[Target on visual.] Wu Gang Shu announced to his passengers. [Beginning approach vector.]
Wu gently banked the stolen speeder-cab into an intercepting arc. He was impressed with the manoeuvrability of what was essentially a flying brick. It was about the size of an old-earth subway carriage, allowing for plenty of standing room and benches. Their team had boosted it right off the streets of Xing Shi and concealed it from the transport network.
In the seat beside Wu sat his Sifu. Like him, she reclined in her seat, her mind turned inwards. But while Wu’s mind was focused on driving the speeder, Sifu was concentrating on their target.
[No unusual wireless activity.] Sifu said, her face a mask of serene concentration. [Attempting signal intrusion.]
The speeder crested quietly through the night air as it closed in on another speeder. The skyplex of Xing Shi spread out beneath them, erupting in golden light like a sea of glittering coins.
Sifu took in a slow, deep breath and released it in a long exhale. Inside her mind she was carefully monitoring the wireless traffic within the target for anything unusual, while at the same time she delicately manipulated the data it was receiving to keep their own speeder from appearing on its radar and collision-detection sensors.
Their target was a deluxe limousine speeder. Yet its design more closely resembled their public speeder than the stretched luxury sedans of yesteryear. Wu was thankful for that. When they’d rehearsed their assault, the cramped confines of the smaller limos they’d practiced in had been a nightmare to move around inside.
Wu gently increased his speed, knowing that each rise in temperature made it harder for Sifu to conceal them on the radar. But he needed some more altitude to stay in the target’s blind spot, so he gently warmed up the jets.
[Easy now.] Sifu warned, her tone was soft, taking her own advice.
[I’ve got it Sifu.] Wu assured.
[I know.] She said.
With a precision honed through weeks of simulated flights Wu brought the speeder in until it was right above their target.
[We’re in position.]
[Change over to automated control.] Sifu ordered before both she and her assistant opened their eyes.
Sitting across the speeder from them was the other half of their team. The tall well-built man was Masamune Hiro. He sat in his seat with his arms folded, his gaze turned towards the view outside. His assistant, Tekashi Ukyo, lay sideways in her chair, bouncing one foot off the other while she waited for something to happen. Both of them wore the same all black fatigues as Wu and Sifu, with rigid armoured vests over the top.
Hiro noticed Wu and Sifu return out of the corner of his eye and turned back to them. “Have we confirmed that both targets are in the car?”
Sifu nodded. “Both the Chief of Police and Mr Henderson are on board.”
“The usual retinues, two bodyguards and three advisors.” Sifu explained. “With one new addition: Something must have made the Chief nervous. He’s added a pair tactical officers in riot gear to his entourage.”
“That’s unfortunate.” Hiro sighed. “I was hoping to avoid bloodshed.”
Sifu nodded again and her features softened. “As was I, but they leave us with no choice. Unless we choose to do nothing.”
Hiro shook his head and looked back out the window. “No. We act.”
The faintest hint of a smile warmed Sifu’s gaze at Hiro. “Yes. We will.”
Hiro turned back towards her. “Let’s get started. Masks on.”
Ukyo swung her feet down to the front of the chair and sat up straight. Even she took this seriously. As one the team activated the custom software that modified their nanomachines, causing a small army of microscopic robots to appear in a black mask-like pattern around their eyes.
When it was done Hiro gave the word “Let’s go.”
Wu joined Sifu on the port side of the speeder, while Hiro and Ukyo moved over to starboard.
Wu reached down to the hidden fold at the hip of his belt and withdrew a thin, high-tensile line from a reel concealed within the strap. He attached this line to a pick point on the inside of the door and pulled at it to test he was secure. Then he took the breathing mask from its hook on the door and pulled it over his face, before taking up the ram-hammer.
Hiro, his own mask securely fastened, raised his hand. “Attach!”
On Hiro’s command the A.I. that had taken over from Wu earlier released the magnetic tethers from underneath their speeder. The lines slapped against the roof of the target and latched on fast. Wu and Ukyo opened the doors on their respective sides and the four of them dropped down onto the target, the high-tensile reels on their belts spooling out additional tether as they needed it.
Wu landed on the roof first and immediately moved in position for the next phase. Ukyo landed holding a machine in her hands that looked like a cross between a miniature oil drill and a wingless mosquito. She planted this machine in the middle of the target’s roof and activated it before readying her own ram-hammer.
The drill bore a hole through the speeder’s roof big enough to emit a soup can, then the drill opened up and deposited a tear gas grenade inside.
As soon as the grenade was away Hiro waved his hand. [Go, go, go.]
Wu grabbed the side of the roof and swung down to the door. Firing his ram-hammer as he hit the window and shattering the plexiglass. On the other side, Ukyo did the same.
The next moment Sifu and Hiro swooped through the shattered crystals and into the cramped, gas-filled speeder. From a device in her hand that looked like a white control wand Sifu extended a three-foot double-edged sword. Without a moment’s hesitation Sifu plunged through the tear gas and impaled the nearest of the chief’s tactical officers. Her long blade piercing the rigid plates on his armour as easily as a screw driver through cardboard.
Wu discarded his ram-hammer and swung into the cloud of tear gas after Sifu. He landed in the puffy whiteness, most of which rushed passed him as it tried to follow the wind out. Wu raised his hands to fight and waded through the fog.