Tokyo 2038

Priss stood on stage with her head hung low and left hand pressed to her throat. Her once loved singing voice had been reduced to a low chocking sound. Her throat was on fire and Pane rushed through her body. She had just begun her third song for the night when she felt a tearing in her throat. The band stopped playing and Max came up to her side.

"Priss babe are ok?" He asked laying a hand on her shoulder.

Priss looked him right in the eyes and he could tell that something was definitely wrong.

"Lets get you to a hospital.

Hospital

Sitting on a plastic hospital bed in a paper gown that didn't fully cover her back half Priss waited for the results. Her voice came back but only in a low whisper before causing pain. She could hear Max talking to someone in the hallway presumably a doctor seeing as the rest of the band had stayed behind to clean up before joining them. Priss lay back on the bed and took a deep breath, whatever the news was she knew it wasn't going to be good. As she was laying there the door to the room opened and the doctor came in with Max following behind her. Priss looked at the doctor then at Max reading their faces then lowered her head and started to cry. The doctor looked at her notes, then at Priss' chart, then finally at her.

"You have torn your vocal cords," She said. "They can be mostly repaired, however you will be unable to continue singing."

Priss lowered her head and sighed. "Everything I have been working for," She said in a low, shaky voice. " all those times I had to sing in those stupid bars, it was all for nothing."

"Not completely. Your music has touched many peoples lives, including my own."

"Glad I could be of service." Priss said as she jumped off of the bed and pulled off the paper robe making Max turn several shades of red before leaving the room.

Priss grabbed her clothes and dressed as quickly as she could before leaving the hospital flagging down a taxi as she went.

Three months later

Over three months have passed since Priss' singing carrier ended, over that time her voice returned to normal after a sergury that left a small scar at the base of her throat. She spent most of the three months sitting at home drinking beer, tearing down concert posters, burning sheet music and destroying instruments, she just didn't care anymore. Her bank accounts were all in the red and creditors were calling every hour.

One afternoon as Priss was raiding the beer aisle at the local store there came a loud crashing sound from a few aisles down followed by people screaming and running past the aisle Priss was in. Natural curiosity lured Priss towards the aisle where the crashing sound came from to see what was going on. Standing in the middle of the aisle was a clerk Boomer designed to work day and night at the store, at its feet was a girl in her late teens sprawled out across the floor and desperately trying to scoot away as fast as she could with a look of terror on her face. Priss reacted before she had even though it through and rushed the Boomer crashing her shoulder into its back, it didn't move. Slowly it turned its head and looked at Priss with dark red eyes.

"Don't just sit there," Priss yelled at the girl. "get out of here!"

The girl got to her feet and made a dash for the rear emergency exit. Rays of sunlight fell on the Boomers back as the girl pushed the doors open and ran out.

Priss turned her attention back on the boomer just as it took a step towards her as before Priss reacted before she thought about her actions. She turned on her heels and ran for the front entrance only to have the Boomer jump over her head and land right in front of her and swing. Instinct took over Priss' body causing her do throw herself to the ground and roll hard to the tight just a the Boomer's foot came crashing down on the floor. She spent what seemed like minutes on the ground rolling away from the Boomers blows but in reality it was only seconds. Finally she got back to her feet and made another run for the door. As before the Boomer cut her off only this time it was holding a piece of steel re-bar. Priss looked behind her where it had been standing and saw a section of the support pillar had been knocked away. Now that it was armed the Boomer began a new series of attacks. Priss' only real chance to get through this was to take cover behind the Pillar that the Boomer had taken the re-bar from and hope for help to arrive. As quickly as she could she took cover behind the pillar as the Boomer started to slam the re-bar into it trying to get at her. Priss was about to make one last break for the exit in the back of the store where she could see sunlight and the figure of the girl that had run out earlier standing in the frame when the attacks stopped. There was silence for several seconds so she peeked around the side of the pillar she was behind just to have the steel re-bar smash right into her face sending her skipping across the ground.

When Priss came to seconds later the Boomer was standing over her with the rebar raised above its head preparing to bring it down. Just as the it was starting to bring the bar down bullets started slamming into it piercing 9mm sized holes in the boomers chest. The boomer was forced backwards and Priss started to low crawl across the floor towards the rear exit where the bullets were coming from. The silhouette of the girl could still be seen in the doorway along with five others in combat armor. As soon as Priss was clear of the blast zone one of the armored figures fired a grenade at the Boomers feet that detonated on impact. The others figures stopped shooting allowing Priss to get to her feet and run to the exit. As she passed the figures she saw a patch on their right arm saying ADP protect and serve.

"Their cops." Priss thought as she ran past running right into the girl she had saved earlier.

"Are you ok Priss?" she asked putting her hands on Priss' cheeks and lifting her head.

"How did you know my name?"

"I've been to all of your concerts. I love your singing."

Priss smiled as she looked into the girl's eyes but lowered her head.

"What's wrong?"

"What's your name?"

"Nikki."

"Well Nikki," Priss said. "Were you at my last concert?"

"Yes, I was so worried when I heard that you were taken to the hospital. What happened?"

"I tore my vocal cords. I won't be singing anymore."

Nikki's face went pail and she lowered her head. "I'm sorry. What are you going to do now?"

Priss was silent for a moment before looking over her shoulder at the figures in combat armor that were advancing on the Boomer.

"I'm not too sure yet, but I have an idea."