Japan 2340hours, 23/10/01-Edit

“ BAZ! GET US THE FUCK OUTTA HERE!” yells Hayley into her PDC as they get up and run along the offices to the stairwell. Ryan glances back to the burning roof of Cyprus. PICKUP AT EDO AVENUE/ EITAI AVENUE INTERSECTION- BAZ. “ OH! LIKE THAT’S GONNA HELP?!” yells Ryan as they bolt down the stairs, leaping to the lower levels. Sabrina fires at the security shields, cutting them off by cutting into the control terminals. “ At least you’ve stopped wrecking everything,” mutters Mandy as they head down to the ground floors. “ How do we know those guys aren’t following us?” “ We don’t. Just keep on going!” yells Hayley. “ Looks like those adrenalin derms are going well,” mutters Ryan as they get to the twelth floor. Suddenly searchlights pierce into the building from the streets below. The windows blow as bullets slam in from the remaining greysuit armies on the ground. “ How are we gonna reach a pickup 1 kilometre from here?” asks Ryan. “ We’ll figure that, when we get there,” says Hayley. Suddenly the floors from the bottom open up and a bunch of greysuits fall in. “ Change of plan!” yells Nick as they run into the offices. They cut across the cubicles to the windows and then glance over at the cops 15 floors below them. A Gyro swoops over, shots firing out onto the glass. “ We can’t jump that,” says Mandy. “ Well looks like we’ll need to open our own doors,” says Ryan as the doors burst open as more greysuits run in. Hayley and Yolanda fire more bolts at them, the men falling to the ground. They run back to the stairs, the fusion lasers cutting into the concrete, entire stairwells collapsing down, more and more. “ Well, this place is out of business,” mutters Martin. Mandy fires the grappling hook onto a guardrail and bungees down into space, the cable holding her as she lowers herself to the fifth floor. The others join her as suddenly lasers burst in from the lowe levels. They swing onto the landing, one of the laser shots slamming into Hayley’s leg, blood tricking down from the wound. Ryan grabs her and pulls her over to the window. The cars are on the ground. They run over to the side looking over the alleyway, where two teams of greysuits stand at the bottom. Ryan pulls out a slice of green derms and stretches one until it covers the wound as another Gyrocopter comes in close. April shoots out a window, as Sabrina and Martin fire out more bolts into the teams below. Several calibrate and fire back. Nick and Mandy leap out into space and slam onto the fire escape of the redbrick building beside them. The lasers hitting several rungs of the fire escape, melting them. They crank up the power and fire again, Synths collapse. The ruins of the Cyprus building lays in the streets, wrecks of interceptors their occupants safely housed in the crash foam, being dug out by emergency crews. “ Zero body count,” reminded Hayley as Nick and Mandy fire out into the street, shooting down uniformed cops with the blue bolts. April and Martin rig up the magnetic grapplehooks and grab Hayley to help lower her down to the ground. Sabrina and Yolanda follow last, holding the shotguns as the greysuits groan. They gather up their weapons and dump them in the trash barrel and continue running onwards. They grab the guns and run down the alley as the final teams of Synths fire at them, their feet hitting the pavement as they hurry down the alleys, over the police cross lines and down, their holographs flowing over them, the image of eight police officers running full blast across the footpaths. Electric interceptors are heard gunning down the street, sirens screaming as Gyros wasp over the skyline, their searchlights crisscrossing. They run past the late-night bars and the tall office blocks, pedestrians huddling inside, many frightened as the firefighter crews are heard blaring down the street. “ Looks like a long night in Tokyo,” mutters Ryan.

2400hours 24/10/01-Edit

“ BAZ! WHERE IS THAT BLOODY PICKUP?!” yells Nick into the PDC as they pass the forth block. Suddenly a police van pulls out from an alley. The door opens and they scramble inside, sitting to the sides, strapping themselves in as the van takes off. The electric engine whirrs as it passes the bars, banks and business areas. A single figure sits back with them. He’s of slight build, dressed in black with short brown hair and blue eyes. “ Got the data?” he asks. “ Yeah Trent,” nods Ryan, holding a black rectangle. “ Stored. Got all terminals hacked and sorted. Left nothing out.” “ Good,” says Trent, taking the rectangle and strapping it to his belt. He nods to the driver, David, who’s brown curly hair pokes out from underneath the baseball cap. “ Got the connection down?” “ Nobody’s followed us. The public think we’ve got a prisoner or something. We need to get out of here,” says Dave. “ Good idea. Need some sleep,” says Trent. Nick sighs as he looks over at Mandy, who’s nursing a cut on her arm. She peels a derm on and lets it settle. “ You alright?” he asks. “ Yeah, just a fleshwound,” she says, shuddering. “ It’s horrible the way he just… killed them.” “ Yeah,” nods Nick, looking over at the others. Hayley winces as Ryan looks over her wound, Yolanda and Sabrina have streaks of blood on their face. Martin dabs at his cut nose. April sits there, lighting a cigarette. “ Managed to smuggle these in,” she admits. “ Fortunately the scanners here didn’t pick them up. Genetically modified of course.” “ Of course,” says Nick, taking a cigarette. He lights it with the tip of a stick of German steel. “ Need some sleep. We got what we were after?” “ Dunno, might have to confirm with our source,” says Trent. “ Source?” asks Sabrina, after wiping her face. “ You mean somebody knows? A member of Cyprus knows?” “ Well somebody called up, giving us link references about Cyprus.N We looked and saw an irregularity there. Cyprus had sharply risen in customers after releasing the latest game. One of us racked out the model from the black market, pure Zycha tech. Hypnotic suggestion transmission, makes them get attracted to the other fronts, although they don’t know of it,” says Trent. “ How come you guys didn’t get affected?” asks Mandy. “ You think we’re that crazy? We sent it through the computer, let it correlate any waves produced. Perfect match in our previous records,” says Dave. “ We couldn’t get her off the webpage contact though.” “ Webpage? You use that stuff?” asks Nick. “ It’s old use but it works. Don’t doubt the tech,” says Dave. “ I know because the others needed me to help hack the system.” “ Why the hell didn’t they ask me?” asks Hayley. “ You sure we’re not being followed?” “ If we were by anything, cloaked or otherwise it would’ve shown up on the scanners,” says Dave. “ Concentrated holograph field. They’d need to penetrate it in order to bug us. Can’t do that in Tokyo easily. Too much background radiation. Speaking of background, we need to recollect those lasers.” “ Shit not another assignment. We’ve been through enough as it is!” calls out Nick. “ Relax Nicky, these are the other teams, although we have had a lot on our plate. I have to go to another country in another part of the world to check up on one other mole who’s come to us for help,” says Trenton. “ Says he can help us in a biogenetics area. Witness security shit, you know? He’s a beginner. He just sent it. Looks like basic e-mail. We should get him before others find him hopefully, oh and Hayley, good luck with the test.” “ Thanks,” mutters Hayley as she puts an endorphin derm on her leg. Nick shakes his head as he looks over at the streets going by. He turns to Mandy, who’s asleep, her head up beside his.

2420hours, 24/10/01-Edit

Chiba is a sight for sore eyes, as Martin looks over from the bottle of Sake. The riots on the street of the late news is broadcasted loudly, with several drunkards resting with their heads on the counter, a pimp looking over the room as a whore puts her work on a young sailor in beige uniform. “ You know I could drink a hundred of these,” says Martin. “ Mmmm hmmm,” says April. Trent and the others sit at a table, looking over the bar. The van is parked outside, a jet black with Honshu numberplates. Dave plays a game of virtual pool besides a Braun coffee maker as Yolanda and Sabrina laze out at a booth. Mandy lies down at a separate booth, Nick running a hand through her hair. “ Did you ever want to do any of this?” asks April. “ Any of this shit. You know, this running around, getting injured, risking life and limb over a few billion people you never met?” “ You’re drunk you know,” points out Martin. “ Women get drunk earlier than men.” “ Don’t be sexist,” says April. “ I feel fine, just a little woozy from tonight… So what’s your answer to my question?” “ I was asked the same as you. He just came up one day and asked ‘ If there was a war going on and you were asked to fight, would you?’ I said ‘ Dunno. Depends if I had a choice.’ He said ‘ If you had the chance of helping save billions of lives and were going to be well paid, as in all expenses, you got to travel the world, meet great people and do basically whatever you wanted except when you were really needed, would you?’ I thought for a moment and said ‘Yeah. If I lived through it.’” “ You agreed?” asks Martin. “ Well, we can do what we like, we’re here in Chiba, Japan of all places and we’ve possibly have saved billions of lives from getting their brains washed, even though I have risked neck and limb for this,” says Martin. “ And we get to use kickass guns.” “ Boys and their toys,” mutters April, shaking her head, she sighs. “ You want to pull out, don’t you?” asks Martin. “ Yeah, well I can’t handle it. I’ve gotten about three hours sleep a night. Sometimes none by the fact that I have nightmares half the time of people dying, and guns going off and I don’t know if I’m gonna live through the next day or not. I get shifted to work in many areas around the world, that are darker, dangerous and easier to get lost in, while my parents, friends and family know absolutely nothing about what’s going on. I mean, wouldn’t you be stressed?” “ I do, that’s why I like to get drunk, have sex and zone out half the time, alright? That’s why I act like such a bastard,” says Martin. “ I don’t mean to piss you off or anything. I’m just suggesting that you lay back, try to enjoy the moment. Think of it like a Matrix movie you’re in, or Blade or X-Men.” “ Hmmm,” nods April, she sighs. “ I’m sorry too, alright? Sorry if I get snappy and stuff like that.” “ It’s cool. Hey, maybe before we go we can go get one of those Mount Fuji posters or something?” suggests Martin as he gulps down some more Sake. “ Something to remember the moment.” “ Maybe,” says April, looking over at the television, which is showing a Live Coverage of the Cyprus attack. The television shows a shot of an injured Mr Gregson being lead out in an ambulance. “ Oh shit,” she says, glancing over at Hayley, Ryan and Trent at the table. He looks over from the chicken wings and at the screen. “ They keep on making it. I blow a nuke in his face and he fucking makes it,” says Martin. “ You see? That’s what pisses me off!” “ Martin, cool it,” says April, grabbing his gesturing hand and pulling it down. “ We can’t let them know how we’re involved. OK?” Martin looks at her, sighs and nods. The PDC beeps. They look at it. GOOD TO SEE YOU’RE ALL ALRIGHT. GATE CLOSES AT 1. TAKE A DAY OFF. INFORMATION RECEIVED AND SECURED. LASERS BEING COLLECTED. PROUD OF YOU- BAZ. “ Most he’s ever said,” says Martin. “ Trying to be sympathetic or something. Wonder if he’s listening in?” “ Who cares. Another Sake,” April calls to the bartender.


The van speeds past more electrics as the Gyros hover across the skyline, the enormous signs of TOSHIBA, CASIO, MICROSOFT, SONY and PANASONIC highlighting the wet street. David kept at the wheel, his head forward. Yolanda took another puff and then turned to Sabrina. By their feet sat several large black cylinders, all folded up in their chassis. “ Have to keep moving if we wanna make the deadline,” mutters Yolz as she glances out of the tinted windows. “ How are we going for shadows?” “ We have a police officer interceptor several hundred metres behind us but that’s about it,” says Trent. Nick sits next to Mandy, who yawns as she takes a swig of the bottle in front of her. April and Martin are looking pretty drunk themselves. Exhaustion washes over them like a wave. Hayley lies down at the back, her leg up as Ryan rubs it over. “ You think I can take a shot at him?” asks Sabrina. “ Did you learn anything when I taught you guys this?” asks Trent. “ Do not engage merely for the reason of engaging. The police may get tired of driving after us for a while if we don’t seem to be going anywhere in particular. Remember, it’s only if they shoot at us do we retaliate. We shoot at their tyres, not the front windshield. Zero human body count, remember?” “ Yeah, we remember,” says Hayley, rolling her eyes. “ So how’s school going?” “ School? I’m in uni. Anyway, old school’s good. We got into the finals last month against Collingwood,” says Trent. “ Ah, yes, private schools put into competition, I remember that,” says Nick. “ Yeah, we remember that too, so shut up, alright?” asks Martin. “ What’s up with you two? You got that poster in one piece so what’s the deal?” asks David. “ The deal is how much those bastards price the damn thing. Back in Aus, the going price would be $10, maybe $25 dollarcredits. In Japan, the cost is basically $50 dollarcredits,” explains April. “ Ah, sold on open market? You know from a stall?” asks Ryan. “ Yeah, why?” asks Martin. “ Well there’s your reason. There’s a lot of people in Tokyo, over five million. They have to support each other somehow, and that’s by selling ‘state-of-the-art’ shit at high-rise prices,” says Ryan. Martin mumbles and sits back, holding the sweatband to his forehead, a wire leading from it into his belt. “ What memory are you replaying?” asks Sabrina. “ The part of where I screwed this bloody gorgeous chick,” says Martin, grinning. Yolanda grabs an empty packet of fried noodles and chucks it at him, the remaining stock staining him. “ OI!” he yells, beginning to get up. “ Cool it, Marty,” says Hayley, whincing as she looks over the leg. “ Don’t think the bone’s broken, but the nerves are definitely hit,” she says. “ I need more endorphin.” “ One more,” says Ryan, holding up a red derm. “ I don’t want you getting too high right at this moment, even though it would be pretty damn funny.” “ Ha ha ha,” says Hayley, grabbing the derm and slamming it onto her leg. She breathes in as the drugs take affect. Sabrina shakes her head as she looks over the window again. David turns a corner. “ We still have our shadow on us?” asks David. “ Not that I can see,” says Sabrina. “ Must’ve lost him.” She glances back at him. “ We still in Chiba at this moment?” “ At the rate the traffic is going, oh yeah, we’re still in Chiba,” says David. “ But hopefully not for long. We’re getting up to the turn now.” He wheels the car and it rumbles into an alley, heading down to a parking lot in front of a red-brick wall. He hits a button on his belt and the wall rolls up. He guns the vehicle inside the large warehouse as an overhead fluoro flicks on. He stops the car. “ Home sweet home,” mumbles Yolanda.


The van is parked alongside several others as they head onwards to the middle room, where a bunch of old crates “ So any other missions coming up I should know about?” asks Hayley as she stumbles over to a large loading bay. In front of the loading bay is a large set of pylons arranged into a square. “ Yeah, have to go over to Tehran to pick up this guy in the biogen area,” says David. “ Muslim territory.” “ Ouch, be careful, alright?” asks Hayley. “ Don’t worry, the guy shouldn’t be hard to find,” says Trent, taking out a rifle and checking the atomic power cell, he flicks it closed. “ Need to get myself a Browning one day.” “ Can you get us any weed while you’re at it?” asks Ryan. “ Dunno, your mother might not be open on Saturdays,” says Trent. “ FUCK you,” snarls Ryan. The others smile as they head towards the gate. Trent presses a button on his belt, and one by one so do the others. The pylons glow green as lines of energy cross from all angles. They converge into a single plane, rippling like water. Trenton scans the pack of receivers and then throws them in. Energy crackles around it and the pack sinks in and disappears. “ Cool it, Ryan,” says Nick with a small smile. He looks over at the shimmering waves of light. “ You know there’s a lot to remember about what happened tonight.” “ Yeah, what I won’t forget is how you lied to us,” snaps Hayley. “ That was cover. If the Zychas knew we had the data, they’d probably send the others on us. Lying made them pause for a while, enough for us to react in time. Otherwise they might have caught us off guard,” explains Nick. “ Whatever, Nicko,” says April, yawning. She comes over to Trent and scans herself into a reader strapped to his belt. She dashes into the light and pauses, still as ice as she vanishes inside. “ Good thing I locked her in. Otherwise she would be vaped,” says Trent. “ It’s okay, I locked the receivers in too.” “ Good. I doubt they would be easy to find in places like these,” mutters Martin as he scans himself in. He leaps into the field and disappears. “ All you need are the right connections,” says Dave, he turns to Yolanda and Sabrina. “ Heard you two got into a little rumble with some assholes. You alright?” “ Yeah, fine in case you hadn’t noticed. We handle ourselves alright,” says Sabrina as she scans herself into the reader, a green light flicks on. After she leaps in, the green light flickers off. Yolanda comes over and scans herself in too. “ It’s okay, they wouldn’t’ve recognised us,” says Yolz. “ Even so, I didn’t teach you all how to kickbox just so you could whip a few blokes who get rough on you,” says Trent. “ Sorry, we don’t usually like to give in to blokes who try to force themselves on us. Not our kind of thing,” says Yolanda. “ You taught us to be strong, so the only person you have to blame is yourself.” “ Oooh,” says Ryan with a grin. Dave and Hayley grin. “ Shut up!” yells Trent, his face reddening. He rubs his face as Yolanda leaps into the field and disappears. The sound of a siren from several blocks away makes them turn. “ Alright, let’s hustle it on ladies and gents. Come on. Time’s a wastin,” he says. “ What about the van?” asks Dave. “ What if the police try to sting the place or somethin?” “ The perimeter security will lock the place tight, and they’ll need a warrant because it’s private property. The police aren’t stupid you know,” points out Mandy as she scans herself into the reader. She leaps into the field. Nick scans himself in and goes in after her. Dave scans himself in and follows suit, after throwing in the weapons. “ Well, here we go, back to exams, jobs and taxes,” mutters Hayley as she scans herself into the reader device. She steps into the frame as energy collides around her. The world in front of her becomes a rushing tunnel of light. Then she’s gone.

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