Yohji knew that somewhere on the shimmering astral plane the irony gods were sitting on their golden thrones, hands on their knees, laughing themselves stupid. So, he had survived the tragic shootout that left his beloved Asuka dead. So he had survived the short-lived but violent reign of the madman known as Takatori. So, he had survived the rise and fall of the mysterious and frightenly powerful occult of the Rosencrucians. And so, he had survived sharing the same house with a maniac depressent modern samurai, a former soccer champion with a short temper and two left feet, and a young metrosexual that had been raised to kill people since before he knew how to ride a bicycle.

oh hell.

For the sake of his ego, he was not going to die here.

The mission was suppose to be simple right? Monitor the activity of a rising youth cult, link its leaders to some more diabolical criminal machine, step in when the killing begins. No problem. Hunters of the night once again denying the evil beasts their tommorow. When the bullets started flying and the enemy didn't refuse to retreat, Yohji found himself diving into the frey, attempting to make one last shot at saving the doomed youths before their cult leaders threat to blow up the entire warehouse became a reality.

He was lucky to survive the explosion and he assumed the others had done the same. Now, finding himself at the edge of the inferno, a single bullet lodged into his side, Yohji was beginning to regret seperating himself from the pack. He didn't know how far he could make it, he didn't know where the others were, and most importantly, he didn't know when the hell his communication set had been knocked off his head during the fight.

Yohji clenched his sides and wished he had psychic powers. Earth to Omi, Earth to Omi, come pick me up man, I need a hard drink. He felt himself sinking to his knees, the blood oozing like a river now. Why couldn't Omi be a telepath? Why did he have to loose his head set. I cannot die now! I have a date tonight with Turkish twins...

The world around him was spinning, his mind felt light and fuzzy, and in the face of almost certain death Yohji felt almost giddy. Though the thoughts of psychics and telepathic communication should have stung more deeply in his mind, reminding him of a period in his life when he was dealing with such freaks with powers. At least he didn't have to deal with them again. They were dead and buried, right? Under the ocean.

"Hey " A voice screamed, "Not fair! Who beat us to the kill?"

Yohji's head touched the rugged asfault, the wound must have been deeper than he thought. Amazing he had even managed to crawl out of the warehouse alive. His whole body was beginning to shiver. C'mon Kudoh, its too early to go into shock. You are such a fucking pussy.

"Whatever," A nasal drone dismissed. Yohji couldn't tell where the voices were coming from. Everything was getting dark. "less work for us." Why did that voice sound familiar?

"Just sit back and watch the fireworks."

Another explosion sounded off in the distance.

Yohji's arms wrapped around his sides, his hands were now completely slick with blood.

"Cops will be here soon, lets go home." The nasal voice commanded. Why did that sound so painfully familiar...

Omi... Aya, come get me, damnit. I'm dying here.

Footsteps, then a pause. "...what do you see?"

"...nothing. Get in the car. I'll catch up with you later." Retreating footsteps and approaching footsteps. Whoever had met to watch the show was splitting off. Yohji tried but couldn't force his eyes open. He was so weak, too weak to even flinched back when he felt a body kneel next to him and lift his face above the blood soaked street.

Warm breath poured down on him. Yohji couldn't hold on anymore.

"Hmm... ah, what is this? A kitten without a shelter?"



No wonder that voice had sounded familiar.

"Shit, Kudoh, you're badly injured. Where are your little friends?"

Yohji couldn't summon the energy to growl. With a grimace of rage he sinked into unconciousness. His last thought being a curse and a bark of dread: Damn it, the irony gods must be laughing.