It wasn't a particularly vibrant part of Taejon, as the quiet area happened to be one of the oldest residential areas of the city. Apartment buildings now replaced the houses that used to occupy much of the area, bringing with the progress a higher capacity for a local population. Even with the numbers growing, it lacked any liveliness, excitement, or even any incident.
Being the quaint, almost dull place it was; one would hardly fault its residents for their sense of security...
The final bullet shell fell to the ground, the light sound of nine millimeter caliber bullet ringing deafly in the sudden silence. With a snort, the man wielding the berretta 92 blew at the imagined smoke coming from the end, like he had seen in many movies from the west.
Chuckling, he slipped the gun back into the holster he had hidden in his suit jacket, before turning to his comrades, taking time to indulge in the scene around him.
This quiet, dull part of the city met with its first taste of organized crime. The flavor was a coppery tang that could be smelled through out the street, almost tasted on the tip of the tongue. The scent drifted as freely as its source flowed; ebbing away and pooling in dark puddles upon the ground. Buildings spotted with haphazard spatters also revealed punctures that almost seemed to be randomly scattered. To a more savvy observer, it would seem more like a thorough shower of gunfire... intent being with the insurance that no one survived. Of course, you could always miss one.
With a dirty smirk lacking of any humanity; the expression of a wild dog seeing its first meal in days, the almost gangly man held his pistol to the forehead of the three year old child. The young boy, barely comprehending the events around him, stared back, unflinching. Even if he didn't understand the full extent of what had occurred around him, he still glared back defiantly.
At the look in the boy's eyes, the man chuckled in dark mirth, "So, you want to give us some trouble, little one?" The boy didn't cower, he didn't flinch, he didn't budge from the hot muzzle of the freshly used gun; feeling it sear the flesh on his tender brow like an iron. The man was impressed by the young boy's defiance, or perhaps amused, but he retracted his gun. After patting the child on his crown, he strode off before the proper authorities arrived.
"I'm just not in the mood for grilled beef tonight!" The redhead in the white women's cut business suit almost whined to the woman next to her.
"Alright then, what are you in the mood for, Ranma?" the woman snapped, finally giving in on the debate that had been taking place for the whole car ride.
"It's just been a while since I've had any home cooking..."
Kim sighed, knowing where this was leading to, "Why are you torturing yourself like this?" Shaking her head at the lack of an answer, but frustrated all the same, "Do you want them to draw a cute little heart on it that says 'Love' Ranchan' in it?"
The redhead turned to glare at the woman next to her, but found the other's gaze just as heated. Ranma turned back to the road under the premise that she was paying attention to her driving. "Fine, no okonomiyaki tonight, no ramen tonight, we can have the damn grilled beef, just pick up whatever you want."
"Ranma," Kim responded in a calm voice, "four months. They've been gone four months now,"
"We're not done with them," Ranma said in a sad tone.
"If they were coming back, they would be back by now." Kim gripped the redheaded woman's leg, "I know you're concerned, but-"
"And I have every right to be," Ranma interjected, "Me, I can deal with being in danger, you..."
Kim smiled, knowing what her boyfriend-currently-girlfriend was implying. "Thanks, but I think you already do a great job keeping me protected." Ranma snorted, and continued to drive.
The Korean woman sat back in her seat, staring down the thinly populated street of the expensive neighborhood before them, "Marry me."
Ranma's head snapped towards Kim, surprised that the question out of the blue. Kim turned and stared expectantly at the other woman. With a chuckle, Ranma smiled for the first time the whole car ride. The redhead's expression changed to anticipating, "I'll answer that later, almost time for work."
"Pick you up in an hour?" Kim asked, as Ranma unbuckled her seatbelt.
"You're gonna be careful with my baby, right?"
The Korean woman groaned, "I'll take good care of her, not even a speck of dirt will touch her!" Kim held up her right hand "Martial artist's honor!"
Ranma rolled her eyes, as she began to open the door, and allow Kim to shift halfway into the driver's seat, "Just be careful, alright?"
Kim nodded and turned her head to the side, just as they were approaching the large expensive house at the end of the street, "Kiss before you go..."
Ranma favored her with a light peck, "See you in an hour." With that, Kim nodded, grabbed the steering wheel of the gunmetal silver Porsche Boxster, and jerked it slightly to the right, while pulling the emergency break. Using the momentum from the peel out, Ranma was launched from the car, and sent sailing over the gate of the prestigious home.
The gate guards, used to young jerks racing through the neighborhood in their expensive toys that their parents bought them, hadn't even given the speeding vehicle a glance as it skidded around the corner. They wouldn't be glancing at anything anymore, as each one received a neatly aimed bullet to the backs of their skulls.
Ranma continued her somersault and twirl in the air, and then landed with her trademark dagger-guns at the ready. Almost casually, she strode down the walkway to the large house, idly picking off any guards that came to find what the commotion was about. By the time she arrived on the front porch, apparently the security room had fully alerted the residents to what was going on.
"Hi," Ranma cheerfully greeted the rather frightened, heavily armed men, who had discovered one half of the infamous 'Perfect Deaths" in their midst.
"Second Lieutenant Sung Yong Jin... recently of the 707 Specials Missions Brigade... counter-terrorism." The balding man with the thin bifocals read from the file sheet. The young man in his military service uniform stood patiently; allowing the older man at the desk to skim over his records. "Rather impressive. I can see you will be a great asset."
"Sir." Lieutenant Sung responded, acknowledging the compliment.
"Please, sit," the man at the desk gestured to one of the seats sitting off to the side, "Not that I am not grateful for your interest, but may I ask as to why you requested this task?"
Sung chose to remain standing for his answer, "It's... a personal interest, sir."
The man nodded in understanding, actually aware of what made it such a personal interest, without Young's knowledge, "That would be a benefit for the both of us. Please, call me Dr. Seo. 'Sir' sounds far too impersonal for people with mutual interests. Simply nodding, Sung finally sat down, and folded his hands in his lap.
Dr. Seo turned and looked out the window of his office, seemingly lost in the city scene before him, "We used to pride ourselves for the lack of violent organized crime. South Korea kept its dirt hidden pretty damn well. Nowadays..."
Standing up from his desk, the older man moved to the front of it, then sat down on the top, "It's gotten out of hand, if crime was ever 'in hand' to begin with." Sung patiently remained quiet, awaiting his host to continue. When no response came from the soldier, "I think it's time. Korea has boasted of its low organized crime violence, but we still yet need to take that final step." Dr. Seo stood up, and took a deep breath, "When I heard of your request, I had some investigating done on you. I meant what I said about an impressive record. You're who I've been looking for to begin this particularly special... remarkably ambitious project. You've been trained to handle terrorism particularly from outside sources, your training, and your leadership ability now is required to eliminate terrorism from within, starting with this city."
The special forces operative came back to standing, understanding what was implied, "Sir... Dr Seo, I am honored you recommend me for this position."
Seo waved him off, "No, it's you that do me the honor, and the Republic of Korea a great service. Here..." Reaching down to his desk, the doctor picked up a manila folder, and handed it to the young man before him, "This outlines your task in detail. All primary targets are presented there, and in the best order to contend with them."
Sung Yong Jin took the information with a nod, earning a pat on his shoulder. "Good man," Dr. Seo commended.
Almost casually, Ranma sidestepped the club towards her head, spinning by the assailant, and moving on without even seeming to touch him. She had already delivered a rising split kick to the next man, snapping his neck with the blow, when the man with the club's side sprayed out a torrent of blood.
The redhead quickly grabbed the broken man by his dislocated neck with one hand, and jerked him to her side, allowing his body and the bullet proof vest he was wearing to provide her with a shield from the sudden gunfire at her flank.
The panicked gunmen finally stopped firing, as the dead body dropped, revealing no one behind it. Swearing audibly, and recalling 'Ponghwang's' method of operations. Unlike her presumed brother 'Yongma', who tended more economical about his assignments; working to finish them quickly, the redhead was usually more thorough, evasive, and tricky. Not even taking the time to look to their rear, they all ran forward from the threat they knew was behind them, not that it would avail them anything.
Rather disappointed they didn't turn around to find her behind them in shock; Ranma turned and fired a volley of bullets, seeming to fire them at quick random, but each finding a proper target in a clean kill shot. The resistance had been thinning, now only a few valiant men guarding the bedroom of her target.
Her giggle unsettled the men even more, as if her annialating twenty trained bodyguards and underlings without much effort hadn't already, "Seriously, all you guys have to do is run."
Looking at one another, they all lowered their guns, and stepped aside. "There you go, Ma'am." It was unanimously decided, that one man, even one presumably as important as their boss, wasn't worth a lost cause.
Ponghwang smiled politely, "Why, thank you!" I'll only be a moment, why don't you guys just go get something to eat?"
"TRAITORS!" a voice from behind the door shouted. Ranma motioned the remaining guards off; Ranma opened the double doors, breaking the lock on them effortlessly, and strode in to find her current target and his wife huddling in the corner. Between them and the redhead stood four more of Mr. Dokgos bodyguards, his most loyal ones.
"Why don't you guys head downstairs? I think they were talking about ordering an American pizza."
The four gunmen reholdered their guns, and walked out of the room, leaving a chuckling pony tailed woman in a pristine white business suit, and a speechless Mr. and Ms. Dokgo. Ranma walked up to them, and held one of her guns to the husband, "You can guess why I'm here, right?"
Before the frightened man could answer, his lovely wife, possibly no older than thirty, placed herself fearlessly between her husband and the weapon in the assassin's hand, "Please, I don't know what he did, but please don't kill him!"
Ranma blinked, pulling her gun back, "Why not?"
The woman paused, taken back by the question, "he... he's my husband! He can be a good man if you spare him!"
Ranma looked at the woman, and sighed, putting her gun away completely. The man behind them both thanked the Lord above for sparing his life, and that his newly discovered religion of just four seconds ago will not go in vain. "You really love him, don't you?"
"Y-Yes..." the woman's expression firmed itself, gathering her conviction, "Yes, I do."
Ranma knelt to the woman, "I have to admire a woman like you; willing to risk her life for the one she loves, remain loyal to him regardless of his dealings, stay faithful to him, even if he hasn't to you..."
"Yes, yes, ye-what?" Mrs. Dokgo paused in her replies.
Ranma double-blinked, "Well, you put yourself between him and certain death, you-"
"No, no, the last thing you said," the woman interrupted.
Ranma didn't seem to notice the frantic pleading behind both of them. "The sleeping around thing?"
"Yes..." Mrs. Dokgo confirmed, glaring back at her husband, "the 'sleeping around' thing..."
"Well," Ranma began, "One of the bosses that put the contract on him complained that he had been fooling around with his wife. Mrs. Choe."
"M-Mrs... from the Sunday Gallery?"
Ranma shrugged, "I guess. Also a Ms. Sung was rather upset that you didn't return her calls, she was hoping you might at least want to see your child."
Ranma was impressed; she hadn't ever heard a question made as a cold statement before, "Oh, it's an adorable child, too! Here, I even have baby pictures!" Ranma pulled out a wallet foldout with a dozen baby pictures, "Look, she even has your husband's eyes."
"Yes, she does, doesn't she...?"
Mr. Dokgo didn't dare move, lest he be shot at again. The redhead that was currently comforting his crying, soon to be former wife kept glaring malice back at him, before consoling her, telling her it's not the end of the world, and she had plenty of other opportunities in life.
"I mean, when I off the sleazy bastard, you'll be inheriting his fortune!" Ranma chimed in, trying to help the woman see the bright side of things.
"H-how could he? We've been married for thirteen years! I-"
"Thirteen?" Ranma responded, surprised, "he was messing around with Ahn for about twelve... I guess the honeymoon was really over then!" At the new score of sobs, Ranma realized she put her foot too far in her mouth, "Sorry, sorry, it's alright... just let it all-"
Ranma sighed, as she lowered her gun, the sleaze was starting to get brave, or he was becoming more afraid of his wife than the redhead with the gun. Ranma decided it was time to wrap things up.
"You know? It really isn't the end of the world," Ranma reiterated, raising the woman up from crying on her shoulder, "Now that you know, you should realize you don't have to be a victim. Ranma took the woman's hands into her own, "I mean, you're an intelligent woman, and pretty, no beautiful woman."
Ranma began to stand, patting the woman's hands, and placing them back in her lap, "I think it's now time to take back your life, and let your husband know you are no longer his victim. Good luck, and remember today is the start of the future." With that, the redhead strode out of the bedroom, content with helping a fellow woman.
After he was sure she was gone, Mr. Dokgo rushed to his wife, obviously concerned about her safety, "Are you alright, dear? Those lies she told, please don't let them get... to..."
The minor crime boss stepped back, as his wife began to glow blue with rage. Slowly, she turned to glare at her soon to be ex-husband, her position revealing the berretta in her hands, resting on her lap.
Ranma whistled a cheerful tune, and gave a smiling nod to the gate guard that let her out of the house grounds, while two other men dragged the bodies of the first two gate guards inside as to not disturb the neighbors.
Across the street, Ranma saw her ride and girlfriend waiting for her. Kim looked up from the college book she was reading to greet her man-sometimes-woman, "You're done?"
"AAAAAAAAHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH! AAAAHHHHHHH"
The second gunshot didn't come until a good minute or so after the soprano scream of Mr. Dokgo, newly discovered eunuch.
"You didn't." Kim demanded, trying to keep the slight smirk from crossing her face.
Ranma chuckled, bent over the door and kissed her girlfriend, "The jerk deserved it."