The Disclaimer: Contrary to popular belief, the characters and events and stuff in here *ARE* mine, so don't take them, and if you do, I'll hunt you down and kill you with a spork. Savvy?

The Author's Note: Okies.This piece was formerly untitled, but on Sam's advice I've just picked a title for it, lol ^^ Other than that, leave reviews please!!! I really really like them!! On a side note to that, flames will be posted in the next chapter and laughed at ^.~ Have a cheerful day!

Prologue-

"Nani?! They have destroyed *another* shipment?!" Takenao Ryusaki yelled in anger, slamming his fist down on his desk so hard it left a small mark on the elaborate mahogany wood. "I thought you had handled them." He added in a more threatening tone.

"W-Well, sir, they're proving to be more difficult to deal with than we'd expected." The man on the other end of the phone replied nervously.

"I see," Ryusaki said thoughtfully. "Well, since you obviously cannot handle a few street brats, I will be sending someone out there to settle this matter." He finished irritably.

"But, sir-"

"I will not lose another shipment." Ryusaki replied lowly before hanging up the phone and rubbing his temples.

After a moment of silent contemplation, he pressed a button on his desk, bringing a slight Japanese woman into his office. "You rang, Ryusaki-san?" she asked politely, bowing deeply in respect.

"Yes, Noriko," he said to the secretary. "Find Anthony and send him to me immediately."

"Yes, Ryusaki-san," Noriko replied, bowing again and exiting the room.

***

"Travis-san is here, Ryusaki-san," Noriko informed Ryusaki over the intercom.

"Thank you, Noriko. Send him in."

A few moments later there was a curt knock on the door which was preceeded by a tall man in a dark navy suit. He was young, early twenties at the most, with raven black hair and startling blue eyes that were framed by slight, silver-rimmed glasses. "You wished to see me, sir?" he inquired after he bowed, his American accent prominent.

"Ah, yes, Anthony." Ryusaki replied, nodding for the American to take a seat before he continued. Anthony complied, sitting in one of the plush chairs in front of the desk and crossing his legs in an aristocratic manner. "It has come to my attention that one of my companies in the United States has been having 'problems' - per say - with a local rebel group. I have let them get away with tagging the walls and protesting against me, but now they have started destroying the shipments I am sending out. This is not very pleasing to my clients - not to mention it could hurt my business here and in the States. I am sure you can tell that I will not stand for it." It never ceased to amaze Anthony how well the man's English was.

Anthony nodded. "But sir, how does this concern me?" he asked, being sure to keep his tone polite and respectful, even though he was more than slightly miffed that his boss had pulled him all the way uptown to tell him about something that was happening an ocean away. He noted that this most likely meant that he would be doing some traveling across said ocean to resolve the problem.

Ryusaki arched an eyebrow at the man, sensing the underlying annoyance. "I appointed someone to handle the leaders of this group, which should not be that difficult; they are nothing but punk kids. But this person was incapable of completing the job. So, you will be going to America to terminate this problem before it becomes a serious threat to our way of life."

Ah, yes, there it was. He'd been expecting this, but it still surprised him; maybe because Ryusaki was sending him hundreds of miles away just to stop some kids. Yes, that was most likely it. He nodded curtly. "I see. And who are these *problems* that I must handle?" he quirked an eyebrow in what could have been taken as slight curiosity.

"I was just getting to that." Ryusaki said, opening the top drawer of his desk and pulling out a rectangular white envelope. "All you need to know is in here, along with your plane tickets to New York." He stated, handing the envelope to Brad, who promptly tucked it in the pocket inside his suit jacket. "You are to rectify the situation and report back to me as soon as possible. Understood?"

"Of course, sir."

***

Anthony looked out the window of the airplane as it circled over New York City, wondering how the hell he had ended up back in the States.

// Fate is a sadistic bitch, that's how // the little voice in the back of his head answered him sullenly as he looked down on the 'urban jungle'. And what a jungle it was. Brad had never been to New York, but he'd heard about the people and the lifestyle here. Pickpockets, beggars, hookers, gangs.He was sure that this must be the worst place to live and he instantly missed the pristine cleanliness of his apartment building and the neighborhood it was located in back in Japan. This thought was followed by a disgusted look as he wondered for the umpteenth time why Ryusaki was hell bent on gaining control of this horrid place.

The dark haired man was torn from his thoughts as "Fasten your seatbelts!" was announced by the overly preppy blonde attendant from the front of the place. The sweetness dripping off her voice made him want to shoot himself, and he fastened his seatbelt quickly, hoping against hope that she wouldn't speak again. Checking that the envelope that held his mission information was still in place, he leaned back in the chair and tried to relax. All he could do now was wait.

Twenty minutes later found Anthony collecting his small suitcase and duffel bag from the baggage terminal and heading for the large glass doors clearly marked "Exit" in large red letters. As he left the chilled comfort of the well air-conditioned terminal the first thing he experienced was a sick blast of heat that slammed into him like a hot phantom tidal wave that threatened to drown him.

// It *had* to be July. // he thought sardonically as he hailed one of the many yellow taxi cabs that were passing by in the heavy traffic of downtown Manhattan. His upper lip curled in disgust as he settled himself in the backseat of the cab after giving the driver instructions, mentally adding the traffic to his list of why he hated New York City. Closing his eyes, he rubbed the bridge of his nose under his glasses and sighing softly, he pushed those thoughts away and tried to concentrate on his objective.

The sooner he completed his mission the sooner he could get back to Japan. Back to his life where he could take a long hot shower and brush this trip off as one of life's necessary evils.