-Ghost in the Shell -

"Blood for Blood"

Author's Note:

Sorry I'm so late with an update but, well, you know how things happen...


Chapter 4 –

Batou leaned forward as he slammed his rather massive fist down upon the table which they were all seated at. The resounding boom matched the angry glare on his face as he looked around at his fellow team members. Batou's grey synthleather jacket seemed ready to burst at the seams as it stretched over his shoulders.

"Aw for Christ's sake, is this gonna be another one of these wild goose chases we've been getting sent on?"

This planning meeting was to cover the next raid by Section 9 as they searched for the weapons which were being smuggled in. The team members in attendance were startled by the noise and all looked sharply towards Batou.

Batou's outburst was directed at his team leader, the Major first but then he quickly turned to his boss Chief Aramaki who he had just interrupted.

"Chief, this is the fifth one of these things, the fifth!" Batou waved his hands out in front of him with fingers raised but turning to clenched fists as he spoke. "Two of them involved us getting shot at and barely escaping with our lives."

Chief Aramaki wore a frown as he glanced down to the tabletop. Most of the Section 9 members were all managing to look somewhere else as Batou went on. Everyone that is except Major Kusanagi who glared right back at her subordinate before she managed to speak up in rebuttal to him.

The Major's dark blue skin suit seemed to absorb the light in the room without revealing any details. The fire in the icy stare she was directing at Batou seemed able to make up for it though.

"All right Batou, enough. All of us are just as frustrated with the apparent lack of success we've experienced in these raids as you are. That doesn't mean that we can just abandon the searches and give up merely because of our collective frustration."

The Major leaned forward and half rose as she drove home her point to Batou. As outstanding as he was in his position of second in command of the unit, he did have a tendency to go off on tirades' when he was frustrated, like now.

Chief Aramaki laced his fingers together in front of him as he let out a sigh and slowly lifted his gaze from the tabletop to look into the eyes of his team members.

"I understand how all of you must feel in being asked to continue with these searches considering how random and pointless they seem to be. So far it has been painfully obvious that we haven't found anything despite the information we've gotten from the intel people upon which these raids are based."

The Chief moved his gaze from one member to the next until finally settling upon Batou.

"Despite your frustration I hope you will keep in mind the importance of our finding these caches of weapons as quickly as possible, and certainly before they fall into the wrong hands."

Major Kusanagi planted her elbows onto the conference tabletop and leaned forward pointing a finger at Batou. As she continued to watch Batou with her eyes, the Major turned her head towards the Chief.

"I'm sure we ALL understand the importance of these raids Chief, but it is a little unnerving that despite our best efforts we've come up with nothing at all." As she stressed the word 'all' Batou's gaze dropped, slightly.

Now looking directly at the Chief, the Major continued. "Chief, how reliable is the source of our information? I have to admit I'm not really very impressed with it so far and we're all a little tired of getting shot at for nothing."

"I understand your point Major, and I will look into this more closely I promise you. But for now let's begin the briefing on this next possibility. It's a group of run down buildings in the warehouse district….."

Aramaki reached his hands over the desks controls for the holograph and screen displays. As he moved his fingers a color coded map appeared over the center of the table and hung there motionless in space.

"This is a set of floor plans and drawings of the site in question.." Aramaki's gravelly voice droned on.

The man called Vasily rolled over onto his left side as he reached over with his gloved hand and placed his ballistic data tables and range card he had just finished within easy reach of his hand. He was layed out prone in the nearly dark room getting the feel of his new hide. The wall facing him was about 5 foot from the muzzle end of his sniper rifle and had several holes smashed through the wall of the dilapidated building giving Vasily easy viewing of the main avenue of approach.

Humming softly to himself he raised the rifle up to his shoulder and got into a good solid firing posture bedding the rifle butt into his shoulder. Both elbows locked down giving a bone solid platform holding the barrel steady. He then worked his body around to obtain a steady site picture looking out the holes into the street where he could now see Georg walking away from him down the street.

"This will do, comrade. This will do fine." With no ventilation in the room and no air movement Vasily could feel the sheen of sweat enveloping his body and running down his sides and back. No matter he thought. By just reaching down with his hands without looking he could instantly touch everything he needed whether it be a magazine or any of this other equipment. He was pleased.

Down the street Georg slowly walked the kill zone examining his men's placement, the position of buildings and any possible cover or concealment their enemy might use. He was looking for weak spots , holes or dead spots out of his weapons overlapping fields of fire.

As the wind blew open the front of his fatigue jacket, Georg turned and looked back down the street to the front of the building Vasily was now in setting up. He saw the cracked ruined wall leading up to the second floor window. He could see the holes in the walls which Vasily would be using to shoot through.

He could picture Vasily up there now, waiting, watching him through the scope of his rifle as he turned away and continued walking towards the other end of the street. As he moved he noticed the positions of his other men with their weapons in place. Popov with the grenade-launcher in a corner building to cover both avenues of approach and his other two men, Diitri and Constantine with the assault rifles in adjacent positions to support each other and leave no part of the street uncovered.

Georg continued walking down the street and smiled to himself. All he could hear other than hid own bootsteps was the sound of the wind as it blew through this desolate place. He allowed his thoughts to wander. "Comrades, as set-ups go, they just don't get any tighter than this trap we have layed. We are ready.