Journal Entry Dated 02-05-23

It seems I cannot leave the arena behind. I am now lying in Angelus General’s XSWAT wing, wounded severely from the swords of Blood Serenade, twins who used to fight in the Lace & Steel area as did I. They work as a team and use cyber-implants in throats to sing harmonics designed to interfere with the human nervous system.

It is obvious now what was going on. As the saying goes: “Hindsight is always 20-20.” The Yakuza were calling in Entity alerts until the CRASH Team responded. There had been eight calls, all negative, until we were sent out. The location was a two story house in which Lieutenant Brogan saw a body on the upper floor. Upon landing, he sent myself and Officer Yahsa in first, with the rest of the Squad to follow.

What followed will probably go down as a prime example of what not to do. We were surrounded, out-numbered, out-gunned (the Yakuza were using armor-piercing rounds), and nearly outmatched. I myself nearly fell to Blood Serenade, while Officer Yasha battled Butterfly Steel. Officer Hemelshot was shot, several times I think, while Officer Thornhallow managed to gun down about half of the Yakuza’s number. Officer Tsanthos was nearly captured (the aim of the ambush all along it seems) while Lieutenant Brogan tried to override the jamming of our databands.

All of us where hit in some fashion, with four out of the six members of the CRASH Team here in the XSWAT wing. However, we did drive off the Yakuza, killing a half-dozen or so and wounding Butterfly Steel and one of the Serenade sisters. I suspect I’ll be meeting those two again. Only this time, I’ll arm myself properly, with my kwan-do and not a Dragon. Still, I don’t think they suspected my level of resistance. I will not be captured by the Yakuza. I will not be something for them to toy with, torture, or sacrifice.

In the course of the battle, the house caught fire, forcing all of us to evacuate. I managed to pull Officers Hemelshot and Tsanthos out, while the rest left by their own means. Before the house was engulfed, Butterfly Steel announced a nearby orphanage was rigged with explosives and would be destroyed. Officers Yasha and Hemelshot tried to stop her from setting the trigger, but were too late.

Lieutenant Brogan took us to the orphanage, where we managed to evacuate the building before it exploded. I did not go inside, but instead was able to remove the doors from the entrance to allow people to escape. The children cheered me for that... although I wonder, were they cheering me as an XSWAT officer or as a Lace & Steel veteran?

And now I find myself here, lying in a hospital bed. I think we are all very lucky to be alive. The Yakuza would have killed us without a second thought and hauled Officer Tsanthos off for purposes I presume only he knows. This cannot go on. If we are to take the fight to the enemy, then we need to become a team. We need to train, eat, and sleep together. Become one in mind and spirit. Or else the Yakuza will drive us apart, turn us against each other, and destroy us one and all.

Officer Chrysine, XSWAT