Yoshimitsu's red vision focused on the Mishima Polytechnical School. In the dead of night, it looked much more imposing than a college should. Xiaoyu stood closely by his side, peering out at the same building she saw almost every day, noticing just how much night could transform it.
"There doesn't seem to be much security, which makes sense. It's just a school…" stated Yoshimitsu, who continued to scan the surrounding area. They had left the black street bike in an alley only a short distance away, just in case they needed to make a break for it.
"The main computer lab is on the third floor, right over there," Xiaoyu said, pointing to the eastern wing of the large school. Yoshimitsu followed her finger to see that the computer lab was in a section of the building that had no windows- probably to protect the equipment.
'So,' he thought, 'we'll have to go in from the inside.'
After making sure the coast was clear, the two dashed across the empty street and made their way around the western side of the property, using the many trees and shrubs for cover. Xiaoyu did her best to follow Yoshimitsu closely, but she could never tell just when and where he would dart to next. They nearly circumvented the entire main hall of the school before Yoshimitsu decided on an acceptable entry point.
The two found themselves in the same outdoor forum that sat in between the on-campus dining facility and the grand lecture hall. Yoshimitsu gazed at the roof of the veranda that snaked around the forum until he saw a window. He double-checked to make sure there were no security cameras in the area, and then he looked over his armored shoulder at Xiaoyu, whose clear eyes looked back at him with interest.
"Does this school have a security system?" he asked in a low voice, almost too difficult to hear.
"Huh? Oh, yes, but only for the five computer labs. It's just to protect the equipment from theft. Don't worry, though. I can unlock the door with my student ID!" she piped cheerfully, glad to be useful.
Yoshimitsu, looking around the ground that they were crouched over, then took up a decent-sized stone in his hand. He tossed it up a little as if he were trying to guess its weight, but before Xiaoyu could inquire about it, he looked over at her and said, "Alright, we're going in. Can you climb?"
Xiaoyu gave him a nod and the duo ran towards the veranda, aiming for the vine-coated lattice that stood at the end of the stone-pillared overhang. Yoshimitsu leapt through the air and, grabbing hold of the lattice, began climbing to the top. Xiaoyu followed him, content to just start climbing from the bottom. The vines felt cool under her hands as her senses were beginning to grow sharper from the excitement.
Once at the top, the two crouched down and carefully made their way towards the target window. Yoshimitsu knelt by the window, noticing how its old wooden frame was covered in a seal of white paint, undisturbed for what seemed to be a very long time. Even if the window was unlocked, it would be difficult to open it.
Yoshimitsu, sword in hand, began cutting at the glass. He seemed to be carving through the glass in no particular fashion, and once he was through the glass pane, he carefully took the piece he had cut out and set it to the side. Yoshimitsu reached his left arm- his robotic prosthetic- through the window and, relying on the strength of his trick wrist, he easily wrenched the lock open. Placing his palm on the wooden frame that once held the glass pane, he pushed up as hard as he could. The window budged from its resting place, causing the white paint to crack and chip off.
Yoshimitsu then climbed through the window, lowering himself down into a long hallway that was empty albeit a handful of wooden doors that led to classrooms. There were no lights on, but even if there wasn't moonlight shining through the windows, Yoshimitsu's cybernetic eyes helped him see in the dark hallway. He looked up at the window and motioned for Xiaoyu to climb through and, after helping her down to the floor, they made their way down the hallway.
"I don't really come this way often," began Xiaoyu, trying to find her bearing, "I think this way will take us to the center stairwell. We can go up a level to the third floor from there."
Xiaoyu felt loud and obvious as she followed the silent Yoshimitsu, her clothes swishing with each step. She couldn't believe how quietly he could move in that attention-grabbing suit of armor. He didn't say a word, determined and deadly. She looked at his sword, suddenly aware of its ability to hack through not only glass, but skin and bone. Its ability to kill. Xiaoyu found herself wishing they were back at the food stand in the market.
Clad in a black, full-body stealth suit, he looked over his equipment as it lay sprawled around over the cheap hotel bed. The large sniper rifle looked out of place against the faded, floral print of the bed cover. Standing in the dimly lit room, he crossed his arms as he mentally went over what he had seen in the crowded market less than an hour ago.
He had followed Yoshimitsu as best he could, which brought him to that public parking amongst all those houses and apartments. He had watch Yoshimitsu enter a nearby building and return with some woman. She didn't seem like the type to hang out with Yoshimitsu's breed, but that didn't concern him. Eyes on the target, he followed them to that college, and then to the market. He saw the two talking at a food stand and he watched closely as they left. To where, he didn't know. He didn't plan on making a move at the market, so crowded with people. It was too soon, and after hearing the description of the Manji Clan leader from his client, he wasn't about to rush into things and make a mistake.
No, he would wait patiently for the perfect time to strike. Yoshimitsu would no doubt be back to that woman's apartment. Who wouldn't? He would be there, ready and waiting for his chance to make the kill.
"Taa daa!" softly cheered Xiaoyu, upon seeing the indicator light on the lock to the glass door change from red to green after she slid her student ID though the reader. She pushed the door open and made her way into the familiar computer lab.
With no windows, the lab was completely dark with only the small lights on the numerous computer towers and monitors blinking in the darkness. In the dark, the glowing red eyes of Yoshimitsu's mask shone more brightly than usual as he made his way into the lab and sat down at the nearest computer. With a flick of the mouse, he brought the computer to life, causing the blue light from the screen to accent the exotic features of his armor.
Xiaoyu placed her ID into the card slot on the key board and quickly typed in her key code. From somewhere- Xiaoyu wasn't sure where exactly- Yoshimitsu pulled out what looked like a normal flash drive and inserted it into a port. Yoshimitsu knew that retrieving information would be much easier if he just connected himself to the computer, but that took some serious hardware that even he didn't quite fully know how to use.
So, making due with the little device that Dr. Bosconovich had given him earlier for this very task, Yoshimitsu began hacking into the mainframe, searching for anything that would be useful. His fingers moved dexterously across the keys, only pausing when he thought he found something worth copying. He found names of enrolled students and their information, such as previous education and addresses. He also found files which suggested that the school wasn't merely connected to the Mishima Zaibatsu by name, but also through manpower and resources.
Xiaoyu, who had taken a seat next to Yoshimitsu, was stricken clueless at all the information he was pulling up. She then watched as he shredded past the security of the Mishima Polytechnical School's information database and archives. Data from some of the highest security level tests and experiments that the Mishima Zaibatsu Research and Testing Laboratories had conducted were filed away into this expansive archive. Yoshimitsu found data on everything from weapons development to robotics, and he even stumbled upon cryobiology research and cybernetic implant procedures, the very sciences that had made him into what he was now. Although, these experiments had been conducted and overseen by Dr. Abel, whose work was nowhere near the level of that of Dr. Bosconovich.
Xiaoyu, eyes heavy, began to grow tired. Her head lowered sleepily, and she leaned back in the computer chair. Yoshimitsu, however, was too absorbed in his work to notice, and his attention was even more taken up when he found the files of high criminal activity recorded by the Tekken Force. There were lists upon lists of known gangs and their members, including the Black Pheasant Syndicate. This is what he was looking for.
He finished his work quickly and, after shutting everything back down, he tucked away the enhanced flash drive and turned in his seat to hand Xiaoyu her ID back. Rather unsurprisingly, he discovered that Xiaoyu has dozed off. He gave her feet a light kick, causing her to stir. She opened her eyes and, blinking, sat up suddenly.
"Oh! Sorry," she apologized, rubbing her eyes, "Really, I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm so *yawn* tired."
"Don't worry about it," assured Yoshimitsu, rising from his seat. He handed Xiaoyu her ID and took up his sword, which had been leaning against the computer desk. "Time to go."
The two began retracing their steps back through the hallway, down the wide stairs, and out of the window. Yoshimitsu, after reclosing the window and locking it, took out the stone he had picked up earlier.
"Ummm," chimed Xiaoyu, a little worried about sounding stupid, "What are you doing with that?"
"I couldn't just break the glass before," he whispered in response, "It would be too loud and might have alerted someone. Xiaoyu, if you were an angry vandal who threw this rock, what would you write on it?"
She smiled, having plenty ideas to chose from, "This school sucks!"
Yoshimitsu, using the very tip of his sword like a surgeon's knife, quickly carved the characters into the stone. Then, placing the removed glass piece in his left hand, he brought the stone down on it in a way that quietly broke up the glass into pieces to mimic the act of throwing the rock through the window. Then, unable to avoid at least a little noise, Yoshimitsu tossed the stone inside and spread the glass shards across the hallway floor in a sweeping motion.
'This'll be fun to hear about next Monday,' thought Xiaoyu, 'The headmaster will be livid!'
Brushing his gloved hands off, Yoshimitsu took up his sword and the two climbed down the lattice. It didn't take them too long to get off of the school grounds, and soon they were walking down the street towards where they had parked the bike.
"I'm glad that went well! Great job!" congratulated Xiaoyu. She knew she hadn't done much, except make getting into the lab and logging onto the computer that much easier, but even that small amount of participation made her feel rather accomplished.
"Yes, so far, things are going smoothly. I'm sorry if the uproar from that vandalism causes you trouble when you return to school," said Yoshimitsu, walking in steady paces down the sidewalk.
"Aww, you're worried about little ol' me?" teased Xiaoyu, now fully awake and in a refreshed mood, "That's so sweet!"
"I just- Well, I'm just saying," stammered Yoshimitsu, wishing she didn't find so much entertainment in toying with him. Xiaoyu giggled a little, putting her hands in the pockets of her jacket.
"You're a nice guy, Yoshimitsu," she stated, looking over at him, "I hope you found what you were looking for."
"I think I found some good leads," he replied, thinking back to all the information he had ripped from the database, "But I'm going to have to have it analyzed back at the base." Yoshimitsu didn't really see the harm in tell her at least a little bit more about his life. It wasn't really anything she couldn't find out on her own.
"The base? Where the Manji Clan is?" asked Xiaoyu, "Is it nearby? You'd think the authorities would have found it by now."
"I don't really know why they haven't," added Yoshimitsu, "I suppose it's just not on the top of their list of things to do. It won't really matter all that much soon, anyway." Xiaoyu was about to probe into that subject, but before she could form the words, they were already at the alleyway where the bike was parked.
The ride back to the parking lot nearby Xiaoyu's apartment went quickly at such a late hour, but just when he thought they were in the clear, Yoshimitsu noticed something strange up ahead. As they neared the parking lot to the left, Yoshimitsu could see someone standing in between some of the cars that were parallel parked across the street, to the right.
The dark figure then stepped out into the road, and with no warning, he lifted up a handgun and fired off a silent shot. Yoshimitsu saw stars and static for a second as the bullet hit his metal mask and ricocheted off. Xiaoyu let out a small scream as the bike reared up on its back wheel. Yoshimitsu, his sights still trying to clear up, struggled to get the bike under control. He couldn't manage it in time, however, and as he tried to bring the bike to a halt, the bike's back tire slid forward and the two were thrown onto the street as the bike tipped over and eventually crashed.
After sliding a few meters, Yoshimitsu quickly rose to his feet and looked around frantically for Xiaoyu. She had rolled off to the side and sat up, shaking her head and gritting her teeth. She had been badly cut up, as he could see by her torn, bloody clothes. Luckily, the helmet had at least protected her head, but it appeared as if she couldn't move from her place without pain.
Yoshimitsu then looked over at their assailant. He was a man of medium height and slender build, Yoshimitsu could see, and although the man's face was hidden, Yoshimitsu could tell that he was serious about what he was about to attempt.
"Who sent you?!" called out Yoshimitsu. He had managed to keep his grip on the hilt of his sword, and he held it out in front of him now, preparing to fight. The assailant merely pulled back the hammer of his semi-automatic pistol, having just slapped in a newly filled magazine. Yoshimitsu made quick glances from the assailant to Xiaoyu, who had managed to pull herself out of sight in between two cars.
'He's not worried about the girl,' thought Yoshimitsu, glad for once that someone was trying to kill him and him alone. But he had to do something fast before this man found a way to shoot him in a vulnerable spot.
Just then, Yoshimitsu charged the stealth-suited assailant, who had brought his weapon back up to fire off more shots. However, using his robotic wrist, Yoshimitsu's sword became a metal windmill as he spun it around with ungodly speed. The sword cut the bullets out of the air, throwing them down onto the pavement.
"Damn," the assailant muttered under his breath as he drew a long-bladed knife from his side. Before he knew it, Yoshimitsu was right in front of him, and so he had to roll out of the way to avoid Yoshimitsu cutting him clean in half. As he rolled back, he fired another shot at Yoshimitsu, who dodged to the side just in time. The assailant got to his feet and blocked another of Yoshimitsu's slashes with his knife and, by locking the hilt guards of the two blades, he pulled Yoshimitsu towards him.
"That first shot was 'hello,' from your enemies," the man said, his voice unwavering in their struggle, "And this is 'good bye'." Then, pressing the barrel of the pistol right up to Yoshimitsu's sword-wielding left arm, he fired at point blank.
But to his surprise, the force of the shot just propelled Yoshimitsu's arm back and, using the momentum, he spun around and planted a left kick right into the side of the assailants head. The powerful kick knocked the assailant off his feet, and before he even landed, Yoshimitsu came down on him with means of running him through. But before he had the chance, Yoshimitsu was blinded by a bright flash, making his audio receptors in his ears ring loudly. The assailant had somehow activated some sort of electromagnetic flash grenade just in time and, using this opportunity, he jumped to his feet and fled. Things hadn't been going the way he had liked them to, and so this would have to wait for another time and place.
By the time Yoshimitsu's head cleared up, the assailant was long gone. He quickly ran to the bike to move it out of the road, and then he went to Xiaoyu's side. He knelt down on one knee beside her and lifted her up.
"Xiaoyu! Are you alright?" he asked worriedly. She had removed the helmet and so he could now see her face.
"Yeah, I'm alright," she answered, "But my leg really hurts." She hissed in pain when she tried to move it, and Yoshimitsu could see why. The friction of the road had torn through the knee of her left pant leg and had scratched up her skin pretty badly. "My back hurts too," she added, "I think it might be cut up."
"I'll get you inside. Give me your key, please." Yoshimitsu took her card key and, after lifting her up, he ran across the street to her apartment building. Once inside, he darted to the elevator, where Xiaoyu reached out and pushed the button to her floor.
As he held her, Yoshimitsu could feel the gloved hand that was pressed against her back begin to grow damp with blood. The elevator's chime of a greeting sounded ridiculous now as he rushed inside, cursing at the doors for moving so lazily. Once they were on her floor, he hurried down the hall to her apartment. Being careful not to hit her head against anything, he managed to unlock the door with a quick swipe and carried her inside. Closing the door with a kick, he placed her on the couch and then raced into the bathroom.
"Do you have a first aid kit?" he asked urgently. He had to work quickly, not only to stop the bleeding, but just in case that assailant decided to come back.
"Yeah," answered Xiaoyu, her voice tense with pain, "It's underneath the bathroom sink."
Yoshimitsu returned with the first aid kit in hand. He set it down next to the couch and, going into the kitchen area, he filled a bowl with warm water and, after a bit of searching, snatched a clean towel out of a cupboard. He returned to Xiaoyu's side and, seeing that the wound on her leg was bleeding more than the one on her back, he started with that. With little to no protest from Xiaoyu, he tore a bigger hole in her pant leg and began wiping up the blood with the towel.
"Oww," Xiaoyu exclaimed weakly as she cringed, "It stings."
"Sorry," he said, concentrating on cleaning and dressing her wound. The alcohol he used stung even more than the water, but soon he had applied a soothing antiseptic and covered that with gauze and bandages. "Can you sit up?" he asked, re-wetting the towel and trying to wring it out until it was as clean as he could get it.
"Sure," responded Xiaoyu. She sat up and, after moving over a little, Yoshimitsu sat next to her. After cautiously removing her destroyed jacket, he could see the blood staining her torn white camisole. At this point, he wasn't quite sure what to do about getting the fabric off.
"I'm sorry, but I need to get to the wound. I don't mean to-"
"Don't worry about it," replied Xiaoyu. She would normally be bashful now, but each twinge of pain made her mind dull and tired. She just held on to the front of the small shirt to keep covered up while Yoshimitsu tore the back of it down the middle, revealing her slender back.
Yoshimitsu removed his forearm guards and gloves so that they wouldn't get in the way of this more delicate wound, and he set them on the floor nearby. With the damp towel in hand, he gently wiped up the blood. Xiaoyu let out small yelps, but other than that, she sat there silently, trying to piece together what had happened. It wasn't until Yoshimitsu had begun applying the antiseptic that she started to speak again.
"… Who was that guy?" she asked, grasping for any sort of sensible answer, "Why did he try to kill you?" What kind of trouble did Yoshimitsu bring to her?
"I…" he paused for a moment, then continued to cover her wounds with gauze and medical tape, "I don't know. I don't know who he was or who sent him."
Xiaoyu, who was now very ill at ease, was about to demand more explanation to what just happened, but then she felt Yoshimitsu's fingertips on her back as he smoothed out the white medical tape. One of his hands, she could feel, was the robotic one, but the other one was unmistakably human. It was warmer, more reassuring.
"There," said Yoshimitsu, patting her back lightly, "All better." Xiaoyu turned to look at him.
"Thank you," sprung from her mouth, but her eyes were still full of shock and near accusation. She continued to sit there, holding up her shirt, and Yoshimitsu could feel something uneasy in the air. Whatever it was, he had to do something to break it. Now.
"..." He stood, looking around, "Your hair. Maybe you shouldn't wear it down anymore." It seemed an odd thing to say, but it was all he could think of as he stared at her. He didn't want to see her like that anymore, with her hair down. She looked different, older. She didn't look like an annoying little girl at all.
"I'm tired," Xiaoyu said as she stood, "I'm going to go to bed now. Please… Don't go after that guy, okay? At least not now…" Yoshimitsu nodded, knowing that he would stay here to make sure she was safe.
"Yes, of course…" He then began picking up the unused supplies and putting them back into the first aid kit. "Good night, Xiao…"
Xiaoyu turned then to look back at him once more before going into her room. She smiled, almost like her regular self.
"Good night, Yoshimitsu."