To an observer, the room could have been anywhere. It was a windowless, spacious gymnasium with padded floors, an array of high-tech exercise machines, punching bags, a climbing wall and its own change and locker rooms. Not bad, Allen thought, for one person.

Allen Schwarzkern leaned back against the wall, watching his gym. He was a strikingly handsome man; tall and slim with narrow, fine features. He swept his straight blond hair over his shoulder, letting it fall almost to his waist. Despite the setting, he was dressed in blue slacks and a loose white shirt that he left open to show his toned body. His dark green eyes swept the gymnasium, eventually returning to his companion as she worked out on the punching bag.

"Don't you think that's enough?" he asked, his voice full of his amusement. His companion stopped and turned to face him. He ran his eyes appreciatively down her body. She was well muscled too, tall for a woman, with a pleasant, friendly face that was marred by her serious expression. Her black hair was tied into a tight braid trailing down her back. She was dressed in grey tights and a sports bra. And her eyes...

Allen could lose himself in her eyes. They were deep blue in colour, and spoke of hidden intelligence and emotion waiting to be unbounded. But for now they seemed dead. Beautiful eyes, he thought to himself, gazing at her with a gentle smile.

"What should I do next?" she asked.

"Take a rest, Shiki," Allen said. He briefly regarded a water bottle by his sided. It silently elevated and swept through the air to her.

Shiki seized the bottle from the air and took a pull from it. "But I'm not tired," she replied simply.

Allen's smile grew. Shiki was his charge, yet she had an uncanny habit of talking back to him. "You don't want to push yourself too hard," he said.

"I lost," she replied plainly.

Allen said nothing. His gaze tracked down to the top of her bra. A clean line of pale skin poked from between her breasts, marking a scar from a recent encounter that had nearly killed his charge. He was amazed by how quickly she had recovered and how fast the wound had healed. Nonetheless, the scar would last the rest of her life.

"I lost to a normal," she said. She released the bottle, and it floated gently to the ground. Without another word, she turned back to the punching bag.

Allen shook his head and chuckled. She was a stubborn one, oddly enough. But her powers were quite extraordinary. Allen's esper abilities had grown steadily over the past few years, as had his reputation, until he had recently been considered to be "World Class." This put him in the same bracket as such legends as Shion Nys, Azumi Kiribayashi, Oniko O'Brien and Raven Clark.

And then this woman had appeared out of nowhere. The first Allen had heard of 'Shiki' was when he was hired to train and refine her abilities. His first move had been to ask for a demonstration of power. Allen had been impressed beyond his expectation. The woman's powers were amazing; almost a world class Esper in herself. But she was inexperienced, even clumsy at handling them. Allen had gladly taken her under his wing and taught her the skills to survive in his business.

He was snapped out of his reverie by a grunt of pain. He looked up to see Shiki wincing, one hand pressed over the scar on her chest while she hung onto the bag with the other. "I warned you," Allen said.

"I need to keep working," Shiki replied through the pain.

Allen shook his head. "You can barely stand as it is. And I think our session is over, anyway." As if responding to a cue, another person entered the room. "Here comes your minder," Allen said, looking down at the thin Korean woman.

She paid Allen no heed and scurried over to Shiki, tucking her clipboard under one arm. "Are you alright?" she asked, seeing her in pain. "Did he push you too hard? Is he over-working you?" The woman barraged Shiki with questions, only receiving a shaken head in response.

Allen chuckled to himself and quietly slipped from the room. Life would not be boring from here on in. He wondered just where this new partnership would take them.


14 February 2034

Scattered reports from the Zone indicate that a number of Psychokinetics have recently begun operating there. Although their movements seem unrelated to Jinsei's activities, they are yet to interfere with Jinsei's soldiers or operatives. As a result, Spycorp is assuming that they are either in Jinsei' s employ, or at least allied with Jinsei's forces. We have been able to identify at least one pair working together - a man and a woman - but as yet can't determine their objectives.

Missions for this report include:

ID Tag: Spycorp is paying for hard information concerning the espers operating in the zone, in regard to their numbers, descriptions, identities and objectives. There is no individual mission related to this matter; rather a bounty for confirmable information. Contact Spycorp with any leads you discover to discuss payment.

Party Crashers: Several employers have contracts available for anyone who can break into the Jinsei meeting in Hong Kong. We believe this is a prime opportunity to gather information on the reasons and goals for the Zero Zone invasion. Objectives are either the recovery of relevant data, or the capture of a high-ranking executive.

Puppy Walk: An operative is required to test a new model of security synthetic in the field. The corporation in question wishes to see how their new product handles live combat and unexpected situations. The corporation ads that an operation in the Zero Zone would be the perfect testing ground. Contact Spycorp for additional missions to aid in the testing process.

Runner: A corporation has placed a bounty on the head of a notable gun smuggler who has been making his way through Asia. Sources indicate that he is stockpiling a variety of unusual high-tech weapons for an unknown client. He is believed to be headed for Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau in the next couple of weeks. The bounty is for capture; no money will be paid if the target is killed.

Walkabout: An independent reporter, Korey Emerson, is requesting someone to sneak her into the Zero Zone and accompany her as she collects footage and information on conditions in the zone and the movements and methods of Jinsei forces. This is a prime opportunity to expose Jinsei's actions to the greater public.

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