Rebirth of the Chrysalite
CHAPTER 6: Returnings

Kazumi High-rise
Rooftop
Friday, January 07, 2033

The sniper got out his sniper rifle and adjusted the systems on it, making sure it's settings matches those of the rifle-stand he had placed earlier on, and attached it onto the stand. Reaching from his pouch, he took out an ammo clip and inserted it into the rifle. A blip sounded, signalling that the ammo clip had been reconfigured to fit the rifle, and was ready to fire.

He peered through the scope, and saw through the green interface his target. Slowly and steadily, he placed the centre crosshair of the rifle's aiming scope right on the target's head. He pressed a few buttons on the rifle-stand, and with a slight click, the rifle locked in position. The sniper prayed hard that the target would not choose to leave at this moment, which would waste his efforts.

Heaven was with him, for the target still stayed put. The sniper positioned one of his fingers on the trigger, and pressed it.

A bullet flew out of the nozzle, smashing through the glass panel and impacted on the target's head. The target dropped dead on its desk. He did not feel a pang of guilt at all. A sniper can't afford to have a conscience when killing. This would be a hindrance to their job.

He preferred bullets to those new energy weapons anytime. They were more accurate, and can fire more shots than energy weapons, which would have expended an entire energy cell clip in less than ten shots. Ammo clips and energy cells don't come cheap (energy weapons are even more expensive.), because of the technology embedded in each clip and cell which allowed them to reconfigure themselves to whichever gun or rifle a person is using.

Another job accomplished. The sniper smiled, satisfied with himself, time to get my pay.

He laid low as he detached the rifle from its hold on the rifle-stand, disassembled the rifle-stand itself, and made his way to the roof-access doors swiftly.

********************

TCTF Kyoto Headquarters
Night shift
Friday, January 07, 2033

The office was quiet except for the rapid scribbling and scratching of a pen. Commander Griffin frowned a little as he read through the dozens of proposals made by the Heads of Departments of the TCTF. Their proposal had asked for ridiculous amounts of money being spent, as if the TCTF have not already enough money problems to deal with in the recent crisis. In his job, he had to make countless decisions, and every decision would affect the TCTF in one way or another. And he could see that some of the reports and proposals were beneficial, but damaging as well, because they could easily heighten the TCTF's money problems, and might bring the TCTF in the red.

However, what worried him the most was the events that happened when he had asked Captain Daniel to report to him about the progress of the search. He had heard from a recording about Dark Ninjas. The TCTF had realised that these ninjas are Chrysalites themselves, and being that, their speed and agility would have been terrifying. But they were only rumoured to exist. However, not only did the sound-recording provided by Captain Daniel proved their existence, it also demonstrated that the Syndicate were several steps ahead of them in Chrysalis development. I hope those scientists at the Science Prison would get it done. I should never have purged the databanks of information of the Chrysalis years ago. Now we would have to restudy it... and with Dr. Hasegawa now gone...

He was not sure if the TCTF would be ready if the Syndicate were to have more Chrysalite-troops. He imagined a crime organization, already difficult to control, having hundreds of Chrysalite-troops, each impervious to conventional weapons, and could only be destroyed by weapons that the WCG had banned.

A feeling of age crept up to him, and not for the first time. He looked back at his forty year career, and how he had worked hard to climb to the rank of Regional Commander. Now, at sixty, he needed a new successor soon... but who? He needed someone that would be capable of handling the amount of pressure and stress, something he had been able to do in his twenty years as Regional Commander.

He tapped gently on the buttons of his intercom system, and said, "Ryu, ask Commander Ichiro* to report to me."
Shortly, the voice of Ryu, Ichiro's secretary replied, "Commander Ichiro will be back in ten minutes, sir. Should I inform him to return quickly, Commander?"
"Never mind, Ryu. I can wait for him. Thank you." He said, and tapped once more on the intercom button.


Some time later, the voice of Commander Ichiro came through Griffin's intercom. "Commander, sir. Ichiro reporting!"
Griffin pressed a button, and the door slide open to reveal a tall young and smart looking man with quite a pleasant looking face. Ichiro bowed, and entered the office.

"You called for me, sir?" Ichiro asked, although that question did seem a little stupid. Of course he called for me!

"Yes..." Griffin stood up from his chair, and walked towards Ichiro. "I have been observing you and your performance, and have been extremely pleased."

Ichiro couldn't help but smile at Griffin's appraisal.

Griffin continued, "As such, I am choosing you as my successor for the position of Regional Commander. If I were to step down, and uh, in case something happened to me, you shall be the next Regional Commander.".

Ichiro's legs weakened slightly, and his whole face seemed to want to burst out with joy, but he managed to compost himself. He straightened up, chest puffed up. "Thank you, sir! I wouldn't let you down."

"Someone once told me that in her first mission, but became a rogue agent instead." Griffin shook his head and sighed.
"Was that Konoko you were talking about?", Ichiro asked.

Griffin nodded. "You do know her, don't you?" Ichiro nodded in reply, glowing slightly red in the face. From what?

"Let's not talk about her. Don't wish to bring up such things."
"Well," Griffin continued suddenly, "Better do a good job when you take over, Ichiro! It might be sooner than you think." He said with a weak smile and patted Ichiro on the back, before pacing back to his seat, and sat down. "In case something happen to me, the close-circuit TV has captured everything. You don't have to worry about your fellow jealous or unhappy Commanders."

"Yes, sir." Ichiro nodded, beaming proudly at Griffin. "As I've said, I will do my best."

"I'm sure you will. That is all... you may leave."

Ichiro bowed again and left.

Griffin looked at Ichiro leaving the office and turning to make his way down, before closing the doors. He returned to his documents, and thought about whether to accept the Heads of Departments' proposals.


Five minutes later, Griffin was lying on the desk, still sitting on the chair, as if having collapsed of exhaustion. He was facing sideways, eyes still opened, but staring into nothingness. Blood was flowing out from his mouth. A small hole had appeared on the glass panel behind him. The creator of this hole was lodged deep inside Griffin's head...

********************

Syndicate Underground Headquarters
Friday, January 07, 2033

"Sir, Boss Muro has arrived,".
The Boss, seated in the shadows smiled as he heard Fuji report. He sat up.
"Good. I shall see to him personally."

The Boss heaved himself out from his huge chair, and moved out of the shadows. Fuji did not like the face of the Boss. It was easily the most hideous face he had ever seen. White as sheet, with veins and arteries in plain view running across his face, as if the skin were translucent, and a small, thorn like object growing out of his forehead. He wore huge, yellow-white armour, presumably life-support systems, judging from the two cords connected to the back of his head.

The Boss turned to Fuji, his cybernetic components humming lightly when he turned. "Tell the sectional heads to await me at Hall 2D. We shall welcome Boss Muro."

Fuji bowed, "Yes sir", and disappeared out the Boss' office.


Muro stood in front of a glass-door like structure, with two Elite Strikers beside him as escort. In a second, he saw several figures, with a huge one in the middle, and wore a pleased look on his face.

The cybernetic Boss bowed, followed by Fuji and the sectional heads. "You were right, Boss. The Chrysalis did keep you alive."

Muro's cold stare swept the sectional commanders, making them shift uncomfortably slightly. He turned to the cybernetic Boss.

"I hope, Barabas, the organization I have worked so hard to built is still in perfect condition?" Barabas, the cybernetic Boss, nodded in reply.

Muro, flanked by the sectional heads, Barabas, and the two Elite Strikers, proceeded to the elevator that would take them down into the heart of the facility. Muro asked suddenly, "And what of Sturmanderung B?"

Barabas was quick to reply. "Commander Fuji reported that it is complete. With a few tests under various conditions, the Project will be executed at around late next week."

Fuji smiled in his heart, expecting a praise from Muro. However, Muro did not seem as pleased as Fuji had hoped. "This is not good enough. I want everything up and ready, fully tested by the start of next week, do I make myself clear, Fuji?"
"Yes, sir." Fuji swallowed. He had never personally met Boss Muro before, and now felt the terror in his presence.

When Muro reached the staircase, he dismissed the two Elite Strikers, as well as the sectional heads. He did not want them to waste time welcoming him.

He turned back to Fuji, and continued, "However, I would very much like to see how much you have done. Fuji, show me." Muro ordered. Fuji bowed, and led Muro, with Barabas, into an elevator leading deep down into the headquarters.

********************

Konoko's Apartment
Living Room
Saturday, January 08, 2033

"At around 11:30PM yesterday, Regional Commander Terrance Griffin was found dead in his office, with a bullet found inside his head. The TCTF suspected this to be a sniper attack, resembling the many other cases where other top WCG officials were found dead. The TCTF believed this was done by the same sniper, or the same organization, bent on causing major disruption to the Government."

Konoko sank back in her couch. Commander Griffin is dead? Everything had happened so fast. Even though Griffin had betrayed her some time ago, she did not feel glad to hear the news. She had let Griffin go, and Griffin had come to her aid in fighting Muro and his men. She was not even sure she the reason she felt bad was for him.
She looked back up at the television, and heard the reporter saying, "Following the death of Commander Griffin, the role of Regional Commander shall be assumed by Commander Ichiro Kurosawa."

Ichiro Kurosawa? Wasn't that the annoying boy, the troublemaker of the TCTF Academy? Regional Commander?
Konoko shook her head and a short 'hah' came out of her.

She heard the reporter mentioning about the resurrection of Muro Hasegawa. "Muro Hasegawa's whereabouts are currently unknown, and the public was brought further into a state of panic as several new bombing cases, with at least one case using a lethal technological and bio weapon, had happened in various parts of Neo Japan.
"Citizens were outraged at the lack of progress and work done by the TCTF, despite claims by the TCTF that they would resolve these problems as soon as possible.

The green haired reporter went to a tall, young man and began probing him. "Commander, Ichiro, what do you have to say about this? The public had voiced out their concerns and some were worried that if a Regional Commander in such a heavily protected building can't be safe, what make them think they will be?"

Commander Ichiro groaned. These reporters and the media never give them a rest, but the public deserved to know. Konoko could feel the stressfulness right now, but she also saw a mask of determination painted on Ichiro's thin face as he said the following, "I know we have said this many times, but I advise the public not to panic, as much as it seem or sound impossible to do. We shall double our efforts. I give you my word that the TCTF will not rest until the person or organization responsible for the late Commander's death are brought to justice. Muro Hasegawa will be caught, and his Syndicate will be brought down."

She felt an unpleasant feeling yesterday, and had realised that Muro had returned. This report confirmed everything. She could feel the intoxicating presence of her evil brother. She had tried to think of something, but she felt terrible all of a sudden, seeming as if she would faint all of a sudden. Such a feeling was completely the opposite of what she had expected to feel as a Chrysalite. it was supposed to boost her strength and resilience. But... Muro's sudden resurrection must be the cause of all this.

She snapped out of her thoughts when she heard Ichiro's voice once more.

"Konoko, if you can hear me, we need your help in dealing with Muro!" A reported budged in, "Is it true that this agent Konoko you've mentioned is the sister of Muro?"

"I would answer nothing of that, miss." Ichiro said in an annoyed tone, and brushed her aside, keeping his eyes on the camera. "Konoko, please... Muro is a monster, we can't stop him, and we know nothing about his location. Only you could possibly hope to find her."

Konoko's mind was clouded. She had tried her best to forget the past and what had happened, and now, returning to the TCTF was amongst the last of her thoughts, if they were in her thoughts at all. But how could she let more of the men and women of the TCTF die fighting the Syndicate and Muro, and not help? She had done enough damage herself back then when she had bent on killing Griffin herself. All the TCTF agents she had slaughtered while on her quest to search for answers. Deep in her heart, she believed helping the TCTF might clear her of the crimes she had committed, or at least give her a peace of mind. By helping the TCTF, less agents would have to sacrifice themselves in a futile effort to deal with Muro. She knew she was the only one who could possibly hope to stop Muro.

She looked up at the television, and saw the bloody remains of the Science team working on the Chrysalis itself. She could almost see Muro's every move, inflicting damage on the scientists' bodies. She would not want this to happen to more people if she could help it.

The news programme ended, and Konoko rose to her full height and walked away from the couch to her bedroom. She opened the doors of the cupboard, and it revealed an assortment of clothing. She looked at the TCTF uniform and armour she used to wear while on active duty. It was slightly worn out from all the action it had seen, but was otherwise, still in perfect condition. It was something she had worn proudly before going rogue.

She reached for the cupboards' keypads and pressed a few keys, and in a while, the uniform slide out.

********************

TCTF Kyoto Headquarters
Saturday, January 08, 2033

Konoko rode her blue-green motorcycle into the carpark of the TCTF Headquarters, and found herself a suitable space and parked it gently. She removed her helmet, and shook her head somewhat violently to loosen her hair, which had tightened slightly while she had her helmet on.

The silvery armour of Konoko's uniform glistened in the lights that lit the carpark. She had tried to get use to the uniform once more while at home, and still, it felt a little uncomfortable. The shoes were annoyingly small as well. And to think I have not worn it for only a few days. She had chosen her own pair of shoes instead. She walked a little hurriedly towards the door leading into the headquarters from the carpark.

The Kyoto headquarters was new to her, having worked all her life only in the Osaka Headquarters, and soon after, in the now destructed Tokyo Regional Headquarters. Konoko knew this headquarters was much older than the rest (in fact, the first to be built after the forming of the TCTF.), but it felt and smelled newer. The walls had a much better and fresher looking palette of colours than the other bases she knew, and was a vast difference from the standard, bland looking buildings common in this period of time. It have Konoko an inviting feel, seemingly to wish her a happy day.

She walked into the common area, and found herself not only facing a fountain, but also curious stares by the other agents working in the headquarters and some gasps which echoed in the wide area.
She noticed a few of blue-clad TCTF light-security agents looking at, and presumably, talking about her. As she moved closer, a few of them moving away from her, as if she was a sort of plague, threatening to wipe them out if they were even a metre closer. She knew the reason they did not attack was because Commander Ichiro had told them about her return.

But still... Sigh... I guess people's opinion of me will not change in the days to come. She spotted a building directory, and went forward to try to find the way to the top floor, or wherever the Regional Commander's office was. The words was quite small because of the detail it contained. Each and every room in the twenty or so stories headquarters was listed. Whoever had designed it wasn't keen on making it user-friendly, and at least readable. Konoko strained herself to read the words. If the Chrysalis had enhanced her body, it had not enhanced her eyesight, or at least enhanced her ability to read small words. The Tokyo Headquarters already had computerized directories, she saw no reason why this base shouldn't have it.

As she was browsing, she heard a voice from behind. "Hey, Agent Konoko!"

Konoko turned around, and saw a smiling Commander Ichiro waving at him. There was no one accompanying him, which Konoko took an immediate liking to. At least he is not afraid of me and trusts me.

Konoko stood straight and saluted. "Agent Konoko reporting for duty, sir!"

Ichiro just smiled a little. "Just like your old self, always wanting to impress your superiors." Konoko turned a little pink, and Ichiro laughed a little. Konoko could felt a bit of bitterness under that laugh, as if a ton of bricks was on his shoulders from all the pressure and stress he was now facing. "Konoko, no need for this much formality just yet. Just say 'Ichiro'."

"Ok, I know, Konoko. It might be a little hard for you to return to the TCTF after what had happened between you and this organisation. I have appealed to the Board of Directors to pardon your crimes. The accepted, for the time being. Don't worry, this isn't a trap or anything. Everything will be fine... until the ass-kicking part." He patted Konoko on the shoulders to comfort her as they start to make their way to the elevators situated somewhere deeper in the ground floor.

Konoko did not feel as tense as before after she heard Ichiro's words.

"Well, Ichiro... this was unexpected, you being Regional Commander."

Ichiro was quiet for a while before replying, "Ye-ah. When Griffin told me I would be his successor, I didn't know how happy I was. I know you still remember me as that troublemaker, annoying kid? I think people change sometimes."

Konoko nodded. "Yeah... I guess."

"Come, we must make haste. I would introduce you, or rather, re-introduce you to the agents. And a new weapon we have been developing."

Konoko looked mildly puzzled, "A new weapon?"

"Yes, and just in time for use too. I'll show it to you, and to the rest of the agents, when we get to the fourteenth floor."

Soon, the two reached the elevator, and rode silently up.

Author's Notes

* That's for Chapter 6. This one is quite long, but I foresee that the next few chapters would be shorter.
* If I had the time, I would continue with Chapter 7 as right after this (with a break, of course. :-) ).
* As usual, please review and tell me what you think, especially the way I have done the Konoko returning to the TCTF part. I believe it might not be convincing for some of you.

* As before, please visit my sites!:
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