Selig's New Ally

Because Street Fighter was awesome.

Bud Selig remained in his office long after regular business hours.  The sun's retreating rays fell in stripes across his face, one eye in light and one in shadow.  Absent-mindedly he drummed the fingers of his left hand over an open book, not looking at the pages.  His eyes were focused somewhere in the distance; somewhere not in his line of vision.  Despite his most ruthless and non-committal rule of America's national past-time, he somehow still hadn't been able to gain the baseball-viewing public's love and admiration.  And if he didn't have that, how was he supposed to take over the world?

Struggling after the strike of 1994 and desperate to re-gain viewership, Selig had allowed baseball and it's unaware public the indulgence they desired:  He had looked the other way as home run totals skyrocketed, players' head sizes increased and the sport's popularity rebounded.  As the century turned and the baseball public's interest turned from spectacle to truth, Selig had given baseball and it's demanding public the scapegoats they asked for:  Jose Canseco, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.  Now the baseball and its viewing public wanted justice instead of truthiness.  All I do is give, thought Selig.

At that moment, his door burst inward in a thousand splinters and where it used to be stood a massive silhouette.  Light from the setting sun exploded around the new shadow like an eclipse, and a voice boomed:  "ARE YOU BUD SELIG?"

The voice was deep and vibrated through Selig's bones and he shuddered; the essence of the voice reverberated through his soul.  "Y-Y-Yes," he managed to stammer.  Slowly, the silhouette advanced and the facade of black revealed its colors.

He was broad with a square jaw and a red suit, military cut.  Something resembling massive shoulder pads were white, and a black leather belt trimmed the waist.  "I come for anabolic steroids," said the voice, marginally less demanding than his questions just moments earlier.  Selig found the strength to sit up straight.

"Steroids are bad, m'kay" he said.

"Does this man play baseball?" asked the stranger, holding out a baseball card.  It was Barry Bonds.

"Yes," replied Selig.

"Are you not the commissioner of baseball?"

"I am the commissioner of baseball."

"If this man uses steroids and you are the commissioner of baseball, you must condone their use and therefore you must have the steroids."

Something resembling a small cough escaped the commissioner's parted lips.  Feeling trapped, he wasn't sure how to respond and so he said nothing.  After a few moments the large man spoke again.

"I AM BISON," he boomed.

"Who?" croaked Selig, realizing for the first time that the man had no irises and no pupils.  His eyes were diamond white.

"My attempts at harnessing Psycho Power have been thwarted."

"What?"

"I require a new nucleus through which I can channel my totally understandable and unquenchable thirst for power and world domination."

Selig recognized the words 'power' and 'world domination', but still managed to guess what Bison was in search of.  "So...steroids?"

Bison nodded gravely.  "I cannot allow the Shun Goku Satsu maneuver to destroy me again.  Curse you, Akuma!"

Selig was confounded.  In front of him sat a giant of a man in what could have been red pajamas, searching for the same thing he lusted for himself:  power.  I have to know more, he thought.  "What's...Psycho Power?"

Bison grabbed his stomach and laughed, his head thrown back.  "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  When channelled properly, Phsycho Power can..."  Suddenly he stopped.  "Sorry," he said quietly as Selig realized a phone was ringing, "that's my cell.  I have to take this."  He took his red cell phone out of his breast pocket, looked at the caller ID, rolled his eyes and opened the phone.  "Hi mum," he drolled, suddenly in an english accent.  "No, I called in ill today....because, I had to take care of some stuff....what?....no mum, I'm not planning to extract my revenge on Ryu....no mum, not Akuma either....or Sagat or Guile or Chun-Li, okay mum?  Geez....NO, now I have to go, I'm busy....yes, I can pick up milk on the way home....ok....ok....ok, OK, BYE."

For a few moments, the two men just stared at each other.  Bison's intimidating presence had evaporated.  "That was my mum," he said, not losing the english accent.

"Uh-huh," said Selig.  This was suddenly very hard to believe and even if this guy was serious, Selig knew he now had the upper hand.  "Where did you say you were from?"

"Could be Thialand.  I think Russia.  Probably Russia."

"Probably?"

"Yeah my history is kind of all over the place."

"Because you sound British."

"Eh."

"And what do you want to gain by using steroids?"

"Power."

"What will you do with...power?"

"Take over the world and rule with an iron fist."  It nearly sounded more like a question than a statement of purpose.

"Why do you want to take over the world?"  Selig continued to probe.

"Take over the world and..."

"Take over the world and what?"

"And rule with an iron fist?"

"Yes."

"Yes what?"

"Yes, why do you want to take over the world and rule with an iron fist?"  Selig was realizing this mammoth specimen of a fighter wasn't who he looked to be at first appearance, pupils and irises or no.

"Dunno really, sort of got thrust into doing it, family business I suppose.  You know how it is."

"So why do you think I can help you?"

For the first time since the phone call, Bison looked Selig square in the eyes.  "You can get me the steroids."

Selig leaned forward, elbows on his desk, and intertwined his fingers.  "What's in it for me?" he sneered.

Bison smiled and Selig was nearly frightened again.  It was a threatening smile, even with the bill of Bison's red cap covering his eyes.  "For me, I am all but granted my dream of world domination.  For you," he chuckled deep in his chest and once again the commissioner of baseball found himself inching away from the intruder without remembering why, "you will be granted the power of the Psycho Punch."

Selig was tempted.  If he could perform the Psycho Punch, he wouldn't have to use Jason Giambi's love of baseball against him to make him speak or be suspended, he could just Psycho Punch Jason Giambi instead.  When George Steinbrenner demanded a luncheon?  Psycho Punch.  When Bob Costas displayed a greater knowledge and love of baseball than himself?  Psycho Punch for Bob Costas.  When Selig wanted another tie ballgame, if some smart-alec reporter thought Selig wasn't doing enough to uproot illegal substances, should the fans of Minnesota rise up against him if he should decide to contract the Twins just for the hell of it...Psycho Punch, Psycho Punch, Psycho Punch.

"Curse you, Bob Costas, professional sports personality who writes books," Selig found himself saying.  Bison smiled again.  It was not a kind smile.  Kittens would jump into microwaves to escape Bison's smile.

"Do we have a deal, Mr. Selig?"

Bud Selig nodded and moved his hand to accept Bison's.

"SHORYUKEN!"

Selig barely registered the word, much less who said it, as his office was lit with a flash of energy.  Bison was gone, the room was filled with light and suddenly Selig was on his back on the floor, his desk now obliviated.  His consciousness fleeting and his vision blurred, he saw only a white gi and had one thought:  My plans never work out...

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