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Knight Moves VI



August 26, 2035
Timex City District
MegaTokyo, Japan
1600 hrs.

	Miriam Yoshida laughed aloud as he studied the last of the data on his computer
and punched in some last minute adjustments.  "Ah, yes, this will be most interesting. 
Nadia, inform your associates that we have a plan."
	The lavender haired woman tilted her head to one side as she studied the
schematics being displayed on Yoshida's console.  "So, this is Richard Chase?  What is he,
some sort of new boomer?  I am not familiar with this form of technology."
	There was a cruel chuckle from the shadows.  "That is because this technology
surpasses even your kind, construct."
	Both Nadia and Yoshida looked up to see Erika and her team standing there. 
Nadia cursed silently, angry that her internal sensors didn't register the blond woman's
presence.  What angered her more, however, was how this bitch referred to her as an inferior.  But
she maintained her calm and returned Erika's icy gaze with one of her own.  "Well then, if
you think you can do better, then why don't you go after him?  After all, he is only one and
you are four."
	For a brief moment, Nadia saw a flicker of anger in Erika's eyes.  Her comment
had hit a nerve, perhaps it was time to rub some salt into the wound.  "Ah, I see...he
defeated you once before, didn't he.  Well, don't worry, blondie, this construct and her two
companions will do your dirty work for you."
	There was hardly any time to track the other woman's movement.  Before Nadia
could even react, she found herself staring at a drawn katana, its point barely touching her
neck.  Though Erika's speed had startled her and caught her off guard, Nadia kept her
expression calm.
	Erika studied the boomer with cold calculating eyes.  "Be very careful, construct. 
You do not want to anger me."
	At this point, Yoshida stepped between them, batting the katana aside.  "Now
ladies, is this any way to act?  We're all on the same side here.  Nadia, the reason Erika
and her crew cannot get involved is because any overt attempt against our targets will
initiate an all out war and cement the newly formed partnership between Genom and
	He paused for a moment, studying both women.  He had no doubt that
Erika would probably tear his boomer to shreds, but it would have been fun to watch the
two females fight it out.  "Erika," he continued, "if you destroy Nadia, I am out one
operative and I don't have any other boomers in storage to replace her."
	Erika took a step back and bowed her head slightly.  When she spoke, Yoshida
couldn't help but smile at the veiled hostility in her words.  "You are right, Yoshida, you
have my apologies.  Proceed with your operation."
	Yoshida handed a small data pad to Nadia.  "Mr. Chase's unique physiology makes
him a perfect killing machine, but I'm willing to wager that even he has limits.  You three
simply have to hit him hard enough...did you say that he will be attending his employer's
party at the Saint Regis?"
	"Good," Yoshida chuckled as a particularly nasty thought crossed his mind. 
"While Klaus and Marcus tear Mr. Chase apart, I want you to gut Jason Chandler and
make sure everyone sees it."
	"It's a very simple job, construct," Erika said as she returned her katana to its
scabbard.  "You do what your kind does best, assassination and wanton destruction."
	Nadia stepped up to her and stared her straight in the eye.  "When this assignment
is over, I'm going to enjoy ripping that smirk off your face."
	Erika shrugged and look over at Yoshida.  "Miriam, tell your toy to back off or
she'll find pieces of herself being sold on the black market within the hour."
	"Nadia," Yoshida said calmy, the way one would soothe an angry pet.  "You have your assignment, so get to it."
	After a second, Nadia nodded to her master and walked off.  When she left the
room, Erika walked over to where Yoshida stood.  "You made a mistake, Yoshida, giving
your constructs fully boosted AIs."
	The wild-haired scientist shook his head and laughed.  "Ah, that has always been a
problem with automatons, Erika,  they were always limited in their way of thinking.  They
can accomplish missions that fall within a certain set of parameters, but if the target does
something that does not register with those parameters, the boomer is slow to react. 
Granted, it's only a split second of hesitation, but hesitation has this nasty habit of
screwing things up.  By giving Nadia and her bretheren fully functional AIs, they are able
to adapt to the situation, even be creative in their efforts."
	"And what happens if they decide to rebel against you?"
	Yoshida shook his head.  "That won't happen.  You see, I may be an insane genius,
but I'm not stupid.  The moment they turn on me, their AI will trigger a virus that will fry
their CPU...and the best part is, it takes about a minute for the virus to kill the boomer. 
Needless to say, it is very painful...having your mind spontaneously combust on you...very
painful indeed."
	Erika couldn't suppress the smile on her face.  "You are a truly demented
individual, Miriam Yoshida."
	Yoshida performed a mock bow.  "Thank you.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have
more chaos to sow among the denizens of MegaTokyo."
	Erika watched the man walk off.  When she was certain he was out of earshot, she
motioned one of her subordinates over.  "When this mission is over, kill him and see that
this facility is destroyed.  I want no evidence linking us to him."
	She paused for a moment, contemplating something.
	"It's too bad, really, I actually liked his way of thinking."

Saint Regis Hotel
Tinsel City District
Megatokyo, Japan
2000 hrs.

	From the balcony overlooking the ballroom, Jason Chandler watched as various
couples danced to the music.  A brief scan of the room told him that most were enjoying
themselves, which was good.  After all, when one throws a party, his guests should be
enjoying it.  It was also a cool way for him to read surface thoughts of his guests.  The
guests were corporate employees of Genom and Metagen's Japan office.  As usual, he
found the standard three or four workers that were trying their best to suck up to him.  He
made a mental note to fire one of them and have two others transferred to some remote
company holding.
	He sighed as he took a sip of wine from his glass and thought about the day's
events.  Things went rather well...although the meeting with Brian didn't go exactly as he
planned.  He suspected that his mentor would try to kill him, but that didn't bother him. 
He was more than able to deal with the boomer, but it did bother him that he couldn't get
a clear reading of Brian's thoughts.  All he could pick up was something about Sylia
Stingray...which made him wonder what Brian was up to.
	His gaze focused on one couple in particular.  As he watched Richard and his date
sway gently to the music, Jason couldn't help but smile. Chase didn't look too happy
wearing a suit, but it was fun to watch him struggle with it.  It was almost worth letting
him abuse the company account by buying some expensive clothing for his date.
	Then again, seeing how the Yamazaki woman wore her present, Jason wasn't too
displeased.  She was attractive, intelligent, and had a warm personality.  She was good for
Richard, Jason decided, which made him feel slightly guilty about what was about to
happen.  Sooner or later, he would learn the truth about Linna Yamazaki.
	"Ah, what a tangled web we weave ineed," he chuckled.  A cold chill and the
sound of someone clearing their throat interrupted Jason's thoughts.  He turned around
and smiled at  his visitor.  "Hello, Sylia, it was nice of you to come."

	Sylia Stingray studied Chandler for a moment before speaking.  "Mr. Chandler."
	Chandler laughed as he walked over to a small wet bar.  "Aw, c'mon Sylia, you
really need to lighten up.  Would you like a drink?  I hear the '07 is a good year."
	Sylia shook her head.  "I'm only here because  you said you wanted to talk to me."
	The man sighed as he poured himself some more wine.  "Ah, to business then.  Tell
me something, Stingray, does the air always drop ten degrees when you enter a room?"
	"Only when dealing with potential enemies," Sylia replied.  "I don't appreciate
being threatened."
	"Ah, yes...that," Chandler nodded and placed the glass back on the bar.  "I assure
you Sylia, I am not your enemy.  Are you sure I can't offer you anything?"
	Sylia shook her head again.
	He shrugged and leaned against the balcony rail.  "I'll be honest with you Syilia,
my company will be working on a joint venture with Genom.  In fact, it is a project that
you are quite familiar with.  Quincy has agreed to re-activate his Monster project."
	Sylia flinched as she remembered her encounter with Genom's "Monster".  The
creature had gotten a hold of her and would have ripped her in half if Priss and the others
hadn't intervened.  The thing was finally destroyed when Reika Chang had used her own
mecha's self-destruct mecanism to take the boomer out.
	"Why are you telling me this?" she asked.
	"I thought you might want to know.  I'll even give you the locations of where it
will be developed and tested.  You can go ahead and wage your little war with Genom, all
I ask is that you stay away from those particular locations."
	Sylia wasn't sure what angered her more, Chandler's smug attitude towards her
crusade or his audacity to actually ask her to back off.  Yet...there was something about
him that made her if he was holding something back.
	"If you don't mind my asking, Mr. Chandler.  What are you not telling me?"
	Chandler ignored her and looked down at the dance floor where Chase and Linna
were enjoying the evening.  "Hmmm, they make a nice couple, don't they?  Just look at
them, not a care in the world right now.  Linna is enjoying herself, despite the fact that you
want her to get close to Richard just to get to me.  And Richard...well,  let's just say this is
kind of good therapy for him."
	"Does he know?"
	"About Linna being part of your little band of soldiers, no."
	That answer surprised her.  "Why?"
	"Because, Sylia, he doesn't need to know.  Besides," he said, gesturing at the
dance floor, "look at them...two souls, both of them damaged goods, who have actually
found some sort of happiness to their rather gloomy existence.  Richard, who is only
beginning to recover from watching his fiance being blown to smithereens and Linna..."
	When Chandler paused, Sylia began to feel uneasy...exactly what did Chandler
	A cruel smile formed on the man's lips as he continued to speak.  "And
Linna...well, she is just starting to reclaim a lost dream, a dream that was rightfully hers
until it got shattered."
	He looked back at Sylia. The look in his eyes told Slyia everything...he knew,
damn him, the bastard knew.
	"You consider people like me to be slime, Sylia.  That's understandable.  I will
admit that, like Genom, I occasionally use unorthodox and illegal means to acquire my
goal.  However, I don't take it upon myself to ruin a person's life and make them a pawn
to pursue a personal vendetta."
	Anger surged through her.  Her first instict was to slap that smug grin off his face,
but she was able to control her rage.
	Chandler appeared shocked.  "Oh, I'm sorry, did I hit a nerve?"
	"You are treading on very dangerous ground, Mr. Chandler."
	"Really?"  Chandler asked.  He then leaned forward to whisper in her ear.  "That's
funny, the same can be said about you."
	"If you have a point, you better get to it."
	"For the past few years you've been waging a private war with Genom.  You've
served as a break on them, keeping them from getting a little too out of control."
	Chandler’s eyes narrowed.  "But, I'm afraid you know nothing of what you're truly
up against.  While you were busy playing 'soldier-girl' in Mega-Tokyo, things have been
set in motion that you aren't even aware of.  Believe it or not, Sylia, there is a whole world
outside of MegaTokyo and Genom.  Sure, Genom used to be a major player, but in the last
five years, Genom's powerbase has taken a slight nosedive."
	He paused for a moment, letting his words sink in before he continued.  "There are
other corporate concerns, other people, that have risen to power.  Seeing Genom's
weakened condition, they know there's an opportunity to take the giant down.  And
believe it or not, there is a group out there more than capable of accomplishing it."
	"Like your corporation?"  Sylia asked.
	Chandler shook his head and laughed.  "Sylia, if I wanted to take Genom, believe
me, I would have done it by now.  But that's not my goal.  Whether you realize it or not,
there is a war coming, and I need Genom in my corner.  Of course, Quincy will probably
try to undermine me, but I can deal with that.  The way I see it, Genom's continuing
existence ensures stability.  I know you don't think too highly of Quincy and Genom, but
there are worse threats waiting to take over."
	"And I suppose out of some twisted sense of nobility, you believe that you are the
only person who can stop that convenient."
	Chandler sighed again and shrugged.  "Believe what you want, Sylia, but the fact
of the matter is that we have very little time to prepare for the coming storm.  And to be
brutally honest, I don't think you're ready for it.”
	“Oh really?  Then maybe you should enlighten me.”
	Jason Chandler fixed her with an enigmatic smile.  “As you wish.”
	Sylia suddenly gasped in shock as her mind was assualted by a barrage of
images...images of things that somehow seemed familiar and yet were unknown to her. 
She had read about the Pacific-Rim corporate conflict in the newsvids, but now she was
seeing firsthand what had happened.  Buildings burning, firefights between rival corporate
armies in the streets...the entire city was on fire, and she was experiencing it."
	Then it ended as abruptly as it started.
	“What the hell was that?” she managed to say after taking a couple seconds to
regain her composure.
	Chandler smiled.  “That...merely a parlor trick, but I can tell you that what you
saw was very real.  You read about it in the newsvids a couple years ago.  Seattle had
literally become a warzone and it wasn’t until an agreement was hammered out, that the
shooting stopped.”
	Sylia looked up at him.  “But the war never ended, did it?”
	“No, the Consortium still exists and Ackerman still poses a threat.  He nearly took
Seattle, but I stopped him.  So for now, he’s content with extending his power
elsewhere...then he’ll come after me.  You’re right Sylia, maybe I’m doing this for self
preservation, but if Genom topples, Ackerman is sure to get a hold of whatever assets they
may have.  And if he manages to get a foothold here in will be worse than
	“And where do I fit in?  Why are you even telling me this?”
	He stopped for a moment and contemplated her question.  “Actually, now that you
mention it...I have no idea.  Maybe it’s because I felt that you should know what’s going
on before all hell breaks loose and give you chance to prepare for it.  Or maybe...maybe
it’s because our mutual friend, Brian, is involved.”
	Sylia felt her blood suddenly go cold.  “What did you say?”
	“You heard me.  Brian...Mr. Mason...Largo...the man who helped made me
become what I am...and in a sense, he made you what you are.”
	“I thought-”
	Chandler cut her off.  “You thought what?  That he was dead?  Newsflash,
Sylia...the man always had a back-up plan.  You slit his throat, he died...he came back. 
Priss broke his arm, you incinerated him with an orbital strike, and someone shot his
burning head full of holes before he took a header off Genom tower...and he came back. 
Then you sliced him to pieces and prevented him from turning the city into radio-active
slag...bravo...but he came back.  Now he’s pitting us against eachother in
some sick and twisted game.  But for some reason, he’s fixating on you.  He’s got
something special planned, but I can’t tell what it is.  But one thing's for’s not
going to be pleasant.”
Linna couldn't believe this. Here she was, at some corporate party with a stranger she just met. Except, he didn't feel like a stranger. Sure, he had a questionable job, but he seemed so...down to earth. She wasn't too sure about going to this party, but she relented after Chase assured her that nothing would happen. Then again, Sylia was also invited, and Linna couldn't help but wonder what was really going on. But it had been an interesting day, Chase, in an attempt to get even with his boss, decided to abuse the company account and took her shopping. However, the highlight of the day, came later in the evening when she saw him in a suit and tie. The poor guy looked as if he was attending his own funeral. As they made their way across the dancefloor, Linna glanced up at the balcony and caught sight of Sylia in conversation with Jason Chandler. "Chase?" "Yeah?" She motioned up at the balcony. "What do you think they're talking about?" "Knowing Jason, he's probably talking business. Funny thing is, I didn't think your friend was into the corporate scene. But if Jason's talking to her, it's probably business related." "So tell me, does attending this party count as business?" Chase shrugged. "Yeah, for Jason, it's always about business." "But what about you?" she asked. "Definite torture." "Let me guess, you would rather be off contemplating a heist of some sort?" He laughed and shook his head. "Actually, I was planning on staying in my hotel room and watching television." "That doesn't sound exciting." "Yeah, but if you want to know the truth, I didn't even want to come to this town." "I take it you changed your mind." He thought about it for a second, then smiled and shook his head. "Nope, the town still sucks." She playfully punched him in the arm. "That wasn't nice." "Hey, I work in corporate security," he laughed. "I'm not supposed to be nice." "But you don't act like corporate security," Linna countered. "Most corporate security heads wear business suits and sport stuck up attitudes." "Hey, enough with the suit, already. If it weren't for the fact that I was ordered to attend, I'd be doing other things." "Like what? Go back to your hotel room and watch TV?" "Yeah...that sounds like a plan. I hear there's a John Woo film festival on a sat-channel somewhere." "You don't have much of a social life, do you?" Chase shook his head again and smiled. "Nope...none whatsoever." Linna laughed. "You are a pathetic liar, Richard Chase." "Really, I thought of myself as a fairly convincing liar." She looked up at him. "You know, I don't get it. I've only known you for twenty-four hours, but you're different than most guys I've gone out with. You seem nice and all...but given what you do for a's just strange." "Linna, I'm going to let you in on a little secret." "What's that?" Chase leaned in close and whispered in her ear. "Believe it or not, corporate thugs are people too." "Is that how you view yourself? As a simple thug?" He grinned. "I never said I was simple." "No, just elusive." Chase pretended to clutch in chest in pain. "Ouch, that hurt." Linna gave him a playful smile. "You deserved that. Besides you still didn't answer my question know, the one about hopes and dreams. What are your dreams, Chase?" He paused for a second as contemplated his answer. "Hmmmmmm, um, okay, what was the question again?" "Aw, c'mon, Chase, I'm sure you don't see yourself living this life forever." He smirked at that comment. "I used to think that too but forever suddenly doesn't seem so impossible anymore." "What, don't tell me you think you're immortal or something." There was another pause, then Linna heard him say, "Almost." That was when she saw it again. Sure, the smile was there, but there was something in his eyes...a sadness. "Chase, do you mind if I ask you personal question?" "It depends, what do you want to know?" "Are you involved with anyone?" "Whoa...getting kind of forward there, aren't we?" "No, I'm just curious. "
Across the street from the Saint Regis Hotel, Klaus and Marcus stood atop the Essex buidling. Marcus was sighting his rifle, fixing the sight on the various people going in and out of the hotel while Klaus assembled the mini-rocket launcher he and Marcus had acquired from a local yakuza lord. The giant looked over at his friend and shook his head. " are wrong, the Star Wars trilogy was probably the worst set of movies ever made." Marcus set his rifle down and gave the hyperboomer a shocked look. "How can you say that? Lucas was genius! His Star Wars saga was the greatest science fiction epic ever made." The other boomer smiled as he locked the last piece of the missile launcher into place. "That was the problem, all fiction, no science. The man was screwed in the mind." "Okay, Mr. Critic, what was the best movie ever made?" Klaus thought about it for a moment before he replied. "Blade Runner." "Get out of here," Marcus snorted. "That was one of the lamest movies made in the entire history of film. The effects were cheezy, and the plot was dull." "Really?" Klaus placed the four round clip into the launcher's side and studied the weapon. "I actually found the movie to be somewhat prophetic for its time." "Yeah...right, like who would believe that the future consists of world-spanning megacorporations and android assassins...." His voice trailed off as a Genom advertisement blimp hovered overhead. Klaus crossed his arms and smiled. "Um...what's that, Marc? Is that your foot I see caught in your mouth?" Marcus glanced at his watch and pulled the cell-phone out of his coat. "Oh, look at the time, better check in with Nadia." "Why yes, I do believe that is a size ten you're chewing on." Marcus ignored his partner and hit the re-dial button. "Nadia, we are in position. Yeah...okay, you got it." Then he turned and smiled at Klaus. "It's showtime." The big man nodded and took a couple steps away from Marcus. He flinched slightly and then his skin ripped away as metallic projections erupted through his flesh. A second later, the transformation was completed. Instead of a large body builder, a nine foot tall demonic looking machine stood in his place. The boomer stooped and picked up the rocket launcher. "Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Lazerarms X-4 rocket launcher, the urban renewal tool of the modern day anarchist." He aimed the launcher at the hotel and pulled the trigger. There was a loud hiss as the missile shot out of the launcher and streaked towards its target. The projectile shattered several windows on the top two floors and continued until it hit something deep within the structure. Three seconds later, and explosion blew out the top floors of the Saint Regis hotel, scattering glass, rock, and metal all over the street. "Damn!" Marcus cried out. "Nice Shot!" Klaus laughed and high-fived Marcus. "Oh yeah, I love this gun!" "You know what to do, right?' "Yeah, yeah, I know. Do the rampaging psycho routine, kill a bunch a cops, and make tracks once you contact me." Marcus picked up his rifle and aimed it at the hotel. "You know what Nadia said, enjoy yourself. Yoshida wants to see a high bodycount." The hyperboomer nodded and patted his friend on the shoulder. "That won't be a problem. Well, see you later, buddy." With a wild cry, Klaus dove off the top of the building. Marcus laughed as his friend executed a double flip before landing feet first on top of a taxi-cab. It wouldn't be long now. Klaus had begun his little rampage and it would only be a matter of minutes before the ADP showed up. He rested the rifle's barrel on the ledge of the building and sighted his rifle, focusing it on the hotel entrance. "This will be easy."
Sometimes, fate chooses to step in at the most awkward moments. The evening had definitely taken an interesting turn. Granted, I didn't want to be there at first, but I was actually enoying the evening. In fact, I was enjoying my time in MegaTokyo. I'd only been here for a couple days and things were happening in the rush. First, the little run-in with the boomer, my little skirmish with Knight Sabers, the visit to ADP headquarters, my chance meeting with Linna...the first three events were not fun, but the last one definitely made up for it. For some strange reason or another, we clicked. She was attractive, intelligent, had a sense of humor...almost too good to be true. Some silent alarms did go off in the back of my head when Jason knew a friend of hers, but he assured me that Linna was on the level. The evening itself was typical for a corporate party...corporate stiffs runing around, sizing eachother up, pretending to be friendly while planning to stab one another in the back. Then there were those who thought tonight would be a way to sleep their way to a promotion. I tried not to be disgusted by the women who tried to hit on me...they were attractive enough, but I felt like their were only scoping me out because I was the number two man in the company. When Linna showed up, it was like a breath of fresh air. She wasn't here to suck up to the boss and had no ulterior motive. To be honest, she was someone I just met on the street by accident and maybe that's what made things different. There was definitely some chemistry between us...damn, she was right...I was falling for her. So when we heard the explosion and the building started to shake, I was pissed. Here I was, actually enjoying the evening and some idiot decided to blow something up. I looked up and saw Jason waving at me. As usual, almost everybody panicked and stormed out of the building. I lost Linna in the crowd and tried to look for her. Linna can take care of herself. Right now, the boss wants to see us. Jason can take care of himself, I thought back. Yeah, but he is paying us to watch out for him. I sighed and headed for the exit, looking for Jason. Once again, my enhanced brain overrode my conscience. Hopefully, Linna wouldn't be too pissed off at me. I managed to make my way into the lobby where I met Jason. "Okay, boss-man, what's up now?" Jason looked at me with an odd expression on his face. He almost seemed to be smiling. "Apparently, someone decided to blow up the top floors of the building." "The top floors? Shit! Most of my gear was up there!" "Yeah, well, I hope you're good at improvising. By the way, where did your date go?" That question struck me as odd. "I lost her in the crowd, she probably made it to the emergency exit." Jason laughed. "Really? I guess tonight's drama is going to be interesting. Perhaps we should make it to the exit as well?" "Duh!" I pulled the Kinatzu out of my jacket and prayed that four clips were going to be enough to deal with whatever was outside. Jason and I started making our way towards the exit when the front doors exploded. A few seconds later, a dark haired woman in a black bodysuit and sporting a headset stepped though the opening carrying an assault rifle. "Down!" I yelled as I pushed Jason to the side and fired three shots at the woman. She returned fire and I dove for behind some furniture. Jason, on the other hand, had managed to make it to an emergency exit. I don't get it, I fired three shots at her, deadcenter and she had no armor on. I peeked around the corner of a table and saw her standing there. One look at her wounds and my fears were confirmed. Instead of blood, I could see torn synthetic flesh and metal. Shit, here we go again. The boomer stared down at her damaged chest and then looked at me. “Nice grouping. My turn.” I kicked the table forward, sending it flying in her direction. Then I opened fire just as she fired at me. She took cover and I managed to dodge most of the bullets flying at me, but I still took two of in the shoulder and another in the chest. I hit the ground hard and winced, but I could already feel a dull warmth in my chest and the pain was already starting to fade. I almost got up, but I suddenly changed my mind at the last second. Stay down, there’s a good chance she might not know what she’s up against. I laid there for a few seconds, eyes closed. I could hear her footsteps as she cautiously approached me. Then she stopped, standing over me, as she spoke into her headset. “Chase is down, but the target has fled to the exit. I’ll finish Chase off before he regenerates...I’ll flush out Chandler.” She then used her foot to roll me over on to my back. “The great Richard certainly failed to live up to your rep.” I opened my eyes and smiled at her as I batted her rifle to the side with one arm and delivered a kick to her midsection, causing her to drop her rifle. “My rep? I was never aware I had one.” I swept her feet out from under her, but she managed to recover and roll out of it. I jumped to my feet and raised my arms just in time to deflect a kick that was aimed at my jaw. I countered by going with blow’s momentum and falling backwards, throwing her over me and into a nearby coffee table. I moved in to finish her off, but jumped away as she took a swipe at me. I laughed at her and shook my head. “Now that was pathe-” I stopped in mid-sentence as I noticed the metallic claws extending from her fingers. Then I felt fire across my chest and looked down to see four deep cuts. “Oh...shit!” Then she charged forward with an inhuman scream.
* * * * *
Inspector Leon McNichol floored the gas pedal, his interceptor leaving tire marks as he roared through downtown MegaTokyo. This incident was just another reminder to him that this week was pretty screwy. According to wintesses, some nut had blown up the top floors of the Saint Regis Hotel. As usual, two troop carriers were dispatched to the area. By the time he reached the area, officers had already sealed off the area, but there were still civillians trapped inside the building turning the situation into a total nightmare. Leon got out of his car and headed over to the mobile command center. Daley was inside, barking out orders and coordinating strike teams. He looked up and nodded at McNichol. "How bad is it?" Leon asked. Daley pointed at a monitor and Leon saw a demonic looking machine standing in the burning remains of what was once a taxi cab. "According to eyewitnesses, this thing came out of nowhere. Two assault choppers are moving in...hold on, we got something." The boomer slowly stepped out of the rubble carrying a missile launcher in one hand. In the other, it carried....a cup of coffee!?! Leon watched in disbelief as the boomer downed the coffee and tossed the cup over its shoulder. Then it looked up at the incoming choppers. Leon couldn't believe it, the thing was laughing. "Cool, skeet shooting." The boomer raised the launcher and fired. The missile impacted dead on with the lead chopper, exploding on impact. The pilot of the second chopper managed to keep control and veered off, only to get nailed by a second missile. "Next!" Leon bolted out of the truck and headed towards an another armored carrier that pulled up. He ran to the back and got inside. It was time to even the odds, he thought. Klaus chuckled as several armored ADP officers opened fire on him. He strolled into the firezone, pausing casually to fire off a couple shots from his head mounted laser. One of the armored officers got too brave and charged forward, gun blazing. Klaus rewarded the officer by firing the last missile at him. A second later, body parts and armored fragments littered the front of the building. "Damn, now that must have hurt." Then a high pitched hum from the left caught his attention. He turned to see what it was, just in time to feel something slam into his chest. He staggered back several feet and fell on his back. An internal scan informed him that he lost half the armor on the torso area. "Okay...what the fuck just hit me?" Metallic footsteps brought him back to the present. He looked up and saw another ADP armor standing there. But instead of the standard K-17 series armor used by the ADP, this was a nastier looking machine. Klaus couldn't believe what his optics were telling him. For a brief moment, he felt fear as he recognized this machine. " A K-12? I thought your budget wouldn't let you have one of those." "Get over it," Leon said as he fired off another round from the K-12's rail gun. The boomer jumped out of the way, landing off to his right. Before Leon could move, the boomer unleashed a shot from its mouth cannon, melting armor plating off his left shoulder. Leon rolled to the side and fired again, tagging the boomer in the arm. The boomer dropped to the ground and rolled into a crouch, clutching its arm. "Damn, that actually hurt. When did K-12's start carrying rail cannons?" Leon fired another shot, but the boomer jumped out of the way, firing a quick burst from it's mouth laser. The boomer's shot scored a hit on Leon's rifle, melting the barrel and rendering the weapon useless. "Let's see how well you do without your toy, hero." Leon raised one of the K-12's arms and several rounds from the arm mounted auto-cannon shredded more armor off the boomer’s chest and arms. The boomer stumbled back then looked down at it's chest before looking back at Leon. "Hey," the machine laughed, "not bad." Then its eyes glowed a deep crimson color. "Now it's my turn." The boomer's chest suddenly opened up to reveal a glowing energy cannon. "Shit!" Leon screamed as he dove out of the way. The beam whizzed by him and hit a troop carrier behind him. The beam melted through the side of the vehicle, catching the carrier's gas tank. There was a loud explosion as the troop carrier leapt several feet into the air before crashing down to the ground. Leon rolled with the impact of the explosion. For a moment, he lost his bearings. He brought the armor back to its feet just in time to see a metallic fist slam into the K-12's faceplate. He staggered backwards a couple steps before falling on his back. In the background, Leon could hear an exultant laugh. This was not good, he decided.
* * * * *
Back inside the Saint Regis lobby, Nadia couldn’t believe what her optical scans of Chase we’re telling her. A couple minutes ago, she had shot him in the shoulder and in a lung...but the data indicated that the those wounds had healed completely. When she engaged him in hand to hand combat, she was able to do more damage, but she could already see some of the cuts already healing up. But what was more frustrating was that Chase would not shut up. “Oh come on, is that the best you got? You’re supposd to be a big bad boomer for crying out loud.” Chase threw her against a brick wall and followed it up with a punch. She rolled out of the way and almost gasped in disbelief as his hand actually went through the wall, shattering brick. She performed a quick scan and noticed that Chase’s metabolism had suddenly accelerated at an unbelievable rate. Not only that, his body was still healing. Okay, she thought, let’s see how you handle being disemboweled. She lunged forward again, ducking a kick that she was certain would have decapitated her and then shoved both arms forward into Chase’s stomach. Chase suddenly gasped and coughed up a mouthful of blood as she pinned him against the wall. He looked up at her in disbelief and said nothing for a few seconds. “That hurt,” he finally said as his head started to slump forward. Nadia actually let out a sigh of relief. According to her scans, Chase would heal from it, but he had suffered severe trauma to the body, which meant his body would have a hard time regenerating. Then his head suddenly snapped back up and a malicious gleam appeared in his eye as he smiled at her. “But I bet this is going to hurt you more.”
* * * * *
Klaus limped slightly as he approached the downed ADP armor. An internal scan informed him that he was operating at forty-eight percent efficiency. He had decided that he made a gross judgement in error concerning the ADP. He had not counted on the ADP to field the K-12 due to the fact they had been cut from the budget because they were so expensive. But apparently, the ADP still used a couple of them...and it actually hurt him. Thankfully however, it was just one unit. If there was more than one, Klaus was certain he would have been dead by now. But he was alive, and right now, the only thing he wanted to do was beat the shit out of the officer who nearly killed him. As he took the last couple steps towards the downed armor, Marcus suddenly broke in on his comlink. “Hey, big guy, we got a problem.” “I’m kind of busy right now, bud.” “I know that, but we just lost contact with Nadia.” Klaus stopped for a moment and tried to raise Nadia on the link. “Yo, bosslady, you on line?” Silence. “Shit...Nadia, where are you?” His answer came as on object came flying through front wall of the Saint Regis hotel and landed next to him. He looked at it and identified it as the upper half of a boomer, a female C-series. Even though half the synth-flesh was ripped off it, he already knew. “Nadia...who the hell...?” He looked at the hole in the Saint Regis wall and saw Richard Chase standing there. He looked cut up pretty bad, but he was still standing. He looked straight at Klaus...and grinned. “What the fuck!?!” Klaus couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He figured that Chase had some cyber-enhancements, but he had never seen anything like this before. This was definitely some sort of advanced nano-tech and according to the scans, Chase’s body was regenerating at an extraordinary rate. Chase started to walk towards him when something hit him in the shoulder. The impact of the bullet spun him around, even as it ripped a hole in his shoulder. Klaus glaced up at where the shot had come from and nodded at Marcus. “Nice shot, buddy.” “Klaus, we got problems.” “No shit.” “More ADP are on the way, grab Nadia and clear out, you’re in no shape to take them.” Klaus was about to ignore his partner’s advice, then reconsidered when he noticed Chase getting up. “Um...Marc?” “I’m on it.” Another shot nailed Chase in the knee, knocking him down to the ground. Then another shot nailed him in the chest. Klaus quickly grabbed Nadia’s remains and kicked his booster jets into high gear and headed for the roof of the Essex building where Marcus was waiting for him. “We heading back to the safehouse?” Marcus fired a couple more shots into Chase, hoping it would put him down long enough for them to escape. Then he noticed people starting to evacuate the building. Two people broke away from the crowd and make their way towards Chase. One of them was the dark haired woman that Chase was with earlier, the other was Jason Chandler. Marcus smiled as he locked the sight onto Jason Chandler’s head. “Well, at least tonight wasn’t a total sighted.” Jason Chandler broke from the crowd when he saw Richard lying face down on the ground. He rushed over to his friend and rolled him over. “ to me.” Then he heard a gasp and looked up to see the Yamazaki woman standing there. He regarded her for a moment and shook his head. “Come now, Miss Yamazaki, surely this is not the first time you’ve seen someone bleeding to death.” “Is he-?” “Dead? Kind of, but he’ll get better.” That response got a weird look from her. “Forget me prop him up.” Marcus couldn’t believe his luck. Things weren’t looking so good at first, but then Mr. Chandler, the primary target himself, walked right out in the open. He lined up the sight and focused squarely on Chandler’s head. “Hey, Marc,” Klaus called, “hurry it up, man. ADP is closing in.” Marcus slowly started to squeeze the trigger. “And it’s as good as-” He suddenly stopped short as he noticed a red dot suddenly appear on Chandler’s head, breaking his concentration...then the dot moved and fixed on the woman standing next to Chandler. “What the hell?”
* * * * *
“Chs...cnuhrme..?” The voice sounded so distant...but the light was slowly starting to register on my eyelids. “Chase? Talk to me.” I recognized the voice right away as Jason’s...then I heard another. “Shouldn’t we be getting him to the hospital?” My eyes suddenly snapped open as I recognized the woman’s voice right away. Linna! Oh God, Linna’s watching this? Then Jason spoke again. “Chase...say something.” “Ow...” I managed to say. Then I looked over at Linna. She looked a little surprised at what she was seeing, but at least she hadn’t fainted right off. “I guess I wasn’t entirely truthful about myself, was I?” She was about to say something, but she never got the chance. I didn’t hear the shot, but I saw her suddenly stiffen and she twisted as she fell to the side. Then I saw the hole in the middle of her back. “No!” I screamed...except it came out more like a loud moan. I glanced up at the building across the way from where the shot come from and I saw a man up there with a rifle. At first there was a rush of rage and anger...then the nanos kicked in and I lost consciousness as the programming took over.
* * * * *
Marcus watched in disbelief as he saw the dark haired woman go down. Then he saw Richard Chase looking at him...and then get up and charge the building! “Shit!” Marcus yelled. He dropped the rifle and scrambled over to where Klaus was standing. “Dude, get us fucking airborne!” “Huh? what’s wrong?” “Just do it!” Klaus didn’t need to be told twice. He grabbed Marcus and began running towards the other edge of the building. When he reached the edge of the building, he jumped and kicked in his thrusters, hoping they weren’t malfunctioning too badly. They weren’t enough to keep him in flight, but it was enough to carry him and his passengers to the other building. “Shit,” Marcus said, “why are we stopping?” “Sorry, man, my thrusters aren’t fully on line. I need some time for them repair. Otherwise, we’re going to be limping from one building to another. What happened over there?” “It was a fucking set up!” “What?” “First off, whatever info they fed us about Chase was a bunch of bullshit! I nailed that bastard with enough AP rounds to turn him into swiss cheese. Second, someone deliberately shot his girlfriend right in front of him. And third...oh shit!” Klaus turned to see what Marcus was screaming about. He saw Richard Chase jumping off the top of the Essex building and landing on top of their building. No way, he thought. That was thirty meters! Chase slowly approached them...there was almost a dead look in his eyes, as if he were not in control of his body. “Screw this,” Klaus said as he fired a focused beam of energy from his mouth laser that nailed Chase in the chest and knocked him off the other side of the building. He then set Marcus and Nadia on the ground. “Marc, take Nadia and make your way back to the safehouse.” “What?” “You heard me, bud.” “You’re crazy!” “Maybe, but it’s the only chance we got. Look, I can’t fly all of us back, but I’ve got enough to hold him up while you two get home.” “But-” Marcus was cut off as his friend suddenly turned on him. “DO IT OR I’LL BURN YOU RIGHT WHERE YOU STAND!” he yelled. Then his voice softened a bit. “ was fun while it lasted, right?” Marcus wanted to argue, but he knew Klaus was right. “Yeah...I guess it was. We had our free will for nearly two years because bossman got locked away in the deep freeze...too bad we didn’t override the recall-parameters.” “Well, everyone’s got 20-20 hindsight, I guess. Now go...get Nadia out of here, I’ll deal with Chase.” Marcus nodded and picked up Nadia, then headed for the rooftop entrance of the building. “And Marc?” “Yeah?” “I’ll see you around.” Klaus then walked over to the edge of the building and looked down at the street below. Chase was lying their in the middle of the road. Already, bystanders were starting to gather around...then Chase started to move. This was it, Klaus decided, end of the road time. “It’s Showtime!” he laughed as he jumped off the building. Leon McNichol couldn’t believe what he had just witnessed in the last few minutes. He was going head to head with a hyberboomer and almost got himself killed when Chase had suddenly appeared. Chase was about to engage the boomer when he got taken out by a sniper...then the boomer left the area. Then the civillians came rushing out of the building, but two of them rushed over to Chase. One of them he recognized as Chase’s employer, Jason Chandler...the other was a young woman who looked familiar. Then the woman got taken out by the sniper as well and that’s when things got crazy. Chase suddenly got up off the ground and charged into the building the sniper was hiding in. Then he got reports of the hyper-boomer leaving the area, but it only got as far as the next block. It took him some effort, but Leon was able to get the K-12 back on it’s feet. A few seconds later, he managed to pull himself out of the suit. He then reached in and grabbed his radio. “Daley, what’s going on?” “Leon, you’re not going to believe this! We got the Hyper over here on Prospect Boulevard and it’s fighting...something. I think it’s the perp you brought in yesterday.” “I believe you...just hold your positions until I get there.” Klaus screamed in pain as Chase ripped the mouth laser out of his head. It was a sucidal move to let the human this close...correction...Chase was defintely not human. The scans may have registered him as human...but they were wrong. However, the gambit paid off. Despite losing his laser, Klaus grabbed Chase and threw him into the fiery remains of a delivery truck. During his battle with Chase, he did several scans and discovered that Chase’s wounds were starting to heal at a much more slower rate. So...the little fucker’s got his limits after all. Chase emerged from the wreckage, he was burning, but he took no notice. He ripped a nearby streetsign out of the ground and brandished it like a club. Definitely not human. Chase swung low, catching Klaus in the legs. Klaus felt his left leg snap off at the knee, but that didn’t stop him from firing the grappling cable out of his left arm. The spike at the end of the cable caught Chase in the shoulder and embedded itself a good three inches into his flesh. “Okay, bud, let’s see how your nanos handle the juice.” Klaus diverted almost all of his reserves into the taserline and watched as Chase thrashed around. After a few more seconds, the current stopped and Chase collapsed to the ground, body smoldering. Klaus knelt down to the ground as he scanned Chase’s body. There was a faint reading, but Chase’s body had stopped regenerating for the moment which meant that he would be out for quite some time. Then he heard the choppers above him and looked up just in time to see them fire two missiles at him. He didn’t have time to react, and he couldn’t move if he wanted to...his energy was too drained. However, the missiles were of the low yield explosive variety and only succeeded in blowing up the pavement around him. He stood there for a moment, contemplating his next move. He didn’t have anymore weapons available, and he was now only operating at eighteen percent effieciency. “Well,” he said in a resigned tone, “I guess this is it.” Then the damaged pavement, after having been nailed by two missile impacts, gave out underneath him and he fell. But he didn’t fall was maybe only a fifteen meter drop. He found himself in a dark area...a tunnel. Then he realized where he was. The Tinsel City Subway Tunnels! I’ll be able to lose ADP and make my way back home. He laughed as he got up and started to limp away. He stopped for a moment to take a look up at the hole above him and saw a couple ADP officers looking down at him. He raised his good arm and extended a middle finger in their direction. “Let’s see you fuckers follow me no-” He was cut off when an oncoming subway ran into him from behind as it continued along its way to Tinsel City Station. Leon walked over to the gaping hole in the middle of the street. He saw two officers standing there, shaking their heads. One of them actually had the hint of a smile on his face. “What happened?” he asked. One of the officers looked up at him and just shook his head. “It was the damndest thing.” “Where’s the boomer?” The other officer pointed down into the hole with his flashlight and Leon looked down at the exposed subway tracks. All he saw was the remains of what appeared to be a couple arms and one leg. He then looked back up at the two officers. “You’re kidding.” “Afraid so...I think our boy took the next train out of town.” This response got a couple groans from other officers nearby. Leon was not amused. “Alright, enough with the smartass comments. I want your reports on my desk ASAP. What about Chase?” “Who?” “The guy that was fighting this thing.” “Oh him...he was fried to a crisp. He’s over there by that burning sedan.” Leon looked over at where the officer was pointing. “Where?” “He’s right over...shit....we lost him.”
* * * * *
Erika stood on top of the advert-blimp as she disassembled the sniper rifle she used to shoot the woman who had held Chase’s interest. Everything had worked out perfectly so far. The advert-blimp was in perfect trajectory with the building and by the time anyone had figured out where the shot had come from, she would be long gone. She waited until the blimp passed by a nearby office building and jumped, landing on building’s helipad. It was a good idea to employ a Yoshida and his little boomer band...they would make the ideal scapegoat for what was to come. She pulled out her cell-phone and dialed a number. “Objective accomplished. The doctor is no longer required. Kill him and meet me back at homebase.”

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