Kozo leans back in his chair, his deck resting on his lap. He’s viewing footage taken from a street camera near the space elevator. On screen, an Osaka Seafood Concern delivery truck has collided with a pair of police cruisers. There’s a smoking crater in the street and several police officers lying unconscious or dead. A blurry image of Suko Goro can be seen staggering out of the truck towards one of the cruisers. He reaches inside the car, then starts pushing the vehicle out of the way, while the truck attempts to back up. Kozo rewinds the scene to just before Goro emerges from the truck. He taps a few times on his keyboard. The scene starts playing through again, only this time the image of Goro is replaced by a lanky punk sporting a Mohawk.
Toshiro staggers up behind him with a half-liter can of Red Dragon beer in one hand and a smoking joint in the other. “Hey Kozo. Use the dwarf instead of the punker. I love that little guy!”
“That’d look stupid. The dwarf’s supposed to have bionic legs, remember? Goro’s practically crawling along he’s moving so slow. Nobody’d believe it.”
Toshiro lets out a loud belch in reply. He spins around awkwardly, rights himself and then makes his way across the common room on wobbly legs.
“That’s some fucking hickey Sureji!” He shouts, breaking into a fit of the giggles. Suki, who’s been dressing the bite wounds, pauses to give him a dirty look. Sureji musters the energy to flip him off. He finally drops onto the couch next to Suko Goro, offering him the joint. The ex-gangbanger’s neck and shoulders are swathed in bloody pressure dressings. He winces in pain as he lifts the joint to his lips for a hit.
“I heard Bobby was really lighting things up with my old grenade launcher.” Toshiro begins.
“I still can’t believe you bought that thing when you didn’t know how to use it.” Goro replies while exhaling. “Dumb shit.”
“How was I know it was so hard to use?” Toshiro replies. “Figured, pull the trigger and boom! Shit blows up. But, whatever… Tell me what went down.”
Goro takes another long hit off the joint, exhales slowly, then passes it back to Toshiro. “Fuck you Toshiro.”
“Goro, quit being an asshole and spit it out.” Suki says without looking up from her work. “I need to debrief you and now’s as good a time as any.”
“Yeah, ok boss. Well, once you downloaded old Isumi Mako’s memories, you found a whole bunch of fun shit. She didn’t exist on the grid before five years ago, because she wasn’t on it. She’s an off-worlder. Some kind of child genius or something. Some douche scientist at Makita found her and started training her. She moved up through Makita fast. Apparently had some project to use genetic markers to cause people to glow in the dark? Why the fuck would anybody want to do that? Anyhow, she eventually lands on Earth. Gets on Nobuda’s team. He’s got her taking the glow in the dark shit and turning it into something useful, like making fucking rage zombies.” Goro reaches up and puts his hand on his dressing. It comes back covered in blood.
“Suki, I’m springing a leak over here. When are you going to take a look at this shit?”
“Keep your shirt on. I’m almost done.” She replies testily.
“Apparently this Yakuza underboss Ishii is somehow mixed up in all this rage zombie shit. Doesn’t seem like old Nobuda is too happy about it, but also seems like he didn’t have any choice. Maybe they got him in a bind with that Akiko bitch or something? Anyhow, Ishii and Mako become lovers. Fuck knows if its real or if Ishii is using her. Either way, she convinces Mako to defect to the Yakuza. Guess we know how all that went down, huh? You find out that Mako has got her whole fucking lab packed up and ready to go. All the info on the rage zombie project is sitting on a mainframe at her lab near the space elevator. So, after giving me a fucking lecture about how turning that Akiko bitch into our agent was a top priority, you turn around and tell us we need to get our asses down to Yokohama pronto.
“Dopinder takes the hovercar and drops us off a couple blocks from the place. Lock’s got a retinal scanner and key pad. Luckily we got her eye and her memory. As Sureji starts working on the door, a bullet hits the doorframe right next to him. Sniper across the street. We don’t fuck around, but duck right inside. All the lights are out. I put on my night vision rig and start to look around. Place is a fucking tomb. Bodies lying in the hall, blood spattered everywhere. We pick our way down the corridor, when suddenly one of the stiffs sits up and tries to take a bite out of me. That was fucking something. Guy looked totally dead and suddenly he’s chewing on my neck. We open up on him and finally drop him only to see a pile more pouring out from the garage and surrounding rooms. We head into the stairwell and start moving up. I’m in the lead with my blades, while Bobby and Sureji are taking shots at the crowd gathering in our rear. We make it up to the floor where Mako had her lab, and it’s littered with more bodies. Of course they all start standing up and stumbling at us. Bobby softened a bunch of them up with a grenade, but then it was hand to hand. Fucking Sureji and I were mobbed by these fuckers. We couldn’t shake them and both of us got chewed up pretty good. Finally, we finished hacking them down. We took a bit of a closer look and some of them were scientist guys and others were Yakuza. Guess someone made a fuck-up with the zombie agent…
“We’re in pretty shit shape by the time we get into Mako’s old lab. Surprise, surprise, we see a half-dozen Yakuza have sealed themselves in some sort of chamber. Apparently they are waiting out the whole zombie apocalypse behind a foot of hermetically sealed glass. Of course they’ve got the computer and a tank of this zombie juice sealed in there with them. Like I said, none of us are in any shape to tangle with six guys, so we try and figure out if we can cut off their air or something. No luck there. Finally, Sureji gets the bright idea to poison them, so we ring you up and ask how to mix up some toxic shit. Bobby hurls it into the room and Sureji holds the door shut. Pretty soon their all flopping on the ground like beached fish. After a little while we go in and collect the goods.
“Now, all this science shit is too heavy to throw in the hover car, so we head down and take a look in the garage. Yakuza had brought one of their trademarked limos and a big van along with them. We load the computer and bioweapon onto the van. Sureji gets into the driver’s seat and I take shotgun. Bobby heads up to the roof to try and pin down that sniper while we take off down the street. We proceed to have the sloppiest extraction of any operation ever.
“Cops have got the street blocked off with a pair of cruisers and a black SUV. Sureji turns the fucking truck around and head’s the other way. Meanwhile, Bobby has traded fire with the sniper, then hops into the hovercar. They look for an alternate route for us, but we’re pinned since the cops are setting up a roadblock at the other end of the street too. Sureji can’t seem to get the damn truck to do more than 30 kilometers per hour. I’m thinking I could probably push the fucking thing faster myself. He tries to ram the roadblock and manages to just put a big dent into one of the cruisers. Cops are screaming at us to get out of the car. That SUV has left the other barricade and stops to pick up the sniper down the road. I holler at the cops to clear off or we’ll let them have it. Dumb fucks don’t budge, so Bobby drops a frag grenade on them. I haul my ass out of the truck and push one of the cop cars out of the way. Hop back in, just as that SUV pulls up next to us and starts blasting. Bobby is fucking around with that grenade launcher, Sureji is trying to get the truck into reverse, only the bumper is stuck on the cruiser he rammed. I’m thinking this just may be it when Bobby finally puts a tungsten round from his riot into the SUV’s engine block and then starts peppering the passenger compartment. Sureji finally gets the van moving and we roll off. Anything else princess?”
“No.” Suki replies sticking an air hypo against his shoulder. “I think you earned your ‘dorph.”