After my, rather climactic first day of school with Taylor we wandered in the general direction of her house. I walked side by side with her, laughing and joking with her, keeping her distracted from what I just did to her friend. But even though the majority of my attention was on Taylor. I kept scanning my surroundings for any faces that I would recognize, and lo, there was a willowy blond sitting in a corner of the bus, her eyes fixed on me, I glanced at her, and she shuddered before smoothing her face into a calculated non-expression.
Well, hellooo Lisa…
I whispered for Taylor to go sit in one of the empty window seats and place her bag beside her to discourage anyone sitting next to her while I was busy. She nodded, and gave Lisa a speculative, almost angry look before finding her seat. I practically floated over to the seat next to Lisa and opened my mouth speak.
Lisa shuddered as she made eye contact with the redheaded Irish teen. The red-head was talking with a slim and mousey looking brunette, but at the same time was showing an almost supernatural level of awareness of her surroundings. At first she had assumed that she was maybe a martial artist, but then her power had done the equivalent of walking up to her, and slapping her in the face, it screamed at Lisa.
'killer, trained, powers, currently armed, does not need armament to kill, could kill everyone on the bus, not their original body, placed into their body by# ^& %& ^*….'
Lisa winced as her power went blue screen, and carefully smoothed her face into a non-expression as the pale teen smirked at her before whispering in her companions ear who glared at Lisa. Lisa's power whispered that while the brunette was still a danger, she wasn't nearly at the level of the red-head.
'triggered, has powers, is new to her powers, is rapidly becoming deathly loyal to the other girl, thinks the world of the other girl, willing to cause serious harm to protect the other girl, becoming obsessed with the other girl'
Lisa became so entranced with trying to read the other girl to see what information she could glean that see didn't even notice when other girl sat down, and had to surprise a scream when the teen spoke.
"Hello there Lisa. Or should I say Tattletale?"
I suppressed the snicker as Lisa jumped. She turned to me and gazed at me. I just smirked and sat still. If the descriptions of her powers were accurate, she would be erroring out unless she focused her mental questioning on very specific portions of her questions. She opened and closed her mouth few times before finally asking.
"Do you work for Coil?"
I shook my head, a little insulted that she actually thought someone as gifted in every sense of the word would work for that putz. And then I remembered that because of the influence of a much higher power, she most likely wouldn't be able to get a read on me. Lisa's lips pursed adorably, and then she leaned a little away as she realized that the scary Irish teen next to her was attracted.
Hey, I was a red-blooded male. She's an adorable blond. Sue me.
Lisa looked a little disgusted, but thoughtful. I could almost see the hamster on steroids running on the wheel in her mind. It almost made me break out into thrice be dammned un-manful giggles when she finally opened up her mouth mouth and I could almost hear the hamster squeaks.
"Then if you don't work for Coil… who do you work for?"
I creased my lips in irritation.
What says I have to work for anyone? I just shrugged.
"Does it matter if I say, that if you help me deal with Coil in a permanent fashion in a few weeks, you are then free and clear?"
Lisa started, and then licked her lips in an unconscious show of desire.
"Why in a few weeks?"
"Because I said so."
All I got from that was a blank look. So sue me, I couldn't think of a better lie in time, and it wasn't like I could tell her that I wanted to wait until the Undersiders had their run-in with Lung, so that they would be more amenable to a change in management, Lisa if I remembered her character right, she didn't have anywhere else to go.
Was I manipulating a teenage runaway to aid and abet murder, and then to hopefully stick to a life of crime?
Yes. Yes I was.
Did that probably make me a terrible person?
Yes. Yes it did.
Did I care?
No. No I didn't.
After a few more minutes of talking with Lisa, we exchanged contact information and I went over to sit next to Taylor for the remainder of the trip, which turned out to be pretty short, most of the trip had been taken up by me talking to Tattletale.
I waved cheerily as Taylor and I left the bus to walk the remaining distance to Taylor's house.
Lisa's fingers tapped nervously on the back of the seat in front of her like a master pianist.
Was she serious? Was she going to take down Coil?
The red headed teen was dangerous, that was for sure, but was she actually powerful enough to take out Coil?
What if it was a trap or some sort of test of loyalty for her?
But, in the end, did she really have any choice?
Lisa had many, many questions, but no real answers.
I looked at the mask in my hand. The ivory glinting warmly up at me in the lights of my room. It was time, once again. I shivered. Even if it was to secure my own life, what I was doing… It wasn't good. Not by any stretch.
I had amassed a kill count in the double digits, and was maneuvering myself to kill even more people in short order.
Sighing, I snapped on the mask, belted my gun to my hip, plopped my hat onto the top of my head, and then grabbed my duster from here it hung.
I might not like it, but I had already started, having already destabilized the Merchants, whatever the gangs did in the intervening power struggle would be on my head.
Lung snorted angrily as he listened to one of his lieutenants speak, the impudence, the arrogance of that absolute WEAKLING to DARE lay down terms to him?! The Dragon of Kyushu!?
Lune snarled and slammed the desk in front of him, his fist sending spiderwebbed cracks throughout the glass surface.
"I want everyone on the streets on alert! 500 thousand for this cowards head!"
In his penthouse, Max Anders, also known as Kaiser, looked at the report detailing much the same thing that had been told to Lung.
Unlike Lung however, he smiled, wrote a quick note, and then sat back in his chair, his fingers laced behind his head.