Journal Entry Dated 02-12-23

There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys, it is all hell.
William Tecumseh Sherman

But war it is to be. There can be no doubt about it, the Yakuza, in their own way, have declared war not only on XSWAT, but the APD and Angelus itself. Oyabun Ryuzo it seems, is consumed with a thirst of power and will bring down this city and all it stands for to get it.

He has had built something called “The Destiny Engine,” a device that will allow him to change his fate and the fate of the world. I do not fully understand how it works, but it seems akin to the Ordinus Seal the Director made to seal away the Entities. It apparently gathers magical energy in the form of chi together and uses it to change reality. It can change the destiny of a person and will probably make Angelus into a city more to Ryuzo’s liking. I fear what that city will be like. I know it has no place for XSWAT and my kind will be little more than playthings, living toys to be made to jump through hoops for the enjoyment of their Yakuza masters.

The Destiny Engine can do more as well. When we found it (or a prototype, anyway), our four missing XSWAT officers were sealed into chambers connected to it. The machine caused them to become Entities. It seems each of the four had encountered an Entity before—they had been possessed, or nearly so, by an Entity in the past. The Engine awoke that possession and caused it to become complete.

I try not to think of what the Yakuza had done to those four fellow officers before placing them into the Engine. I try not to think of what the Yakzua will do to me or the rest of the Crash Team if we end up in the same situation. I cannot, will not allow myself to be captured. It is plain the Yakuza will give no quarter, I will not ask it.

In the arena there was an understanding. All of us, from the most top-ranked veteran, to the greenest warrior represented a investment on the part of our backers. None of us, with very few exceptions, where there by choice. We were there to make money for our owners (or contact holders for those few who fought under more liberal terms). To die in the arena represented a loss of training time and money, publicity, product tie-ins, and future earnings. Injury was one thing, but death? Outside of a specific death match, it wasn’t the reason we were there.

The Yakzua care not for this. All of us, from the Director to the most newborn babe in Angelus General are expendable in their eyes. Obstacles to be used, removed, or sacrificed as needed to grant Ryuzo the power he lusts for.

When we destroyed the Destiny Engine a spirit appeared before us. A woman dressed in blue who told us:

“Ryuzo is no longer human, consumed by hunger. You have stopped his bid to alter the fate of the world, this time.”

“This destiny engine is a crude and primitive thing. You did well by destroying it—Ryuzo will have to gain his power some other way. But it is just the beginning…”

“Thank you for setting me free.”

Who was she? One of the captured officers? Someone else? How was she captured? Why was she captured? And what has Ryuzo become?

I think he is now a gaki, a preta. A hungry ghost who will amass all the power he can and still be hungry for more. He will remake the world in his image and enslave us all. Will he remake the Destiny Engine? Or will he attempt some other method? Mass sacrifice? A spell akin to the Ordinus Seal?

I also think he will not take this defeat lightly. We have cost him a loss of time, money, materials, and people. We killed three of his agents, Butterfly Steel and both of Bloodsong Serenade. And most of all, we cost him face. He will seek payment for this loss, and I feel he will desire us to pay in blood and lives.He will want to have myself, the Lieutenant, and Officer Thornhallow killed. Officer Hemelshot—they tried to capture her, perhaps to drain her power? Or channel it to fuel another engine? Officer Yasha I fear will be made into an Entity, while Officer Tsanthos... He might be forced to make a new Destiny Engine, or simply tortured for the information he knows.

We cannot, must not, loose this war.

Officer Chrysine, XSWAT