Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #2 - Seeking the Target pt. 2

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Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #2 - Seeking the Target pt. 2

Post  Nik Havert on Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:50 am

Shang-Chi sat on one of the plush couches in the Peninsula Suite at Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel. The view of Victoria Harbor was stunning. Tony Stark had him brought there by a private helicopter that had landed in Yang-Tin and delivered enough food and medical supplies to last the small village a year. Shang-Chi wasn't sure if the food and supplies were a bribe, but it did not matter. The idea of his father, a dead ancient Chinese sorcerer who had created the Elixir Vitae, inspiring the Hai-Dai cult of assassins to continue his evil work would've made Shang-Chi walk to Hong Kong to meet with the Avenger.

"Meditating?" Tony asked as he walked over from the bar with a glass of cognac.

"No," Shang-Chi said.

Tony looked out the big window toward Victoria Harbor. "Are you looking for something?"

"No."

"Just enjoying the view, then?"

Shang-Chi smiled. "No."

Tony returned the smile, but he wasn't sure what was funny. "What's up, then?"

"I am sitting here, Mr Stark." He smiled up at the billionaire. "What are you doing?"

Tony opened his mouth to say something, but took a sip of the cognac instead.

"I ordered food," Tony said after an awkward silence. "Chef Remi's a friend. His slow-cooked lamb is amazing." He placed a rice bowl-sized metal disk in front of Shang-Chi, pressed something on its side, and stood back as a hologram of a man with a bullseye on his shirt projected from the top of the disk.

"This is Bullseye," Tony said. "Or it was him. He died, again, a couple years ago. He'd been imprisoned at a maximum security facility, and part of the routine there was keeping the DNA of all prisoners on file. A vial of his blood was taken and kept in a deep freeze. It's come up missing. Here's footage of the theft."

The image changed before Shang-Chi's eyes. He had little understanding of modern technology, and such things were like magic to him. The image showed men in Hai-Dai robes killing armed guards with quick sword blows and hand techniques from Karate, Aikido, and one other style that stood out like a cat among birds.

"They killed six men, took only the blood sample, and fled the scene," Tony said. "Nick Fury saw the footage, recognized the Hai-Dai pajamas, and told me you were the guy to find them here in China."

"I cannot," Shang-Chi said.

"Really? Why not?"

"Because I do not think they are Hai-Dai, or even Chinese."

Tony replayed the footage of the theft. "You can tell that from this? How?"

There was a discreet knock at the door. Tony perked up. "Food!"

Shang-Chi walked to the opulent dining area. The price of the table alone would buy enough food to feed the children of Yang-Tin for two months. Tony opened the door and the three room service waiters entered the room pushing two carts. They circled the table and soon had it set for two complete with fine china, sterling silver cutlery, and crystal glasses. Shang-Chi smelled roast duck and pork, mushrooms, spinach, and something else that reminded him of something from his youth.

He sidekicked the waiter closest to him across the room and over the nearby couch. Tony and the other waiters froze.

"Should I have ordered Chinese?" Tony asked.

The second waiter pulled a machine pistol from his coat and began firing at Tony, who ran for his life and shouted at his watch. "Natasha! We need you!"

The third leaped over the table with the agility of a gymnast. His right leg snapped out in a sidekick of his own, but Shang-Chi side-stepped the attack. The third waiter landed and then turned his lead foot out so he could wind up another kick from his rear leg. His back hip turned to Shang-Chi, telegraphing the entire technique to the kung fu master's trained eyes. Shang-Chi straight-kicked the man's knee as it came around, dislocating the man's knee cap and causing his head to jerk forward...and straight into Shang-Chi's hammerfist smash to his jaw. The man's jaw broke off the left hinge just before Shang-Chi's follow-up, an overhand blow from Hung Gar, pounded into his temple and knocked his head into the table hard enough to crack both.

The second waiter, having lost his view of Stark in the massive hotel room, turned his pistol on Shang-Chi. Shang-Chi threw a dinner plate at the man. He shot it into pieces, but the distraction was enough for Shang-Chi to get close to him. He grabbed the pistol, sticking his thumb behind the trigger so the man couldn't squeeze off another round, and punched him with a panther fist to the throat. Shang-Chi pulled the pistol from the man's hand and threw it into the face of the first waiter, who was just getting to his feet on the other side of the room. The pistol hit the man with a horrible clanging thud and dropped him back to crash through a four-figure coffee table.

Shang-Chi hit the second waiter with a Wing Chun spade palm to the face, breaking his nose like it was paper-maiche. He front-kicked the man in the groin and then grabbed his head as it came forward. He turned back-to-back with the man and threw him over his shoulder and onto the table, scattering the gourmet French meal everywhere.

"Where is the vial?" Shang-Chi asked while he pressed in on a nerve under the man's jaw.

"Shang-Chi?"

Shang-Chi turned to see a beautiful red-haired woman in a black, skin-tight costume standing in the doorway of the room. Natasha Romanoff, the Black Widow, pointed one of her wrist stinger-guns at the man on the table. The waiter used the distraction to bring up his leg in a quick kick that tagged Shang-Chi in the head. Shang-Chi stumbled back as the waiter stood on the table, ran its length, and then jumped through the window overlooking Victoria Harbor and to his death.

Tony Stark burst from a side room. He wore his Iron Man gauntlets and held them clenched and ready for battle. "Let's do this!" He yelled, and then saw the aftermath of the fight. "Or not."

Natasha ran into the room. "Are you two all right?"

Shang-Chi rubbed his forehead. "It is nothing."

"Why are those men dissolving?" Tony asked.

The other two waiters were crumbling into piles of black dust before their eyes. Their clothes emptied and the wind coming in from the shattered high-rise window scattered their ashes.

"Because they are not Hai-Dai," Shang-Chi said. "They are the Hand."

Tony looked back and forth between Shang-Chi and Natasha. "Is that a band?"

"They're a clan of ninjas," Natasha said. "Ninjas who dabble in black magic."

"Okay, seriously," Tony said as he picked through the pieces of scattered food. "Do you have super powers, Shang-Chi? How did you know the guys on the video weren't Hai-Dai and that these guys were ninjas?"

"The Hand stole the vial. The styles they used to kill the guards were all Japanese, including ninjitsu. The Hai-Dai only use Chinese techniques. As for the men here, I could smell curare with the food they brought. My father used it and other poisons."

Tony dropped the roasted duck wing he was about to eat.

"And the body language of the men - " Shang-Chi said.

Tony held up his hand. "Body language. Kung fu master. Got it. I'll buy your whole village new fishing boats if you teach me that trick."

Shnag-Chi smiled. "Just pay attention, Mr. Stark."

Natasha snickered.

"I'll get us a new room," Tony said as he moved for the phone and hotel security finally showed up stumbling over each other.

Shang-Chi awoke the next morning in his new room at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong across the harbor from the Peninsula Hotel. He stretched, meditated, and then began a short Yang style T'ai Chi form. Someone knocked at his door.

"Come in," he said.

Natasha walked into the room, wearing a complimentary bathrobe that cost the same price as a 42" flat-screen television.

"Sorry if I'm interrupting, Shang-Chi," she said.

"You are not. What can I do for you?"

Natasha opened her robe. She wore only a sports bra and a black thong.

She smiled at him. "I was hoping you might like to try me."

TO BE CONTINUED!

Nik Havert

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Re: Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #2 - Seeking the Target pt. 2

Post  Paul E. Schultz on Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:26 am

And cue the 1970s Kung Fu love makin' music! Dude, I love how you've managed to capture that Kung Fu movie scenario in comic book form. Loved it!
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Re: Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #2 - Seeking the Target pt. 2

Post  Craig DeBoard on Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:17 am

If your kung fu stories are this good I'm considering starting a petition for you to write Luke Cage so we can see some blaxplotation stories! Hell yes!
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Re: Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #2 - Seeking the Target pt. 2

Post  Paul E. Schultz on Thu Jun 21, 2012 8:53 am

I'd be the second one to sign said petition provided Nik put Luke Cage back in costume. I've actually considered doing it myself.
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Luke Cage

Post  Nik Havert on Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:45 pm

I would definitely put him in the old costume. Thanks for the kind words, my friends.

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Re: Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #2 - Seeking the Target pt. 2

Post  AndyWright on Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:20 pm

Great job combining the formal terms for techniques with efficient descriptions of what they're doing. That's a delicate maneuver that many don't do well. And it makes sense that he would be "thinking" these terms, since he's such an experienced fighter, so it doesn't feel awkward either.

Favorite line: "Just pay attention, Mr. Stark." Awesome.

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Re: Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu #2 - Seeking the Target pt. 2

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