For manga artist Kenichi Sonoda, whose 'Gunsmith Cats' have become the most popular

crime-fighting duo since Mel Gibson & Danny Glover in the 'Lethal Weapon' movies.

For special effects & makeup artist Rob Bottin, who gave us a most entertaining character in

law enforcement (Rob Bottin has worked on numerous films, such as 'The Howling' (1981),

'The Thing' (1982), 'Legend' (1986), & 'The Witches of Eastwick' (1987) ).

For actors Peter Weller, Robert John Burke, Richard Eden, Page Fletcher & Maurice Dean

Wint, all of whom have brought the character of RoboCop to life in film & television.

For all the good people over at Marvel, Dark Horse, Avatar Press & Dynamite Entertainment,

for giving RoboCop a very successful career within the world of their comic books.

GUNSMITH CATS/ROBOCOP:

THE TROUBLE WITH ED

2002, 2012 by Anthony Ogozalek

CHAPTER I

Detroit, Michigan, the near future:

On most TV screens, multiple smaller screens were in motion & forming into one big one, each with a picture of captured events. It was accompanied by a chime in the background before all screens flipped their pictures & showed two pairs of eyes - one male, the other female - across every one. As a single unit, the cameras backed away to reveal the upper parts of the two news reporters sitting at their desk, about three feet apart from one another. The male was a crew-cut Eurasian in a dark gray suit & tie, while the female was a bubble-headed blonde in a baby blue dress. Both had smiles which seemed to stretch from ear to ear. As the cameras pulled away to give viewers a better look at them, an off-camera announcer began to speak.

"This is Media Break. You give us three minutes, & we'll give you the world!"

The Eurasian began to speak as the camera zoomed in on his features.

"Good afternoon. I'm Casey Wong, along with Jess Perkins." A super-imposed screen now appears at Casey's right, showing scenes of London police at work. "In London, constables have seized the leader of crime kingpin Albert Rayner, a big-time mob boss whose criminal activities have reigned for over a decade in England's capital city. When city constables caught up to the criminal overlord, they also recovered a cache of illegal firearms of all kinds within his home. Paperwork had revealed that Rayner was planning on discreetly shipping these weapons to big league bosses here in the United States as part of a criminal unity between nations."

The super-imposed screen now shows the OCP logo as Casey went on.

"On the home front, five months have passed since the now-defunct OCP began its urban renewal program, once led by commanding officer Paul McDaggett, which lead to the company's collapse & McDaggett's death by rebelling police who fought against the urban pacifists in a fight to regain their territory, making the program doomed to fail before even having started. On a lighter note, the head of the Japanese corporation, Kanemitsu, made a deal with re-elected Mayor Waldo Gibson to continue with the urban renewal program, but on his terms only."

The screen showed African-American Mayor Gibson, with Kanemitsu on as large screen in the foreground.

"Like Kanemitsu behind me, I deeply regret the events during the program Paul McDaggett was once in control of", Gibson said. "But brutal as it may be for most citizens of Old Detroit, we still feel the urge to move forward with Delta City as the former OCP Chairman, known simply as the Old Man, had dreamed of during his reign. However, in full cooperation with our friends at the Kanemitsu Corporation, we've made a decision to have those who are in need to be removed from their homes to be placed in temporary & humble living quarters, so as not to be put on the streets like paupers & beggars. No, these people will live in these facilities in tranquil harmony until their new homes are built. These folks have suffered enough when McDaggett was in charge…no more. Now it's time for a newer, safer beginning."

A chorus of clapping erupted from reporters, financers & even Kanemitsu himself on the screen, Gibson's words being translated via computer.

The screen now turns to Jess Perkins, smiling like the Chesire Cat from Wonderland.

"And on the subject of new beginnings, Chicago robotics billionaire Paxton Silverman has announced this morning that he plans on revealing a new weapon to wage upon the war on crime. When pressed for an answer on what this new weapon is & how it will benefit society, Silverman had this to say."

The screen changed to show Paxton Silverman, a man in his early 30s with short blonde hair & wearing a light beige suit, speaking to an off-camera reporter with a microphone to his face.

"I can't reveal exactly what that is just yet, but I will tell you this: my weapon, or should I say weapons, will help to make our fair city of Chicago a safer haven than it's ever been before. I will also reveal that while it's an idea that's already been tried, it will be one with new functions & better operating behavior that before. My company, Silverman Robotix, has spared no expense on giving these weapons a serious upgrade to fight crime & stop it dead in its tracks. It's a secret that will be revealed to the general public in only three days from now, & well worth the wait."

Paxton's image vanishes, replaced by Jess Perkins once again.

"In sports, baseball is in full swing, & Comercia Park is no exception! In just a half-hour from now, our very own Detroit Tigers square off against the Chicago Cubs in what appears to be a rivalry between each team's 11-game winning streak! Who will make it to an even dozen on this day? Yes, it certainly sounds like a fun-filled, friendly & overall peaceful game to brighten baseball fans' spirits!"

Comercia Park, 12:30 p.m.:

Pandemonium erupted seemingly out of nowhere, & now instead of baseball teams playing it out over on the field, fans are going at each other's throats. Punches, kicks, slaps & occasional beer bottles & other obstacles getting smashed in several faces unexpectedly were all filling the seats as young women & their children were desperately trying to get themselves away from all the chaos which came in on them from all sides, with more than a few crying in fear.

In the parking lot was the same barbaric scene as in the stands: many innocent people were getting trampled underfoot by those too upset to listen to reason or are just plain drunk, either not realizing (or caring) that people caught in the melee are dying beneath their feet, fists & man-made weapons.

The horrific melee continued, with many more people getting hurt & no immediate end in sight.

Metro West, Detroit Police Department:

Sergeant John Reed sat on his high chair at the precinct's main desk. An African-American with a Richard Roundtree appearance, Reed has been the sergeant at Metro West for more years than he or anyone in the precinct cares to remember. He may as well be Richard Roundtree for all they know, as he's as tough as they come like Roundtree's immortal portrayal of the detective Shaft from Hollywood's blaxploitation period, if not more so.

Sergeant John Reed was a man who took no shit from anyone, with the one exception of OCP Executive Robert Morton, the man who gave the police department & public his greatest achievement…RoboCop. Morton even so much as dared to grab the arm of the police sergeant at the time RoboCop abruptly left the precinct after experiencing a 'dream'. Were it anyone else who attempted a foolhardy maneuver on him like that, Reed would smash that person's face either against the wall or floor with all his might & cuff him before he ever knew what hit him.

But Bob Morton wasn't 'anyone else' - he was with OCP, the very people who took over the police of Detroit when crime figures were exponentially high & far too much for them to handle on their own. Therefore, he was Reed's boss of sorts, & had to let it go.

Except he's now dead in the ground & I'm still up here at my desk, alive & well! Up yours, Morton!, thought Reed, having no sympathy for the late OCP Vice President.

Sergeant Reed was just about finished with his lunch - a ham & cheese sandwich with a hot cup of coffee to wash it all down - when an officer named Wilson came on his intercom to report the riot over at Comercia Park. Reed nearly spat out his beverage upon hearing it, & spoke to Wilson.

"What the hell did you just say, Wilson?", he fumed. "Am I hearing you correctly? That there's a full-scale riot over at Comercia Park?"

"That's just what I said, Sarge!", Wilson replied. "There's nothing wrong with your hearing, last I checked!"

Reed ignored the wisecrack & pressed on.

"This is ridiculous, Wilson! How the hell did a full-scale riot happen to occur in Comercia Park from out of the blue?"

"You're asking me?", Wilson said. "All I know is I was doing my daily patrol, when I get a call on the squad box that a riot burst out of nowhere at the ballpark! Next thing I knew, I'm helping the riot police trying to bring down a feeding frenzy of hysteria before it escalates way out of control! I had no time to ask how it got started when I got there!"

"How much of the riot police are there with you now, Wilson?"

"About half of what's needed! If you have any more, or even spare a chopper or two, we'd sure appreciate it!"

"I'll send in who & what I can! Do what you can on your end to get that riot brought down to a more manageable size & help escort any bystanders trying to flee the mayhem!"

"We'll do what we can, Sarge, but it's Hell over here! Don't be too late with that backup!"

Wilson signed off before Reed could get another word in. Even Reed had no time of his own to wonder as to how a fun-filled baseball game could turn into a schoolyard brawl times ten.

Immediately he jumped into action.

"Raymond! Get in touch with the rest of our riot squad & tell them they need some serious substantial backup, like right now!", Reed called out.

"Already did that, Sarge!", Raymond said from across the room. "I put the call out only a minute ago! They say they can get there within twenty to thirty minutes, pending traffic!"

"Can't be soon enough for me! And speaking of riot control, where the hell's Murphy at? At times like this, we could sure use him!"

"That's another thing I wanted to tell you about, Sarge!", Raymond went on. "I got the call right after I sent the rest of the riot squad out. Murphy's 10-80 with a fleeing suspect who just committed a theft over at the old OCP building, then fled in an old Cadillac. Currently he's pursuing the suspect in the area of Delray, heading towards River Rouge."

"Keep me posted on Murphy's situation - and on the riot at Comercia Park, both you & Wilson!"

Raymond nodded & returned to his post, giving Reed time to ponder on both situations. He wondered on how in the world did a riot start in a place that was meant to be fun for the whole family.

Then again, it wasn't the first time riots erupted in sporting events: one example is from the 1980 Scottish Cup Finals when rival fans duked it out when alcohol had been banned from Scottish football matches. Another was here in Detroit itself back in 1984, fights & other bits of violence exploded at the now-demolished Tiger Stadium when the Tigers beat the Padres. Reed knew of these incidents & many others from both home & away, & shook his head at each & every one of them.

Sports & police are never a good mix, he thought solemnly.

But what worried Reed more currently was the theft over at the old OCP building. To Reed, that made somewhat more sense but was still baffled by the very concept of it. Nobody had dared to attempt to break in & rob the place since the urban pacification fiasco led by ruthless Paul McDaggett after he perished at the top in an explosion. Since then, it's been guarded by armed personell ordered to shoot on sight.

So how the hell did this creep get in that place? And what did he steal from there that made him risk getting shot for?, Reed wondered. He had no idea, but then there were still lots of things within the old building that was worth stealing. The city officials didn't take everything out of it, & handling the Delta City project took up too much of their time to even bother with it, so they had guards on it 24/7 to prevent any thefts.

Today it didn't do them much good. Reed wondered what happened to the guards on duty there. Were they attacked & killed? Or did they abandon their posts to help out with the riot over at Comercia Park due to orders from their superiors?

Whatever the reason, Reed was going to have to wait until things were brought under control before he could get any answers.

Right now, it was up to the riot police. And to Murphy.

Delray:

Just passing Riverside Park in his old gray Cadillac, the felon known as Weazel drove his vehicle at a roaring 80 mph, with a lone police TurboCruiser in hot pursuit that has trailed him since he caught up with Weazel at Michigan Avenue near Downtown Detroit & has not lost him even once, lights flashing & sirens blaring.

It was exactly as he wanted it to go, as per his instructions from his mystery benefactor, especially if it's who Weazel thinks it is behind the wheel of the TurboCruiser following him.

In his late twenties with short-cropped hair & wearing blue trousers & dirty t-shirt, Weazel is a small-time hood with a rap sheet longer than a man's tie that includes charges that lead up to & including car theft, DWI, mugging/stealing, drug possession & evading police. He's the kind of man who would do almost anything for a quick buck, & isn't too picky about his deeds. Now he's racing in his car to not only evade the law, but to execute the plan given to him. All he has to do is have his pursuer follow him into the heart of Delray, & he'll be home free.

Or so his benefactor said.

Weazel had no choice: in the Turbo Cruiser, black metal hands gripped the steering wheel as a metal foot stepped further down the accelerator. A sharp, metallic voice came from the mouth of the driver that acted like a megaphone.

"Weazel, this is your final warning! Give yourself up now! You're only making it worse by running! Pull over!"

Yeah, first chance I get, tin man!, Weazel thought, taking his car down an unnamed street which was surrounded by low level buildings & a few houses. From within one of these, a man watches Weazel's car & the TurboCruiser approach as both vehicles race through the area.

"Here they come, man", the man said calmly.

"Good", said another. "Just like he told us. Let him get further in before you let it fly."

"Got it."

Both cars came through the street as Weazel gives his ride more gas, putting distance from his tailing foe. He gets his car at a distance of about twenty feet before the man gets the signal from his partner.

"Okay, now!", he shouted. It was what he waited for: sitting right next to him was an M9 Rocket Launcher he hefted onto his shoulder in one second. Peering into the eyepiece, he gets the unsuspecting TurboCruiser in his sights before squeezing the trigger. An M6A3 rocket comes screeching out of the tube & soars directly at the police car, striking the front engine & blowing it to bits. The force of the explosion causes the cruiser to flip onto its roof like a two-ton pancake, flattening both metal & glass as it caves in on itself. All those watching cheered like their home team won the grand finale as Weazel's car sped off unabated.

"Scratch one cop!", said the man with the bazooka. "Now, let's get down there & make sure he's dead!"

Nodding, the other hoodlums made their way down to the street on both sides as numerous street scum - some male, others female - exited from out of their hiding places, all with guns in their hands that ranged from AK-47s to M-16 rifles; some even came equipped with handguns. All had their firearms aimed at the now smoldering wreck of the police cruiser, its 4 wheels still spinning aimlessly. What seemed like an eternity passed before an unbelievable sight occurred right in front of their faces: the car was actually being ripped in half by an immensely strong pair of metallic arms & slide away, revealing the form of RoboCop as he stands tall in front of the bewildered crowd of street punks, his Auto-9 pistol in hand.

"Police officer! You are all under arrest! Lay down your weapons & surrender or there will be…trouble!", the cyborg cop says in a voice as steely as his own body.

The street punks had only one answer for him.

"Fuck you!", shouted a black-leather bitch with an M-16 as she started blasting away at him, giving the others their cue. All over, a barrage of bullets were flying at & striking RoboCop like flies at a corpse, creating a chorus of pings as each bullet bounced off harmlessly & not doing any damage to his body one bit. Even if his car hadn't been totaled, RoboCop would've had no choice but to put off his pursuit of Weazel until these street punks were put in their place.

Creeps like these never learn, Robo thought with a pinch of regret.

"Have it your way, then!", he said orally, aiming & firing his Auto-9 at the first few punks beginning with the black-leather bitch, blowing a gaping hole in her chest as she drops to the ground in a pool of her own blood. He repeats the process again & again until the number of hoods gets reduced to a more manageable crowd.

Unfortunately, their numbers get shot up as even more hoodlums with weaponry appear from out of the surrounding structures. That also includes the man with the bazooka who shot up his cruiser, along with a buddy who has the same weapon. Both men aim at the cyborg officer.

"We just took apart your ride, tin man!", said the first bazooka guy.

"Now we're gonna do the same to you!", said the second bazooka man, his finger on the trigger like his partner.

"Guess again, creeps!", RoboCop said, aiming his gun at the twin new threats. Before either bazooka man can launch their weapons, a bullet strikes them both, one after another in rapid succession in the eye through the eyepiece, spraying eye, blood & bone matter out of the back of their heads. This also diverts their aim away from Robo & they fire spasmodically in different directions. The first shot streaks past RoboCop by a foot & strikes a group of hoods who can't escape fast enough & literally get blown to pieces as a combination of shrapnel & bloodied body parts fly everywhere, destroying their guns with them with no chance to scream. The second stray shot went past Robo and the street punks, striking a wall of a building on the opposite side of the street, taking out a large chunk. Although it missed the punks, they were still in danger of being crushed as the wall portion sailed through the air & right for a large group of them. Each one was scrambling like mice in a cat convention, pushing each other out of the way to avoid getting flattened, screaming all the while. Their screams (& lives) were abruptly cut short when the wall found its mark & slammed on top of the fleeing scumbags with a loud & ground-shaking thud.

Only puddles of blood from the sides were left as evidence of their existence.

The surviving punks kept blasting their guns at RoboCop as the cyborg cop kept dwindling their numbers with each squeeze of the trigger of his Auto-9. With his attention turned to one side, he doesn't notice two blasts of high-intensity flames searing him from behind by two more punks with flamethrowers on their backs.

"You sure pack some serious heat with you, tin man! But so do we!", said the first flame-throwing punk.

"Yeah! Now let's see if you can also take it!", said the second.

Turning around to face them, RoboCop takes large steps in their directions even as the flames continue to scorch his body & his systems warn him of excess temperatures. Ignoring it all, he strides up to them as if out for a stroll in the park & grabs both nozzles in each hand. With hardly any effort, the cyborg cop bends both nozzles like they were nothing more than taffy. The punks wielding them open their eyes wide in disbelief, the flames all but ceased.

"I certainly can, creeps! Let's find out if you can say the same!", Robo says, grabbing both punks & throwing them into the crowd of stunned onlookers. In the blink of an eye, RoboCop fires his gun at the first flame-throwing punk as the bullet strikes him in & through the chest & into his tank. It explodes with a powerful blast & the intense heat helps to detonate the other one. Both men go up in the same flames they used on their common foe with no time to scream.

The group surrounding them, however, scream plenty.

The flames engulf those closest punks & run around like chickens with their heads cut off as the flames scorch their bodies - clothing, flesh & all. In under a minute, the punks collapse to the ground, their features barely recognizable as their flesh were charred horribly as black as charcoal. RoboCop now turn to the few remaining street scum, training his gun on them.

"Now then…easy or hard?", he says to them. Most drop their guns & take off, convinced it wasn't worth it. Only two young kids - a Caucasian & African-American, possibly twelve years of age - were all that was standing of the raucous crowd. They each had a Glock handgun in his hand, unsure whether or not they should draw a bead on Robo.

The cyborg cop smirks at them & gestures with a finger from his left hand that says 'Come here, you!'. Shaking their heads & dropping their guns, they run off in the direction the others went.

Maybe there's hope for those two yet, he thought, holstering his gun in his right leg.

RoboCop had no more time to waste.

He had to resume his pursuit of Weazel before he gets too far away.

River Rouge:

Even though he knew RoboCop would be otherwise occupied to buy him time, Weazel still didn't slow down until he reached his destination, wanting to get as far a distance as possible from the cyborg cop. Going through the front gate, Weazel stopped his Cadillac & exited. With a black plastic briefcase tucked under his arm, he headed towards the front entrance. Even before he got close, he felt uneasy about being at the old plant which hadn't been used financially in years, its windows boarded up & making the place almost as black as night. He twisted his nose & squenched his eyes when the stench of rat shit & piss & corrosion of the place itself hit his nostrils, making his feeling of nausea even stronger. He wasn't sure just what to expect from this point on, so Weazel was on high alert for anything.

If it weren't for what awaited him for his services, he wouldn't be here at all.

Strange-ass place to meet my benefactor!, Weazel thought grimly.

Gathering his courage, he proceeded onward.

Entering the facility, the stench was even worse. Weazel gathered all his strength to keep not only from chickening out, but from vomiting. The pit of his stomach was churning, & he was just able to prevent himself from hurling chunks on the floor. Then the realization hit him: this is the same place where the terrorist known as Cain was making his highly addictive drug known as NUKE, a poison that struck Detroit until the intervention of RoboCop & his fellow officers & put it out of commission. With that in mind, he felt weak in the legs but still managed to keep his composure. It urged him to be quick about his task though; he didn't want to stay at this horrible place any longer than he has to. He just wants to deliver the goods, get paid & get out.

For Weazel, it couldn't come soon enough.

His thought process got interrupted when he heard a voice that was half-British in accent & female, calling out to him.

"Greetings, Mr. Weazel! I see you have what I asked for, yes?"

He knew her voice: it was the same one who called upon him about the job of entering the abandoned OCP building to grab specific information & rendezvous back here at the plant. The person that addressed him suddenly came out in full view of the light, which shined overhead from a single lamp. It was a woman 5 feet & 8 inches tall, appearing to be in her early 30s. She was dressed in black dress pants & shoes, & a white long-sleeve shirt with buttons. Her hairstyle was a deep shiny blonde that made her look as if she came from Hollywood, with red lips, purple eye mascara, blue eyes & cheeks to die for. Gold star earrings hung from her lobes. If one didn't know any better, she had the strong resemblance to actress Marilyn Monroe reincarnated, albeit a rather evil-looking interpretation of the glamour actress whose life was ended too soon. In her hand was a small silver case that was a foot long & five inches wide.

And that made Weazel more uncomfortable than the stench his nose was taking in.

It also made him very nervous.

"Uh…M-Miss Siobhan Dallin, I-I presume?", Weazel asked in a jittery tone.

"You presume correctly", she replied, casually strolling up to him, her shoes echoing off the floor. "Let us see what it is you have, hmm?"

Nodding, Weazel hands over the briefcase as Siobhan takes & rummages through it, her silver case tucked under one arm. She finds a bunch of papers with very complicated machinery details on them & a disc in its case at the bottom.

"Was it too difficult for you to obtain, Mr. Weazel?", Siobhan asked, going through the papers.

"Uh, n-not really, Miss Dallin", he replied. "In fact, it was almost too easy. All I had to do was check in the discarded section of their files like you said, & there it was, like it was waiting for me, you know? It also had me wondering somewhat: why would anybody want to throw away a perfectly good idea like…that? I just don't understand it."

"Because, Mr. Weazel, those 'people' over at OCP were all but incompentent fools! They wouldn't know a good design, let alone a grand opportunity, if one came up & fucked them in the ass! My employer, however, won't be making that same mistake. He & his people have plans for these beauties…big plans!"

"Speaking of plans, I gotta say that yours was brilliant, working to a 'T': causing the riot over at Comercia Park & keeping the cops & riot police busy, getting RoboCop onto my tail to have him ambushed in Delray & off my back - that was pure genius on your part!"

"Never underestimate the value of a few thousand dollars, Mr. Weazel", Siobhan said as she begins placing the papers back into the case. "It's one of the reasons as to why I've earned the nickname of 'Razorblade'."

"Oh, I get it", Weazel says with a slight chuckle. "It's because your mind is as sharp as one. Nice."

Siobhan lets out a slight chuckle of her own.

"That is one way to describe me, yes", she says, finishing with the briefcase.

"Well, Miss Dallin", Weazel says, hiding how nervous he is of her & being only partially successful. "Since the package has been delivered, I'll just simply collect my fee & be on my way, if that's all right with you."

"But of course. Here you are", Siobhan said, handing him the silver case. When Weazel opens it up, he sees bunches of twenty dollar bills collected in stacks of fifty. "It's equal to the sum of ten thousand dollars. Count it if you wish to", she concluded.

"There's no need, Miss Dallin. I trust you", Weazel says with a grin, his fears disappearing from the sight of the money & closes the case. "A pleasure doing business with you. If next time you need another job done, just call on me again. You've got my number."

He was about to leave when Siobhan calls him back.

"Just one more thing, Weazel", she purrs, getting closer to him. "You've done both me & my employer a great service today. I think you deserve an extra reward for yours."

As she spoke seductively to him, Siobhan places her left hand onto his privates & gently caresses them. Already getting stiff, Weazel gets a tingly feeling all over as Siobhan gets her lips closer to his, & he starts puckering up for the inevitable kiss, slowly closing his eyes.

Oh man! Not only do I get twenty grand, but I also get to bang a hot chick! Am I lucky or what?, he thought happily. He then opens his eyes again after feeling a swift rush of air pass by his neck as Siobhan was now sixteen inches away, smiling wickedly at him. She then holds up a straight shaving razor in her right hand for him to see.

The razor had fresh blood dripping from it. His blood.

That fact was made perfectly clear when Weazel started to choke & gargle on his blood at the neck. Acting on instinct, he places his hands to the wound, hoping the bleeding could be slowed until help arrived. It was useless - try as he might, Weazel was already getting weak from blood loss & sinks to the ground with a thud. Still bleeding, he sees Siobhan lick his blood off her razor with her tongue, chuckling. She then folds & puts her namesake weapon away in her pocket, taking out a cell phone, flicking it open & dialing a number on her speed dial.

"It's me. Yes, delivery has been made, & now ready to proceed with part two. My contract with my employee has been…cut off, I'm afraid. I shall meet you at the scheduled place later this evening. Razorblade out."

Closing & pocketing her cell phone, Siobhan takes the metal case from the bloodied corpse of Weazel, who expired just after she started speaking on the phone.

"Waste not, want not, my poor departed friend", she chuckles. With both cases in hand, Siobhan heads for the exit & her car, driving off into the afternoon.

Five minutes later:

RoboCop was able to commandeer a vehicle from a resident near Delray & used his built-in city map to find possible escape routes Weazel might have taken. He concluded that the old plant in River Rouge was the only possible escape he could think of, so he headed straight for it. His gun in hand, Robo entered the plant & made a thorough search, finding nothing except for bad memories. Images of Cain's men when they had trapped & stripped the living shit out of him before dumping off his remains at Metro West began flashing in his mind as he proceeded deeper into the complex, getting a feeling of dread. He wondered: is that why Weazel made his possible escape here? To make RoboCop feel too afraid to pursue him at this place because of all of the unpleasant thoughts it gave him?

If one can believe that, then RoboCop is scheduled to be the next President of the United States.

Good try, Weazel, but not good enough, he thought, pushing the fear away.

A minute later, he did find something - a bloodied body, one that was familiar.

It was the body of his suspect, Weazel.

Approaching him & seeing his lifeless features, RoboCop, or rather, Murphy, takes pity on him. Yes, Weazel was a criminal & did lots of petty crimes to add to his resume over the years, but in all the charges he brought upon himself, the one thing he never did was kill anyone, no matter how desperate he was. Despite all his other faults, Weazel never deserved this.

"I am sorry, Weazel", he said softly, using his fingers to gently close his lifeless eyes.

He scans the body from head to toe, finding only the deep cut in his neck. He calculated that only something like a straight razor or stiletto could cause such a fatal wound.

RoboCop knew of only one individual who killed like that, someone he'd been after for some time now.

Siobhan Dallin, also known as 'Razorblade'.

And he would find her & make her pay.

To the fullest extent of the law, if need be.

CHAPTER II

Chicago, Illinois, the next day, 12:00 p.m.:

The Chicago Water Tower, located at 806 North Michigan Avenue & built in 1869 by architect William W. Boyington, is one of the Windy City's most popular landmarks & second-oldest water tower in all the United States, being second only to the Louisville Water Tower in Kentucky. Having survived the vicious Great Chicago Fire of 1871, it became a symbol of the city's urge to stand strong & thrive, & has become a most famous tourist's attraction.

Today, however, it becomes the scene of a hostage situation.

Chicago police have cordoned off the area, extending the whole corner to keep civilians away as they set up a perimeter. Police in regular uniform & full battle gear & assault rifles all stand poised, ready to move in at a moment's notice. One of the officers on hand at the scene is Detective Roy Coleman, a man possibly in his 30s or early 40s with short black hair & goatee. His attire is a white short-sleeve dress shirt with black pants & shoes, & has a shoulder holster where his trusty CZ-75 handgun rests. Removing it from its holster with one hand & handling a megaphone in the other, he bellows firmly into it directly at the tower.

"Michael 'Mad Dog' Jenkins, this is the Chicago P.D.! We're giving you exactly five minutes to release your hostages & surrender yourself! Otherwise, we'll rush in & take you out of the equation if we have to! What's your answer?"

A crashing through one of the windows & a barrage of gunfire is the lunatic's response to Coleman's demand. He & the other officers take cover behind their vehicles as bullets bounce off cold metal & break a few side windows.

"You fucking pigs can try to rush in!", Jenkins yells back, holding twin Uzis in each hand. "I told you all before that I want my money by 2:00 this afternoon! So then, here's what's going to happen: I get my money in two hours, or else this crummy piece of shit gets torched to the ground and my two dear hostages buy the goddamn farm! The clock is ticking, so get your asses in gear! You copy?"

"Just how much money is Jenkins asking us for, anyway?", Coleman asks one of the cops who took cover with him.

"One hundred million in unmarked bills!", the cop says. "He's out of his mind, Roy! We can't even begin to conjure up that kind of amount in only two hours!"

"We're not gonna even try to! I want you to have a team with flash grenades ready in two minutes! Have them approach the tower stealthily & wait for my order to strike!"

"Sounds good, but what about the two hostages inside?"

"It's risky, I know, but it's better than just sitting around & waiting for their time to expire, according to Jenkins' watch! Make the call!"

The officer gets on his radio & gives the team leader the orders relayed to him by Roy.

I'm just glad Rally & Minnie-May aren't around for this!, Roy thought to his relief.

Inside the tower, Michael 'Mad Dog' Jenkins surveyed the scene outside from the hole he made before with his weapons. He was a bulldog of a man, standing at a muscular six feet & nine inches tall, wearing a brown overcoat, pants, shoes & white t-shirt. His hair was short & frizzled at the top, & a scar on the left side of his face from ear to chin. He is a prison escapee with a long rap sheet & an even shorter temper. He escaped from the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the MCC, from downtown Chicago only a week ago, avoiding authorities up until the morning hours of the day. Before they could nab him at a local mall, he himself nabbed two young girls before taking off in a stolen car & hid in the famed Water Tower.

He turns to his two captives, an evil grin on his face.

"They're planning something, my dears!", he says in a cold tone. "I know it! But it still won't help them! Wanna know why? Because they're not gonna get the chance to give me my money!" He pulls open his coat to reveal a self-made bomb wrapped around his waist. "As soon as they get close enough, this little baby of mine's gonna go off & bring this tower down with us still inside! Didn't expect that in my plan, did you? But don't be too discouraged, ladies! Try & think of it like this: this tower withstood the Great Fire more than a century-&-a-half ago! We're just simply going to be a part of history together, that's all! Won't that be grand! After all, just about everyone wants to be famous!"

Jenkins laughs with pride & turns away from his two hostages, both of whom were tied to chairs back-to-back, facing away from each other. They were in a darkened spot, so anyone could only see them in shadow. The smaller of the two captive females turns slightly & gives the other a small nudge with the heel of her shoe. The larger female nods a bit & even allows herself a little smile from her lips. With ease & precision, the smaller hostage opens the heel of her boot & unleashes a marble-sized sphere that rolls its way towards Jenkins. When he hears the sound the little device makes, he bends down to look at it, puzzled.

Outside, Roy was getting antsy. He turns to the cop again, who's finished explaining the details to a squad leader.

"It's done, Detective", the cop says. "Squad leader's assembled a team & ready to deploy. All we need to do is wait on your call, & the rescue-&-apprehension mission is a go."

"Good work, son", Roy said. "We'll have them approach from the back. When they lob in the flash grenades, we'll go in the front & take Jenkins by surprise before he can even think of…"

A mild explosion cuts Roy off unexpectedly, the shock being felt even from where they are as smoke began to pour out of the front door & windows, the latter slightly cracked. All police had their guns drawn as one & aim for the front gate, ready for anything.

Flash grenades don't cause something like this!, Roy thought. So what the hell happened just now?

Ten seconds later, the front doors of the tower fall off their hinges & hit the ground with a crash, followed by a thick cloud of black smoke that pours out & heads skywards. When it clears enough for officers to see, Jenkins stands in the frame, his clothing & features all covered in soot & his face in a dazed & confused state, now looking more like an alley bum rather than a prison escapee. He was still smoking himself, his bomb on his waist shorted out & all but useless as he wondered what happened.

"Get your ass down on the ground, Jenkins! Do it NOW!", shouted one of the officers in combat gear, aiming his weapon like everyone else. Still disoriented from the blast, Jenkins was all but too willing to oblige: letting out a low grunt of pain, he falls forward & plops face first to where the doors have fallen as police rush in & begin to drag him away from the tower before placing steel handcuffs on his wrists, hands behind the back. With some officers fixed on Jenkins himself, Roy & several other officers move in to get the hostages out safely.

It was unnecessary: even as Roy called out to the hostages, the two females Jenkins took captive walked out the front entrance as casual as if they were strolling in the park, seemingly without a scratch on them & unscathed in every way. The taller of the two was Indian-American, looking to be in either her late teens or very early twenties with long jet black hair & blue eyes. Her attire consisted of a tan dress & purple coat with shoes to match. The smaller one wore a yellow skirt, white shirt & pink coat. Her hair was shorter than her partner's, & luscious blonde in color. Green eyes decorated a face that could melt the coldest heart, as she looks to be no more than her late teens.

"Man, what a Class-A creep he is, huh, Minnie-May?", says the one with the black hair to her friend.

"Yeah Rally", Minnie-May answers. "It sure serves him right for taking us hostage!"

"I'll say it does! Man, we can't go anywhere in this city without something like this going on in our lives!"

"I know! All we wanted to do was to have a nice day all to ourselves, & what happens? A dumbass with delusions of grandeur takes us captive & wants to make history! I mean, give us a break already!"

Roy Coleman & the other officers with him were shocked & stood like statues, & it wasn't because of the fact that they were unharmed. It was their identities that surprised them - the first girl was Irene 'Rally' Vincent & 'Minnie-May' Hopkins, the famed 'Gunsmith Cats' of the Windy City. These two own & run a gunshop on the outskirts of the city, & also do double duty as bounty hunters, the best in Chicago if not the world.

"Rally? Minnie-May? You were the two hostages Jenkins took?", Roy asked, astonished.

Turning to their friend in the Chicago P.D., both ladies became bashful.

"Um, yeah Roy, that would be us", Rally said in a weak voice & with shameful eyes.

"Sorry", Minnie-May said in the same manner.

Chicago Police Precinct, one hour later:

After the arrest of Michael 'Mad Dog' Jenkins & the (seemingly) rescue of the hostages, Roy Coleman & company headed back to HQ, placing Jenkins in a cell until he can be shipped back to the MCC & filling out the necessary paperwork. Taking Rally & Minnie-May back with them, the two gunshop owners/bounty hunters shared their story of how they became kidnapped by a deranged prison escapee so easily. They stated that all they did was go to the mall to do a little shopping for new lingerie & a few other things, when Jenkins came out of nowhere & took them unawares & kept them until Minnie-May's little 'surprise' from the heel of her boot which knocked Jenkins out & back in custody of the authorities. When their story was heard by just about everyone in the station, they did something neither Gunsmith Cat expected.

They began laughing wholeheartedly, almost like it was all a big joke!

Even their good friend & connection to the Chicago P.D., Roy Coleman, couldn't help it as he laughed at the irony of it all. He sat at a desk just opposite Rally & Minnie-May themselves, both of whom had their arms folded across their chests, sulking & scowling.

A cop in his late twenties walks up to the girls from behind, smiling.

"Man, what a day so far: Rally Vincent & Minnie-May Hopkins taken hostage! I never thought I'd live to see the day!", he says in a carefree voice.

Furious, Rally stands up from her chair & faces the young cop.

"Keep it up, bud, & you're not gonna live to see tomorrow!", she growls at him, flashing an angry set of teeth & scowl. The carefree cop backs away from her slowly, his hands raised in mock surrender & smile remaining before she sits back down, clearly annoyed.

"Yeah buddy!", Minnie-May snaps at the retreating cop. "You act like we've never been taken hostage before! Well, you're wrong! There was that time when Bonnie & Clyde nabbed us at a warehouse! And let's not forget the time when the terrorist known as Gray…"

"Dammit, May, shut up!", Rally snapped at her.

"What, Rally?", May snapped back. "We're at a friggin' police station! You honestly think they don't know about those times?"

"There's still no need to broadcast it, you know!"

Roy ceases his chuckling long enough to speak to his friends.

"Aw, come on, Rally. Don't you & Minnie-May know how to laugh at yourselves?", he asks. "We do it all the time."

"Well Roy, I'm sure you'll forgive us if our sense of humor's in neutral for today!", Rally says, pouting.

"Yeah Roy, it wasn't all that funny!", Minnie-May added matter of factly. "Have a heart!"

"All right, girls", Roy says, yielding & rising from his seat as he addresses the crowd. "Okay everyone, we've had our laugh for today, so let's all get back to work."

Mumbling to themselves, the officers in the building resume their daily chores.

"Try not to let it get to you too much, girls", Roy said. "Anyone can be taken hostage - adults, children, even cops themselves. And believe me, there have been incidents where cops were taken as captives. I can recall the time in Tyler, Texas when…"

"Thanks for the history lesson, Roy, but if you don't mind, Minnie-May & myself would like to be heading home right now", Rally says as she & her partner rise from their seats.

"Actually, Rally, in spite of the circumstances, it's good that you & Minnie-May are here", Roy says, stopping both girls in their tracks.

"You are?", Rally & Minnie-May say in unison as Roy nods.

"You bet", he went on. "I have something that's right up your alley, & I'd like to discuss it with you both in my office. If you'll just follow me…"

With a gesture of his hand, Rally & Minnie-May followed Roy over to the privacy of his office & closed the door. A woman in a blue dress, black shoes & a head of long dark brown hair stood by his desk. A pair of green eyes showed a high intellect & stamina in such a frail body, & she seemed to be close to around Roy's age. Rally & Minnie-May were slightly startled upon seeing her.

"Oh, we didn't know you already had company, Roy", Rally said.

"Who's your friend?", a curious Minnie-May asks.

"Ladies, I'd like for you two to meet Dr. Marie Lazarus", Roy said, gesturing with his hand & a smile. "She's a scientist & technician over at the Metro West Police Department in Detroit."

"Detroit?", Rally & Minnie-May say as one before the former goes on. "We're pleased to meet you, Dr. Lazarus, but what'cha doing all the way here from the Motor City?"

"Business, I'm afraid", Marie said. "My friend & I were tracking a killer whom we believe has come here to Chicago after following certain solid leads."

"At the cost of repeating myself, who's your friend?", Minnie-May asks a second time. "Is he a cop?"

Roy & Marie smile at one another.

"One of the best I've ever known!", Marie said proudly.

Roy presses a button on his intercom.

"Kate, you can send him in now", he says.

"On his way, Roy", Kate says with a slight giggle before signing off.

Even before Marie's cop friend entered Roy's office, the two Gunsmith Cats heard it unusually quiet from outside. They also heard what sounded like footsteps ranging from beyond the room, large &…mechanical. Seconds later, the door was opened by a huge black metal hand & in came the rest of what that hand was attached to. Rally & Minnie-May's eyes went wide as the figure stepped into full view of the two bounty hunter babes. The man - if one can call it a man - stood close to seven feet tall, if not taller. His body was a shiny tint of silver, with black in the hands, forearms, midsection, neck & chin guard. His helmet had a tinted slit for sight, & only part of a face with a mouth was exposing any flesh, & no visible nose.

"RoboCop!", Rally & Minnie-May exclaimed, clearly astonished by his mere sight.

Roy & Marie's smile grow wider, enjoying the girls' reactions.

"I guess his reputation precedes him even here, huh, Detective Coleman?", Marie jokes.

"Come on, Dr. Lazarus! Who hasn't heard of or seen RoboCop?", Rally muses with a smile. It disappears & Rally gets serious. "But if RoboCop is here, then this killer in which you mentioned must be really bad news for him to follow all this way."

"More than you realize, Rally", Roy said, his own smile gone & turning all business. He gets a file from his desk & opens it up for the two Gunsmith Cats to see. It had several pictures of a woman with blonde hair, both casual & mug shots.

"Golly, Roy! She looks just like Marilyn Monroe!", said Minnie-May.

"Maybe, but I warn you & Rally, Minnie-May - don't let the Hollywood glamour of her features fool you", Roy says. "Beneath her goddess-like appearance hides her true colors, & believe me, they aren't pretty. Her name is Siobhan Dallin: born in London, she moved to the United States with her parents, both now deceased, when she was five. During her school years when she was 14, she got into a great deal of fights with classmates as they highly bullied her constantly, eventually ending up killing many of her tormentors by using a straight shaving razor, slicing their throats, branding her the nickname 'Razorblade'. From that point on, she was sent to juvenile hall for the remainder of her school years. Released years later, she began her criminal career as a delivery girl, from illegal drugs to firearms, as long as the pay suited her. She then ups her personal ante by turning into a professional killer for hire. Although she has used firearms on some jobs, she prefers the more direct approach by killing her targets up close & personal using a straight shaving razor, hence her nickname, usually going for & cutting the throats of her victims. She's also very adept at hand-to-hand combat. And here's the part which concerns you, Rally: a year ago, she was caught by a lone officer & sent to prison. One guess as to who that officer was." Roy paused briefly as Rally looked at RoboCop, who nods before he goes on. "A lawyer of hers, however, had gone & posted her bail, but here's the clinker of it: they discovered that her bail money was counterfeit, & by the time they figured that out, she simply vanished as if into thin air, resurfacing only a few months ago shortly after the urban renewal program in Detroit."

RoboCop picks up where Detective Coleman left off.

"The other day, Siobhan made contact with a small-time felon named Weazel to steal something from the abandoned OCP building. I picked up on the chase as he was fleeing the scene, ambushing me in Delray before meeting Siobhan at the old plant in River Rouge. By the time I arrived, she had fled herself with what Weazel had stolen, but not before cutting his throat open with her trademark weapon. Following the leads Dr. Lazarus & I conjured up, we tracked her here to Chicago. We still have no idea what it was he stole from OCP just yet."

"But we do know that Siobhan has it, & that she's here in the Windy City", concluded Marie.

"And you want us to assist you, huh?", Minnie-May asks, smiling. "Well, you two came to the right people! Felons who skip on their bail is our main objective as bounty hunters!"

"Minnie-May speaks tried & true!", Rally adds with pride. "Besides, who can even begin to refuse working with the one & only RoboCop, hmm?"

Robo & Marie look at each other, then back at the girls.

"You'd be surprised", they both say with Marie grinning, stunning both bounty hunters. Even Roy had to fight from bursting out loud, barely able to before fixing his composure.

"Actually ladies, Robo here more or less insisted on partnering up with you", he says. "Because along with your unparalleled skills in guns & explosives, you both know the area well as they're totally unfamiliar with it, being from Detroit & all. With you two acting as both their guides and crime-fighting partners, we should have Siobhan Dallin found & in custody long before things can get too hairy. Afterwards, we can…what the hell is that?"

A scramble of noise occurs outside Roy's office, & all turn towards the door as it flies open to reveal a young woman in her mid to late 20s with long dark brown hair that touches her shoulders, wearing a tan dress & matching shoes. Blue eyes were concealed behind a pair of shades similar to the ones ex-Beatle John Lennon wore, & in her hands was a rather expensive-looking news camera. She closes the door as all eyes were on her.

"Excuse me miss, but…who in the hell are you?", Roy asked unhappily with the sudden intrusion.

"Jamie Gantz, freelance reporter! You may have seen my work in the Chicago Tribune, among other places!", the woman said in a slight British accent, raising her camera & pointing it directly at RoboCop from the chest up & zooming in on his head. "So, my sources were true like always: the self-proclaimed 'Future of Law Enforcement' from Detroit comes to Chicago! Tell me, RoboCop: what brings you from the city where the Motown sound was born to that of right here in Chi-town, hmm?"

"He, uh, has no comment at this time", Marie intervenes as Roy gets out from behind his desk.

"Look, Miss Gantz!", Roy said, clearly annoyed. "I don't know how you got past all my other officers, but we're in the middle of a very important police investigation right now, & have no time to talk to you media types! Now then, unless you want your ass to be placed in a cell for deliberate interference, I suggest you clear out of here immediately & let us work!"

"Hey, no need to get yourself in an uproar, Detective Coleman!", Jamie Gantz says in an easygoing tone as she lowers her camera & heads for the door. "I'll just try my luck with him at another time! Ciao!"

Opening the door, she exits as she allows herself to be taken out by the officers waiting there for her. Roy closes it & gets back down in his chair.

"Damn vultures!", he mutters under his breath.

RoboCop was staring at the door & beyond it as police escort Jamie Gantz out of the precinct. He couldn't figure it out yet, but something about her made him suspicious. He may not be much of a boob tube kind of person, but he knows who Jamie is & can also tell when someone with Gantz's reputation is just not right.

So why is that, he wonders? Even he can't say, in spite of all his on-built resources.

The three ladies notice him staring at & through Roy's office.

"Hey Robo, are you okay?", asked Minnie-May. "Is something the matter?"

"It's…nothing, Minnie-May", RoboCop says, starting to make his way for the door. "We ought to get going, ladies. Somewhere out there lies a killer at large. Let's go bring her in."

"Better get a move-on, girls", Marie tells them as Robo exits the office. "I've seen him like this hundreds of times. Once he gets it in his mind to do a job, he does it even if it'll take him days on end."

"Just like us, huh, Rally?", Minnie-May asks with a pleasant smile as Rally rolls her eyes & speaks in a sarcastic voice. "Whatever, Minnie-May! Let's just go!"

Roy stops the two bounty hunter girls before they can take off.

"Be really careful, ladies", he warns. "Siobhan's the best at what she does & she loves her work…especially as a killer!"

"Gotcha Roy! But then, so are we!", Rally says with a small smile.

"Bye Roy!", Minnie-May says sweetly as they exit his office with Marie as they hurry to catch up with RoboCop, leaving Roy Coleman alone. The detective watches them go & mentally wished them all luck, not that 'Pistol-Packing' Rally Vincent & 'Grenade-Happy' Minnie-May Hopkins needed it: they'd gone up against adversaries who were just as dangerous as Razorblade & came out (mostly) unscathed, in spite of their young age. Those two are the best at what they do, even if they sometimes go to extreme measures to accomplish their mission. And now, they get partnered up with RoboCop himself to track down a killer whose evaded capture for a few months now. How did this fatal female elude authorities this far? What's more, how did she elude RoboCop himself, Detroit's top officer, & land herself here in the Windy City? And the most important question on their minds: what was stolen from the now-defunct OCP building? What could it possibly benefit?

Too many questions, & not nearly enough answers.

Looking at Siobhan's files, Roy begins to wonder if this will be an open-&-shut case.

But somehow, he doubts it.

8:00 p.m., at an abandoned warehouse:

The cover of night helped Siobhan stroll up to & enter the place with ease, with hardly a soul in sight, leaving her green Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R motorcycle near the front door. Dressed in the same color jacket & helmet, she removes the latter to adjust to the darkness of the interior of the warehouse. The only illumination within was at a single lamp that hung overhead, shining a square table with a man in a white lab coat, receding hairline & thin-rimmed glasses. Even in darkness, Siobhan can tell that he was sweating, clearly nervous about meeting her. As she got closer to the table & him, she sees a stack of money placed in the center. When she read the amount of $50,000, she whistled.

"I see your boss knows how to reward good service like he always does, doctor", she says with a smile, one that made the man even more nervous.

"M-My employer knows just how to find it, M-Miss Dallin", the man says, fighting to keep his composure. "I-It's one of his…natural traits, if you will."

"Indeed, doctor", Siobhan says, placing a disc on the table next to the money, the latter of which she scoops up as the doctor takes the disc itself & pockets it. "Your boss is one of many great talents. Very much like myself, in fact. It's why he highly appeals to me, & vice versa."

"M-Much obliged, Miss Dallin", said the doctor as Siobhan begins to stroll away, getting covered in darkness again. "A-A pleasure in doing business with you."

"Likewise, doctor", she says over her shoulder. "Please be so kind to tell your boss I'll be seeing him again very soon."

"N-No problem. Be safe out there, Miss Dallin", the doctor says, but Siobhan was hardly listening as she exited the area with the sound of the door opening & closing. Wanting to get as far away from the place (& her) as possible, the doctor left himself, being faster about it than she was.

9:00 p.m.:

The doctor returned to his office as fast as he could, being as anxious to read what was on the disc which Siobhan handed to him as anyone. His computer was the only light in the place as he studies the disc's contents in every detail, becoming highly fascinated & intrigued the more he processes the information. A man covered in the darkness of his office stood watch over him, studying the screen & its contents along with the doctor. He leans in closer to his employee but remains in shadow.

"Well doctor, what do you make of it all?", he asks him.

"Unbelievable, sir!", the doctor replied with excitement in his voice. "This is circuitry that is way beyond anything that's ever been done before! A few years ago, if you or anyone else told me about this kind of electronic circuitry, I never would've believed any of it! But now? Oh my god - this is a technician's dream come true!"

The man in shadow chuckles slightly.

"And if all goes well, doctor, all of our dreams will come true with vast benefits!", he said. "So…can this circuitry be adapted to our models? And if so, how long would it take our staff to accomplish this feat?"

The doctor answered him without taking his eyes off the monitor.

"Well sir, if we work around the clock, we can have them adapted & inserted into your modules in about 24 hours time. It won't even cost a bundle either."

"Money's no object to me, doctor. Have your staff get ready for work in fifteen minutes. I want shifts of 12 hours for each group. If you need anything, call me right away & I'll get it for you within the hour."

"Yes sir!", the doctor says happily, getting on his phone & dialing numbers.

It was going to be an extensive, exhaustive twenty-four hours, but the doctor didn't care.

Like his boss, he knew the results would be worth all the hard labor to come.

Admiral Theatre, 10:00 p.m.:

For hours, the two Gunsmith Cats & RoboCop have went from place to place in search for any info that might help them find their main target. They've checked slums, notorious bars, & every other place they thought of to get a solid lead on their quarry. So far, they've come up empty & received nothing but shock & contempt for harassing & prying them for info they never had to begin with. Some even tried to put up a fight by drawing their guns on the two ladies, but Rally, Minnie-May & RoboCop all put the brakes to that notion by firing first & fast.

Sometimes, they didn't even had to shoot at all, as their appearances were intimidating enough.

It wasn't bad exercise, but it wasn't getting them anywhere - and fast.

Then Marie Lazarus, who remained behind at her & Robo's temporary housing area, came up with an idea that got them rolling: she checked on the computer for all the people in which Siobhan had ever done business with. She hit pay dirt almost immediately, as a name came up on her files of one Lawrence White, an African-American who had once been associated with their suspect years ago who got sent to prison for six years. Upon release, he arrived at the Admiral Theatre Gentleman's Club as a doorman until eventually working up to manager & owner of the place.

And that is where they went to straight away in Rally's Shelby GT 500 Cobra Mustang, a powerhouse of a car that was blue in color with twin white stripes running down the top from end to end. Its license plate number was stated as 'Illinois BRD 529'.

Parking her Cobra Mustang, Rally, Minnie-May & RoboCop all exited the vehicle & went inside, the 1990s song 'I'm Too Sexy' by artist Right Said Fred being heard even before entering. Passing the Front Hall & Gallery, they walk down the Hallway of Fame, filled with pictures of the girls who work there, the music being close to deafening. The trio walked into the Main Showroom Floor, where a duo of girls in only thin bikinis were working the crowd up with hot moves on stage, moving in rhythm of the music now playing. Rally & RoboCop were all but indifferent to their surroundings, while Minnie-May was discreetly getting into the groove. When the song ended, next that came up was 'Baby Got Back' by artist Sir Mix-A-Lot, also from the early 1990s. Hearing the intro, Minnie-May started stripping her clothing off until she was down to her own bikini, being almost as naked as the girls on stage.

"Ooooh, I just simply adore this song! Rally, Robo, I think you two can manage on your own! If you'll pardon me a while!", Minnie-May said, rushing to the stage.

"Minnie-May…", Robo started to say until Rally intervened.

"Don't worry, tin man! Minnie-May's got this one covered!", she tells him with a smile. As RoboCop watches Rally's partner join the other girls on stage, she urges them to 'get it on' as the song goes all-out after the slow opening. Shaking her ass in unison with her 'partners', the bomb expert gets the crowd in a real uproar as they shout & cheer louder than before, enjoying what the stage is now offering, official or not.

You go, girl!, Rally thought, turning to RoboCop.

"See? What'd I tell you?", she tells him.

"You're right, Rally", he replied, seeing the plan. "She can help to keep the crowd off us while we search for our quarry."

That's when a club employee comes up to them.

"Excuse me miss, but your friend can't just go on stage from out of the blue like that!", he said. "I'm afraid I'll have to ask you both to go!"

Robo them stares down at him, & he becomes timid.

"I'm giving her authorization", he told him. "We're here on business! Is Lawrence White here? We need to speak to him!"

"H-He's just over in the VIP Private Dance Booths! You can't miss him!", the man said with a sheepish smile, pointing in its direction as RoboCop turns towards it.

"Thank you", he says as he & Rally head for the VIP area, a sign hanging saying 'Do Not Enter'. As they enter, they were met by a lone guard with a great muscle tone dressed in black. Seeing the two unauthorized personell, he steps in & tries to escort them out.

"H-Hey! You can't be back here right now! This is a private session! Can't the two of you read?", he fumed.

Neither Rally nor RoboCop were intimidated.

"Back off, buddy!", Rally snapped. "I'm Rally Vincent with RoboCop! We need to see Mr. White on some urgent business…now!"

"Look, missy, I don't give a shit if you're Little Bo Peep who lost her fucking sheep, or if he's the Tin Man on his way to OZ to get his heart! Now get the fuck out of here before I call the goddamn police!"

That's when Rally & RoboCop shove their guns in his face. The man's rough demeanor drops like a ton of bricks.

"Does Little Bo Peep carry a fucking CZ-75 on her person, buddy?", Rally barked.

"Or the Tin Man with an Auto-9?", RoboCop added. "In case you aren't aware, citizen, I am the police! Now…Lawrence White! Where?"

That's when said man - a man in his early 40s with a bald head dressed in dark attire - walks out of his booth with an African-American girl with exposed balloon-sized breasts at his side.

"Hey Jerry, who the hell are you talking to out…", Lawrence started to say before shutting up. He & his date were staring wide-eyes at the two armed individuals, one young Indian girl, the other a metal man, who now turn their attention towards him as Jerry swiftly exits, wanting to be far away from the gunslingers as he could be.

"Please vacate the booths, young lady. We have business with this man", RoboCop says as he & Rally holster their firearms. The semi-naked woman was more than willing to oblige: all she took was her bra & pocketbook & headed out, leaving Lawrence alone with his 'new buds'.

"W-What do you two want with me?", Lawrence asked nervously.

"Just a moment of your time, Larry!", Rally says as she & Robo stroll up towards him. "We've been told that Siobhan 'Razorblade' Dallin was in town, & having been associated with her in the past, we believe you might know where she's currently residing at! Now, you wouldn't happen to know - would you, Larry?"

"H-Hey man, I don't want nothing to do with that crazy hoe anymore!", he says, holding up his hands as if surrendering. "After getting my ass busted for being in cahoots with her for running drugs & shit, all I wanted was to go serve my time, get out, & start my life afresh! That's why I moved from Detroit to here - to help to erase my checkered past…including my ties with that psycho slut! Surely the old phrase 'Forgive & forget' still has meaning, right?"

Using his scanners, a display comes up on RoboCop's screen & reads the following:

Truth probability: 99.9%

He & Rally face each other as Robo nods before they turn back to Lawrence again.

"A good citizen always tells the truth…yes?", RoboCop asks him, getting quick nods from Larry. The crime-fighting duo turn to leave as Robo makes one final statement. "Thank you for your cooperation! Good night!"

Relieved they were gone, Larry looks down at himself & is upset that his good mood (and his erection!) was all but spoiled, cursing to himself.

Exiting the VIP booths, 'Baby Got Back' had all but ended & replaced by 'Super Freak' by the late Rick James. By now, Minnie-May was getting intimate with a few of the patrons at their tables, giving them quick lap dances & rubbing her breasts in their faces. Rally shook her head in sympathy; she knows that her literally explosive partner can get more than a little carried away at times.

You're too much, Minnie-May!, she thought with a smile.

"Hey you two!", the same employee who showed them the VIP rooms ran up to Rally & Robo, a grin of satisfaction on his face. "I don't know where you found that little blonde bimbo, but she's sure giving tonight's crowd their money's worth, & then some! Tell me: is she for hire? I'm sure I can convince Mr. White to get her a spot among our other girls! She'll make a big fortune here! Whaddya say?"

Rally was stunned: before, this guy told them Minnie-May wasn't allowed to be on stage, & now this dumbass wants to know if they can actually hire her? She didn't know whether to shoot or slap the stupid son of a bitch.

Who knows? She just might want to do both.

"Sorry bud, but I'm afraid Minnie-May's already presently associated with something else, thank you very much!", she says instead, trying her best to sound nonchalant. "In fact, we're late for another appointment, so we'll just simply collect our friend & be on our…huh?"

RoboCop gently puts an arm in front of her, a smirk on his face.

"Let's let Minnie-May finish out this song first", he says. "She's earned it."

Hearing the veracity of the situation, Rally sighs & faces the man again.

"Tell you what. We'll…sleep on it", she says with a small smile as the man's grows even bigger & trots away like a kid in a candy store.

Oh what a night this is gonna be!, she thought.

She & Robo watched as Minnie-May continued to give the crowd what they paid for.

CHAPTER III

Clark Park, 35 hours later:

After the not-so-good success at the Admiral Theatre Gentleman's Club, the trio headed out into the city again for more leads, tracking down anyone in the Windy City who might have had even the slightest contact with their quarry Siobhan Dallin, aka Razorblade. RoboCop had insisted on doing so without the girls, & asked his two young female partners to call it a night for some sleep & continue in the daylight hours. The cyborg cop kept his search going, riding with officers on late evening-early morning hours before hooking up with the two Gunsmith Cats as morning broke. During the day before, Rally & Minnie-May assisted Robo & picked up their search together again & into the night, but as with the previous evening, they were uneventful. All they did manage to do was foil several attempts at kidnapping, robberies, car thefts, & even a standoff with a man & his family after a domestic dispute which left the wife & kids unharmed & the father taken into custody once RoboCop placed a well-aimed bullet to the guy's hand & made him drop his weapon.

Even if these events weren't what he & the girls were on assignment for, they could never ignore their duty despite the cyborg cop being on foreign soil of sorts.

Pleased with the results as they were, they were no closer to finding Siobhan than before.

And now, as Rally drove around in her Cobra Mustang with Minnie-May & Marie Lazarus riding in the back seats with RoboCop in the front passenger seat, they drive down Clark Park on West Jackson Boulevard, heading east.

"This is nuts!", Rally beamed. "Two whole nights & a full day of searching the city for this psycho slut, & what do we come up with? Goose eggs! And we haven't even searched half of all Chicago yet!"

"Well, for one thing, Rally, Chicago is a larger city than Detroit, last I heard", Minnie-May says, trying to put her at ease. "And that's not even counting the suburbs either."

"Perhaps, Minnie-May, but we should have found some trace of her by now", Rally says with a sigh. "I still find it hard to believe that Siobhan slipped right through your fingers, Robo. I mean, how could anyone escape from the long, metallic arm of the law like that? No offense, of course."

"None taken, Rally Vincent. It happens", the cyborg cop said evenly. "She's far from the first to have evaded my grip, believe it or not."

"That's because, more often than not, he's forced to put them under the earth. Right?", Marie says as a joke, grinning & chuckling slightly.

"That's pretty funny, Dr. Lazarus!", Minnie-May says, smiling. Even Rally had to grin at her remark.

"Your sense of humor has improved since last time, Marie", RoboCop says, getting small laughs from all three girls. Frustrated as they were from not finding their target, they admit it felt good to have a laugh just now.

"Excuse me, ladies", RoboCop says, holding a hand up for silence. "I'm receiving an incoming transmission."

Everyone stayed silent as the cyborg cop listens in on the police band in his head, digesting every detail he hears. After 20 seconds, he puts his hand down & relays the message to his three cohorts.

"What is it, Robo? What did you hear?", Minnie-May wondered.

"A robbery over at the H. Horwitz Co. Jewelers on N. Michigan Avenue", he says. "Four Hispanic males stormed the place & stole over $100,000 in jewelery only twenty minutes ago. Before leaving, they had taken a female employee hostage & took off in a stolen van, brown in color. Reports say they were last seen heading south on South Hamlin Boulevard."

"Holy shit!", Rally exclaimed. "Did you just say…South Hamlin Boulevard?"

"I did."

"Rally, we're heading for that right now!", Minnie-May said. "Even if it has nothing to do with finding Siobhan…"

As luck would have it, the stolen getaway van in the report suddenly zips by, its speed over 90 mph with police cars sounding their sirens in the distance.

"Shit! There it is!", Marie snapped, pointing forward.

"I see it, Marie! Hold tight, everyone! We're about to burn rubber!", Rally says, shifting gears on her Cobra Mustang & pressing her foot on the car's accelerator. Tires literally screech across asphalt as the Cobra races off after the fleeing van, turning right on S. Hamlin in five seconds, the engine roaring like a giant meat-eating dinosaur. From behind them both, a dozen patrol cars race to catch up to the fleeing suspects as they race for & over the South Independence Boulevard Bridge & make a sharp left on West Harrison Street. Moments later, they were on the Dwight D. Eisenhower Expressway & pick up even more speed, with Rally's Cobra Mustang & the dozen patrol cars all stay hot on the van's trail as unsuspecting motorists veer out of their way as fast as they can. With speeds in excess of 100 mph, the chase becomes more hazardous.

"Damn! The longer this chase goes on the freeway, the more those innocent drivers are in danger!", Rally says. "We'd better get them off & onto better grounds!"

"I agree, Rally Vincent!", RoboCop says, drawing his gun from his right leg. "Get us a little closer to them, & I shall convince these creeps to take it elsewhere!"

"You & me both, pal!", Rally said, drawing her CZ-75 handgun with one hand & keeping her other on the wheel. In the back, Minnie-May & Marie Lazarus do their best not to lose their lunch from Rally's driving.

Rally gets her Mustang at about fifteen feet from the fleeing van as RoboCop now uses his thermograph to peer inside the van's interior: as he suspected, four male perpetrators were inside with a female who was being held at gunpoint by the driver himself. The other three were armed as well, all with automatic weapons resting in their hands. All seem to be no more than nineteen or even twenty years of age, thinking a career in crime will get them far.

Let's see if we can convince them to change their minds about their poor career choice!, RoboCop said to himself, aiming his right arm & gun out the passenger side window as Rally does the same on her side out the left. As one, both cyborg cop & young bounty hunter fire off a few rounds which strike the back of the getaway van as Rally's bullets ricochet off the vehicle, while Robo's pierce the metal & inside, hitting the floor between the three in back & barely missing them. Taking a peek out the window, one of the suspects - a boy by the name of Emilio - is shocked to see who was chasing/firing upon them.

"Hey Cortez!", he shouts to the driver, who still has his gun at the hostage as he drives. "We got some crazy bitch & her friend firing at us!"

"Who'd be stupid enough to do that?", Cortez shouted back.

"It's that crazy bounty hunter bitch Rally Vincent - and RoboCop!", he replied.

"RoboCop?", the other two - Pedro & Enrique - said together, worried.

"What's the metal policia officer doing here, in Chicago?", Enrique wondered.

"Whatever the reason, effendi, it's bad!", Pedro said. "Maybe we should turn ourselves in! There ain't no escaping the robot cop, let alone that bounty hunter bitch!"

"Shut up, the both of you!", Cortez shouted back. "As long as we got this senorita bitch as our insurance, they ain't gonna touch us! Now lay down some cover fire back there!"

With their M-60 Machine Gun, Mac-10 Rifle & Pancor Assault Shotgun in hand, the trio of felons let loose with automatic fire out the shattered rear windows & pepper the road before Rally's Cobra Mustang & her car itself with bullets. Rally had seconds to dodge the oncoming barrage as Marie & Minnie-May duck down behind their seats to avoid getting hit. Only a few rounds went into the hood of her prized possession, doing no damage. The gang fire off several shots more from their guns, hitting asphalt & a few civilian cars, leaving bullet holes in their sides.

"Sonsabitches!", Rally spat, getting her car steady again.

"Rally Vincent, we'd better back off a bit", RoboCop suggests, withdrawing his arm back inside. "Another stray volley might hit innocent motorists, & the last thing we want is a major pile-up on the freeway with high casualties."

Sighing disappointingly, Rally nods.

"You're right, Robo. We don't want that", she said, putting her gun away. "Let's tail them for now & see where they take us!"

"That's the wise thing to do. We can get a better chance if this is taken on city streets."

Letdown as it is for her, Rally knew RoboCop was right: there was no use in getting into a gunfight on the freeway when one was surrounded by innocent motorists in all directions. All she & the others can do now is follow them & wait for the appropriate time to take them out & down. But just because the suspects have stopped firing when they did, they were no less reckless in their driving as their speed remained high over 100 mph, weaving in & out of traffic & at times getting a bit too close to other motorists, their horns blaring. In spite of the crazy driving they were doing, Rally & company kept to them like hunter dogs on the trail of a fox, as were the dozen police cruisers right behind them. Their flight down the expressway continued until they reached the West Congress Parkway, easing up on the gas only long enough to make the right turn onto it before speeding up again, heading south & turning left on West Harrison Street. Like glue, Rally stuck by every inch of the way & was now pleased the felons took this path.

"A-ha! They just made a big mistake, coming on this road!", she says, readying her gun again along with RoboCop. "With traffic & civilians in less abundance than before, we can take them down with little to no opposition!"

"Agreed", RoboCop said. "Let us wait until after they get over the bridge before taking any action against them."

Rally nodded & follow the van over the lake as the getaway vehicle heads over towards Saint Financial Place. Their path now had very few civilian traffic or even pedestrians upon the street, & they couldn't have asked for better even though the van had a distance of fifty feet.

"Ready, tin man?", Rally asked him, her gun at the ready.

"Yes", he replied. "When I say, Vincent. On three. One…two…"

That's when something - two somethings - suddenly appeared from behind the building on Saint Financial Place.

The things were both mechanical monstrosities, standing between ten to twelve feet tall, with rounded torsos that were suspended upon a pair of thick, hydraulic metal legs with four metal 'toes' on each foot. On each side of their bodies were a pair of pontoon-like 'arms' which were equipped with powerful 20-millimeter cannons right below the wrists. Also mounted on the arms were small but effective rocket launchers just underneath each one. Everyone from both Rally's Mustang and the getaway van were taken by surprise by the new arrivals.

The new robots were all but too familiar, mostly to Marie & RoboCop himself.

What the hell? ED-209s? Here, in Chicago?, Marie thought in shock.

"What the FUCK?", both Rally & Cortez bark. In the split-second it took Rally to put the brakes on her car, one of the ED-209s fired a pair of rounds from its right cannon at the front right tire of the van, popping it like a giant balloon as the rubber flies off & the vehicle now rides on a bare rim, scraping the asphalt & sending sparks flying. Forcing to use both hands, Cortez fights to get control of his getaway vehicle, but it was too little, too late: losing control, the van rams into the light post headfirst, causing it to bend & land on the roof, crushing it a few feet & shattering the windshield. The ED-209s stood only twenty feet away from the totaled van as its occupants began exiting, hands on their weapons still but were too rattled & jittery from the crash to use them.

"You creeps from the stolen van! Release your hostage, drop your weapons & surrender yourselves immediately! You have fifteen seconds to comply!", both ED-209s say demandingly.

Only Cortez & his hostage, who had their seat belts on, were not too shook up from the sudden stop. Getting out from the passenger's side door, Cortez holds the woman in front of him & places his gun beneath her chin, facing the Enforcement Droids.

"Fuck you, you walking 'Star Wars' rejects!", Cortez shouted. "Me & my hostage here are going to walk away from this whole mess, nice & easy!"

"That isn't going to happen, creep!", one of the ED-209s said.

"Oh yes it is! Unless you want to see this bitch's brains splattered all over the concrete, all you're gonna do is stand there like you're made of stone while I conjure up a ride & blow this fucking popsicle stand! Understand?"

A click of his gun - a six-shot .44 Magnum Caliber - made the woman close her eyes with tears flowing out of them. She knows that kind of handgun can blow a person's head clean off their shoulders with one shot. Behind them in Rally's Mustang, RoboCop aims his gun at the back of Cortez's head with his targeting system, ready to splatter his brains before he can waste his hostage.

It was one of the ED-209s that made the first move.

A loud round from its left muzzle shoots out & strikes Cortez square in the right shoulder which blows off half of it. The gunmam lets out a bellow of anguish as fresh blood spurts out as if a sink faucet were left on. Both he & his gun drop to the ground as the female runs off for safety, her right side spattered in his blood as Cortez continues crying out in pain, laying in a pool of his own blood as half his shoulder is gone, the bones, muscles & joint clearly visible.

Like Rally & company, the rest of Cortez's gang couldn't believe their eyes.

Roaring like enraged dinosaurs, the ED-209s now aim their weapons at the other three gang members.

"Would any of you creeps like to try their luck?", one of them says in a threatening voice.

All three shake their heads in rapid succession.

"We didn't think so! Now drop your weapons & hit the ground on your stomachs, creeps! NOW!", the other ED-209 roared.

Too scared shitless to resist (& one even pissing his pants!), they all do as they've been instructed in a heartbeat even as Cortez kept bellowing in pain, grabbing what remained of his shoulder.

Back at Rally's Mustang, eleven of the twelve police cars zoom past as one pulls over to the curb. Detective Roy Coleman steps out of the passenger's side & strolls right up to Rally & company. It took a moment for her or anyone in the Mustang to take notice of the detective's presence as seeing the twin ED-209s made them feel as what they've just witnessed is all but a bad dream. What they're viewing can't possibly be happening for real.

"Hey kids! Everyone okay in here?", Roy asked the Mustang's occupants.

"We are fine, Detective Coleman", RoboCop said.

"Roy, are we dreaming, or did we just witness two ED-209s blow away a guy's shoulder & make the arrest of his friends?", Minnie-May asks, bewildered.

"Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Minnie-May, but no - none of you are dreaming!", Roy said. "Paxton Silverman, owner of the billion-dollar company Silverman Robotix, has had all the ED-209s revamped & out on patrol again! He's had his display going on since 8:00 this morning!"

"How can that even be, Roy?", Rally wondered. "From what I understand, all the ED-209 units were pulled off the streets & mothballed by OCP because of their irrational & unpredictable behavior even before its collapse!"

"Mostly that's true, Rally", Marie said. "Only a very few were left out, mainly for private use or for someone's personal collection. How they can be placed back on the streets like this…I just don't get it! What the hell is going on?"

"Only part of your story is true, Dr. Lazarus", Roy fills her in. "The ED-209s have been mostly recalled by OCP & placed in storage. But I recently learned this morning that Paxton had went & discreetly bought all the units for his company, sometime right after OCP went belly-up & collapsed. He kept a very tight lid on the whole matter up until now. As to how he was able to get them back patrolling the streets…I have absolutely no idea!"

"So Paxton succeds where that rat Dick Jones failed, huh?", Rally asks.

"As far as I can tell, Rally…yes he did."

"Dick Jones? I seem to recall the name, Rally", Minnie-May said. "Wasn't he one of…"

RoboCop picks up on Minnie-May's thoughts.

"One of the top executives at OCP who first introduced the ED-209 unit. Unfortunately, its first test run resulted in the death of one of their own, & Jones was mostly disgraced for it. When Bob Morton, the exec who built & created me, won the title of Vice President at OCP, Jones had him murdered at his apartment by crime kingpin Clarence J. Boddicker, whom he was secretly in cahoots with. He also tried to have me killed as well with his ED-209 unit, & nearly succeeded in doing so. When I presented indisputable evidence to the OCP Chairman, the Old Man himself, of Mr. Morton's death at his hands, he helped me in dealing with Jones once & for all."

"I remember", Rally said. "You shot him full of holes in the boardroom & he fell through a window, plummeting to his death at about 151 stories down."

"Yes, Rally. I was able to do so after the Old Man wisely fired Jones, placing him out of my now-extinct Directive 4 order which kept him safe from me before."

"Much as it pains me to say it, it looks like Dick Jones' fondest dream came true, even from beyone the grave", Minnie-May said grimly.

"Looks like it, Minnie-May", Marie said, facing Detective Coleman. "Roy, do you know where Paxton Silverman is now?"

"Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain", Roy answered. "He's got a whole display of the new ED-209 units placed there. He's been setting up his show since before the sun even rose."

"Well then…what say we all go down & check out this show Mr. Silverman's got on?", Marie suggests.

"Excellent idea, Marie", Rally said. "I'd like to have a few words with the man."

"That goes for us all, Rally. This whole ED-209 resurgence smells as bad as the crude oil they probably run on."

"Agreed, Marie", said RoboCop. "Siobhan will have to wait for now, temporarily. Can we trouble you in coming with us, Detective Coleman?"

"Of course, RoboCop. I'll take lead. Follow me, Rally", Roy said, heading back to his car & getting in the passenger's side. As the other officers & two ED-209s handle the four suspects & female hostage, Roy Coleman & Rally's group head off for their next stop.

Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain.

Grant Park, Buckingham Fountain, five minutes later:

Roy & Rally's vehicles were parked on South Columbus Drive, right across the street from their destination. Dedicated in 1927 by Kate Buckingham & considered to be hailed as Chicago's front door, it is one of the largest fountains in the world & another popular tourist attraction for both residents & visitors. Numerous festivities get held at Chicago's landmark, & today is clearly no exception: a large circled podium measuring the circumference of the fountain itself was placed all around it, with four large balloon arches of red, white & blue balloons facing exactly north, south, east & west of the city. In each corner of these arches was a large monitor - each one made of smaller ones - which measured 20 feet high & 30 feet wide. These monitors just completed in replaying the foiled attempt of the robbery of H. Horwitz Jewelers that ended with twin ED-209s disabling the getaway van & literally the driver as law officers move in for the arrests…and an ambulance. On the 6-foot-high podium stood several ED-209 units at each end of the monitors & in between the balloon arches. Paxton Silverman, dressed in a baby blue business suit, shoes & tie with white undershirt, was addressing the large crowd from all around, speaking into a microphone from four fine-tuned speakers.

"And that, ladies & gentlemen, was the scene over at Saint Financial Place from only five minutes ago!", Paxton proudly announces, a big smile on his face. "A quartet of hoodlums who mistakenly believed that crime pays in this town get their just desserts from our new & improved ED-209 units, taking zero tolerance from those who think that laws are only words & no action! Well, my good people, as the old saying goes, 'Actions speak louder than words'! And that is precisely what these new units are out there to prove to any & all who have the utmost contempt for society's laws, putting innocent, law-abiding citizens in the gravest of dangers, ranging from a drunken husband beating his wife to acts of terrorism! For too long, Chicago has suffered from crime figures that seemingly grow way out of proportions on occasion! Well, I think I speak for one & all when I say, 'No more'! These new ED-209 units will be placed all over the Windy City & stand guard to keep their ever-alert sensors for any hints of wrongdoing in our beloved town! And Chicago will be only the beginning, everyone: after a successful tour here, these ED-209s shall be placed in every major American city coast to coast, ranging from gang-related-shooting Los Angeles to the perilous streets of the Big Apple itself, New York City! Ever vigilant & never needing to sleep or stop for donuts, these ED-209s will make the streets tons safer for you, your families, your friends, & especially for the children, as they are our future! And the future is where we're heading for, beginning right here in Chicago!"

The crowd of civilians & reporters create an uproar of applause from all around the circled podium as Rally, Robocop & company watch from afar at the park's edge. With RoboCop taking lead, the group start making their way towards the podium as startled onlookers turn to face the cyborg cop, some with awe & others in confusion. Their arrival did not go unnoticed by Paxton, & he keeps both his composure & smile as they get closer.

"And, lo & behold, as a totally unexpected but welcome surprise to this fine gathering, we have with us today some very special guests!", he says with pride. "Good people of the Windy City, let's give a warm greeting to Detroit's own Robocop & Chicago's very own Gunsmith Cats, Rally Vincent & Minnie-May Hopkins! Come on up & say hello to the crowd, you three!"

The area gives another round of boisterous applause as said three made their way up the podium by a small staircase that jutted out from underneath. Roy Coleman & Marie Lazarus both remained at the bottom while Rally, Minnie-May & RoboCop reached the top. While Minnie-May was soaking in the attention as she smiles & waves to the crowd, Rally was the opposite.

Oh, this is real embarrassing!, she thought with a weak smile as RoboCop was all but still & quiet, indifferent to it all as Paxton approaches them.

"Rally Vincent, Minnie-May Hopkins & RoboCop…welcome to this fine presentation of mine!", he says happily. "This is quite a surprise, as even I never surmised your arrival! But now that you are here, care to tell me & the crowd in your own words about your thoughts of the ED-209's resurgence?"

Paxton places his microphone close to the two Gunsmith Cats' mouths. It was Rally who spoke first.

"Well Paxton, I guess I should say that their reappearance came as much a surprise to me & my partner as yours was of our arrival here today, especially since OCP discarded these metal monsters a long time ago."

"Yeah Paxton", Minnie-May steps in. "How is it that they won't go berserk like they did all those other times before? Just what did you do to give them a second life out on the streets?"

"Fair questions & good points, ladies", Paxton said, nodding. "I won't exactly go into the details as to how we fixed them up, but what I will say is that, like I said in an interview for Media Break three days prior to today, Silverman Robotix had spared no expense in getting these beauties properly patched up with all the bugs removed & functioning on a moderate level. The odds of them going crazy like they did in the past are next to nil, so the good citizens of Chicago, & soon across the nation, will have no worries of a major malfunction. They've got more than enough on their plate already to be concerned about robots going on a rampage like they do in the movies. Soon, people everywhere will never have to be afraid to venture out into the night & be attacked out of nowhere! This time, it's the criminal element itself that will be too scared to be doing that, what with these babies on patrol 24/7! From now on, let them feel the trepidation they give citizens whenever the sun goes down! Let's see how they'll like it instead!"

A roar of cheers from Paxton's words fill the air as he takes a friendly bow with a huge grin. "And now, let's get a word in from Detroit's top police officer!", he says, going past Rally & Minnie-May over to Robocop. "So tell the audience, RoboCop…what are your thoughts about having the ED-209 units reinstated & back on patrol?"

He places his mike to the cyborg cop's mouth.

"I am sorry. I have…no comment at this time", he says before turning around & heading back towards the steps with Rally & Minnie-May following behind. Paxton faces the crowd with a sympathetic look & smile on his face.

"You know, folks? I think somebody here is a wee bit jealous!", he says in a playful tone as the audience lets out a laugh as Paxton flashes his shiny white teeth. As Robocop & the two girls head for the stairs, an ED-209 does a salute with one of its large pontoon-like arms as they approach.

"RoboCop, Rally Vincent, Minnie-May Hopkins, it will be quite an honor to patrol & fight alongside the three of you" it said. The trio look at it like it was an awful B-movie, making no attempt to conceal their utter contempt for the mechanical creature. RoboCop has no love for the ED-209 units ever since renegade OCP exec Dick Jones used one to try & destroy him after his botched attempt to arrest the man for aiding & abetting Clarence Boddicker, the criminal genius who blasted him to 'death' in his previous life as a flesh-&-blood human being. And while they have had no past experience with them, Rally & Minnie-May have even less love for the ED-209s, having read reports of them from the news on TV & in the papers.

Without a word, they look away & start descending the stairs, but it still didn't stop the ED-209 from answering back. "Have a good day sir, ladies", it said respectively, lowering its arm.

Whatever, Godzilla!, Rally thought bitterly.

We'll try to, anyway!, Minnie-May thought in the same manner.

RoboCop just said nothing, orally or silently.

While Robocop & the two female Gunsmiths were speaking with Paxton on stage, Marie Lazarus was observing the crowd for any familiar faces. She felt that with the reappearance of the ED-209s, someone from Omni Consumer Products might have shown up to witness or even be a part of this little 'celebration'. So far she's seeing only a couple of reporters, TV crews, many more police & a whole bunch of spectators who are all but enchanted as to what was being shown on the monitors, as well as what's in front of them on the podium.

After what seemed like an eternity of scanning the crowd & a hopeless gesture, Marie finds one certain individual, & her eyes widen slightly. She spots a black man with a slightly frizzled hairstyle on his head, dressed in a gray business suit. Even though he wore a pair of clear glasses, it didn't conceal his identity from Marie: it's a face she'd know anywhere.

The man was none other than Donald Johnson, a bigwig from OCP who was practically second only to the Old Man himself.

So he's here, huh? Figures!, Marie thought bitterly.

Robocop & the two Gunsmith Cats have rejoined Marie & Roy.

"I really can't blame you three for being sore about all this", Roy said, seeing the contempt on all three. "I myself think these walking tin cans are far more trouble than they're worth."

"That certainly goes without saying, Roy", Rally says with Minnie-May nodding.

"Murphy, I believe I just saw Donald Johnson within the crowd", Marie tells him.

"Donald Johnson? Where?", RoboCop asks as Marie points in the direction of South Lake Shore Drive. Using his enhanced Robovision, the cyborg cop zooms in on a black man who was now leaving the scene with a pair of executives & officers. Even from behind, RoboCop can tell it really is Johnson, having done a DNA scan as he gets led to a black limo & enters it with his other associates before the vehicle makes a sharp U-turn & heads north.

"You are correct, Marie", said RoboCop. "That was Donald Johnson taking off & heading north."

"Donald Johnson? Wasn't he once one of the higher-ups at OCP?", Roy Coleman asks, overhearing their conversation.

"The very same, Detective", Marie says with disdain.

"What's he doing here in Chicago?"

"I think it's pretty obvious to us, Roy", Minnie-May said. "Hearing about this event & all, Johnson probably saw this as a grand opportunity after the fall of his former occupation at OCP - which wasn't that long ago."

"Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if that is true, Minnie-May", Marie said. "I thought I would see someone from OCP to show up here for that reason alone. I just didn't think it'd be him, of all people!"

"I'm surprised not to see the Old Man himself here!", Rally said. "You think one would be seeing the Chairman at a thing like this!"

"Not exactly, Rally. Truth be told, the Old Man was opposed to the ED-209 units after one of them accidentally killed one of their own execs during Dick Jones' first display of it. Besides, he wouldn't be here in any way altogether. He's currently…serving some time."

"He's in prison, you mean."

"In a matter of speaking. But that's not important right now, Rally."

"You are correct, Marie", RoboCop said. "In spite of the current situation, it doesn't change the fact that Siobhan Dallin is still at large, & we've wasted enough time here as it is. Let's get moving."

RoboCop starts heading back to their rides when Marie steps in front of him, blocking his path.

"Murphy, wait!", she says, placing her hands up. "I know that you want to find her as soon as possible & all, but you've been running yourself ragged ever since you arrived in Chicago for almost 48 hours straight without a single break. Your systems are probably strained beyond their limits right about now. If you continue to go on like this, who knows what might happen. And we're a long way from home to fix you up if something really bad does go wrong."

"So you're telling me to stand down. Is that it?", Robo asked.

"I'm asking you to head on back & get yourself - and your systems - some much-needed rest. Please, Murphy."

RoboCop stares at Marie Lazarus for an extended period of time before he gives her his answer.

"Very well, Dr. Lazarus. I'll head back, as per your request", he says. Marie smiles.

"Minnie-May, can you go with him?", Rally asks her.

"What? You want me to go & babysit him?", Minnie-May says unhappily. "Whatever for, Rally? I thought we were going to resume the search for Siobhan! Just because he's gotta go & recharge his batteries doesn't mean we should give up on it!"

"We're not 'giving up' on our search for her, Minnie-May", Rally tells her calmly. "And besides, we're not going after Siobhan right this minute anyway."

"What? Why not?"

"Because I was thinking that Marie & I should go & pay Mr. Johnson a visit, that's why. Since Paxton up there won't let us in on his 'big secret', then maybe he will since there's a very good chance that he is involved in this whole ED-209 thing, like you surmised before."

Rally puts on her girlish charm towards her longtime friend & partner.

"Besides, I need someone I can trust to make sure super-cop here stays put where he's staying here in Chicago", Rally says with a wink & a smile. "And the only person that comes to mind is you, Minnie-May!"

Rally's charm is something the little blonde firecracker can't resist, so she gives in but does so gladly.

"All right, Rally! You win!", Minnie-May says with her sweet smile.

"So what am I, Rally? Chopped liver?", Roy asked, making Rally regret some of her words & has been left speechless. That's when Roy cracks a smile of his own & lets out a laugh.

"Relax, girl! I'm just pulling your chain!", he said. "You & Marie go find Johnson & see what you two can get out of him. I'll give Minnie-May & Robocop a lift to where he's staying at. And don't worry too much about Siobhan - every cop in the city is keeping a sharp lookout for her even as we speak."

"Thanks Roy", Rally said when a voice cuts in their conversation before anyone could get moving. It was Jamie Gantz, dressed in a red outfit with her hair in a ponytail.

"Why, hello once again, folks!", she says, getting herself through the crowd to catch up with Robocop & his crew. "I guess it's true what they say - it is a small world after all!" Hefting her camera onto her shoulder, Jamie aims it again at RoboCop. "So, after many mishaps from the past, the ED-209s get a new lease on life from Silverman Robotix! RoboCop, care to say how you feel about them muscling in on your reputation as the true 'Future of Law Enforcement'? Or do you believe that there can still be a compromise between you & the creations of one Dick Jones, having once been at odds with…HEY!"

RoboCop heard all that he could stand from her. As Jamie spoke, the cyborg cop calmly strode up to her & grabbed her camera from the middle with his left hand. With as little effort he once gave to scratching an itch, he made a fist & broke her device in half like a toothpick with a crunch & a snap. The two halves fall to the ground at the feet of the dumbfounded (& pissed off) freelance reporter.

"That is how I feel about it!", RoboCop says, walking away like nothing happened.

"Huh! It serves you right for interfering in our affairs!", Rally snapped.

"And you in mine!", Jamie barked back, picking up the two halves of her camera. "I guess you've all never heard of 'Freedom of Speech' or even 'Freedom of the goddamn Press'? Shit, that was my fucking camera! Do you have any idea how much it cost me?"

"You just better be glad he didn't do the same thing to your arm or even your neck, little lady!", Roy barked at her. "I warned you before about interfering in police affairs, didn't I?"

"Yeah, Jamie! Next time you may not be so lucky! Ciao!", Minnie-May said, finishing off their little squabble with the freelance reporter. As one, they started heading back towards their vehicles, leaving Jamie with her broken prized possession. She watched them in utter contempt as Rally Vincent & Marie Lazarus got in the Cobra Mustang, while Roy Coleman, Minnie-May Hopkins & RoboCop all got into a squad car & take off in different directions.

Annoying little brats!, Jamie thought angrily. You won't get away with doing this to me, least of all you, RoboCop! You'll pay for this! Just all of you wait!

Aside from her ruined camera, Jamie was actually happy in her own way, & she even allows herself a sinister smile from her lips.

CHAPTER IV

The Markethouse Restaurant, 1:00 p.m.:

After parting ways from Roy Coleman, Minnie-May Hopkins & RoboCop, Rally Vincent & Marie Lazarus went on in their search for former OCP exec Donald Johnson, beginning at all hotels he may be staying at, checking those in closest proximity of Buckingham Fountain first. Unfortunately, none of these held anyone in reservation of their quarry, leaving the two ladies in a deeper slump than when they first began. Frustrated, they realized just how hungry they were, & paused long enough for a quick bite at the Markethouse eatery & bar. Sitting at the bar part of the place, they enjoyed their meals of ham & cheese sandwiches while staring at the television in front of them, resting on the wall behind the counter. When they view what comes on the screen next, it grabs their attention & Marie asks the bartender to turn up the volume, which he does.

The other patrons at the bar were also interested in what the TV was now showing.

It was Paxton Silverman himself.

"And here we are, ladies & gentlemen, live at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago!", he states to his unseen audience in front of the TV camera. "It's a tense standoff here as a small private jet had landed on the tarmac only thirty minutes ago with foreign terrorists on board who have taken it over while the two pilots & its passengers were en route to the States from visiting the country of Algeria. We've been informed that the terrorists had ordered the pilots to cause a crash into the famed Chicago Sears Tower, wanting to cause another major incident not unlike the one which had taken place in Manhattan on September 11th, 2001. When the pilots refused to comply with their orders & made a beeline straight for the airport, they had been shot & killed execution style, forcing the hijackers to land the plane themselves. Now, after a tense thirty-minute standoff of horribly failed negotiations that resulted in one officer getting killed, my new & improved ED-209s have now come upon the scene to rectify the situation & free the hostages still trapped inside the aircraft."

The camera shifts from Paxton to the fully armed officers along with a quartet of ED-209s all standing in a row, weapons drawn. Paxton continues to speak from off-camera.

"We now wait with baited breath & wonder in which direction this situation will go. Will it be a peaceful solution, or will it result in a brutal shootout which may result in the hostages being badly wounded, or much worse?"

One of the ED-209s speaks in an amplified & firm voice.

"You terrorists within the plane! Release your hostages & surrender yourselves with your hands above your head! You have twenty seconds to comply!"

A burst of gunfire erupted from one of the plane's windows as the officers scatter for cover while the ED-209s remain as they are as bullets bounce off their metallic hides. The cameraman & Paxton themselves also stay in their spots.

"We will not comply with your demands, but you had better comply with ours!", one of the terrorists shouted out. "You will get this plane fully refueled for us in one hour's time! You now have thirty minutes left! If we do not receive what we ask for by then, we will be killing the rest of our hostages one at a time until you do! Comprende?"

That's when more rounds of machine gun fire burst out from the plane's interior, striking the pavement & ED-209s as the human officers keep clear of the barrage. Like before, the bullets don't even faze the metal officers one iota. Guns keep blazing as another ED-209 makes its final announcement.

"You gentlemen are now in direct violation of Penal Code 1-13, Section 9! We are now in authorization to use necessary physical force!"

As one, the ED-209s take a second or two to aim their gun muzzles & open fire upon the plane in rapid succession, their guns making noises like large firecrackers going off. Large sized holes get made in the plane's side as high velocity rounds tear the aircraft into swiss cheese. The hostages inside scream as round after round strike the plane, staying far down for cover to avoid getting hit themselves. The volley of deadly fire ceases as suddenly as it started, leaving the scene in stunned silence for several moments until Paxton breaks it, reappearing before the camera.

"Ladies & gentlemen, what began as a standoff resulted in a free-for-all shooting between the foreign terrorists & my ED-209 units, a shootout that left the plane in utter ruins as police now storm it with guns drawn. Fears for the safety of the hostages rise as we now await word of whether or not they'll be okay after such a horrible attack. One moment please."

Paxton puts a hand to his left ear to listen in on the small earpiece placed within. He hears every word spoken, & a smile begins to bloom from his lips.

"Unbelievable, folks! I just got word that none, I repeat none, of the hostages inside the plane were harmed in even the slightest way! Aside from the two pilots the terrorists killed, all of the plane's occupants are relatively unscathed by the brutal assault from the ED-209s! Of all the shooting involved, only the terrorists themselves - six in all - have been shot down & are now lying in pools of their own blood!" He turns to see the police taking out the hostages. "And now, Chicago's finest are retrieving those held at gunpoint & leading them out onto the tarmac! Other than blood spatters on their clothing & being quite shaken up, not a physical mark of harm is visible on them! Another remarkable victory for my new ED-209 units, & the day isn't even over yet! What other atrocities will these marvels of modern technology fight to prevent on this day & in the future? Only time will tell! This is Paxton Silverman, President & owner of Silverman Robotix, signing off!"

When the broadcast ended, murmurs of wonder & other concerns erupt from the patrons while eating their meals & drinking their beverages. All except for Rally & Marie, as they sat & stared in stunned silence at the TV for long moments of the events that had just occurred on live television. Then they face each other, unsure of what to say at first.

It was Rally who made the first move.

"You know, Marie? This sandwich suddenly doesn't taste as good as it did a moment ago", she says, gently pushing her plate away from her.

"You know something, Rally? Neither does mine", Marie said, doing the same thing with her own plate.

"Hey ladies, you lose your appetites or something?", the bar patron asked, seeing their display of distaste in their food. Rally & Marie stare at him with guilt on their faces.

"Sorry sir, uh…we just remembered someplace we need to get to", Marie said, trying to put the man at ease & not offend him. She even offered him a little smile.

"Yeah so…can we get our check, please?", Rally added with one of her own.

West North Avenue, 2:00 p.m.:

With their appetites all but spoiled, Rally & Marie returned to the former's Cobra Mustang & continued where they had left off before lunch. Frantic as they were, they had no more success in their endeavor than earlier. Johnson was like the proverbial needle in a haystack, & it got the ladies angrier than either of them care to admit. The thought of Paxton & his 'new & improved' ED-209s out on the streets didn't help their mood any, & for the past hour they drove quietly.

But with everything that's been going on, they had to express their frustration, & Rally was the first to do it.

"I don't fucking believe it, Marie!", she fumed. "Those people inside that plane could've become swiss cheese just as easily as those terrorists did! It's a goddamn miracle they weren't! I don't care what 'improved' modifications were done to them: as far as I'm concerned, those ED-209s are still worthless pieces of shit that need to be scrapped & either recycled or melted down before something really major goes wrong!"

"I know what you mean, Rally!", Marie said. "Even before I became one of RoboCop's personal technicians, I was clearly no big fan of the ED-209s myself, I can tell you that! What is Paxton trying to prove with those walking metal disasters anyway? Even Robo himself wouldn't have been so reckless with such a move! Those ED-209 units acted like brash Russian Speznaz who rush into the thick of things & risk the lives of those they're trying to save!"

"Well then, if that's going to be the case, then Paxton should head on over there with his crappy contraptions & sell them to Russia & keep them out of the States! Their kind of brutality we clearly don't need here!"

"Yes he should, Rally, but I doubt he'd be very cooperative of such a thing! He just has to go & show off here, in the Windy City of all places!"

"It could be worse, you know", Rally adds as Marie turns to her.

"Worse? How?", she asked.

"He could've started off in Detroit instead of here", Rally said with a smile. That remark made Marie do the same, & both ladies let out a little laugh, seeing the irony of it all.

"I suppose he could've at that, Rally!", Marie says, grinning. "Good point!"

"On a different subject, Marie, there's something which I've been meaning to ask you of RoboCop", Rally says, her tone all business now.

"What would that be, Rally?", Marie asked, her grin gone.

"I couldn't help but notice you called him 'Murphy' a few times at Buckingham Fountain during Paxton's presentation earlier. Is that, like, a nickname for him from somebody that you know, or even used to know?"

"It's kind of a…long story, Rally. And a complicated one at that. Anyway, let's not forget what we're out here for."

"Sorry, Marie. I was just…curious, is all."

"No worries. Let's get back to finding Johnson. I mean, it's not like he's going to suddenly appear right before us, is he?"

Getting her wish in an unrelated way, a green SUV rams itself in the back of a car making a right turn on West North, sending it into a fish-tail spin. A second SUV - a red one - follows the first one, indifferent to the damage its partner did.

"Shit! Hold on!", Rally barked, slamming on the brakes to avoid a collision with the twin SUVs. Taking a quick peek inside the vehicles, Rally can see men with automatic weapons & a shotgun or two in their possession. She also saw the first vehicle had three occupants, while the second had four. Turning right on West North, both SUVs take off in a hurry as Rally & Marie can now hear an alarm ringing in the distance.

"Holy shit, Rally! Did those men just rob a bank?", Marie asked, seeing the weaponry in the vehicles.

"I believe they did, Marie!", Rally confirmed. "Here on North Wells Street lies the Bank of America!" The Gunsmith Cat grins big. "Perfect!"

"Do you know those felons, Rally? Did they skip on their bail too?"

"Right now, Marie, that doesn't matter! I need something to break this feeling of boredom & frustration, & those poor saps just got caught in the wrong place & time! Hold on to your hat, girlfriend! Things are about to get a little hairy!"

Shifting gears on her Cobra Mustang, Rally presses down on the accelerator with her foot as her vehicle roars to life, literally leaving screech marks on the street. Marie frantically puts her seat belt on as Rally pursues the felons, who have both turned right & heading down the road of North La Salle Street with Rally doing the same as other cars & pedestrians rush to get out of the way of the speeding vehicles. Her tailing does not go unnoticed by the two SUV's occupants.

"Hey Boss! You'll never believe who's tailing us!", the thug in the rear of the first SUV says.

"The cops?", his boss asked.

"Worse! It's that bounty hunter bitch Rally Vincent!"

"No worries! Just use that M79 Grenade Launcher we got back there! That'll convince her to either get lost or we'll blow that bitch into a million pieces if she don't!"

"Gotcha!", the man said, grinning & grabbing said weapon & opening up the window on the left side all the way. Sticking his upper half through, he starts to get his weapon aimed.

"Oh no you don't, buster!", Rally said, seeing the man with his weapon. Taking out her Sig Sauer P228 Caliber handgun, she aims it at the man & pulls the trigger. The bullet fired hits the man in the hand, striking the firing mechanism and his finger, shooting them both off. Howling in pain, he drops his M79 Grenade Launcher & heads back inside his ride, the weapon clattering across the street. The man frantically tries to stop the constant bleeding of his missing finger.

"Shit!", the driver bellowed, getting on his radio. "Perry, that bitch in the Cobra Mustang back there wants to play rough! Let's show her that we're all but happy & willing to comply in return!"

"Copy, Dom!", came the reply as Dom turns to his passenger, who nods & opens his window to stick out his Ithica Pump-Action Shotgun. As he does, several guns shoot out the windows of the red SUV & begin firing off round after round in Rally's direction as she swerves from left to right in order to avoid receiving the heaviest of hits & oncoming cars. Pedestrians in the area run for cover once the shooting began.

"Fuck!", Rally snapped as Marie ducks her head for safety when the shooting started & a few shots hitting the Mustang's hood & windshield. "All right, boys & girls! The kid gloves are officially off!"

Tossing her Sig Sauer to the floor, Rally now takes out her Mossberg M500 ATP Pistol-Grip Shotgun which was hidden between her seat & driver's side door.

"Uh, Rally, don't you think something like this should be left to the police?", Marie says, staying low.

"The black & whites can pick up the pieces after I get through with them, Marie!", Rally says, grinning.

"Just as long as we're not part of those pieces, okay?"

"Trust me!", Rally concludes, placing her shotgun out the window with one hand as her other keeps her car steady. Deafening booms from her weapon tear through the air as round after round of shotgun shells hit the SUVs in the rear & on the sides at times when the chance presents itself, leaving large holes in the metal as all three vehicles race down the road at close to triple-digit speeds. In her hiding spot, Marie wonders if this is all but a job for Rally or if this is how she gets her personal kicks. Then again, she's seen & even been in a little action in a life-or-death situation when she'd been taken hostage by Paul McDaggett's men, so she knows what it's like.

But it didn't mean she had to enjoy it, as Rally seems to be.

Rally fires her shotgun until it runs out of shells & withdraws it. Placing it back, she pulls out her replacement weapon: a Desert Eagle Magnum.

Let's see how they fare against Dirty Harry's favorite weapon!, Rally thought, aiming her gun as they cross the Chicago River & head straight for City Hall. She fires off a few rounds as they pass the James R. Thompson Center when Marie's eyes widen at what she now witnesses.

"Oh. My. God", she says in quick whispers. When Rally looks to see what had made Marie stare with surprise, she does the same.

As City Hall gets into view, an ED-209 which was standing atop the building makes an astonishing leap from the roof of City Hall & heads straight for the fleeing suspects.

The three in the green vehicle never knew what hit them: in the blink of an eye, the ED-209 drops onto the hood/engine of the green SUV, crushing it like a beer/soda can & bringing the vehicle to a sudden, violent stop. The three suspects inside were caught off-guard, & the sudden stop jerked them all forward as the driver & front passenger were both thrown forward right into the windshield, cracking it and their skulls against the hard glass as blood splatters across the ruined hood & feet of the ED-209. The one in the back rammed his head against the back seat, snapping his neck & killing him. At almost the same time, another ED-209 appears from around the corner of the building & fires off a rocket from its right launch tube, striking the red SUV from underneath & causing it to do a flip with its roof landing right onto the ED-209's muzzle cannons. The cannons get dug a few inches into the SUV's roof & the ED-209 starts blasting away at the helpless vehicle & its four occupants, blowing them both full of holes until the SUV was totaled all over before dropping to the street in a useless mess of metal at the feet of the ED-209 that literally blew it away.

Staring down at the totaled vehicles, both ED-209s began reading the officer's Miranda Rights in unison.

"You gentlemen are under arrest! You have the right to remain silent! Anything you say can & will be used against you in a court of law! You have the right to an attorney! If you cannot provide yourselves an attorney…"

Just seconds before the first ED-209 landed on the green SUV, Rally brought the Cobra Mustang to a stop to witness the events unfolding before their startled eyes as the ED-209s keep reciting the Miranda Rights to the suspects. Even from a distance, both Rally & Marie can see it was a useless gesture & a waste of time.

Both ladies can tell all the men are dead.

Yeah, they have the right to remain silent, all right…forever!, Marie thought.

Paxton, you heartless fuck!, Rally thought with disdain.

City Hall, ten minutes later:

Police arrived on the scene five minutes after the ED-209's fatal stop of the bank robbers. One of them was Detective Roy Coleman, who was back on regular duty after dropping off both Minnie-May & RoboCop at their destination. He & several officers took down Rally & Marie's statements as they explained the situation that lead up to the ED-209's involvement. To the girls' dismay, Paxton Silverman was also on hand to hear what happened. His feelings were just the opposite of Rally, Marie & even Roy's own.

"Well folks, it looks like my new ED-209 units have done it again!", Paxton says with a grand smile as the bodies of the bank robbers were being zipped up & hauled into a van to be sent to the coroner's. "I gotta admit to you two: I'm quite jealous that you both got to see that fantastic display of my ED-209s dealing with those bank robbers & I didn't! But from how you two described it, I can see it clearly as if I was there! Come on & admit it - my new, improved ED-209s are everything I promised, & then some! Just look at the way they dealt with that filth being loaded over there!"

Rally, Marie & Roy each share a look of disbelief & their mouths drop.

"Filth?", Marie says in disgust. "Paxton, that 'filth' which you so charmingly call are all human beings - with rights! Now they're going to the morgue instead of in jail cells!"

"And so is Cortez Gonzales, the leader of the Hispanic gang who pulled that heist over at H. Horwitz Company Jewelers this morning!", Roy announced. "His wounds by the ED-209 that shot him in & blew half his shoulder off bled to death in minutes! I received the news while taking Minnie-May & RoboCop home!"

"I can assure you, Detective, it's no big loss", Paxton says in a cool, calm voice. This puts the trio in an even bigger state of shock.

"Excuse me? No big loss?", Roy shot back. "Why don't you go & try telling that to his parents? The mother and father broke down crying hysterically when they were told the news, of both the robbery he committed with his friends and of his death! Let me tell you, Paxton - there's nothing worse than parents outliving their kids! And you still believe it's no big loss?"

"Hey, Detective, I never told those punks to go rob that jeweler's store! That act was all their own doing - they fucked up their lives themselves, & so they went & paid for it! As did those who robbed the Bank of America over at North Wells Street only minutes ago!"

"Oh yeah, they 'paid for it', all right - the ultimate price!", Rally snapped. "Godammit, Paxton, how in the hell can you be so cold?"

"Why, Miss Rally Vincent, you of all people ought to understand", Paxton says, his tone unchanged. "This is the 21st Century, & there ain't no room for kid gloves anymore. Let me tell you something, all of you - the criminals & other lawbreakers in this city don't give a rat's ass about society's laws! They spit on them in utter contempt, thinking that they don't apply to them! Well, we're here to make sure they can't do such a thing without dire consequences! Nowadays, if you want to bring down the enemy, you're going to have to fight fire with fire! Understand?"

"Oh, we understand, all right", Roy says calmly before stiffening his tone. "You want us to be as ruthless as they are! In short, become like them! Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, Paxton, but that's not how police operate! We have a set of rules to follow, & they don't include killing suspects on sight for even the smallest misdemeanor they commit! We're cops, not vigilantes! And the last thing a cop wishes to do is to kill someone, even if it's totally justifiable! Even Rally here knows that, despite the fact that she's been forced to kill herself in the past!"

"Oh. And RoboCop doesn't feel the same way whenever he blows criminals away with his Auto-9 pistol?", Paxton asks, crossing his arms. "From what I understand, he's racked up the highest body count of any officer, be it Detroit or anyplace else!"

"That's because the criminals in his town don't give him much choice! Like any other cop, he gives them the chance to give themselves up! It's just that, more often than not, they fire upon him in utter contempt! But that still doesn't make him a cold-blooded killer like those ED-209s of yours! Cops don't behave like that, Paxton! No way, no how!"

"And that's the whole problem, Detective! You're all too damn soft on crime! Both you, RoboCop, & your little playmate over here!", Paxton says, gesturing towards Rally.

"Playmate? Why you cold-hearted son of a bitch, I'll…!", Rally growls & heads towards Paxton, only to be restrained by Roy & Marie.

"Take it easy, Rally!", Roy said. "Now's not the time for this!"

"Yeah, come on, Rally! Is he really worth it?", Marie pleads with her. Amazingly, her words do the trick, & Rally ceases her advance at Paxton, taking a deep breath & exhaling it.

"Indeed, Miss Vincent", Paxton says. "Regardless of the ED-209's harsh methods, they do get the job done. And since they started their performances this morning, not a single civilian casualty was caused. Besides, isn't protecting the innocent what we're all about here, people?"

"I'll say it is, Paxton!", said a new voice as all turn to see the new arrival. He was dressed in a gray business suit & had two men at his side in black suits with dark shades. Paxton's face grew a smile as those of Roy, Rally & Marie had a surprised look on them.

"The Mayor!", they all said as one.

The Mayor - a somewhat burly man in his mid-fifties with a perfectly attuned haircut & glasses - approaches the quartet with his two men.

"Good afternoon, you all!", he says, turning to Paxton. "I gotta say, Mr. Silverman: I've never seen such devotion to protecting the public as you have! You mentioned at your ceremony that your ED-209s would make the streets safer, & by golly, you more than kept your word! After seeing what's been done by them so far, I can honestly say that I feel safer, knowing these babies are out on the streets watching over us!"

Roy, Rally & Marie were just as stunned by the Mayor's statement as they are of his arrival at the crime scene.

"Mr. Mayor! Are you trying to say that you actually approve of the ED-209's harsh & even fatal actions to criminals in this town?", Roy asks.

"I'm not trying to, Detective - I am saying it!", the Mayor stated.

"Your Honor, with all due respect…", Roy began to say before getting cut off by the city official.

"Listen, Detective! As rough as it was during the time of Al Capone in the Prohibition Era in our fair city, it's gotten a lot worse over the years! A traditional police force is only part of the solution to the war on crime! We need to have something more, & these ED-209s can offer us the salvation our city craves to stop crime dead - literally!"

"That sounds like something Dick Jones at OCP once said!", Marie says.

"Well, you can rest assured, Dr. Lazarus: I'm nothing like Dick Jones!", Paxton says in his defense. "I did what he couldn't - get the ED-209s operational & perform the way that they're supposed to & without any glitches in their systems!"

"Well, I don't mind saying that I still don't like this while affair!", Roy says, crossing his arms.

"Nobody's saying you have to like it, Detective! You just have to get used to the idea!", the Mayor says firmly. "Mr. Silverman & myself have been getting high support from friends of ours about these new ED-209 units! In fact, we're even getting full support from the President of the United States himself!"

The hearts of Roy, Rally & Marie nearly stopped beating to give them each cardiac arrest.

"The President is in support of Paxton's ED-209s?", Marie says, ready to collapse.

"That's correct, young lady!", the Mayor went on. "Paxton & myself have both been in grand negotiations with the President throughout the day after this morning's presentation, & he was just as impressed with the ED-209's capabilities as we are! He's now in conference with his own people about having the bill funded to begin mass production of them coast to coast! He told us that he'll have his answer by tomorrow morning! If he says yes, ED-209s will be sent to every major city inside of a month!"

"After that, RoboCop can take a much-needed vacation, or even retire!", Paxton says with a slight chuckle, getting scowls from Roy, Rally & especially Marie. Paxton them takes a quick glance at his watch. "I'm sorry, folks: it seems I'm due for another appointment! I'll see you all later! Ciao!"

Paxton walks away & heads back to his black limousine as he gets driven away from City Hall.

"I need to be on my way as well", the Mayor said. "Still got a lot of people to talk to about this remarkable event. Detective, I'll leave it up to you & your boys to handle things here. Good day, you three."

With his bodyguards at his side, the Mayor heads back inside the building to take care of said business, leaving Roy, Rally & Marie alone with the other officers who were on the verge of wrapping things up.

"Man, this day just keeps getting better & better, doesn't it?", Rally said, half-joking.

"That's quite an understatement, Rally!", Marie says. "Dammit, if the President does say yes & that bill for the ED-209s gets passed, what occurred here will spread all across the country! I can't even begin to imagine the chaos that'll soon follow!"

"Then I'd say it's all the more reason for you girls to go and…", Roy started to say when the sound of metal footsteps caught their attention as one of the ED-209s walks up & stops short when it was three feet away.

"Rally Vincent, Dr. Marie Lazarus", it begins to say. "It is good to know that you two are alive & well. Should there be anything else that I can help assist you with…"

"Yeah yeah, we'll let you know!", Rally says sarcastically, walking away. She takes only a step or two when it dawns upon her. She turns to Marie, who nods, getting the same idea.

Turning to face the ED-209, she begins to speak to it again in a friendlier tone.

"Actually, there is something else you can do for Dr. Lazarus & myself."

"What would that be, Miss Vincent?", the ED-209 asked.

"Just how good are you at locating certain people here in Chicago?"

"My apologies, Miss Vincent. That information is classified."

"Well, I'm granting her and Dr. Lazarus authorization, fella!", Roy says, flashing his badge at the ED-209 unit. The ED-209 reads & processes the information within its computerized brain & comes up with its answer in seconds.

"Yes, Detective Roy Coleman. Authorization accepted", it said, facing the girls. "Please tell me, ladies: just who is it that you need to find in Chicago?"

Rally & Marie smile triumphantly at each other.

An hour later:

Sitting in his lush private office, Paxton sits at his desk with a lit Cuban cigar in one hand & a glass of a fine vintage wine in the other, the bottle of it & an ashtray resting right next to him. In front of him lays a translation vidphone, & on the screen was the face of a Japanese man with brown hair & dressed in a dark gray suit with black tie. The man is Ginzo Hoshino, one of Kanemitsu's top executives until the disaster of Paul McDaggett's urban renewal program. When Ginzo suggested & even insisted on urging forward with the operation in spite of McDaggett's ruthless & harsh methods, Kanemitsu had fired Hoshino as he did the CEO of OCP, Mr. Morton Senior, the father of the late Bob Morton who designed & created RoboCop. Disgraced, Hoshino had vowed to get back on his feet by whatever means necessary, partnering himself with whoever could assist him.

He found Paxton Silverman not long after McDaggett's tyranny had ended.

With the vidphone translating each other's words, Ginzo & Paxton engage in conversation.

"So the 'details' you received for your ED-209s helped to improve on their performance?", Hoshino asks, his voice in a computerized but steady sound as his words get translated.

"Vastly!", Paxton said, taking a drag from his cigar & blowing smoke. "A quick analysis from my scientists, & they were able to fix it into the ED-209s like they were made for it! And having received fond praise by high officials ranging from the Mayor to the President, I think it's safe to say that our success is in the bag!"

"So has the President approved of having the funding bill passed?"

"Not yet, Hoshino. He tells me that he'll have his definite answer by tomorrow morning. But considering on how impressed he was by the ED-209s this day, I'd assume he's going to say 'yes' the next time we speak! In fact, I've even been told that the Pentagon is highly interested in the ED-209s, & wish to purchase them for use in the military! That, is something Dick Jones had also wanted for his crowning achievement! Only now, I'm succeeding where he didn't!"

Paxton takes another puff from his cigar & sip from his drink as Hoshino watches as his stateside partner basks in his assumed success. He puts a scowl of contempt on his face.

"Until your President actually does say 'yes', Paxton, I ought to advise you that you really should not assume anything!", he warns. "Because that anything can go wrong when we least expect it to! Therefore, you might want to hold off on your little celebration & save the smokes & drinks until after the deal gets cemented! That's the same mistake Dick Jones made when he employed the ED-209s to Detroit! Do not repeat his error! Understand?"

"Yes, & here's something that you better understand, Hoshino", Paxton says, placing his drink & cigar down in their proper places. When Paxton speaks again, there was some malice in his tone & stares Hoshino in the eye. "Don't you dare compare me to Dick Jones or even Paul McDaggett, for that matter! They were both reckless & brash, & that's why they're pushing up daisies now while I'm sitting here at my desk a wealthy & successful businessman! Those two were bonafide failures, & that's something I'm not! In the past, everything that I'd put my mind to has been accomplished to the highest degree, & that's why I'm the President of my company of Silverman Robotix!"

"And what will you do if any problems do come your way in the meantime?", Ginzo asks.

"Any & all problems that come my way will be handled quickly & efficiently", Paxton says confidently. "I'm not expecting to hit any major ones before the President's final word. Any, of course, that is, except for…"

"Let me guess: RoboCop. He's there in Chicago, isn't he?", Hoshino said. Paxton couldn't deny it: he had to nod to that.

"And he isn't alone, Ginzo: he's partnered with Chicago's own Gunsmith Cats themselves, Rally Vincent & Minnie-May Hopkins. They're the best at what they do, no bullshit! But on a lighter note, they're the only major obstacles standing in the way of our success, so disposing of them shouldn't be too difficult!"

"It shall not be easy, Paxton! RoboCop has been beaten, buried, shot at & even stripped, & still he prevails! And just so you know, I am aware of the Gunsmith Cats' capabilities, having read about many of their exploits even from across the Pacific!"

"Well, excuse me for not knowing that, Hoshino! Nevertheless, you can still rest easy: we've both worked too long & hard & invested too much for anything or anyone to stop us, & I'm going to let nothing jeapordize what we're trying to accomplish! As for the Gunsmith Cats, I know of a certain individual who can take care of the ladies, quick & clean!"

"And what of RoboCop himself? How do you intend on dealing with him?", Ginzo asked sternly.

"You just relax & leave him to me!" Paxton pauses to check his watch. "I gotta sign off now, Hoshino. I'm expecting a visit from someone else at any moment now. Not to worry: when next we speak, it'll be a time to really celebrate. Silverman out."

Paxton terminates communication between him & his overseas benefactor before another word could be said. A second or two after he presses the button, a knock came on his office door & Paxton tells whoever is outside to come in. When the door opens, a lone female in a red outfit & brown hair in a ponytail enters the room with a broken news camera, both halves in her hands.

The female was Jamie Gantz.

"Hello, my dear!", Paxton greets, getting his cigar & taking a drag as he pours a glass of fresh wine for his guest as he swivels his chair towards her. "Care for a drink?"

"Much as I'd love to, Paxton, Mr. Hoshino does have a point", Jamie says, placing her two camera halves on the table. "It is a little too early for celebrations at this time. And I suppose it's partly my fault - I should've covered my tracks more better."

With her right hand, Jamie Gantz grabs her neck & starts to peel off her face, which was actually a well-made rubber mask. She strips it off to reveal the real person underneath it.

Siobhan 'Razorblade' Dallin, in all her blonde glory as she smiles wickedly.

"There! That's much better!", she says, giving her head a slight shake & tossing the mask on the table where her broken camera is. "That mask was starting to make me itch!"

"Yes, my dear, I too think it's time to end this little charade", Paxton said, rising from his seat & heading over to his couch on the opposite side & taking his cigar & drink with him as he sits back down. "And please don't feel bad that RoboCop followed you from Detroit to here. You seem to forget that we wanted the metal man to come here, & because you were most successful in that endeavor, we've gotten precisely what we wished for. Thanks to you, my dear Siobhan, I'll become an even richer & more powerful man than I am right now!"

"And your newfound wealth & power will assist in keeping me out of prison as well?", Siobhan asks, taking the pre-offered glass of wine & heading over to Paxton, taking a sip.

"Absolutely. You're a remarkable asset to my organization, Siobhan. I'd certainly hate to lose you."

"I'm rather flattered, Paxton", Siobhan said seductively, sitting on his lap as her free hand caresses his hair. "But I take it there's still a job for little ol' me to perform, yes?"

Paxton nodded.

"Those two annoying 'Gunsmith Cats' Rally Vincent & Minnie-May Hopkins", he says, sipping his drink. "And while it's something of a regret, I think you should also take care of Dr. Marie Lazarus as well. We can't have any of them remaining as an interference to everything we've accomplished."

"What about RoboCop? I'd sure love to pay him back for what he did to my camera", Siobhan said, taking a quick hateful glance at what remained of her prized possession.

"Like I told Mr. Hoshino, leave the metal man to me. I've got a special surprise in store just for him."

"Beautiful, Paxton. Consider it done. But first, I am rather parched, & this wine - fine as it is - won't quench my thirst", Siobhan said, placing her drink on the table as she seductively slides down to the floor & starts to unbuckle Paxton's belt & pulls his pants down slightly, using her hands & teeth. Leaning back on his couch, Paxton closes his eyes & grins widely as Siobhan gives him an amazing happy that leaves him tingly all over.

Things are only gonna get better from here on!, he muses to himself.

Days Inn Hotel, West Diversey Parkway, 8:00 p.m.:

A lone television set in one of the rooms was showing an animated commercial that was featuring a bunch of big kids in their late teens picking on a little kid no more than six or seven years of age. He'd been pushed to the ground & stripped of his bag of candy by his tormentors as they laugh at him, & another small kid appears to the first one's aide.

"Hey Johnny! What's the matter? What happened?", the second kid asked him, being about two years older.

"Those big kids took my candy away!", Johnny sobbed, pointing to the older kids.

"Hey you! Give him back his candy or else!", he demanded to them, his fists clenched.

"Or else what, shrimp? You gonna spank us?", one of the bullies said, getting laughs from his companions.

"As a matter of fact…yes!", he says, giving out a whistle. From the brick wall behind the younger kids an animated ED-209 bursts through as bricks fly everywhere & appears before the older kids, all in a state of shock to see something that was bigger & mightier than they are.

"Hey punks! Pick on someone your own size!", the ED-209 said, both aiming & firing its muzzle cannons at the group of bullies as the rounds tear holes through them & leaving them in a bloodied heap of bodies once the shooting stops. Johnny stares at the ED-209 with awe as he gets his bag of candy back from his friend.

"Johnny, say hello to my friend ED!", he says with a smile, gesturing to the ED-209 with his hand.

"Whoa! You're awesome! Thanks ED!", Johnny said.

"You're quite welcome, Johnny!", the ED-209 says with a pinch of pride.

The three stand in a group as an off-camera announcer begins to speak.

"'My Friend ED'! Coming soon to Prime Time! Check your local listings!"

The television now turns back to its regular program of 'It's Not My Problem', the sitcom with star Bixby Snyder, a middle-aged man with a receding hairline & a medium mustache. He's now dressed in his shorts & tank top shirt as he walks towards his closet.

"Let's see what I should wear for on the town tonight!", he says, opening his closet. Inside are two young girls - one a blonde, the other a redhead - in their 30s smiling hugely & wearing nothing but two-piece bikinis with breasts the size of fully developed melons. Upon seeing the girls, Snyder's facial expression is surprise & pleasing at the same time.

"Wow! What interesting wardrobes I've got in here!", he says as an unseen audience laughs.

"Talk about a nice rack!", the girls say in unison seductively, doubling Snyder's pleasure as he turns towards the camera with a huge grin.

"Whoa! I'd but that for a dollar! Nyaaaaaaah!", he says as the audience laughs even louder.

And they weren't the only ones laughing: sitting & watching the TV from his single bed, Johnson folds his arms & belts out a laugh that comes close to hurting his side. It didn't matter to him though: after dealing for most of the day with Paxton's people on his ED-209 resurrection program, he was clearly exhausted from his ordeal. The chance to wind down & enjoy something remarkably hilarious is definitely worth the pain of laughing a tad too hard while waiting for his dinner to be brought up by room service.

I can certainly see just why this show is so popular with people!, Johnson thought with glee as he gets a knock on his room door a moment later. Rising from his bed, he walks on over with a good feeling in his stomach that has more to do that just food.

Already? Well, as stooge Moe might say, 'Now that's what I call 'super-service'!, thought Johnson as he grabs the knob & opens his door. Who he sees standing at the entrance to his room made Johnson's smile turn into a frown of surprise & disappointment.

It wasn't room service. It was Marie Lazarus & Rally Vincent, both of whom were waiting for him from right across the street at an eatery.

And neither of them were as happy to be seeing him as he was of them.

"Evening, Johnson. Mind if we come in?", Marie asks as she & Rally enter the room, not giving the former OCP exec a chance to answer. Closing the door, Johnson folds his arms to his chest, clearly unhappy about having his new guests showing up unexpectedly as Rally turns the TV off. Staring at each other, Johnson takes a deep breath & exhales it.

"Dr. Marie Lazarus", Johnson begins, his tone not too friendly. "I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised to find you here in the Windy City. After all, when I saw RoboCop at Paxton's presentation at Buckingham Fountain this morning, I assume that you wouldn't be too far behind, & it seems to me that I was right. Where RoboCop goes, the great Dr. Marie Lazarus follows."

Marie offers a quick smirk, being mildly impressed.

"You always were good at deductions, Johnson", Marie said in a similar tone. "I guess that's why OCP kept you right up to the very end." She takes a good look at the room Johnson has been put in. "Pretty nice place, Johnson. I'll have to keep it in mind the next time I take a trip here to Chicago, be it on business or for a vacation."

"Is there a reason for your visit here to my hotel room, Dr. Lazarus, or have you & your young friend there come to gloat & crow?", Johnson asks rudely. "Because if it's the latter, then I'm going to have to ask you both to leave before I call security."

"Why not just call the police instead?", Marie says sarcastically. "But you're right - there is a good reason as to why Rally & I are here."

"And that would be…?"

"Well, when I showed up at Paxton's little gathering this morning at Grant Park to present the quote, 'new & improved' unquote, ED-209s to the public, Rally's friend Minnie-May & myself assumed that someone from OCP would want in on the action. And, lo & behold, who do I spot there but none other than Donald Johnson, a bigwig who's perhaps second only to the Old Man himself."

Now it was Johnson's turn to smirk briefly.

"Not bad, Dr. Lazarus. You figured that out all by your lonesome, huh?"

"You're not the only one who's good at deducing things", Marie went on. "And it wasn't too hard, not at all. But you know what? I can understand as to why you wouldwant to work with Paxton on this event, as it's no doubt a chance for you to get back onto your feet again. I get that. But what I can't figure out for the life of me is why you would want to help put the ED-209s back on line & onto the streets when, of what I understand, you were one of OCP's executives who'd decided to mothball & even scrap Dick Jones' dream project simply because they were too damn berserk, uncontrollable & unpredictable."

"They were all those things, Dr. Lazarus. 'Were', meaning past tense."

"We are familiar with the concept of it, Johnson, thank you", Rally steps in. "So why the hell would you want to hook yourself up with those metal dinosaurs again anyway?"

"Rally Vincent, I presume?", Johnson asked. Getting no answer, he continued. "Yes, one of the famed 'Gunsmith Cats' here in Chicago. Well, Miss Vincent, it's like Dr. Lazarus said, I did it to make a new start. Right after OCP went belly-up & kaput, most of us were fresh out of a job while some of us were able to get work elsewhere, be it in Detroit or at another city. Sadly, I was one of the former, having been sent to the unemployment offices for the first time in my life. For nearly four-&-a-half months I lived like a hobo, being fed mostly on soup & bread. I thought I was going to go insane from it all. But then, from out of the blue it seemed, along came none other than Paxton Silverman, telling me he had an offering at his company, Silverman Robotix, with benefits that would put the ones I received from OCP to shame. He told me that he & his people could find a way to fix the ED-209 units proper & give them a new lease on life, & he wanted me as one of his top executives. How could I have refused? I was at the end of my rope & desperate, so I accepted without a second thought. Everything that's been happening to me right up to this day, I owe it all to Paxton."

"Mr. Johnson, I don't trust Paxton! And I sure as hell don't trust his motives about this whole thing! Along with Minnie-May & RoboCop, Marie & I saw those ED-209s in action this morning & afternoon, & their methods were truly barbaric! One suspect got half of his shoulder blown off, while three men were stepped on like they were nothing more than roaches! Another group even got blown away while in their vehicle like fish in a barrel! And that shit took place at none other than City Hall! Plus, let's not forget about those six in that private jet over at O'Hare International Airport! And you still believe you're helping Paxton to make a difference? Jesus fucking Christ, Johnson! Fourteen people are dead today from the hands or whatever of those 'new' ED-209s! Fourteen people!"

"What people, Miss Vincent? Robbers? Arsonists? Terrorists? Who the hell's going to give a rat's ass about them?"

"How about the parents of Cortez Gonzales, the suspect whose shoulder got blown off on Saint Financial Place? He was barely twenty years old, Johnson, probably even younger than I am!"

"Good lord, Miss Vincent! You & Dr. Lazarus are sounding like the ED-209's actions are primarily my fault!"

"In a way, it is!", Marie steps in. "Being associated with Paxton, you're just as responsible for their unnecessary deaths as he is! Let me ask you something, Johnson: did you know there was a robbery committed at the old abandoned OCP building about 2-3 days ago? Now, kindly correct me if I'm wrong, but I'll bet that what was stolen there were the plans on how to build the ED-209s! Am I getting warm?"

"That's absurd!", Johnson said. "All of the original plans for the ED-209 units were all but destroyed, even before OCP came crashing down!"

"There are, of course, the hardcopies! Are you certain those were destroyed as well?"

Johnson scowls a bit in suspicion.

"What exactly are you getting at, Dr. Lazarus?", he says.

"I'm saying, you could be working for a criminal & not even know it!", Marie warns. "I don't trust Paxton any more than Rally here does! And needless to say, neither does Minnie-May, Detective Roy Coleman or RoboCop!"

"Look, ladies, all I'm trying to help Paxton do is to make city streets safe again! I myself grew up in a harsh, dangerous neighborhood in Old Detroit until the day I clawed my way out & headed straight for the top, but not before going through such hell! If there's a chance I can make good citizens in Detroit, Chicago, or anywhere in this country safe & not have to suffer what I went through as a boy, then why shouldn't I feel proud about it? I simply cannot understand as to why you girls or your friends refuse to see that!"

"It's not the logic that's bothering us, Johnson! On that particular note, we couldn't agree with you more! It's the brutal & harsh methods of the ED-209s that we have a big problem with! Nobody deserves to be treated that inhumanely, criminals or not! And we've been told that the President himselfmight pass the funding bill for mass production! Once that happens, the chaos caused by the ED-209s today will be repeated nationwide! Can you even imagine that should it actually occur?"

"Not my concern, Dr. Lazarus!", Johnson said firmly, growing tired of the debate. "If you & your friends have a problem with the ED-209's methods, then maybe you should go & take it up with Paxton instead of with me!"

"We already have, Johnson!", Rally barked. "And he's just as uncooperative as you are of this whole affair! Come on, Marie, let's go! We've wasted enough time here!"

Marie nods & follows Rally towards the door & open it, but both stop briefly & they turn to face him as Marie speaks. "A little friendly advice before we go, Johnson: just like with every coin, there are two sides to the law - the right side & the wrong side! Therefore, I suggest that you choose which side you're going to be on, & choose wisely! Because sometimes once you've made your choice, it could be much too late to switch back! Don't ever forget that!"

"By the way, your dinner's here! Don't eat it too fast!", Rally says sarcastically before both she & Marie take off, leaving a startled hotel patron standing with a roller tray that had several plates with metal covers placed on top of each.

"What was that all about?", the patron asked, wheeling the cart in Johnson's room.

"It's nothing. Just some…former associates that came by for a visit", Johnson said, reaching for his wallet. "So…what do I owe you?"

Outside the hotel:

Exiting the main lobby & out at street level, Rally & Marie were less than pleased with the results of talking sense to the former OCP executive, especially after all the trouble they had of finding the man in the first place. Frustrated, they head back to Rally's Cobra Mustang parked right across the street.

"Shit, Marie! Some people you just can't talk to!", Rally fumed. "We finally find the creep, & he's as blockheaded as Charlie Brown is! It's like talking to the goddamn wall with him! And with Paxton!"

"Believe me, Rally, I know the feeling all too well!", Marie said in agreement. "Those at OCP always turned a deaf ear to us over at Metro West, especially when it came to supplying us with weaponry, personell & benefits! Just think back to the police strike, & you'll know what I mean!"

"At least you won't have them screwing you folks over anymore, Marie! But now we got a worse problem than those OCP grunts!" Getting to the car, Rally takes a deep breath before she exhales it in defeat, & her tone softens. "I'm sorry, Marie. I guess all this was for naught."

"Come one, Rally, don't beat yourself up over it", Marie says with compassion. "Even if we knew beforehand that it was a long shot, we still had to try. Listen, why don't we head back & get ourselves a good night's rest? There's nothing more we can do right now, & I'm starting to get worried about…RALLY!"

Marie's shout came just in time as a female with blonde hair & a straight razor sneaked up behind the young Gunsmith Cat & swings her weapon at Rally, missing her throat by a fraction of an inch. Instead of cutting her jugular, the female only cuts a piece of Rally's coat. Rally backs off a few feet to get a good look at who dared to kill her.

It was who she & her party were searching for in Chicago.

"Razorblade!", she barked.

"Pleased to finally meet your acquaintance, Rally Vincent!", Siobhan says with a wicked grin, her razor gleaming in the early nighttime sky. "I'm told that you've been looking for me, yes?"

Rally goes for her gun, but with almost inhuman speed, Siobhan rushes at her & swings her blade once, twice, three times at her foe, who barely dodges each deadly swing. On the sixth attempt, Rally blocks it with her forearm against hers, stopping it short. Ignoring the sudden stop, Siobhan brings up her right leg & strikes Rally in her side with amazing force that makes her drop to the ground. Before she can get her weapon, Rally is ganged upon by Siobhan as she grabs her throat with her free hand & raises her weapon hand like it was an axe, bringing it down with all her strength. With her free hand, Rally uses all her strength to grab her weapon hand & keep it at bay to prevent it from cutting her face, while Siobhan uses all of hers to drive it home.

"How very fitting! I get to go kill four birds with one stone!", Siobhan says, grinning like a deranged lunatic & laughing like one. "Even better than I expected!"

"Don't bank on it, bitch!", Rally spat, using her right leg to swat Siobhan in the back hard with her knee. The blow disorients the maniac just long enough for Rally to get out from underneath her attacker & get to her feet. But Siobhan gets to hers first, & with a swift swipe, she cuts Rally's face a little on her left cheek. A thin stream of blood flows from the cut she made & Siobhan grins wider, happy to have drawn enemy blood even if it was only a trickle. Wanting more & acting like a crazed vampire, Siobhan charges Rally & catches her off-guard, slinging her razor wildly. The young Gunsmith is barely able to avoid the deadly blade with every swing of it from her blood-crazed foe, nearly getting sliced in the hands, arms, neck & face. So fast is she that Rally can't get enough time to pull her gun, which is no doubt what Siobhan was counting on in their quarrel.

And then she gets in a hit: a swipe from her razor cuts Rally in the left arm, cutting her coat & a piece of the flesh underneath. This move catches her unawares & Siobhan presses her advantage. As Rally was stunned, Siobhan punches her in the stomach with surprising strength & causing Rally to double over & get on her knees. Siobhan then backhands Rally in the face, & she goes down on the ground again, gasping for breath. Marie Lazarus can only watch as her new friend is now at the mercy of a deranged female lunatic who cuts people's throats for kicks, & is unable to assist her.

Not only was Marie helpless, she was scared as well.

Rally tries to catch her breath as Siobhan gloats.

"Very good, Rally Vincent, but not good enough! Farewell, Gunsmith Cat!", she says as she takes a few casual steps towards her, her weapon raised for the kill.

Then she hears a pair of guns cocked behind her, & she turns around.

"Police! Freeze!", a young but well-built Caucasian cop said as both he & his partner - an African-American at about the same age & build - aim their guns at her.

"Siobhan 'Razorblade' Dallin, drop your weapon & get down on the ground, face first! Do it now, young lady!", said the black cop. A third gun gets cocked in front of Siobhan by a down-but-far-from-out Rally Vincent.

"Do what he tells you, cunt! You're covered on both ends!", she demanded, aiming her CZ-75 at her forehead. Seeing her tight spot, Siobhan smiles.

"Sure, officers! Anything you say!", she says in a nonchalant tone, keeping both her hands stretched out to the sides as she begins to squat down slowly. When she gets to about halfway to the ground, she makes a deadly move that no one was prepared for: like a cobra, Siobhan whips her right hand backwards & flings her razor straight for the black cop, which strikes him dead center in the throat as the blade goes in halfway, causing him to squirt & choke on his own blood, sinking to the ground & dropping his gun. Before either the second cop or even Rally can shoot, Siobhan rushes towards the latter & kicks her gun from her hand, sending it flying far away. But instead of finishing her off, the blonde lunatic heads for her green Kawasaki motorcycle & hops on the seat, revving the engine & taking off in a heartbeat.

In seconds, she was gone with no chance of Rally taking a shot at her even with her gun.

Still somewhat stunned, Rally gets up & heads over with Marie to see if they can assist the second cop, who was on the radio requesting an ambulance at their current location & doing his best to cease the blood flow of his partner.

"Don't worry, I got this! Get that filthy bitch!", the cop tells them. Without a second thought, Rally & Marie race back to the Cobra Mustang & rev it up. In a moment or two, the car races off in Siobhan's direction, heading south.

"Goddammit!", Rally spat. "All this time we spend looking for her, it's she who finds us! And now a cop is down & dying, or maybe even already dead! FUCK!"

"Come on, Rally! Neither of us could've forseen it!", Marie says in an attempt to put her at ease. "And something she said before has got me rather worried!"

"What's that?"

"Do you recall when Siobhan said by 'killing four birds with one stone'? If she was there on the spot to try & kill you & no doubt me, then she just might also mean…"

The realization hit them both like a ton of bricks, & their blood ran cold.

"Holy shit! Minnie-May!", Rally shouted in dreaded fear.

"And Murphy! Step on it, Rally! I know where she's gonna strike next!", Marie pleaded.

Pressing down on the accelerator, Rally sends the Cobra Mustang peeling down the road after making a U-turn that left tire tracks on the asphalt. Marie tells her where to head to, & Rally follows her directions to the letter.

They both pray that they aren't too late.

CHAPTER V

The outskirts of Chicago:

At a police safe house in a secluded area in Riverside near the McCormick & Zoo Woods, Detective Roy Coleman was going through the usual paperwork in his makeshift room. The place had two others for eating & sleeping, & one of them was shared by a pair of officers named Owen & Mackie, while the third was shared by both Minnie-May & RoboCop himself. Puffing on his cigarette, Roy was just as uneasy of the ED-209 units as his friends & fellow officers were of it. Following his gut instinct, Roy felt there was more to the resurgence of the ED-209s than what Paxton's promising the people. The man was up to something, that much Roy knew. But Paxton had the Mayor, the boys at the Pentagon & even the President of the United States behind him for support, & he knew he couldn't even arrest Paxton without any solid evidence to back up his primitive instinct.

Instinct & hunches alone don't stand up in court. Only hard facts do, & sometimes even that's a gamble.

There was evidence that Paxton wasn't on the level about everything he told the public & his people, & he was going to find it & exploit the son of a bitch for the punk he really is. Roy never cared much for the ED-209s - a feeling that was shared by all in his department. And now, Dick Jones' prized achievements were running around in Chicago - his city - like they own the place.

Not if I have anything to say about it, Paxton!, Roy thought. In one way or another, he will find that evidence to prove that the man is not on the level about his mechanical pets.

And no number of ED-209s would be able to stop him.

Two rooms down from Roy's, Minnie-May rests comfortably on the bed under the covers as RoboCop sits in the portable metal recharging chair he & Marie brought with them on their trip to the Windy City. Even as he was being driven back, RoboCop realized that Marie was right: he has run himself ragged ever since he'd arrived looking for killer Siobhan Dallin, aka Razorblade. Even he saw just how tired he was, & was glad to be resting his systems & getting a grand recharge as he lies there dormant with his helmet off to reveal a face of synthetic flesh molded into the man he once was.

Officer Alexander J. Murphy.

His helmet was rested next to him on the left on one of two mini tables attached to either side of his chair, a mini monitor on the other. Eyes closed, Murphy had allowed his strength & stamina to be restored to its peak in utter & peaceful silence since his arrival back.

But in the last half-hour, Murphy's been dreaming of times - both good & bad - before & after he became the so-called 'Future of Law Enforcement'.

The first is his wedding day with his wife Ellen: they were at the church as their vows get exchanged, & Ellen turns to him with a big grin & says, 'Until death do us part, Alex."

Next image came at the hospital where Ellen had just given birth to their son.

Ellen: Alex, it's a boy!

Alex: So, what shall we name him?

Ellen: How does Jimmy sound…after your father?

Alex: Sounds perfect!

Then a new image came of him walking into the Metro West station & heading up towards Sergeant Reed at his desk.

Murphy: Hi. Uh, Murphy, transferring in from Metro South.

Reed: Nice precinct.

Murphy: Yeah, pretty good.

Reed: You work for a living down here, Murphy. Get your armor & suit up.

As Reed points the way, Murphy heads to the locker room of the station to meet some of the other guys & girls of the department, including officers Manson & Starkweather, the latter of whom suggested that 'We should strike. Fuck 'em!'.

But then Sergeant Reed & officer Cecil entered the room, & no one said a word. As officer Frederickson's nameplate was removed & placed in a box Cecil held, Reed turned toward the others in the room.

Reed: The funeral is tomorrow. The department requests all officers not on duty to attend. Any donations to the family…may be given to Cecil as usual.

Then the sergeant takes a good hard look at everyone, Starkweather in particular.

Reed: And I don't want to hear any more talk about strike! We're not plumbers! We're police officers! And police officers don't strike! Murphy! Front & Center!

At his desk, Reed introduces Murphy to officer Anne Lewis, a female with a hairstyle of a short cut that some models might have. A simple 'Glad to know you, Murphy', a firm handshake, & they were off in a squad car, ready to perform their daily duties.

Yes, Alex J. Murphy had it all: a loving wife & son, a good new job with good friends, & a new partner that any guy would practically kill for.

Then it all got violently taken away from him when he ran into crime kingpin Clarence J. Boddicker at the steel mill in Old Detroit. Without Lewis to assist him, Murphy was at the tender mercies of Clarence & his blood-crazy crew. His images switch to when he was on the floor & Clarence knelt down to him.

Clarence: You probably don't think I'm a very nice guy…do you?

Murphy: Buddy, I think you're slime.

Clarence smiles & rises off the floor as his henchmen laugh it up before their boss readies his shotgun.

Clarence: See, I got this problem. Cops don't like me, so I don't like cops!

Seconds later, after a playful tease with his weapon & making a computer noise, Clarence shoots at & blows away Murphy's right hand, leaving it a bloodied stump. Then Murphy's image changes to that of facing Clarence's crew - Steve Minh, Leon C. Nash, Emil M. Antonowsky & Joe P. Cox - as they mercilessly pump round after bloody round of bullets into his body, tearing apart his armor & blowing the rest of his right arm off, all the while he was screaming in agony. They kept firing their rounds until they were spent, & Murphy knelt to the floor, barely alive as Clarence puts the final round into the upper right side of his skull, leaving a hole that had been all but included on his 'new face' as RoboCop.

During the image of being blown away, Murphy was straining in his chair & making soft clanking noises. Then his image switches to when OCP exec Bob Morton was making his grand introduction to his staff.

Morton: We get the best of both worlds. The fastest reflexes modern technology has to offer, onboard computer-assisted memory & a lifetime of on-the-street law enforcement programming. It is my great pleasure to present to you…RoboCop.

Pulling away the clear tarp, he steps out with Bob Morton & his staff clapping & cheering as he passes by. Next image that came up was one of Anne Lewis reintroducing herself to him in his 'new attire' at the precinct.

Lewis: Uh, hello. I haven't really had a chance to introduce myself. I'm Anne Lewis. Do you have a name?

RoboCop stares at her a few moments before answering.

RoboCop: How can I help you, Officer Lewis?

Lewis: That's not really what I meant. Don't you have a name? Murphy, it's you. You really don't remember me, do you?

RoboCop: Excuse me. I have to go. Somewhere there is a crime happening.

Turning around her, he takes off & his image now changes to that of a Shell gas station where hoodlum Emil Antonowsky was robbing the place & taunting the lone clerk with his Mac-10 Machine Gun. Stepping out of his cruiser, he raises his own gun at Emil & walks toward him.

RoboCop: Drop it! Dead or alive, you are coming with me!

Emil stood dumbfounded at the cyborg cop, recalling the same cop who told him precisely that at the steel mill shortly before they executed him.

Emil: I know you! You're dead! We killed you! We killed you!

Clarence's thug shouts once more while firing his Mac-10 pistol at him before causing an explosion that destroyed the station. Upon arresting Emil, RoboCop heads to the CompuLab at the precinct & hacks into the files, searching for both Emil's known accomplices & a file of his former self - Alex J. Murphy. Lewis' words echoed within his mind, 'Murphy, it's you' again & again. Back & forth his images flash like TV stations, sometimes going into the future, & other times going back.

Next up is in the steel mill during the police strike, with him & Lewis being the only real cops on duty. After RoboCop removes his helmet, Lewis takes a makeshift mirror & places it before him, checking out his reflection, vague as it may seem.

Lewis: It's really good to see you again, Murphy.

RoboCop: Murphy had a wife & son. What happened to them?

Lewis: Well, after the funeral…she moved away.

RoboCop: Where did they go?

Lewis: She thought you were dead. She started over again.

RoboCop: I can feel them…but I can't remember them.

But Murphy found them shortly after in another part of the Detroit suburbs, a well-kept area & picture-perfect scene as he so often was found driving by her house.

That conjured up another memory for him, being seated in his chair at Police HQ in the rear of the precinct where he was 'kept'. A female technician by the name of Linda Garcia, Ellen Murphy's attorney who was named Tom Delaney, Shyster Holzgang from OCP & a cameraman were all standing/sitting in front of him with a camera on a stand, which was off at that time.

Holzgang: You have any idea what you're doing to that poor woman? Take a look at her file. Go on. (he hands him said object).

Delaney: Officer, Mrs. Murphy is bringing suite against OCP. My name is Tom Delaney. I'm representing her. Up to a few months ago, she wouldn't leave the bedroom. Then there were the therapists & the hypnotists & the harmonic treatments.

Holzgang: And then you pull this shit! Driving past her house day after day! Spying on her! Trying to make her think her husband is still alive!

Delaney: She's barely started to accept the loss. You're ripping her to pieces.

Holzgang: And for what? Do you think you could ever be a husband to her? I mean, what can you offer her? Companionship? Love? A man's love?

After long reluctance, RoboCop, sans helmet, says simply 'No'. The cameraman rolls tape again after an order from Holzgang.

Holzgang: Are you Alex Murphy?

RoboCop: No.

Holzgang: Are you human?

RoboCop: No.

Holzgang: You are simply a machine.

RoboCop: I am…a machine.

Holzgang: Nothing more.

RoboCop: Nothing more.

Satisfied, the camera ceases taping & they exit the room to give Murphy & his widow to meet briefly. They approach the chain-link fence, each being on the opposite sides of it. Struck with grief, Ellen speaks to her reincarnated husband, on the verge of crying.

Ellen: Alex? Don't you know me? Don't you remember me? Alex, it doesn't matter what they've done to you…

RoboCop: Touch me.

Alex's widow pokes her finger at the 'flesh' of his face. She withdraws in surprise.

Ellen: It's cold.

RoboCop: They made this…to honor him.

Ellen: No, I…

RoboCop: Your husband is dead. I don't know you.

Walking away from her, he sees her being lead to her car by her attorney & cries 'Why is this happening?', unable to hold it in no more.

In his chair, Murphy puts pressure on the arms with his hands, bending them a bit & doing his best to not shout out in anger & despair. More images appear to prevent him from lashing out.

Another scene changes within his mind as he now finds himself lying on a table with wires attached to his head as Dr. Juliette Faxx, psychologist, engages in a conversation with RoboCop as she types programs into his head from a keyboard.

Faxx: You're wasting valuable time. Don't resist us.

RoboCop: Let me up. I must go.

Faxx: Go where? Hmm? Do what? Go dancing? Fall in love? What is it you think you are?

RoboCop: Alex Murphy.

Faxx: That's a delusion. It's a glitch in your system. Alex Murphy is dead. You take away the plastic & metal & wires, & you're just a couple of chunks on a coroner's table. You're not even a corpse. What are you? (typing on the keyboard) Respond.

RoboCop: I am Officer Alex Murphy, Detroit Police Department.

Faxx: That won't do. (she types again on the keyboard) What are you?

RoboCop: RoboCop. Crime Prevention Unit. OCP.

Faxx (smiling): Better. Much better.

Now his vision of Dr. Faxx fades & a brand new one reappears as he stares at a squadron of heavily armed officers in full battle gear & high-powered guns led by Lieutenant Hedgecock at the entrance of the OCP parking garage after his botched attempt to arrest Dick Jones & his brutal fight with his ED-209.

Cocking their guns, they aim it at RoboCop with bright lights shone in his face.

Hedgecock: Prepare to fire!

Starkweather: Hey, wait a second!

Manson: He's a cop, for God's sake!

Female officer: Hedgecock, you can't do that!

Hedgecock: We have orders to destroy it!

Manson: Oh, shit!

Starkweather: You're a maniac!

Manson, Starkweather & the rest from Metro West walk away from Hedgecock's team disgusted as Hedgecock orders his men to 'Fire at will!'. High velocity bullet after bullet strike the cyborg cop in more places than he could shield his body from, tearing into him & forcing him down to the ground. It was like being shot at mercilessly by Clarence Boddicker & his gang, only now he was being done so by fellow police, which was far worse. Only a timely intervention by Anne Lewis saved him from becoming spare parts.

Now RoboCop shifts more violently in his chair, the visions & memory of that shootout still stinging him. His mind goes from the OCP parking garage to that of the steel mill where he gets pummeled from above by Leon Nash, who drops a ton of scrap metal down onto & pinning him just before Lewis blows him away with one of their Cobra Assault Cannons, leaving only Clarence Boddicker to attend with. The crime kingpin grabs a pointed metal bar & starts bashing it on RoboCop, who blocks it several times with his free right arm. Changing tactics, Clarence raises his weapon & drives the pointed end of it into RoboCop's left chest plate, causing him to cry out in pain. Bending closer, Clarence snickers his victory.

"Sayonara, RoboCop?"

RoboCop sensed something was wrong: when Clarence said his name, it didn't sound like him at all. It sounded more like a young female's voice than that of a madman's.

He opens his eyes. He didn't see Clarence Boddicker standing over him with a metal rod in his chest.

He saw Minnie-May Hopkins, dressed in her baby pink nightgown & staring right at him with a worried look. That's when the door to the next room opened up, & both Owen & Mackie were staring at a cyborg cop in a metal chair & a young girl in pink sleepwear with a brown teddy bear in her arms & slippers on her feet. Both turned their heads to the new arrivals.

"Everything okay in here? Mackie & I heard noises", Owen said.

"We're good, officers", Minnie-May says innocently.

"My apologies, officers", said RoboCop. "I was…dreaming about times gone by."

Owen & Mackie face each other in a bit of confusion before Mackie spoke.

"Well, in any case, Owen & I are right next door, & Detective Coleman in the room just beyond. Holler should either of you need anything."

"Thank you, Officers Owen & Mackie. That will do fine", RoboCop says while Minnie-May just nods, & the new arrivals exit & close the door behind them, leaving the two occupants alone in the room. The cyborg cop faces her.

"Did I awake you, Minnie-May Hopkins? If so, I apologize to you as well", he replied in a sincere tone for a cyborg.

"It's okay, RoboCop", Minnie-May replied back, kneeling by him & placing her head on his left leg, keeping her teddy bear close. "Part of me couldn't sleep anyway. Besides, it's my job to make sure you don't bail on us like Rally asked me to, remember?"

Robo briefly smiled at that.

"Yes, it is. Speaking of you & Rally, I've read both your personell files. How is it that two young girls like yourselves ended up in this line of work, handling guns & explosives & dealing with bounty hunting those who have skipped on their bail along with running a gun shop here in Chicago?"

"I suppose you could either call it destiny, or just plain ordinary dumb luck", Minnie-May replied calmly. "Rally got into guns when she was just a child - she got it from her father's side, despite high objections from her mother. She wanted Rally to play the violin, of all things. But her father insisted, & that lead to their divorce. Sadly, her mother was killed by robbers before it was finalized, & her father disappeared to find them, leaving Rally to mind the store."

"Yes, it was called 'Gunsmith Cats', hence your reputations", RoboCop filled in. "And you were recruited by Rally shortly after she took over the business."

"Yep. You see, I ran away from home when I was 13 when I met my first love, Ken 'Taki' Takizawa", Minnie-May went on.

"The bomb expert, I presume", RoboCop says as Minnie-May nods. "From what I dug up on him, he was practically twenty years older than you are, Minnie-May. But more importantly, why hook up with someone who did explosives for the Chicago underground before being on the run from them?"

Minnie-May sighed sadly before answering.

"He took me in & cared for me when I left my parents. There was something about him I just couldn't resist, aside from his connections to the underground. When he was forced to go into hiding, I worked as a prostitute over at a place called 'The Purple Pussy' in Chinatown until I met Rally. But before he left, Ken taught me everything he knew about bombs - from making the biggest blasts to duds - and I now use my talent to help Rally capture creeps we need to go after. In a way, I guess you could call it a chance to atone for past sins. At least, that's how I look at it."

RoboCop places his left hand on Minnie-May's shoulder with great care. He can recall one of the technicians saying that his hands have a strength level of 400-foot pounds which is capable of 'crushing every bone in your hand'.

But they're also capable, too, of tenderness.

"I was a religious man, Minnie-May", RoboCop says. "I have always believed that anyone could turn their lives around for the better, if they were willing to. And I still believe that notion even now. From what you have just told me & what I've seen in your files, you & Rally are using that second chance rather well in spite of your…unorthodox methods."

Minnie-May smiled to that, briefly.

"Thanks. That means a lot", she says with less enthusiam than she meant.

"Are you worried about Rally & Marie Lazarus?", RoboCop asks, sensing her feelings as is evident in her tone.

"How can I not be? They've been out all day, & haven't checked in with us once to give us an update on their progress. Do you think they're okay?"

Robo hesitated for a moment before answering.

"I'm sure they are. Marie's a tougher woman than she seems - and she has Rally Vincent by her side."

"Yeah, I guess so", Minnie-May says, somewhat convinced as she changes the subject. "Uh, RoboCop?"

"Yes, Minnie-May?"

"Earlier in the day, I seem to recall Marie Lazarus call you 'Murphy' a few times. Is that, like, your real name?"

Again the cyborg cop hesitated to answer her immediately.

"It was…once."

"Could that also mean that you were once, you know…"

"Human? Please do not be afraid to say it, Minnie-May. And yes…I was a regular man at one time. That was, until…"

"Until what? What exactly did happen to you that made you something out of an old sci-fi movie?"

As he explains it to Minnie-May, RoboCop sees flashbacks of himself in the old Detroit steel mill as a regular cop, right up to when he was at the tender mercies of Clarence Boddicker & his men.

"I…took a wrong turn somewhere & met some very bad people. They shot me up with their guns, & when I awoke I was reborn as what you now see."

"Did OCP do this to you?", Minnie-May asked.

"Yes. OCP executive Bob Morton remade me into a cyborg, programming me to wipe out crime in Old Detroit. He also had my memory erased, or so he thought. With some coaxing from a…friend, I was able to recall who I was before they did this to me."

"Were you a family man, Murphy?"

Images of Ellen & Jimmy flash through RoboCop's mind, making him slow in telling her.

"Yes. I had a wife & son named Ellen & Jimmy", he finally says. "I'd been told they were…devastated by my loss."

"I take it that they don't know what you've become, huh?", Minnie-May wondered.

"No, & I dare not tell them", he says sorrowfully. "It was bad enough for them to know that I had been killed in the line of duty. To let them know that I still reign within this metal shell of a body would only cause them more grief & other emotional pain. That is something I do not wish on either of them."

"Not to mention that they'd become the targets for any & all criminals out there, if word of it got out."

"And that is why I strive to keep it confidential", RoboCop says. "Indeed, Minnie-May. You catch on fast. Then again, I can tell that you are quite mature & knowledgeable for someone your age. You remind me of myself, believe it or not."

"I do believe it, Murphy", Minnie-May says. "But what I can't believe is that those grunts from OCP would take a man & make him into a 21st Century Frankenstein like they did with you. I don't mind saying that I feel horrible for you, Murphy: being shot to pieces like you were & then being created into a machine, no doubt against your own free will to boot. Your past, not to mention your life gets ruined, your wife & son not knowing the truth for obvious reasons, it's not only taboo, it's utterly unforgivable! If it had happened to either Rally or myself, we'd probably go insane. Human beings aren't meant to live like machines for any reason. Tell me, Murphy: how do you stand it, being what OCP made you into?"

"While it was difficult to…adjust to my new lifestyle, I bear it because I have friends: my colleagues from the Detroit Police Department, Dr. Marie Lazarus, Detective Roy Coleman, as well as both you & Rally, Minnie-May."

"That's good to know. And in my professional as well as personal opinion, I don't care what OCP made you into, because underneath that metal shell of a body, you're still - and always will be - human to me, Murphy. And neither OCP or anyone else can ever take that away."

"That's good to know, Minnie-May. Thank you."

Minnie-May & Murphy face & give each other a warm smile, reciting their words back & forth & enjoying the other's company vastly. For a good long time since he had been made into a cyborg, this is one of the times where Murphy really felt good about himself. Being with Minnie-May truly made him feel more human than ever. For somebody who has a literally explosive talent & a partly sordid history, Murphy can see the sweet innocence of this little girl & look right past the troubled soul of a girl who left her home at her first year as a teenager, hooked up with a known bomber, & worked once at a strip club to earn her bread & water every day & a roof over her head. Even with his systems fully operational, Murphy still couldn't figure out as to why he is strangely drawn to her: she is totally unlike anyone he's ever dealt with in the past. Even his own son Jimmy & little runaway Nikko didn't come close to Minnie-May's irresistible charm; she is truly one-of-a-kind, something in which he really liked in a person.

The young blonde Gunsmith Cat felt the same way, Murphy can tell as she stares at him, her smile as golden as ever.

Murphy's smile to her suddenly vanishes as he looks up from Minnie-May & then straight ahead. May asks him what was wrong but received no answer; instead, Murphy quickly & almost silently threw himself over Minnie-May, a move that shocks & surprises her.

Seconds later, nearly the entire police safe house goes up in a number of explosions.

From outside the safe house, a pair of ED-209s launch two missiles each from out of their pontoon-like arms which strike the structure & cause it to go up almost like kindling as debris rain down on the surrounding area, some of it still burning. Both ED-209 units were surveying the wreckage, looking for any sign of life, human or otherwise. Then one of them sees something laying on the ground not five feet away from the foot of the first ED-209. It was rounded with a black chin guard & tinted visor, its hide smoking on spots.

They have found RoboCop's helmet.

After a minute or two of finding nothing else, the ED-209s report to each other.

"No traces of any life are detected", said the first ED-209. "Conclusion: initial subjects are terminated."

"Report confirmed. Heading back to base", the second ED-209 said, & both units lumber away from the pile of rubble & debris that was once a safe house like metal dinosaurs searching for food, disappearing from sight completely in under a minute.

Three minutes later:

Driving as fast as she dared & not get pulled over, Rally headed back to where Robocop & Marie were stationed at. When they arrived, they saw a sight that chilled them to the bone: their refuge was blasted to ruins in a heap of rubble, & they feared the worst.

"No", they both said above a whisper as Rally brought her Mustang to a stop.

"Roy! Minnie-May!", Rally shouted as she exited the car.

"Murphy!", Marie shouted, doing the same.

As one, they ran towards the safe house ruins & scanned frantically for any signs of life & find none. Frustrated & in sorrow, the two ladies were on the verge of shedding tears when they suddenly hear a slight scraping/rumbling sound to their left. Turning, they see a pile of debris rise off the ground & pushed away to reveal two figures they were happy & relieved to see.

Robocop (sans helmet) & Minnie-May Hopkins, the latter being held in one arm by the cyborg cop as he pushes away the last pieces of debris. Now using both hands, Murphy carries a slightly soiled Minnie-May - teddy bear & all - over towards the ladies & gently places her down on the ground.

"Minnie-May! Are you & Robo all right? Where's Roy?", Rally asks, giving her partner a hug.

"We're okay, Rally!", Minnie-May replied, hugging back. "Murphy here threw himself upon me just before the blast occurred to shield me! As for Roy & those other two officers, they might still be alive underneath all that rubble! We need to find them! Fast!"

"I will scan for them, Minnie-May", RoboCop said, using his thermograph vision to find any heat signatures beneath the debris. It wasn't long before he makes his discovery to the ladies.

"There is one man near the far end to your right & two more in the middle."

"We'll go & help the individual, Murphy! It could be Detective Coleman! You go & assist the other two!", Marie said, going to work immediately with the two Gunsmith Cats even before she'd finished talking as did Murphy himself. Even as they approach, the ladies could each hear a slight moaning & they waste no time in removing debris until they uncover Roy Coleman lying on the ground, his head bleeding a bit.

"Roy! Hang tight, tough guy! We'll help you out!", Rally said as she, Marie & Minnie-May remove the rest of the debris & half-drag the detective out from beneath. As he gets carried out, Roy grunts in pain & clutches his left arm.

"Dammit! I think my arm's broken!", he growls. Ignoring it, the detective turns to the cyborg cop. "Hey Robo! Have you located those other two officers Owen & Mackie yet?"

"Yes, Detective. I have just found them", Murphy replied, pushing debris away to reveal the bodies of said officers. The first one, Mackie, a slim fellow, was found impaled with a piece of wood right through the heart like he was some kind of vampire that got staked by Van Helsing himself. Murphy can tell that death was instantaneous - the man never knew what hit him. The other cop, Owen, who was more burly & muscular, coughed up a bit of blood as Murphy turned him over onto his back to look up at the cyborg cop. He speaks to him in a strained but coherent voice.

"Hey RoboCop. Tell me true…the EDs…it was the EDs that did this…wasn't it?"

"Yes it was, officer", Murphy said softly.

"Fuckin' A, I knew it! I never did like those…pieces of shit, & now they're out all over the…goddamned city! Hey Robo…I need for you & your friends to…do something for me!"

"How can I help you, Officer Owen?"

"Don't let them…pass the funding bill for those walking disasters! We don't…need their brand of justice here in Chicago…or anywhere else! In short…get them for me…promise me…"

Owen's last phrase rekindled a memory in Murphy's mind, & his image briefly goes to when his partner, Officer Anne Lewis, was shot a few times by ruthless rehab team leader Paul McDaggett as she & Murphy defended a church full of homeless people. He can still hear her dying words as he lay her on the church's alter, her last words whispering, "Get them for me…promise me…"

His image of Anne Lewis dying switched back to the here & now, & he again sees Owen in the same position, on his back & bloodied even worse than Lewis had been, his eyse staring straight into space.

"Yes, we will", Murphy replied.

But he knew Owen couldn't hear him.

Murphy could tell the man was gone.

He turns to his four friends in as solemn a look as he could on his synthetic-flesh face.

"Officers down", he tells them softly.

Roy, Marie, Rally & Minnie-May bowed their heads, fighting tears that were forming in their eyes.

8:30 p.m.:

Police & ambulances arrived at the scene between seven & ten minutes after all hell broke loose, getting statements, treating those who were wounded & zipping bodies up in black plastic bags before being loaded in the back of a coroner's van. Except for a few dirty spots on her person, Minnie-May was relatively unharmed in every way due to RoboCop's intervention, the latter of whom places his helmet back on his head, seemingly undamaged in performance aside having been involved in the blast. Roy was not so fortunate: along with a broken left arm, he also suffered a concussion to which he felt the effects of it just shortly after being pulled out from the wreckage. At the insistence of the paramedics, Roy Coleman will be taken to Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, located between East 25th & 26th Streets right off South Michigan Avenue.

Sighing, Roy Coleman reluctantly agrees.

Sleeping under the influence of morphine, Roy Coleman doesn't hear the conversation of what's befallen their home.

"This shit's been like this all fucking day!", barked a coroner employee. "Everywhere you look, you can't have an ED-209 fighting crime without somebody going to the morgue! I'm sick & tired of bringing back dead bodies to the office!"

"I hear that, fella!", said a paramedic. "It's totally & utterly barbaric what they do to the lawbreakers in this town! Even they don't deserve that kind of harsh justice deployed on them by these walking tin cans! I don't care what that schmuck Paxton says or even promised us: to me, the ED-209s are, & forever will be, nothing but bad news! And the President wants to fund a bill for more of these things in every city across the nation? Please man, I would much rather give mobster Al Capone a badge & gun & let him patrol the streets! At least he can be taken down with a single bullet if he got out of line! But these fucking ED-209s? They're the proverbial 500-pound gorillas!"

RoboCop, Marie, Rally & Minnie-May overheard the conversation, feeling exactly the same way they do.

"They're not wrong, you guys!", Minnie-May said. "The country from coast to coast will get an endless supply of harsh justice from the ED-209s if that bill is passed by the President tomorrow morning! We can't let that happen!"

"And we won't, Minnie-May", said RoboCop as one paramedic hits the side of the ambulance three times, giving the driver his cue to head off. "As Detective Roy Coleman is being taken to Mercy Hospital & Medical Center & cared for, it will be up to us to put the ED-209s - and Paxton Silverman - out of business. Us four are the best chance there is in getting all of this stopped. If anyone wishes to bail out now, I shall not hold it against you."

Rally, Minnie-May & Marie all stood their ground.

Murphy expected it, & gives them a little smile in gratitude.

"We're with you every step of the way, Murphy!", Marie says matter of factly as Rally & Minnie-May nod.

"Yes! Time to stop this disease from spreading!", Minnie-May said. "And the best way to do that is to go to the source & kill the heart of it! All we need to do is find out where Paxton's ED-209s are being made & manufactured!" She then softens up a bit. "But I don't know of anyone who might."

"But we do, Minnie-May!", Rally says, smiling with Marie. "Guess who Marie & I found earlier today!"

After a moment of thought, the little blonde bombshell smiled herself.

The Days Inn Hotel, 9:15 p.m.:

After his three-course meal of a well-cooked steak, mashed potatoes with gravy & a side order of carrots with fine wine to wash it all down, Donald Johnson headed into the bathroom for a nice hot shower, emerging only a few minutes ago in his bathrobe feeling as refreshed as he'd ever been before. But through it all, he was also rather tired & wanted nothing more than to slip into his pajamas & crash into bed, having to deal with the ED-209's resuscitation at Buckingham Fountain & the unexpected (& unwelcome) arrival of Gunsmith Cat Rally Vincent & former OCP tech Marie Lazarus in discussing human morals between right & wrong, & what side of the law he should choose to be on.

Like any of that even mattered to him: so what if the ED-209s are a little on the harsh side towards the scum of Chicago, & soon, in every city from coast to coast? The main thing is this: because of Paxton Silverman, he's out of the poor house & back on his feet & working hard to make the city streets safe again for law-abiding & decent citizens. Human morals are something Johnson never learned too much of in the past, & he wasn't about to start now.

Tonight, however, he's about to get his first few lessons - whether he wants them or not.

Before he can so much as think of removing his bathrobe, the door to his room gets swung open forcefully by none other than RoboCop himself, the locks offering no protection from the cyborg officer. His line to the stunned man clear, RoboCop marches towards him.

"You! What the hell do you think you're doing…urk!", Johnson started saying until the cyborg cop grabbed him by the lapels of his robe & brought him close enough so that Johnson could see his reflection in Robo's visor.

"Donald Johnson, you're coming with me!", RoboCop demanded sternly. "Get dressed! And make it fast! Or there will be…trouble!"

The former OCP executive's beauty sleep will have to wait, as if he really had a choice.

Five minutes later:

Once he was forced to put on his spare business suit, Johnson was hefted upon RoboCop's right shoulder & carried out like a sack of potatoes. The former OCP executive protested for the whole trip downstairs, kicking, punching & even shouting obscenities at his abductor. Johnson may as well be doing so to a brick wall, because nothing was stopping RoboCop from taking him away from the safety of his hotel room & out to street level where his ride awaits him - a black van with slide-open side door & tinted windows.

"Put me the fuck down, goddamnit!", Johnson demanded.

"Okay", RoboCop replied, actually granting the man his wish as he places his feet upon the sidewalk & opens the van's side door. "Get in! Now!", he demanded.

Having no chance of escape from the long metallic arm of the law, Johnson did as he was told. When he got in, RoboCop slide shut the door & headed for the back. Inside the van, the Ex-OCP executive was greeted by Marie in the seat next to him, followed by Rally & Minnie-May up in the driver & passenger's seats.

None of the ladies were happy to see him, whether for the first or second time.

"Hello again, Johnson!", Marie & Rally say with contempt.

"Can't exactly say that we're pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Johnson!", Minnie-May added in the same tone, now dressed in blue jeans, white sneakers & light green jacket. At that point, RoboCop opens the van's rear doors & enters, closing them up & moving towards the others, sitting right behind Johnson.

"I wish I could say the same, ladies!", Johnson said, crossing his arms & trying not to be too intimidated. "Isn't this very much like kidnapping? Last I heard, that sort of action was more or less illegal in this country!"

"Oh, what's this?", Marie asks in a sarcastic tone. "For all those years when you, the Old Man & everyone else at OCP did nothing but mock the law, both it and those morals which you so blatantly ignore with contempt suddenly matter to you now, huh? Well, congratulations to you, Mister! Now you know how it feels, being the little guy & all!"

"Yeah! Not so good being on the receiving end, huh?", Rally added.

"I assume there's a point to all this?", Johnson asks, keeping his composure.

"There is. We want you to take us to Paxton's Base of Operations", RoboCop instructed.

"Oh, I see! You all want me to turn stool pigeon on the man who helped to get me back on my feet again!"

"This madness with the ED-209s has gone too far, Johnson. It must end…tonight."

"And if I should happen to refuse your request?"

The ladies stare at Johnson with harder looks on their faces than they had when Johnson first entered the vehicle, each of them with the desire to kill him where he sat. From behind him, RoboCop grabs a portion of the seat Johnson sat in & gives a slight squeeze. Even with a small amount of pressure, he caused considerable damage to it, crushing the fabric & part of the frame with it. Johnson's eyes widen, imagining that was his hand or even his shoulder he was putting the squeeze play on.

"It isn't a request, Johnson. It's an order!", RoboCop stated firmly.

Feeling sandwiched, overpowered & outnumbered, Johnson gulped hard & yielded to the beauties in the front & the metal 'beast' behind him.

"Start the motor. I'll tell you where to go", Johnson said defeatedly, his rough composure all but evaporated.

"Good boy!", Minnie-May said.

"Somehow, we knew you would!", Rally adds, starting the engine.

"No tricks, Mister!", Marie warns him.

"Dr. Lazarus, I'm in a vehicle with a girl who can practically shoot with her eyes closed, another who's an explosives expert & a futuristic Frankenstein who can crush every bone in my body to powder!", Johnson says. "What kind of tricks can I possibly hope to perform with all that surrounding me?"

"Just making sure you understand your predicament! Now…start acting like a GPS & tell us where we need to go!"

That said, Johnson starts giving Rally directions, leaving the safety of his hotel room into unknown dangers he knows will come.

CHAPTER VI

West Taylor & South Halsted Streets, 10:00 p.m.:

Forty-five minutes was all it took for Rally to drive the van to their destination, following Johnson's directions to the letter. The only stop they made was at a clothing store for Rally to dress up in dark purple attire to help her blend in better if it came to sneaking around once they arrived, something they're probably going to have to do once they get there.

As Johnson tells Rally to drive down South Halsted & turn right on West Taylor, Rally & Minnie-May could hardly believe their eyes where Johnson's directions have lead them.

"You mean this is the place?", Minnie-May asked.

"The Science & Engineering Laboratories East & West, yes", Johnson said. "Months ago, Paxton more or less bought the place & had it renovated to his standards to have his operation here."

"What about the people who already work here? Did Paxton lay them off?", Marie asked.

"Hardly. They were a big asset to his operation, & he paid them each handsomely for their services, with an added bonus for all."

"Well, I guess the guy's not completely heartless!", Rally said with sarcasm.

"It still does not excuse his actions with the ED-209s", RoboCop said evenly. "It is time to shut down his operation before things get too out of hand."

"Agreed, Murphy. Rally, let's turn in here", Marie suggested, pointint to a road past the primary parking lot. Nodding, the Gunsmith Cat drives the van up a side road & into a grove of tall trees, obscuring it from view & putting it in park.

"Good thinking on your part, Marie", Minnie-May praised. "Underneath these trees, hardly anyone will notice our vehicle & arouse suspicion."

"That's the idea, Minnie-May", Marie said. "But there's still a chance that it, & us, will get discovered, so let's approach with the utmost caution."

No one argued on that, & they all nodded except Johnson.

"I don't get it, Miss Vincent", the black man says. "Why go to the trouble of getting a van to come here? Why not use your regular car, that Cobra Mustang I hear you always drive?"

"Because it makes too much noise, dumbass!", Minnie-May snaps. "Even at low gear!"

"And it's too damn conspicuous!", Rally added, no less friendlier. "Paxton probably knows I drive that car & will be on the lookout for it! It'd be like painting a great big bulls-eye on us!"

"Hey, no need for you to get all puffed up. I'm just asking, okay?", Johnson said, his hands raised in a surrender.

"Well, don't!", Marie snapped. "Just do what we tell you, & when we tell you to do it! You got that, Mister?"

"Okay, I got it already! Shall we?"

"Remain here until I open the side door", RoboCop instructs the former OCP executive. Opening the back doors, the cyborg cop exits & closes them up as silently as he could before he attends to the side door & slides it open, giving Johnson no more chance to bail than before. As he exits, he was followed immediately by Marie, Rally & Minnie-May.

"Since it's more than obvious we shouldn't just waltz in through the front door, we're sure you must know of another way inside the complex, right?", Rally said.

"If only there were", Johnson said. "Everything's locked up tight in the place, the front and back doors. Paxton takes no chances in letting any tresspassers getting inside."

"I'll bet I can get us inside!", Minnie-May says confidently. "Just get me to the rear doors & I'll undo the locks!"

"You're on, girlfriend!", Rally says with a smile to her partner. Turning back to Johnson, it disappears. "The back doors if you please, Johnson!"

The black man leads the group towards the rear of the complex at a quick but careful pace. He takes them to a pair of double-doors that looked to be the only way in or out of the rear of the entire complex. The group couldn't decide if it was a blessing or a curse. All they do know is that it was the best course of options available to them. So far, Johnson hasn't led them astray once: RoboCop would know firsthand if he was lying to them using his voice stress analyzer, & the man is fully aware of the dire consequences he'd be facing if he does lead them astray, & they'd probably be anything but lawful.

Minnie-May was about to work on the door's lock & Rally pulling out her CZ-75 handgun when RoboCop told them both to wait a moment. Using his thermograph vision, he scans all of the next room to see if anyone was in the vicinity. Finding not a living soul or any surprises, he gives Minnie-May the go-ahead as she picks the lock with barely a sound.

In less than twenty seconds, she gives her group a triumphant thumbs-up & opens the first door. Drawing his Auto-9 pistol from his right leg, RoboCop enters first, followed by Johnson, Rally, Marie & Minnie-May, the latter of whom shuts the door after taking a quick check to make sure no one was watching from outside. The room they entered in was clearly empty, sans a pile of pointed metal rods right in front of the doors fifteen feet away, most with sharp tips. Seeing a door at every wall, they begin opening up each one, starting with the ones on the left & right walls. The only thing those lead to are rooms just like the one they entered in, as pieces of scrap metal & wires lay everywhere. Marie & Minnie-May keep close watch on Johnson as both Rally & RoboCop check out the rooms on opposite sides of the wall, guns in hand.

"Clear", RoboCop said, scanning the room on the right & closing the door.

"Clear", Rally said of the room on the left, doing the same.

"Where is everyone, Johnson?", Marie asks. "A building this size can't possibly have just a skeleton crew at work, especially if Paxton's putting ED-209s together!"

"That's exactly what it has at this time of day, Dr. Lazarus", Johnson said matter of factly. "Most of those who labor during the daytime head home at 8 or 9 in the evening. Only a very few scientists stay here & maintain ordnance from then until about 5 or 6 in the morning. Don't tell me that doesn't sound like what you & the other technicians do for RoboCop over at Metro West, Doctor."

"Never mind the wise cracks, Johnson! Where do we go from here?"

"To find what you all really came here for, your answer lies right through that door", Johnson says, pointing to the door just opposite of the ones they came in from.

"Very good, Johnson. Tell you what: why don't we let you take lead on this?", Rally asked him, signaling the way with her gun. Obeying, the former OCP executive walks ahead of the group & opens the door, stepping through.

When they enter the next room, they all froze with shock.

"Sweet Jesus!", Marie said in a tone just above a whisper. In an extremely wide open area which seemed to literally take up over half of the entire complex lay fully assembled ED-209 units, both standing on the floor & being hung overhead by thick metal poles equipped with twin prongs on each, muck like a forklift's. Just like the ones standing on the floor, these ED-209s were all hung in rows of two, looking somewhat like rows of cars waiting to be assembled. An empty space of thirty feet across between both twin rows of ED-209s was where the group now walked into, viewing the two rows of mechanical war machines in utter disbelief.

"So this is what Paxton went & did to this place!", Marie said, looking all around. "Turned it into a factory to produce ED-209s, just like an automobile assembly line!"

"Golly!", Minnie-May says. "Looking at them all, you might think that Paxton was about ready to plot an invasion & wage war in the country!"

"That wouldn't surprise me in the slightest, Minnie-May! It possibly is what the man has in mind!", Marie said, turning with a hard look towards Johnson. The black man stayed still & held firm: even kidnapped & threatened, he wasn't going to give neither the ladies nor the cyborg cop the satisfaction of making him nervous or even scared any longer. He still believed in what Paxton was trying to do, & he will neither be swayed or intimidated away from it.

Even RoboCop himself was in shock by seeing all the ED-209s in the room, & his stream of thought was interrupted by flashes of memories flooding back to him.

In one scenario, it reminded him of when he was first being 'assembled' as two female technicians (one with glasses), Dr. Roosevelt, Johnson & Bob Morton were standing over him.

Female (glasses): He's on.

Morton: What's the story?

Female (glasses): We were able to save the left arm.

Morton: What? I thought we agreed on total body prosthesis. Now lose the arm, okay?

Female (glasses): Jesus, Morton.

Morton: (snapping his fingers) Can he understand what I'm saying?

Roosevelt: Doesn't matter. We're going to blank his memory anyway.

Morton: Well, I think we should lose the arm. What do you think, Johnson?

Johnson: Well, he signed the release forms when he joined the force. He's legally dead. We can do pretty much what we want to him.

Morton: Lose the arm.

Female (glasses): Shut him down. Prep him for surgery.

When the glasses-wearing female gazes down upon him, RoboCop's next image was of him in Dick Jones' office, being stopped dead in his tracks as he makes an unsuccessful attempt at arresting the renegade OCP executive. Even through a slightly hazy view, he can still see Dick Jones gloat from behind & in front of his desk.

Jones: What's the matter, officer? I'll tell you what's the matter! It's a little insurance policy called 'Directive 4'! My little contribution to your psychological profile! Any attempt to arrest a senior officer of OCP results in shutdown!

The man calmly walks around the metal cop.

Jones: What did you think? That you were an ordinary police officer? You're our product! And we can't very well have our products turning against us, can we?

With strained effort, RoboCop brings his gun around but drops it in the attempt.

Jones: Ah. Still a little fight left in you.

The man heads back to his desk, picks up a remote & presses a button. From behind a wall emerges an ED-209.

Jones: Maybe you'd like to meet a friend of mine. I had to kill Bob Morton because he made a mistake. Now it's time to erase that mistake.

The next several images that came next were that of Murphy's epic battle with Dick Jones' killer robot as he gets pummeled & shot at by the ED-209, taking powerful high velocity rounds & avoiding deadly missiles as the OCP building suffers severe damage. Only when RoboCop had made it to the stairwell did he escape the ED-209, as the thing was never taught to accelerate or even decelerate stairs correctly - especially since its feet were way too big for them!

One step, & it tumbled down & landed on its back, as helpless as a turtle in that position.

"Hey, Murphy!"

Minnie-May's voice helped to snap RoboCop out of his trip down memory lane, & he saw her, Marie & Rally staring up at him in bewilderment.

"Yo, tin man! You okay in there?", Rally asks.

"I am…fine, Rally Vincent", Murphy said to put her & the others at ease. He now turns to Johnson. "Where is Paxton's office at?"

"Why do you need to go there for?", Johnson asks.

"Just do it!", Rally barked, pointing her gun & cocking the hammer back.

Johnson exhaled sharply.

"Fine. This way", he said, leading them all the way across the tiled floor to a sturdy metal staircase that lead up to another level - a catwalk - at halfway up from the floor. The door which Johnson lead them to was placed in the center of the wall, only several yards from the stairs. He goes in first after checking the knob, & soon everyone was escorted into a large room with a lush couch over on the right, two metal cabinet/closets to the left, & a table with a vidphone screen & a computer right next to it, keyboard & all. In the far right corner, a refrigerator was humming in a soft noise as Minnie-May opens it & checks out the contents. What she sees are many bottles of unopened champagne of vintage years. The young Gunsmith Cat made a sour face & shuts it.

Huh! Figures he'd have this kind of shit in his fridge!, Minnie-May thought bitterly, being a fan of soft drinks & other treats similar in nature.

But as is obvious, Paxton Silverman was nowhere to be found.

"He's not in his office? From the décor of the room, I'd say that the guy practically sleeps here!", Rally said, half-joking.

"Then we shall stay here & wait for his arrival", RoboCop said.

"In the meantime, let me see what I can conjure up from his computer", Marie says, sitting in Paxton's chair & typing on his keyboard. "With any luck, it'll tell us just how Paxton was able to get the ED-209s working again & behaving as they do, since Johnson here is rather reluctant to share that info with us."

"Hey, Dr. Lazarus, even I don't know how Paxton performed that little miracle!", Johnson said in his defense. "No matter how many times I've asked him, he absolutely refused to share it with me!"

"Oh, so he keeps the big secret of the ED-209's resurrection even from you, huh?", Rally scoffs. "And yet you followed him blindly like an obedient dog! It's somewhat sad, really - one of OCP's former top execs just rushes into a situation without knowing the full story first!"

"I told you before, Miss Vincent! He gave me a chance to…"

"'To get back on your feet again', yeah…we know!", Minnie-May says, interrupting him. "Rally & Marie told us that part! But if Paxton won't share the info even with you, then his big secret is even more juicy than we realize, & we need to find out what that is!"

"And I believe we may have just found it, Minnie-May!", Marie says as the two Gunsmith Cats & Johnson crowded around the computer screen. It displayed an ED-209 unit with the title 'ED-209 Resurrection Program' above it. Clicking 'Enter', the screen now shows a list of options from top to bottom. One command interested Marie more than any else, & she clicks on the command 'Special: Executive Eyes Only'.

When she clicks it, a new message on the screen reads 'Enter Password'.

"Damn! That could take a while, Marie!", Rally said.

"Maybe not, Rally. Let me try something", she replied, typing in a keyword that Marie felt is more than ideal to gaining access. The word she put in equaled to a name.

Dick Jones.

Once she types it in, she hits the 'Enter' key & the screen now changes.

Pretty slick, Paxton! I should give you that, at least!, Marie thought with a smirk.

What she saw next on the computer screen made her smirk vanish, as it now displays a shot of highly advanced circuitry which was totally alien to both Rally & Minnie-May. But to Marie & Johnson, it was all too familiar.

"Son of a bitch!", Marie spat, banging a fist onto the table.

"What is it, Marie?", Rally asked. "What kind of circuitry is this?"

"This kind of circuitry is of Murphy's Neural Interface! It shows the perfect fusion of flesh & bionics!"

"What does that mean?", asked Minnie-May.

"It means that this is the exact same kind of circuitry used when OCP first inserted Alex Murphy's brain inside the RoboCop body he now 'wears'", Johnson says.

"And you were a part of doing that to him, I'll bet!", Minnie-May barked at him.

"Only in a very small way. Bob Morton was the real genius behind the RoboCop Project. I merely acted mainly as a supervisor of sorts. I didn't even perform the surgery to it."

"That still doesn't change the fact that this information, which is supposed to be classified, is being displayed here on Paxton's computer!", Marie barked. "Shit! Just how the fuck did he get his filthy, blood-stained hands on this?"

"With this", RoboCop said, holding two metal objects in his hands. While Marie was on the computer, Murphy searched the metal cabinet/closets & came up with something most of the group recognizes.

"That's Jamie Gantz's news camera!", Minnie-May declared. "What's it doing here?"

"Actually, Minnie-May, this is an X-Ray camera", RoboCop corrected her. "I assume that Miss Gantz used this to get an in-depth look at my inner workings within my head to gather the Neural Interface details to give to Paxton that first time she met us in Detective Coleman's office at his headquarters."

"And did it from right under all our noses!", Minnie-May said as Murphy nodded.

"That sneaky slut! I knew there was something about her that I didn't like, aside from her really obnoxious behavior & pushy attitude!", Rally snapped. She turns to Johnson with burning eyes. "And are you absolutely positive that you knew nothing of this?"

"Rally, please!", Johnson says. "All of this is as much a surprise to me as it is to any one of you! I was only told by Paxton that he was able to get the ED-209s back on line without any glitches! He never said to me how!"

A display on RoboCop's screen shows a reading:

Truth probability: 99.9%

"Johnson speaks the truth", Murphy said, surprising the ladies. "He was just as in the dark about this scrap of information as we were. He is not to blame."

From out of nowhere, a bunch of men wearing full battle gear suddenly kick in the door & charge in, aiming M4A1 Carbine Assault Rifles equipped with M203 Grenade Launchers. Eight in all, they order the ladies & Johnson to get together while they order RoboCop to remain where he is. A sound of new footsteps now calmly step inside the room, one pair being worn by a man & the other a woman. When they step into view, Robocop & his three female friends were highly disgusted & make sour faces of contempt.

It was none other than Paxton Silverman & Siobhan 'Razorblade' Dallin themselves, both of them entering the room arm-in-arm, acting like they were on their honeymoon.

"Hmph! Now that's a hideous couple if ever I sawone!", Rally snapped angrily.

"Nice to see you & Dr. Lazarus again, Rally Vincent!", Siobhan says with a sly smile. "And I finally get to meet your young friend Minnie-May Hopkins! How convenient!"

"If only I could say the same, bitch, but I can't!", Minnie-May spat.

"What a charming little child!", Siobhan says to Paxton. The two share a slight chuckle as they unhook each other's arms.

"But anyway, RoboCop was correct before", Paxton says as the armed men keep their guns pointed at the newcomers. "Johnson had absolutely no knowledge of how I got the ED-209s back on line & onto the streets. Truth be told, I simply couldn't share it with him yet until after the funding bill got passed by the President. It's just a shame that he discovered my little secret too soon. Therefore, while it pains me to say it, Johnson has just made himself a liability to our plans for my ED-209s."

"Are you saying I'm now expendable, Paxton?", Johnson asks in shock & anger.

"Sorry, but…that's the way the ball bounces, I'm afraid."

"You son of a bitch!", Marie spat. "You hired Jamie Gantz to record RoboCop's Neural Interface circuitry & adapt it to the ED-209s! All so you can climb high on the ladder of success like any other businessman, not giving a shit who gets killed along the way! It's hard to tell just who's more barbaric…the two of you, or your pet machines!"

"Well now, I can't take all of the credit! That honor goes to this little lady right here!", Paxton says nonchalantly, jerking a thumb to Siobhan.

"What the hell are you talking about, Paxton?", Rally asked.

"Permit me to show you & your friends, Miss Vincent!", Siobhan says, reaching behind her & taking out something she had hanging from her belt. When she brings it up front, she extends a well-made rubber mask with a face that was instantly recognizable to the stunned captive group.

"You! YOU were Jamie Gantz?", Minnie-May barks. "You were at Police Headquarters & Buckingham Fountain to 'interview' RoboCop those two times?"

"Indeed it was, my dear Minnie-May!", Siobhan says, tossing the mask away. "Thanks to my disguise, I was able to sneak up on you all & obtain the vital information Paxton needed to get his ED-209s a new lease on life! In return for my services, he's agreed to keep me both out of prison & by his side once he becomes an even richer & more powerful man once the President has agreed to the funding bill, come what morning!"

"And I suppose that promise to the people in keeping the city streets safe was all but a sham, Paxton? A downright lie to them?", Johnson asked in a scowl.

"Au Contraire, Johnson", Paxton says innocently. "I meant what I said about cleaning up crime in Chicago & all other major cities across the country. Once the funding bill gets passed & my ED-209s get unleashed everywhere, crime figures will drop faster than the ratings for Chevy Chase's short-lived talk show, & I'll be declared as a national hero! And it won't stop there: already there have been talks on having my ED-209s going & performing their duties overseas to every country on the other half of the hemisphere, all controlled & supervised by none other than Ginzo Hoshino, Kanemitsu's former employee! While Hoshino controls his half of the planet with the ED-209s, I'll be doing the same over here on this side! Think of it: an entire world at your fingertips to have as your own personal playground! Soon, everyone will be under mine & Hoshino's heels! Even the President of the United States & the Prime Minister of Japan will bow down to us! Any opposition or resistance to our order, the ED-209s will set them all straight!"

"Oh, we get it now, Paxton!", Marie said. "Once you & Hoshino gather the world's trust with your ED-209s, you'll both enslave the planet's population & make it one big kingdom with you & Hoshino as its rulers!"

"While we become your loyal servants!", Rally spat. "I gotta say, Paxton: you're a regular modern-day fucking Napoleon, Xerxes & Hitler all rolled up in one!"

"Only, they're dead & I'm not!", Paxton says with a grin. Siobhan chuckled.

"Dream on, asshole!", Minnie-May barked. "You think the people of this country, let alone the world, are going to bow down to you & Hoshino as you place the planet into a brand new era of slavery?"

"As a matter of fact, my dear Minnie-May Hopkins, yes I do!", Paxton says confidently. "I can practically taste the sweet fruits of my victory even now! And like I told Mr. Hoshino, the only major obstacles standing in my way of assured success are you fools!"

"So you're going to just execute us on the spot, traitor?", Johnson says.

"I can't allow you five to stand in the way of what's coming to me, Johnson! The situation will be like this: you four and RoboCop all broke into my grounds & tried to steal valuable info from me! You put up resistance as you're being arrested, & get shot & killed in self-defense, as RoboCop got blown to pieces by my men into spare parts!" Paxton turns towards the cyborg cop with an oddly melancholy look. "And speaking of the tin man, I have to say that it's a shame to have you get destroyed, since it was you who helped me achieve my goal! But just like the old saying goes, 'If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem'!" Then his voice turns hard, as do his facial features. "And don't even think of going for your gun, tin-ribs! Even if the bullets from those M4A1s don't bring you down, the grenades will! First, you'll get to watch as your friends die before it becomes your turn! Captain?"

"Yes sir!", the Captain said. "Tell you what, folks: why don't we make this fair? Instead of wasting our own bullets, let's have you get executed by one of your guns!" The Captain eyes Minnie-May. "You, blondie! How about handing over that piece tucked under your coat, nice & easy?"

Scowling, Minnie-May complies by going into her coat carefully & taking out her Glock handgun, placing it in the Captain's open palm. The man observes it with admiration a moment or two before aiming it at the young blonde.

"That's a good girl!", he says. "Almost a shame I have to do you in, little one! I hear you got the best pussy in town! But, I'm afraid orders are orders! Maybe in the next life, eh?"

"You three…close your eyes!", Minnie-May says to Rally, Marie & Johnson. Rally nods to them, & they comply.

"Don't want to see it coming, huh? Fine by me!", said the Captain, his weapon seconds away from firing the first shot. It then dawned upon Paxton: why would Minnie-May have a gun on her person when she was an explosives expert? It didn't make any sense to him. Unless…

Then the realization came to him, & his eyes go agape.

"Captain, wait! Don't…!", he warns him.

It was too late.

BANG!

As soon as the Captain squeezed the trigger of Minnie-May's Glock, the handgun went & exploded in a bright flash of white light, searing the eyes of mostly everyone in the room. The blast also blew off most of the Captain's right arm up to the elbow, leaving only a bloodied stump as he cried out in anguish. Heeding Minnie-May's warning, RoboCop shielded his own optics until the flash vanished & acted: reaching for his gun, he & even Rally Vincent pulled their weapons & began shooting at the armed guards before they can retaliate. In just seconds, all of Paxton's guards were brought down, their hearts/brains blown out.

Paxton managed to shield his eyes before the flash-bang occurred, throwing himself over Siobhan to do the same for her. Once the shooting started, they bolted for the door. RoboCop gets a quick glance at the escaping couple & fires his gun, only to hit the frame of the wall as a few chunks of it get blown off. Paxton goes left as Siobhan goes right, with Johnson running after the former.

He gets stopped by Marie.

"Johnson, wait! Where are you going?", she asked.

"To stop Paxton…what else?", he said angrily.

"But…"

"He used me, Doctor! All I wanted was to make cities safer for good, decent citizens, but not this! He's going to pay for playing me!"

He took off after Paxton before he even finished. Marie called to him again, to no avail.

"Dammit, Paxton's a madman! Johnson's gonna get himself killed!", Marie said.

"Go after him, Marie!", Rally said. "Leave Siobhan to us three!"

Nodding, Marie Lazarus grabs one of the M4A1s & rushes off to catch up with Johnson.

Rally tosses an extra gun to Minnie-May & RoboCop while getting one for herself.

"Let's get that bitch!", RoboCop said, hefting his M4A1 & own Auto-9 pistol as Rally & Minnie-May nod. The girls run out of the room first & turn right to where Siobhan ran off, while RoboCop brings up the rear. Almost immediately as they exit the room, a familiar danger erupts & Murphy shouts out a warning.

"Rally! Minnie-May!"

The warning nearly came too late: in a split-second, the walkway gets struck by a pair of missiles fired by a lone ED-209 from the ground floor, blowing a chunk of the walkway & wall to pieces. Rally & Minnie-May dive to one side as RoboCop dives to the other, barely avoiding getting blasted themselves. Unfortunately, the weight of the cyborg cop was too much for the now-damaged walkway & it gives way under him, plummeting him to the ground floor as he hits it hard with a loud clang.

"Murphy!", Rally & Minnie-May shout.

"Go! Don't let Siobhan escape again! I'll cover you!", RoboCop said, laying down some cover fire from both the M4A1 & his Auto-9 at the ED-209. That's when it launched a barrage of fire up at the two Gunsmith Cats, barely missing them.

"He's right, Rally! Let's move it!", Minnie-May shouted.

"Don't have to tell me twice!", Rally shouted back as the girls race off towards another door over at the far side of the walkway, dodging round after round from the ED-209 as they make it & run right into it, leaving the murderous ED-209 (& RoboCop) behind.

Now that the Gunsmith Cats were out of danger from the ED-209, RoboCop can now cut loose with his weapons, using their full capacity. High velocity rounds from both firearms strike the metal menace with sheer ferocity, but powerful as these were, they were hardly making a dent in its armor. But bullets weren't the only things those M4A1s had: switching over to the grenade launcher, RoboCop fires a well-aimed round straight at the ED-209's midsection. The blast disables the unit & explodes in a shower of sparks, shrapnel & wires. No sooner did it collapse than another ED-209 showed up & began blasting at RoboCop with its gun muzzels, the noise echoing the enormous room. Murphy takes a few of these hits as they dent his armor slightly, but dodges most as the rounds tear into the floor where he was seconds ago. Turning on a dime, the cyborg cop launches another grenade at his new attacker & the round strikes the ED-209 straight in what passes as its face, blowing it out in a cloud of debris. The unit sparks from head to toe a moment or two before collapsing to the floor, deactivated. He now scans the room for any more activated ED-209s that might ambush him in a roomfull of killer robots, his guns at the ready.

For thirty seconds, he finds nothing.

Then it happens: from seemingly out of thin air, a pair of rounds from a nearby ED-209 hits & shatters RoboCop's M4A1 into pieces right in his hand, lowering his armament to his own Auto-9 pistol. Letting out a grunt of pain & dissatisfaction, Murphy didn't realize that another ED-209 was upon him until it was too late. A volley of rounds from the new ED-209 unit were raining down on Murphy, his armor getting a bit more dented as the pings become a chorus. The barrage keep him blinded until the ED-209 rushes up & buffets him with its left pontoon arm, sending the cyborg cop soaring across the room many yards & landing with a clang. His gun goes flying from his hand with a clatter, & Murphy is a bit slow to rise. This gives the ED-209 time to run up to him & cause more damage to the downed metallic officer. But though RoboCop was down for the count, it didn't mean he was out: when the ED-209 gets close enough to swat him again, Murphy grans its pontoon arm like a crab grasping prey with its claws & digs his fingers into the metal. The ED-209, however, was unperturbed: with RoboCop holding on tight, it still swung its arm & bashed it against the floor & against other deactivated ED-209s repeatedly. Each bash was like the sound of a giant bell being tolled at a church, denting whatever the cyborg cop was struck against, including himself. Even Murphy can sense it: the longer this goes on, the worse for wear he'll become & in no position to help put Paxton's operation out of business.

He needs to change his tactics & fast.

The ED-209 does it for him: the unit lands RoboCop its hardest against the floor which causes him to lose his grip on the thing's arm. A swift kick to the chest sends him sprawling across the floor before getting kicked again by another ED-209 just as fast. Soon, another unit & even another ED-209 unit appeared in a total number of eight ED-209 units were kicking the metal man across the floor as if they were playing a deadly game of Hacky Sack or Soccer. The cyborg cop gets his bearings amid all the brutal kicks he's been getting from the players, & in the next kick he receives he digs his fingers into the floor which stops his progress, if barely. As he rises to his feet, RoboCop gets pummeled by powerful rounds from all eight ED-209s, who are all standing in an octagonal pattern twenty feet away from each other with RoboCop dead center. As bad as the barrage was, Murphy remains on his feet the whole time, an arm covering his lower face to make sure no rounds strike his vulnerable part.

After what seemed like an eternity, the ED-209s stopped shooting, leaving a dented but undaunted RoboCop standing. A moment of silence occurs before one ED-209 speaks.

"Refusal to speak is an act of defiance. We are now sanctioned & authorized to increase use of force", it said as all their missile ports made clicking sounds in unison, all aimed at the cyborg officer in the middle. RoboCop knew he was in a fix: with eight or even sixteen missiles coming at him altogether in a simultaneous maneuver, he'd be blown into too many pieces for Marie or anyone to put back together. This scenario was ten times worse than his battle with Dick Jones' unit. Fighting one ED-209 was bad enough.

Now he's surrounded by eight of them, all ready to fire missiles.

Tense moments pass as the ED-209s remain immobile as RoboCop turns in a circle, seeing which one will fire first.

And them it happens.

Acting like a single unit, all eight ED-209s launch a pair of their missiles at Robocop & streak in a straight line. It'd be devastating if those oncoming projectiles should actually hit the 'Future of Law Enforcement'.

But that's only if they hit him, & Murphy had no intention to get hit & blown apart.

The cyborg cop keeps track of the missile's course with his systems, & when they get to a range of about 5-6 feet from him, he drops to the floor like a lead box with a clang as all eight missiles pass by him harmlessly overhead. The missiles now have new targets in their course, & each pair streaks forth & strikes the ED-209s as one. The units all get their tops blown to bits as pieces of metal arms & bodies rain down near RoboCop with blaring clangs until it dies down. When next he saw the ED-209s, all he sees are their hefty legs still standing minus their upper bodies, the stumps still smoking. Five seconds later, they all collapse to the floor, their toes doing a slight twitch before ceasing altogether. Murphy now scans for his gun & finds it not more than about thirty feet from where he stands. Picking it up, he finds no damage to it & takes a last glance at the ruined ED-209s.

"I hate those damn things", he said to no one in particular.

With no remorse or sympathy for the two-legged terrors, RoboCop heads for the east wall & scans it to find another way to get to Rally & Minnie-May, since the walkway was out of the equation. In almost no time, he finds what he searches for & double-times it before things can get any worse.

A feeling he knows to be inevitable.

Hold on, girls! I'm on my way!, he thought, striding even faster.

The East End:

Weapons in hand, Rally & Minnie-May made their way into a large room a few down from Paxton's luxurious office. It wasn't nearly as large as the room where the ED-209s were placed at, per se, but it was more than large enough to hold them in a cluster. Luckily, when the girls had entered, there were none of the metal monsters anyplace.

But there were a multitude of heavily armed guards with M16 rifles, handguns, knives & other armament on their persons. Upon their arrival, the guards began shooting multiple rounds at the two young Gunsmiths, who barely got to cover from the volley by diving into a barrier of wooden crates with machinery placed inside them. The only thing the guards did hit were the M4A1s the girls had on them. The bullets had damaged them too much to be used, & they threw them aside in disgust. Now Rally was down to her CZ-75, Glock & Desert Eagle handguns with about three spare clips for each one. All Minnie-May had were a ton of explosives hidden on her person.

Currently, not good odds for the home team.

"Shit, Rally! These crates won't shield us forever, & we'll be sitting ducks if they decide to surround us at both ends!", Minnie-May shouted over the gunfire as pieces of wood fly in every direction around them. "We need room to maneuver against these creeps!"

"Then we'll make some room, Minnie-May!", Rally says, checking her CZ-75 handgun. "Wait here! I saw something before that might just help us to even the playing field!"

With a wink, smile & a thumbs-up of approval, Minnie-May wished her luck as Rally did exactly the same back. The Gunsmith waited until there was a break in the barrage of bullets that were flying around them before she acted. Even for a brief period of time, Rally had remembered seeing a small cluster of metal barrels behind their assailants before diving for cover. Hoping that something flammable were stored inside, they may be of great use to them. But if that was the case, then hitting one might kill everyone in the room, including them. But if she does nothing, she & Minnie-May will be dead just the same.

She has to at least try, & pray for the best.

Then a break in the gunfire occurs, & Rally makes her move, not knowing how long it would last.

Here goes nothing!, she thought as she rounds the corner & fires a pair of rounds into the nearest barrel her gun could reach. Those two shots were all she needed: in a split-second, a big & loud explosion occurred from behind the guards & engulfs them in a sea of fire. Men barely had a moment to scream in agony before the flames did them in as Rally & Minnie-May kept cover from their hiding places, covering their ears as soon as they could. But even so, they can both hear & feel the explosion that rocked the room before going into silence moments later. All that remained of the crates they hid behind were what lay inside - spare parts for Paxton's ED-209s, thick & heavy.

Were it not for these, they'd probably be the victims of their own folly.

Gun in hand, Rally takes a peek around along with her partner to see if the danger really was over. What they see was nothing short of a massacre: multiple bodies burned & smoldering, most beyond recognition, lying on the floor. Some were whole, while others had been literally blown to pieces, finding a few heads, legs & arms in various spots. Even Rally & Minnie-May found it a tad too much.

"Whoa! Guess I overdid it, huh, Minnie-May?", Rally said. "I wanted to clear the area of hostiles, & boy, did I ever!"

"You think, Rally?", said Minnie-May. "Maybe we should go & look up 'Overkill' in the dictionary again! I betcha we'll find a picture of us right next to the definition of the word!"

The two share a little smile at the remark.

When they hear the sound of guns cocking, they get alert real fast. But even so, they were vastly outnumbered again by a horde of ten guards who enter the room & get in a straight line from left to right. Armed now with pistol-grip shotguns, they aim their weapons at the two young females who raise their hands in surrender.

"All right, bitches, stay right where you are!", said the team leader. "This'll go a lot easier & quicker if you don't try anything funny! You with the gun…drop it! Now!"

Slowly, Rally extends her gun hand in front of her. With her thumb, she ejects the clip from her weapon as it falls to the floor. When it gets to about 2/3 of the way, Rally herself drops & rams the clip back into her gun again at the same time it touches the floor. Now at ground level, Rally fires her gun at the guard's ankles in rapid succession, placing a well-aimed bullet in each one as they all fall down like living dominoes, clutching their ankles & crying out in pain. It still didn't stop them from trying to put a bullet in the girls, & almost all of them aimed their weapons at the two Gunsmiths, but Rally put an end to that little stunt by placing a round in their Adam's Apple before she had to reload. Switching clips, she sees two more still trying to get a shot in before Rally says 'Uh-uh' with her CZ-75, doing so like she did with everyone else.

Before they can relax a bit, footsteps could be heard coming down the hall where the last group of guards came from, & Minnie-May springs into action.

"My turn, Rally!", she says, her turn up at bat. Grabbing a grenade from under her coat, she pulls the pin & tosses it out the doorway where it bounces right outside into the corridor. One of the guards yells 'Grenade!', but his warning was too little, too late. In a blast that shook the area, unseen men were blown to bits & splattered along the walls. One guard was able to escape the blast, but he fell victim by a well-placed bullet from Rally Vincent as soon as he appeared in the doorway in the chest, going down & staying that way.

"Ha! I wonder what else they want to throw at us, Rally!", Minnie-May says with a cocky demeanor. That's when a large metal panel on their right opens up vertically to reveal a large elevator with a nasty surprise waiting in store - a pair of ED-209s that start walking towards them like hungry carnivores. The elevator behind them closes & starts back down again.

"You just had to ask, didn't you, Minnie-May?", Rally said half-joking, backing away with her partner.

"Oopsie!", was all Minnie-May could say at the moment. The two Gunsmith Cats back off until the ED-209s were at the center of the room, & they speak in unison.

"Rally Vincent & Minnie-May Hopkins, throw down your weapons & surrender! You have ten seconds to comply!"

Eyeing the ED-209s & then each other, Rally & Minnie-May assess the situation in their minds before giving an answer with a quick nod.

They do a stunt that would be deemed as insane by anyone else…they run directly at the ED-209s!

Both units open fire at the twin Gumsnith Cats as they approach. Rally & Minnie-May keep their heads low as rounds of gunfire pass overhead by a fraction of an inch. They could feel each hot round fly by, their hair barely touching them. Going faster, they reach the units as Rally dives & slides underneath & between the legs of one unit while Minnie-May slides in between both ED-209s on either side. Both units cease fire as they turn around to see Rally & Minnie-May standing only twenty feet away, re-aiming their guns. Minnie-May makes a slight noise in her throat & points towards the ED-209's feet. Both units bend down to see what it was that the young blonde wants to tell them: on each foot of the ED-209s, a decent-sized glob of plastique with a timer the size & shape of a pen was attached, being sunk in deep enough. It begins to beep slow & steady before it picks up speed. The ED-209s look up again at Rally & Minnie-May with a growl, both of whom were now scowling in contempt & giving them their middle fingers.

It would be the last thing these ED-209s will ever see: before another bullet can be fired by either unit, their bombs go off & blow apart their foot & part of their leg with it. Unable to stay up on one foot, the twin units crash to the floor & spark violently for ten seconds before expiring for good, their hides smoking in spots.

Minnie-May turns to her partner.

"And that, my dear Rally, is how you say 'Fuck You!' to an ED-209!", she says with a smile. Rally returns the smile & adds a slight laugh.

"And this is how we say 'Fuck You!' to gatecrashers!"

Rally & Minnie-May turn to the blown out entrance & find a most unwelcome sight, one that's far worse than any number of ED-209 units.

Siobhan 'Razorblade' Dallin. And she holds twin Uzis in her hands which she opens fire upon the two Gunsmith Cats, giving neither the chance to retaliate. Dodging bullets & corpses, they take shelter behind the downed ED units as Siobhan heads into the room, firing wildly where they are. Bullets bounce off the metal machine's hides when another unexpected arrival takes her off-guard as a volley of bullets strikes near her feet, missing her by inches.

It was RoboCop, gun aimed & looking rather pissed off for a cyborg.

"RoboCop!", Rally & Minnie-May shout happily.

"I am glad to see you two are okay!", RoboCop replied, turning back to the psycho blonde. "Siobhan 'Razorblade' Dallin, you are under arrest! Throw down your guns & surrender! I will not tell you again!"

Siobhan just smirks & chuckles, clearly unimpressed or intimidated by his threat.

"I wouldn't laugh if I were you, Siobhan!", Rally said, pointing her own gun at her. "You've evaded us for far too long, & now it's time to end this! We're sick of chasing you all over!"

"Yes, I agree with you on that, at least!", Siobhan said as the elevator door rises again & unveils another round of ED-209 units, equaling up to six this time.

"I think perhaps you'd better pay more attention to my new friends than to myself, yes?", Siobhan went on. "So then…do you really have time for dear little ol' me?"

Running off & exiting the same way she entered, Siobhan takes off laughing maniacally as the newly arrived half-dozen ED-209s begin blazing with their cannons as Rally & Minnie-May take cover behind the ones they took down moments ago. RoboCop can only stay & receive hit after hit, having no time to shield himself further from their weapons. As the first three ED-209s attend to the two Gunsmith Cats, the other half deal with Murphy & run up to him, firing all the way. The nearest ED-209 gives the cyborg cop a swift kick in the chest that sends him flying back & lands with a loud clang. Struggling to get up, he is suddenly besieged again by his three attackers, who ran after him immediately after their field goal kick. One ED-209 kicks him again in his chest while its brothers pin his arms to the floor using one foot on each. Try as he might, the cyborg cop cannot move his arms, let alone get himself free even if he had his gun, which he lost in the scuffle. The third ED-209 towers over him & begins pumping bullets from its cannons. At this close a range, RoboCop can actually feel a surge of pain as each bullet feels much like a grenade is going off on him along with the tremendous pressure of the ED-209's feet on his arms, & thus he grunts in agony.

Even over the gunfire, Rally & Minnie-May can hear RoboCop's cries of pain as their ED-209 cover gets shredded but surely.

"Rally, RoboCop's in trouble!", Minnie-May shouted.

"Yeah, & so are we!", Rally shouted back. "I hate to say it, Minnie-May, but I don't know what to do at this point!"

"Well, I do! Dammit, Rally, I'm through playing nice with these metal motherfuckers! It's way past time we showed them just who's boss!"

Minnie-May gets another grenade from her coat & gets ready to pull the pin. But before she can do so, an amazing thing happens.

Almost as soon as the shooting started, it ceases all at once. What's more, the ED-209s in the room all start to convulse with energy like they'd been struck by Zeus' lightning from above. Those pinning RoboCop down back off in a jerky maneuver & collapse to the floor only ten feet away from him. Rally & Minnie-May's attackers do the same thing, acting like a virus is eating at them from the inside. Their hides smoking in places, the ED-209s were inert & deactivated.

All over Chicago:

At every place there was an ED-209 stationed at, the mechanical monsters all suffer the same symptoms & begin crashing to the ground with a thud like they were sick with an electronic flu. Many watch in awe as ED-209 after ED-209 gets dropped like metal stones, wondering what went wrong. Some were confused, some disappointed, & yet others were quite happy with the display. Whatever they were all feeling, every unit in the Windy City was getting deactivated & hitting the pavement, one after another.

Hearing the sound from his room over at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, Roy Coleman walks over to his window to see what the noise was. From his vantage point, he can see the ED-209s all over dropping like lead flies, including the ones at the hospital itself guarding the front & rear entrances. He couldn't understand as to how this is happening, but he does know just who's responsible for it, & a smile grows on his face.

Rally, Minnie-May, Marie, RoboCop…you did it!, he thought happily. I knew it! Somehow, I just knew it! Good job, all of you! Take that, Paxton, you son of a bitch!

ED-209s continue to crash & burn, making Detective Coleman's joy even brighter.

The Science & Engineering Laboratories:

Rally, Minnie-May & RoboCop (worse for wear but far from out) all stare & wonder what just occurred. As did Siobhan, who had returned to the room after hearing the sounds of crashing ED-209 units, only to find them deactivated & down for the count. When Rally spots her at the corner of her eyes, she points her gun just as Siobhan points her twin Uzis. But this time, it was Rally who shoots first: firing off two shots, she hits Siobhan's Uzis dead-on, causing her to drop them like hot potatoes. Disarmed, she runs off again cursing under her breath with Rally Vincent in hot pursuit.

"Oh no you don't, you bitch! You're mine!", she barked. In seconds, she was gone.

"Rally!", RoboCop called to & started after her.

"Wait, Murphy!", Minnie-May said, getting in front of him & halting his progress. "Let Rally deal with her! You & I should go find Marie & Mr. Johnson! I'm worried about them - both of them!"

It only took a moment for RoboCop to give his answer.

"You raise a valid point, Minnie-May", he says. "If the ED-209s all over have suffered the same fate as these in here, then we should now concentrate on finding them - and Paxton. Let's end this!"

"Lead the way…partner!", Minnie-May said with a smile, getting one from Murphy in return. Gun in hand, he & the young blonde Gunsmith Cat head out of the room in search of friend & foe alike. They weren't sure how the ED-209s collapsed like they did, but they weren't going to look a gift horse in the mouth about it.

But they do know that Marie Lazarus was behind it somehow.

Now they just need to find her.

Before Paxton does.

CHAPTER VII

Elsewhere in the lab:

In a secret secluded room, Paxton watched on the monitors the action between RoboCop, the Gunsmith Cats, his armed guards, Siobhan & his ED-209s, being pleased with the results for the most part up until the time when his enemies were triumphant in the end: both in the main storage area where his prizes hang in wait, & over in the next room where Rally & Minnie-May were in gunplay with his armed personell & ED-209s, being highly displeased at the outcome of each. His mood was not helped any further when he suddenly saw his ED-209s dropping like tin leaves from a tree. He then finds out that his computer readouts display a 'disturbance' with his prizes all over the city of Chicago doing the same thing as they are here in his factory. Typing the keyboard frantically, he asks the computer to find the source of the disturbance. It takes it less than a minute to locate & display it, & what Paxton sees irates him more than anything currently happening in the factory.

He saw Dr. Marie Lazarus over at one of the technicians' consoles in the main robotics lab underneath one level below the ground, his technicians themselves all scrunched in the corner, as Dr. Lazarus no doubt put them there at gunpoint after firing a few rounds from one of his dead guards' M4A1s while she goes to work.

That filthy fucking cunt! I'll kill her!, Paxton thought, his blood boiling with rage & races out of the room but not before he grabs a loaded Colt M1911A1 handgun from his desk, along with a spare ammo clip. Weapon in hand, he takes off like a shot & was highly determined to put the good doctor out of her misery - for good.

One floor below street level:

Marie Lazarus sat at the console with her M4A1 rifle by her side, willing & ready to use it in case any of Paxton's technicians tries anything funny or leave & forces her to shoot them. She knew they were by all means innocent & only following Paxton's orders, not knowing that their boss has plans for world domination.

It still didn't mean that she won't shoot anyone if it warrants it, & after a few rounds above their heads that miss them by inches, none of them had once dared to oppose her. Typing in the final commands, Marie allows herself a smile of satisfaction on her face.

It's done!, she thought happily.

Her smile & happy thoughts vanish in an instant when Paxton abruptly kicks in the door & fires a few rounds from his handgun, nearly hitting Marie. Ordering her to get over to the other technicians & threatening to kill her if she gets near the M4A1, he heads for the console where she was to inspect the damage she did.

He doesn't like what he finds, & he makes his feelings about it perfectly clear.

"You fucking bitch! What did you do to my babies?", he spat towards her.

"Not much!", Marie says in defiance. "All I did was go give the ED-209s new commands until it grew at an astronomical rate on its own in each & every unit! In short, Paxton, I gave all your 'children' a headache! The feedback from receiving all that data proved to be too much for their electronic brains, & they all gave out because they couldn't handle the strain! You ought to have educated them a bit more before letting them out into the world!"

"You did what? What else did you do, goddamnit?"

"Since you asked, I erased all data of RoboCop's Neural Interface from your files, up to & including all hardcopies! Plus, I sent a message to the cops above all else, & they'll be arriving in full force!"

Paxton turns to his staff.

"And none of you tried to stop her? Why?", he spat.

"Mr. Silverman, please!", an elderly tech says. "This woman came in & fired that weapon over there above our heads! She told us she'd kill any of us if we tried to stop her!"

"Kill you? You mean like this?", Paxton shouted, pointing & firing his gun at the elderly tech. The bullet entered his skull & exited with his brains splattered onto the stunned faces of the ones behind him. The old man falls to the ground in a bloody heap. Even Marie was stunned by what Paxton just did, despite the fact that she would've done the same. But to her, it still didn't excuse him for it.

"My God, Paxton! He didn't deserve that!", Marie bellowed.

"Huh! This coming from the one who was willing to…"

"It was mostly just to scare them, you asshole! What you did was callous & cold-blooded, plain & simple!"

"Oh, so now you're concerned for their well-being, huh? I'll tell you what, Dr. Lazarus: how about I shoot & kill all my technicians right here & now before your eyes, & then do the same to you afterwards? Since I am ruined, thanks to you & your friends, at least I'll see to it that I take you all with me!"

"The hell you will, Paxton!", yelled a new voice as Johnson appears from out of nowhere & tackles Paxton at half-turn, taking him to the floor & forcing the madman to lose his gun.

"Go, Marie! Take the technicians & get out of here! Now!", Johnson bellowed as he wrestles with Paxton on the floor. With no time to argue, Marie turns to Paxton's former crew.

"Come on, folks! Move it!", Marie orders them & they obey immediately, fearing their ex-boss more than her now. With Marie guiding them, they exit the room to escape the chaos of the man struggling with the newcomer. Marie had no time to grab the M4A1 on her way out.

Johnson rises with Paxton in his hands & slams him into the console, his face filled with hurt & hate.

"You goddamn fanatic!", he spat in his face. "You used me, Paxton! I was all but a tool, a flunkie, & a puppet for you to control & discard once my usefulness to you ended…wasn't I?"

"You've got to look at the larger picture, Johnson!", Paxton says in defiance. "Why settle for ordinary, run-of-the-mill crime-fighting 24/7 when the entire world can be yours to control & operate as you see fit at the mere touch of a button?"

"I don't believe this shit! Rally, Marie & the othere were right about you! I never should have joined up with you, had I known what you were really up to! You are just a modern-day dictator hell-bent on world conquest!"

"Every country has at least one!", Paxton says with a maniacal grin.

Johnson heard about all he could from this raging lunatic. In raging fury, he unleashes a series of powerful punches at the face of his former employer, drawing blood from his mouth. The blows stun Paxton, but they still don't stop him, not by a long shot: as Johnson raises his right fist for another punch, Paxton catches it in his hand & wraps his arms around his enemy's neck as both men tumble & crash into several consoles & chairs, making a mess of things. For a while, neither man could gain advantage over the other until Paxton gives his foe a hard elbow into his chest, causing Johnson to be distracted long enough for Paxton to get the upper hand & get on top of him, placing his hands on the black man's throat & squeezing it with all his might.

"Not bad, Johnson!", Paxton said through gritted teeth. "I see you kept yourself physically fit for quite a long time! But I'm no wimpy Beeker either!"

Paxton wasn't lying: beneath the suave businessman appearance lay a fierce brawler which Johnson was now trying to keep at bay & subdue as his consciousness started fading away from lack of oxygen. But he was still able to come up with a way out: with both his hands at his throat, Johnson was able to strike at a vulnerable spot with little opposition. Using all his strength, he gives his enemy a quick jab with his hands on both sides of his head, throwing him off-balance temporarily & loosening the pressure on his neck. Johnson follows that up by putting a well-placed foot on his solar plexus & pushing him off & away to a distance long enough for him to catch his breath & rise to his feet.

Unfortunately, Johnson pushed Paxton towards the spot where the Colt M1911A1 had been dropped, & the rogue businessman picks it up, aiming it at his former employee. All that Johnson can do now is stare down the barrel of Paxton's gun.

"I don't know what the hell I was thinking by recruiting somebody from OCP, Johnson!", Paxton growled. "You, the Old Man & everyone there were fools in throwing away the ED-209 units! I could've made the world a better & safer place for all with those units! It was the same dream Dick Jones had, which I would've brung to reality! I was going to be a world-class hero in the eyes of millions once I got my ED-209s manufactured & brought to every city, state & even country! But now, thanks to you & your friends, all I've got is shit! It's all gone down the toilet because of you!"

"Good! And deservedly so, Paxton!", Johnson snapped back. "This planet can do without your twisted vision of it, let alone the ED-209's harsh, savage justice! I was blinded by greed & ambition before! But now I've seen the light!"

"And you'll be able to see it again, once I send you to the heavens!", Paxton spat. "It's a pity, Johnson: if only you hadn't brought Robocop & the Gunsmith Cats here & discovered my little secret before it was time, I would've made you one of my personal generals once my goal was accomplished! But you've stabbed me in the back, & no fucking way do you not pay for it! Goodbye!"

Before Paxton can pull the trigger of his gun, a small round object rolled itself over at his feet. Stopping by his foot, the madman takes a quick look down to see a disturbing sight.

It was a grenade!

Panicking, Paxton & even Johnson dove for cover & curled into a ball like a frightened child as the grenade goes off, but oddly, it doesn't do so in the way either man expected it to. No, like a balloon, it more or less 'pops' & releases nothing more than a thin cloud of smoke. When Paxton & Johnson look up, they both see a returned Marie Lazarus, Minnie-May Hopkins along with RoboCop, gun in hand.

"Sorry, Johnson! Didn't mean to scare you too!", Minnie-May says, smiling innocently.

"What…what kind of a grenade was that?", Johnson asked, confused.

"That was one of my 'Minnie-May Specials'…no shrapnel!", she says, turning to Paxton. "Ha! Scared you, didn't I?"

"Not likely, you little slut!", Paxton spat, aiming his gun at the younger Gunsmith Cat & pulling the trigger. All he hit was RoboCop, who shields Minnie-May & Marie with his metal body, striking his back. Paxton keeps up his barrage for several moments before he ceases. When RoboCop turns around & aims his own gun, he discovers that Paxton has taken Johnson as his hostage, his gun pointed at his head.

"Don't even think about it, tin man!", Paxton warned, ordering Johnson to get up. He now gets behind the black man, the gun now pointing along his back. "Now, unless you all wish to see this nigger get sent to his maker, I suggest you keep your distance & not try anything stupid!"

"There is no escape for you, Paxton Silverman!", RoboCop says, his gun still trained on him. "Give yourself up now, & I will see to it that you are treated fairly, according to the law!"

"No thank you, tin man! I believe I'll pass on that offer! And I know about your so-called 'Prime Directives', one in particular ordering you to 'Protect the Innocent'! That means as long as I have my hostage, you can't do dick against me! Now move it!"

"Forget about me! Take the shot!", Johnson said.

"Shut up!", Paxton spat, pressing the gun against his back.

Much as it pained him, Murphy knew Paxton was right: under the second directive, he can't do a thing that would endanger Johnson's life. Even if he does get in a shot, the black man's life may be forfeit, something neither Murphy, Minnie-May or Marie wants. As Paxton heads for the entrance, Robocop & the two ladies make a path for him, not letting him out of their sights. As soon as they reach the entranceway, Paxton pitilessly shoots Johnson in the left shoulder from behind as the bullet makes a path through flesh, leaving a bloody hole. Crying out in pain, Johnson grabs his shoulder as Marie comes to his aide while Paxton runs off with both Robocop & Minnie-May in pursuit.

Gun in hand, Paxton makes his way towards the metal staircase he used to descend to the sub-basement level. Getting halfway up, he gets shot at by RoboCop as he deliberately misses the man in an attempt to scare him into surrendering now that he has no hostage to hide behind.

"Surrender, Paxton!", RoboCop warns. "I'd very much prefer to bring you in alive to face multiple charges, but I can also accept sending you to the morgue!"

"Fuck you!", Paxton shouts, unloading his ammunition at the cyborg cop. The bullets all bounce off his metal hide & doing no harm, damaged as he may be. Paxton keeps on firing his weapon until it runs dry & ejects the clip, putting in his spare one. He fires again at the tin cop with his weapon, but does no more damage to him than before, let alone hitting Minnie-May once as she uses his metal body as a living shield. Once it goes dry again, Paxton now tosses the useless weapon away & ascends the stairs & gets to the top, with RoboCop hot on his heels & Minnie-May right behind him, using his body as a living shield. Watching his foes climbing up, Paxton hyperventilates a bit before takes off running again. In no time, Murphy & Minnie-May reach the top & continue pursuing their runaway enemy. Paxton makes his way into the ED-209 chamber while RoboCop uses his scanners to pinpoint his possible escape route.

It only took a moment for it to come clear.

"He's heading towards the back entrance where we came in!", he says, heading right for that direction but stops when Minnie-May gets in front of him.

"Wait, Murphy!", she says.

"Minnie-May, why do you stop me?", Murphy wondered. "Paxton will escape!"

The young blonde shook her head, smiling.

"I wouldn't be so sure of that…especially if he is heading for the back entrance like you said!"

"What do you mean by…"

"Trust me, Murphy! Paxton isn't going anywhere!"

The cyborg cop lets the info sink in as Minnie-May's bright smile continues to shine on her face. Staring down at it, Murphy can sense she's telling him the truth, & he didn't need any of his scanners to know it. In the relatively short time he's known her & Rally, Murphy has grown to be fond of Chicago's famed Gunsmith Cats, & even he couldn't deny the high effectiveness of their collaboration since arriving in the Windy City, especially since it was him who suggested to Roy Coleman that he enlist their aide in finding psychopath Siobhan 'Razorblade' Dallin.

And Murphy was anything but disappointed by them.

"I do trust you, Minnie-May", Murphy says in a sincere tone for a cyborg.

A smile appears on his face too.

The back entrance:

Running both scared & frustrated at the same time & just about out of breath, Paxton makes his way to the rear entrance after racing across the ED-209 chamber, all of whom still lay where they are, not receiving the 'headache' Marie Lazarus gave to them, being immobile & all. It didn't matter to Paxton: he was in a fury of rage dwelling inside him like a gigantic tidal wave which threatens to consume him, witnessing all his months of hard labor being flushed down the drain. His goal of world domination was now replaced with a new one: to get revenge on those who have brought him down, meaning the two Gunsmith Cats, Dr. Marie Lazarus, Donald Johnson & most especially RoboCop once he makes good his escape. Going past the metal rods, Paxton was now only a few steps to the door to freedom.

My dream, my beautiful Utopia…ruined!, he thought angrily. Rally Vincent, Minnie-May Hopkins, Marie Lazarus, Donald Johnson & RoboCop…you will all pay for taking my dream away! By the Gods of Valhalla, you will all pay dearly for this with your lives! Just you wait!

Paxton reaches for the door & turns the knob.

CLICK…BOOM!

Unbeknownst to the renegade businessman, Minnie-May planted one of her specially-made bombs on the door's knob when she first entered, making it a veritable death trap for anyone who opened it. The explosion blew the doors apart & threw Paxton backwards into the pile of metal rods & getting impaled by them from behind, having time for only a low grunt before expiring. His body stuck on the rods as his body had several rods jutting out from his chest, spewing blood everywhere. He even had one rod jut out from his forehead with a portion of his brains hanging at the end of it, & another jutting out from his open mouth as more blood spewed from his maw.

Paxton Silverman's dream of world domination was dead.

And now, so was he.

The Laboratory Cafeteria:

The eatery of the structure is vast, considering the number of personell that run it. Rows of large tables ran across the middle of the room, each surrounded by chairs all around. A kitchen & serving area was located at the rear, while two large venting machines - one for snacks, the other for various beverages - rested over at one wall. But Rally Vincent wasn't in there for a first-rate meal: she followed & tracked her quarry, Siobhan Dallin, into this dimly-lit room. With her gun in hand - a Desert Eagle Magnum - Rally was ready to take her down to the station or take her down for the count, whichever act Siobhan forces her to do first.

Aside from doing her job, Rally had another, more personal reason as to why she was hell-bent on taking Siobhan to justice: the blonde psychopath was somebody who did what they did not only for the money, but because they enjoy it. Making innocent people suffer just because they can always made Rally sick to her stomach. She can recall the sister & brother criminal duo of Bonnie & Clyde, the former who tortured her friend Becky Farrah just so they can do the same to her. Another was when gangster Gray once kidnapped her partner Minnie-May & hit her a few times simply because he was a man who was all muscle. The only consolation was that they were now all in the ground pushing up daisies, placed there by Rally herself.

And if she had to, she'd do the same with Siobhan.

"Why don't you go make it easy on yourself, Siobhan?", Rally called out, growing rather impatient as her eyes adjust to the low lighting. "I could very easily blow your goddamn brains out from wherever you are, but I'd still pretty much prefer to bring your ass back alive, so give it up baby!"

Only two seconds passed before Rally got a response.

"And where would the fun in that be?"

A low voice came from behind Rally, & she turns on a dime - only to find herself face-to-face with Siobhan!

Smiling wickedly like some twisted Chesire Cat, Siobhan's appearance catches Rally off-guard & strikes with cat-like reflexes. A hand to the chin throws the young Gunsmith off-balance while another snatches her weapon from her hand, & a well-placed foot to her solar plexus sends her flying back into a table, knocking it back & scattering chairs. As Rally gasps for breath, her attacker heads over to a light switch & flicks it on, illuminating the room in much better lighting. Siobhan observes Rally's Magnum in her hands as if seeing it for the first time. Now the tables have turned on her: Siobhan can very easily blow out her brains from where she lay.

"An impressive-looking toy you've got here, Rally Vincent!", Siobhan says. "You a fan of Clint Eastwood?"

"If you're gonna kill me, Siobhan, then get it over with already!", Rally barks.

"Oh, I will kill you, my dear, but I'd much prefer to do it my own way!"

Pressing a button on the Magnum, Siobhan ejects the magazine clip & starts emptying it of all its ammo with her finger, including the round in the chamber as she dumps it all into a trash bin that lay right next to her. When she was done, she throws the empty clip into the bin & tosses the now-empty-&-useless Magnum away, landing with a clack before skidding to a stop.

"There! That should make things more interesting, wouldn't you agree?", Siobhan gloats, drawing a straight razor from her right sleeve & opening it up to reveal the blade. "Now then, what say we finish our little scuffle from the Days Inn earlier on? I'll take lead!"

Like a racing cheetah, Siobhan ran up after Rally immediately, her razor hand raised. The young Gunsmith Cat dodges out of the way just in time as her foe slices with her namesake weapon, missing the Indian-American only by a fraction of an inch & cutting a piece of her hair. Acting like a cat herself, Rally leaps backwards to put distance between her & her assailant. She dodges Siobhan's multiple slashes until she backs up into a multitude of chairs, & one by one she begins flinging them at her oncoming enemy with desperation. But with each chair that gets thrown, Siobhan dodges them all with ease.

"What's the matter, Rally? Afraid I have…cooties?", Siobhan mocks, flashing her bright teeth in a wicked smile with her razor held high & letting out a loud maniacal laugh.

Go & laugh this off, you fucking bitch!, Rally thought angrily. Trying a different tactic, Rally grabs two chairs, each in one hand. Throwing them simultaneously, Siobhan dodges both but with a tad more difficulty. At that time, Rally picks up a third chair & rushes at Razorblade with it. Before she knew what happened, Siobhan gets clobbered in the face by Rally's weapon & she gets knocked back into the same table Rally was.

"So, bitch! You had enough?", Rally barked, her chair in front of her with the legs out.

"Little girl, I'm just getting warmed up!", Siobhan spat back, regaining her balance & flings herself at Rally full speed ahead, eager to carve her up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

Weapon in hand, Rally calmly awaits her enemy's mad charge. As Razorblade readies her own weapon to strike, the young Gunsmith Cat uses the chair as a shield to fend off the blade's razor-sharp edge & keep distance between it & her. When she sees an opening, Rally swings with all her might to give Siobhan the same kind of treatment to her face as before. But Siobhan was ready for her this time: using her free hand, she snatches the chair by one of its metal legs & pulls it away from Rally with amazing strength as the chair goes clattering far away across the floor. Before she can get another, Siobhan was practically on top of her & brings her weapon down to her face. Rally barely avoids getting sliced in half as she blocks the blow with her forearm. Both ladies stare at each other with scowling eyes, their teeth clenched in contempt. The blade was only less than an inch from Rally's face & her forearm was the only thing standing in the way between literally saving face & looking like something from an old horror movie.

"Prepare to become Frankenstein's newest bride, child!", Siobhan snaps.

"Maybe another time!", Rally barked back. With a swift kick to her enemy's side, Rally knocks Siobhan away a foot or two where she keeps pressing her attack by sending a right cross to her face, followed immediately by a left uppercut into her chin. Her next blow is a backhand smack with her right, a hit that makes her bleed from the mouth. Tackling the psycho blonde, both combatants crash in a barrage of chairs & hit the ground, punching, smacking & clawing each other's faces like angry cats. During the violent scuffle, Siobhan realizes she's bleeding out of her mouth & displays her displeasure of it.

"You dirty bitch!", she barks. "No one has ever drawn blood from my body & lived to tell about it! You, Rally Vincent, shall pay dearly for defiling my personal self as you have!"

"There's a first time for everything, whore!", Rally snapped. "So bill me & get over it!"

Rally's last statement got Siobhan into a frenzy: gritting her teeth, she rakes Rally's face with her claws but she retaliates by getting a piece of her hand in her mouth before biting down on it, causing the psycho blonde to cry out in pain. Deeper Rally sinks her teeth into her enemy's hand, becoming close to drawing more of her blood. Siobhan doesn't give her the chance: with a quick smack of her other hand, she hits Rally in the side of her head with great strength & Rally was forced to withdraw & release her hand. The blow slightly disorients her, & Siobhan uses the time to strike first. Using her razor, she cuts her hated enemy in the arm, making a diagonal cut on the muscle part. Rally makes a slight cry as Siobhan makes another cut on her person, this time at the upper part of her left leg. Crying out even louder, Rally gets kicked by Siobhan in the chest in a hit that sends her sprawling across the floor several feet before stopping into a grove of chairs. Bleeding slightly more in her leg than in her arm, Rally clutches the wound with her left hand as Siobhan rises off the floor. Smiling wickedly, she licks Rally's blood from her weapon with her tongue as the Gunsmith Cat watches in disgust.

The bloodthirsty blonde unleashes another maniacal laugh.

"I believe I must congratulate you, Rally Vincent!", Siobhan addresses her fallen foe. "Up until now, none of my victims has ever lasted this long with me! Most, if not all, have barely lived for no further than ten seconds! This is why I prefer using a blade over firearms - to feel the puncture of your enemy's flesh as you make contact, something you simply can't do with a gun!"

Siobhan displays her techniques of her razor with her hand, twirling it numerous times & never cutting herself once even in the slightest. When she was done, she stands triumphant over her defeated enemy, her razor held out in front.

Rally Vincent simply smirks.

"You are quite good with that thing, Siobhan! I suppose I should grant you that, at least!", she says. "However, you still make one crucial mistake!"

Her smile still on her face, Siobhan's eyebrows rise in wonder.

"Really?", she asks. "And what, prey tell, is that, dear Rally?"

Without any warning, Siobhan's razor goes flying from her hand as a blaring gunshot was fired into the room. The impact broke the weapon in two & stung Siobhan's wrist, feeling as if she'd been hit by a crowbar. Grabbing her wrist, she turns to where the shot originated from & finds Marie Lazarus, Minnie-May Hopkins, Donald Johnson & RoboCop all standing at the main entrance of the cafeteria, aiming guns at her. Marie & Minnie-May both aim an ATM Hardballer Semi-Automatic pistol at her as the former holds up Johnson (with a makeshift bandage over his wound) with one arm for support.

"You bring a blade to a gunfight!", RoboCop says, his gun still smoking from the shot that broke Siobhan's weapon. The psycho blonde hears a gun cock in Rally's direction, & the young Gunsmith Cat draws a little Colt .25 Auto at her which was hidden within her sleeve of her free hand, sliding right into her open palm.

"So, to pick up where the Tin Man left off earlier, 'Siobhan Dallin, you are under arrest'!", Rally says, smiling aside from her pain. "Now, I do hope we're not gonna get any more trouble out of you tonight…will we?"

Caught on the wrong end of four guns & no time to get her backup weapon, Siobhan knew it was game over & she raises her hands in surrender with a hateful scowl as police sirens can be heard from outside.

Ironically, she still smiles wickedly as Minnie-May handcuffs her with Rally's cuffs.

Twenty minutes later:

Police arrive about six to eight minutes later & enter the facility to haul Siobhan away, along with securing the area. Paramedics have also arrived on the scene to attend to the wounded Johnson, Rally & the surviving technicians who had worked for Paxton, while those over at the coroner's worked to remove all of the bodies of Paxton's armed guards & even Paxton himself. Siobhan was placed in the back seat of one patrol car as Johnson & Rally rest comfortably onto stretchers at the rear of the ambulance with Marie & Minnie-May standing by their sides. Most officers were inside the complex as RoboCop keeps a sharp lookout for any more signs of what he does his best to avoid…trouble.

Marie kneels beside Johnson.

"How you holding up, tough guy?", she asks with a little smile.

"It hurts…but I'll live", Johnson replied.

"A few inches lower, & you wouldn't be, Mr. Johnson", a male paramedic said. "The bullet Paxton shot you with just missed your heart by that much. Had he actually penetrated it, I doubt you could've been saved. You're one lucky person." He then turns towards Rally. "As are you, Miss Vincent. Though your tendon was cut, it wasn't very deep. However, it will keep you out of action for a little while."

"How much is 'a little while' Doc?", Rally asked.

"About four full weeks to a month, I fear. During this time, I'd advise you to take it easy. Were you to exert yourself before your time is up, you could put permanent damage to your leg & cripple yourself for the rest of your life. Therefore, I must advise you to no further bounty hunting until then."

"Does that same time period also go for Johnson?", Marie asked.

"Yes it does, Dr. Lazarus. But not to worry - over at the Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, we'll prescribe meds for you both to help on your road to recovery. Just take them as prescribed, & you'll be back on your feet in no time."

Despite how depressing it was for Rally to be grounded from work as bounty hunting, she actually liked the idea of the doctor's prescription meds. With no argument, she nods, as does Johnson.

"That's not so bad. Thanks, Doc", Johnson said.

"Same here", Rally added. The paramedic smiled & rose to walk away. Rally turned to face Johnson. "Looks like Roy's gonna have company real soon, huh, Johnson?"

"Like the Doc just told us, Rally, we were lucky", Johnson said. "They could very easily be sending us over to the morgue instead of where Detective Coleman is right now."

"Yeah", was all Rally could say at the moment.

"So, what's going to happen with all of the ED-209s now that Paxton's operation is shut down indefinitely?", Minnie-May wondered.

"Dismantled & sold for scrap, I'd say", Marie said. "Once the word gets out about what Paxton had in mind for his ED-209s, more likely than not that will be their fate. Plus, the Mayor can possibly use the money Paxton used to buy this place to restore it to its former glory before all of this happened & give those technicians their regular jobs back."

"I'll bet this means that Mr. Hoshino is finished as well?"

"No doubt, given as to how he would've carried on McDaggett's ruthless urban renewal program, had it not been for Mr. Kanemitsu putting the brakes to that. But we'll let the Japanese authorities deal with him." She turns to Johnson. "By the way, Johnson…"

"Yes, Dr. Lazarus?", he asks.

"You did damn good in there", she said quite sincerely.

Johnson's eyebrows raised.

"I did?"

"Oh yeah. You helped us to shut down Paxton's operation, and saved me. I'd probably be dead right now if not for you. I'm most grateful to you for that. And please, call me Marie."

Johnson smiled at that.

"Well, Marie, I've always believed that a man should deserve a chance to go & atone for any past sins & set things right. I guess I chose the right side of the law after all, didn't I?"

Marie's smile was big.

"Yes you did!"

Rally & Minnie-May grin themselves.

The quartet share their happy moment as Siobhan watches from her spot. Since no one else was in the car with her or stood nearby, nobody heard a sound as Siobhan worked on undoing her handcuffs with a lock pick that she discreetly keeps in her shoe at all times. With no eyes on her, she quietly sneaks up into the driver's seat of the patrol car & starts up the engine, giving her a chance to make a break for it in a stolen patrol car.

If only she wanted to make a getaway.

She had some unfinished business to attend first.

Flooring the gas pedal as soon as she started the car, Siobhan heads directly for RoboCop, who draws his gun from his right leg holster & fires at the approaching patrol car. Siobhan ducks underneath the dashboard as the cyborg cop's shots hit & shatter the windshield, spraying pieces of glass everywhere. In seconds, the psychotic blonde rams the car into RoboCop & into the side of the rented van Rally drove to the lab, pinning him & his left arm. The impact knocked the Auto-9 out of his hand & onto the hood of the car. Springing into action, the police aim their guns at Siobhan but their Captain tells them to stand down, as Marie, Johnson, Rally & Minnie-May are all right in their lines of fire: should they try to shoot her, they might miss & hit them instead, not to mention the paramedics themselves.

Like the innocent folks at the ambulance, the officers can only watch as things unfold.

With a desire for revenge burning within her, Siobhan exits from the patrol car through the busted windshield, avoiding broken shards & grabbing RoboCop's gun. Unable to get himself free in time, Murphy stares at the bloodthirsty blonde who was practically face-to-face with the metal man before she points his own gun in his face, a wicked smile plastered on hers.

"A fitting end for you, yes? Killed by your own gun! DIE, robot!", she spat at him & pulls the trigger of the Auto-9.

CLICK.

The gun didn't fire a single round.

Siobhan pressed the trigger a few more times to the same effect.

Empty? SHIT! Of all the lousy timing for it to be…, Siobhan thought before she lets out a sharp cry of pain as she receives a cut in her right arm at the muscle area, causing her to drop RoboCop's gun. She turns to find Minnie-May scowling at her with one of the razors in which she confiscated off her person prior to her arrest. The blade had her blood dripping on it.

"You leave him the hell alone, you dirty blonde bitch!", Minnie-May barked.

Gritting her teeth in pure anger, Siobhan snatches Minnie-May's arm with the razor in her hand & takes it away, bringing her to eye level.

"You fucking little cunt! I'll slit your throat from ear to ear!", she bellowed at the younger Gunsmith Cat, paying full attention at her than at RoboCop.

It was a big mistake on her part.

With his free right arm, the cyborg cop draws his stiletto-like spike from his right hand & jabs it into Siobhan's left shoulder, going all the way through. She cried out in pain & releases Minnie-May, who takes several steps back.

"No, you will not!", RoboCop said, withdrawing his weapon as Siobhan turns to face him, clutching her bleeding shoulder. Her eyes go wide as he draws his arm back.

"This one is for Weazel!", the cyborg cop says, swinging his arm & striking Siobhan clear across her throat as blood gets spattered on his chest & face. Getting off the hood of the patrol car, Siobhan takes several steps back as she grabs her throat with both hands in an attempt to cease her blood flow. It did no good: RoboCop cut her dead center in her neck, as blood filled it up & cuts off her air. Her gurgling becomes more frantic as blood spews from her neck & mouth in a scene not much different from how Clarence Boddicker met his end, when Murphy jammed his stiletto into the crime kingpin's neck during their final confrontation.

"Let's see how you like it for a change!", RoboCop said as Siobhan went down onto her knees from blood loss before collapsing onto her face, expiring in a pool of her own blood just as Weazel himself had done back in the River Rouge plant in Detroit. The police from within the complex finally arrive to survey the scene as RoboCop now withdraws his spike & uses his free arm to push the patrol car away with not much effort. Retrieving his gun & holstering it, he faces the officers.

"Another for the morgue", he says & makes his way over to Minnie-May, stepping over Siobhan's lifeless body. Staring down at the younger Gunsmith Cat, he asks her if she's okay.

Minnie-May nodded.

"Thank you for assisting me back there, Minnie-May", he told her sincerely.

"No problem, Murphy", she said, smiling. "Besides, I owed you one!"

Murphy smiled back.

"Yes."

Dropping the razor, Minnie-May embraces RoboCop in a hug, not caring if he's made out of metal & wires or if he's damaged in spots. Murphy places a gentle hand on her shoulder as Marie, Johnson & Rally look on, relieved that their young friend is okay. Just like Marie Lazarus herself does, Minnie-May Hopkins sees not a machine with programs in front of her, but a man - one that has a strong will, & an even stronger heart.

Even if it is made of wires.

Minnie-May, girlfriend, you're one in a million!, Rally thought, staring at the highly tender moment of two life forms embracing in a display that would make romance novelist Danielle Steele green with envy. Realizing how tired she actually was, Rally falls asleep on her stretcher as she & Johnson get loaded into two separate ambulances, with Marie going in the one with the former OCP executive.

Their ordeal was finally done.

EPILOGUE #1

The next morning, 9:00 a.m.:

The morning edition of 'Media Break' was showing on TV screens with Eurasian Casey Wong & bubble-blonde Jess Perkins. They sit at their posts as the former begins their early day announcements.

"Good Morning, I'm Casey Wong with Jess Perkins. Today's top story: the reinstation of the ED-209 units have been postponed & suspended indefinitely after a major exposure of a mad plot by none other than Paxton Silverman, president of the Silverman Robotix company, when it was revealed that the man who was responsible for their miraculous ressurection had plotted in a hostile takeover once the funding bill was passed by the President of the United States. Luckily, solid evidence - supplied by none other than Detroit's very own RoboCop - was presented to the President only last night after a brutal attack at the Science & Engineering Laboratories in which Paxton had bought to perform his magic on the ED-209s. In the course of the attack, many armed guards were killed, including Paxton Silverman himself. Also killed in the aftermath of the attack was Siobhan 'Razorblade' Dallin, a professional killer-for-hire who was pursued by RoboCop to Chicago after eluding the officer a few days prior. Needless to say, a good many people, up to & including the President of the United States, felt betrayed by Paxton Silverman, & a termination of the funding bill for the ED-209s went into effect immediately once the evidence was brought to light. The President also stated that all remaining ED-209s be taken off city streets & instantly deconstructed & the entire project literally scrapped."

Now it was Jess Perkins who took the reigns.

"On a similar note, the Japanese police have located & arrested Paxton Silverman's literal partner-in-crime Ginzo Hoshino at 3:00 p.m., Tokyo time. Hoshino had been an executive of the Kanemitsu Corporation that once formed a merger to the now-defunct OCP in Detroit who was originally scheduled to take over the urban renewal program, which was first led by rogue officer Paul McDaggett before Kanemitsu himself cut him off from his company. When found by the Japanese authorities, Hoshino put up no resistance & taken into custody. He is currently awaiting trial."

A small screen behind Jess displays a scene in Chicago as residents stare at the camera.

"Back on the home front, we asked the citizens of Chicago what their opinions are of the termination of the ED-209 units."

The small screen now enlarges & takes up the whole space of TVs, showing a man & his family of his wife & two kids - a young son & daughter.

"I don't know", the man said sincerely. "Even though Paxton betrayed & stabbed us in the back, I can honestly say that I'll miss having the ED-209s on the street. Because for that period of time they were on patrol, albeit briefly, I felt safe & secure, being able to go to the store without fearing of getting attacked out of the blue. It's a shame the President still won't go through with the funding bill, but it's his decision, disappointing as it may be for some, like us."

"I agree", said his wife. "Paxton may have plotted behind our backs, but that still didn't mean that the ED-209s should be removed from society. Why not simply let somebody else take charge of them in Paxton's place? Don't forget the old saying, 'One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch'. I mean, RoboCop? He's good, I'll definitely give him that. But good as he is, he still can't be everywhere. I'm sure it'd be good if he had assistance, because no single officer of the law can maintain it by himself, machine or not."

The screen now shows a black man & woman (possibly boyfriend-girlfriend, judging by their youthful looks), & their feelings towards the matter aren't as disappointing.

"Well, my baby & I are hereby glad them walking disasters are off the streets!", the young girl said defiantly. "They didn't benefit very much to society then, they didn't now, & they won't ever will! They were bad news, plain & simple, since OCP first put them out, & they still haven't changed much to this day! So we say 'Good riddance to bad rubbish'!"

Her boyfriend now puts in his two cents.

"Word up, baby! Those ED-209s can go suck my big fat, hairy d(bleep)k!"

EPILOGUE #2

Mount Auburn Memorial Cemetery, two days later:

At 10:00 in the morning, a good number from the Chicago P.D. showed up for the funeral services of officers Owen, Mackie & Tanner, the latter being the black cop who was struck in the throat by Siobhan's razor & bled to death in moments, as the former two became the unfortunate victims of an attack by twin ED-209s at the police safe house in Riverside. Some were on-duty officers, while most were off the clock. These included Detective Roy Coleman (his left arm in a sling), redhead cop Kate, the Mayor (with two of his bodyguards), Donald Johnson, Dr. Marie Lazarus, Rally Vincent (using a crutch in support for her leg), Minnie-May Hopkins & Robocop (fully repaired by Marie, having brought over spare parts kept at Chicago PD Headquarters). The Reverend, dressed in black with a Holy Bible in his hands, has finished performing his ceremonies & closes it. The caskets of the slain officers get gently lowered into the ground as another officer plays music from a trumpet - the same kind that gets played whenever an authority figure dies. Following this, two groups of officers armed with rifles get ordered by their superiors to stand at attention, aim their guns in the air & fire off a salute on their word, doing so repeatedly until being ordered to cease fire.

Once the tears & hugs of sympathy to family & friends were dealt with & out of the way, the crowd breaks up as mostly everyone started heading back to their vehicles to either home or back to work.

Roy, Kate, Marie, Johnson, Rally, Minnie-May & RoboCop stood by as the Mayor came up with his bodyguards.

"Mr. Mayor", Roy said softly.

"Detective", the Mayor replied in the same way with a brief handshake. "I honestly don't know what to say about this, other than the fact that I owe you & your friends a grand apology."

"Apology? Whatever for, Your Honor?", Marie asked. "We don't understand."

"For being blind to the truth, Dr. Lazarus. Like everyone else, I felt betrayed by Paxton as I was promised a safer haven for Chicago once those ED-209s were placed on the streets. I had no inkling to his true motives in the whole matter."

"Neither did any of us, Your Honor", Johnson says, stepping up to the man. "I'm just as guilty as you are, sir. Paxton recruited me as one of his operatives in the ED-209 affair, & wanting to make a fresh start in a cause that I believed would benefit society, I blindly followed Paxton into his scheme, without the slightest hint of his true intentions until it was almost too late. If the President hadn't already pardoned me for my involvement in this fiasco, Your Honor, I'd surrender myself to the authorities."

"No, Johnson", said the Mayor. "If he hadn't, I would've pardoned you myself. Unlike me, you went & helped to put an end to Paxton's little game of world domination, wheras I didn't do a damned thing. And because of that, three fine officers are dead: one killed by that psychotic Siobhan bitch & two others by the hands of two of Paxton's ED-209s. If only I had my doubts about him sooner like you all did…"

Now it was RoboCop who approaches the Mayor.

"Your Honor", he says calmly. "Their deaths could not have been foretold. They were each merely performing the duty they'd been sworn to do since putting on the badge. Every officer who does knows this, as it is a promise to the people to 'Protect & Serve', even if it means laying down their lives for it. We could not have asked any more or less from officers Owen, Mackie or Tanner. I know that they would say the same, if they could."

Taking his words into consideration, the Mayor nods.

"Spoken like any true officer, RoboCop", he praises. "On behalf of everyone here, I'd like to express my deepest gratitude for your arrival at this memorial service, along with your friends here. I know that Chicago isn't your regular playground per se, but…"

"Not a problem, Mr. Mayor. An officer is an officer, regardless of his/her jurisdiction. I was happy to attend & pay my respects." Murphy turns to Roy & Rally. "Detective Coleman, Rally Vincent, how are your injuries?"

It was Roy who spoke first.

"Can't complain, I guess", he says, slightly rubbing his arm. "Doctors told me that it's just terribly sore, but nothing broken, like I first thought. It'll still put me behind my desk for a while, but all things considered, at least I still have it attached to my damn shoulder."

"Same here, Roy", said Rally. "It'll keep me grounded at my gun shop for a bit, but at least I still have a leg to stand on!"

"No pun intended, right?", Kate jokes with a wink, getting a little laugh from most.

"Perhaps it was something you said, Officer Kate?", RoboCop joked. Kate just smiled.

"In any case, Murphy, you, Johnson & I need to be getting to the airport", Marie said once the laughs subsided. "We have a twelve o'clock flight back to Detroit, & we don't want to be late for it. They'll be hell to pay for us with our boss if we are."

"A pity, really", said the Mayor. "You helped us in ways that we can never repay you for, RoboCop. I'd clearly hate to lose you, & I think I speak for everyone in our fair city."

"Thank you, Your Honor", RoboCop said, holding out his hand. The Mayor takes the offered hand & shakes it like he would anyone else before letting go.

"And please…call me Murphy", he finishes.

"Well then, 'Murphy', how about I give you, Detective Coleman & Mr. Johnson a lift to the airport?", he asked. "Just name where."

"The Chicago Midway International Airport, if you please", Murphy said as the Mayor nods.

"Kate?", Roy says, turning to her.

"Gotcha, Roy. I'll take Marie & the two Gunsmiths in my car & follow you", she says.

"Good girl. Let's roll, everyone."

That said, the group disperses & heads in their perspective pairs to their vehicles.

Next stop: the airport.

Chicago Midway International Airport, 11:30 a.m.:

The Mayor kindly dropped off Roy, Johnson & RoboCop before heading off to perform his own daily duties as Kate parks her patrol car & escorts Marie, Rally & Minnie-May inside the terminal & meeting Roy & his band there. Standing in the waiting room, Marie, Johnson, Rally, Roy & Kate consult with each other, shaking hands in goodbye & all.

"So long, you three, & thanks for everything!", Roy said. "To quote the Mayor, we would hate to lose you! Johnson, even though Marie & Murphy need to head back to Detroit, why don't you remain here in Chicago? After all, you don't have OCP to go back to - why not make your fresh start here?"

"Yeah, Johnson! There's plenty of job opportunities for someone of your caliber!", Rally adds. "I don't think there's any reason for you to not remain here!"

"Your offer is much appreciated, Detective Coleman, Rally Vincent", Johnson says. "But I basically grew up in Detroit for all my life, & therefore, my place is in the Motor City as much as yours is here in the Windy City. To simply leave it all behind at the drop of a hat just doesn't seem like the right thing to do to me. I'm guessing the same feeling occurs to Marie & Murphy regardless."

"Like I said, Johnson, you always were very good at deductions!", Marie says, smiling & getting a laugh from the others. "But you are correct: Detroit is where both Murphy & I belong, & we can no more leave it than an Eskimo can the South Pole."

"We understand, Marie", Roy said. "It pains us to see you go, but your own city does need you. At least you can be comforted in knowing that there'll be no remorseless ED-209s running amok in your town - or ours, for that matter!"

"Amen!", Roy, Marie, Kate & Rally say together with big smiles.

"Actually, we shouldn't ought to speak so rough of the ED-209s", Johnson says, all eyes to him. "In spite of Paxton's insanity, you all had to admit he did have good intentions, as well as a good dream: a dream where good decent people can rummage safely out in the open without ever having to be afraid of becoming victims of a crime anywhere."

Roy, Marie, Kate & Rally stare at each other in surprise before turning back to Johnson.

"Johnson, are you trying to tell us that there still hope for the ED-209s?"

"Well, maybe not right now, Marie", he says. "But in the near future, with the right people coaching them…who knows?"

Staring at him for a moment & not knowing of how to respond, Roy & the others grin nice & big, as does Johnson.

Several feet away, Minnie-May & RoboCop were engaged in their own little chat near a window.

"It's not gonna be the same around here without you & Marie, Murphy", Minnie-May said in a somewhat somber tone. "We all make a great team, the four of us."

"Yes, Minnie-May. We do", RoboCop said. "Before I was made into this, I was a cop in Old Detroit. A good cop."

"You still are, machine or not."

That made the cyborg cop smile.

"Thank you, Minnie-May", he says.

"But on a more frightening note, you almost weren't able to head home today", she said in a firm voice. "And I don't mean the ED-209s either."

"What do you mean?"

"When Siobhan had you pinned with the police car she hijacked & pulled the trigger on your gun which was aimed right at your face. I guess it was just luck that the weapon was empty at that time. Otherwise, we'd be sending you home to Detroit as spare parts."

"Actually, Minnie-May, my gun was still loaded then."

Minnie-May's face lit up in surprise.

"It was? Then, why didn't it fire?", she wondered.

"My gun is specially modified to respond only to my grip", he explains. "You could say it is as much a part of me as an arm or a leg. Fortunately, Siobhan did not know that."

"So that's why it never went off in her hands. Hmm, too bad Rally doesn't have her own version of your gun, Murphy. She'd give criminals heart attacks with it if she did!", Minnie-May said with her girlish smile.

"Yes, we can only imagine", the cyborg cop jokes.

The loud speakers of the terminal now announces the flight for Detroit, Michigan is now boarding. Moments later, Marie & her party approach Murphy & Minnie-May.

"That's us, Murphy. Ready to go home?", Marie asked.

"Yes, Marie", he says, facing the rest. "Take care, everyone. And thank you all for your cooperation. Marie, Johnson…let's go home."

RoboCop, Marie & Johnson all head for their plane but Marie turns around to Roy & the others. "Goodbye, everyone! And hey…if any of you ever come by to Detroit, look us up!", she calls out.

"You bet!", Roy, Kate, Rally & Minnie-May say in unison, waving.

A few minutes after noon:

With Kate at the wheel of the patrol car, she, Roy & the two Gunsmith Cats watch as the plane with Robocop & his group takes off & heads east to Detroit, getting smaller & smaller as the seconds go by. In no time, they were a dot on the horizon before becoming nothing.

"And there they go", said Kate.

"And off we go…back to Police headquarters once we drop off Rally & Minnie-May at the shop", Roy said, jerking his thumb to said girls in the rear of the car. Rally inhales & exhales a heavy sigh, knowing she'll be inactive on the streets for a time.

"Home again, home again", she says half-playingly.

"Don't worry, Rally", Minnie-May says in comfort. "It won't be forever. I'll keep you company in the meantime!"

"Oh joy!"

Roy, Kate & Minnie-May grin in amusement as the redhead cop starts the car.

"But you wanna know something, Rally?", Minnie-May says as her partner faces her. "I do believe we'll be seeing them again…and soon!"

"I second that notion!", Roy said happily.

"And I third it!", said Kate, getting the engine started.

With their beliefs, Rally had no choice but to give in, & she smiles with them & her partner.

"Count me in on it too!", she says, leaning back in her seat. "Home if you please, Kate!"

"Yes ma'am!", Kate says, driving off out of the parking lot & into the city. From the back seat, Rally & Minnie-May stare in the direction their friend's plane took off in.

Until next time, Marie!, Rally thought.

Until next time, Murphy!, Minnie-May thought.

For the remainder of the trip, everyone stayed silent.

Rally Vincent & Minnie-May Hopkins were headed for home, same as Johnson, Murphy & Marie were.

And it couldn't have sounded or felt better.

THE END…FOR NOW

MEMORIALS:

2002 Memorials:

James Luisi, Character Actor & Former NBA Player, 73 (1928-2002)

John Entwistle, Bassist for The Who, 57 (1944-2002)

Rosemary Clooney, Pop Singer & Actress, 74 (1928-2002)

Dolores Gray, Actress of Stage & Film, 78 (1924-2002)

Ray Brown, Jazz Icon, 75 (1926-2002)

John Frankenheimer, Directed Classis Films, 72 (1930-2002)

Rod Steiger, Oscar-Winning Actor, 77 (1925-2002)

Billy Ray Hobley, Harlem Globetrotter, 48 (1954-2002)

2012 Memorials:

Mary Ellen Avery, Pediatrician who Studied Lung Cancer, 84 (1927-2011)

Penny Jordan, Prolific Romance Novelist, 65 (1946-2011)

Nicol Williamson, Stage Actor, 75 (1936-2011)

Margaret Castaneda, Ex-Wife of Author Carlos Castaneda, 90 (1921-2011)

Ronald Searle, British Artist & Satirical Cartoonist, 91 (1920-2011)

Mike Colalillo, Honored Veteran of World War II, 86 (1925-2011)

Yaffa Yarkoni, Critic & Wartime Singer, 86 (1925-2012)

Gary Ablett, English Soccer Player, 46 (1965-2012)

Jim Huber, Longtime Turner Sports Broadcaster, 67 (1944-2012)

Bob Anderson, Olympic Fencer & Movie Sword Master, 89 (1922-2012)

Kiro Gligorov, First Democratically Elected President of Macedonia, 94 (1917-2012)

William Polk Carey, Entrepeneur who Donated Millions to Education, 81 (1930-2012)

Fred Milano, Sang Tenor with Dion & the Belmonts, 72 (1939-2012)

Gordon Hirabayashi, Socialist Refused Japanese-American Interment Camps, 93 (1918-2012)

Gene Bartow, Basketball Coach who Succeeded John Wooden at UCLA, 81 (1930-2012)

Sister Mary Loyola Engel, Spent 81 Years as a Nun, 103 (1908-2012)

Josef Skvorecky, Czhec Exile & Author, 87 (1924-2012)

Rev. Daniel S. Harris III, Fire Chaplain who Served at Ground Zero, 69 (1942-2012)

Eve Arnold, World-Traveling Photojournalist, 99 (1912-2012)

Frederica Maas, Screenwirter, 111 (1900-2012)

Joseph R. Caputo, Suffolk County Comptroller, 79 (1932-2012)

Keith Little, One of the Last of World War II Navajo Code Talkers, 87 (1924-2012)

Robert Carter, Lawyer who Worked on Brown vs. Board of Education, 94 (1917-2012)

Gatewood Galbraith, Lawyer & 5-Time Candidate for Kentucky Governor, 64 (1947-2012)

Charles Waldo Bailey II, Former Editor of the Minneapolis Tribune, 82 (1929-2012)

Don Carter, Bowling Great from Game's Golden Age, 85 (1926-2012)

Lowell Randall, Pioneer Rocket Scientist Helped Launch U.S. Space Program, 96 (1916-2012)

Malam Bacai Sanha, President of Guinea-Bissau, 64 (1947-2012)

Alexis Weissenberg, Piano Virtuoso & World-Known Teacher, 82 (1929-2012)

Peter Acquavella, Veteran of the Korean War, 81 (1930-2012)

Tony Blankely, Former Aide to House Speaker Newt Gingrich, 63 (1948-2012)

Jessica Joy Rees, Facebook Guru who Fought Against Cancer, 12 (1999-2012)

Bill Janklow, South Dakota Politician, 72 (1939-2012)

Jim Stanley, Former Oklahoma State University Coach, 76 (1935-2012)

Rauf Denktash, Turkish Cypriot Leader, 87 (1924-2012)

Anne Knauer, Ex-YMCA Leader for Nearly 60 Years in Huntington, 88 (1923-2012)

Hans Heymann, Adviser to Three U.S. Presidents, 91 (1920-2012)

Ralph Costello, Ex-State Court Justice, 69 (1942-2012)

Manuel Fraga Iribarne, Longtime Spanish Politician & Franco Aide, 89 (1922-2012)

Hulett C. Smith, Ex-Governor of West Virginia, 93 (1918-2012)

Dan Evins, Founded Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Chain, 76 (1935-2012)

Alex DeCroce, New Jersey Assembly GOP Leader, 75 (1936-2012)

Ron Caron, General Manager of the St. Louis Blues, 82 (1929-2012)

Vince Gibson, Former Tulane Football Coach, 78 (1933-2012)

Caleb Kors, Aspiring Street & Circus Performer, 10 (2001-2012)

Richard Threlkeld, Award-Winning Correspondent for CBS & ABC News, 74 (1937-2012)

Edward Derwinsky, First U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 85 (1926-2012)

Conrad Fink, USA Professor & Former AP Executive, 80 (1931-2012)

Marty Springstead, Longtime MLB Umpire, 74 (1937-2012)

Jimmy Castor, Singer, Songwriter & Funk & Soul Saxophonist, 71 (1940-2012)

Richard Sheirer, Ex-New York City Emergency Chief, 65 (1946-2012)

Nancy Clarke, White House Florist who Served 6 Presidents, 66 (1945-2012)

Johnny Otis, R&B Godfather, Sang 'Willie & the Hand Jive' in 1958, 90 (1921-2012)

Sarah Burke, Daredevil Superpipe Skier, 29 (1982-2012)

Etta James, Legendary Fiery Blues Singer, 73 (1938-2012)

Winston Riley, Reggae Music's 'Unsung Hero', 68 (1943-2012)

Christopher M. Clark, Researcher of Alzheimer's Disease, 65 (1946-2012)

Therese Delpech, Author & French Adviser, 63 (1948-2012)

Joe Paterno, Penn State University's Head Football Coach, 85 (1926-2012)

Saud Al Sabah, Kuwait Minister & Diplomat, 67 (1944-2012)

Philip Vannatter, Lead Detective in O.J. Simpson Case, 70 (1941-2012)

Andy Musser, Sports Announcer & Philadelphia Phillies Broadcaster, 74 (1937-2012)

Bingham Ray, Filmmaking Executive, 57 (1954-2012)

Charla Krupp, Popular Author & Commentator on Fashion, 58 (1953-2012)

Wesley Brown, Oldest Sitting Federal Judge, 104 (1907-2012)

Theo Angelopoulos, Award-Winning Greek Filmmaker, 76 (1935-2012)

James Farentino, Actor who Appeared in Dozens of Films & Television Shows, 73 (1938-2012)

Mary Semans, Philanthropist, 91 (1920-2012)

Dick Tufeld, Longtime Radio, TV Announcer, Voiced 'Lost in Space' Robot, 85 (1926-2012)

Robert Hegyes, Actor, Played Epstein in 'Welcome Back, Kotter' Sitcom, 60 (1951-2012)

Kevin H. White, Former Mayor of Boston, 82 (1929-2012)

William H. Mills Jr., World War II Army Veteran, 94 (1918-2012)

Dimitra Arliss, Actress, Best Known for 1973's 'The Sting', 79 (1932-2012)

Debbie Pearsall, Intern, 21 (1990-2012)

Camilla Williams, Pioneer in Opera, 92 (1919-2012)

Ian Abercrombie, Actor, Played Elaine Benes' Boss on 'Seinfeld' Sitcom, 77 (1934-2012)

John Rich, Emmy Award-Winning Director for Television, 86 (1925-2012)

Lee Adler, Preservation Leader, 88 (1923-2012)

Dr. Joseph Mattioli, Pocono Raceway Founder & Chairman, 86 (1925-2012)

Eiko Ishioka, Oscar-Winning Set & Costume Designer, 72 (1939-2012)

Dick Kniss, Bassist for Peter, Paul & Mary, 74 (1937-2012)

Clare Fischer, Grammy-Winning Composer, 83 (1928-2012)

Oscar Luigi Scaffaro, Past President of Italy, 93 (1918-2012)

Dr. Richard Olney, Researcher who Dedicated his Life in Finding Cure for ALS, 64 (1947-2012)

Charlie Spoonhour, Coached St. Louis to Three NCAA Tournaments, 72 (1939-2012)

Wislawa Szymborska, Nobel Prize-Winning Polish Poet, 88 (1923-2012)

Don Cornelius, Host of Landmark TV Show 'Soul Train', 75 (1936-2012)

Angelo Dundee, Boxing Trainer who Guided Muhammad Ali, 90 (1921-2012)

Leslie Carter, Aspiring Singer, Sister of Backstreet Boys' Nick & Aaron, 25 (1986-2012)

Wayne Kelly, Veteran Boxing Referee, 63 (1948-2012)

Robert Cohen, Magazing Distributor who Built Hudson Newspaper, 86 (1925-2012)

Jimmie Begay, Navajo Code Talker in World War II, 86 (1925-2012)

David Peaston, R&B Singer, 54 (1957-2012)

Ben Gazzara, Actor of Stage, Film & Television, 81 (1930-2012)

George Esper, AP Correspondent who Covered Fall of Saigon, 79 (1932-2012)

Mike Kelley, Contemporary Artist, 57 (1954-2012)

Nancy Corzine, Mother of Former New Jersey Governor John Corzine, 95 (1916-2012)

Zalman King, Actor & Filmmaker, 70 (1941-2012)

Antoni Tapies, One of the World's Top Contemporary Figures of Art, 88 (1923-2012)

Janice Voss, NASA Astronaut who Flew 5 Shuttle Missions, 55 (1956-2012)

Carl Hartman, Longtime AP Correspondent, 95 (1917-2012)

Feng Fei-fei, 1980s Taiwanese Pop Diva, 58 (1953-2012)

Sally Gordon, Hailed as one of the Oldest Working Americans, 102 (1909-2012)

Istvan Csurka, Hungarian Far-Right Politician, 77 (1934-2012)

Mike deGruy, Award-Winning Cinematographer, 60 (1951-2012)

Nigel Doughty, Co-Founder of Private Equity Firm Doughty Hanson & Co., 54 (1957-2012)

Dorothea Tanning, American Painter, Printmaker, Sculptor & Writer, 101 (1910-2012)

Jacques Maisonrouge, Chief of Machine Giant IBM, 87 (1924-2012)

Jenny Tomasin, British Actress, Best Known for 'Upstairs, Downstairs', 75 (1936-2012)

Florence Green, Last Known Surviving Veteran of World War I, 110 (1901-2012)

Harry Keough, Soccer Standout, 84 (1927-2012)

John T. Sargent Sr., Doubleday Chief Executive, 87 (1924-2012)

Patricia Stephens Due, Civil Rights Activist, 72 (1939-2012)

Roger Boisjoly, NASA Contractor, 73 (1938-2012)

William J. Clancey, World War II Naval Radio Man, 88 (1923-2012)

Jeffrey Zaslow, Author & Journalist, 53 (1958-2012)

Theophilus Brown, 'Figurative' Artist, 92 (1919-2012)

Nello Ferrara, Created Atomic Fireball Candy, 93 (1918-2012)

Whitney Houston, Pop Singer & Actress Superstar of Music & Films, 48 (1963-2012)

Jill Kinmont Boothe, Skiing Champion, 75 (1936-2012)

James J. Tuite, Sportswriter for New York Times & World War II Veteran, 90 (1921-2012)

Philip Bruns, Television & Film Actor, 80 (1931-2012)

Peter Breck, Actor, Best Known for 1960s TV Western 'The Big Valley', 82 (1929-2012)

Dr. Stephen Levin, Treated Rescue Workers After the 9/11 Attacks, 70 (1941-2012)

Mohammed Lamari, General During Algerian Civil War, 72 (1939-2012)

Junius Peake, Pioneer on Wall Street, 80 (1931-2012)

Freddie Solomon, Receiver for Miami Dolphins & San Francisco 49ers, 59 (1953-2012)

Zina Bethune, Actress, Dancer & Choreographer, 66 (1945-2012)

David Kelly, Irish Actor of Stage, Film & Television, 82 (1929-2012)

Lillian Bassman, Fashion Photographer, 94 (1917-2012)

Charles Anthony, Opera Tenor & Character Singer, 82 (1929-2012)

Gary Carter, Hall of Fame MLB Player for NY Mets, Dubbed 'The Kid', 57 (1954-2012)

John Fairfax, 'Professional Adventurer', 74 (1937-2012)

Dory Previn, Lyricist, Singer-Songwriter & Poet, 86 (1925-2012)

Harry McPherson, Adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson, 82 (1929-2012)

William Lamers Jr., Hospice Pioneer, 80 (1931-2012)

Roger J. Miner, Federal Judge in 2nd Circuit Court, 77 (1934-2012)

Richard J. Bllod, Ex-Editor for New York Daily News & Teacher, 83 (1928-2012)

Michael Davis, Bassist for Late 1960s Rock Band MC5, 68 (1943-2012)

Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat, Businesswoman, Philanthropist, & Art Collector, 90 (1921-2012)

Renato Dulbecco, Shared 1975 Nobel Prize in Medicine for Cancer Research, 97 (1914-2012)

Walter Schloss, Well-Regarded Money Manager, 95 (1916-2012)

Katie Hall, Ex-Congersswoman, 73 (1938-2012)

Marie Colvin, Respected American War Reporter, 56 (1956-2012)

Remi Ochlik, Rising Star of French Photojournalism, 29 (1983-2012)

Barney Rosset, Introduced the U.S. to Political & Avant-Garde Writers, 89 (1922-2012)

Steven Kordek, Revolutionized the Pinball Machine, 100 (1911-2012)

Tom Martinez, Personal Coach of New England Patriot Quarterback Tom Brady, 66 (1946-2012)

Ann B. Mathias, Wife of the Late U.S. Senator Charles McC. Mathias, 83 (1929-2012)

Dennis Gomes, Co-Owner of Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, 68 (1944-2012)

Dmitri Nabokov, Only Child of Novelist Vladimir Nabokov, 77 (1934-2012)

Erland Josephson, Swedish Actor, 88 (1923-2012)

Bob Green, Ex-Husband of Singer Anita Bryant, 80 (1931-2012)

Tim Berry, Graphic Artist & 24-Year Newsday Employee, 44 (1967-2012)

Billy Strange, Singer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Actor & Arranger, 81 (1930-2012)

Howard Kissel, Longtime Daily News Theatre Critic, 69 (1942-2012)

James Holloway, Noted Saxophonists who Played with the Greats, 84 (1927-2012)

Rhoda Nyberg, Artist who Hand-Colored Famous 'Grace' Photo, 95 (1917-2012)

Jan Berenstain, Created the Berenstain Bears Books with Husband Stan, 88 (1923-2012)

Ken Price, Internationally Known Artist, 77 (1935-2012)

Lynn D. Compton, World War II Veteran, 90 (1921-2012)

Davy Jones, Singer-Songwriter & Member of 1960s Band The Monkees, 66 (1945-2012)

Lucio Dalla, Italian Singer-Songwriter who Sold Millions of Records, 68 (1943-2012)

Andrew Breitbart, Conservative Media Publisher & Activist, 43 (1969-2012)

Angela Castro, Eldest Sister of Cuban Leaders Fidel & Raul Castro, 88 (1923-2012)

Theodore Mann, Tony Award-Winning Director & Producer, 87 (1924-2012)

Louisiana Red, Slide Guitarist Blues Musician, 79 (1932-2012)

Donato Agostinelli, Letter Carrier to Celebrities, 84 (1927-2012)

Ruth F. Firsker, Worked at Chicago's Norwegian Embassy in World War II, 95 (1916-2012)

Esther Marie Smith, Served in U.S. Army Nurse Corps During World War II, 91 (1921-2012)

Raymond Noble Sr., World War II Veteran, 90 (1922-2012)

Stan Stearns, Took Iconic Photo of John F. Kennedy Jr. in 1963, 76 (1935-2012)

William Hamilton, Theologian, 87 (1924-2012)

James Q. Wilson, Co-Author of 'Broken Windows' Policing Theory, 80 (1931-2012)

Alex Webster, Star Running Back for NY Giants & Coached Team for 4 Years, 80 (1931-2012)

Van Thomas Barfoot, Retired Army Colonel from World War II, 92 (1919-2012)

Ronnie Montrose, Founded 1970s Hard Rock Band Montrose, 64 (1947-2012)

Runako Morton, Former West Indies Cricket Batsman, 33 (1978-2012)

Tina Strobos, Hid Jews from the Nazis During World War II, 91 (1920-2012)

Norman St. John-Stevas, UK Politician Noted for Wit & Extravagance, 82 (1929-2012)

Steve Bridges, Comedian, Best Known for Impersonating George W. Bush, 48 (1963-2012)

Robert B. Sherman, Songwriter who Penned Memorable Songs for Many Films, 86 (1925-2012)

Donald M. Payne, U.S. Representative from New Jersey, 77 (1934-2012)

Ralph McQuarrie, Illustrator/Designer for Films, Including 'Star Wars', 82 (1929-2012)

Roland Lakes, Former Defensive Lineman for San Francisco 49ers, 72 (1939-2012)

Delvy Lewis, Former Kansas NCAA Basketball Great, 69 (1943-2012)

Maxwell Keith, Manson Clan Lawyer, 87 (1924-2012)

James Ellis, Frontman for Disco Group The Trammps, 74 (1937-2012)

Harry Wendelstedt, Longtime MLB Umpire, 73 (1938-2012)

Peter Beutel, Analysist of Energy Markets, 56 (1955-2012)

Robert Ayres, Set Illustrator for Hollywood Studios, 98 (1913-2012)

Nik Zoricic, Canadian National Ski Cross Team Member, 29 (1983-2012)

F. Sherwood Rowland, Nobel Prize-Winning Chemist, 84 (1927-2012)

Dick Zander, Political Reporter for Newsday, 82 (1929-2012)

Jay McMullen, News Pioneer, 90 (1921-2012)

Minoru Mori, Property Tycoon who Built Tallest Building in China, 77 (1934-2012)

Jean Giraud, European Comic Book Legend who Also Worked in Films, 73 (1938-2012)

Timo Konietzka, German Soccer Legend, 73 (1938-2012)

Jock Hobbs, Ex-All Blacks Captain & New Zealand Rugby Union Chairman, 52 (1960-2012)

Michael Hossack, Longtime Drummer for the Doobie Brothers, 65 (1946-2012)

William Nolan Jr., Chairman of Murphy Oil Company, 72 (1939-2012)

Dick Harter, Veteran NBA Coach for New York Knicks, 81 (1930-2012)

Thomas Puccio, Noted Defense Lawyer, 67 (1944-2012)

Pierre Schoendoerffer, Oscar-Winning French Filmmaker, 83 (1928-2012)

John Souza, Member of 1950 World Cup-Winning U.S. Soccer Team, 91 (1920-2012)

Lawrence Anthony, Animal Rescuer During 2003 U.S. Invasion in Baghdad, 61 (1950-2012)

Walter Burwell, World War II & Korean War Veteran, 85 (1926-2012)

James Morehead, World War II Combat Ace, 95 (1916-2012)

Chaleo Yoovidhya, Introduced World to Energy Drink 'Red Bull', 88 (1923-2012)

Pope Shenouda III, Patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church, 88 (1923-2012)

King George Tupou V, Leader of Tonga, 63 (1948-2012)

Eleanor Callahan, Photographic Muse for Harry Callahan, 95 (1916-2012)

Furman Bisher, Famed Georgia Sportswriter, 93 (1918-2012)

Henry Thode Sr., World War II Veteran, 82 (1929-2012)

Lincoln Hall, Mountaineer Rescued from Mt. Everest After Presumed Dead, 56 (1955-2012)

Mel Parnell, Boston Red Sox Pitcher of the 1940s & 1950s, 89 (1922-2012)

Ron Erhardt, Longtime NFL Defensive Coordinator & Ex-Patriots Coach, 81 (1931-2012)

Jim Stynes, Ex-Australian Rules Football Star & High-Profile Administrator, 45 (1966-2012)

Ada Sharpton, Mother of the Reverend Al Sharpton, 87 (1924-2012)

Murray Lender, Helped Introduce Bagels to America, 81 (1930-2012)

Roy Essoyan, AP Staffer who Reported Sino-Soviet Split, 92 (1919-2012)

John Payton, Civil Rights Lawyer & President/Director of NAACP, 65 (1946-2012)

Ian Naismith, Grandson of Basketball Inventor James Naismith, 73 (1938-2012)

Paul Callaghan, Top New Zealand Scientist in Molecular Physics, 64 (1947-2012)

Bert Sugar, Iconic Bozing Historian Known for his Fedora & Cigar, 74 (1937-2012)

Samuel Glazer, Mr. Coffee Co-Founder, 89 (1923-2012)

Shirley France, Youngest Woman to Attempt to Swim the English Channel, 79 (1932-2012)

Marje Everett, Hollywood Park CEO & Horse Racing Mogul, 90 (1921-2012)

William R. Charette, Medal of Honor-Winning Navy Corpsman, 79 (1932-2012)

Hilton Kramer, Former Chief Art Critic at the New York Times, 84 (1928-2012)

Adrienne Rich, Influential Poet, Essayist & Feminist, 82 (1929-2012)

Earl Scruggs, Bluegrass Legend & Banjo Pioneer, 88 (1924-2012)

Harry Crews, Novelist, Playwright, Essayist & Rabble-Rouser, 76 (1935-2012)

Larry Stevenson, Skateboard Designer & Innovator, 81 (1930-2012)

Rex Babin, Editorial Cartoonist for the Sacramento Bee Newspaper, 49 (1962-2012)

Leonid Shebarshin, Former Soviet KGB Chief, 77 (1935-2012)

Edson W. Spencer, Former Honeywell Executive, 85 (1926-2012)

Dale R. Corson, Eighth President of Cornell University, 97 (1914-2012)

Roger C. Molander, Nuclear Protest Leader, Arms Control Expert & Activist, 71 (1940-2012)

Miguel de la Madrid, Former Mexican President, 77 (1934-2012)

Giorgio Chinaglia, Former New York Cosmos Star & Soccer Great, 65 (1947-2012)

Neslisah Osmanoglu, Exiled Ottoman Princess, 91 (1921-2012)

Dr. Leila Denmark, Oldest Practicing Physician in the World, 114 (1898-2012)

Peter Douglas, Executive Director of California Coastal Commission, 69 (1942-2012)

Marie Davis Gadsden, Educator who Chaired Oxfam America, 92 (1919-2012)

Rev. Addie L. Wyatt, Civil Rights & Labor Leader, 88 (1924-2012)

Jimmy Little, Iconic Aboriginal Musician, 75 (1937-2012)

Elizabeth Catlett, Renowned Sculptor & Printmaker, 96 (1915-2012)

Bertil Stroberg, Swedish Air Force Officer Wrongly Convicted of Spying, 79 (1932-2012)

Eduardo L. Duhalde, Human Rights Advocate, 72 (1939-2012)

Jose Maria Zarraga, Spanish Soccerman, 81 (1930-2012)

Ferdinand Alexander Porsche, Grandson of Porsche Designer Ferry, 76 (1935-2012)

Jim Marshall, Shaped Rock N' Roll Sound with Amplifier Designs, 88 (1923-2012)

Barney McKenna, Last Original Member of Irish Folk Band the Dubliners, 72 (1939-2012)

Gil Noble, Longtime Host of 'Like It Is' on WABC-TV, 80 (1932-2012)

Joe Avezanno, Former Dallas Cowboys Special Teams Coach, 68 (1943-2012)

Elan Steinberg, Longtime Advocate for Holocaust Survivors, 59 (1952-2012)

Fang Lizhi, Chinese Astrophysicist & Dissident, 76 (1936-2012)

Thomas Kinkade, Self-Described 'Painter of Light', 54 (1954-2012)

James S. Herr, Founder & Executive of Herr Foods Co., 87 (1924-2012)

Blair Kiel, Quarterback & Punter for Notre Dame & NFL Teams, 50 (1961-2012)

Frank Strickler, Watergate Defense Lawyer, 92 (1920-2012)

Anne Commire, Playwright & Author, 72 (1939-2012)

Mike Wallace, Star Interviewer & Soul of CBS' '60 Minutes', 93 (1918-2012)

Mark Lenzi, Olympic Gold Medalist Diver, 43 (1968-2012)

Raymond Aubrac, One of the Last Major Figures of the French Resistance, 97 (1914-2012)

Agustin Roman, The First Cuban to be Appointed Bishop in the U.S., 83 (1928-2012)

Neslisah Osmanoglu, Ottoman Princess Twice Forced Into Exile, 91 (1921-2012)

Wayne Hoffman, Retired Airline Executive, 89 (1923-2012)

Reed Whittemore, Poet Laureate, 92 (1919-2012)

John Hegquist, Ad Artist & Navy Veteran, 64 (1947-2012)

Ahmed Ben Bella, Led Algeria in Fight for Independence, 93 (1918-2012)

Lili Chookasian, Renowned Opera Singer, 90 (1921-2012)

Dora Saint, British Author, Wrote Popular 'Miss Read' Books, 98 (1913-2012)

Arnold Maersk Mc-Kinney Moeller, Oil Conglomerate, 98 (1913-2012)

William Finley, Actor & Lifelong Collaborator with Brian DePalma, 69 (1942-2012)

Richard Nappi, FDNY Lieutenant, 47 (1964-2012)

Emile Bouchard, Hockey Hall of Famer, Played for Montreal Canadiens, 92 (1919-2012)

Andrew Love, Tenor Saxophonist, Formed The Memphis Horns Duo, 70 (1941-2012)

Raymond Forbes, Aided First Black Wall Street Firm in 1975, 85 (1927-2012)

Murray Rose, Olympic Champion Swimmer, 73 (1939-2012)

Amy Tryon, Olympic Equestrian, 42 (1970-2012)

Dwayne Schintzius, Former Hoops & NBA Star, 43 (1968-2012)

Sid Moody, Associated Press Writer, 83 (1929-2012)

Hal McKusick, Big Band Saxophonist, 87 (1924-2012)

Rich Saul, Longtime Center for Los Angeles Rams, 64 (1948-2012)

Greg Ham, Musician, Played with Iconic Aussie Band Men At Work, 58 (1953-2012)

Dick Clark, Longtime Host of TV's 'American Bandstand', 82 (1929-2012)

Levon Helm, Singer for Seminal Rock Group The Band, 71 (1940-2012)

Jonathan Frid, Actor, Played Barnabas Collins in 1960s 'Dark Shadows', 87 (1924-2012)

Holger Schmezer, Germany's 2-Time Olympic Champion Dressage Coach, 65 (1947-2012)

George Cowan, Manhattan Project Scientist, 92 (1920-2012)

Charles Colson, Watergate Figure who Became an Evangelist, 80 (1931-2012)

Stanley R. Resor, U.S. Army Secretary, 94 (1917-2012)

Jeffrey Chandler, Helped Run Los Angeles Times Newspaper, 70 (1942-2012)

Bert Weedon, Versatule Guitarist, 91 (1920-2012)

B. Robert Williamson Jr., Portfolio Manager, 55 (1956-2012)

Nicholas King, Actor & Horticulturist who Saved Los Angeles Watts Towers, 79 (1933-2012)

Doris Betts, Novelist & Writing Teacher, 79 (1932-2012)

Ray Easterling, Former Atlanta Falcons Safety, 62 (1949-2012)

LeRoy Walker, 1st African-American to Lead U.S. Olympic Committee, 93 (1918-2012)

James Y. Nishimura, Cablevision Pioneer, 82 (1930-2012)

Louis le Brocquy, Irish Expressionist Painter, 95 (1916-2012)

Pete Fornatale, New York City Rock Disc Jockey, 66 (1945-2012)

William Lawlis Pace, Guinness World Record-Holder, 103 (1909-2012)

Bill 'Moose' Skowron, Four-Time World Series Champion, 81 (1930-2012)

Jack Balestreri, Believed to be Last Surviving Golden Gate Bridge Worker, 95 (1916-2012)

Robert Smith, Creator of Anti-Fog Ski Goggles, 78 (1934-2012)

Ernest 'Chick' Callenbach, Environmental Novelist, 83 (1929-2012)

Joe Muranyi, Played Clarinet for Louis Armstrong, 84 (1928-2012)

Shukri Ghanem, Former Libyan Prime Minister & Oil Minister, 69 (1942-2012)

Ben-Zion Netanyahu, Father of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 102 (1910-2012)

Thomas Austin Preston Jr., Acclaimed Professional Poker Player, 83 (1928-2012)

Janet Manion, Mother of Soldier Travis Manion, 58 (1954-2012)

John P. Moody, Longtime Labor Journalist & World War II Veteran, 95 (1916-2012)

Alaexander Dale Oen, World Champion Swimmer from Norway, 26 (1985-2012)

Billy Neighbors, Star Lineman in College Football for Alabama, 72 (1940-2012)

George Vujnovich, Led WW II Mission to Rescue Over 500 U.S. Airmen, 96 (1915-2012)

Howard S. Turner, Helped to Build Madison Square Garden in NYC, 100 (1911-2012)

Walter L. Gordon, Pioneer Black Lawyer, 103 (1908-2012)

Patricia Medina, 1950s Actress, 92 (1919-2012)

Tomas Borge, Helped Found Nicaragua's Sandinistas Movement, 81 (1930-2012)

Charles Higham, Writer, Poet, Critic & Prolific Celebrity Biographer, 81 (1931-2012)