*Warehouse in Neo Hong Kong, Terrorist Base*


  Each night's destructive activities increased the fighting spirit of all gathered here, aggravating the mild atmosphere inside the warehouse, changing it. Tonight's abnormal situation only increased the tension.

  Terrorists gathered inside the warehouse, waiting for orders from the crimson-clad Chinese woman, Nam Pu. Two other women with similar features stood next to her, one dressed in a similar attire, but colored yellow-green instead of red. It was obvious that the green clothing had been based on a similar pattern as Nam Pu's, though the newcomer's was more aggressive.

  That woman gave a sharp look. The third woman was clad in Chinese attire of blue, more innocent in appearance than the other two women's clothing.

  "Older sister, let me take him alone," the woman in green pleaded, to Nam Pu.

  This comment causes much murmuring among the terrorists. Are these three sisters?

  "You are useless," Nam Pu derisively spat. "Your selfish conduct is not permitted, Tong Pu."

  "What? Why am I useless?" Tong Pu retorted. "What part of me is insufficient?"

  "Nothing is insufficient. However..."

  Tong Pu said nothing, only grumbled.

  "Tong Pu, can the Strider be defeated alone?"

  "Certainly," Tong Pu answered. "I am stronger than a Strider."

  "If so, even if you are stronger than a normal Strider," the terrorist continued, "are you stronger than a Super-A class Strider? Who, as you know, carries a Cypher, as Hien does. Alone, you cannot defeat Strider Hiryu."

  Tong Pu could not deny this reasoning and so, kept silent. After waiting and seeing that her sister had nothing more to say, Nam Pu continued speaking.

  "Therefore, Tong Pu and Sya Pu, should we intercept this thing together?"

  The one in blue, Sya Pu, opened her mouth. "Yes. We should concentrate all our combative force here--" she handed a piece of paper to Nam Pu "--which will attract the Strider's attention. We lay in wait for him, ambushing him when he arrives.

  Nam Pu folded the paper and handed it to Tong Pu. "You and Sya Pu will pass through the side alley on that map. I will come in on the main road, and we will meet up at the designated spot."

  "Can only the three of us," Sya Pu asked, "defeat the Strider?"

  "Sya Pu!" Tong Pu screamed, her voice echoing inside the warehouse. "You weakling! We will fight him, and defeat him!" She shook with anger. Nam Pu watched on silently.

  Nam Pu spoke. "The plan is not complete. Our victory is not assured."

  "What do you propose?" Sya Pu asked.

  "Insurance. Send someone else in first, as backup."

  "Who do you have in mind?"

  Nam Pu looked at her sisters. "Solo."

  Solo, the bounty hunter made famous by his contract with the Grandmaster. He and the Kuniangs were supposed to work together to bring in the Strider, but, finding their strategy disagreeable, Solo had acted alone.

  For Nam Pu to request him was to invite disaster again.

  "What if neither of us succeed?" Sya Pu said. "Who will dispatch the Strider then?"

  "Emperor Dragon," answered Nam Pu.

  Tong Pu and Sya Pu's expressions stiffened. Tong Pu murmured, but said nothing aloud.

  "Do you agree?" Nam Pu asked. "Tong Pu? Sya Pu? Do you object?"

  "No," said Tong Pu.

  "We agree," added Sya Pu.

  The three of them nodded as one person, then a soldier came running up from one of the lined-up terrorists. "The regiment you sent out some time ago...the entire sector was attacked! They failed to communicate with us at the appointed time! They're scattering!"

  Nam Pu issued forth the orders that she and her sister had just formulated, in a serious tone. The soldiers left at the same time, leaving the Kuniangs alone in the warehouse.

  "Shall we go now?" Tong Pu asked.

  Nam Pu nodded, and the three of them left the warehouse.