NIGHT, JAPAN, PRESENT DAY

The TV suddenly blared on, with a number of colourful yet simple animations combining with a formal sound byte to announce the beginning of the news channel Drf Broadcasting Community's daily segment. The company's icon, the DFBC acronym wreathed in a sweeping golden line, shrunk and flew to the top right corner of the screen as the TV cut to the news room, and changed again to show well-known reporter Mimi Woods, who immediately launched into the day's news, hands clasped firmly in front of her, looking back intently into the active camera.

"Our top story," Mimi began. As she spoke, a photo of a handsome, muscular man in his mid-20s appeared on a screen behind her, with the heading 'Dauragon C Mikado' underneath it. "Mikado, the company heading the international space project, announced the launch of an additional solar power generator satellite. The announcement comes as a surprise to many."

At a desk across the room from the TV, a beautiful woman with deep brown hair sat in a bath robe with her back to her television, typing on her state-of-the-art laptop computer and paying little attention to Mimi's report.

"So what exactly is a solar power generator satellite?" Mimi asked her audience. "Well, we've prepared some diagrams, so let's take a look."

At this, the screen behind Mimi which had shown Dauragon Mikado now expanded to take up the entire screen, and now showed a computer-generated image of a large satellite, comprised of two long solar panels connected on either side of the satellite's main body at right angles, in orbit high above the earth. As Mimi finished speaking, the woman seated at the desk turned to watch, curious.

"First, an earth-based station transmits a guidance signal," said Mimi, narrating the animation from off-screen. In synchronisation with her words, small waves representing the guidance signal appeared on-screen, sent from Earth to the satellite. The view then shifted, placing the satellite in the foreground while the Sun joined the Earth in the distance behind it.

"Upon receiving the signal," Mimi continued, "the satellite uses a large mirror to generate electricity from solar power." At the same time, the guidance signal animation stopped, and another began, this time showing the satellite absorbing sunlight. Having absorbed the sunlight, the satellite's solar panels slowly pulsed white.

"The electricity is then converted into microwave radiation and sent down to the ground station." The animation then showed this occurrence as well, before changing to a close-up image of Earth's northern hemisphere, where a massive ring structure has been constructed, with a large object in its centre.

Mimi went on. "The ground station then converts the microwave radiation back to electricity, which can then be used for general purposes." The last two animations showed the microwave radiation connecting with the ring structure, illuminating it in yellow light, before the image zoomed out again to show the earth in its entirety, dotted with numerous small blue boxes. The light from the ground station spread out along a series of lines connecting the boxes together, and as the 'electricity' reached each one they lit up yellow, until all of them had been connected to the ground station.

As the reconstruction of Mikado's new energy process disappeared to return to the news room, where Mimi began to talk about whether or not such a costly energy programme was really necessary during the current recession, and the possible consequences such large amounts of radiation could have on the general population, the brown-haired woman was suddenly stopped from watching the report as an audible alert came from her laptop. The woman turned to see an icon flashing red, demanding a password. She quickly typed a string of letters into the laptop before hitting the Enter button, allowing the computer to confirm her given password as correct.

A number of locations appeared on the screen with accompanying satellite imagery. Another file was a video clip, recorded within the past week, showing a young girl wearing a bright yellow jacket and with orange ribbon tied through her hair, entering a bar in the heart of Tokyo's Old Quarter. The laptop automatically froze the image, generating images of the girl from multiple angles and identifying her as 15-year-old Dominique Cross, as well as providing additional information concerning her height, weight and so on. The final document which appeared on screen took up the entire monitor, a long list comprised entirely of what looked to be a random selection of letters, number and symbols.

When the entire message was visible, an on-screen prompt told the woman using the laptop to hit Enter. She did so hastily, and the laptop immediately decrypted the encoded message, to reveal its true meaning.

TARGET HEADED FOR THE FATE BAR ON DOG STREET.

MIKADO CORPORATION IS ALREADY ON THE MOVE.

PERMISSION TO ELIMINATE TARGET IF NECESSARY.

"Damnit!" exclaimed the woman. "They beat us to it?" Wasting no time, she quickly stood up, closing the laptop as she did so, and began to get ready.


Across town, a UH-60 helicopter flew through the sky above the old quarter of Tokyo, its powerful lights piercing the night. Despite the darkness, the old cobbled streets below were still full of people. However the men inside the Mikado helicopter were unconcerned with them. They had a mission to complete.

The pilot's voice blared through the helicopter's internal speakers, attempting to be heard over the din of the rotors as they stopped to hover over an old apartment building. "We've arrived at the target coordinates."

A large door suddenly slid open on one side of the helicopter. "Deploying assault units!" shouted the pilot. On cue, four men leapt head-first from out of the doorway, clad in grey skin-tight suits of some sort, while above the waist they were completely encased in sleek metal pods, which curved to a point over their heads. With nothing to slow their fall, the men allowed gravity to send them crashing through the roof of the apartment below them. They ploughed through the wooden rafters, sending broken pieces of wood and brick flying through the highest room in the building, immediately under the roof. The four men continued their descent until they came to rest embedded in the room's floor, where they remained, utterly silent. The lights from the helicopter which had transported them briefly shone over them, throwing eerie shadows onto the walls, until moments later it flew off.

As the noise of the helicopter faded away, one of the men stood up. As he achieved an upright position, the part of the pod covering his torso split into a series of metal strips, which retracted into the pod's shoulder-parts, followed by the parts covering his arms. The pod's 'helmet' shot apart, also retreating into the shoulders, revealing a man's face partially covered in strips of leather, one across his forehead, another across his nose and the last over his chin. A jet of snow-white hair protruded almost perpendicular to the ground from the back of his head.

The man slowly surveyed the room, turning on the spot. Aside from the wreckage strewn across it from his team's landing, it seemed to be a normal child's room, full of brightly coloured toys and other similar objects. The white-haired man's gaze suddenly stopped as he looked at a number of framed photos on the mantelpiece above the room's fireplace. All of them included a girl with a yellow jacket and orange ribbons in her hair.

The man patiently waited as his three subordinates also retracted their pods in the shoulder-plates, revealing their heads and faces to be entirely covered in strips of leather, studded with bolts. Then, as one, the group easily shrugged them off, splitting them into two pieces which clattered to the floor of Dominique's bedroom, before standing motionless. Only to suddenly rush across the room in perfect synchronisation moments later in a low running position, arms outstretched behind them. As they neared the windows, the men simply leapt through them, the glass shattering against their bodies. Their momentum carried them through the air, high above the street below until they landed perfectly on an adjacent rooftop, over ten feet below, with no injuries whatsoever.

Casually standing again, and seemingly unaffected by the harsh cold of the snowy night, the squad walked across to the edge of the rooftop, where their leader looked down into the maze of streets below. From their position they had an excellent view of much of the old district of Tokyo.

After a moment of looking over the people, the white-haired man pulled a pair of red goggles resting on his head over his eyes. High-tech computer technology within the goggles effortlessly scanned the many people visible in the streets, while a small viewscreen in the bottom left of the goggles' field of vision cross-referenced these people with four pictures: that of Dominique and three men.

Unable to find any of their targets in the street, the squad leader and his men split in two, with each group reaching inhuman heights to jump to nearby buildings. The various squad members leapt from rooftop to rooftop, expertly crossing paths with the other group as they proceeded down further into the old quarter.


Elsewhere in the old quarter, Dominique Cross rushed through the masses of people filling seemingly every street. Ignorant to everything but what was on her mind, she barely avoided colliding with a passing bystander as she hurried by him, checking her watch. She was late.

Up ahead, a large hulking figure stood resting against a wall beside the entrance to a bar, under a small stone covering jutting out above the doors. Volt Krueger was a behemoth of a man, clad in a thick studded leather jacket, mostly open to reveal a muscular chest beneath, studded leather gloves, and faded blue jeans. To complete the look, he also had multiple facial piercings – in his eyebrows, his nose and his lips – and a small pair of metallic horns somehow protruding from his forehead. As a bouncer, he did his job well.

Volt slowly eased himself off of the wall to check his watch as well. Disgruntled with the result, he began to fall back to his previous position when someone called out to him from down the street, to his left. Volt turned, fast as lightning, to find that it was only Dominique.

"What's with the sour face?" Dominique asked jovially, as she climbed the tiny flight of stairs to the bar's entrance. "You're scaring away the customers!"

"Sorry, just doing my job," replied Volt in his gruff voice, doing his best to sound cheerful. Dominique smiled in response, and continued into the bar.

As the door swung shut behind her, Volt moved over to the nearby hand-railing and looked up into the sky, now filled with snow. "Sure is weird weather for spring," he said to himself. Checking his watch again, he decided that it was time he headed inside as well. As he turned away and entered the bar, he failed to notice the Mikado squad watching him from a nearby rooftop. As soon as his back was turned, the white-haired leader of the group signalled to his men, who leapt across to the roof of the Fate Bar in ominous silence.


The Fate Bar on Dog Street was full as usual, with its many customers drinking and conversing across the main floor, while light blues music played out of an old jukebox on a restricted balcony overlooking the rest of the bar. As Dominique finished talking to an old acquaintance, she turned and headed for the flight of stairs on the far side of the bar floor, leading up to the balcony. As she did she waved a friendly hello to the bar's manager, working along the barfront, and called out to him.

"Hi Boss!" she shouted, over the noise of the various people around her. Although Dominique did not work at Fate, she and the manager both jokingly treated each other as if she did, as a result of her frequent visits.

"Hey Dominique," the manager shouted back. "He's been waiting for you, hurry up!"

Dominique smiled back at him and continued on her way across the bar to the stairs. She quickly climbed them and arrived at the top, where two other bouncers were relaxing against one of a number of small tables. One leaned against it with a bottle of beer in his hand, while the other was asleep in one of the chairs, hands behind his head and feet on the table. As she stepped onto the balcony, the conscious bouncer spotted her and tilted his bottle towards her in greeting with a grin.

"You're looking busy, Kou," Dominique told him. At 24, Kou Leifoh was in sharp contrast to Volt in terms of looks. While Volt was naturally imposing, Kou instantly appeared easy-going and laid-back. However this did not stop him being as or even more uniquely dressed than Volt. His body was almost entirely covered in black tribal tattoos, along his arms, legs, torso and forehead, while his bare chest was partially concealed by an open sleeveless leather waistcoat.

Kou smiled back at Dominique through his straight black hair, which partly covered his eyes. "Hey, if we're not doing anything, it means the bar's doing just fine, right Sion?"

As he ended his response, he turned to look at the bouncer sleeping in the chair beside him. Sion Barzahd was even younger than Kou, somewhere between his teens and his 20s. Out of the others though, he was probably dressed the most normally. A red and yellow hooded jumper covered his torso, while matching gloves did the same for his hands. Along with baggy ¾-length shorts, a dog collar was fixed around Sion's neck, and a chain hung from his waist.

Smiling, Dominique walked over to Sion and placed her hands on her hips, looking down at his face, before she bent over until she was only inches away from it.

"Good morning!" she said loudly. Sion instantly turned away from the source of the noise as he woke up, but upon seeing that it was only Dominique he kicked himself out of his present position to sit upright in his chair.

"Hey, where were you?" asked Sion roughly. "You're late."

"Well, uh..." Dominique struggled to think of an appropriate lie, but she had never been very good at lying. She decided to get straight to the point.

"Hey Sion, when's your birthday?" she asked, as if the two had only met just recently.

"Birthday?" replied Sion, puzzled by the question. "Why?"

Their conversation was interrupted as Volt arrived at the top of the stairs, and moved to sit down at one of the tables. "Sion, it's your shift," he said.

"Yeah, yeah, I know," replied Sion wearily, getting to his feet so he could take over from Volt as the bar's on-duty bouncer until it was Kou's shift. But Dominique blocked his path.

A look of sudden realization dawned on Kou's face as he sat nearby. "Come to think of it," he said, "It was exactly one year ago today that you first came to this bar and started that giant brawlfest." Sion, indifferent to this fact, attempted to continue downstairs, but Dominique stopped him again.

"Then that means today's your first anniversary as a bouncer!" she cried jubilantly. As she finished speaking, she took her hands out from where she had been holding them behind her back to reveal a long chain, similar to Sion's, but with a Dog Street symbol at the end of it – a dog's face over a set of crossbones.

"Here," said Dominique. "I got this for you."

She slowly lowered it into a surprised Sion's outstretched hand. "What's this?" he asked.

Dominique smiled cheerfully. "A present!" she explained.

Before Sion could respond, their conversation was again cut short – as the three Mikado agents on the rooftop leapt towards the skylight over the bar.


The skylight shattered as the three men crashed through it, immediately drawing the attention of everyone in the bar. Dominique and the bouncers could only watch as the masked attackers landed perfectly on the balcony, while downstairs everyone ran screaming for the exit.

"Get back Dominique!" Sion shouted, pushing Dominique behind him. He barely had time for this before a knife-hand slammed into his chest, forcing the air from his lungs, and another forced him to the ground. As his attacker tried to pass him to reach Dominique, Sion put his Kenpo training to use, pushing himself up off of the ground with his shoulders until he was almost in a handstand position, and then bringing his right foot around, connecting with the back of the man's head. However, instead of sinking to the floor as he had expected his victim to do, the man, although obviously hurt by the attack, simply converted his fall into a roll, turning and launching himself back to his feet to face Sion again.

Across the bar, Volt and Kou fought desperately to hold off the attacks of their own attackers, with the same results. Despite Volt's strength and wrestling-style fighting, and Kou's agility and Taekwondo mastery, the two fared just as badly as Sion against the masked Mikado agents.

Outmanoeuvring his opponent, Volt managed to grab him by the neck and, thinking fast, hurled him through one of the nearby tables. As he attempted to follow up this minor victory with a body slam, the almost impossibly fast combatant rolled out of the way and leapt back to his feet. Volt subsequently rolled away from him, avoiding a foot in the ribs before quickly climbing to his feet as well, and continuing the fight.

Meanwhile, Sion's individual fight forced him over towards the stairs. As Sion attempted to punch his opponent in the face, the latter effortlessly ducked underneath the blow and delivered a spinning kick to Sion, forcing him off his feet again. As Sion felt himself falling, he quickly reached out and managed to grab hold of the man's suit, pulling him with him. The two men grappled furiously even as they fell down the stairs, rolling over and over until they reached the bottom. Instantly they both lashed out at each other, and instantly their attacks were blocked. Both combatants fought their way back into standing positions, and resumed where they had left off, moving over towards the bar area.

Upstairs, a terrified Dominique slid slowly along the balcony's far wall, watching the fighting helplessly with a hand raised to her mouth in fear – unaware that she watched from the rafters by a man with white hair and red goggles.

Down below the Mikado group's leader, the fighting was drawing to an end. As Kou and Volt began to tire, their opponents forced them towards the balcony's edge. While the bouncers fought back desperately, the Mikado agents gained the upper hand, managing to break through their defences and forcing them over the balcony, where they crashed into the floor below.

Above them, the white-haired man decided that the time was right. He swiftly leapt from his position, landing perfectly amidst the rubble of wood and glass. Dominique cried out and attempted to flee as he rushed towards her, but he was far too quick for her, grabbing her around the neck with one arm.

"Sion!!" screamed Dominique. On the main floor below, Sion heard her scream. Realising what was happening, he managed to momentarily outsmart his attacker, feinting to the left before kicking him across the room, slamming him into the wall. Sion sprinted back across the room and quickly began to ascend the stairs – however he only succeeded in making it less than halfway up when his opponent leapt from the floor below to land in front of him, blocking his path. Desperate, Sion attempted to defend himself, but with the advantage of higher ground his attacker sent him rolling back down the stairs moments later with a swift punch to the gut. His enemy subdued, the masked man flipped repeatedly backwards to reach the balcony, where the squad's white-haired leader stood beside a window, easily holding a struggling Dominique. He allowed himself a momentary grin of amusement before he replaced his goggles' previous position on his head – and leapt backwards through the window.

"Sion!" cried Dominique again, as she vanished into the night, the rest of the squad leaping out after their commander.

Sion, Volt and Kou were at the top of the stairs in a matter of seconds, but it was already too late. All that was left to greet them was a gaping hole where a window had once been, now exposing the bar to the harsh weather outside, and the wreckage of the brief but brutal fight moments before.

Furious at Dominique's kidnapping, Sion angrily slammed his fist down on the staircase handrail.

But the night was far from over.

Not sure how to continue this – the constant fighting might become quite repetitive. Please R&R regardless.

PS Rage Against The Machine is Christmas #1!!