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Chapter Eighteen

 One Week Before Christmas.............

"Hello Nanase," said Mr. Hsu as Nanase Hinato entered Ming's restaurant the next day.

Nanase looked up at him. "Hi, Mr. Hsu. How are you?"

"I'm all right," Mr. Hsu sighed.

Nanase raised an eyebrow with worry. "Is something wrong?"

"Sort of," Mr. Hsu answered. "It's just that Rena was supposed to be here an hour ago. I called her apartment, but no one's answering. I figured maybe she thought she was working the same hours as you and I hoped that she would come in with you, but apparently she's not with you. When was the last time you spoke to her?"

"Last night at the dojo a few blocks away," Nanase replied. "She's still trying to cope with my brother leaving to look for Mayor Haggar's daughter, but she seems to be doing a little bit better each day."

"Then I wonder why she didn't show up to work today," Mr. Hsu wondered.

"I know her sister has a cell phone," Nanase said. "Do you want me to call her sister to see if she knows what happened to Rena?"

"Sure," Mr. Hsu replied. "We're not busy at the moment any ways."

Nanase walked to the back of the restaurant. She took out her own cell phone and searched through the number directory on her phone. She found Maki's number and pressed 'enter.' Immediately, her cell dialed Maki's cell number automatically.

After two rings, Maki picked up. "I know, I know, I'm late for work........"

"Maki! It's Nanase!" Nanase cried out.

"Oh! Hi Nanase!" Nanase could hear Maki quickly inhaling and exhaling, probably from running. "I wish I could talk, but........"

"Listen Maki," Nanase said. "Do you know where Rena is?"

Maki paused for a second. "Isn't she at work?"

"No. She's an hour late and we're wondering where she is. I called you because I was wondering if you knew where she was."

"I thought she went to work already! I woke up late and ran out of door while I was in the middle of........."

Maki suddenly stopped in mid-sentence for a brief moment. "Nanase?" she said nervously.


"Do you think.........."

Immediately, Nanase gasped in horror. At the same time, both girls cried, "Mad Gear!"

"Screw work! Meet me at my apartment!"

"Okay," Nanase replied and immediately shut her cell phone off. She quickly ran to the front where Mr. Hsu was setting up some of the tables.

"Mr. Hsu, I hate to do this to you, but I have to go!"

"Go?" Mr. Hsu asked. "Did something happen?"

"We think Rena's been kidnapped by Mad Gear. Her sister wants me to meet her at her apartment."

Mr. Hsu stayed quiet for a minute, then sighed. "Go ahead. I'll call Kita to take over your shift."

"Thank you! You're the best boss!" Nanase cried as she ran quickly out of the restaurant.

Nanase was glad that she was wearing flat shoes or else she would be having trouble with running. She ran past everyone walking and tried to dodge out of their way. She would get frustrated whenever she was stopped at a corner by incoming cars.

Within ten minutes, she finally reached her destination. Maki had just reached there at the same time.

"I hate heels!" Maki cried as she ripped them off her feet. As she put her feet down, she tried her best to ignore the sharp pain of the cold.

Once again, the girls sprinted. They entered the building and ran quickly up the stairs. When they reached the apartment, Maki slammed her body into the door. The door immediately broke open breaking the new latch. They stopped running and looked around the apartment.

"Everything looks all right," Maki said as she stepped into the kitchen looking around.

Nanase turned her head towards the living room and noticed a folded piece of paper. She walked over to it, bended down, and picked it up. She opened it up and saw the letters cut from a magazine saying;

"We have Rena. As long as you cooperate, she and Jessica won't get hurt. ~Mad Gear."

"MAKI!!!" Nanase cried. Maki ran over to her as she pointed the letter. Maki grabbed it and quickly read it.

"NO!" Maki cried dropping the piece of paper. Tears began to well up in her eyes. "How did they get in here?"

She ran out of the room and looked at her room and Rena's room. When she looked into the bathroom, she stood there, her eyes wide opened.

Nanase ran over to her to see what she was looking at. She looked into the bathroom and gasped. The bathroom window was wide opened. A hole shaped like a circle was left right above the latch.

Tears fell down Maki's face as she looked over at Nanase. "What are we going to do?!"

"We're going to have to tell the others," Nanase said. I'll call Kairi and Hokuto at work. Then, we'll go down to the dojo. Greg will be there."

An hour later, everyone met up at the dojo and went into the back. Nanase told everyone about Rena.

"WHAT?!!" Kairi cried out in shock. "I could understand how Mad Gear wanted Jessica, but Rena?"

"Maybe because she's Guy's girlfriend and it's for pay back for helping Haggar and Cody out," said Hokuto.

"It can't be," Maki said. "Someone attacked her in the apartment once and he was from Mad Gear. Whatever they want her for, they wanted her for a while."

"I wonder if Guy, Cody, and Haggar know about this," Nanase wondered. "I just wish that there was a way for us to contact them."

Then, to everyone's surprise, Greg stood up. "Then let's go help them!"

"We can't," said Hokuto. "They told us to stay here."

"No!" Greg cried smoothing back his short red hair. "I can't just sit around any more and wait to see if the girls will be saved or not! Maybe Guy, Cody, and Haggar don't know a thing about Rena! Since we know, it's up to us to go out there and save her! Metro City is a big city, and it could be weeks before she's found! It'll just be the five of us, and if we happen to unite with them, then we will! I feel like a bum just waiting!"

Kairi stood up as well. "For once Greg, you got a point. I'm with you on this one!"

"Me too!" Maki said. "This is my sister we're talking about!"

"Count me in," Nanase said.

"Same here!" said Hokuto.

"Good," Greg said. "Then we're all in on this."

"One problem, Greg," Kairi said. "You're only on yellow belt."

"I don't give a crap," Greg replied. "I'd rather die a yellow-belted warrior trying to save Rena and Jessica than sit on my ass here waiting to see what happens."

"That's the spirit!" cried Hokuto.

"So let's go out there and help our brother and friends!" said Kairi.

"Yeah!" cried everyone.

A few minutes later, everyone walked out the dojo in their respective fighting uniforms with the exception of Greg, who wore blue jeans, sneakers, and a Black Sabbath T-Shirt.

"Nice shirt, Greg," said Maki twirling her arm-length baton.

"Thanks," Greg said.

"Let's go," said Kairi. He began walking down the streets of Metro City. His sisters and friends followed him.


Later that night; Metro City Bay Park

Guy, Cody, and Haggar walked through the park near the Northeastern area of Metro City.

"Hard to believe it took us twenty-four hours to get here," said Guy.

"Well, it took us a while to get out of the subway," said Haggar. "Especially since we almost got hit by one that once again took us South. We slept down there again and woke up late and began walking towards here."

"You don't have to tell us that whole thing," said Cody.

That's when they noticed a group of people crowded not too far from them.

"Want to see what's going on over there?" asked Cody.

"Fine by us," replied Guy.

The three of them walked over to the crowd. They noticed that some of them have multi-colored hair and a couple of them have capes on.

Then, one of them turned around and spotted the three. "Look! It's the Mayor and two other punks," he said with an evil grin.

The three of them immediately stood in their fighting stances. "Yup, there's more of Mad Gear," said Cody.

Immediately, the thugs ran over to them, their fists and weapons ready. As each one went up to the three, they were knocked down after two to four punches or kicks. After a few minutes, all of them were knocked out.

"Belger sure hired some crappy fighters," said Cody.

That's when they heard an evil laugh coming from behind them. They turned around and see a tall man with an evil grin.

"You took down my men pretty easily, I'm impressed," he said.

"And who are you?" Haggar asked.

"The name's Abigail. And yes, I am a member of Mad Gear."

"Where's Jessica?!" Cody demanded, his eyes narrowed.

Abigail laughed. "I'm not sure where Jessica is, but I'm pretty sure that wherever she is, she is having a very good time with Belger."

Guy immediately turned his head to Cody and Haggar.

"You asshole!!" cried Haggar.

Cody quickly took out a knife. "I'll cut your tongue for that!!" Then, he sprinted over towards Abigail.

Abigail waited until Cody was an arm-length away. He quickly picked him up. Cody was stocked by this and dropped his knife.

"Have a nice flight!" Abigail said and tossed Cody into the air. Cody screamed until he crashed into a bench breaking it. Then, he rolled on to the ground and groaned in pain.

"Cody!" cried Haggar.

Abigail laughed again and he turned his head to Guy. "You know, as a matter of fact, Belger is probably having double the fun......with Rena as well."

As soon as those words escaped Abigail's mouth, it seemed as though a baseball bat smacked Guy hard into his stomach.

'NO!! RENA!!' Guy cried out inside his head. Anger filled his heart and his tightened his fists.

"What have you done to her?!!!" Guy demanded.

"Nothing yet," Abigail replied. "Ever since our Mad Gear crew laid eyes on her a few weeks ago, we knew that we wanted her with us. We could've had her then, but then you came along and saved her......twice. Now that you're on this mission, it was the perfect time to take her."

"So why do you want her to become a member of Mad Gear?" asked Haggar.

Abigail sneered. "No, we don't want her to be an official member of Mad Gear. We want her for our own special pleasure."

Guy clenched his teeth tightly. "You sick bastards! I'll take you all down before any of you touch her!!"

"I'd like to see you try," Abigail said and held up his fists.

Guy leaned forward and then started running towards Abigail in fast speed.

"Guy, no!" Haggar cried out knowing that the Bushin warrior would end up fighting Abigail with anger. He began running after him.

Guy jumped up, his right foot extended out. Abigail immediately grabbed him by his leg and swung him back. Guy flew away from Abigail and crashed into a big tree. He tried his best to ignore the pain as he tried to get up.

Haggar got closer to Abigail. Abigail tried to wrap his arms around him, but Haggar managed to duck under and tackle him down to the ground. The two of them rolled around and tried to throw punches and kicks at each other.

Cody slowly got up and saw the fight between Haggar and Abigail. He got to his feet and ran towards then.

Haggar managed to tackle Abigail and held him down. "Where's Belger's hideout?"

Abigail turned around and spitted blood at Haggar's face. "I don't know."

"You better tell me or I'll.........."

That's when Cody came by and swung his arms. A cyclone formed knocking Haggar to the ground and sending Abigail into the air.

Cody jumped in the air and grabbed Abigail. "This is for almost giving me a concussion!" Cody cried. He got on top of Abigail and put his foot on his stomach. As they fell back towards the Earth, Cody extended the foot on Abigail's stomach sending them both flying down in high speed. As soon as they landed, Abigail cried out in pain as he felt the pain between landing on the pavement and feeling Cody's foot digging into his stomach.

Cody kept his foot there for a few seconds before jumping off. Abigail curled up into the ball and held on to his stomach. Cody brushed himself off as they heard police cars coming closer.

"Let's go," Haggar said getting up. They began running towards the other side of the park with Guy following them. When they were far enough, they stopped running.

Haggar immediately turned to Guy and put a hand on his shoulder. "Don't worry Guy, we'll............"

Guy brushed Haggar's hand off of his shoulder. "I need to clear my mind for a few minutes," he said. He began walking towards the Metro City bay.

When he was out of earshot, Cody walked over to Haggar. "What's wrong with him?"

Haggar turned to him. "Mad Gear has Rena. Abigail told him. Come on Cody, let's rest for a while. He wants some time to himself."

Cody nodded and the two walked over to a nearby bench.

Guy looked down at the bay. He didn't leave Cody and Haggar just to 'clear his mind.' He left them so that they wouldn't see the tears steaming down his face. He didn't bother to wipe them away. He hadn't cried like this in years, probably when a relative died when he was a child. He only shed one tear when he left Rena, but this was the first time in years that he let many tears escape his eyes.

'Don't worry Rena,' he thought. 'I'll find you before those bastards hurt you.'

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