Kyoshiro Hiryu (a.k.a. Zavan ) : Street Samurai - The Hunt

      Life in the 6th world can be summed up with this little text I found in an archive once.

      “Some days it just doesn’t pay to get out of the net in the morning. All the nuyen in the sprawl won’t save you from a pissed off feather-snake, so cut the drek. But if you know where your chummers are, and where your enemies are buried, then you might just live long enough to get paid.”

     It’s days like this that make me realize how true that passage can be. Only, I’m not running for a PO'ed feather-snake, I’m running from the Yakuza. In a way I’d rather be running from the snake, at least then I’d know that I’m going to have a rather quick death. In the hands of the Yaks, I know I’m not going to have an easy death.

     This whole screwed up episode started yesterday at a club called “Armageddon.” There I was, minding my own business in Seattle, when suddenly… BANG, from out of no where, the sound of a really big gun. I recognized the sound as a Panther Assault Cannon, and immediately hit the deck. I said to my self, I said self, you don’t need this kind of drek right now. You’re trying to keep a low profile, and these idiots are gonna blow your cover. 

     So I made my way towards the nearest exit, the front door. By the time I got across the main hall, I was covered in glass shards, and splintered pieces of the walls. All hell had broken loose in there, but this wasn’t unusual for this place. The bunkers were down, and the crowd was getting really ugly. Without firing back, I managed to escape the crowd and get out of there with my ass still attached.

     As bad luck would have it, I ran out into the streets only to find out that this was a Yak hit. Gunshots rang out like crazy and most of them were flying at me. I ducked behind the alley and took stock in my situation. I knew from my first glance at the suits these guys were enforcers for the Yaks, and there were 5 of them. But this wasn’t the real problem. No the real problem was yet to come. Leaping out from behind the Yaks were 3 Cyber Ninja.

     Aww… drek… I thought. This was bad, really bad. These guys could have me for lunch faster than the damned feather-snake could. So I did the only sensible thing I could do, ran like all hell. My feet never moved so fast, when I felt the first shurikens thrown in my direction. One of them actually hit, but managed to do nothing as it nailed my blade sheath, and it stuck there.

     Five blocks later I managed to get some breathing room in another ally. I pulled the shuriken out of the sheath and looked at it. It was silver with five curved diamond blades. Now I’m really in some deep drek, I thought. Only one of the Yak’s assassins uses these custom killing blades… Desert Scorpion. At least that was his code-name. His real name was Hirotomi Hiryu. That’s right… Hiryu. No relation I hope, but I don’t know.

     Hirotomi was one of the few Yak assassins that harbored a special place in his hate-filled heart for little old me. Maybe because he hates the thought of someone else bearing his name. I didn’t care what his reasons were, but he was going to be the worst of the three to deal with. Right then, my priority wasn’t attacking these three, just getting some breathing room. I wasn’t about to face off with them until I had a plan. Without one, I was as good as dead.

     So I began to think, maybe I should head down towards Puliup, I could lose them there… no I can’t. DREK! My hiding spot got rained down upon with various throwing weapons. I took off again, heading towards god knows where. I leaped towards a building extending my climbing blade and grabbed the wall. Quickly I slid down and threw myself through a window. I smiled when I saw what was in the building.

     Boxes, lots and lots of boxes. It was like a maze, plenty of places to hide and seek. I dove behind one of the rows and waited. It didn’t take long before they arrived. They didn’t speak just looked around the warehouse and went in separate directions. Now I can take advantage of their stupidity

    I crept around towards the rear of the warehouse staying close to the wall. Slowly, I moved towards the left center of the complex. Listening carefully I could Tell that one of the cyber ninja were close. It was hard to tell, but all cyberware makes a kind of machine noise. If you listen real close, you can barely hear it when they walk. Sure cyber ninja get the job done, but they aren’t always quiet about it. 

    I on the other hand was being very quiet. I had to be; life in my profession usually counted on it. So now I silently drew one of my two Strider Blades. These unique weapons are designed like a nightstick only the long end is replaced with a sword edge. With almost limitless grace I flipped over the box line and ended up right behind one of the ninja. He spun around with blade drawn, but it was too late for him. With a wicked slash I tore though the ninja’s chest. Blood spilled on the floor as the ninja fell backwards. A one hit kill, not bad. One down, two to go.

     The second ninja I would face actually found me. As I passed one of the rows, he caught a glimpse of me and rushed in throwing vicious throwing blades. I dodged them and lunged inwards thrusting through him. He savagely slammed his fists into my back, knocking the wind out of me and sending me to the concrete. Quickly, I rolled over and kiped up back to my feet, as he tried to stomp on me. I drew my second blade and slashed him across the chest. But I didn’t catch him well enough. My other blade is lodged in his stomach, how the hell is he still fighting this hard? Then it hit me… Great, a Cyberzombie. That’s all I fraggin’ need.

     This wasn’t going to be easy. I jumped on top of one of the other boxes as blades were being thrown from the upper catwalks. I didn’t need to guess who was throwing them. Quickly, I extended my climbing blades and launched myself towards a wall. Then as fast as I could, scaled the wall and jumped onto the catwalk. Desert Scorpion with all his sadistic fury rushed at me, with intent to kill, but I easily blocked the first sword strike with my Strider Blade. I jumped back, and started running away across the catwalks as quickly as possible. Throwing blades from two directions was making this a difficult prospect at best.

     Neither ninja was going to back down, and I realized that I was going to have to pull off some major drek if I was going to make it out of this warehouse alive. When it finally hit me that I had guns and they didn’t, I almost smacked myself. These guys were fighting traditional, a mistake when you fight me. I locked my Strider blade back into its sheath, and pulled out both of my Savilites. Then as I jumped from the catwalks towards the ground floor again I opened out with both of them on my wannabe twin. What I didn’t realize is that he also carried a gun, specifically a supermac. So as my shots rang out, I heard the rapid throbbing of the submachine gun from hell. The boxes I was heading for were being torn apart by the burst of fire. The only advantage I had was that I shot first, so his shots ended up low as he avoided the gunfire.

     But as it happens, I hit the container and fell though. I landed on my feet though, and gave the side of the box a good standing kick, breaking the side down. I rolled out avoiding more gunfire and ran for the nearest cluster of containers, flipping over them, and hiding behind them. Drek! This is nuts! Not only was I out skilled and out numbered, I was also out gunned. This was getting ridiculous. I had to take out that Cyberzombie that still had my other Strider Blade.

     I ran out towards the right side this time, now that I had everyone herded towards the left, and located the zombie. I flipped towards it with my blade unsheathed and savagely slashed downwards across it’s chest. While it was occupied with its new injury, I grabbed my Strider Blade back and slashed again and again. It attempted to lash out, but I simply sidestepped, spun around and removed his right arm. Then spun around again blade out and decapitated him. Heh, looks like I found the off switch. I took great satisfaction in watching it fall to the ground, and blood spill from the neck. The head rolled away with a look of shock permanently frozen on it face. The I had to duck as more shots from the supermac rang out.

     “Zavan!” I heard him say. “Zavan, you are making this harder than it has to be. Just give it up. You were good enough to take down the newbie, and you were lucky enough to kill the zombie. But trust me, your no match for me Zavan.” I stayed silent. “DO YOU HEAR ME BROTHER?! I’M GOING TO KILL YOU! I AM GOING TO HUNT YOU DOWN AND TEAR YOUR #&%$ING HEART OUT!” That could hurt a little, but how about I tear yours out instead.

     I wasn’t about to blow my cover, so I continued to stay silent. He knew I was still here, just like I knew he could kill me. But, he called me brother? Why? Is it really true? If it is, then this brother of mine is a traitor. Time to let him know. Now it’s a manner of honor…

     Which brings me to my current situation. I’m here behind a bunch of boxes, and my so called brother is up there, somewhere on top of the catwalk, with a supermach just waiting to kill me. 

     “If you are my brother then you are a traitor!” I yelled back. “You were alive to see what the Yakuza did to our parents, and now you work for them?! It is a rare scumbag piece of drek indeed that will join up with the very people that killed our parents. And I’m not going to stand for it. Sorry brother, but I’m going to have to kill you. Nothing personal, just business. Isn’t that how you Yaks deal with it?”

     Now I thought would be good, I have the speed advantage, but he definitely has the firepower. Either way it’s now or never. Without another hesitation, I sprang forth like a predatory cat, but I was more like an escaping antalope at first, dodging gunfire. I used by climbing blade and jumped for the wall, grappled and then pushed off grabbing the guard rail of the cat walk and flipping backwards onto it. I immeadately ducked down and started a flat out run right at him. As luck would have it, he ran out of ammo when I charged him, so my first attack would be almost without danger.

     But when I lashed out he brought the weapon in the path of my blade and I suceeded only in destroying the sub-machine gun. He jumped back, doing a half flip, ending up on his left hand as if he was doing a one-hand stand. As he continued the flip, he drew a few stars, and upon landing threw them at me. I was able to side step and dodge the deadly projectiles as they flew at me. This gave him enough time to turn around and run. The moment I could, I chased after him, and I realized he was heading for the roof.

     I wasn’t about to let him get away, and gave proper chase. I scrambled up the access ladder having to dodge a thrusting katana when I hit the top, but easily getting up to the roof. I turned towards him and saw that he was ready for me. I drew both of my Strider Blades, and prepared to end his existance.

     “You are much more presistant then I counted on brother,” he said with a surprising grin. “Those fools at Strider must give great training.”

     “Can the non-sense DS, it’s time for you to meet your maker,” I replied with malice.

     He laughed dryly. “Don’t you want to know why I joined the Yakuza?”

     I paused for a moment. “Ok, fine. I have time for small talk now. Why did you betray my father.”

     “Because the Strider organization is totally without honor.”

     This made me exceedingly angry. “That’s a lie!”

     “Is it?” His grin increased. “Didn’t you know, that our father was to be terminated by Strider because your father threatened to expose the organization’s ties to American organized crime?”

     I froze, what the…

     “That’s right,” he continued. “The mafia is a strong supporter of Strider. Because the mafia knows that if the organization keeps fighting organized crime groups in Japan and Japanese related mafia across the world, then the Itallian families would have no real competition.”

     “LIAR!,” I yelled.

     “It’s true. The Yakuza found out about this, but said nothing. Strider was the one who killed our father, not the Yakuza. Our father threatened to destroy the ties between the mafia and Strider, because in his opinion, the tie was totally against everthing that Strider stands for.”

     I could feel my eye sockets flaring, and knew my cybereyes must be turning red. “You’re a liar! A bald faced liar! I don’t believe any of it! You joined the Yakuza for your own personal gain. You didn’t care that the Yakuza killed our father, you just wanted to make yourself comfortable. Now your lying to console yourself. I wouldn’t be too surprised if you firmly believe your own vicious lies! You’re pathetic, and totally without any iota of honor!”

     “I’m the only one with honor here!” my brother yelled back, and drew both of his serraded edged katanas. “And now I’m going to avenge our father. Prepare to die, Dog of Strider!”

     This was it, the final round. At least I thought it was, and it certainly started out that way. I opened out with a heavy strike at his mid section but he easily blocked and threw himself into a spinning crosscut. I cross blocked and kicked off of him. It didn’t take long before he was coming at me like a bezerker. I back flipped dodging all of his swipes, finally switching directions and attacking straight out with a crosscut of my own. But I missed. Hold still so I can kick your ass. I lunged at him again but he back flipped away.

     Suddenly, he ran for the edge, just as an huge VTOL arose from below the building in front of him. The side access door was open, and he jumped in. I ran towards the edge, but heavy machine gun fire kept me from coming too close.

     He began to laugh wickedly when the guns stopped firing.

     “I’m starting to like this game too much for early closure,” he said. “So this is what we are going to do”.

     “What kind of game are you playing brother?” I yelled at him.

     “I game of hide and seek my friend. I’m leaving on assignment for Tripp City. I run, and you give chase. Find me and kill me if you can Stider Hiryu. I look forward to seeing what a true member of Stider can do against a skilled assassin of the Yakuza! Until we meet again… brother.”

     I could do nothing but stand there and watch as the VTOL, probably a griffen, took off and flew away. And I was left with only my thoughts. Was he telling the truth or was he lying? And why the game? What does he really have to prove?

     I may never know the answers. And if I never learn, that’s because I took the questions to my grave. Brother… I will come for you, and I will kill you.