Before The Kingdom

Chapter One, Story One

The rain outside was beating against the window, even as a man with brown hair and pale skin leaned back in his chair. His face was covered in the shadows of the large but very cluttered office where his battered oak desk and many dented filing cabinets rested. Only the weak daylight and a small-underpowered lamp lighted the room.

"It was a quiet day. Rainy. I had just finished a big case the day before, and was resting up while waiting for the next case to walk through my door. I didn't know what it'd be, but I had a feeling it would be big!"

A very attractive woman entered the office. She wore a red silk dress, Chinese style, which hugged the curves of her torso like a second skin, a slit up the ankle length skirt showing both well shaped and muscular thighs, her silver hair mussed by the damp weather, and the rain.

"Then she walked into my door. Most women would look messy with rain dampened hair, but she looked beautiful, almost like the sky was weeping because of her beauty. Looking at her, I knew she was trouble, all beautiful dames who found my door were."

The woman growled, flipped the switch next to the door turning on the powerful overhead fluorescent lights, then stepped up to the man smacking him over the head, though lightly. "Kaga, stop playing with your tape recorder! Who do you think you are Humphrey Bogart?"

"Ouch, hey!" Kaga yelled, but turned off the recording tape. "Ya didn't have to hit me, Laun Te!"

Laun ignored him as she crossed the room, passing her own, grease smeared desk, to a set of filing cabinets. "Why do you talk like a Dime Novel when you're bored, lately? No, don't tell me... Just tell me if anyone called about a job today."

"Another divorce case, and that guy at "Motorcycle world" called, offering you that part time shop mechanic position."

"Thank gods! If I had to deal with one more pervert at that restaurant, I'd kill them!" The silver haired young woman opened one of the drawers, and withdrew a pair of panties and a bra. "Can we handle another Divorce case, though? You already have one, and you know I won't do them. And you just got one yesterday!"

"What can I say its going around lately." Kaga shrugged. "And I already finished the one from yesterday. The guy didn't even try to be sneaky, just paid an underage prostitute and did his thing. I have pictures of him with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak. I'd have told you, but you were already asleep when I got home."
"Scum bag. Why are all Males so stupid? Are you the only one with any self-control?"

Kaga grinned "Much to your chagrin, fairest of all Chinese Amazons."

"Don't flirt unless you mean it!"

"Laun, I always mean it! I just never ACT on it!"

A knock on the door stopped Laun's retort, so all she got to say was "darn!" As she hid her clean clothes.

"Come in, please!" Kaga called.

Both man and Amazon watched as the elegant woman, wearing a green business suit with a short skirt entered. Both took note of her athletic build and long green hair. They also noticed an air of control and confidence around her. "Is this the KagaTe troubleshooter's office?"

"Yes it is. How can we help you, Ms.?"

"Meiou... Setsuna Meiou." She smiled, still looking cool and confident, but also mysterious in some indefinable way that vanished when they blinked. "May I sit down?"

"Of course, Ms. Meiou. Sit and tell us what we can do for you."

Laun sat at her own desk, smoothing her red skirt even as Setsuna sat down in front of Kaga's.
The green haired woman looked at both individuals. "First off, I have to ask do you believe in Magic?" When both nodded, with a puzzled look, she continued "Excellent! And are you the Laun Te who beat Mayhem Mei Lynn in the Hong Kong pit fight circuit?"

Laun nodded, shrugging. "Yeah." She ignored Kaga's dirty look.

Setsuna smiled, a secretive and mysterious turn of her lips, and turned to Kaga. "And are you the Kaga who single handedly destroyed the Dragon Knives Triads prostitution ring?"

Kaga frowned, winced actually, and gave the woman a cold look. "You're bringing up touchy subjects, Ms. Meiou. Now you are Japanese so you aren't a Hong Kong cop, and you are likely to be another hit man, so I ask... What do you want?"

"I am sorry, but I had to make sure I had the right people." Setsuna pulled a notebook from the small briefcase she had carried with her, setting it down on Kaga's desk with a gentle intensity. "The details are in there, but in general I am searching for an artifact called the Sword of Chiron. According to legend, it has the ability to cut a "hole in time" allowing time travel within the lifetime of its most recent victim as long as their blood is still damp on the blade."

"Interesting toy." Kaga leaned back. "From your first question, I believe you assume it actually works. If this is true what do you want with it?"

"I want it, so I can prevent anyone from using it!" The passion in her voice was very compelling.

"Okay..." Laun nodded. "But why come to us, and why Hong Kong?"

"You, because you have a reputation for dealing with... Unusual as well and mundane problems. Hong Kong because I know it is in this city."


"Because, Ms. Laun Te, it has already been used here."