Michelle wondered if this was really a good idea. Eve had tried to convince her that this was really the wrong place to meet, but Michelle insisted on seeing where Eve was living now, and as far as she was concerned this was the only way to do it. She had a bit a chuckle though, normally Eve was the one getting into trouble. Her chuckle was cut short by the looming shadow of the fortress surrounding the Zone. It was like seeing the walls of a prison, but wasn't that the point of the zone?

Sergant Callahan watched the young girl walk up to the gates. She was really pretty, didn't look abused or anything. Hell, she was better dressed than his own kids. "Hey kid, do me a real big favor and go home." He really didn't want to loose a good nights sleep thinking about another pretty face that was headed into the zone, probably to never be seen alive again

"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine." Her voice was nervous, Eve said she'd be waiting, and that she'd be okay.

He really wished he could get used to this sort of thing. Then again he thought that if he ever did he might as well just toss his badge and join the insanity in the zone himself. "Getting in is easy, getting out is something entirely different." He was concerned about a figure in a black trenchcoat he'd seen lurking for the past hour or so. Looking down at the girl, "You might want to wait a little while anyway, somebody's been lurking down the street for the past hour or so." It was a last ditch effort to get the girl to go home.

She naively smilled, "Well, I'm waiting."

"Let her in boys." He sighed, another one gone, another night of sleep gone with her.

Michelle cautiously entered the zone. and began walking down the street. A dark figure emerged from the shadows, stepping into the open. Upon seeing the figure in black, Michelle knew exactly who it was and broke into a full run.

Michelle reached Kami and grabbed her in a full embrace. Kami then leaned Michelle back and gave her long, deep, passionate kiss.

Kami was the first to speak after the two girls finally broke the kiss. "I missed you."

"I missed you too." Michelle, not wanting to release her long lost lover, squeezed tighter.

Kami simply sighed and enjoyed the moment.

Relctant to break the moment, Kami finally spoke, "We better get going."

"No" Michelle wispered. "When I saw you in the coffee shop I thought you were a ghost or something. You don't know how hard it was for me to hold back from you there."

Kami sighed, "Rember the rules." Damn she felt like shit ending a moment like this. "You need to do what I say." She gulped, "If you don't there's no way I can protect you."

"I understand" Michelle slowly released her grip on Kami.

"Ikimasho" Kami smiled again. "Oh and put this on." Kami handed Michelle a trenchcoat.

Michelle took the coat, it was considedrable heavier than any jacket she had worn before. She looked up at Kami questioningly.

"It's an Eiji Nakamura armor jacket with ceramic weaving to stop blades as well as bullets. You'll get used to it."

As Michelle was putting on the jacket Kami continued, "Not only will it protect you from stray bullets, but it will also help you attract less attention bu not looking like you're new to the Zone."

"Is the zone really that dangerous?"

"It can be." The girls began walking "Especially if you're new. Alot a people, regard new commers as simple fresh meat, and easy prey."

Michelle gulped, she was beginning to wonder if Kami wasn't right in wanting to meet somewhere outside the zone.

The two girls were chatting and catching up on almost two years of separation, while walking back to the entertainment district. It was still daylight outside, and Michelle felt rather safe. She felt absolutely no worry about the three men walking down the road twards them.

"Slashers" Kami muttered

"Slashers?" Michelle replied, "Who are they?"

"A gang." Kami answered, "your basic low-class predator."

Michelle was now nervous, she had heard how dangerous streetgangs could be.

At the three came closer, one of them said, "Well, well, well, what have we got here."

"Nothing you punks want any piece of" Kami added.

The slasher laughed, "Ohhh, looks like we have a fiesty one here." His friends snickered. "Sorry to be a bit rude, but we don't get very many beautiful girls wandering throgh our territory." He looked at his friends. "In case you didn't know, we're Slashers and we control this street." He seemed really cocky, "So lets not forget out manners, and be nice to the men who are here to protect you."

"Here to protect us?" Kami snickered, "Why do I not feel any safer?" But she continued, "Well if we're going to be polite, let me introduce myself, my name is Kami, I'm a street-sam of sorts."

"Kami?" the groups spokesman said, "I don't think I've ever hear of you." He looked over at his friends and mockingly asked "Either o you ever hear of a teenage sam named Kami?"

The first one shook his head, "Nope".

The last menber of the group muttered something to himself and didn't answer.

The spokesman continued, "Sorry girlie, my boyz have never heard of ya". He snickered, "Looks like we're gonna have to charge you the going rate to cross our turf."

"Charge me?" Kami said. "I'm really sorry that you're gonna try and extort some pocketchange out of a couple of nice girls like up."

"It doesn't have to me money." he beamed, "I certain we can work something out in the way of services".

"Wait! Stop!" The ganger who had remained silent yelled. "Don't mess with her!"

Both the gangers turned to look at him.

"I have heard of her!" He looked terrified. "The chick's a pro and works mostly with corpies, and cits 'cuz they're the only ones who can afford her." He stared at her, "She's the one who took out Gunther and his boys, all at once."

The Slashers stared at Kami, Gunther was a tough S.O.B. with a rep for violence and rape. Not only that, he had his three mates to cover his back. The four of them were probably more dangerous than Mutt and Jeff because not only were they every bit as sadistic, but unlike Mutt and Jeff who wanted to be pros, they just did that sort of stuff just for fun.

Michelle looked at Kami, "Four? at once?"

Kami shrugged continuing to eye the three Slashers, "no biggie, the tough part was not killing Gunther outright". She snickered, "I holding back is a pain in the ass."

Her eyes began to glaze over, and her expression went blank, "Killing four people in one fight was no problem, especially when they're wimps like Gunther and his thugs. Gunther's thugs lasted less than four seconds, as with Gunther himself." Her voice was flat and almost completely emotionless, "It was a completely unimpressive fight. Now if these thugs would run away as fast as they can I wont have demonstrate."

The three got the idea and turned around an began running down the block. Sure they were loosing face, but Gunther by himself was tougher than any two of them combined, and they stood as much of a chance against the sam who took him out as they would against Marta Nys, or The Empress herself. In other words, no chance what so ever.

"We better get going." Kami beamed, "I want to get to the Entertainment District before dark."

Michelle looked at Kami, "Okay?" She was startled by Kami's mood swings, she went from her normal friendly self, to something else, and back in the space of three sentences. What had living in the zone done to her?

Return to Kazei 5 PBEM Stories