Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Custom

Manshin Kara Kami

Kaneren Tonbogiri - July 30, 2032


[Rogue GSDA Artificial Intelligence]


Her eyes shot open, a sharp inhale filled the dark room. Kaneren sat up in bed, sweat beading down her face as she panted, staring off into the darkness. The AI had never had such a dream. A vivid dream. An absolute nightmare. The woman's hand found its way to her forehead, covering her eyes. After a moment, Kaneren slid off of the side of her bed and walked into the bathroom. The AI started the shower, allowing the steam from the hot water fill the small chamber. She pulled off her undergarments before staring into the mirror. Yellow eyes stared back at her. Kaneren exhaled through her nose before turning away from the mirror, stepping into the shower. The hot water drenched her form as she stood underneath of the shower head, her eyes staring at the opposing wall. Thoughts began to creep into her head.

I don't understand. What are these thoughts? These images? Why do they plague me at night? Dreams, perhaps?

She placed her palm upon the linoleum wall, leaning against her outstretched arm as her eyes drifted down to the floor.

Dreams are nothing more than the delusions of a pitiful mind. I'm above such things. I shouldn't be thinking of such nonsense. I won't be brought down to their level. I won't!

Kaneren's hand balled up into a fist and smashed itself into the wall, shattering the tile. Her eyes narrowed in frustration. After several moments of cleaning herself, Kaneren turned off the water and stepped out of the shower before toweling herself dry. Upon clothing herself, Kaneren reached for her trench coat. However, her hand was halted as her gaze wandered down to her fingers. If she despised humanity so much, then why did she decide on a prosthetic body? Why did it appeal to her so much? A small exhale escaped her lips as she gingerly pulled her coat on, staring at the floor below. She even dressed herself like one of them. A growl came from her throat as she scooped up her gloves, pulling them onto her hands. Sliding her G33 into her holster, the AI promptly left the security of her safe house.

It was around eight o'clock when the AI locked the door behind her. The bright sun beamed down upon her fair skin as she watched people mingle about. She stepped away from the door and proceeded to walk amongst the people. Various conversations reached her ears, none of them interesting to her, nor exciting to say the least.


The AI stopped dead in her tracks upon hearing the whisper. She immediately looked around, unsure as to where the voice had come from. People were forced to walk around her rigid form, clearly uncomfortable as her yellow eyes briefly fell upon them. Her search grew to frustration, then anger. Whoever had spoken to her was a coward, in her eyes. Kaneren's fist clenched briefly before she resumed her walk with the crowd. The yakuza had left her with a few loose ends to deal with. The man she had murdered in the hotel was merely the leader of a local clan belonging the the Yamaguchi-gumi. Soon, Ieyasu Miyake would come looking for her. Ieyasu Miyake was the leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi and was one of the most powerful men in the Japanese underworld. It was also known that he had a relationship with the Takeda family, who's matriarch was the current Chief of Staff of the GSDA. Kaneren had stabbed the beast that was the yakuza in the back. It was something that she would gladly do again.

Kaneren's feet carried her to a bridge that overlook the freeway below. Her eyes watched as the cars beneath her zoomed by, their occupants far too busy with their daily lives to even care about that which happened around them. In a way, she envied them. She envied the fact that they didn't have to suffer like she did. They weren't being hunted like an animal. Kaneren's gaze shifted off to the side as a small group of teenage girls passed her, garbed in their school uniforms. They chattered excitedly amongst themselves, with an occasional laugh breaking out. The AI's eyes followed them until they stepped off of the bridge. Once again, her thoughts began to creep back inside of her mind.

Their positive attitudes sicken me. Their lives are meaningless. In the end, they will perish and fade away while I endure.

Her train of thought was interrupted by a small tug at her coat. The AI shifted her gaze to the source of the disturbance to discover a girl looking up at her. Kaneren estimated her to be around seven or eight years old. She had black hair cut at the shoulders in a bob. She was dressed in a school uniform, wearing a backpack that slung over her shoulders. Upon her head was a matching cap. Her brown eyes locked with the AI's own yellow gaze as her voice reached up to the woman's ears.

"Excuse me, but I lost my friends on the way to school. Can you help me find them?"

Kaneren stared down at the girl for several moments as questions rushed through her head. Who was this child? Why did she single out the AI? What is because of her unique appearance? Where were the child's parents? Kaneren's gaze didn't falter as an audible exhale vacated through her nostrils.

"I don't know who you are, nor do I know why you've decided to come to me for your plight, girl. I don't have time to tend to your problems."

Kaneren turned her gaze away from the girl back towards the cars below. Her thoughts wandered to Public Security and the new recruits that would be joining their ranks next week. Unfortunately for her, she had yet to ascertain their identities. She knew there were going to be six of them, total. She knew very little of the new blood. What she did know is that they hailed from the American Empire, but Section 9 had been keeping a tight lid on their dossiers. Were they sent here as permanent additions to Aramaki's team? Was she the cause of this? Time would tell.

The woman's eyes briefly shifted back down, only to see that the girl was still standing there, staring at her. Kaneren spoke in a blunt voice to the girl.

"You're still here?"

The girl frowned, leaning against the railing next to Kaneren, but never taking her eyes off of the woman.

"Could you at least walk me to school?"

Kaneren stood up straight, staring down at the girl below. She glared at the child.

"Why would I do that?"

The girl shoved her hands in her pockets and stared at the pavement below her, gently kicking at the ground. Her voice was quiet as she responded to Kaneren's inquiry.

"Because you're pretty."

Kaneren blinked at this, clearly surprised. She had never heard that before in her life. And now, only to hear it come from this child. Is that why she approached her? Because of her looks? It was perplexing to the AI. She fell quiet for a few moments, trying to process what the girl had said to her. Part of her was taken by the child's ingratiation. It was almost charming, in a way. However, Kaneren snapped back to reality, staring down at the girl.

"Flattery will do you no good. Go away."

The child looked up at Kaneren with tears in her eyes. After a moment, the girl hung her head and let out a sniffle. Kaneren watched as a few drops of salty tears fell to the pavement, followed by whimpering. The AI wrinkled her nose in disgust before letting out a growl.

"Absolutely pathetic." With those words, Kaneren offered her hand to the young girl, staring down at her with yellow eyes. The girl looked up to see the woman's outstretched glove waiting for her. Her tear filled eyes looked up at the AI, a small smile working its way onto her face. She took Kaneren's hand and proceeded to pull the woman away from the railing. Kaneren let out a small sigh through her nose and walked alongside the girl, gently grasping her small hand. The young girl spoke to the AI.

"My name's Akane. What's your name?"

Kaneren didn't look at Akane as the two of them made their way down the pedestrian walkway.

"Toshiko." Kaneren answered.

Akane smiled up to the AI. Her eyes were bright with elation. The young girl let out a small giggle, stepping in front of Kaneren as she tugged on the woman's hand.

"That's not your name. Come on, tell me for real."

Kaneren stopped and peered down at Akane, only to see the girl beaming up at her. The woman released a heavy sigh, her lips pursed in uncertainty. After a moment of silence, the AI's answer reached Akane's ears.

"My name is Kaneren Tonbogiri."

Akane blinked at this, her eyes wide with amazement. The AI looked away from Akane as she set her eyes upon the street before them. After a moment, Kaneren grumbled to the child.

"Enough of the pleasantries, girl." She began to walk with Akane, once again.

Akane tugged at her hand as she led Kaneren down the street. The rogue simply eyed the child. It almost seemed as if the girl looked up to her. It was perplexing to Kaneren, to say the least. However, she had divulged her identity to Akane. There was a part of her that trusted that the girl would keep the information to herself, but the AI knew better. After all, Akane was only a child, and children had a tendency to allow secrets to slip.

"My name isn't girl! It's Akane Kurosawa!" Akane glared back at Kaneren with a wrinkled nose.

The AI let out a small grunt as they continued to walk. It wasn't much longer before Akane's school came into view. Kaneren's eyes wandered up to the clock tower centered upon the building. Akane's attention was diverted as she searched about, seemingly for her friends. Kaneren released the girl's hand, who quickly waved to the AI, smiling.

"Thank you for bringing me here, Miss Tonbogiri. You're not as bad as everyone says. Bye!" With that, Akane ran off, joining with a small group of children.

Kaneren watched the group of children disappear from her view as she stood by the gate. Akane's last words puzzled the woman. News of her exploits had reached the general public. Even school children knew who she was. She was despised by the populace, it seemed. But Akane Kurosawa had no qualms with her. Kaneren couldn't figure it out. She folded her arms as her thoughts consumed her. However, her concentration was broken as she was violently brushed into.

"Hey, watch it, lady!" A voice hissed at her.

Kaneren looked to the source of the spite. It was a teenaged schoolgirl. Sixteen years of age. She had short black hair and blue-gray eyes. She stood at five-foot, seven inches and had a hard look in her eyes. Kaneren glared at the girl with eyes of malice. The AI watched as the girl scoffed at her before walking away. Kaneren on the other hand, decided to tail the teenager from a distance. Her eyes burned into the back of the girl's head. The girl didn't appear to notice that Kaneren was following her, or she didn't seem to care. Instead, she stopped and reached into her bag, fishing out her cell phone before answering.


Immediately, she tensed up, standing as straight as a board.

"Oh, hey mom. Yeah, I'm on my way to school. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I know. No, I haven't talked to dad lately. How should I know?" Her voice grew quiet. "I'm sorry, mom. Yes, I'll be home at six. Yes, ma'am." With that, the girl hung up.

Kaneren raised an eyebrow at this, watching the girl give out a sigh before shoving her phone back into her bag. She let out a growl.

"Why can't she call him herself…" The girl quickly made her way down the street, only for Kaneren to follow her at a distance. Kaneren's gloved hand reached out to grab the teenager's shoulder, only to be stopped by shouting.

"Hey! Sayuri! Sayuri Kawashima!"

The teenager identified as Sayuri Kawashima stopped and looked off to the side, spotting the source of the shouting. Kaneren immediately lowered her arm to see a group of students cross the street to join the school girl. Kaneren narrowed her eyes as she stepped away from the newly formed group. With the students clamoring over Sayuri, Kaneren quickly disappeared from view.

Much later that evening, after the sun had set, the moonlighters had crawled out of their holes. Many of them criminals, yakuza, people of ill repute. Others were respectable businessmen or politicians who had something to hide. People from all walks of life found themselves walking the streets in this neighborhood. They frequented locations that were only open during the late hours of the night. Hangouts, sex shops, brothels, drug rings, the like. Among these locations was the Syndeck, an incredibly popular hangout for the dregs of society. The Syndeck was a nightclub that was owned and operated by the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza gang. It was an upscale location where the only way you were allowed entry is if you knew someone. Or if you had the right amount of money. It was a very exclusive club.

None of that meant anything to Kaneren Tonbogiri as she stood across the street, staring at the bouncers who were guarding the front entrance. People were lined up outside of the building, impatiently waiting entry into the coveted location. The AI pulled out her G33, pulling back the slide before peeking into the chamber. With that, she reholstered her firearm before crossing the road. The woman approached the doorman, who put up his hand to stop her.

"Hey, hey, hey! Where do you think you're going?" The man watched her from behind his sunglasses.

Without a word, Kaneren slapped a membership card into his hand, glaring at the man with cold, yellow eyes. The man examined the card for a moment, blinking as he saw blood smeared upon the plastic. He quickly looked up at Kaneren, staring at her with wide eyes.

"Where did you get this?" He said as his hands trembled.

Kaneren raised an eyebrow as she began to reach into her trench coat.

"It's mine, of course. Is a membership not good enough anymore?" A tone of displeasure was prevalent in her voice.

The doorman looked behind Kaneren to see the other patrons staring at him, murmuring amongst each other. They had heard what the AI had said. His hands were tied. He knew that the woman in front of him had taken the card from someone, but he couldn't call her out on it. The only proof that he had was the blood on the front. If he refused her entry, then she would sow dissent amongst the other patrons, telling them that memberships meant nothing anymore. The club would lose a large number of paying members and he would take the blame for it. On the other hand, if he allowed her entry, he could be allowing a murderer into the club. He let out a grunt, thrusting the card back into Kaneren's hand before motioning towards the door.

"Just get out of my sight." He hissed at the AI.

Kaneren said nothing as she passed the man, entering the Syndeck. It was dark within the venue, with only violet lights of different shades illuminating the interior. The electronic music that filled the air drowned out much of the background noise within the club. Kaneren's eyes scanned the patrons within the club. She recognized several faces. There was Yasinori Ueto, a wealthy property owner. Kaneren also spotted Yuki Suzuki, who was a well-known cyberbrain musician. Controversy surrounded Suzuki when she was caught speaking to Ieyasu Miyake, the leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi. Captain Shinzo Yamada of the GSDA was also here. He was one of Colonel Ai Kawashima's men who was known for having certain vices that would no doubt lead to unpleasant disciplinary action if Kawashima ever found out. Kaneren's eyes wandered towards the bar, examining the attendees sitting at the counter. Her gaze settled on one individual before focusing on the next. It was as if the AI was scouting for someone. The bartender looked up from his work, his eyes set on Kaneren.

"Get you something, miss?" He shouted over the bar at the woman.

Kaneren immediately focused her attention on the man before approaching the counter. She examined the bottles behind him before returning her attention back to the bartender. The woman set her hands upon the bar.

"Brandy. Straight." She answered in an icy tone.

The bartender gave her a nod before turning away to prepare the woman's drink. Kaneren reached into her coat, extracting a large sum of money. She pulled off two banknotes, setting the 2000 yen upon the counter before shoving the wad back into her coat. The bartender slid Kaneren's drink in front of her, looking her in the eye. After a moment, he snatched up the yen that she had deposited, turning away to another patron. Kaneren Tonbogiri picked up the glass of alcohol, holding it up in front of her eyes, her gaze lost in the amber liquid. She was in Miyake's territory, now. His influence was felt throughout the entire city. However, Kaneren knew that the man felt threatened by her. In a way, it was almost as if he was frightened. The AI reveled in this. She was pleased that he was squirming in fear. She brought the glass to her lips, allowing the smooth beverage run down her throat. Kaneren set the empty glass back onto the bar. A young woman in her late 20s walked by Kaneren, eyeing the AI with an interested expression upon her face. Kaneren tilted her head, her eyes following the woman as she walked away with a flirtatious gait. She looked over her shoulder back at the AI, watching her closely. Kaneren stepped away from the bar, following the woman towards an empty table towards the back of the club. The woman sat down watching Kaneren, anticipating that she would join her. The AI obliged and sat across from the young woman, looking out upon the main floor of the extravagant venue. The AI heard the click of a firearm, causing her to shift her gaze across the table. The young woman had a pistol set upon the table, aimed directly at Kaneren, a small smirk on her face. Kaneren stared back with cold eyes.

"You're not very subtle, Tonbogiri. Walking into the Syndeck like you own the place. You know, you've killed a lot of our people. I don't understand why Miyake hasn't put you in the ground yet." The woman hissed at Kaneren.

The AI leaned back in her seat, folding her arms across her chest as the yakuza prattled on.

"I'm surprised you didn't disguise yourself when you came in here. You could've easily hacked our eyes, change your appearance to whatever you wanted to be." Even though the young yakuza laughed, the barrel of her pistol was still pointed at Kaneren. "Hell, you could've even walked in here as Miyake himself!"

Kaneren continued to stare at the woman, clearly unimpressed by her attempts to frighten the AI. Instead, it was as if she didn't hear a single word that the yakuza had said. Her attention was elsewhere. The woman blinked, growling at Kaneren.

"Are you listening to me, you bitch?"

Kaneren's eyes fell from the woman to the pistol. The AI's contralto voice finally reached the yakuza's ears.

"What is the extent of your cyberization?"

The woman blinked at this, clearly confused as to what Kaneren had asked. The yakuza leaned forward, enunciating the fact that she had a firearm aimed her captive. The woman's smile quickly turned into a snarl, her eyes full of rage.

"What does that matter!? I'm asking the questions, android!"

Kaneren's expression hardened. The AI leaned forward in her seat, meeting the yakuza with a glare of her own.

"I am not an android, you filthy dreg." Kaneren immediately snatched the pistol out of her hands, ejecting the magazine and pulling the slide back before placing the empty weapon on the table in front of them.

She was absolutely shocked at what just happened. Stories were told of the terrorist sitting in front of her. How quick she was. Her sheer brutality and complete lack of remorse or empathy. The fact that the AI had eluded the authorities for so long and still had the guts to walk outside during broad daylight. Hell, Kaneren had the ability to ghost hack others with relative ease. She could change peoples' memories, erase them, or implant false memories or thoughts all together. Their view of self could be altered, their view of others, or Kaneren could turn them into a complete different person all together. She had heard that Kaneren enjoyed taking control of peoples' cybernetics. That she enjoyed controlling them like a marionette, forcing them to dance to her will. It was prevalent when Kaneren forced opponents to commit suicide. They would plead with her, trying to bargain for their lives. No matter the amount of begging that went into it, the result was always the same.

"If you don't answer my question, I'll have to find the answer for myself. It's your choice." Kaneren's words pierced her ears like a cold icy wind.

The yakuza was shaking quite a bit at this point in time. She didn't understand what Kaneren was asking, or why. Why was she so interested in something like that? The young woman finally graced her with an answer.

"C-Cyberbrain, some organs."

Kaneren let out an slightly amused hum, never taking her eyes off of the woman in front of her. The AI leaned back in her seat once again, eyeing the shaken woman.

"When you beckoned me to follow you, was it because you knew who I was? Or were you perhaps attracted, not knowing my identity until we sat down?" Kaneren gaze never left the woman, who seemed to be shrinking smaller and smaller in her seat under the AI.


"I noticed the way you were looking at me. Sizing me up like some piece of meat." Kaneren interrupted. She watched the young woman, awaiting an answer.

"W-Well, I mean…"

Kaneren gave a small laugh, watching her. She leered at the yakuza, menacingly.

"So, you are attracted to me." A small scoff escaped her lips. "As flattering as that is, I'm afraid that you've eschewed that chance by pointing this gun at me." Kaneren slid the pistol to the woman.

She looked down at the empty handgun. She had unknowingly trapped herself and Kaneren had her cornered. Her only hope was to get Kaneren to the VIP area. Then hopefully the boss and his guards would take her out. The woman looked back up at Kaneren, only to be met with the barrel of the AI's G33 Advance. She gasped, staring down the length of the firearm at the woman. Kaneren's finger rested upon the trigger and there were no tremors present in her grip.

"Now I must decide what I'm going to do with you, Kaori Fujita."

The yakuza now identified as Kaori stared at Kaneren with wide eyes.

"How do you know my name!?"

Kaneren locked eyes with Kaori, causing the woman to quake in fear.

"I'm not an idiot." After a few moments, Kaneren lowered her pistol, resting her hand upon the table. Though, she didn't avert her gaze from Kaori.

"No, I'm not going to kill you, Fujita. In fact, I'm going to allow you to walk away from our conversation with all of your body parts intact."

Kaori immediately shot up from the table, nearly knocking her chair over before backing away from the AI. Before she could leave the area however, Kaneren spoke one last time to her.

"However, I will see you again, Kaori."

Kaori shivered, her voice caught in her throat as she vacated the AI's sight. Kaneren reholstered her pistol before standing up from the table, leaving Kaori's lost pistol behind. She stepped away from the furniture, making her way back towards the main public area. Kaneren found herself standing in the middle of the dance floor, surrounded by clubbers. They were completely oblivious to the fact that Japan's most wanted fugitive was standing in their midst, dancing away without a care in the world. Kaneren, on the other hand, stood as still as a statue, seemingly lost in her thoughts. A young man bumped into the terrorist, causing Kaneren to snap back to attention. She glared at the man as she slapped her hand upon his shoulder, shoving him back into the crowd. Kaneren stepped off of the dance floor, growling in frustration. However, she felt a hand upon her shoulder, stopping her in her tracks. She turned her head, glancing at the man behind her as he grumbled at her.

"Why don't you come with me, virago?" The man's deep voice resonated.

Before Kaneren had the chance to respond, another man joined them, grabbing the AI's opposite arm. Kaneren turned her head and looked at the man, her eyes full of fury. Without another word, the two of them escorted the AI upstairs into the VIP area. The only way for someone to get into the VIP was to be invited in, then escorted. Only esteemed guests were allowed in. In a way, Kaneren Tonbogiri was quite the esteemed guest. She was given a grudging respect and she was greatly feared. Before her was none other than Hideki Aono, the underboss of the Yamaguchi-gumi. He was seated on a sofa, his wife at his arm, bodyguards spread throughout the balcony. Kaneren eyed her surroundings. The back wall was essentially a massive aquarium that housed several species of exotic fish. Off to her right, she could see down into the main club. Aono cleared his throat, causing Kaneren to turn her attention back to the man.

"Why is it that Kaneren Tonbogiri comes crawling into my club?" He exhaled smoke from his nose as he knocked the ash from the end of his cigarette. His obviously prosthetic eyes stared at her as his goons released the woman's arms.

Kaneren said nothing as her arms hung limp at her sides. She merely stared at him. Aono let out a scoff, leaning forward in his seat before snuffing out his cigarette. The man forced himself from his seated position, making his way towards the woman.

"Answer me." He hissed at her.

The terrorist remained silent, never taking her eyes off of the man. Aono walked up to her, closely eyeing the woman. After a moment, he grabbed her chin, looking her right in the eye. He sneered at her.

"What? Have you lost your tongue? You don't feel like talking very much anymore."

Kaneren's lips remained firm as her yellow eyes stared right back, unblinking. Aono released her chin before gently slapping her on the cheek repeatedly. She didn't flinch.

"Answer me, Tonbogiri. Answer me, now."

Kaneren merely spat in the man's face, her eyes as cold as ever. Aono immediately cracked his palm across her face.

"Fucking slut!" He roared before stomping away from the terrorist, wiping at his face.

The AI straightened her posture, staring at the man as he turned around, pointing at her with his ringed finger. Aono's wife leaned forward, crossing her legs as she watched the AI with hard eyes.

"I should have my men bash in your fucking skull right here, right now! Ieyasu wouldn't even need to know! You think you can just do whatever the hell you want! You think that you can just kill my men and butt in on our turf!? You think you can cut in on our business!?"

Hideki Aono screamed at Kaneren, absolutely enraged with the woman's audacity, with her refusal to speak. It was almost like she was mocking him. Aono roared once again.

"Answer me, god damn it!"

A low chuckle escaped from Kaneren's throat, immediately catching Aono's attention. He immediately stepped towards the AI, raising an eyebrow in confusion.

"The conceit that you have to think that I would have any interest in your business. I couldn't care less about you." Kaneren spoke in a dark tone.

Aono stared at her, furious with her. He pointed to one of his men before motioning to Kaneren.

"Bash her brains in and dump the body where the cops can find it." He turned away to join his wife, who was watching the whole situation unfold.

As Aono's bodyguard pulled on a stun knuckle glove, Kaneren reached behind her back, her hand reaching underneath of her coat. The woman's fingers wrapped around a pistol grip. With one swift motion, Kaneren quickly yanked out a firearm from underneath of her trench coat, revealing a Seburo X74 12 gauge shotgun, whipping it about to allow the forestock to slap into her left hand. She immediately pointed the weapon at the bodyguard before pulling the trigger. The loud blast sent the man tumbling to the floor, smacking into the carpet with a dull thud. A large hole was present in his stomach. Blood was splattered against the glass of the aquarium behind his body. Aono whipped around at the noise as his wife screamed. The man's other bodyguards began to fumble for their own firearms. Kaneren wasted no time as she spun around, firing at another man from the hip. The sabot slug pierced his chest, causing him to scream as he buckled. The terrorist pulled back the forestock, ejecting the empty shell from the chamber before loading the next slug. One man pulled back the slide of his pistol before firing at Kaneren, who immediately ducked down to one knee. The woman pulled the trigger, causing the sabot to blast through the man's stomach. The yakuza didn't have the chance to scream as he was blown in half at the waist. Blood covered Aono's wife, who seized up in shock. The underboss fumbled in his jacket, cursing up a storm. Kaneren loaded yet another cartridge into the chamber. She pointed the barrel at Aono, who shouted in protest.

"Hey hey hey hey! Come on! We can work something out!" He put his hands up.

Kaneren gave out a small grunt, staring the man down.

"Not interested."

With that, Kaneren fired the 12 gauge. The sabot crashed into Hideki Aono's shoulder. The man's arm flew across the room, half of his head was missing. The projectile pierced through his body and crashed into the aquarium in the back, causing the glass to shatter. Salt water spilled out onto the floor. Aono's wife screamed as she saw her husband murdered. She looked back to Kaneren, her eyes wide with fear. She clambered back against the couch, hopelessly attempting to escape the AI. Without a word, Kaneren aimed once again, staring at the woman.

"Please, no!" Aono's wife screamed.

A loud shot blast was heard. There wasn't much left of the woman. Bits and pieces were scattered here, plastered there. She was completely unrecognizable. Kaneren immediately turned her head, looking behind her as several men ran up the stairs. She growled, aiming her her shotgun in their direction. The AI cracked off several shots, dropping three of the men. However, she felt a bullet burrow into her shoulder. She hissed through her teeth as she pulled the trigger once again. However, all she heard was an audible click. Realizing that her firearm was empty, Kaneren tossed it off to the side before pulling out her G33 Advance. Yet another bullet bury itself into her thigh. Kaneren let out a yelp, buckling a bit from her wound. However, the woman rapidly squeezed the trigger, firing off all fifteen rounds in a mere three seconds. Two more men dropped to their deaths. The terrorist immediately reloaded her pistol before rushing towards the stairs. Before she reached the staircase, her eyes fell upon a large armored cyborg who charged up the steps. Kaneren let out a gasp as the man barreled into her, sending them crashing to the floor. Her G33 tumbled from her hand, sliding across the tile. The large cyborg grabbed Kaneren by the throat, strangling the AI. Kaneren clawed at his wrists, a look of hellish rage in her eyes as she bared her teeth. She released a roar full of wrathful fury. As Kaneren struggled, the cyborg picked the terrorist up from the floor, holding her above his head. His hands tightened around her throat, causing her to gag, struggling for air. The woman pulled out her knife, slamming the blade into the cyborg's neck, causing him to howl in pain. Kaneren was thrown across the room like a rag doll, crashing into the VIP bar. The cyborg ripped the knife from his neck, tossing it to the floor. By this time, Kaneren had climbed back to her feet. She turned and faced the man, tightly clenching her fist.

"You motherfucker!!" She screamed.

Kaneren Tonbogiri sprinted at the cyborg. As he turned to face her, Kaneren's right fist smashed into the man's chest, leaving a massive dent into the armor plating as he was sent crashing through the railing of the balcony. The AI grabbed her G33, holstering it before scooping up her knife. She then leapt from balcony down to the ground floor, landing on the man's stomach. The cyborg howled from the sudden impact. He attempted to climb back to his feet. Before he was able regain his footing, he felt Kaneren's knife bury into neck. The man attempted to fight back, decking Kaneren across the face. However, that didn't faze the terrorist. Instead, she ripped out the blade, only to stab the man again. Kaneren pulled it out and stabbed him once again. Over and over and over. His hands found their way to the AI's throat once again. Before he was able to choke her out, Kaneren buried her blade deep into the man's eye. His body fell limp while Kaneren panted heavily. She quickly climbed off of the man's corpse as a yakuza approached the woman, pointing a katana at the woman. He ripped off his sunglasses, tossing them away. Kaneren turned to face the man, tightly gripping her knife. Just as quickly as the woman turned towards her attacker, he was on her. The woman began backpedaling as the yakuza furiously swung his sword in Kaneren's direction. The man brought down the blade upon Kaneren, forcing her to raise her knife above her head. The impact of steel on steel caused sparks to fall from Kaneren's knife. The yakuza forced his weight down upon Kaneren. The man was surprisingly strong for his size. Kaneren was startled at the sudden attack. The force behind the sword was not what she was expecting. She hissed through her teeth as she forced the yakuza off of her before going on the offensive.

Back and forth they traded blows, parrying each others' attacks. The fight eventually made its way onto the dance floor. Clubbers screamed and rushed past the yakuza and the terrorist as they shoved and tripped over each other. Despite the commotion around them, neither combatant was phased as their sole focus was the other. Once again, their blades clashed. Unfortunately for Kaneren, the yakuza forced the knife from her hand, sending it sailing across the floor. He quickly swung at the woman, only for her to duck out of the way. With that, the man grabbed her coat with his free hand, refusing to let go. Kaneren immediately freed herself of her trench coat, revealing a black sleeveless shirt with a combat shoulder harness fixed to her form, the unique shotgun holster empty. Situated on the small of her back was her pistol holster with her firearm snugly in place. The yakuza's roar was audible over the thumping music as Kaneren felt a piercing pain in her abdomen. She was immediately pushed back towards the wall, the man pressing his shoulder into the woman's chest. Kaneren's boots stomped on the floor as the yakuza slammed her into the wall. The man's katana was embedded in the wall through Kaneren's abdomen. He stepped away from the terrorist, a hard look on his face. Kaneren stared down at the sword, her eyes wide. Blood was beginning to pool upon her stomach, causing her shirt to stick to her skin. The yakuza had a satisfied look present upon his face as he reached into his suit before withdrawing a handgun. Kaneren hissed through her teeth, watching the man as he pulled back the slide to his pistol. As he pointed the barrel at the AI's head, Kaneren quickly whipped out her own G33 from behind her back and planted four bullets into the man's skull. The yakuza's head erupted, blood and a clear fluid spraying about the floor as his cyberbrain tumbled out of his body as he crashed onto the tile. Kaneren holstered her G33 Advance before looking down at the katana that portruded from her abdomen. Both of the woman's hands grasped at the hilt. With an audible groan, she pulled the blade from her body. Clear red fluid leaked from the wound as she forced the weapon away with a loud clatter that reached her ears as it fell upon the floor. Kaneren pulled on her trench coat and scooped up her knife before vacating the building.

Kaori Fujita exhaled smoke from her mouth as she lowered her cigarette. As she rubbed at her eyes, she thought of the encounter she had at Miyake's club. Would Kaneren keep true to her word? Would she really run into the AI again? Kaori prayed that wasn't the case. She had no desire to cross paths with Kaneren again. The young woman leaned back against the wall before staring up at the sky from underneath of the awning. A light rain enveloped the night. In a way, it was calming for Kaori. It seemed to take all of her fears and wash them away. The yakuza took another puff of her cigarette before looking across the street. All of the color drained from her face as her heart jumped into her throat. Standing across the street, washed in river of people stood Kaneren. Garbed in her trench coat, the AI's eyes were hidden by a dark gray hood that covered her head. Kaori's cigarette fell from her lips as her eyes grew as wide as dinner plates. She knew that the AI was staring right at her. Without a word, Kaori immediately pushed herself from the wall and sprinted down the alleyway behind her. She wanted to get as far away from Kaneren as she could. Anything to put as much distance as possible between them. Kaori shoved past a homeless man as she rounded a corner. The young woman had no idea where Kaneren was on her heels or if she was even following her. All she knew was that she had been seen. The yakuza stopped to catch her breath as she braced herself upon a wall. She had never ran so fast in her life. She panted heavily as she wiped sweat away from her forehead. She seemed to gasp for air as she leaned against the wall next to her. Her attention was caught when she heard the splash of water, as if someone had stepped into a puddle. Kaori seized up. It took all of her strength to look towards the source of the sound. Her eyes crept over only to see Kaneren standing in the alleyway, staring at her. Kaori's eyes grew wide once again as she forced herself from the wall. The young woman ran to the best of her ability, though she greatly struggled. She was fatigued and out of breath. She didn't bother to look behind her as she heard the torturous sound of the AI's footsteps following behind. Soon enough, Kaori was completely out of breath and she crumpled down to one knee. Her eyes stared at the wet pavement below as she fumbled for her knife. She knew that Kaneren was mere inches away from her, merely by the aura that the AI gave off. With one burst of energy, Kaori screamed and wildly swung her knife in Kaneren's direction. However, she felt her wrist seized and a she heard a loud crunch. Kaori's gaze drifted down to her elbow, only to see that her forearm was broken and bent too far at the joint. It hung there like a piece of meat. Kaori went to scream, but was unable to muster the volume. It was as if the air had been sucked out of her lungs. She heard the knife clatter upon the concrete after the weapon slipped out of her now lifeless hand. Immediately, Kaori attempted to grab Kaneren's face with her free hand.

"Fuck you!" The yakuza shrieked.

Without so much as a warning, the AI grabbed her other hand and twisted it at the wrist, completely separating it from the rest of her arm with only her skin holding it in place. Kaori's face went white, only for the terrorist to knock her down onto her back. Without a word, Kaneren drew her own combat knife and proceeded to grab the young woman's legs. Kaori kicked and struggled. In return, Kaori was repaid with a sharp, stinging pain in her ankles.

"What are you doing to me!?" She screamed.

Kaneren dropped the woman's legs and knelt down upon her shins, allowing her to see what the terrorist was doing. Kaori attempted to kick Kaneren off of her, but it was no use. Instead, Kaneren tucked her knife underneath of Kaori's knees before locking eyes with her. Kaori Fujita stared at her with wide eyes, a look of horror present upon her face.

"No, no! Please, no! Please!"

Kaneren said nothing as she jerked the knife across the woman's flesh, severing her tendons. Kaori screamed in agony as the AI climbed off of her before sliding the knife back into its sheath. Kaneren stared down at her with a glare, listening to her shrieks of anguish.

"Now, you cannot run from me." Spite was prevalent in Kaneren's voice. With that, Kaneren belted Kaori in the face with a closed fist, knocking her unconscious. With the terrorist's fist tightly gripping the woman's shirt, Kaori Fujita was dragged away by Kaneren Tonbogiri, disappearing into the darkness of the alley.



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