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THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2001
KOF2001
TEAM STORY
HERO TEAM JAPAN TEAM IORI TEAM FATAL FURY TEAM
ART OF FIGHTING TEAM IKARI TEAM WOMEN FIGHTERS TEAM PSYCHO SOLDIER TEAM
NESTS TEAM KOREA TEAM

IKARI TEAM STORY

A swarm of construction workers and equipment work at a fevered pitch under a starless sky. Resting on an outstretched tarp in an elevated thicket, some figures stifle their breathing and observe operations on a site for KOF 2001.
"(Well? Can you see anything, Leona.)"
"(Not a thing.)"
"(You said that before. So, what is it?)"
"(Like I said, nothing....)"
Leona answers him as she looks through her night-vision scope."
"(What could they be up to? We know that this year's sponsor has the backing of NESTS, right? There can't be nothing going on.)"
" (...)"
The previous tournament...the man, gone in the wreckage... feelings when he viewed the video data, the only "keepsake" of the event...But after that, came the information from the intelligence agency that he was still alive...Could he really be alive...?
"(Commander...Commander.)"
"(Uh, yeah, sorry. All right, let's call it a day. Leona! Let's rendezvous with Clark."
" Yes, sir."

A cobalt blue sea stretches out under a bleached white city built out of stucco and sun-dried brick.
In this picture-perfect city that looks as if it would be included in a feature article for a travel magazine from Japan or thereabouts is a safe-house used as a focus of intelligence by the mercenary squad.
"Clark. So how did things go with you?"
"I came up empty. I even tried the military circuit, and there's no mistaking that this year's KOF is an official tournament."
"Is that so? ...Then what about NESTS?"
"There's no doubt that this year's KOF sponsor is linked to NESTS, but we don't know what their objectives are."
"Impossible! NESTS destroyed an entire city during the last tournament, didn't they? They can't be going to all this trouble for just a mere sporting event."
"But all reports attributed the incident to the fall of an artificial satellite...."
Leona mumbles.
"Nuts! We have nothing to go on with this intel!"
Ralf pounds the top of his desk.
"Well aren't you the little hothead."
Everyone looks in the direction of the voice in unison. And there they see him, the man with the eyepatch, standing in the doorway. It's the leader of this mercenary squad, Heidern.
"Leader!"
"Feast your eyes on this!"

Heidern plunks a thick pile of documents down on the desk. Three Ss appear on the top page of the pile, which means "top secret" in this squad. Ralf snatches up the stack of documents and scans over them. As he leafs through the documents, Ralf's face turns flush and he mumbles as if groaning in pain.
"Just what in blazes is this...?"
Clark and Leona peek at the document in Ralf's hands. A photograph that looks as if it was taken by a surveillance satellite is attached to it. The image is extensively blurred by a sort of electronic "snow," perhaps the result of some new kind of jamming device. It's impossible to distinguish any fine detail, but the group can see a giant black shadow.
"...This is all we have to go on. That, and this here."
Heidern pulls out a pamphlet and tournament entry tickets for this year's KOF tournament.
"Four tickets, is it? That leaves us a bit short of entrants. Last time...."
"Clark, take a look at the list of entrants."
The three do as instructed and scan the roster of fighters.
"Whippy!"
Ralf screeches wildly, hardly apropos of the situation.
"It's her all right. The genuine article, the one and only Whip. She's got all bases covered, I see."
"That little minx! Not even a phone call!"
"And it doesn't stop there. Check out the team she's on."
More surprisingly, the party finds among the list of entered teams the name of...
"NESTS! You got to be yanking my chain! A NESTS team?"
"NESTS is a completely secret syndicate...only but a handful of the privileged few know of its existence."
Leona once again blurts out the blatantly obvious.
"But if Whippy is listed among the tournament's participants, that means she has already been accepted as a team member. So, Leader, who's going to be our fourth team member?"
"...This time I'm going to join you in the tournament."
"Whoo! That's too much!"
"...OK, enough banter for now. All of you, gather in the briefing room!"
"Yes, sir!"
The three salute Heidern in unison. While they salute, something pops into Ralf's mind. What's going to happen this time around...? But we'll have to play this out. Yup, we'll just have to play this out.

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