by Max Fauth

Lillith dropped into her chair, swiveling it around and switching on her computer in one smooth motion. She made a brief gesture towards the fridge, and the door swung open. A can of soda lifted itself from the fridge and flew straight into her outstretched hand. The fridge door shut again silently.

She opened the can, took a swig and put it aside. With the computer booted up, she opened a file and reviewed it. Then she began typing.

"Day 10..." She said out loud as she typed. What to report?

Lillith stepped out of the small underground bar. Her former habit of taking a deep breath when leaving any building had been discarded upon introduction to the Zero Zone. It had been a quiet night; no job offers, no contacts, nothing. She didn't mind. She could live off her reserve for another week before problems really started. Still, people had no doubt noticed her by now. And that was always good for finding work.

She was too deep in thought at the time to notice what was around her. A rustling of leather and a glint of steel brought her back to reality. Four gangers, all fairly rough-hewn and ugly surrounded her. She cursed inwardly at letting herself get into this situation. The one in front of her bore a knife, and the others no doubt had weapons hidden under their stinking leather jackets.

The knife-wielder stepped forwards, a vicious grin on his face. Admittedly, she looked harmless. An attractive face, a nice figure and plain clothes marked her as a good target, it seemed. The silver-white braid trailing down the left side of her face seemed to be ignored. Someday it would mean something, she thought.

"What've we got here? Nice looking piece," the knife wielder said, walking forwards and holding his blade up. "What do you reckon, guys? Shall we have some fun?" He was close now, so close she could feel his stinking breath, and he turned to look at one of his buddies. That was all the opening she needed.

She lashed forwards, catching his arm and twisting it around behind his back. She bore him down to the ground with considerable speed, wrenching his arm until he let go of the knife. The others sprang into action, dashing towards her. She rolled off the leader and got to her feet, lashing out with her right leg and catching one ganger in the stomach, doubling him over. A second lunged at her with a drawn knife, a clumsy blow that she easily sidestepped. As he spun around, she struck out with an outstretched hand, catching him in the throat with her extended fingers. Staggering and clutching his throat, he fell easy prey to a high kick that drove him into the concrete.

The third one approached, striking with a kick to her side. She caught his leg in mid-swing, then grabbed his other leg and hefted him off the ground. A quick release dropped him back-fist into the concrete with a loud thud. The second ganger, the only one left standing, saw the carnage around him and quickly bolted.

Lillith stood for a second, catching her breath and assessing the situation. She took stock of two of the gangers she'd taken down, but their leader- The leader was on his feet, and already had a pistol drawn. As she spun to face her, he fired off a round. It was dead on target, but never hit. The bullet abruptly stopped, hanging in mid-air less than half a meter from her face.

"Yours, I believe," was all she said. The bullet abruptly spun around and shot straight back at him, burying itself in his forehead. She walked away, even as his corpse toppled to the ground.

What to report?

"Day 10," she typed. "Nothing to report. Practiced combat skills and powers. All normal."

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