Chapter 1: Ari? Who's That?

     Joe stood in the cemetery looking at a small memorial stone. "Here I am again Ari," he thought as he placed a single rose on the stone. "A lot's been going on. The only reason I'm here now is because it's your birthday."


     Mai and Andy stood waiting for Joe. Mai sighed slightly as she pushed her red hair away from her face. "Every year he comes out here. Who is he seeing?" she asked Andy.
     "His sister I guess. He never really told me," Andy answered lowly. "I guess it's something he doesn't like to talk about. So, I doubt you should ask him, okay Mai?"
     "And I've been looking after Terry. I told you about him. I really think you would like him, and Andy and Mai. But Ari, I have to get going. There's a tournament that begins the day after tomorrow in Japan, and we all are competing in it. I only wish that you could be here. Well, I have to go. Bye Ari."



     The next day, Joe sat eating breakfast in the hotel restaurant. He smirked when he saw Mai sit across from him. "Morning Mai," he said cheerfully.
     Mai smiled sweetly as she draped her napkin across her lap. "Morning Joe. Can I ask you something?" she asked.
     A waiter came over to Mai and eagerly took her order.
     "Only Mai can make men do that," he thought with a sigh. As the waiter walked away, Joe looked at Mai. "What do you want to know?" he asked.
     "Well, I asked Andy who you were visiting yesterday morning, and he didn't know for sure..."
     "And you'd like to know?" Joe asked as he sat his fork down. He saw Mai nod as he wiped his mouth with his napkin. "When I was little, about ten years old, my old man did something really dumb. He threw a fight trying to protect me and my sister. The guys who were threatening him, kidnaped my little sister, and we never saw her again... until I was eighteen."
     "You were in Japan, training with Andy," Mai whispered.
     "Yeah. I was shopping one day, and I saw someone who could have been her twin. I went to talk to her, and found out that she was my little sister. One night I was going to pick her up, and when I got there, the whole place was wrecked and blood was everywhere."
     "So you bought the memorial stone for her."
     "After I couldn't find her for a year."
     Mai looked at Joe in silence. After about a minute, the waiter brought Mai's breakfast over to her. She took a deep breath as she noticed Joe's bothered outlook. "Don't worry about a thing Joe. If she's out there, we'll find her." Mai saw Joe smirk slightly. "I bet we'll find her, and you'll be the over-bearing big brother that I know you can be."
     Joe chuckled. "Thanks a lot Mai."
     "You're welcome," she chimed as she ate.



     Terry walked along in a park thinking. He stopped walking when he saw a young woman leaning on the rail of the bridge watching a group of ducks. She was around 5'8", with long dark brown hair. Terry also saw that her dark skin was a strange opposite to the oriental clothing she was wearing. Terry looked at her for a few moments. "Marie?" he thought to himself as he walked to the bridge. He walked over to her and tapped her shoulder. "Marie?" he asked.
     The young woman turned and knocked his hand away from her. "That is not my name," she said quickly.
     Terry backed away from her with wide eyes. "I'm sorry.... You look a lot like an old friend of mine. I'm sorry," he said. Terry's eyes widened slightly as he looked her over. "I'm Terry," he said holding out his hand.
     "I'm Ariana," she said shaking his hand. She looked out along the lake and saw a family of ducks. "What brings you out here, Terry? Besides the fact that I look like an old friend."
     "I was just thinking. I have to go and sign up for the King Of Fighters Tournament in a little while."
     "So, you were just out here clearing your head. Not everyone can handle that tournament."
     "I've been there. Me, Andy, Mai and Joe."
     "Yeah, a good friend of mine. Joe Higashi."
     The alarm on Ariana's watch went off. She looked at her wrist and sighed. "I have to go. Good luck in the tournament Bogard-san. It was nice meeting you."
     As she quickly walked off, Terry leaned against the railing. "She was nice...." he thought. His blue eyes then widened. "How'd she know my last name?"