City of Kyoto
The streets outside the Kyoto TCTF Headquarters
12th April 2022

The city of Kyoto, Neo Japan was peaceful and quiet, with only the bright lights from the tall buildings making up for the starless sky.

A cylindrical, almost entirely glass covered building stood in the centre, towering above even these tall buildings.
The Kyoto TCTF Headquarters stood overlooking the city like a protector of the citizens, shining ever so brightly as the agents within were hard at work.

Suddenly, several explosions broke the tranquillity. The TCTF HQ had been bombed, and smoke rose from several levels of the broken glass windows.

Klaxons screeched through the levels of the headquarters, and non-combatant TCTF personnel began to move towards the emergency exit. The place might almost be in chaos if not for the numerous TCTF agents efficiently containing it.

"Yihaa!" cried a group of armour-clad men at the bottom of the headquarters, and start smacking each other on the back. "Now let's get these data-pads back."

The data-pads were placed safely in the van, and the other men were just about to board the van when a group of TCTF cars from a nearby district came wheeling towards them, with their sirens screaming sharply. They skidded to a halt in front of the strikers. A dozen TCTF officers soon emerged. The strikers upholstered their weapons, Black Adder prototypes sub-machine guns, and pointed at the agents.

"Syndicate strikers!" A TCTF agent, clearly the squad leader, wailed through the megaphone. "Drop your weapons NOW! Don't try anything funny!"

The strikers knew no fear. They had been well-trained. The leader, a Hussar class Red Striker, made the first move by shooting one agent on the leg. The agent fell and cried out in pain.

"Ah damn! Open fire!!" the squad leader ordered.

Soon, the streets of Kyoto became a mini-war, and bullets sprayed to and fro and erupted on the surfaces of the cars and roads. The TCTF agent expertly handled the situation, and used their vehicles as shields as the bullets peppered and dotted the cars. The strikers did the same as well, and made use of the road repair blockers to protect themselves.

Several strikers still got shot down in a moment of slowness. Well trained, though the strikers were, they were outnumbered. The TCTF agents were seemingly getting the better of the strikers. Kazumi and his team desperately fought off the TCTF agents, and made sure no agent was sent to steal the datapads while they're busy. His eyes widened as he saw his fellow strikers lying in a pool of blood, but his many years of training in the Syndicate allowed him to fight back his emotions. He had been taught such things were inevitable, and would disrupt a mission if he did what his emotions told him to do.

The strikers were nearly overwhelmed. Kazumi signalled to his squad to retreat. Slowly, the remaining strikers backed away from the TCTF agents and towards the rear of the armoured van, making use of the tough road repair road-blockers along the way to shield themselves from the bullets. Click. The gun was empty. Kazumi cursed softly, and noticed his squad members ran out of bullets as well. The roadblocks were more useful than ever, and they made sure no part of their bodies is exposed to the merciless bullets.

The TCTF agents advanced slowly towards them, halting their fire. They are not going to waste bullets just yet. It would be useless. A slight blue object can be seen behind the roadblocks. In a while, that object fell to the ground. The TCTF had shot down another striker. The leader held up his arm to signal the TCTF agents. "Stop. We shall proceed no further. It might be a trap…"

"HURRY! STAY LOW! We're almost there!" Kazumi shouted to his squad. They quickened their pace, while lying low as Kazumi has instructed. Almost there! Kazumi, you must not be exposed. He tried once again to recall what his Syndicate training had taught him.

The TCTF agents walked slowly and cautiously towards the van and the roadblocks, guns aiming. They were caught by surprise when the sound of the van's doors shutting were heard.

One of the strikers took the wheel. "Get us out of here, FAST!" Kazumi ordered. The headlamps of the van ignited suddenly, and were like two bright cat eyes in the dark. A ear-piercing screech came from the wheels as the Syndicate van pulled recklessly off and away from the TCTF agents.

The agents fired several shots, most of which bounced off uselessly from the Sudonium armour coating on the van even the wheels.

"Cease fire… we can't do anything much even if we rode on our cars," the leader ordered, appearing a little tired. "Tend to the injured agents. Here… the hypos." He handed his colleagues some white soft packets. The agents took the hypos and joined two more agents already tending to their wounded colleagues. The agents laid their colleagues against the cars and injected them with some chemicals from the container. The injured agents' tensed muscles relaxed as the hypos did their work, and they felt a lot better.

The leader looked at the van's tiny silhouette as it disappeared into the night. They were prepared. Our bullets didn't do anything to that van. This was not the usual Syndicate van. They don't come armoured, as far as he knew.

What did they obtain from the headquarters that was of such importance?


Later that night...
TCTF Kyoto Headquarters
Regional Commander Griffin's Office
12th April 2022

"Yes sir, they got away, sir…" Kurosawa, a young handsome officer (and a favourite amongst the female agents.) reported about the event he encountered just now as instructed. "We couldn't stop them." Kurosawa didn't like losing his 'prey', neither did he like having to bring the bad news to Griffin.

The recently appointed Regional Commander Griffin heaved a heavy, disappointed sigh and closed his eyes. Griffin was beginning to regret accepting the appointment of Regional Commander. Being one was everything he had worked for, but it didn't seem to be as rewarding as he had expected. "The Iron Man", though he was called by fellow colleagues during his days as a junior officer, he was beginning to wonder if he would be able to cope with the stress. Everytime, he would wake up and gaze in the mirror (when he gets the chance to sleep.), he would see the grey hair covering his brown ones, and his eyes getting dimmer and dimmer, lacking the usual, enthusiastic glow he once had when he was in his late twenties.

He wanted to shout at Kurosawa for this loss, but he felt he could not blame him. He was young, and having recently been appointed a squad leader and sub-captain, knew not much about the way things should work. In fact, Griffin had kind of taken a liking for him. He was a very capable officer... no doubt this loss might've been already a big blow to him. No. He would not shout this time.

Kurosawa looked at Griffin sit up suddenly, and said, "Never mind, Kurosawa… there's nothing you could do." Kurosawa was surprised. This isn't very like Commander Griffin.

"If there's nothing else, shall I leave… sir?"

Griffin nodded.

Kurosawa looked worriedly at Griffin before turning to leave.

"Kurosawa?" Griffin said suddenly.

"Yes, sir?" Kurosawa turned around.

"What did the Syndicate take? You have not told me that yet."

Kurosawa cleared his throat softly, and forcing himself to look less grim, "Well, our technical officer said it was some files regarding Project 1-A*."

Kurosawa looked at Griffin's reaction, and continued, "Sir… excuse me for asking, but what is these files and what is so important about them?"

Exactly the question Griffin was asking. He didn't answer Kurosawa, but sank back into his chair, head resting on the back. What in the world do they need Konoko's training files for?

An uncomfortable silence followed as Kurosawa noticed Griffin deep in thought.


Griffin broke out of his seemingly trance like state and said. "Oh… you may leave, Kurosawa."

Kurosawa wanted to open his mouth to ask the question again, but forced it shut. Griffin didn't seem to be eager to answer that. He had never seen Griffin look so tired before. Even though he feared Griffin quite a little, he couldn't bear to see his commander torture himself. "Sir. You have been working for three consecutive days without rest… do take care of yourself." Griffin just nodded absent-mindedly, eyes seem to be looking elsewhere dreamily again.

Kurosawa turned on his heels and walked towards the door.

"Kurosawa… thanks." Griffin said, smiling a little.

Kurosawa stopped and turned his head around. He was delighted to see Griffin smiling. He looked much younger now.

Kurosawa grinned back, nodded and said, "You're welcome, sir." and left the office.

Griffin stretched himself a little, and looked at the folders on his table. He picked up his pen and started writing. He turned the computer on and used it to play some soft, soothing music.

Suddenly, he dropped his pen.

An eerie realisation had dawned on him.

He knew what the Syndicate wanted those files for…

* In case you were wondering, this ISN'T a typo. This is meant to be a predecessor to 'Project 1-B' you see in the game.

~~ Hope you like this fan-fic! I thought of this suddenly, so, the ideas might not flow so well just yet. Tell me if you see anywhere I can improve upon! Oh, as usual, review the story! Anyway, there would be a link (a minor one.) in ROTC to the later scene here. WJTW ~~