Chapter 6:

Stepping into the Light

Bullet Loop

Fresh air was like a drug sometimes, it always gave you too much time to think.

After the phone call I left Jane’s immediately. Ripping LB from her hands and stuffing her in my pocket.

“Yin you can’t go!” I could hear Jane calling for me from the doorway but my mind was so focused.

“It’s a trap Yin! You don’t know how dangerous that man can be!!”

I’m sorry Jane but it’s too late. I’ve made up my mind to see this through no matter what.

After reaching my room I grabbed my webbing, loaded my pistol and headed outside through the secret exits. The Captain has always been a paranoid one, he never wanted an entrance to be freely accessible. I never really understood why but I guess it was his way of protecting everyone.

Heading through the base now determined to get out of here before anyone found me, I began looking for Johna on my way out. 5 minutes of looking yielded no results, I couldn't find him. Even paging him on his private communicator went unanswered.

How unusual, he surely would’ve made some comment about magnetic forces above being unable to keep us apart. I rolled my eyes at the dialogue I had made up there and then.

Guess I have to go by myself then…

I moved to the entrance wading pool where I had entered last night and passed into the shadows. I felt for the cold touch of a metal turn wheel.

Once I reached it, I yanked it hard and pulled. The door slid open without a noise and I entered the room. I closed the door and placed my mask on. I heard the room begin to suck all the air out, another one of those counter measures from the Captain.

I flicked the switch on my mask and took a deep breath as I moved up the tunnel, barely higher than I was. Reaching the end of the tunnel I pushed the wall forward and once again found myself in Shinjuku station. The corridors were empty but eerie nevertheless.

The same dingy hallways greeted my view with the scattering of papers and faded adverts plastered upon the walls. I wasn’t sure if I found it mildly comforting that everything felt so stale in homage to the past it represented.

Lowering my head, I made my way to exactly where I had told Eric I’d be.

It’s a trap, I knew it was a trap, and yet here I was.

Jane’s well-meaning words echoed in my head, and I mentally scolded myself for making her worry, but I knew there were no better ways to get answers.

I found myself hidden in the shadows, lightly illuminated by the distant lights overlooking Shinjuku, a haze of colors on the screens.

The sound of footsteps clicked against the tile, measured and deliberate- not the sound of a bustle of hurried troops doing a sweep. My fingers tightened around the base of my gun as the figure stood in the center of the rooftop, a tall proud unmistakable silhouette.

“I know you’re there, Yin.”

I contemplated leaving him to stew.

Glancing at my entry point to the rooftop to reassure myself, I took a deep breath to steady myself.

“What did you need to tell me away from pleasant company?”

I revealed myself from my place in the shadows, my expression as plain as I could.

Eric’s face seemed to spread in a nasty smirk, dripping with fake pleasantries. It reminded me of a crocodile about to devour its prey.

“Don’t you want to know the real truth behind Dragons Breath?”

I reminded myself that it was a trap, and that his words should bear as minimal weight as I could afford. I did want to know about Dragons Breath and their role in

“Are you gonna try to tell me we’re the evil ones here, you know I can see through that.”

I snickered back at him but he stayed firm with his expression.

“Oh Yin, I don’t take you for a fool. After all, I’ve known you your whole life.”

For a second my strong facade dropped.

“What do you mean?”

“Did you ever stop to think, with how powerful we are in this world, that I had just turned a blind eye to your little organization? How do you think the organization gets funded? The world doesn’t revolve around you Yin… Well maybe it revolves around your mother.” His smirk grew even larger and I drew my pistol. My hands shook as I pointed it directly at his head.

“You don’t know a single thing about my mother…”

“Oh but that’s where you're wrong, Yin. You see when she worked for me, she was the greatest scientist and programmer I had ever met. It’s a real shame she couldn’t see the same vision but then again, when those who stand in the way of glory, who’s to stop me once they’re gone?”

I could feel every bone in my body wanting to shoot him now but I was hung on every word.

It couldn’t be true! Mum was always fighting for freedom, there’s no way she’d side with him!

Eric chuckled dryly as he lifted an eyebrow, “I guess, Yin, what I am really saying is how this peace is really all thanks to your mother’s lifework.”

As his words sank in, I closed the gap between us, “I don’t believe you!”

“Halt!” The sound of pattering footsteps clattered against the ground- accompanied by the laser sights that landed on me, the clicks of the guns seemed to fade into the open air as the special force agents came out from the darkness.

I kicked myself mentally, and I knew that Jane would have her own choice of words for the moment, beginning and probably ending with “I told you so”.

“Oh, Yin, I must applaud your bravado and drive for the truth over common sense, but now the show must go on.” Eric’s smile seemed to darken before being replaced by feigned horror and fear.

Lights shot down over the floor, searing my eyes as I instinctively lifted my arm to shield them.

Blinded by the light I felt a cold muzzle come flush with the back of my head. I instinctively kept very still. While this may not have been my first time like this, one wrong move and it was over.

Immediately a hand moved below my jacket and pulled my suppressed pistol.

“You always were a fan of this pistol, weren’t you Yin?”

I know that voice!.... It can’t be!?

I turned quickly and got a quick glimpse before his hand shoved my face back forwards.

I felt chills going down my spine as I saw it was Johna holding me at gunpoint.

I couldn’t think of any words…

“Why?” I said softly.

“Cause we always knew you’d be the best, you may have defeated us before but this time we wanted to make sure that wouldn’t happen”

“What are you talking about Johna…”

“ENOUGH” The loud booming voice of Eric reverberated around the concrete rooftop.

“Let’s not prolong this.” Eric pulled a remote from his pocket and pointed it to the sky.

Behind him, the screens of Shinjuku all flared to life with my image plastered across all of them. The edges of the screens ebbed red, with the word TERRORIST plastered all across all over my face.

Adrenaline shot through my veins, my brain rushed through the options- fight or flight. As my heartbeat thundered through my eardrums, I chose to flee.

I leapt off the balcony in a rush, my fingers cold from the adrenaline as they shook.

Snapping on my mask in a bid to make me less recognizable to the forces on the street, even by a small margin, my legs went as fast as they could carry me with the images and streets a hazy blur in the background.

The sounds of horns and yelling permeated the air, whether they were the usual soundtracks for the night or specifically for me, I did not stop to investigate.

Without even putting my mask back on, I dove head first into the water and surfaced in the base. Everyone was on high alert from the news but there was only one person I needed to see.

Thundering through the door of the base, my lungs screamed for oxygen as I made a beeline straight for Captain's office.

Without a knock on the door, I pushed it open roughly, probably harder than I intended as the adrenaline was still in effect.

“Capta—” I stopped short as my eyes met the four staring expectantly at me.

My eyes scanned cautiously over Eric and the Captain on the couch, sitting as though they were just some old friends catching up.

“Nice of you to join us, Yin, just a little late to the party.” Eric managed coolly, a stark contrast to the faked fear I had seen upon the rooftop.

Shaking off my surprise at what I had seen, “Well, three is a crowd and I am just fine here.” I managed with as much of a coldness that I could muster.

“Now, come join us and we can talk about Dragon’s Breath a little more since you interrupted our conversation up on that rooftop.”

I fought the rising wave of anger within me, “No thank you Eric, I think I’ve heard enough nonsense between the two of us.”

Eric chuckled, as he looked towards Captain, “You should probably tell her it’s true, that her mother is the reason we’re here today.”

Captain’s gaze betrayed tension as he nodded, “Eric’s… Not wrong.”

I stared at him in defiance over his words- surely there was no way.

As I stared at the Captain, I noticed that he was moving his fingers, tapping out what was easily morse code for S-O-S repeatedly. When he realized that I had caught on, he tilted his head towards the table.

He had a plan.

I heard the metallic sounds of a pin pulling, as he ducked behind the table, and I immediately ducked behind the front door, praying with every fiber of my being that Eric had nowhere near as fast reflexes as we did.

My ears were ringing from the sounds of the explosion as I glanced into the room, assessing the damage- I noted with disappointment that Eric had somehow made it behind the couch in the nick of time.

A hand grabbed onto my arm as my ears rang, RUN, came the words Captain mouthed.

I nodded as we both took off in a sprint, as the ringing in my ears was replaced by the once again familiar sounds of gunfire and yelling, “They went that way!”.

“Remember that phone?” Captain asked desperately as he was running, I nodded, doing my best to hang onto every word.

“That phone carries part of the source code your mother wrote, it helps control the media internally and controls what makes it out.” He lifted his hand with the grubby old phone in it as he shoved it into my palm.

He ducked into the lab area, with its items eerily untouched despite the ensuing chaos.

The sounds of footsteps and gunfire drew closer, and I

He covered his fingers with mine for a moment as he paused, “You- you have to take it. You’ll know what to do.”

“Wait, wha—” I was caught off guard as I came to realize that we had slowed to a jog and were right beside the vault door. I was processing the information that I had just learnt as Captain unlocked the vault.

“Yin- we don’t have time!” Captain pulled open the vault door as he roughly shoved me through its open doors, with the sounds of approaching footsteps thundering in the distance.

Xan Ti