Kitsune was on a patrol of her own when she felt something she didn’t expect to ever feel again, a child. Twelve, maybe thirteen, years old. Running, but not scared. She stopped and turned her cat like ears back and forth, trying to pinpoint the source. North-east, not far.
Leaping from building to building, Kitsune could feel more. Slowly, the feeling of soldiers also crept in. Each one felt freakishly similar, to the point where she could tell that there was one out of the ordinary. He was middle-aged and also running.
Thunder, their guns were ringing out. Lightning, Kitsune spotted a group of the soldiers that were firing. Leaping across the street, she spotted who they were shooting. The man and the child were running down a narrow street with soldiers following close behind, firing on them. The man had his hands up in front of him, and a green bubble which seemed to deflect the bullets surrounded him and the child.
The street they were on was a dead-end, Kitsune knew, and was sure they knew, too. It ended just ahead, where an old brick building stood. It was going to be taken down to make way for the street to continue when the Collapse hit. The pair kept running towards it.
Just a few seconds before they reached the building, the man seemed to toss a green ball at its wall, and then the child punched straight through it. As the dust began to settle, bricks began to fly through the dust at the following soldiers, knocking them flat, and, in a few cases, knocking them out.
More escapees? The Doctor must be getting sloppy, but with every escapee comes one new minion. They might not be ready yet, but it would be one more danger to look out for. Who would Doctor Chushaki send after these? Kitsune tried to remember who commanded this area of the city.
An explosion of purple smoke in the alley below reminded her. Nikutai Doreiku, he was the one Chushaki had created to fight Kitsune. Armor was grafted to his skin in a way that maximized mobility, and he favored his fear tactics. He drew one of his katana and deftly sliced the bricks that flew from the hole in the wall.
Based on what she had seen, Kitsune didn’t think the kid could fight him, and the man seemed to only have defensive powers. Despite her predilections against being seen by the Doctor’s people, she would have to go down there, but first, the soldiers.
She unclipped her kanabō and threw it into one of them, and then followed it down. She grabbed it and hit another soldier. Doreiku swung, and Kitsune rolled back, getting another soldier on the way. A brick felled one more soldier, and Kitsune made a passing swipe at Doreiku. He parried it, as she had expected, and then pulled out his second katana.
Even with her superior reflexes, Kitsune knew she couldn’t hope to defeat Doreiku, just distract him. Despite that, the two escapees seemed intent on sticking around. She leapt just in front of the shield the man had up. She noticed he seemed to have cybernetics on one side of his face. The Doctor was expanding his repertoire. “Get out of here!” commanded Kitsune.
“Not without you,” replied the man.
“I’m fine. Go to Garfield Park, I’ll be waiting there.”
He seemed to hesitate, but then tapped the kid and started running again. Now it was just Kitsune and Doreiku. “The Doctor is very interested in getting you back,” said Doreiku.
“Well, it’s not his birthday, is it?” she replied.
“No, I suppose not. I’ll just have to revert to plan B. Termination.” He swung his katana.
Kitsune dodged back and deflected the attack. “That doesn’t seem very likely. We are a perfect match.” She made another quick strike at him.
“Too bad we don’t have a priest on hand, then,” he said as he began a flurry of attacks.
“I knew a reverend once,” she said as she dodged around the attacks, “But I don’t know where he’s at now.”
“What a shame. I know a wonderful place to get a ring.” He finished his flurry with a quick spin.
“More’s the pity. Still, not like I’ve got the time, what with all the running and the hiding.” She ducked under one sword and deflected the second.
“It was nice of you to find time for this little duel.” He gave a quick jab.
“Yes, but I’m afraid I’ve got to go now. See you around.” She jumped back, and then up to the top of a building.
“Ah, just when I was getting warmed up, too,” Doreiku shouted after her.