Where to begin? I am not sure. Yesterday was almost unexplainable in the series of events I found myself involved in. Perhaps, it would be best if I started at the beginning.

I reported to my new precinct in Epsilon sector as ordered, trying to arrive early, since I wanted to make a good impression. I was directed to a briefing room, and there met my new squad mates. They are:

Lieutenant Mitch Brogan—The Director’s husband. I have heard he is leaving the Director (or she him), and is now a simple patrol officer. He seems unused to command, and certainly lacks the decisiveness of Sergeant Montizano. However, he does seem to know vehicles and how to deal with them, as he proved on the cargo mag-lev train.

Officer Diedre Thornhallow—I do not know what to make of “Didi” (as she asked to be called). For starters, I can barely understand a word she says. On the other hand, she single-handedly accounted for roughly six Yakuza soldiers in our first encounter.

Officer Elizabeth Yasha—I also do not know what to make of Officer Yasha. She is... I do not know what she is. She seems to be able to change shape at will. Is this a form of magic? My classes in the occult were a little lacking on such things. Still, she spoke well enough to me and seems to think I have a soul. I will have to think about this.

Officer Lorraine Hemelshot—Officer Hemelshot is the daughter of the Hemelshot, who served in the 9th Squad. She is a pyrokinetic and commands all forms of heat and flame. Well.. mostly. She did burn up Officer Tsanthos’s spinner.

Officer Nicodemus Tsanthos—Unlike Officer Thornhallow, who uses a form of English I do not understand, Officer Tsanthos uses normal English, but I still have little to no idea what he is saying. He claims to know events before they happen, or so I presume. Perhaps it is a form of wu wei.

And there is me. Officer Chrysine, Clade. Why was I selected to serve on this squad? Is there a deeper reason I am not aware of? I almost considered asking to be returned to my old squad, but events how shown I cannot do that with a clear conscience.

Our day started out much like my first day at my old precinct. We were given a tour of the building, placed our things in lockers, and filled out a large number of forms. Several fellow XSWAT officers helped me with mine, for which I am grateful. Some of the things XSWAT asks for I still do not fully understand (although I appreciate being able to mark “Clade” in many cases and ignore whole sections of some forms).

The man showing us around the building was Technical Sergeant David Cho, who I presume is an old friend of Lieutenant Brogan’s. He seems nice enough, but tends to stammer when speaking directly to me. Perhaps my height intimidates him. He also spoke of Holding Cell 4, which he claims is haunted. Apparently someone was murdered in the cell about four years ago. I do not know about that, but Officer Yasha seemed to find the news... uhm... interesting.

Afterwards, Lieutenant Brogan brought us into his briefing room and told us our purpose: We are something he is calling a “Crash Team” meant to oppose Yakuza activities in Epsilon Sector (and the rest of Angelus, I suppose). Our first mission would be to locate the whereabouts of Captain Malachi Brogan and his team. They had gone on patrol in Omega Sector on December 12th, and have not been seen since. According to Lieutenant Brogan, we would be entering Omega Sector this Friday, on the 5th. He was not ordering us to go in, but I think he expected all of us to join him. I did not know what to say, as everything I have heard about Omega Sector tells me I should never go there unless under the most dire of circumstances.

We then broke for lunch, but were told a wake was in progress in the precinct mess. Two officers, Olsen and Sullivan, had been killed by a local gang, the Halloweeners. Apparently they had been decapitated, their heads hollowed out, and used to hold candles.

How can humans do such things to each other? I can understand how they had Clades face each other in the arena. We are like toys to them. Living dolls to be dressed and armed as they see fit and then set out to fight. But how can humans hate their own so? Or, perhaps, it because Olsen and Sullivan were police? Do they hate XSWAT as much? Or more so?

In any event, we went out to a local “police” bar, called “Halloran’s.” There we learned more about our mission. If we are to fight the Yakuza, I think I will remain with the squad. I have seen them kill, or attempt to kill, to many already, myself included. They lust after power and will do whatever they wish to gain it. They may not be as brutal as the Halloweeners, but they are just as dangerous, if not more so, as the Yakuza pervert laws to their own ends. They use the law to get what they need as opposed to force. And that is true power.

Upon leaving Hallorans, we journeyed to the “Golden Dragon Tea Shop,” a place Officer Yasha knew. There, the shop owner, a man named “Kobayashi” met us and asked us to try some of his tea. He even gave me a bag of some sort of ginger tea.

It is very good.

We then drove to the warehouses on Wharf Avenue in Officer Tsanthos’s vehicle. Our mission was to find and recover a woman named “Kimiko” who apparently had information as to the current location of Captain Brogan. When we arrived, we found Yakuza forces there already, and ended up engaged in combat with them. This is where Officer Thornhallow disposed of six of them with almost as many shots. In addition, Officer Hemelshot burned up Officer Tsanthos’s spinner while eliminating another Yakuza. As for myself, I only struck one with my weapon and ended up having to deal with a forklift. I think I accounted for myself quite well, as I not only removed the forklift from the battle, but used it to remove at least four Yakuza as well.

After the battle we were forced board a cargo mag-lev train to rescue Kimiko. Our mission was complicated by two attacking spinners with more Yakuza soldiers, and an Entity awakening and forcing itself out of one of the cargo pods. I am not fully aware of the events of this battle, as I did my best to protect Kimiko. I did use my pistol to shoot down one of the Yakuza spinners. I must send Sergeant Montizano a letter and thank him again for acquiring the Earthshaker for me. As for the Entity, Officer Tsanthos eliminated it. It would seem he is a mage of some form.

Once the mag-lev arrived at the station, we were able to ask Kimiko what she new about Captain Brogan. She told us the Captain was held in Angel Wing Cathedral, a Order of Enoch stronghold. She also told us that a Yakuza solder named “The Breaker” ambushed Captain Brogan and his squad in Omega and were going to take them away. The Order of Enoch then took Captain Brogan first and brought him here to Angel Wing Cathedral.

There was much discussion between Lieutenant Brogan and Mother Superior Carmen Rosette about the fate of Captain Brogan. I listened and tried to understand the best I could. It would seem Mother Superior Rosette felt Captain Brogan was growing more evil with every trip into Omega (or that an evil was growing in him), and wanted to remove it. Lieutenant Brogan refused to allow her to do it. They argued, with Officers Thornhallow and Yasha commenting as well. I stepped away, not wanting to intrude and spoke with Carlos Shepard, a swordbearer for the Order of Enoch.

While I was talking to Shepard, Director Renuka arrived, and asked us all to leave the room, leaving only herself, Officer Thornhallow, Lieutenant Brogan, Mother Superior Rosette, and Shepard. I do not know what they spoke about, but we soon heard the Director’s voice, joined by Thornhallow and Shepard. Once they were done Captain Brogan was pronounced healed.

All the talk of souls made me wonder, did I have one? Shepard said yes, but it seemed too quick to me. As if it was what he said to all such questions without considering who was asking the question. Officer Yasha then spoke to me about the same question. Her answers were more enlightening and thought provoking. She told me that my asking if I had a soul showed I had one. You see, not only do I think, therefore I am, but by questioning my existence concerning myself with such questions as “Do I have a soul” shows I must have one, for if I were soulless, I would not be worried about such things.

Do the Yakuza have souls?

Officer Chrysine, XSWAT