South watched the scene unfold in the streets below.
There were a dozen or so homeless people, most still wearing business clothing or whatever they wore to work the day of the attack. She wasn't sure what they did now in the ruins of their city, but it had all come to an end the moment a battle mecha marched purposefully in.
They started cowering as the mecha took to its full height, scanning the street. Some bolted, while others stared down the monstrous machine. It would do them no good. It had already decided which ones to kill and which ones were prisoners.
Not wasting another moment, South kicked off from her rooftop perch, the air catching her as she fell. Gravity seemed to slow down, and her feet touched gently on the pavement and broken concrete. The mecha immediately sighted in on her, several lights and sensors pinging South's form.
She stood up out of her crouch landing, brushing her long, white blonde hair out of her face. She sized up her opponent, as well as taking note of the homeless around her. Some had fled at her sudden appearance, while a few others stood on gawking at her as if she was some sort of god.
She supposed she was.
South grunted in discomfort as one of the mecha's primary energy beams caught her in the chest. Had she been mortal, the particle beam would have seared right through her flesh and she'd be dead on the ground with a hole straight through her chest. Instead, it left a pressure where the beam hit, leaving only mild-discomfort, as though someone had taken a swing at her, but not quite with the force needed to knock her down.
She took a few steps forward, pressing back against the beam. By now, the emitter on the mecha was overheating from the sudden resistance, and the beam immediately switched off. Now two rockets came rushing towards her with loud jets of flame. South waved her hand nonchalantly, sending the rockets careening into abandoned buildings on either side of the street. The explosions sent the last of the homeless running.
Good. Now they were alone.
The mecha raced forward on two, metal plated feet that looked more like waffles than anything else, really. The thought made South chuckle, giving the mecha enough time to catch right up to her.
She leapt with inhuman speed into the air, landing right on the head of the mecha. Its sensors swiveled and ran wild, only aware of her by the pressure she put on the top most surface. Even then, it wasn't enough to get a lock. So the poor machine whirled and bucked, making South's job that much more dizzying.
She plunged her hand through the outer metal armor as if it was cardboard, feeling around for the central mind. It was buried deep, but after a few moments to subdue the mecha and reroute its programming, she had it in standby mode.
South retracted her hand, a small data cube no larger than her small finger wrapped carefully in her palm. She probed inward at the components, taking a moment to examine the two zetabyte hard drive of programming and memory this thing ran on.
She hesitated when a new presence entered her mind. Letting the data cube rest gently in her hand, she looked back up and down the street they stood in.
An army had gathered. Quite literally. There were at least three hundred of them, all in dark blue and black body armor, and all armed to the teeth. South cocked an eyebrow at their sudden appearance. They were pretty far off the grid out here. How had the Mikado allocated so many units so quickly?
No matter. She had what she wanted. Now it was time to toy with them.
The soldiers marched forward with purpose, their boots pounding on the broken concrete like the sound of a marching band. It didn't take long for them to surround the stationary mecha. They left a wide berth for her, and someone, perhaps their lieutenant, stepped forward.
"You're under arrest, Deian. Get down here and meet your justice."
South pocketed the data cube. She noted a few of the soldiers train their vision on the motion. Most probably had no idea what it was, but she suspected that would be their first priority; grab whatever she had, and then ask further questions. Well, she would have to play carefully, then. That data cube was kind of important to her.
"Is my sentencing already passed?" she asked out of curiosity.
"The Mikado will decide your fate. But we are your escort."
South tapped her chin thoughtfully. It would be nice to waltz right into the Mikado's fortress. That would save her the time of hacking the data cube, backtracking its code source, and then breaking in that way. Of course, if she surrendered herself, there was no telling what dimensions the Mikado had prepared for her. And although she was still half as clever mortal as she was immortal, it was a risky procedure.
No, she would pass on that offer today. But might as well have some fun while she was at it.
"All right, I'm coming down," she announced.
Several soldiers at the front of the group trained their weapons on her. Deians never surrendered willingly. They knew she was planning something. And she wouldn't disappoint.
South grabbed onto the handholds along the top of the mecha, lowering her feet down the side of the two-store machine. She gingerly climbed down the armored legs, finally landing cautiously in the center of the soldiers grouping below. They eyed her cautiously.
Someone finally rushed forward with hand-restraints, ready to snap them shut over her wrists. Instead, they leapt to life and snapped shut around the soldier's wrists. He stopped short of South, fidgeting helplessly with his cuffed hands. Someone else came forward to assist him, but suddenly his restraints were up around his wrists, too.
South giggled to herself, and the lieutenant grumbled impatiently.
"Enough of this foolery!"
He raised his sidearm and fired. Something hard and painful struck South's temple, knocking her on her back. She wasn't sure what sort of ammunition it was supposed to be, but it had certainly done her no damage. Still, while she recovered from the shock of the attack, several soldiers surrounded her prone figure. Some trained weapons on her, while other immediately set to binding her limbs.
It's gonna take more than a knock on the head and mortal bindings to protect you idiots.
The mecha overhead suddenly sprang to life, its armory and weapons spinning up. All of the soldiers standing around her immediately looked up. They were in time to see the waffle shaped foot of the mecha smash down on top of them.
The impact pushed South's body three feet deep in concrete and asphalt, blocking out her visual sense of the world around her. As far as the army was concerned, she had just been crushed by the same force that killed her would be captors. But down here, she wasn't limited by sight. Tapping in through the senses of the mecha, she had a complete view of the street around her.
For kicks and giggles, she left the mecha positioned right where it was, its one foot hiding her secure in the street. Meanwhile, she piloted the chain guns and energy beams as they worked death and destruction among the army on the street above her. It was a bloody mess, but in less than thirty seconds, she had made short work of their forces. The few remaining soldiers finally got enough hits on the poor mecha that it finally lost all power to its hardware. South toyed with the idea of restoring power, but decided to give them their short-lived victory.
There were about sixteen of them left now. They moved forward cautiously, staring down the burning hulk of the mecha. Its outer armor looked like Swiss cheese. They had nothing to fear. Unless South intervened, there was way too much hardware damage for this thing to continue its death rampage.
"Where is she?" someone yelled.
"I saw the mecha's foot crush her."
"Nothing but an illusion. She's probably watching us from one of the rooftops. Everyone spread out. She can't be far."
South blinked in surprise as the remaining soldiers scattered off into the city. They really thought she was gone? Wow, this was too easy.
Without another thought, she opened a small slit in spacetime, allowing herself to slip out of her impromptu concrete bunker, and on to other realms beyond. She had a data cube to analyze.