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THE KING OF FIGHTERS XI
KOF XI
TEAM STORY
HERO TEAM FATAL FURY TEAM RIVAL TEAM IKARI TEAM
AGENT TEAM K' TEAM AGENT TEAM KYO & IORI TEAM
ART OF FIGHTING TEAM FATAL FURY MOW TEAM PSYCHO SOLDIER TEAM ADELHEID & ROSE
SHION MAGAKI

AGENT TEAM STORY

A bar somewhere in Southtown.
 The backdoor opened just as the clock indicated two minutes after six.
 The invigorating aroma of lime and gin wafted within the bar that had just opened.

°»°ńYou°«re two minutes late, right?°…

 The beautiful woman in the flower of her youth with her elbow on the bar and gaze fixed on the clock whispered as she ascertained the noise of the door opening behind her.

 The request for the three agents to enter KOF and carry out their investigations had been made the previous day.
 The actual client remained confidential, but the request had come through Seth, who served as liaison, and the three most capable agents suited to this mission were selected. Vanessa and Ramon had been sitting at the bar since a few minutes ago, with Blue Mary, a.k.a. Mary Ryan, the last to arrive.

 °»Hey, get it together. Two minutes could be fatal in our line of work.°…
 °»I°«m no fan of overly serious people, but when the going gets tough°ń Get me?°…

 As she was received her ribbing in stereo by two who were typically loathe to find fault with others, Mary removed her jacket and plunked herself down on the stool next to Ramon.

 °»I°«m sorry. I won°«t make the same mistake again.°…

 The duo seemed convinced by her apology, at least for now.
 Although there is no meddling in the matters of others among freelancers, each party is compelled to perform their respective duties to perfection°Ĺface every difficult request to the best of their abilities.

 Nevertheless, after a brief toast and confirmation of a few matters, the three soon engaged in chit-chat.

 Seth had already informed each agent of the details and course of the investigation beforehand.
 And they were all familiar with each other°«s style of combat.
 There was a tacit understanding among the members that they had no need to stay with each other to train for the tournament, and if they did what they had to they were otherwise free to do what they had to. They were all adults here.

 Quickly polishing off her beer, Vanessa called the bartender to explain a cocktail recipe to him. The other two were interested how it would turn out. For a faithful beer drinker like her, this was rare behavior.
°»That°«s three ounces of gin and an ounce of lemon juice. Add two spoonfuls of sugar and blue CuraŹęģao to the mix. And finish it off with some sparkling wine°ń.°…

°»Isn°«t that°ńa °∆Blue Mary°«?°…

 Mary was familiar with this recipe although she had never heard it before, or had she? No, this cocktail surely was not anything she°«d committed to memory°ń.

°»Oh, you°«ve heard of it?°…

 Vanessa seemed delighted by Mary°«s seeming familiarity with her request.
 The refreshing sound of the shaker was already clickety-clicking behind the bar.

°»I learned it during my old days at the national training institute. It°«s called°ń°…
°»°ńButch.°…
°»Yeah, yeah. Butch. Wow, that°«s a shock. Do you know him?°…
 The contents of the shaker were poured into an ice-filled wine glass, which was then filled to the brim with sparkling wine.

°»He was younger back then, but he sure was quite the officer. If I°«m not mistaken, he wanted to be assigned to the special services, but I wonder what he°«s up to now.°…

°»°ńHe died.°…

 All went silent. Only the sound of fizz from the sparkling wine faintly crackled into the gloom that had insinuated itself among them.
°»My father and Butch were colleagues. Both of them were in the president°«s bodyguard detail with the special services.°…

 Mary spoke in a flat monotone, as if reading an old newspaper article.
 It happened during the assassination attempt on the president a few years ago.
 The assassin°«s bullet fired at the president during a parade.
 The two special service agents guarding the president died in the attack.
 And both of them were related to Mary°ń.

°»Yeah, now I remember. That incident became big news in Mexico as well.°…
The glass Ramon nursed in his hand was covered with sweat, dampening its coaster.
 
°»This leather jacket was a present Butch gave me. He also taught me the Command Samba. It took me quite a long time to recover from that loss.°…

 Mary tried to lighten things up with a smile, but it was clear to anyone who saw it that her smiling face was forced. The bartender behind the counter silently polished a glass, but kept an ear bent to take in their conversation.

°»°ńThese days I°«ve been a bit off my game, haven°«t I.°…

 Mary muttered this after a considerable amount of time had elapsed.

°»Are you still worked up about that? It°«s not like you°«re Japanese°Ĺtwo minutes is nothing!°…
°»Yeah. That was just a little verbal jab to break the ice of our first meeting.°…

 Mary calmly shook her head. No.
 I used to be quick with a smile. But these days°ń
  °»I°«ve just got to regain my composure a little, that°«s all.°…

 The door to the bar suddenly flung open to let a throng of barhoppers flood in.
 It was almost time for things to start picking up at the bar°Ĺa bit too °»wholesome°… for a trio of agents to chew the fat over old times.
 The three got the hint that it was time for them to leave.

 The city had now fully taken on its nighttime mien when they left the bar.
 Everywhere they looked, buildings rose into the sky like walls, and from every wall lights winked and blinked to encourage the jovial mood of those below.

°»I think you can wait until tomorrow morning to °∆get your composure back,°« can°«t you?°…
 Ramon attempted to entice his new, blue team member into some real merrymaking.
°»I know a place nearby where I can treat you to some tequila that will curl your toes.°…

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