Written by Werelynx

The complex was a tall, imposing building bristling with guards and motion detection devices. It was plain to see that this structure held something of worth- and that something was what the client wanted. A swift shadow whistled past the guard stations, staying in the shadows of the walls. It crept towards a tower door, and with a slight pause, waved its hand in front of a motion tracker. Alarms blared and sirens screamed as the distraction proved effective. In the confusion, the shadowy figure slinked off in the direction of another door.

She fiddled with the wiring of a keypad, and with a spark of electricity, the door slid open. The woman walked in and keyed the door shut behind her. The fools! This job was pretty pathetic from what she had done so far. She toyed with a small pad on her wrist for a moment, and an invisible field of electromagnetic energy was deployed around her body. She could now walk at will without setting off any motion detectors or being seen in any security cameras. Her hands wrapped around the pistols strapped to her legs. Checking the ammunition in them and making sure they were activated, she set off on a brisk pace.

The woman had hardly walked at all before she heard the sound of armored guards. The trio of bulky soldiers tromped down a long corridor. They wouldn't remember what happened next.

"Nighty-night, boys!" The woman dropped from above and bashed the three of them to the floor. She dispatched them all with quick strikes in their necks and left them unconscious on the ground.

In the security control room, several people were sharing confused looks as a dazed guard told them what had happened.

"It- it was out of nowhere, just hit us l-like a load of bricks! We just hit the floor!" The chief of security, a tall, tubby man, scratched his bald scalp.

"Got past the towers… snuck inside… nearly killed three armored guards… AND YOU STILL HAVEN'T FOUND THE PERPETRATOR?!?" He quivered with rage, his belly shaking with every syllable. A young man at a terminal shot up.

"S-sir! We've tracked a cloaking device making rounds through Level B. It's heading towards the vault!" The chief whirled upon him and bowled him over as he fought to the terminal. Sure enough, something was leaving a trail of deactivated camera systems.

"Send troopers down there on the double, and fire on sight!" A team of infantrymen loaded their plasma rifles and donned their thick sets of armor. The chief listened to them tromp out the door as he thought to himself. Wait… nobody could have gotten through the security here alone… unless… NO! It couldn't be! His eyes strayed to a terminal, where a woman donned in a cloaking suit and several other gadgets was fiddling with something on her wrist. It's HER! It's Tenshi! Damn it, this isn't good!

Tenshi, the mercenary-for-hire and expert thief, was busy working with her cloaking control.

"Stupid piece of crap… it malfunctions every time…" She noticed a camera lens centering and focusing on her face. "Crap!" She pistol-whipped the machine and ran. The door to the vault loomed in front of her, impossible to cut through in such a short amount of time. She plugged several wires from the terminal on her back into a port near the door and began working. She uploaded a virus from her databank into the door's computer and set it to destroying the system.

A beam seared by her, burning a hole in the wall. Several armored troopers were bearing down on her, firing with their rifles. She shot one of them through the faceplate with her pistol before taking out both of her guns and firing precise shots into the group. Damn… I wasn't supposed to kill anyone on this job, but it looks like I'll have to break a few rules. After three fell, the rest scattered and took cover. A sonic grenade flew from a gauntleted hand, bouncing to rest near Tenshi. Her suit went into automatic support and a thick barrier sealed over her ears as the grenade detonated, releasing a sonic boom. The blast sent her flying onto the door and knocked the wires from her terminal loose. She hurled several frag grenades into the hallway, and turned as they detonated in smoke and flame. The door dinged open as she gathered the fallen cables up. Tenshi jumped inside and typed commands into the lock, sealing the door behind her.

A giant supercomputer rested in the middle of the room, where Tenshi got to work downloading the information she needed from the databanks. She heard a dull thudding on the thick doors as the guards tried to bash their way in.

"Sorry, gentlemen, but it takes two to tango. I've got a plane to catch." The door burst open and guns flooded the room with plasma bursts. Tenshi, hovering above them, unloaded hell from her pistols into the group. The men ran for cover again, firing as well as they could on the flying prey. Her heels dug into a faceplate, shattering it as she fell from above. She shot upward in a burst of speed and crashed through a ceiling vent, leaving a team of guards to stare at their goodbye present- a wad of C4 stuck to the computer.

The chief of security roared in anger as the vault's cameras and listening systems turned to static a moment after they were consumed in flame.

Tenshi knocked on the tall, ornate oak door. It opened to reveal a muscular man in a dark suit.

"Oh, Mistress Josei! Please, come in!" He opened the door wide and gestured for her to enter.

"Thank you, Stewart. I'll tell your boss to give a raise to the bodyguards that treat women civilly." The man bowed and closed the door.

Tenshi strode up the stairs of a lovely and decorated mansion hall. She paused for a moment to admire the paintings that covered the walls. Mr. Cleese always had a good eye for art; she had known him for years. He was one of her most common, and best paying, clients. Mr. Cleese's office rested at the top of the stairs. She knocked and entered the well-lit room.

"Ah, Ms. Tenshi. That was done in record time. Barely six hours since you left this room, if I am correct? Well, no matter. You are still the best of the best." The young Mr. Cleese sat in his leather chair and turned to face Tenshi.

"Well, you always were a stickler for proficiency. You know that you're on my list of top clients- it's my duty to deliver as quick as possible." She flipped out a small chit and placed it in a slot on his desk. A large monitor turned on and proceeded to run through various files, each labeled CONFIDENTIAL at the top.

"Yes, yes. All very good. Thank you for your continued loyalty, Tenshi. I trust that you caused some damage?"

"A little." She grinned upon thinking what that fat security officer's face would have looked like when he saw the explosives she had rigged.

"Your payment is being wired to your account as we speak. Two million credits, and not a single credit less." The man smiled and stared at the data running down the screen.

"You are most welcome. The next time you need something stolen or a mercenary for hire, you know who to call." She strode from the room and shut the door behind her.

Josei Kaze, better known to some as the skilled mercenary Tenshi, lives in her mansion in Izumo, Japan Prime. Kaze enjoys painting, eating out, practicing jujutsu, and tinkering with her gadgets. She is extremely good in the line of thievery, bounty retrieval, and protection, and her current occupation is just that- professional thief, bounty hunter, and mercenary. As Ms. Josei Kaze, she's an investor and Vice President in a large-profit organization that sells electronic equipment and bionic machinery. As Tenshi, she is the cream of the crop in the Japan Prime Underground. She adds to her current wealth with her "special skills" and spends much of her money building new things to further improve her quota. This, of course, is her story.

Kaze woke up from her much-needed nap and stretched. She picked up her datapad that was lying next to her bed and tapped on it a few times.

"What to do today… let's see. Tae Bo practice… work on Jujutsu… test new pistols in the shooting range… and I have an appointment with the Lord Himitsu at 3:00. Ugh. Well, if he pays, I'll work." She shut down the pad and climbed out of bed to start her daily routine.

Dressed in a jean ensemble, Kaze checked that the ammo in her new set of pistols was charged. She slid them into the holsters under her jacket and got in her car.

The silver-colored car hummed to a stop in front of a packed sushi bar. A sushi bar? This guy's supposed to be loaded, and he wants to meet at a sushi bar? She stepped out of her car and locked it. The bar was definitely popular- there was only one empty seat. A well-dressed man sitting next to the empty one gestured for her to come over. She sat next to him and took a plate of fish passing by on the conveyor belt.

"Mistress Tenshi, I presume? Thank you for coming to see me. I have a bit of a problem, and I was wondering if you could help me out. You see, I have a client that knows a great deal of information about one of my secret projects. He designed most of it. This project is extremely necessary to the government of Japan Prime, and several other countries know it. If they get their hands on his brain, they could create the same thing that we are- and faster. If we lost him, the development would be slowed down dramatically."

He paused as Tenshi cleared her throat.

"So what is this project? What is so important that you keep the plans sealed in some guy's head instead of on paper?"

Himitsu seemed surprised by the question, but he whispered quietly,

"A superweapon." Tenshi choked.

"Sorry. I thought I heard you say something about a superweapon."

"I did. We call it Project Nexus, and without it, Japan Prime will be destroyed." He looked grim.

"So how will Japan be destroyed? Even if some war or apocalypse wasted the country, America and Britain will help us. They're two of the strongest nations on the planet."

Himitsu waited a second to answer.

"Japan Prime is on the brink of war. America and France, and all the other countries that are our allies, couldn't help us if they knew about it. This superweapon isn't the only one. As I told you before, other countries against us are already dabbling in the idea of creating a machine so powerful it could wipe out entire sections of the planet. We need to finish ours before they do theirs. Their weapons are created to destroy, and the one in production in our country is being made to both protect our people and fight the others. America doesn't know any of this. Few of our allies do. Those that are in the know have already pulled out. Even if any of them made a move, they would be incinerated before their development teams could create something this huge." Tenshi tipped a bottle of sake over her lips and drank as heavily as she could. "Tenshi. Our wars will no longer fight with armies. This is the beginning of a new era- our wars will be fought with superweapons." Tenshi's hand dropped to the table with the bottle in it.

"I hate Mondays."

Himitsu grinned.

"So it's a deal?" She stopped him.

"How much?" He fumbled around with his wallet.

"Three hundred million credits will be wired to your account upon completion of a three-week period in which you will watch, supervise, and protect our researcher. He'll be staying in your house. If you agree, he'll probably be there by the time you get home." The sake bottle tipped up again. Three hundred million… three hundred million credits… just keep thinking about all of the zeros in that number… She groaned.

"You've got a deal. So, what's this mystery man's name?"