Xiaoyu could barely sit still in her seat as she nervously looked up at the unsympathetic clock hanging above the whiteboard. Each second seemed to pass unnaturally slow. Everyone else in the classroom was focused on reading the assigned lessons in their textbooks, but Xiaoyu could think of nothing other than what the Manji Clan could be doing right now- and what kind of trouble they could possibly be in. What she would give to be with them! She knew they could all take care of themselves with no problem, but going straight into the nearest G Corporation research stronghold wasn’t something to take lightly.
Xiaoyu, looked down at her book, finding absolutely nothing of interest amongst its contents. The teacher of the class, a kind woman in her early thirties with a small frame and inquisitive eyes, noticed Xiaoyu’s uneasiness and, as soon as the bell rang, she stood and asked Xiaoyu to stay behind for a moment.
‘Oh great,’ thought Xiaoyu, ‘Another teacher wants to scold me…’ Xiaoyu waited until all the other students left and then slowly walked to the front of the classroom, expecting yet another lecture on the importance of dedication and hard work.
“Yes, Mrs. Kyouyu?” asked Xiaoyu, anxiously awaiting her next reprimand.
“Miss Ling,” began Mrs. Kyouyu, organizing a few papers at her desk with no apparent goal, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been very distracted today. Is everything alright?”
‘No, everything is not alright!’ thought Xiaoyu, but aloud she merely said, “Yes, ma’am. Everything’s fine. I’ve just been having an off day.” Her inner thought’s continued to play out in her mind, ‘More like an off week! I was almost killed, I was chased around by syndicate thugs, massive robots, and foreign assassins… and now Yoshimitsu- where to even begin with him?! Yoshimitsu went off to the G Corporation! What if something bad happens?!’ She finished with, “I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.”
“If it’s something you’re embarrassed to talk about, that’s okay. You don’t have to be embarrassed around me,” offered Mrs. Kyouyu, with a smile, “I hope it’s nothing serious. Are you in harm in any way?”
“No, it’s nothing like that,” answered Xiaoyu, shaking her head a little, “I’m just… worried…” Xiaoyu paused for a moment, thinking that maybe there was a way she could express her feelings of concern without revealing any of the details, “I’m worried about… someone. A friend of mine. I care a lot about this person- my friend, I mean. I…” Xiaoyu was finding this more difficult than she had anticipated.
“Would you like to sit down?” suggested the kindly teacher, pulling a seat forward for Xiaoyu. Mrs. Kyouyu then took a seat in her own desk chair. She honestly felt that, in this hustle-and-bustle society where people were brought up to conceal their emotions, it was very important to help her students cope with their problems in anyway she could.
“Thank you,” said Xiaoyu, sitting down. She was nervously playing with her hands, not wanting to look her teacher in the eyes. “It’s just that, Mrs. Kyouyu, I sometimes think this person- my friend- might be trying to tackle too much, you know? They’re always running around, not being careful at all, and… And it really bugs me that he doesn’t even seem to appreciate how much I worry!”
“He?” asked Mrs. Kyouyu, feeling that she had reached a breakthrough, “Ah! So, you’re having guy trouble, aren’t you?” She smiled, remembering her own days in school when she and her friends would spend all that time and energy worrying over guys who sometimes didn’t even give them a second look. Youth is wasted on the young.
Xiaoyu, now completely embarrassed at the idea that her problems could be misconstrued as simple “guy trouble,” stood quickly and said, “Ummm, thank you for your time, Mrs. Kyouyu.” She bowed quickly. “I’m sorry for being distracted in class. I promise it won’t happen again.” She then exited the classroom as quickly as possible, leaving her teacher to sit there shaking her head with soft laughter.
“Y-You’re not authorized to be here!” opposed one of the G Corporation’s researchers as he tried to block Yoshimitsu’s way.
“Stand aside!” shouted Kawamitsu, pushing the feeble scientist out of the way with ease.
Considering that the G Corporation had attacked the Manji Clan mountain base so openly, Yoshimitsu deemed it more than appropriate to give them a little visit in the broad daylight. Yoshimitsu, along with Kawamitsu and a handful of other loyal clan members, continued on his way towards the main research floor of the expansive G Corporation facility. Kunimitsu followed the group at a distance, finding it strange to be out with the Manji Clan once more. It was almost as if she had been transported back to the old days when she was a legitimate clan member.
In the next room, blocked off by a reinforced steel sliding door, security guards for the G Corporation facility waited patiently, having been warned that a very angry team of Manji Clan ninja were headed their way.
“Yes sir,” confirmed the captain of the squad, “Yoshimitsu is just outside Zone B. Understood.” He motioned for his men to take their positions and to hold their fire until given the command.
Kawamitsu, using an access card he had muscled from one of the researchers, quickly swiped the card and stood aside, allowing Yoshimitsu to enter the next room. He was greeted by the muzzles of almost a dozen automatic weapons pointed right at him.
“Yoshimitsu of the Manji Clan, you are trespassing on private property! Leave immediately or you will be fired upon!” warned the captain, expertly concealing his nervousness at the intimidating sight of the cyborg ninja standing before him.
Yoshimitsu stood there silently as the rest of his comrades entered the room. Kawamitsu stepped forward, sword drawn, and Kunimitsu took a place near the door, carefully brandishing her cold dagger.
“Oh, cut the bullshit! You know exactly why we’re here! Now, where’s the filth who ordered that attack?!” demanded Kawamitsu, mentally taking note of every enemy target in the room.
‘What the hell?’ thought one of the security guards, lowering his weapon only slightly, ‘If they wanted to talk to one of the higher ups, why did they come down here to the working floor?’
“Give it up, Yoshimitsu!” began the captain, “You’re outnumbered and outgunned. Surrender now and no one will get hurt.” On both sides, he felt like adding.
Instead of drawing his sword in defiance, Yoshimitsu simply raised his hands up, surrendering. Two of the security guards wasted no time in grabbing his hands and wrenching them behind his back.
“Ha! I must say, I’m surprised you gave up so easily,” stated the captain, suddenly surging with confidence, “I guess the rumors of your fierceness aren’t true after all.” Then, in a moment of insolence, the captain reached out and lifted the skeletal mask away from Yoshimitsu’s face… to reveal the face of a very intense-looking young woman.
“Surprise!” shouted Hiyamitsu, gleefully, as she brought her powerful robotic leg up rapidly, kicking one of her captors in the face. He immediately let go, staggering back in pain from his jaw being fractured from the kunoichi’s high kick. Hiyamitsu then threw the other security guard up over her shoulder, sending him slamming down onto the hard floor.
“Y-You’re not Yoshimitsu!” shouted the captain, stepping back as he brought up his radio, shouting into it, “It’s a decoy! It’s a decoy! Yoshimitsu isn’t here!” He then commanded his men to open fire.
The Manji ninja immediately dispersed throughout the large working floor, darting in between computer terminals and using upturned lab tables for cover. Among the clamor of gunfire and ricocheting bullets, Kawamitsu sheathed his sword and drew his first few throwing knives, calculating the individual throws in his mind before letting the small steel blades fly.
Yoshimitsu, as silently and deadly as ever, quickly made his way to the main development office. There, he knew, would be the persons responsible for making the decision to attack the Manji Clan mountain base, his home. There, he’d get his answers. But first, he had to actually find the place.
With his new suit- which Dr. Bosconovich had introduced to him just moments before their excursion to the G Corporation- Yoshimitsu could pass through the hallways even more stealthily than before. Using an advanced means of cloaking, Yoshimitsu could slip by the security cameras completely undetected. If they could see him, the guards would surely be frightened by his new appearance. This new suit sported a much more otherworldly look, with vibrant yellows and reds. Yoshimitsu’s skeletal mask was replaced with a similar variant, which rested behind a visor of bulletproof glass. His helmet was like a bizarre headdress, with vicious tendrils coiling from the base of the helmet down his back, where thin streaks of light pulsated like a heartbeat. The suit was a fusion of traditional Japanese armor and new world technology, and it fit Yoshimitsu perfectly.
‘Down this hall, and then…’ thought Yoshimitsu, mentally going over the floor plan of the sprawling research facility. He knew that the room he needed to get to was on the 11th floor, but how to get up there in a timely manner without the wings of his beetle suit? Yoshimitsu smirked under his mask as he got an idea. Racing to the nearest elevator, he charged towards the metal doors and, with the solidity of his robotic arm, he crushed the doors in slightly, hoping the thunderous crash of metal could be heard by the people he was now after- as if the metallic cacophony would be his warning to them.
“That’s right; I’m coming for you,” muttered Yoshimitsu, as he began to pull the doors apart with all the strength he could muster. Once they were opened enough for Yoshimitsu to squeeze his slim figure through, he looked up and down the cavernous elevator shaft. Upon peering down, he saw that the elevator car itself wasn’t too far down. He leaped forward, latching onto the steel hoist ropes, which he used to slink down to the car as aptly as an acrobat.
Once on the elevator car, he began searching around in hopes of finding a cabinet of some sort, where the elevator’s computer would be housed. He knew that if he could find that, he’d be able to program it to take him up to the 11th floor.
“Huh…” began Yoshimitsu, unable to spot any sort of cabinet, “This elevator must have a separate machine room somewhere, then. Well, in that case…” He then turned his attention to the taut steel hoist cables and grasped one of the cables, using the vice grip of is robotic arm to secure himself tightly to it. Then, after examining the hoist components carefully so to not pick the wrong one, Yoshimitsu raised his deadly sword and slashed at one of the steel cables, slicing through it with ease.
With that, Yoshimitsu was violently propelled upwards, which in turn made him tighten his grip on the cable even more. He could feel the exhilarating lurch of his innards as he was flung higher up the elevator shaft, watching carefully for his stop.
Yoshimitsu counted each painted number on the interior of the elevator shaft as he flew by it. ‘8... 9... 10... There!’ He then leapt out to the bottom edge of the doorway, catching it with his trusty robotic hand. He pulled himself up quickly and soon began working on opening the door, thankful for the time Hiyamitsu and the others were buying him with their little charade.
Once the doors were opened, Yoshimitsu quietly made his way down the hallway, each step silent and calculated.
‘The main office should be just around the corner,’ thought Yoshimitsu, who had grown a little too confident with his new invisibility. As he turned the corner, expecting the hallway to be just as empty as the last, Yoshimitsu was stopped dead in his tracks by the sight of a hulking figure standing in the middle of the hallway.
“Damn!” cursed Yoshimitsu, staring at the imposing Jack-5 robot as it picked him up on it’s thermal scanners. Yoshimitsu, his cloaking now useless, reappeared and quickly assumed a defensive stance, waiting for the massive automaton to make its first move.
The Jack robot, assessing Yoshimitsu as the target, immediately opened fire. Yoshimitsu cursed again as he quickly dodged back around the corner. The firing then ceased, but he knew too well that the robot was making its way towards him, each heavy step echoing in the empty hallway. Yoshimitsu, gripping the hilt of his sword tightly, waited patiently for the robot to get closer, and just as Yoshimitsu peered back around the corner, he was surprised by a rather large fist hitting him across the head. The punch from the Jack-5 was enough to send Yoshimitsu sprawling across the polished hallway floor, hitting his head again as he crashed into the far wall.
From his angle on the floor, Yoshimitsu could see the harsh phosphorescent lighting of the hallway cast shadows on the tall robots emotionless face, and he was momentarily paralyzed by uncertainty and a ringing in his head, leftover from the menacing machine’s powerful strike.
The robot then lifted its giant fists over its head, ready to bring them down with enough force to crush Yoshimitsu where he lay. However, just as the titanic robot began swinging its arms down, something suddenly shattered through one of the glass windows and hit the robot straight in the head, causing an explosive dispersal of shrapnel and wires. The robot, it’s head being destroyed, keeled over and Jean-Luc Roi Mikel de Garonne grinned silently to himself, tallying the headshot in his mind.
With that, Yoshimitsu quickly got to his feet and looked out the window, zooming his sight back and forth from building to building. Then, he saw them. Mikel de Garonne had taken a post in the Manji Clan’s multipurpose helicopter- using his prized rifle to keep Yoshimitsu covered. Yoshimitsu, holding his wrist radio to his mouth, called in to de Garonne, whom he could see answer his own radio from his sniper’s roost.
“Nice shot,” commented the Manji leader, genuinely relieved, “How’s your arm holding up?”
“Hurts like a bitch!” replied the Basque assassin, shouting over the sound of the chopping helicopter blades. He was ready to show Yoshimitsu what he was really made of. “They have quite a few of those things patrolling the hallways, looking for you no doubt. Stick to the windows and I’ll keep you covered.”
“This guy’s a great shot, Master,” piped in Iiguru, knowing better than to put 100% of his trust in the assassin just yet, “Taka and I will keep an eye on you.”
With that, Yoshimitsu continued down the hallway, his quick feet pattering quietly as he held his sword to the side, ready to cut down anything he might happen to come across.
“Well, that’s all of ‘em,” declared Kawamitsu as he reached down to retrieve the last of his now bloody throwing knives. He quickly wiped the blood on the dagger onto the sleeve of one of the dead guards. Most were killed, but a few had managed to escape through the door on the other side of the room. “Are you okay, Umimitsu?” he asked, looking over to a female ninja who was sitting on the floor, leaning against one of the upturned tables.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” she answered, gritting her teeth as she removed her black cloth mask and used it to dress the bullet hole in her right arm, “It didn’t hit the bone, but damn, it hurts!”
“Is everyone else okay?” he asked, looking around the entire room. Everyone seemed to be fine, which was a bit of a miracle considering how many guns were going off only moments ago.
“Where do you think those other guards ran off to?” asked Morimitsu, ready to follow them.
“Oh, let them run. I’m sure they’re just cowering somewhere, licking their wounds. Hiyamitsu,” he turned to the ferocious female ninja, still wearing their leader’s bizarre beetle suit, “Can you get Yoshimitsu on the radio and let him know we’re done here?” He tossed it to her as he continued to check up on everyone else.
“Sure!” replied Hiyamitsu, enthusiastically, catching the radio in one hand and bringing it up to her smiling lips, “Hey, Yoshimitsu, this is Hiyamitsu. We’re all done here. We’ll regroup at the exit point and wait for you.”
“Great job,” replied Yoshimitsu on the other end, “So, they fell for it, huh?”
“Sure did!” she grinned, idly feeling the ribbed breast plate of the armor with her free hand. Then, she lowered her voice to almost a whisper and said, “I was wondering when I’d finally be able to get in your pants, Yoshimitsu.”
Yoshimitsu looked down at his wrist radio incredulously, and he could feel a flush of warmth surface on his concealed cheeks, a physical indicator of his embarrassment.
“U-Uhm. Well, just… Just make sure everyone’s okay and I’ll meet you all there.”
Hiyamitsu laughed, reveling in her ability to confound him. Kawamitsu glanced at her closely, not liking that joke in the slightest, and he tried his best to avoid the taste of bitterness in his mouth. Just when everyone had gathered together to make their escape, Kawamitsu took one last glance around the now destroyed room and paused.
“Wait… Where’s Kunimitsu?”
“Useless garbage!” exclaimed Kunimitsu, frustrated at her lack of findings. She’d been combing through the contents of several hard drives for quite some time now, and she had yet to find anything of notable value.
She sat back in the desk chair, frustrated, and she crossed her arms with contempt. Standing, she decided to keep looking around the research lab, mindful to step over the unconscious researchers as they laid scattered across the lab.
‘They’re lucky I was so merciful and didn‘t just kill them all,’ she thought, returning to the row of filing cabinets that she had broken open with a screwdriver she had found in a tool closet. Kunimitsu searched through the cabinets like they were bargain bins, discarding anything that didn’t pique her interest. She had left the fire fight on the first floor as soon as she could, deciding it would be much more lucrative to find a separate research lab and look around in hopes of finding anything that she’d be able to sell- illegally, of course- for a high price. Although, it was starting to look as if her search would be in vain.
At the last minute, however, she stumbled upon a rather normal-looking flash drive that was marked differently than the others. Kunimitsu wasted no time in jumping onto a computer and loading up the contents of the flash drive.
She could hardly believe her eyes as the computer program opened up to reveal dozens of files detailing top-of-the-line weapons prototypes.
“That’s more like it,” she said aloud, flashing a greedy grin as she hungrily looked over the contents. Soon, however, she paused on a particular file that had caught her eye. A small gasp escaped her lips, feeling a twinge of shock course through her, and she knew then and there that she had stumbled upon something big.
Yoshimitsu stood there, examining the door that blocked him from the men responsible for the attack on his home. The door to the main development office was nearly impenetrable, from what he could tell, reinforced with steel and various security locks. If he tried to get in by force, there was no way he would reach the people inside in time before they somehow escaped. Hell, for all he knew, they were already aware of his presence right outside their office and were getting away.
Yoshimitsu then took a seat on the floor, facing the ominous doorway with his legs crossed solemnly as he held his sword vertically before him. He was silent for a long time, closing his eyes in deep concentration. Yoshimitsu, having perfected some of the highest techniques from the Manji Clan’s advanced fighting style, could feel the overwhelming power ripple in his body as he focused all of his life force into performing this one special ability. He had done this numerous times before, but he wanted to make sure he’d get it right this time. All in a single instant, Yoshimitsu seemed to spin around like a whirlwind before disappearing altogether.
Magically, he then appeared on the other side of the door, surprised to find nothing but a large, empty office. There were computer terminals everywhere, but not a single employee operating them. Sword in hand, Yoshimitsu began to quietly make his way deeper into the expansive room. Where was everyone? Had they all been evacuated?
A faint sound then reached Yoshimitsu’s ears and he quickly turned to face a door that slid open to reveal a single researcher. He was a man whose considerable stature seemed to contrast with his white lab coat and sharp glasses. Slightly surprised, Yoshimitsu could sense no feelings of nervousness or fear from him.
“Ah, Yoshimitsu. My name is Eigo Yokoshima, and I’m the head researcher for this division of the G Corporation,” began Eigo as he walked towards the Manji leader, “What brings you here on such short notice?”
“You know why I’m here, Yokoshima,” Yoshimitsu replied, fixing his gaze on the researcher. He went on to add, “You had no right to bring such destruction to a place of peace.”
“Oh! You mean the attack on your quaint mountain base? Why, Yoshimitsu. You of all people should know that if you want something, you must take it,” Eigo Yokoshima replied coolly. The lab coat he wore was the only thing modest about him, being a man who was preoccupied with wealth and advancement.
“Having a wider heart is more important than having a larger house,” replied Yoshimitsu, quoting what he felt was a rather appropriate Buddhist saying. He went on to include a bit of sarcasm with, “Besides, if there is indeed something in my possession that you so intensely desire, you merely had to ask for it. I’m certain we could have worked out a deal. I’m always in the mood to make some extra cash.”
Eigo’s eyebrows furrowed at Yoshimitsu’s cheekiness, and his frustration could be heard in his next reply.
“Only a fool would think that you’d be willing to put a price on what we were after.”
“Oh?” asked Yoshimitsu, with exaggerated interest, “And what might that have been?”
Eigo was silent for a few moments before replying.
“You cyborgs are such fascinating things,” he began, placing his hands in his pockets casually, “I bet you’re tracking my every move right now, with your integrated HUD. I bet it’s telling you everything about yourself and your environment. Your heartbeat, my body heat, the temperature in the room… It takes a person with an immense magnitude of intellect to be able to create such powerful machines from mere human husks.”
Yoshimitsu’s interest in what this man was saying was piqued at hearing such an implicative answer.
“Quite. But what does that have to do with any of this?”
“As I’m sure you know, we at the G Corporation are always mindful of the technological breakthroughs of our rival companies. After all, it’s all about being ahead of everyone else in this line of work.” Eigo paused a moment and turned around to pace the other way, taking care not to turn his back to the seated Manji leader.
Yoshimitsu, feigning relaxation, crossed his arms and replied listlessly with, “I’m listening.”
Eigo’s eyebrows furrowed ever slightly more, and his frustration in dealing with such an ostentatious creature as Yoshimitsu was beginning to try his nerves.
“We’ve been receiving countless reports of the advancements that the Mishima Zaibatsu has been making as of late, and my superiors have charged me with trying to… acquire some of this technology,” Eigo continued, making sure to keep a close eye on the dangerous man who stood before him.
“So, you intend to steal technology from the Mishima Zaibatsu. That’s all well and good, but I am still unable to see how the Manji Clan is involved in any of this. Still, even a fool believes he has solid reasons for his actions, however illogical they may be. So surely, someone of your intellect should have a very good reason for doing what you have done.”
Spurred on by Yoshimitsu’s smugness, Eigo removed all thoughts of diplomacy between the G Corp and this insolent group of thieves out of his mind. There would be no negotiations, no compromises. Yoshimitsu would give him everything or die.
“I have my reasons, alright. However, I regret to say that you might not be around long enough to hear them.” Eigo then quickly reached underneath the nearest desk.
Yoshimitsu heard the small click of the emergency button and immediately leaped away from where he had been standing. His superior reflexes allowed him to just barely dodge the charging Jack-5 that came pummeling through the entrance. Using the commotion as a distraction, Eigo rushed to escape through a secondary door, closing it behind him quickly. Yoshimitsu was left alone in the large, cluttered room with a rather imposing Jack 5 robot.
He wasted no time at all and hastily leaped towards the mechanical brute, planting a powerful kick square in its chest. The Jack, staggering backwards a bit, retaliated with a swing of one of its massive arms. Yoshimitsu, quicker on his feet than the robotic brute he was now facing, dodged with a sidestep. Seeing his opportunity, he knelt down and sliced at the Jack’s feet in a sweeping motion, cutting its legs off just below the knee. As the robot’s heavy upper half started to fall backwards, Yoshimitsu lifted his sword up and was just about to run the Jack through when he suddenly paused. The metal carcass hit the floor with a loud thud, and Yoshimitsu saw the Jack’s face split open to reveal a small countdown display in the center. 4... 3... 2... 1.
“Shit!” exclaimed de Garonne at witnessing a side of the building suddenly burst open in an explosion. Using his rifle scope, he quickly began scanning the building up and down, looking for any sign of Yoshimitsu amongst the charred rubble and smoke.
Xiaoyu was surprised to find the place almost completely deserted. She had tried to get to the G Corporation building as soon as class was over, so she had thought that there would at least be a few people still here. Had Yoshimitsu and the Manji Clan already come and gone?
Determined to find out, Xiaoyu quickly ran past the vacant security desk and entered into the closest elevator. She figured starting at the top and working her way down would be the best bet and she fidgeted anxiously as the elevator doors closed, wishing it would move faster. Just as she was reaching the upper floors of the building, Xiaoyu was startled by what sounded like a large explosion. The elevator shook slightly and the lights flickered, causing her to gasp and let out a small shriek. She frantically pressed down on the button to open the doors and scrambled out of the elevator as soon as she could.
‘What on Earth was that?!’ Xiaoyu thought to herself, deciding that the stairwell would be a safer way to go. Just as she reached for the handle to the stairwell door, however, she was startled again by two figures suddenly appearing out of thin air and practically landing on top of her.
Yoshimitsu, realizing the gravity of his current situation, immediately bolted towards the door. He could feel his heart pumping violently in his chest, the blood pounding in his ears as every muscle fiber in his body worked its hardest to try to get him to safety. Safety, however, seemed too far out of reach, and he wondered if this would be the end of him.
Then, out of no where: a savior.
Kunimitsu, having just arrived on the scene, charged through the destroyed doorway and into the room. After wrapping her arms around Yoshimitsu, she used all of her strength and focus to teleport the both of them out of the room, hoping to arrive somewhere, anywhere, away from the explosion.
The two disappeared in a cloud of smoke mere milliseconds before the room was engulfed in explosive flames and shrapnel. When they reappeared, they were a few floors below the explosion and only a few feet above the unsuspecting Xiaoyu.
“Aaah!” screamed Xiaoyu, startled from the sudden appearance of the two Manji Ninja, who landed right on top of her. She groaned in pain as she pushed the two off of her, genuinely shocked that she hadn’t been crushed to death.
“Fuck,” groaned Kunimitsu, sitting up as she rubbed her back. Yoshimitsu clumsily scrambled to his feet, still reeling from the shock.
“Xi-Xiaoyu! What are you doing here?!” he placed a hand on the wall to support himself. He could feel his whole body shaking from adrenaline.
Xiaoyu opened her mouth to respond but was interrupted by a booming sound from above.
“Save it for later!” began Kunimitsu, rising to her feet, “The room above is on fire! This place is going to start falling apart and soon. We have to get out of here.” She reached down and pulled the small Chinese fighter to her feet, “Thanks for catching us, girl.”
“Yeah, no problem,” replied Xiaoyu, rubbing her neck as the three began running down the hallway.
“There’s another stairwell over here, away from the fire,” stated Yoshimitsu, bringing his wrist radio up to his mouth, “Kawamitsu! Do you read? Get everybody out of here! Have Youkai meet me on the roof!”
Kawamitsu, having been waiting with the rest of the group at their predetermined rendezvous point in the adjacent alleyway, felt a rush of relief at hearing Yoshimitsu’s voice over the radio.
“Master, you’re alright! Thank the heavens. I thought that explosion might have destroyed you. Okay, I’ll let Iiguru and Taka know. Be careful!”
“We’re going to the roof?!” asked Xiaoyu, incredulously. She was doing her best to keep up with their quick running pace, but she was starting to feel a little winded. The idea of running up flight after flight of stairs did not sound fun right now.
“We’re closer to the roof than we are to the ground floor. Hurry!” Yoshimitsu replied tersely, taking Xiaoyu’s hand in his as he picked up his pace. Xiaoyu squeezed his hand tightly as she could feel him pull her forward, and she hoped her lean legs could keep up with his.
The trio continued on, running up each flight of stairs as quickly as they could. Soon, however, the stairwell began to fill with smoke and the creaking, groaning sound of the building shuttering from the structural damage rang throughout.
With all of the computer equipment, it didn’t surprise Kunimitsu that this building didn’t implement a water-based fire extinguishing system. And apparently the airtight method was failing to contain and smother the fire. It was quickly spreading from floor to floor, giving them little time left.
Upon reaching the top, Yoshimitsu summoned the strength to kick the steel door down off of its hinges, and the three fighters rushed out into the open air of the rooftop.
“What do we do now?” asked Xiaoyu, looking around for any sign of the Manji Clan’s helicopter.
“There it is!” Kunimitsu pointed out as she spotted the helicopter, Youkai, making it’s way towards them. Yoshimitsu could see Mikel de Garonne leaning out of the side hatch of the helicopter as it came swooping towards them. And not a second too soon.
“C’mon baby,” muttered Iiguru, coaxing the helicopter down onto the rooftop.
Xiaoyu covered her face in an attempt to shield her eyes from the dust and debris that was flung up from the rotor wash, and she was thankful for Yoshimitsu’s grasp on her as he guided them to the helicopter. Once they were all inside, Youkai took off into the air once more, quickly leaving the burning building behind them. Kunimitsu looked down at the roof of the building to see another explosion burst out of the door to the stairwell, mostly likely caused by a ruptured gas line. That was close.
“Well, there’s the authorities,” observed Taka, looking back at the many police cars and fire trucks that were beginning to accumulate around the building, “Do you think they see us?”
“I’m sure they do,” answered Iiguru, preferring to keep his attention on the many gauges and displays in front of him, “But there’s not much they can do about it now.”
Back in the cargo area of the helicopter, Yoshimitsu sat amongst his clansmen and friends, thankful to have made it out alive.
“Kunimitsu,” he began, looking over at her as she tried to ignore his gaze, “You saved my life back there. Thank you.”
The purple-clad kunoichi merely shrugged, her lips curving in a slight smile.
“And you, de Garonne,” continued Yoshimitsu, turning his attention to the assassin, “I want to thank you. I know you didn’t have to get involved with any of this, so I appreciate your assistance.”
Everyone there, particularly Kawamitsu and Hiyamitsu, then turned there attention to Mikel de Garonne, who remained silent. He seemed to be more interested in the knife in his hands than what Yoshimitsu was saying. Finally, he replied with a simple, “Don’t mention it.”
Xiaoyu wrapped her arms around her knees, bringing them close to her chest as she closed her eyes and leaned against the fuselage of the helicopter, amazed at how a perfectly normal day could end on such an extraordinary note.
“So, Mr. Manji Leader Yoshimitsu,” began de Garonne, his thick accent penetrating the quiet murmurs of the Manji ninja surrounding him, “Did you find the explanation you were looking for?”
The turbulence of flight caused Yoshimitsu to pause a moment before replying with, “Not exactly. The head researcher, Eigo Yokoshima… He got away. I am still oblivious to the exact reason why they attacked us, but I am sure that it has something to do with the Mishima Zaibatsu. They were after some sort of technology.”
Kunimitsu’s lips pursed in hesitation, remembering what she had found amongst the many files she had looked through. Deciding that it would be best to bring it up to Yoshimitsu once they were alone, she remained silent. She would wait.
Author’s Note: I hope you enjoyed the tenth chapter! As always, any comments are welcome. ^_^