametly where he though the light came from, and stormed out into the clearing, pointing his gun.

What he saw there caused him to freeze in terror.

Shadow looked over his new form. Slightly paunchy, but still in shape. A good mind, although without a high sense of duty. Hmmm.  Shadow looked up, and noticed the cop, who was aiming his gun and shuddering in place. He smiled and walked over to him, removing Officer Mulcahy's gun from his hand.

"Greetings to you, Mr. Enforcer of Human Law. I'm afraid that I have to borrow your form now. But, since you are here and have seen me, you must die."

And with that, Shadow put the policeman's weapon, as well as the one he gained by copying him, to the cop's ear, and blew his brains out of the other side of his head.

*BANG*

*SPLORCH*

Shadow watched with mild amusement as the policeman's head exploded, spraying his face with grey matter and blood. He picked up the officer's gun and ran out to where the other humans were. Making sure to look panicked, he said,

"RUN! THERE'S A KILLER IN THE PARK! HE JUST BLEW MY PARTNER'S HEAD OFF!"

The other humans in the park began running. Shadow laughed and shot an old woman in the back as she hobbled away.

"Oh, this is too much! I can't remember when I've had this much fun!" He blinked, then thought for a moment. "Literally! Oh Marionette, are you having fun too?"

He listened inside of his mind for her, but when he did, all he could here was her groaning. Finally, she managed to get one word out.  Hurts...

Shadow marveled at his discovery.  When I control someone, I feel their physical pain, but not their psychic pain. Excellent! I think I'm going to like this new body! Now, who else... Shadow holstered the two guns and walked down the street.

Shadow decided to stay in the form of the police officer. As he wandered around downtown, he shot whomever caught his eye. As each person fell, he laughed, feeling Marionette scream as more and more of herself was torn away by each act of evil Shadow commited in her body.

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The 23rd Precinct...
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"All units! All units, report in! An officer has gone on a killing spree in downtown NewYork! All units report immediately to Central Park! Shoot to KILL!"

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40 minutes later, in an alley behind WWF New York...
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Shadow ducked into a dumpster, chuckling mildly as the policemen ran right past him. After he was certain the policemen were gone, he poked his head out of the dumpster.

"Well, that was fun. But now I think it's time to shed this body." Shadow closed his eyes and tapped Marionette's power, changing back to her original form as he shed the body of the policeman. He climbed out of the dumpster, ignoring Marionette's angry screams, and brushed himself off. As he looked Marionette's body over, he began to wish that he still had a solid form.

Shadow shook his head. Never mind that now.  He looked into Marionette's mind, and saw that his theory was correct. Her body commiting his acts of evil affected the tear in her innocence, ripping half of it away.

Please. Let go of me. I'll do whatever you want. Just make the pain stoooooop...

Shadow had noticed something. "Could it be?"  Not yet, my dear. There is still one more thing I want to do inside of your body. Do you see that woman who is walking towards us?

Shadow allowed Marionette control of her eyes long enough to see a tired, sad looking woman with auburn hair coming towards them. The strange thing was, is that she was kind of familiar.

Yes. So?

Shadow seized back her eyes. That, if my guess is right, is your mother.

WHAT!!?? What are you going to do?

I'm going to tell her who you are and what you've become. And then I'll snap her neck.

NO!

Shadow just laughed, ignoring Marionette's pleas for mercy. He gestured, and one of the strings attached to Marionette's wrist went limp. Then, with shocking suddeness the string whipped and wrapped around the neck of Marionette's mother. Gagging, the woman was dragged into the alley and thrown on the ground. She tried to get up, but Shadow just stomped on her chest.

"Stay down, mommy dearest. Abby gonna have a little talk with you."

The frightened woman looked up at Marionette, staring into the cruel, pitiless eyes. "A-A-Abigail? Is that you, sweetie?"

Damn you Shadow, leave her alone!!! Marionette screamed.

DAMN ME!? I'm afraid that's already been done. To us both.  "Yep. It's me, little-biddy Abigail. I met a cool guy named Shadow, and he helped me grow up real quick."

The terrified woman looked into the eyes of the demon woman that held her. Ever since her daughter had dissappeared yesterday, she had been unable to think of anything else other than finding her. And now, this THING shows up, claiming to be her daughter? She stared deep into the malevolent eyes of the puppet demoness... and saw her daughter. "Oh God help me. What has that bastard done to you?!"

"Nothing I didn't want him to do. And you know what else, mommy? My name is not Abigail anymore. It's Marionette. And now I'm going to make you die."

Shadow tightened the grip of the string around the woman's neck. The woman gasped, clawing at the rope, but to no avail. Shadow laughed, in his own voice, as Marionette began to cry, trapped in a corner of her own mind, unable to do anything except watch her mother die by her own hand.

The woman stared into the eyes of her daughter, trying to understand why this was happening. She was still trying as the string cut through her neck totally, severing her head. Shadow laughed wildly as the string took it's place going straight up to nowhere on Marionette's wrist. Marionette could do nothing but sob, not knowing why the crimes commited by Shadow were affecting her.

Shadow sensed her question and decided to answer. Because, my dear girl, while it's my will that guides your body, it is still YOUR BODY that does the deed.

You monster, Marionette snarled, hatred coming to her voice.

Shadow chuckled. You are now too, dear. Always remember that. Oh, and if you liked that, you'll love this.

What are you...?

Shadow reached down, grabbing the flesh of Marionette's mother's chest. With a sickening ripping sound, he tore open her chest, exposing the bloody ribs and still functioning organs, which had not yet realized that there wasn't a brain to work them anymore.

My God...

Will have nothing more to do with you. You are a Darkstalker now. And this shall seal it forever!

Shadow grabbed the mother's ribcage and with ease apparent from practice, broke it apart bit by bit. Marionette watched with horror as Shadow surveyed her mother's organ with amusement, and reached down, pulling out her heart. He held it up to her face, admiring like it was a perfectly formed apple... and as that thought crossed her mind she had a sudden, sickening feeling that she knew what Shadow intended to do.

Shadow spoke, using his own voice instead of hers, "Well, at least you'll be close to your mother," and raised the heart to her mouth, jaws open to take a bite out of it.

Marionette couldn't let this happen. It was bad enough that Shadow had made her kill her own mother. She wouldn't allow this travesty to occur. So she pushed.

Marionette's arm stopped just short of her mouth. Shadow blinked and tried to move the arm again.

What the hell do you think you're doing, you miserable bitch?

You've done enough, Marionette snarled, Get out of my body.

Straining, Marionette forced her arm down, opening her hand to let the heart fall to the ground. She tried to turn away, but Shadow's will was strong. He fought back. Marionette's body contorted in agony as she and Shadow fought for control.

"You... will... never... beat... me!!!"

Get out of my body, Shadow!

"You... will... be... me... MINE!!"

GET OUT OF MY BODY, SHADOW!!

"NO! NOT UNTIL YOU SUBMIT TO MY WILL!"

GET OUT OF ME!! GET OUT NOW!"

The last word was shouted as Marionette forced Shadow out of her body. A screaming mass of darkness flew out of the lithe young demoness, pooling on the ground. Shadow's face took vague shape in the center. Marionette flopped down on the ground, totally spent.

"Uuuunnggh..."

"Ooooh..."

The two of them groaned. Marionette struggled to her feet.

"I'll make you pay for this, Shadow. I swear it," Marionette snarled, gasping for breath.

Shadow just groaned, then reached out with a claw, opening a wormhole back to Makai, "We'll settle this later." And with that, he oozed into the hole, which snapped shut behind him. Marionette collapsed on the ground, then began to cry. She curled up into a fetal position, and stayed there, oblivious to everything, even to police officers who came into the alley, saw the carnage, and arrested her...

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That night, at the police station, inside one of the cells...
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Marionette lay flat out on her cot, tears streaming down her face. She had lost all hope, and awaited death with open arms.

"Don't give up yet, dearie."

"Who's there?" Marionette sat up, startled, and looked around. She looked up, and was suprised to see an athletic old man with short, silver hair and wearing a dark grey karate gi. His eyes seemed to be empty, devoid of anything save darkness.

"Who are you?"

The old man giggled. "I'm an April Fool's Day joke. I don't exsist. My name I tell only to those I fight. But I like you, puppet girl."

Marionette sneered at him. Something didn't seem right. "What do you want?"

"I want to help. Yes I do. I want to tell you about yourself. And about Shadow."

Marionette grunted and turned away. "I don't want to hear anything about that monstrosity. He killed my mother."

"You killed your mother, deary. Shadow just told your brain what to do. You were too dumb to resist."

Marionette had nothing to say to that.

The old man giggled, his grin widening. He looked around, then stage whispered conspiritorially. "And you know what? If you were thinking about your father, don't bother. Shadow killed Abigail. There's only Marionette. And Shadow is your father now."

"WHAT?!" Marionette snarled, turning on the old man. The strings attached to her body, limp ever since she had forced out Shadow, suddenly came alive, snaking towards the old man.

The old man just giggled. "Go I must. Very soon. Something else you should know: You can move between the realms as easily as Shadow himself can."

Marionette blinked, and looked at her hands, which were still stained with her mother's blood. The police had tried to wash them off to take fingerprints, but the water had boiled into steam with her slightest contact. She looked back up at the old man, who was still there, still smirking.

"Don't try anything tonight. Rest. Sleep and dream of your new life. But I warn you. You must leave before the guards come for you. Or you will never have a chance at a new life again."

Marionette blinked, and looked down at herself. The little girl she had been was truly gone. She was a murderer. Could she really get a second chance? She turned to the old man, but he was gone, leaving a note:

"Remember that Abigail is dead. You are now Marionette, and nothing else."

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On a rooftop...
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The old man watched as Marionette read the note and sighed, laying back down to sleep. He smirked, and then thought about Shadow.

"Dumb goof. Got their powers reversed. He's suppossed to be the shape-shifter. Oh well." He grinned wickedly. "I guess I'll just have to teach him a few things." And with that, he laughed and teleported away.

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Makai, at the same time...
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Shadow made his way back to the clearing where the remains of the werewolf pack were. He paused, shuddering at the site of the drained, soulless husks of the werewolf pack he and Marionette encounterd, stopping at the charred mess that used to be the leader, Rip Rowdman. Shadow's memory had been returning in drips and drabs ever since his reemergence. One of the things he had recently remembered was his knowledge of necromantic magic. Reciting spells from languages more ancient than any man or monster alive today, he placed his shadowy talons on the charred skull of the werewolf. His hands sank though a little, due to the fact that Shadow was immaterial, but this contact was enough.

Rip's skull began to glow. And then, his body flashed with a blinding light. When the light faded, Shadow saw that his efforts had been successful. Rip Rowdman's body was fully repaired.

"What... What the bloody fuckin' 'ell 'appened to me?!?"

Shadow grinned at him. "Marionette killed you. I ate your soul."

Rip howled in rage and tried to tackle Shadow. He passed right through and hit a tree.

"Mister Rowdman, unless you stop these histrionics, I'm afraid I will have to let you die again."

Rip snarled. "You might h'as well 'ave. H'I'm nothin' but h'a soul-less freak!"

Shadow groaned. He truly hated Rip's cockney accent. But he needed to put up with it to get his services. "I am offering a chance to avenge your death. You see, Marionette seems to have turned on me."

"Can't h'even control yuir h'own minions. Some super-demon h'you h'are."

"You try my patience! Now be SILENT!" Shadow roared, swelling to immense proportions. Rip cowered and backed down. He looked past Shadow at his pack.

"What 'appened?"

Shadow turned to the husks, then shuddered. "Apparently, the ancient law against the killing of catgirls is still being enforced, at least by the Hive. A whole battallion of soul-bees came along after Marionette and I had left. They stood no chance."

Rip howled again, this time in despair. Shadow was suprised that this lout seemed to care about his pack so much. Then he got an idea.

"You know that this is all Marionette's fault."

Rip turned to Shadow, snarling. He felt the same way.

"I have other things I must do, and cannot act on her right away. But..."

Rip grinned toothily. "But I can."

Shadow smiled widely. "Indeed. I have given you my ability to travel between the realms by ripping a wormhole in mid-air. I want you to find Marionette, wherever she may hide, and kill her. Messily, if at all possible."

Rip laughed. "Roight. I think I can manage that, mate."

Rip thought to himself. H'Oh yes, 'mate.' H'I can manage that h'indeed.

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An airport, shortly after all of this...
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*BUDDABUDDABUDDABUDDABUDDA*

"AIIIIIEEE!"

The terrorists shot their weapons into the air in random volleys. All of them were Germanic in appearance. And their accents proved that even more. The apparent leader, a huge, brutish man in a green camoflague jacket and carrying an old-fashioned tommy gun, grabbed an old man and pointed the gun at his head.

"Attention, mein friends. Today is day that we liberate you all from your lives. The schwienhund Americans have dominated the great Nazi Party for too long. And I, Sven Kleinstock, shall lead the New Reich into the twenty-first century!"

Sven's men cheered, firing their weapons into the air. The people they were holding hostage screamed and cowered. Sven gestured for silence.

"Reporters? I know you are out their because I see the cameras." Sven continued to speak, unaware that an athletic young woman with short, red hair had suddenly got up from one of the groups of hostages and knocked out her captor with one kick.

"Here are my demands. Listen carefully."

Another terrorist turned to her, aiming his weapon. An orange energy bolt flew from her fingertips, knocking him back and imbedding him in the wall. She reached into her bag and pulled out a circular disk, a shield, pulling it up just in time to block a barrage from one of the terrorists above her.

"...and secondly, release the leader of the..."

The young woman threw her shield at the terrorist. It broke his gun, and his nose, and gave him a concussion. She leaped up, caught it in midair, and concentrated, glowing white and then bursting into flames, diving down on yet another terrorist, blue afterimages trailing behind her.

"...Thirdly, are you getting this down?..."

The young woman landed in a group of terrorists right behind Sven. They all tried to dogpile her.

They didn't stand a chance.

Five minutes and several unconcious bad guys later, Sven finished his demands.

"...and that is the last of my demands. If they are not met, I will..."

"Falcon Fist!"

An energy burst in the shape of a falcon exploded as the young woman's palm made contact with the back of Sven's head.

"...ungh..."

The young woman caught the old man as he fell out of Sven's arms. Making sure to tread on Sven, she walked to the airport doors and opened them, allowing them to enter the building to apprehend the terrorists. The leader of the raid, a captain, turned to her and looked her over.

"Street fighter, right?"

The young woman nodded, straightening her red windbreaker. "Sorry about the mess. I just couldn't let them hurt innocent people. Aside from that, they didn't look like very reasonable terrorists."

"True enough." The captain looked her over again. She was short, built like a professional gymnast. She wore blue sneakers with grey socks. Covering her body was a black, skintight body suit which the cop assumed was her fighting outfit. The shield, a round circular disk, was emblazoned with a stylized bird on it. A falcon. She shrugged, and ran her red-gloved hands through her short hair.

"Thanks for the assist. But next time, let professionals handle it, okay?" The woman nodded.

"I will, officer." She smiled sweetly and started to walk back towards her bags. She wanted to get to her hotel and get some sleep before tommorrow, so she could train for the tournament she had entered in.

"What's your name, anyway? And where are you from?"

"Hm? Oh, I'm from California. My name is Alia Falcos. I'm here for the tournament that's coming up in a week."

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Marionette copyright Capcom.  Original characters copyright ME.