Chapter Sixteen: Sub Zero: Sekret Origin
A badly wounded and nearly unconscious Kuai Liang is approached by an unknown figure who asks him to reflect upon his life and ask himself what it has all meant. As Kuai struggles to rise to his feet, his life flashes before his eyes.
In the past, Kuai took on his fallen brother's colors and codename as the new Sub-Zero, and joined Shao Kahn's tournament in Outworld where he fought Bi-Han's killer, the Shirai Ryu Wraith Scorpion. Sub-Zero defeated Scorpion, and Shao Kahn ordered him finished. Kuai made it clear he would not kill for the warlord but for his brother, and prepared his final blow when the cyberized Lin Kuei arrived and captured Kuai.
Kuai lost consciousness, and eventually awoke in a cyborg body, confused and horrified, only to be swiftly killed by Sindel. When Kuai next awoke, he was in the Netherrealm, in the presence of the dark sorcerer Quan Chi. Quan Chi was intrigued by the fact that despite his body being a cyborg, Kuai still retained a soul.
Quan Chi had Sub-Zero's former allies Smoke and Jax hold him in place as he explained to the confused cryomancer that all of their souls belonged to the Netherrealm now and states that only a resilient soul could survive the cyber initiative and that he will need resilient souls for the coming war. Sub-Zero declares he will not be his slave but Quan Chi uses his magic to bind him, calling Kuai his puppet. Kuai screams in agony as Quan Chi 'tests' his resilience before claiming his cyborg form is too clumsy and he has no trust in technology.
Quan Chi then destroys Kuai's cyborg form and uses his magic to regrow what little of Kuai's human body was left, restoring his body but as one of his revenant servants. Sub-Zero would serve Quan Chi throughout the Netherrealm War, but in the final battle in the sorcerer's fortress, Sub-Zero was ordered by Scorpion to protect Quan Chi as Sonya Blade began attacking him. Before Sub-Zero could reach his master, Raiden finished his spell and Kuai was knocked unconscious again.
Kuai awoke in another location, believing himself to be in another hell and begged for death. When a voice tried to calm him down, Kuai lashed out with a blast of ice, which was deflected by his rescuer, Raiden, who calmed Kuai down by telling him he was safe in the Sky Temple. Kuai was confused by being alive again and Raiden explained his life was restored when a surge of the thunder god's power combined with Quan Chi's.
Kuai is remorseful over the crimes he committed under Quan Chi's control and after asking how he can live with that, Raiden tells him to make amends and that Earthrealm needs Sub-Zero's help.
In the present, Kuai's injuries are bandaged and he finishes his tale by telling his rescuer that he embarked on a quest to retrieve Raiden's lost Kamidogu, and his rescuer, revealed to be Bo' Rai Cho, realizes the dagger's power possessed Kuai. Kuai Liang mourns that he will never be free and is doomed to kneel before sorcerers and demigods, but Bo' Rai Cho asks him if he hasn't figured out what all these events mean and why he is there.
Helping Sub-Zero up and beginning a long trek away, Bo' Rai Cho laughs off his desires for hara-kiri and tells him that Raiden owes him a favor, much to Kuai's confusion.
In the Sky Temple, an irate Scorpion makes it clear he did not spare Sub-Zero as a favor for Raiden and tells the thunder god he is saving lives from Raiden's latest mistake before asking which dagger is next. Raiden tells Scorpion to seek out the Chaosrealm Kamidogu held by monks at the Kang Shaolin Temple while he will retrieve Earthrealm's Kamidogu from its keeper, Jackson Briggs.
On his farm, Jax is chopping firewood when he is approached by Reiko, who delivers the ultimatum of the Kamidogu for the life of Jax's daughter.
Chapter Seventeen: The Oni/Shokan Uprising: Part One
In Outworld, as Special Forces soldiers and Kotal Kahn's warriors scramble to meet the Shokan hordes, Sonya Blade desperately tries to contact Johnny Cage over her headset, but fails to raise him. One of her men shouts a warning and Sonya curses as she sees an Oni Warlord charging with its battle axe swinging. Sonya orders the soldier back as she attacks the Oni Warlord, but her energy blasts only enrage it, and it cuts her soldier in half when he cockily believes it defeated.
Kotal Kahn observes the Shokan and Oni siege from his chamber's window, speaking to his departed father and asking what he would have done. Admitting sparing Goro was a mistake of his pride that only spurred his father Gorbak to hunt him, Kotal observes his Kamidogu as he ponders a riddle: How do you stop an unstoppable army?
Johnny Cage searches for survivors among the rubble of Z'unkahrah's protective wall, but only finds dead bodies. Musing that Sonya will blame him for their deaths, he tries to contact his ex-wife, but his radio only produces static. Making his way on foot, Johnny is soon confronted by the Shokan hordes led by Gorbak himself.
D'Vorah and Ferra and Torr make their way into Kotal Kahn's chambers, looking for the emperor, but are confused when they see he is nowhere to be found, despite his dagger remaining on its pedestal.
Back in the burning streets of Z'unkahrah, Sonya tries to calm one of her panicking soldiers down, who begins firing at the attacking Oni Warlord, only to get his head split open by its axe, much to Sonya's horror. Sonya dodges the beast's axe, but is punched across the area, landing under a collapsed scaffolding. As the Oni Warlord advances and laughs, Sonya throws another energy blast at its head, which seemingly fells the beast, much to her surprise.
The true slayer of the beast is Kotal Kahn, who greets Sonya and helps her up, declaring they have both received the sanguine baptism. Sonya mourns her fallen soldiers, Johnny as well, and as Kotal Kahn vows to help her find her daughter, both suddenly hear Johnny screaming at them to run and turn to see the action star being chased by the Shokan horde, heading right for them.
Chapter Eighteen: The Oni/Shokan Uprising: Part Two
Hours of battle later, the Shokan cheer for their king as Gorbak duels with Kotal Kahn while Johnny and Sonya battle the hordes behind him. Gorbak scores first blood on Kotal, expressing his disappointment, having expected to battle the Blood God incarnate after the spectacle he made of his son, and calls Kotal an inexperienced ruler with his empire slipping through his fingers. Kotal tries to tell Gorbak that Goro was used as a pawn by Reiko and that they have always been allies, but Gorbak clarifies they were only allies as lord and vassal and never as kings before kicking Kotal down, declaring the era of Kahns will end today and the reign of the Shokan will begin.
D'Vorah battles with the Shokan and is saved from a surprise attack by a cloaked Reptile. Reptile says they must regroup with Ferra and Torr when the very duo are thrown across the battlegrounds by a monstrous two headed Oni Warlord.
Gorbak prepares to seize victory over Kotal Kahn, pinning him against a wall with his swords when Kotal suddenly asks him the riddle he had been pondering earlier: How do you stop an unstoppable army? Gorbak sneers he will die before solving it when Kotal suddenly grabs him by the face and gives his answer: The same way as dispatching the undead, destroy the head. With that, Kotal Kahn crushes King Gorbak's head between his hands, killing the Shokan king.
Kotal calls to the Shokan warriors and throws their king's body before them. The fighting stops and the Shokan collect Gorbak's body before retreating. D'Vorah carries a wounded Reptile over to their emperor, saying he nearly sacrificed himself again to win. Kotal tells her he is prepared to sacrifice even more to win the coming battle tomorrow, and D'Vorah understands he means to use more Blood Magik. Though Kotal knows this may kill him, he sees no other choice as victory must be achieved through force and tells D'Vorah to take Reptile to the infirmary along with the rest of the wounded.
Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade observe Kotal talking with his warriors, with Johnny believing this to be the emperor's last stand and Sonya eager to find their daughter and get out of Outworld as soon as possible. Johnny agrees before collapsing from his injuries. Sonya tends to his wound and Johnny apologizes for Cassie's behavior, and the two share a tender moment.
Kotal observes the Earthrealmers and orders D'Vorah to accompany them to the Shang Tsung's Island to honor his promise and orders a reluctant D'Vorah to kill Reiko while he protects the capitol tomorrow.
In Kuatan, the Shokan cremate their fallen king and Kintaro informs Goro that his injuries disqualify him from claiming the throne and tells him that a battle for the crown will be held after the war with Z'unkahrah concludes. Goro decides to leave, vowing vengeance on the traitorous Shokan and promises no mercy.
In Z'unkahrah, an enraged Kotal Kahn throttles D'Vorah when he discovers his Kamidogu is missing, believing she stole it. When D'Vorah professes her innocence, Kotal Kahn releases her and after D'Vorah tries to offer to help him find it, he explains he can feel his connection to its power is fading and that the capitol is doomed.
On Shang Tsung's Island, Havik is given Kotal Kahn's Kamidogu from Skarlet, and Havik expresses impression for her boldness while complimenting Reiko for recruiting her. When Skarlet requests to learn Blood Magik from the cleric of chaos, Havik promises he will teach her before showing her Cassie Cage in her cell, explaining that she is descended from an ancient warrior clan and has power inside her ripe for the taking, but in order to extract it, Cassie must be forced to fight.
In Order of Appearance:
- Sub-Zero (Flashback and Main Story)
- Bo' Rai Cho (First Appearance)
- Shao Kahn (Flashback Only)
- Scorpion (Flashback and Main Story)
- Lin Kuei (Flashback Only)
- Sindel (First Appearance, Flashback Only)
- Quan Chi (Flashback Only)
- Smoke (First Appearance, Flashback Only)
- Jax Briggs (Flashback and Main Story)
- Special Forces (Flashback and Main Story)
- Sonya Blade (Flashback and Main Story)
- Raiden (Flashback and Main Story)
- Takeda Takahashi
- Oni Warlord
- Kotal Kahn
- King Gorbak (Death)
- Johnny Cage
- Ferra & Torr
- Skarlet (First Appearance)
- Cassie Cage
- As a Revenant in the flashback, Sub-Zero is depicted in his primary MKX costume instead of his actual Revenant design.
- Sub-Zero is also seen using his "Have An Ice Day" Fatality on one of the Special Forces soldiers.