*Mass Transit Area of Neo Hong Kong*


  Nam Pu ordered a mobile strike against Hiryu. The Strider had pursued the terrorist unit dispersed throughout the various parts of Neo Hong Kong, battling them upwards from the underworld and fighting his way now to the elevators connecting the higher stratum of society to its nether regions.

  The terrorists desperately resisted him. Words could not describe the complete and utter destruction Hiryu had visited upon them. The thing no one wanted to notice was the almost apathetic cruelty of the wreckage he left behind. What remained was immobile, ruined by the total destruction the Strider left in his wake as he pushed forward.

  Suddenly, the terrorists began flight towards the upper-class sectors of the city. They did not emit an atmosphere of panic. Clearly, some order from a higher level in the chain of command caused them to withdraw. Simultaneously, the flow of air inside the area stopped.

  Perhaps the ventilation system burnt out?

  This elevator section has become the most common means of transit between the upper and lower segments of society. Such a confined space with high traffic naturally attracted the attention of the military, as it was an ideal location for a strategic weapon to be positioned.

  Normally, one would put a bomb here. But the shield generators were housed in this sector of the city as well, and any blast powerful enough to destroy the escalators would also destroy the aerial shield.

  Some terrorists believed the higher and lower stratums of society to be eternally tied, that it was not possible to cut off this aorta, after a manner of speaking.

  Therefore, what weapon would not damage this area, while at the same time effectively defeating the Strider?

  Poison gas.

  If the area is flooded with a binary gas, the target would be securely murdered. A chemical cartridge respirator carried by all personnel would allow them to avoid being killed or wounded by the gas.

  It would also allow them to keep breathing when the ventilation equipment was shut down. If their equipment does not have an antipoison specification, the gas would surely kill them.

  Hiryu continued advancing to the higher levels of the city at super speed, making use of another route from the terrorists.

  If they went to the same location as the unit which had withdrawn, they might possibly be saved. But perhaps also, if that happens, the scene of the trap is spoiled and the unit is destroyed.

  At any rate, those who were left in the lower levels became the binary gases' helpless prey. The gas itself was heavier than ordinary air. In normal field operations, the gas is lighter than air, allowing it to spread upwards. The terrorists do not want this. They want the gas to flow downwards to the lower levels.

  Hiryu understands this, and makes haste for the upper levels of Neo Hong Kong. The entrance to that sector was highly visible, as this was a common means of transit.

  The unit sent to fight him approached him from the rear.

  Since the Strider was alone and on foot, he was more agile in such close quarters than they were, and beat them to the upper levels. They triggered the switch to the doorway just as he walked through, locking him outside.

  Their objective, then, was not simply to shut Hiryu into the mass transit area until the gas could have its way with him.

  The highway was visible on the other side of the door.

  Countless air cars rushed past rapidly between the skyscrapers of downtown Neo Hong Kong, two lanes of traffic separated by an empty space of only a few dozen meters.

  What were the terrorists forcing him towards?

  The instant Hiryu moved from the doorway, some person fell from the sky, attacking him with fierce speed.

  Reflexively, Hiryu cartwheeled backwards, evading the surprise attack. He landed soundlessly on one of the cars traveling the skyway.

  Two additional people descended from above and attacked the Strider before the sound of their landing had reached his ears. They exchanged blows. Hiryu took note of their modernized Chinese clothing, a motif tying them together as a unit, each distinguished by a different color: red, blue, green.

  Hiryu drew Falchion, feinted.

  Two of them jumped in opposite directions, fanning out. They landed on the front and rear of the car atop which Hiryu crouched. And before Hiryu could breathe again, the woman in red stood behind the one in blue.

  How quickly could this woman attack?

  Again the trio attacked before one had time to draw breath.

  Hiryu and Falchion were ready.