First Page: Kusanagi: Song of Death (action/adventure)
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She smacked the office door with the flat of her palm. The dull, tin echo fit the building, one of those steel frame structures with corrugated siding, probably a warehouse originally, then a machine shop or some sort of mechanic’s lair. The greasy dirt in the yard suggested as much. These days it contained a roadhouse, really an enormous bar, big enough to accommodate dozens of motorcycles out front in one long row like tilted metal dominos. Her dirt bike held down the end of the line, incongruous in that company.
The office abutted the main building on the far end, little more than a metal shed added on as an afterthought. Some loud grunting presaged the grizzled and quite large, paunchy fellow who eventually opened the door. He squinted at her in the afternoon light.
“Whaddya want, girly?” he snarled. “The front door’s over there.”
“I’m here to see you,” she said pushing him backwards. He might have thought to stand fast, tiny as she was in comparison, but giving way seemed strangely irresistible. “Would you turn off the security cameras for me?”
“Get outta here,” he snarled and reached out to grab her.
She parried and twisted his hand until she could enforce compliance with a light pressure from her thumb applied to the back of his hand. His forehead hit the concrete floor before he realized he was entirely at her mercy. A slight further twist brought tears to his eyes.
“I’d rather not have any record of what might happen in there. Shall we smash your equipment?” she asked, tipping her head toward the computer terminal on the desk. “Or just unplug it?” One more twist and he nodded vigorously.
She released him and watched as he dusted himself off. Unsurprisingly, he lunged at her again, apparently expecting to pin her against the wall. Another parry and twist, she controlled his wrist much more aggressively this time, and he found himself tumbling head over heels. After an awkward landing on the edge of the desk, he fell to the floor with a thud. He looked up at her foggily until she struck him sharply across the nose with the heel of her palm. He subsided into a heap, blood oozing across his face, and troubled her no more.
At the desk, she quickly found the program to disable the security cameras. Another one sent a short web video to the TV screens in the main room. She set it to repeat. When she entered through the door behind the bar the video was already playing. All heads were turned to watch it as she made her way through the middle of the room.
On the screen they saw a young woman take on about a dozen of their number in a dimly lit parking lot. The violence was intense, even gruesome. Some of them cringed at what they saw. Broken limbs and joints, the girl left a bloody wake behind her as she spun through the crowd. The gang finally capitulated, limping off carrying their maimed, though that was not captured on the video. The final image showed the girl glowering, an unholy fire in her eyes. Whoever held the camera must have flinched at the sight and stopped recording. A caption appeared under her face: “Have you seen this bitch?”
She stood directly in front of three men at a table off to one side, a smaller man with a bandaged throat and an arm in a cast, and two quite muscular men. She took them to be the leaders of the gang.
“I got your message,” she said loudly, gesturing to the large screen on the wall behind her. “I’m here. What do you want?”
The room came to a hush as people gradually recognized her. Hard looking men moved toward her from all directions. A female voice cried out from across the room.
“It’s her, that bitch! There she is.”