"Annihilate the terrorists occupying the city"


  The lowest layer of Neo Hong Kong was bad enough in its original form, it was the most dangerous area in this city, but now the terrorists dominated it and the extent of danger had increased. At night, the terrorists, armed to the teeth, spread throughout the city and bathed the night in rage. Human casualties and injuries were few, fortunately, because it was nighttime, but the fire spread over the surface of the roads, attacking many cars.

  The darkness burned red.

  The terrorists, consumed by their destructive activity, paid no attention to one singular shadow amidst the flames. The first they noticed of their new company was when they gaped at the corpse of their companion who lay soundlessly bisected on the ground.

  Obviously, this is not a normal situation. Everyone burst instantaneously into a panic, and just as instantaneously, several more bodies fell to the ground, divided in two by violent slashes through their midsections. The dire circumstances were not lost on those who were left, although they were at a loss as to what to do. Meanwhile, the bodies piled higher and higher.

  Anyone who, spurred on by the wanton destruction, intended to fight froze at one stroke from the shadow's sword. Slowly they realized that if the enemy were visible, it would be possible to approach him; and if it were also possible to hear him, an honorable death would be within reach. But when the enemy doesn't raise a sound at all, how can you know how you should react?

  They never learned the method of fighting an invisible, inaudible enemy. When they see the shadow of ann attacker, they run.

  By this time, most of the terrorists were killed. The shadow halted his movement. His shape, naturally, was that of a man, visible on the far side of the blazing fire, clad in dense purple with a red scarf hiding the lower portion of his face. The light in his eyes was cool and sharp, the kind of light that penetrates right to the soul, made only more effective by the expression on his face.

  The terrorists saw that the shadow held a large double-edged sword in his right hand, which appeared to be a combination of the Chinese tonfa and oar. This was almost certainly the weapon that had killed their companions.

  "What do you want?" one of the terrorists shouted, a stocky-bodied man in a red Mao jacket. "Who do you want?"

  He was the leader of the terrorist group.

  The man in the ninja costume merely stood there. Strider Hiryu did not answer the question. Instead, he moved towards them, faster than they could even think, faster than their eyes could detect, tearing at their ranks until all that remained was himself and the terrorists' leader.

  "What are you hoping to gain?" the leader asked, throwing off his Mao jacket and exposing four connected rocket launchers.

  They discharged simultaneously, aimed directly at Hiryu. The Strider does not stop, but slides past the terrorist leader, confusing him. The leader turned and raised his right arm, which held a large broadaxe, a weapon most conveniently used in close quarters. The fact that he used that, other than avoiding wastfulness, indicated he was outclassed.

  With Hiryu moving that fast, the power of the attack was of no use if it was not swift and sure. The terrorist leader's right arm shook as it was lowered, and Hiryu slipped past him once again, thrusting his Cypher through the man's bosom. The leader's body was sliced in twain, the upper and lower halves of the body slowly sliding away from each other in opposite directions until the weapon in his right hand struck the ground.

  After verifying that the leader was defeated, Hiryu scanned the area for others. No one was there. The terrorists who tormented everyone had become everyone's prey, and the prey of his Cypher.

  When he finished that, Hiryu caught his breath and ran off to his next target, leaving behind only the speaker of a wireless radio blaring and echoing in the empty gruesomeness of the battle...

  "Come in? Seventh unit, please respond! Seventh unit!"