by Thomas Edwards, Alex Fauth, and Michael Surbrook

[Hong Kong : Mandarin Towers (Feb. 02, 2034, 11 AM HKT)]

Kei, coming back from a workout in the building's exercise room, entered the apartment that she shared with her sister and brother-in-law as the phone started ringing. Dashing over, she answered it, "Hello?"

"Hayashibara Kei?"

"Yes, who is this?"

"This is Li Ling Ling."

"Ah! Hello, Ms. Li." Hoping that this would be something to end her boredom, Kei asked, "Is there something that I can do for you?"

"Yes, I have come upon a job that you may be interested in."

"Really?! What is it?" asked Kei, trying to control her enthusiasm.

"As to that, let's meet to discuss it."

"Un. Ok, where?"

"Do you recall the establishment where we last met?"

"Yes, I do."

"Very well, we'll meet there. In three hours?"

"Sure, three hours is fine."

"Very good. We'll speak more then, good day."

"Good day." Hanging up the phone, Kei ran to get ready for the meeting.

After showering and dressing in one of her formal bodysuit ensembles, Kei found Yuuzo watching the news in the living room. "Hey Yuuzo, where's Rika?"

"She's taking a nap, I think she's coming down with a cold," Yuuzo said as he turned to face Kei.

"Really? It's nothing serious, is it?" Kei asked, immediately concerned.

"I don't think so, just a cold," Yuuzo said, unable to help from smiling at Kei's reaction to her sister's condition.

"What? What are you smiling at?"

"Nothing, nothing. It's just you two are like a pair of mated hens. Always clucking at or mothering each other."

"Hehe," Kei chuckled as she scratched the back of her head. "Well, you know how we are."

"That I do, oh that I do," Yuuzo said with a smile. "By the way, who was that on the phone earlier? Someone for you I presume, since you're in your dress clothes."

"That was Li Ling Ling, she may have found a job for me."

"Ah. Well, that's good news, of a sort."

"Heh, yeah. I think so, if only to end my boredom from being stuck in this building for so long, not to mention that we need the money. Of course, you know how Rika is, Mrs. Worrywart."

"She's not the only one who worries about you, you know," Yuuzo commented, looking at Kei meaningfully.

"I know," Kei said, smiling warmly at him, "but at least you keep it to yourself."

"It's generally safer that way," Yuuzo said, grinning.

"I guess it is at that," Kei noted with a chuckle. "Well, I'm off."

"Alright, but be careful out there, and don't get into something that will get you caught on any TV cameras."

"Yes, yes," called Kei over her shoulder, as she headed out the door.

[Hong Kong : A restaurant somewhere in Kowloon (three hours later)]

Kei arrived at the restaurant and headed for area where she and Ling Ling had last met. As she approached, she saw Ling Ling seated in a booth smoking and Marta standing nearby.

"Please, have a seat," Ling Ling said, gesturing to the seat opposite her in the booth.

Bowing to Ling Ling and Marta, Kei took the proffered seat. "So, tell me about this job you mentioned."

"Very well. There is to be a meeting of various Jinsei executives at local hotel here in Hong Kong. There are several interested parties who are offering contracts for either the retrieval of data on the Jinsei invasion of the Neo York Zero Zone, specifically the reasoning behind and ultimate goals of the invasion, or the extraction of one of the attending executives who can provide such information."

"Well, data retrieval isn't exactly my forte, so I'll have to go with the extraction. Hmm, can you get me plans of the hotel and a rough count of how many Jinsei personnel we're looking at here?"

"The hotel plans can be done, counts of the Jinsei forces however may prove to be a bit more problematic," Ling Ling said, taking a long draw on her cigarette. "This is, by all accounts, an 'unofficial' meeting, so accurate counts of personnel will be hard to come by."

"Alright, the hotel plans and whatever you can find out about Jinsei strength at the meeting will be fine."

"Understood. Anything else?"

"Yes, I'm going to need some equipment for the job and since you said there were several contracts, I'll need one that offers enough up front to cover the costs of the equipment and your fees, for the information and brokerage of the contract."

"That can be arranged," Ling Ling said after typing on her PDA for a moment. "What equipment will you require?"

"Armor, weaponry, possibly few odd extras, and maybe some transportation."

"Very well. Will you be needing anything else?"

"Other than the specifics of whatever contract is chosen, no. That should just about cover it."

"Alright. We can move to a location more suited to the selection of equipment and also finalize selection of a contract now, if you'd like?"

"Sure, now is fine."

Putting out her cigarette and sliding from the booth, Ling Ling asked as an afterthought, "Oh, you do have a datajack, yes?"

"Uh. No, actually. Standard cybernetics and I don't get along very well," replied Kei, as she rose to follow Ling Ling. "My body rejects them after a few days, violently so," Kei finished, not quite able to suppress a shudder.

"Ah, that must be an inconvenience in your line of work."

"Not really, I'm..." Kei began, but decided against what she had been about to say and finished with, "well, let's just say I get by just fine without them."

"Do you now," Ling Ling said, somewhat mysteriously. "If you will follow us please."


It had taken her a while, but Sandra had finally realized that she had no pride to loose. So she'd finally decided to contact Ling Ling Li, the fixer through whom Drake and armed and equipped his little war on the Brown Armband gang a small eternity ago. After that little debacle, Sandra had been less then happy with the fixer for no reason other then her association with the Nys sisters, Marta and Shion.

It had taken her a while, but she'd finally deiced that the whole mess was not Ling Ling's fault; she wasn't directly involved in it after all. Sandra had been unfairly blaming her because of her association with Marta who she still blamed (along with Jason and Shion) for Athena's death. (Sandra knew she'd been the one to pull the trigger; however she felt that if Marta was as good as she claimed she was, if Shion hadn't just taken off with Marta rather then helping the pair of them out and if Drake hadn't been so damnably headstrong to begin with, she wouldn't have had to do that...)

So she'd come to Ling Ling looking for work. While she'd managed the odd small-time job since she and David moved back to HK (And one big job that had gone horribly, horribly wrong) she needed something big so she could keep herself and David in the lifestyle that she'd like to become accustomed to.

So she'd gone to meet Ling Ling with David. Sandra had hoped that advertising David, with his considerable computer skills, would be a boost to their employment prospects. The pitch that she'd put to the fixer was that David could handle information-related tasks while Sandra could handle sheer bloody violence-related tasks. Ms. Li seemed to be impressed (or at least amused) with this idea. So much so that she'd managed to line up a job for the pair of them.

She'd met Ms. Li in the same restaurant that she and Drake had gone to when they arranged Marta's services previously. The place seemed not to have changed in the last couple of years, neither had Ling Ling, she ruefully thought. Damn upgrades. Marta was also there, looming over Ling Ling's shoulder. Sandra had refused to look Marta in the eye, and Marta in return had said nothing throughout.

The job sounded good and well-paying to boot. A bunch of Jinsei execs were apparently meeting in a HK hotel to discuss matters relating to the Zone invasion. Their job was to get into the hotel, retrieve as much data on Jinsei's activities in the Zone as possible, then leave while bringing one of the execs with them. It made sense. Grab a big name while you're there so your employer can screw him for info, ransom him back or, more likely, both.

Sandra's only concern was that they might need more firepower. She'd faced enough Jinsei goons in her time on her own to know that she would rather have had backup in every case. Ling Ling had agreed with her on this, and said that she would arrange it. In the meantime, Sandra and David had been shown to another corner of the restaurant for lunch.

"What do you think she's planning?" David asked while they were eating.

"No idea. Ms. Li delights in being inscrutable, so I doubt she's going to let us on immediately." Sandra replied. "This place is good. I should eat here more often."

"Better then what we were eating in the Zone, at least." David added, with a smirk.

"Ha!" Sandra replied. "That? That was Zone haute cuisine." She sniggered. "Naw, I think LL knows some muscle that she can put onto the job with us." She continued, then muttered. "I hope it's not Marta."

"Is there something up between you and Ms. Li's bodyguard?" David had unexpectedly asked.

"What makes you say that?" Sandra replied.

"Well, it might have been they way you were pointedly avoiding looking at her throughout the meeting." He answered. "I guessed there was something up."

"Good observation." Sandra said. "You are right... It goes back to when Marta—that's Ling Ling's bodyguard, by the way - and I once worked together. Things went bad, Marta messed up and, well, a lot of people got killed" She sighed.

"Bad memories?"

"You could say that." She said. "I ended up having to do a lot of things I didn't want to do that day." She looked around.

"I'm sorry." He said. "I didn't mean to bring it up."

"Its okay. It's something I haven't thought about in a while, what with me and all my stupid emotional longings and all." She smiled one of her strange smiles that only came when she was thinking of something that would be funny only for her "But if things had worked out differently on that day and it hadn't been a complete and total tool-up, I wouldn't have been hanging around in the Zone having an introspective moment and run into you. So its good, after a fashion"

"Strange," he said.

"It's the way my life works," she said. "So I am kinda cheesed off at Ms. Nys there, but its not entirely her fault."

"Excuse me." The pair of them looked up to see Ling Ling standing by the table. Next to her was a short (Or at least in Sandra's mind... but then, she was very tall), athletic woman with short red hair and brown eyes, dressed in a fancy white shirt with long sleeves that ended in flared, ruffled cuffs, a dusty sleeveless bodysuit, grey gloves, and grey boots. Monochrome, but effective. "Sandra Blackmore, this is Kei Hayashibara. She will be working with you and David on the operation."

Sandra and David stood. "Pleased to meet you," Sandra said as she extended her hand. "Sandra Blackmore."

"Likewise," said the red-headed oriental as she took Sandra's hand. "Kei Hayashibara." Turning to David, she dipped her head in a small bow, "Pleased to meet you, David-san."

"So, Kei, what are you god at?" Sandra asked. "Guns, hand to hand, general purpose violence... anything?"

"Hand to hand is my... specialty," Kei said thoughtfully, "but I can, and will, use guns if the situation calls for it."

"Cool." Sandra replied. "I generally prefer gun-fighting myself. David here isn't a combatant. He can tear up the landscape real good, but otherwise I try to keep him out of the fights."

"Thanks." David muttered, not sure what to make of what Sandra had said.

"Anyway, I've formulated something resembling a plan," she began. "We know which swank hotel this big meeting is taking place in, but we don't have the location of the perps themselves. That's where David comes in. He should be able to get into their system and get us a guest list or conference room bookings or something to that effect. Anything that helps narrow down the amount of hotel we need to shoot our way through. If he can get us a bit more info on the security layout of the hotel itself, that's a bonus."

"Ah, good," replied Kei, nodding. Looking at David, "Any information you can get on the hotel security should be very helpful."

"Once he's done that, the two of us can make our way in there to find and retrieve our man. With the info David gets us, we should be able to avoid trouble until we get him."

"And once we have him?" Kei asked.

"I tend to figure these things out when they happen," Sandra replied. "Anyways, once that's done we simply leave with our man. Do you have any means of transport? I've got a Bike that I can comfortably squeeze myself and David on to."

"Not at the moment, but since you mentioned it, I'll get a bike. I'm sure Ms. Li can help me find something while we're shopping for the rest of my equipment."

"Cool. You wouldn't mind taking our man then?"

"No, that's fine. We may have to tie him to me, but I'm sure everything will be ok," Kei said with a lopsided grin.

"Did I mention I'm a programmer, not a hacker?"

"Yes, several times." Sandra leaned against the table on which David's computer sat. "So do it anyway and don't worry about it."

"Don't worry about it she says..." David muttered as he snapped the data cable into his cranial jack slid the display visor over his face. Wiggling his fingers, he watched the screen intently. "Nice gloves," he commented.

Sandra shrugged. "Ling Ling knows what to get when asked. And remember, the more info you get, the less chance of me having to get into another messy gunfight, all right?"

David's snickered reply almost made her smack him, but that might of caused him to make a mistake, so she let him be. Besides, he was right. Odds were she'd end up in some sort of altercation. Probably one involving bullets and overzealous Jinsei goons armed with the latest in automatic weaponry. Peachy.

Lost in his own little cyberworld, David tapped keys on a keyboard only he could see, reaching up into the air to shift data here and there as he made his way into the hotel's computer network.

"Damn..." he muttered.

"What?" Sandra perked up. Unlike a gunfight, watching a hacker work was an exercise in tedium.

"That ICE breaker Ms. Li sold us is working like a charm. I'm sleazing my way right in. System thinks I'm a routine infodump from the grid dbase."

"Right!" Sandra made sure to sound nice and enthusiastic, as she had no idea what he'd just said.

Sitting down in a chair, she rested her chin in hand. Now all she had to do was wait for David to finish his matrix magic, and then she and Kei could work their own, far messier, sorcery.

Sandra and Kei had left their bikes parked around the back of the hotel. The last thing she wanted, Sandra figured, was to have to get her bike back from the Valet while being shot at. Besides, parking around the back was a lot easier. Her masterful plan had involved coming in through a largely disused security entrance in the back and using a service lift David had identified. Hotel security was liable to get niggly about two heavily armed women walking in the front door.

"Nice place." Sandra said, looking up at the hotel. "If I was a Jinsei exec with the money to spare, I'd stay in a place like this."

"So, what's the plan?" Kei asked.

"We go to the floor, find our man and politely ask him to come with us," Sandra replied. "Should he argue back, we try aggressive negotiations. That all good with you?"

"Simple, yet assertive. Works for me," Kei said, shrugging slightly.

"Straightforward, kicking the tool's door down and sticking a gun in his face." Sandra replied. "It's the way I like to work."

They stepped into the lift. It was comfortably large, enough to let cleaning equipment and service Cyberdroids use. Sandra couldn't help but think of Sarah's small army of droids, and wondered if they got around the building like this. She'd have to ask.

The lift tinged to a halt and opened, revealing the grubby bare concrete of the service areas. A discreet door led through to the floor proper. Thick dark red carpet met cream walls and white ceilings, with slightly lowered lighting. The odd hall table with a small vase of artificial, but convincing, flowers provided decoration, as well as a few prints.

"Nice," Sandra said. "Let's try not to make too much of a mess."

"I'm sure it'll be fine," Kei replied, somewhat unconvincingly.

"When this is over, remind me to tell you about the last time I went to a swanky place in Hong Kong." She mentally reminded herself that she'd meant to call or write to Aoi. And Korey, now that she thought about it.

Waving a hand in front of Sandra's face, Kei inquired, "Um, Sandra?"

Sandra blinked. She'd been staring blankly at a wall. "Sorry. Let's go."

"Sure thing. Let's get this party started," Kei said, as she began creeping down the hall towards the area that David had said the Jinsei execs where staying in.

The pair walked through the hallways, checking room numbers. "No, no, no," Sandra muttered. "Damn, where is he?" A bellboy passed them, apparently not sparing them a glance. "Humph. Anyone would think that heavily armed women regularly prowl this floor."

Kei raised her right hand, motioning for Sandra to stop. "Yeah. They would, wouldn't they," Kei said, continuing the conversation even as she turned towards the receding bellboy. Without warning, she rapidly closed the distance between them, delivering a resounding blow to the back of his head that pitched him forward violently. He hit the floor face-first in a boneless heap. After checking to make sure he was really out, she picked him up and dumped him under one of the tables that were scattered in the hallways.

As Kei trotted back towards her, Sandra asked, "Uh, why'd you just get medieval on the bellboy?"

"Even in armor... any man that doesn't notice this," Kei replied, making a gesture that encompassed her body from head to toe, "is either dead or up to no good, and I'm not taking any chances."

"Oookay," Sandra said, giving Kei a strange look. "C'mon, let's go," she said taking back off down the hallway in search of their target. "Here we are," Sandra declared in a hushed voice, as she stopped near a door. "Okay. Let's try the subtle way. When that doesn't work, let's try the violent way," she whispered, before knocking politely on the door.

"Just a second," called a male voice from the other side in accented English. Sandra and Kei readied their guns. The door opened to revel a large man in a black suit and sunglasses with a gun in his hand. Past the guard in the doorway, the pair could see at least one more guard in the room. To make matters worse, from around a nearby corner came what appeared to be another bellboy, but this one was brandishing a gun.

"Crap!" Kei swore.

"Tool," Sandra added.

"We've been made! Bravo team, GO! Secure the package at all costs!" Kei vocalized forcefully, as if speaking into a throat mic. The bellboy rushed towards her, in an attempt to stop her from completing whatever orders she was giving. The door guard turned his gun on Sandra, lest she try anything. As the bellboy drew near Kei, she turned slightly in his direction. Sensing that he'd just made a mistake, he tried to stop himself and get his gun back on her, but was too late. Setting herself, Kei lashed out with a powerful kick that caught the bellboy just on the inside of his left leg at the knee. With a muffled crunch his knee gave and he went down with a howl of pain.

Seeing one of his partners go down under Kei's attack diverted the door guard's attention long enough for Sandra to make a move. With her left arm she struck his gun arm as hard as she could knocking it away from her, while at the same time she extended her right arm and put the muzzle of her gun in his chest. Two shots rang out in rapid succession as the door guard toppled into the room. As he fell from her view, Sandra scanned the room desperately searching for the other guard that she'd seen before the shit hit the fan. There, she thought, as she caught sight of him backing further into the suite while at the same time trying to bring his gun to bear on her. Already having her gun up and ready, she whipped it towards him and fired. Once, twice, three times a gun barked. Sandra had only fired two shots. The remaining guard backed into wall and slid down it trailing blood. Sandra searched herself, but found no bullet holes. "Well, what do you know. The tool missed."

"You ok?" Kei asked.

Looking over at Kei, who was standing up from being knelt over the now silent bellboy, Sandra said, "Just peachy. You?"


"Well, since anyone who's not deaf knows something's up now. Let's grab our man and split before an army of goons falls on us," Sandra said, as she crept into the suite keeping an eye out for more surprises.

"Yes. Let's," Kei agreed, moving into the suite, covering Sandra.

The pair found no other guards, but did find a man sitting in the bedroom who had corporate suit written all over him.

"Who are you? What do you want? You'll never get away with this!" the suit thundered.

"The people in control, for you to shut up and do what I say before we beat you, and we're doing better than your team is, so far," Sandra answered.

The suit's face turned purple with rage and he verged on an outburst, but after a moment he visibly calmed himself and kept quiet.

"Good boy," Sandra said. "Now get up and move, and no funny business or you're getting a thumping."

The pair took their captive to the hallway, were they found that no guards had shown up in response to the gunfire yet and, for the moment, the coast was clear. They began rushing back towards the service elevator, as fast as they could, herding the suit, to make their escape.

Unfortunately, his minders had other plans. Perhaps it was because this guy was important to them. Perhaps it was because there were a number of Jinsei heads here and they wanted to make sure that nothing happened to any of them. Or maybe their security men were upset about the way their colleagues were being slaughtered over in NY and they wanted to bust some heads.

Another couple of goons burst out from a hallway ahead of them. Sandra opened fire, leaping through the first available door as she went. Crashing, back first onto the ground, she had only an instant to take in where she was before someone came in after her. It was a large, well-equipped meeting room, with a massive wood conference table, a large number of high-backed chairs, a large display screen and, she noted, a tray of fresh fruit that had already been laid out for the meeting.

The back of the room was dominated by a long window, which gave a spectacular view over Hong Kong. Had she more time, Sandra would have stopped to take it in.

She rolled back over the table as the first thug entered. He opened fire on her, spraying the room with a submachine gun. The shots shredded the fruit plate, sending chunks of pulp flying. Landing behind the table, Sandra opened fire with both guns, tanking him down.

Another door opened presenting a pair of minders, both armed. Sandra had to smile to herself. They were on her grounds now. Close range, lots of cover... this is where she was at her best. The pair of them opened fire on her, their bullets tearing along the table and shredding the chair she was hiding behind. Sandra responded by breaking into a run, firing back at the pair of them between chairs. Run from chair to chair, she thought. Use your surroundings. One of the thugs went down hard. The other continued firing, then stopped for an instant.

Sandra used this as he opportunity. She leaped around form behind the table, firing with both guns as she went. He responded, but not fast enough. The submachinegun spat bullets at the wall, shattering a vase behind her and tearing up a print. She was luckier. The man collapsed, slumping against the shattered display screen.

"Sorry 'bout the room." She muttered. "Now where the hell did Kei get to?"

Kei had been checking their rear when the two goons burst into the hallway. As she turned back around she saw Sandra dive through an open doorway, pursued by one of the new arrivals. Kei threw the suit away from her into the wall as she jumped in the other direction, narrowly avoiding the hail of bullets from the other guard's submachine. As soon as she landed, she immediately shot forward towards the guard, moving faster than any human had a right to.

Missing with his first burst, the guard began to whip his gun towards Kei in another attempt to riddle her with gunfire, but was shocked to find her already rapidly closing the distance between them. He began firing again, hoping to curtail her charge, but at the last minute she twisted in some impossible acrobatic flip avoiding the gunfire.

Twisting in mid-air, Kei took aim at the guard and pulled the trigger, firing two rounds in rapid succession. Landing next to the expiring guard, Kei reached behind her and holstered her own pistol even as she bent down and scooped up his submachine gun. Checking the clip, she noted that it was almost empty. She had begun to go help Sandra, as more gunfire came from her direction, when she heard muffled footsteps hurriedly approaching the intersection that the last two goons had burst forth from. Moving to the side closest to the intersecting hallway and dropping to one knee, she set the liberated machine pistol against her torso and waited for the arrival of her new guests.

The two guards stopped short of entering the intersection. While his partner covered him, one of them edged up to the corner and peered around to asses the situation, only to take a burst of gunfire to the face. As his partner died, the remaining guard stuck his gun around the corner and blindly fired off a burst. In answer, the corner was riddled with more gunfire. Hoping that he'd be able to keep his unknown opponent pinned down until backup could arrive, he was surprised when something flew across the hallway intersection to hit the corner opposite him near the ceiling.

As Kei found her target, she launched herself from her new perch before gravity decided to remind her just who was in charge. Slamming into the guard, she struck out with her knives. One laid open his gun arm, while the other sought more vital areas. They retreated, only to strike again and again, like metal vipers, seeking his life. Pulling free of the dying guard as he slumped to the floor, she quickly wiped off her knives and resheathed them. Picking up his discarded submachine gun, she raced back to where she had last seen Sandra.

Exiting the room, Sandra noticed the suit sitting against the wall groggily rubbing his head and the other guard that had jumped out at them bleeding on the carpet. Where the hell was Kei? She walked over to the suit and was about to ask him if he knew anything when someone shot out of the other hallway. Spinning to meet the new threat, she raised her gun even as she saw the target do the same.

Their fingers poised to pull the triggers, Sandra and Kei were suspended, frozen in mid attack, as they realized who they were each drawing down on. Pointing their guns elsewhere, they both looked mildly sheepish.

"You know. It would be bad luck or something if we shot each other. So, um, let's not do that," Sandra said.

"Oh yeah. Definitely, no friendly fire," agreed Kei, grinning. Walking over to the suit, Kei pulled him to his feet. "Alright, Prince Charming, time to go."

Pointing to splotch of blood, Sandra asked, "Um, that's not yours is it?"

"Huh? Oh. Nope, not mine," confirmed Kei. "We had some more uninvited guests, one was a little messy."

"Riiiight. Well, let's split before any more 'guests' show up," urged Sandra.

Once again, the pair rushed towards the lift with the suit in tow. Upon reaching the service area, Sandra checked it for waiting guards, while Kei covered their rear and kept an eye on the suit.

"It's clear," called Sandra.

As luck would have it, the lift was still on this floor. Boarding the lift, they took it to ground level, where who knows what awaited them.

What actually awaited them was David, who was still guarding their bikes. "Great to see you, David." Sandra shouted as she ran out from the hotel. "Meet Mr Suit and get on the damned bike."

"Wha?" David asked as he was all but dragged by Sandra.

"We've been compromised so now we're running." Sandra offered as a half-arsed explanation. "Kei, can you take Mr Suit on your bike? I've got David."

"Thanks." Kei replied angrily. "Okay, get on the bike. Hold on and don't try anything funny. You do and we'll both end up smeared all over the road. You don't come with us and we will have to get violent. And you've seen what happens when we do that."

The suit considered his options and reluctantly nodded his agreement.

"You have a way with words." Sandra said, grinning as she saddled up. "We all ready?"

"I'll never be ready for this." Kei muttered. "But yes."

The sound of fast-moving footfalls caught Sandra's attention. "Now, guys!" she shouted as she threw her bike into gear, speeding away. Kei followed after her, glancing back over her shoulder to see a pair of guards emerge from the doorway, firing their guns. The pair of bikes sped out of the alley, swerving into Hong Kong's busy traffic.

"That went about as well as I expected." Sandra shouted over to Kei. "I think we're past the worst of it."

Kei glanced back over her shoulder, looking past the terrified-looking Suit. "You should keep your mouth shut, you know?" She replied.

Sandra glanced back. A large black sedan was making its way through the traffic, closing on the pair of them. "Tool." Sandra swore It was the first thing she could think of. "Just what we need. Kei, you any good at weaving through traffic at speed?"

"I can try." She replied.

"Great." Sandra opened up the throttle, daring into the traffic. Behind her, the sedan sped up to keep track of the pair of bikes. "Not so fast." Sandra muttered. "Better hold on, David."

"What?" He asked, but was cut off as Sandra quickly jerked the bike into a different lane, slipping in between cars. Looking over, she could see Kei doing the same thing, trying to block their line of pursuit.

"So far, so good." Sandra said. Behind her, the sedan pulled into her lane, speeding up to get closer. "Tool. Spoke to soon." As she sped up, the limo followed.

Then, much to her dismay, one of the windows opened. A man leaned out, gun in hand and opened fire on the pair of them. She swerved out of the line of fire, watching as the car next to her was hit several times. Sandra reached for one of her own guns, found it then leaned back past David.

"Hold on." She whispered as she opened fire on the sedan. Like so much of her shooting, she was aiming to distract or confuse, and hitting was just a bonus. In this case, she hit, but the rounds bounced off the car.

"He's armoured!" Sandra shouted to Kei. "Any smart ideas?"

"Just one!" Kai replied. He swung her bike over to the oncoming traffic lane, cutting between cars into the traffic.

"She's nuts!" Sandra said, then smiled. "David, remember everything I said about holding on tight?"


"Double it"

Weaving back and forth between both lanes of traffic, sometimes only narrowly avoiding collisions, the pair continued on in their attempt to loose their tail. Their pursuers proved to be extremely tenacious, however, keeping up the chase regardless of the danger. Even worse, from Sandra's perspective, for the moment they only seemed to be shooting at her and David. Apparently they wanted the suit back in one piece.

"Kei!" Sandra shouted. "This isn't working! Any other bright ideas?"

"Only one!" Kei yelled back. Maneuvering as close to Sandra's bike as she dared, she called out, "We just passed a sign for the Wan Chai interchange, it's coming up. When I tell you go, hit the area between the hood ornament and the grill with everything you've got, then break back into the proper lane and get onto the nearest ramp."

"Huh? But..." began Sandra, but Kei swung her bike away from her. "Alright," she grumbled.

After a few more circuits of weaving back and forth between lanes, pursued by the armored sedan, the interchange was rapidly approaching. It should have an off-ramp in the oncoming lane that would serve her purpose.

Freeing the machine pistol she had liberated at the hotel, Kei called over to Sandra, "Follow me, and get ready."


As the distance between them and the interchange closed, Kei spotted an off-ramp and swerved back into the oncoming traffic cutting directly towards it, followed by Sandra. As she hoped, the sedan followed them towards the off-ramp.

"Now!" she shouted to Sandra.

Sandra and Kei both turned in their seat and began to fire everything they had into the sedan's front. Apparently the driver of the sedan wasn't too worried about the small caliber rounds from their guns penetrating the engine, because he didn't bother to swerve out of the way. The front passenger, however, did take action. Leaning out, he started firing at Sandra and David. His attack was short lived though, as while many parts of the car were armored, the hood latch was not. Finally giving in to the barrage of gunfire pummeling it and the surrounding areas, the hood latch failed. The hood was blown upwards, slamming into the windshield, obstructing the occupants view. With the sudden obstruction of the driver's vision, the sedan jerked violently, almost ejecting the gunman and forcing him back into the vehicle.

"Break!" Kei shouted to Sandra, as she broke away from the off-ramp and back through oncoming traffic towards the proper lane.

Sandra did the same. The sedan driver, however, who was only now sticking his head out to regain his view of the road and the bikes, did not make the break in time. Noticing too late where the sedan was going, the driver couldn't swerve in time and the sedan collided with a guard-rail, flipping over onto its top, skidding partially up the off-ramp.

Climbing up the ramp onto the interchange, the pair of bikes pulled away from their would be pursuers and into the Hong Kong night

"Nice work back there." Sandra shouted. "I'll have to remember that!"

"Can we stop now?" David added. "Not to be pushy, but I don't think I'm cut out for high-speed chases."

Kei's bike pulled up next to Sandra's. The suit on the back looked to less scared as he was terrifed. "I can't see any sign of them."

Sandra glanced into her mirror. A pair of black bikes, their riders both clad in anonymous black jumpsuits and mirrored helmets were deliberately weaving their way through the traffic towards the pair of them. "Spoke too son." Sandra shouted back. "There's a pair of black-clad tools weaving towards us. I think they're friends of ours."

"Great." David muttered. "Why is it that this seems to happen to you wherever you go?"

She glared at him, then turned to Kei. "Well, unless you've got more handy home hints, all I can think to do is drive like crazy." She shot the other woman a wry grin. "Like we weren't doing that allready."

David held on tighter. "I thought you said that we were past this." He shouted. 'I thought you said that this sort of hting wouldn't happen once we were here in HK."

"So I was wrong. I'm always wrong. Your point?" She turned back to Kei. "How's our friend going?"

"Let me off!" The suit shouted. "I have a Husb- I mean, wife and two kids! Think about them!"

"I would, but I'm a cruel, men, evil and spiteful woman."

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