I'm back! Here's a new one for you, I'm currently writing this one with my best friend Moni-chan, so I can't promise quick updates with this one. Read and review, thanx!

Her feet pounded against the street and the rain splashed her face. She slid to a halt only to tie her soaking shoe and hastily check over her shoulder. They were still advancing; one had a chain, the other, a gun. She swallowed hard and charged forward into the city.

The towering buildings of the city's industrial zone loomed ahead as she dashed down the nearest alley. Her heart leapt when she saw the bay. 'Maybe I can lose them on the docks,' she thought. She then panicked as her pursuers came tearing around the corner.

She backed up, one foot after another, onto the slick, algae-coated wood of a pier. She looked over her shoulder. Choppy waves beat against the harbored boats. She took a few more steps as the gang approached. 'There are five of them now, shit!' She checked behind her shoulder again. 'Would they follow if I jumped? Only one way to find out…'

She took a deep breath and dove into the icy water. Her head surfaced almost immediately her body chilled to the core. She spat the filthy water out of her mouth and pressed onward, weighed down by her soaking jeans and shoes. She struggled against the waves as the gang members leapt in after her. She kicked off her shoes in the throes of panic and motored as best she could towards the other shore. Why were they so persistent? She submerged and plunged, swimming blindly, her extremities and face tingling from the temperature.

The water by her face hissed and in panic she let out a large bubble of air, causing her the need to surface. She sucked air into her lungs and took a quick moment to see where her attackers were. A few yards away was the thug with the gun. He pointed it at her and she submerged again as the water hissed again. The other four were gaining on her.

She dove deeper and pushed ahead, trying to keep some distance. A thug came up behind her, gaining on the fear-stricken girl with ferocious speed. He had a bowie knife clamped between his scruffy jaws and a chain wrapped around his left fist. He reached for the girl with his free hand.

She saw him coming and darted in another direction, quickly weighing her options: to stay and fight and possibly die or press onward and seek help. She opened her eyes, though the water blurred and burned her vision. Thugs advancing…

In the distance a brilliant beam of light extended out to her. She plunged and headed straight for it. The thug with the knife was beside her, swinging at her. 'Head for the light,' she urged herself, 'just keep on swimming.' The light increased in intensity, seeming to draw her in.

She was suddenly jerked backwards and pulled to the surface by a thug. He punched at her head, but she ducked and slammed into his crown jewels, temporarily pleased by watching him sink. A blast of pain struck her shoulder and she spun, coming the grips with the reality that one of the thugs had hit her with the chain.

She plunged for the light again, surrounded by its warm glow. In the center of the ring of light was a sword sticking out of a pile of shipwrecked rubble. She could only see the gleaming gold and silver handle and part of the blade. 'What a fortune turn! Now I have a weapon and can defend myself against these guys.'

The girl extended her hand, gripping the handle and jerking it free. She turned on the thugs, her face set in an expression that invited them to come closer.

Suddenly the sword jerked upward, tugging her out of the water and into the air. The rain beat against her face and hit the blade with a 'ting' sound. Lightning split the sky and struck the tip of the sword, illuminating it and filling the girl with a rush of immense power.

Her body lengthened and thickened with a layer of powerful muscle. Her dripping clothes were replaced with a tough yet flexible, sleeveless yet hooded leather jumpsuit over a thinner leather shirt with a stiff Mandarin collar. Her slippery hands became encased in a pair of fingerless gloves. She looked down at herself, the rich garnet of her jumpsuit, the pale stormy blue of her shirt, and the silver bands and thunderbolts on her legs.

She descended, full of power, energy and fury. She swung the sword, releasing numerous bolts of angry electricity. The thugs were propelled out of the water and blasted with lightning. The girl soared across the water back towards the pier, leaving a foamy trail behind her. The rest of the gang was at the pier, guns in hand. The girl pulled the blade back and swung it forward, shattering the pier into a thousand pieces and sending the thugs flying. She landed on the concrete, back to the water, and sheathed the blade. The flow of power left her and she ran again, oblivious of the rain and destruction she'd done.

"Raiji!"

The blond boy looked up from his computer. "In here, "Arashiko!" The navy-haired girl followed the sound of her boyfriend's voice dripping water through the barren hallway.

Raiji was cheerfully typing away at his beloved-but-abused computer. He pushed his black, thick-framed glasses up onto his nose and grinned. He typed furiously, the grin growing bigger and bigger as he went. Arashiko dashed into the room and slammed the door, breaking his concentration.

"Arashiko!"

Arashiko's eyes darted from side to side, then peered out the window. She willed her heart to calm as she looked down the almost deserted street. People were scurrying around to get out of the rain, which had slowed to a steady drizzle. There was nothing out of the ordinary at all; life was going on as it always did. Arashiko sighed, collapsed in a chair and gingerly felt the wound on her shoulder. The broken skin raged angry red and a few drops of dried blood flaked at her touch.

Raiji's eyes widened in shock. "Arashiko! Your shoulder!" He bustled out of his room and came back with a wet washcloth. Arashiko hissed in pain as the cloth came in contact with her wound. Raiji looked up at her.

"What happened?"

"Well, it went something like this." She took a deep breath, "I was leaving the library after school, on my way home to start my English paper. Have you started?"

He nodded. "Forget that, keep telling me what happened."

"So anyway, I was walking back towards my house when I passed by a shady alley. I stopped to tie my shoe and accidentally overheard two Jackhammers—y'know, the gang?—talking about…oh, I don't even remember. Stealing something and battle with the Clowns. I stood up and walked on when suddenly they came out of their hiding spot and asked if I heard anything. I instinctively said no, which was pretty much true except I had heard every word and just didn't care. The one guy had a chain and the other guy had a gun and they both stank of alcohol. I walked away, slowly and calmly, but the bastards insisted on following me, so I walked faster. Then I ran full-speed into the city, hoping to lose them in the crowds, but no! They kept up, always right behind me. Then there weren't just two, but four, then five, then seven! Dear god. I ran all the way out to the docks and jumped in, trying to get away. THEY FOLLOWED ME IN! I ALMOST GOT SHOT TWICE!" Her eyes flashed at the memory, " Then I saw this bright light and I swam for it. Of course I had to come up for air and once I did one of the guys bashed me on the shoulder with his chain. I dove again, this time going full-speed for the light and I found it to be a sword," her eyes gleamed, "so I pulled it out to fight off the gang. It tugged me up into the air and lightning struck it and what a rush! I can't describe it. My clothes changed, and I felt stronger. I went blazing across the water to the other side and then the power left me and I came to you because…well, because I didn't think you'd think I was sniffing permanent markers again."

At that they both laughed, then became serious. "What about the sword?" Raiji whispered, "Did you get rid of it?"

Arashiko shook her head. "No." Then she suddenly became aware of a weight across her shoulder. She reached around, only to come in contact with cold metal. "Raiji, it's still here."

She pulled it around and placed it in his lap. Raiji ran a finger along it, surprised to find that it was real. He shook his head and looked at her squarely. "You should throw it back. It's not yours and certainly don't know what it can do."

Arashiko nodded reluctantly. "Yeah, you have a point. But it called to me. No, don't look at me like that, it really did! It drew me in, almost. I don't really know how to explain it." She took the sword back and twirled it. She unsheathed it halfway and was shocked to feel a small blast of energy. The metal felt warm to her touch, as if filled with electricity. She sheathed it completely and placed the sword down on Raiji's faded bedspread. Raiji watched the way Arashiko handed her newfound weapon; it was obvious to him that she was becoming quite attached. Then he noticed her pacing, a habit of hers that drove him crazy.

"Will you stop that, please?"

Arashiko sighed and waved away his remark. As soon as her hand moved the sword quivered and flew towards her. Without thinking she turned and caught it easily. Arashiko blinked, then looked at Raiji, who was gaping at her.

"Whoa."

Arashiko placed the sword on the ground and took a few steps back. Feeling slightly foolish, she opened her hand, palm down, fingers extended, towards the sword. It immediately answered her call. Raiji sat there with his mouth wide open. The look on his face unnerved Arashiko.

"Hey, say something, here!"