Disclaimer: Shirow Masamune is the brainchild, er, adult of this series. I use the characterizations of his creations to tell stories for the sheer joy of writing. I earn no monetary or material gain from these stories, thus they qualify as true fanfics. Enjoy.
Investigation of Major Kusanagi's Day:
5am: The automatic regeneration cycle completes and activates the shell. My eyes slowly roll to the right as I investigate. Sighing at the steady curtain of rain, I wiggle my fingers of my left hand, glad that the slight tendon tightness from yesterday has been repaired. I would hate for my trigger finger to delay when I need snap reflexes. An internal check has finished, verifying that all intercranial links are at maximum connectivity. The smile doesn't quite reach my lips, but I'm satisfied with last night's regen.
5:15am: Dressed in frumpy sweats and a shirt that's seen better years, Batou is standing outside my door, a mixture of liquids dripping off his face. The water running around his eyes sockets is a result of the relentless storm; the sweat is a fabricated substance his skin gives off to appear normal, but the coffee… I forgot that Courtin' stayed over last night. She's such a jumpy creature. An unexpected person opening the door to my apartment while she is day dreaming, is enough to cause any high-strong individual to sling coffee everywhere Giving her a friendly rump-slap to let her know I'm not mad about the new coffee stains on the freshly painted cream walls, and I'm out the door for my morning jog. It's habit more than anything. Neither of us has to run to stay in shape. It does help the musculature of these bodies if they are exercised regularly, but they are traded with regular frequency before lethargic activity would soften their responses.
5:47am: Not even been up an hour and I'm already passing myself. It used to bother me when I'd see an identical model, but now I enjoy the relative anonymity. It has come in handy more than once. Suddenly Batou is smirking at me and asking me if I'm going or coming. It's an inside joke based on the normal use for this type of shell. This shell is one of the oldest available designs. Lots of changes and improvements have been made to my upper-end version, mostly based on information offered by the single cyborg user; but the intrinsic design has remained constant when many other styles have become obsolete. When I first saw the body they had put me in, I almost hyperventilated. This shell was the newest style of sexoroid, and a very hot sell that year. I'd seen them in windows and on vid-screens, but now I was one. Initially it was hard to overcome the gazes of everyone as I walked down the street. I wore a trench coat very snugly around my body to hide as much as I could. Then as I became accustomed to the stares, the buttons started loosening up. One day I realized I was walking down the street with the coattails flapping around my ankles, my trousers and sweater my only covering.
Then came the night that changed my entire outlook on clothing. I was being hunted by a terrorist. I was still fairly new to the counter-terrorist department, and occasionally made mistakes. That day I had underestimated the terrorist and over-estimated my shooting skills, a weakness I later eliminated. He'd gotten up, smirked and me and started shooting. Twenty minutes later, I will still being pursued. As I ran through another dark alley, I looked for any out. Suddenly I had it. There were three prostitutes standing on the corner. They were wearing next to nothing, and no shots were fired as the terrorist blew right by them. Notching a corner, I stopped long enough to strip off my pants and shirt, leaving only lacy undergarments. Throwing caution to the wind, I turned and slowly walked back out of the little side street, making sure to roll the hips for extra flare. Seeing the perpetrator, I smiled saucily and stopped moving, cocking my hip and putting my right hand on it while my left slipped slightly behind my back to pull my piece out of my underwear strap. He didn't even acknowledge me, and as he passed me, the only discernable change was when the bullet lodged in his thigh and I turned to cuff him. After that day, I changed my outfit, much to the initial delight of my coworkers. I usually wear a trench coat over my clothes for decency sake, but it's just a mechanical tool my brain inhabits. I can't dress up my soul, so it doesn't matter if I dress down my shell. Now the guys are mostly immune to me, save occasional jabs at my 'profession,' teasing me that if I can't kill them with a gun, I can always do it with some extra-curricular activity.
6:14am: Batou mind-links to remind me gently that we have to be at work in twenty minutes. Coming out of my mental solitude, I acknowledge him and tell him I'll meet him at his car in five. I manage a quick change and stop by the bed long enough to brush the bangs off the forehead of my sleeping houseguest. As I walk up to Batou's latest vehicle, I'm chuckling quietly to myself. At his curious gaze, I slide into the passenger's seat. "So this is the latest version of your unholy obsession." He smiles widely and cranks the car, slipping it into gear easily. As we roll smoothly towards the office, he cyber asks me if my unhealthy obsession has been assuaged for a short period of time. Looking toward me, he must not like what he sees in my eyes because he suddenly faces front and reaches a hand over to lightly squeeze my forearm. It's a silent signal that he understands the tenuous hold I sometimes have on my emotions, or lack thereof. If his unholy obsession is the desire to drive the equivalent of a 1947 Bentley, than my unhealthy one is the desire to feel more human. However, no vehicle he acquires can ever compare to the original, and no psychotropic or neural stimulating drug can ever recreate that sensation. Both of us are doomed in our own un-ways to forever seek our own personal Grails.
7:03am: We arrived late on purpose. Gives Aramaki something to rant about. His blood pressure has been low the last few weeks and it helps him perform better if he gets excited early in the day. The rest of the boys are there; and as usual, they've left my normal spot at the desk open. Perching on the end, I turn to look at our fearless leader and notice the devious twinkle in his left eye that never forebodes good when it happens the day before my scheduled vacation. I raise an eyebrow at him and he looks away to start the meeting. I would think my movement intimidated him; but I can see he's visibly firming his mouth to keep from smiling gleefully. Going ahead and marking my vacation off my calendar, I turn and give him my full attention.
7:57am: So much for the beach. Well, guess I'll work on my tan elsewhere. Laughing at my own sick joke, I turn to look at my partner in crime. "So, I guess we'll go ahead and unpack our bags?" He merely grumbles and states he'll be in the maintenance shop checking up on the Tachikomas. Batou is probably the only one who is glad to see them back. However, everyone else has enough respect for the blue machines' part in the end of the Laughing Man conspiracy to leave their picket signs at the door. I know the Tach's are very childish right now, but at the rate they are evolving and improving their self-actualization capabilities, they will eventually replace us as the most elite counter-terrorist force. Which means…I'll get to take vacations when they are scheduled.
8:27am: Hardware is a busy department today. I've been in here ten minutes and Suzi the android is still helping Ishikawa out. Deciding to zone for a while, I take a dive. The net is full of interesting information right now. Our city is under a fair amount of political unrest due to the insurgence of Chinese refugees. Post-war economy hasn't been as polite to them as to us. As a result, this region has seen a drop in local employment as lower-skilled, lower-paid refugees swoop in to take jobs. Finding a couple interesting tendrils to follow, I slide down those logic paths towards their destination. Suddenly I'm yanked out of the dive by Lucy, the other android. "Major, it's your turn." Having lost my leads, and my temper, I turn to go. I'll come back later, when I don't want to rip her head off.
11:41am: I come out of my latest dive with a smile on my face. It's taken me over three hours, but I found the terminating end of the earlier threads. Knowing where to start my hunt, I focus my eyes. There is a very large blue creature in front of me. My shell automatically filters my brain's panic signal, and I regroup without any jerks or starts. "Major, what have you been doing? You've been staring at that wall for hours." A mechanized arm comes up to point at the metal surface directly across from me. "I too have studied this wall and cannot find anything wrong with it, save the material." That eye rolled back to look at me. "I think that copper would make a much stronger artistic statement than stainless, but I do not understand why you would stare at it for so long." I sighed. A few silent minutes later, both mechanized arms are waving up and down excitedly. "Wow! Net diving, with a novel idea! I'll have to tell the others." Turning, the machine rolls back down the hall to the Tachikoma collective. Standing, I decide to enjoy the routine of a basic lunch before heading into Aramaki's office to discuss my findings.
1:15pm: Aramaki opens the door to his office. If he was a different man, I know there would be a sheepish grin on his face. He hates to show any weakness, and we both know he fell asleep at his desk. He knows because he woke up on his blotter. I know because there is a line across his face where his pen was trapped, and a small tendril of hair is slightly out of place near his ear. Closing the door behind us, I stop long enough to push the tendril back behind his ear, than walk to the desk. In some ways, I wonder who the true parent is in our relationship. Since he 'created' me, or at least gave me a purpose for existing; he typically takes the roll of mentor or parent. And 95 of the time, I'm the beloved daughter-figure that he can become less rigid around. The only times he relaxes his guard are when we're in the car together, or he's in my head. It's the other 5 of the time that puts me in the awkward position of understanding about how parents become the children to the children who parent them. Age is a relentless master, and Aramaki is not as immune to its calling as myself. Fortunately for both of us, he's the more levelheaded and can often sit for hours deliberating out a logic path. When we go to important meetings together, I stay silent and let him work his magic. He's an ace manipulator, a man who can weave and bob through political obstacles more complicated than any security system I will face. Sitting in the chair across from his desk, I wait while he sits and gathers his thoughts before starting, it's going to be a long session.
4:22pm: My day seems to be passing in three-hour segments. For some reason, I suspect the evening will crawl. Leaving Aramaki's office, I am immediately called to the ready-room to discuss the plan for tomorrow. Batou has fashion detail while Boma and Pazu are going to don their disguises…hired thugs. Watching Boma stand guard at a door makes it hard to remember that he has a love of baguazhang. That this block of flesh holding a weapon can bend like a willow while practicing forms is not something to be viewed half-heartedly. Well, he'll have plenty of time to work on his intimidation techniques tomorrow if everything goes according to plan.
I sit quietly and listen as the guys make plans, counter plans, and contingency plans. Their tendency to over-plan is one of the things I most enjoy about working with them. Because they are almost anal about thinking through every logical and possible situation, I am better able to see the mind pattern behind any possible perpetrator. I admit that we are all fallible, but having a dreamer like Togusa on the team helps us stay sharp. He'll inevitably come up with some idea the guys will scoff at as 'lame-ass' but turns out to be a pivotal mission killer. I wonder if the other team members know that of the last five missions we've been sent on, his 'lame-ass, pie-in-the-sky' scenario has come true twice. Not bad odds for a quixotic dreamer. So, I sit and listen, running ideas and plans through my mind to make sure they all have viable alternatives and solutions. Suddenly I hear it…the idea. "What if there are snakes in the ducts? How would you handle electronic snakes?"
I blink while Batou thunks his head against the wall. "Snakes? Are you fucking crazy Togusa? I've heard of some lame-ass ideas, but SNAKES?" Batou hates snakes. He won't admit it. Rats and other furry animals, no problem. But snakes…they have those never-blinking eyes. I suspect they remind him too much of himself at times. He likes to pretend he's wearing John Lennon glasses, but we both know the truth. His optic implants de-humanize him. He can also be scaly at times; and exhibits the typical signs of wanting to be a social creature but then offending everyone with his general presence. Yes, he can be very snake-like at times. I turn my head to look at him, and he quickly looks away, already knowing what's running through my mind. Electronic snakes are possible, and very likely in this situation. Again, Togusa has diffused a possible mission killer.
Suddenly the room gets quiet and all eyes turn to look at me. Ishikawa smirks, a habit he's perfected to an art form. "So, Major, what's your position in all of this?" Smiling, I stand and strip. We just finished a mission in which those skills were pivotal, and they have sat in on more than one performance over the last month. Amidst stares and half-sincere wolf-whistles, I bow gracefully. Turning, I'm showing off a new thermo-optic-camouflage body suit. "Cat Burgler on a Dark Tin Roof."
10:19pm: The boys dropped me off two hours ago. Show time is in three hours. Until then, I will continue to monitor the traffic on the web, hoping for more insights that will help this two dimensional kill turn into a five-dimensional blood bath. The more insurgents we can take out of the political rankings, the quicker we can alleviate the stress on the more proletariat class. Right now the rich use disenchanted individuals to do their dirty work, raking in the profits that accumulate in the midst of chaos. The people who truly suffer are those that are held under the thumbs of those unwilling to do anything to improve the human condition. Until such a time as the normal person feels empowered to help our society keep peace, here I stand. A lone sentinel backed by a team of dedicated peacekeepers.
A/N: Just in case you haven't figured this out, it's the day before the beginning of CASH EYE. Hope you enjoyed this random dribble. I hope it's more in-character than some of the chapters in my on-going Motoko diary. That one plays on all the different versions of her character, while this one is a take on the GITS: SAC/2nd Gig Characterization. Any suggestions for improvement are greatly appreciated. -TK