Inoue-sama was enjoying his breakfast, American style. Japanese food was fine for lunch and or dinner, but nothing really beat pancakes with sausage and eggs. And that was just topping off the morning.
Some loser brought in his 14 year old daughter before breakfast to pay off his gambling debts. What kind of sleaze sells their own daughter into slavery because he isn't smart enough to say no? That's okay though, he would take care of her; she would be just like Natsume and Keiko, except hopefully she would prefer men to women.
"Ohayo gozaiomasu, Inoue-sama."
He looked up to see Keiko arriving after an evening with Tomoyasu-san. She was a mess; she had bruises on her arms and probably elsewhere. In other words, pretty normal for a night with him. Tomoyasu knew better than to mark her face. He must like her or something, because he was working his ass off for liberties with Keiko.
Keiko was trembling, more than usual even for a night with Tomoyasu. <Inoue-sama I know why Tomoyasu-san has been working so hard.> She swallowed deeply.
Inoue-sama was not completely cold; he passed her his water. <Please continue.> He motioned for her to have a seat.
Keiko took the glass in both hands and drank almost half of it. It wasn't the normal way of doing things, but today was different. <Tomoyasu has a deal going with Ikari-sama.> She looked up at Inoue-sama.
Inoue-sama was beginning to realize the gravity of the situation. He put down his knife and fork and simply listened.
Keiko continued, <Tomoyasu is going to kill you and, with Ikari-sama's help, take over your territory>.
Inoue-sama could figure the rest. After he was out of the way, Ikari-sama could take over the zone operations then lever his way into a cushy position in the city, leaving the zone effectively to Tomoyasu.
Looking over at Keiko, he asked <You have proof?>
<Hai.> She was bugged, and recorded everything Tomoyasu said. Bugging was her little secret; only Natsumi and Inoue-sama knew. That was because they taught her. <I recorded.> She smiled. <Last night when Tomoyasu had had way too much to drink, all it took was a little prodding.> She had to giggle.
<Good. You will be rewarded for this.> Inoue-sama thought for a few moments. <I want you to make four copies of it and bring them to me.>
<Then I want you to hire that street samurai Kami for this evening if possible.> Tomoyasu was one of his best killers. Inoue-sama needed the extra muscle tonight to eliminate him, because the rest of his people would be going to off Ikari-san.
<She didn't seem very eager to work with us.> Keiko thought for a few moments, then continued. <She didn't even drop by for dinner when she was invited.>
Inoue-sama nodded. He reached into his pocked and pulled out a roll of bills. <Give these to her as well as Tomoyasu's training videos. If she chooses to accept, I'll pay full up front.>
Keiko was confused by Inoue-sama's 'gift'. Seeing her confusion, Inoue-sama continued. <Tomoyasu is a honourless pig, and thinks that women are only good for sex and cooking.> Inoue-sama smiled. <I want a woman to kill him.>
<Hai.> Keiko now understood the poetic justice of this. She was more eager to please now than she had ever been.
<Get going. I'll write the letters after breakfast.> Inoue-sama continued with breakfast.
Keiko had to laugh to herself. His life was in danger, but the most important thing at the moment was making sure that his breakfast didn't get cold.
Later that day, Keiko was waiting at 93U's bar. She was looking for Kami, or even one of Kami's associates like Sandra. Jiro and Natsumi were doing the same at the Half Tanked. They had better find Kami; Inoue-sama's best assassin had just become a liability. By now he had been stripped of his rank and privileges, and Inoue-sama was even going to the trouble of getting an outside assassin, just for him.
"Hi. You okay?" A bubbly waitress smiled at her.
"Umm sure, just waiting for someone." Keiko checked out the girl. Pretty blue eyes, curly blonde hair, perky bust-line, short skirt, and nice legs. Not exactly her type, but cute none the less. She could understand Natsumi's attraction to the innocent look.
"Okay," she chirped, "Anyway my name's April. Can I get you anything?"
"Only a street sam named Kami."
The waitress nearly choked. She obviously knew something. Keiko had a few ideas as to what was up, and continued on as she looked harmless enough. She only hoped the waitress wouldn't tell half club, and thus the rest of the Zone. "I want to hire her for a short job."
"Ahhh, okay." The girls eyes were wandering around to hemline of Keiko's too short mini-dress. Keiko decided to motivate her a bit. "There's a finders fee." She then uncrossed and re-crossed her legs, "And my gratitude."
"Alrighty." The bubbly girl bounced off.
Keiko looked at the little blonde girl. The poor girl had nearly choked when she mentioned Kami. "But only if you bring her to me. Tonight."
April turned and winked at Keiko.
Kami and April walked up to the anxious Japanese girl. "Here she is!" April announced.
Keiko found the girl's enthusiasm rather amusing. "I see."
April skipped over to Keiko. "And?"
Keiko had to laugh to herself. "Of course, here you go." She handed April a small roll of bills.
"Domo arigato." April tucked the money away and bounced back to work.
Kami was curious as to what this Yakuza prostitute was doing here, by herself. "You wanted to hire me," Kami said escorted Keiko over to a booth and had a seat.
"I need you to kill somebody."
Kami was a bit taken back by this. The Yaks had all sorts of jobs; courier, recovery and the like; but they rarely needed an assassin. They had people like Tomoyasu for that. "A bit unusual isn't it?"
"Yes, but it's an unusual target."
"Who is it?" Kami was hoping they hadn't found out about Sandra's prior duplicity.
"Tomoyasu-sama." Kami nearly choked when she heard the name. Keiko handed her a disc, and a roll of money. "Inoue-sama is serious. Here are some recordings of his training sessions. The money isn't a retainer, it's simply a payment to watch the vids. Tomoyasu's cyberhand is incredibly strong, and he has a needler in the fore finger."
"I see." This made absolutely no sense to Kami.
"Tomoyasu-san is a misogynist. This is more than just an execution, this is humiliation." Keiko smiled.
"Don't you have female assassin or ninjas or something to take care of that?"
Keiko had to giggle at Kami's use of the term ninja. "My best guess is that Inoue-sama is willing to pay for convenience."
"Pay for convenience?" Kami quizzed. Paying for convenience over keeping business within the organization seemed weird.
"Inoue-sama wants him dead tomorrow."
"I see. Short notice will cost you extra." Kami could put two and two together and she doubted Inoue-sama was even in the zone right now. "Then there's the expense of locating him." Kami added.
"That's already taken care of. He will be at the Half Tanked tomorrow." Keiko was rather smug about things.
"You're sure of that?" Kami looked rather sceptical. "And if I should decide to accept the deal?"
Keiko smiled, "You can come by the restaurant tomorrow after you think things over and accept the offer, or you can accept now, and get a nice friendly bonus this evening."
Kami rolled her eyes, "I'll accept it now; we can discuss the bonus later." Kami really had no interest in Yak prostitutes.
Keiko passed Kami an envelope. "This is half of what we're offering. I'm sure you'll find it to your taste." Keiko avoided saying 'Even if I'm not.'
"Before I accept, since you want this done tomorrow, can you make sure he shows up outside the Half Tanked between 7 and 8 PM tomorrow?" Kami was hesitant; she wasn't used to taking out fired mobsters on short notice like this.
"That's easier than getting you to cooperate." Keiko left the envelope.
Kami tucked the envelope away. Somehow she wasn't very assured by Keiko's confidence.
Kami waited outside the Half Tanked. Her very presence made them nervous. She could tell they remembered all to well her disembowelling Ish right under their noses. There was something unforgettable about sight and smell of blood mixed with digestive juices. Hopefully this wouldn't the same kind of mess. She didn't want to be doing multiple assassinations inside the Half Tanked.
Most of what she had seen prepared her for melee. There was only one short bit in the vid where he used a smartlinked sliver gun. Kami wasn't afraid of his cyberhand, or even his needler; those were cheap tricks that worked on amateurs. The guy was basically a one trick show; just a dangerous one.
Waiting she, saw the Yakuza party arriving; Keiko, Natsumi, Jiro, Inoue-sama, and some girl she didn't recognize.
Inoue-sama spoke first. "Hello Kami-sama" The Kami-sama, god in Japanese- he wondered if she had any idea what her name really meant.
"Good evening Inoue-sama."
"Is he dead?" he asked.
"Per our agreement, he hasn't shown yet."
"But he left two hours ago!" Keiko blurted.
"Well he's either inside or had a different idea."
"No," Inoue-sama replied. "He's early. Who do you think the bait is?"
Kami understood. He was using himself and Keiko as bait. "Gotcha." She checked her firearms at the door and went in. The Half Tanked cared less about melee weapons. Since the borgs didn't check their arms, a sword just levelled the playing field.
The yakuza party followed her in.
Inside the Half Tanked Kami looked around. There was Tomoyasu, sitting with his back to the bar, facing the door. He even did Kami the favor of waving to her to get her attention.
She walked over to the bar, wary of any back-stabbers along the way. She was relying on his ego being large enough that he hadn't paid off anybody to try and injure her along the way. Still, she was prepared.
Having crossed the sea of people safely Kami approached Tomoyasu. "Hello." he called out to her.
"Hello." Kami muttered back. She really didn't like to talk to people before she killed them.
"I see Inoue-sama managed to find a very beautiful assassin for me." Tomoyasu's conceit was without limits.
"He had me specifically in mind when he decided the trash needed disposing of." Kami stood more than an arms length away from him.
"I'm no worse than he is. " Tomoyasu was rather smug. "Just look at his new girlfriend, Ayumi-chan. She couldn't be much more than 14, maybe even 11 or 12."
It was time to change the subject and she knew it. "Do you know why Inoue-sama picked me?"
"Feh, you should learn some manners." Tomoyasu was unhappy about Kami's attitude. "He probably picked you to distract me, because after I kill you I'm going to fuck you." He sniggered. "Hopefully between him and Jiro-chan they can kill me."
Kami found this most amusing. She was getting to him and she knew it. She just had to be wary of his needler, even though he was wearing gloves on both his hands to cover it. "I think I finally understand you."
"Oh really." Tomoyasu seethed, the little rezu was basically ignoring his threats, and even his conversation. She would understand when he slowly choked the life out of her.
"You are an honourless, un-charismatic pig, who can't find a date on his own. Instead you rely on raping girls, and when you can't find one to rape, you do a favour for you boss so he'll loan you his girlfriend."
With that he took his beer and threw it at her. Kami side stepped the liquid, and stepped forward and landed a cross which he easily shrugged off. "Rezu-chan, you're going to have to do better than that."
Kami ignored his taunt, but she wondered why she made it a habit of doing that. Her answer was another punch, this time bloodying and possibly breaking his nose. She could tell by the impact that he had bone lacing of some sort. This was going to be a long fight.
Tomoyasu wiped his nose, and reached out to grab her. He was close, but didn't get a grip. Her armoured trench coat slipped through his grasp. Kami seeing her opening made a roundhouse kick to his side, knocking him into the bar. "Ohhf." He felt that one. He wondered how she was hitting so hard. She didn't register as having much in the way of cyberware when she entered the restaurant; no cyberarms, bone lacing, or fist loads, yet she hit harder than most borgs. He pulled himself from now cracked bar just in time to avoid another kick.
Kami, seeing he was moving to a more defensive strategy, threw a another punch. They weren't that effective, but she knew he could feel them. She just had to make sure that she didn't leave herself open for the needler.
Tomoyasu took the punch. Damn she's fast, he thought. He really wanted to get a hold on her, but that would leave him open for another one of those kicks. "Come on rezu-chan, can't you hit any harder?" He held back prepared for her next punch.
Kami ignored his taunts. She was focused on simply beating him down. She knew he wouldn't last that much longer, and she threw another punch.
Tomoyasu managed to be ready for it and blocked it. That left him an opening, he fired his needler taking the only shot he had. Kami only barely managed to avoid the opportunity shot, and followed it with her own opportunity shot, and put her opponent on the ground.
He was lying face down on the floor. She followed with two kicks to the back of his head. He wouldn't be getting up on his own. She drew her katana, and removed his cyberhand. She picked up the severed hand and handed it to Inoue-sama. "Inoue-sama, please take care of the bill. I want to finish this outside."
She proceeded to drag the unconscious man outside by his remaining good hand.
Later at the Underground, Keiko was excited. It was more like her birthday when she was a little girl.
April approached her. "Hello, can I get you anything?"
"Sure, Midori sour." She giggled.
"I'll have that right out to you." April replied. Noting the girl's excitement, she asked "You look excited. May I ask why?"
"I was waiting for someone to ask." Keiko giggled. "Inoue-sama let me go. he said that my family's debt was paid off, and I could come as go as I pleased."
"What?" April was a bit confused.
"I don't have to work for the Yakuza anymore!" She giggled.
"Kewl!" April had never heard of them letting somebody go like that before.
"Now all I have to do is figure out what to do next. If I go back to my parents, Inoue-sama will take me back and kill them." Keiko looked a bit distressed.
"I think we can arrange something." April mused. "We'll just have to talk with Silver."
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