Kitty nodded. “I’ll cover our tracks.”
A second later Super Moe-Moe Ball jumped back on the line. [Now there’s a million of your wireless signals spreading out in all directions. Did you send out the decoys?]
[I did. Copy the codes from Dust and Tachi’s networks and start sending out their clones aswell.]
I took point as we made our way down. Poorly concealing my massive knife under my jacket. When we were halfway down PR chipped in again.
[Damn girl, your cable access speeds are woeful. How can you use this stuff?]
[What are you talking about?] Kitty asked. [The network’s way faster than what you’d get in Flint.]
Moe-Moe jumped in. [Well it’s running a lot slower now…. Hang on a second, let me check something.]
“On an unrelated note.” I said to Kitty. “Do you have a car we can use?”
“I usually take the train or use a share bike.” Kitty replied “Though we could steal one.”
“Do we have time?”
Kitty checked her Neupro. “Not at the speed he’s running.”
I glanced at the live feed, the guy with the long hair had already made it across the street and up the stairs to Kitty’s apartment in the time it took us to get down to the basement, and we’d had the head start.
We reached the door at the bottom of the stairs. I raised my hand in a clenched fist to signal our party to come to a stop. Tachi recognised it straight away and stopped, Kitty gathered meaning from context and stopped with him.
I reached my hand out to the latch on the door. [Can you guys see anyone in the car park?]
[Nobody on the feed.] Said Patriot Rap.
Moe-Moe added. [But I think we’ve got someone else in Kitty’s system with us.]
I pulled my knife out from my jacket and reversed my grip so I didn’t stab anyone accidentally. “Get ready to run when I throw the door open. Three… two… one… GO!”
I threw open the door and dashed out into the car park, Kitty and Tachi right behind me.
I saw the big roller door to the side of the car park and legged it in that direction. A smaller pedestrian access door stood to its side.
Then without warning the live feed in the corner of my eye disappeared.
[OH SHIT!] Patriot Rap yelled. [They just crashed the whole thing.]
I had almost reached the door when a black, high-heeled boot smashed through the wood around the lock. We screeched to a halt and began backing away slowly as the leg recoiled through the hole.
An elegant hand reached inside and unlocked the door. With a gentle push the door slowly swung open in surrender. Then those same high-heeled cyberlegs made their way inside.
A deep chill rushed down my body, cooling the sweat on my forehead instantly. The hand around my knife began to tremble. Her sleek black cyberlegs were styled to resemble leather thigh-high boots. They disappeared up into a black satin short dress that didn’t stop till it almost reached her jawline. Over that she wore a wide leather belt and a sort business blazer that reached down no lower than her floating ribs.
This was all topped off with her long raven hair and a pair of cybereyes styled to look like sharp, wisp-thin sunglasses.
I have never been more certain I was about to die than at that moment.
Next through the door was Crocman, who threw a very unsubtle glare my way.
Kitty took a cautious step behind me. [Who’s that?]
[Kiru no Yubi.] I replied. [Righteous Chrome Fist’s cute, little incarnation of death itself.]
Kiru looked right through Kitty and I like we didn’t even exist. “Aneki.” She said, giving Tachi a short, respectful bow.
“Sana-chan.” Tachi replied stiffly.
Kiru brought her monovisor up to meet Tachi’s eyes. Despite the gloss plastic cybervisor, the set of her jaw lent her a gentle expression. She continued in Japanese. “<Father is worried about you.>”
“<Do not lie to me, little sister.>” Tachi’s voice went harsh, like he was etching his words in acid.
Kiru did not look chastised.
I heard a noise from behind us and turned to see the long-haired guy emerge from the fire stairs.
Still trying to hide the trembling that threatened to engulf me from head to toe, I backed away from Kiru until I reached Kitty in the middle of us. We exchanged a look which neatly conveyed my knee-rattling terror and managed to make Kitty even more uneasy.
I turned back to Tachi. [I know Kiru and Crocman, who’s the guy behind us?]
[I haven’t had the pleasure. Most likely he’s from my mother’s family.]
Kiru took a step towards us. My hand squeezed tight around my knife’s grip.
“<Father has allowed me to make you an offer: Surrender our employer’s property, return to us, renounce your relationship with…>”
Kiru glided her gaze my way. Finally acknowledging me. It did not make me feel better.
And as quickly as she glanced towards me she turned back to Tachi.
“<Save your words.>” Tachi cut her off.
Kitty cautiously nudged me. [What are they saying?]
[I’ll tell you later.]
“<I have no interest in being the old man’s pet.>” Tachi continued, he practically spat out the word ‘pet’. “<He sent you here with a simple directive: bring me back alive or to bring back my corpse. I suggest you save us both the time and start trying for the latter.>”
Kitty nudged me again. [No seriously, what the hell is going on?]
[Tachi just spat in fate’s eye.]
Patriot Rap jumped on the cype. [You better get the hell out of there Kitty. I just found your killer’s wrap sheet with the Tokyo Police. I ain’t even in your hemisphere and I’m scarred of that chick.]
A conversation broke out between Crocman and Kiru, at least I guessed that’s what happened. Crocman took his eyes off me for a second and looked to Kiru, who slowly looked back and after a second, nodded to him. Not a word was spoken, at least out loud.
Crocman stepped in front of his boss and squared off against me. Kiru folded her arms.
Kitty raised an eyebrow. [She’s making him fight first? Why? Does he need the XP?>”
I peeled Atom’s bag off my shoulder and handed it to Kitty. Then I brought up my guard and readied my blade.