LYON, France – Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport

"Takino. Tomo Takino."

The Air France flight attendant looked at the Japanese girl in the black jumpsuit with the zipper down the front, which was undone to an almost indecent point. It didn't fit her well. The jumpsuit was made for someone with curves. And cleavage. The grinning girl with the briefcase, striking what she probably thought was a sexy pose, had neither.

He sighed. "Mademoiselle, we don't need your name. We just need your boarding pass."

Grumbling, the international woman of mystery handed over her boarding pass and headed down the ramp to flight 765 to Tokyo. She was irritated. Not only was she flying coach, but they hadn't even asked to see her badge.

She'd been with Interpol for six months now, working at headquarters in Lyon, speaking awkward French and handling paperwork. It wasn't the dream job she thought it would be. She'd nearly gone through the roof with glee when her boss had called her into his office that day.

In the usual way. "TAKINOOOOOO!"

She stuck her head into her superior's office. "Let me guess. I'm off the case?"

"You're not even ON a case right now." Captain Fujiwara sighed. His higher-ups in the Metropolitan Tokyo Police Department had to be punishing him for something, saddling him with this brat. "If you were, though, you'd probably be off it, after what happened with the Nerima hentai burglaries."

"I caught the thief."

"By running around in your underwear till he attacked you!"

"Hey, it worked." It was true. Officer Takino was, to use the American police cliche, a loose cannon. She played by her own rules. And, for some twisted reason, it usually worked. Although "Takino" and "underwear" were never going to appear in the same thought ever, ever, again. He popped a couple of Saclon stomach pills from the bottle on his desk and allowed himself a nasty mental chuckle. She was going to be someone else's problem for a while.

"I just got this bulletin," he said, pushing the English-language printout across the desk to the officer. "The ICPO is requesting a Japanese agent with 'unconventional policing skills'. Apparently they're putting together an experimental unit - Takino, are you listening to me?"

Tomo's eyes had glazed over. A strange smile had crossed her face. "Interpol..." she breathed.

"That IS what I said. In any case, you know English and some French, and you're completely insane, so you fit the requirements. I'm going to suggest - TAKINO, listen to me!"

Her eyes were still unfocused. "Interpol!"

"Yes, that's what I said. Several times. In any case, you'll need to fill this out. I don't doubt they'll take you, the Superintendent-General has already recommended... TAKINO!"

She finally raised her eyes. They had a crazed look. Oh no. Capt. Fujiwara knew that look. Something very annoying was about to...

"WOOHOO! Interpol! Interpol! ICPO! I did it! I did it! Eeeee, I did it! EEEEEE!" She started hopping around the room. "Finally, finally I did it!" She didn't seem to notice her pogoing had knocked over the coat rack.

Her colleagues glanced at the Captain's office. Through the glass paneling, they could hear the occasional shriek and crash, and watched Takino bouncing around the room while Fujiwara cowered behind his desk. Then they turned back to what they were doing.

Just another normal day at the office.