San Francisco. A back street. A drug deal in progress. The dealer completes his business and walks away.
His clients go the other way. They swallow the substance he has given them and collapse on their knees, screaming. They stand up feeling hyper. REALLY hyper. Like God. Any god. And stronger. They didn't just FEEL stronger. They WERE stronger. They were gods. They were criminals.
They raced into the high street where hundreds of people were doing their shopping. Growling like animals, they hacked, slashed and swung at everyone. Fifty people ended up dead. Slashed. And the perpetrators smiled wildly.
The police tried to knock them down. Shots and gas went everywhere. One of the two fell as a bullet found its target. But the other wasn't falling. Then they ran out of bullets. They pumped more gas onto him than they cared to measure. But they could see his shadow moving. Then they couldn't even see that.
In a few seconds they heard an inhuman scream which suddenly silenced. When the gas cleared, the remaining criminal was lying on the floor with a slit throat bleeding wildly into the mud. And as the police pondered what had just happened, someone watched from a rooftop. Someone with blood dripping off the toe of their foot.
Zorro was the crime lord of the town. He wore a mask because he had something to hide. His own identity. NO ONE knew who he was. Those who knew him as his alter ego would be shocked to learn. He commanded a lot of crime. And the crime he didn't control totally had to pay him extraordinary amounts to be allowed to continue. He knew what happened. He ran stealing, drug-dealing... hell, he even ran some of the police department!
And there weren't many people who even knew of his existence, let alone had the sheer guts to challenge his rule. He ruled unopposed, because he's the only one who can. And the powers that be have dictated that he will always be like that. But the powers that be aren't prophetic.
"I need some info."
"I want to know WHO killed that loony druggie last night."
"Of course you are."
His name was Kanchelskis. He was one of Zorro's subordinates. He helped Zorro run this city. He was one of five unique lieutenants. And at the moment, his life was in danger. And he was semi-aware. He felt like he was being followed. He was sweating. He mustn't run. But he was scared. And with good reason. Because he was being followed.
She sprang across the roof like a cat. She had found out, through her sources, that this man was one of the men who were central to the operations of the crime lord known only as Zorro. And he was dead meat.
He raced into a building. She smiled. This may be harder than she thought. She landed on the balcony of an upper floor. This was his apartment. There were two men inside. Muscled. Armed. She popped the inch-long claw on each of her feet, and a piece of metal rattled as she tapped it with her claw.
Then another guy raced towards the window. The staff was as jumpy as the boss. She planted a small bomb on the window and leapt off the balcony. The explosion caused razor-sharp shards of glass to fly left, right and center. The man near the window was shredded.
The other two were coming to the balcony. She grabbed the balcony below that and swung around it, hurling herself up. Using a sharp kick off the balcony, she directed herself straight forward, spreading her legs in a straddle. The two blades entered the two men simultaneously. They died at the same instant. She flipped back again and landed on her feet. Then the door opened.
Kanchelskis saw the lady in the black standing over two of his best bodyguards. He turned and ran. She raced to the door. He'd made it to the elevator. She hurled one of her explosives onto the door. It blew out. She hurled herself down the shaft. She grabbed the elevator cable and slid down. As she came to the car, she dropped a bomb onto the roof. It blew open.
She leapt into the car next to Kanchelskis. He screamed. Then she leapt at him with finger claws open. His shirt tore, and a massive wound opened across his face. Then she popped her foot claws and back flipped. The massive claws tore him open. And then she leapt out of the roof just as it reached the destination floor.
The next elevator user entered the car, only to find Kanchelskis' corpse. If the shredded mass of internal organs were enough to be called that.
The Lady Shiva was the name of a Twentieth Century martial artist. Over the years, women had battled to get that name. And the current holder was no different.
She was still refining the costume. It was bulletproof and had claws on the fingers and feet, but there was something missing.
She leapt out of her home and ran across the rooftops. There was a laboratory complex not far from here. The stars swirled past her as she ran. Then she came into sight. One flip-kick got her through the top window, and she was in, alarms going wild. The guards came in. They were unconscious in seconds. She didn't kill without reason. And she started to work.
The units on the wrist bands were self-charging hyper-batteries. They recharged in six seconds. The coils which shot out were a rare titanium alloy: flexible, but virtually indestructible. Good conductors. There were three coils connected to the wrist bands. If there was a man on the end of each, three seconds' charge would kill them all. And she could do almost anything she wanted with the coils: swing on them, run people through, catch things. The list was limitless.
She then looked at the clock. She yelped and leapt to the roof. She swung across the skyline on the coils 'til she came home.
A high-society gathering. The cream of everyone. The benefactor? Mr. Jim Hali.
"M.. M.. Minson.."
"Miss Minson. I believe this is the first time you have been to one of these gatherings?"
"We are an..... elite group, wouldn't you agree, Sarah?"
"I'd say so, Jim. We hate the public." Sarah Challa smiled. "Welcome to the club, kid!"
"May your stay be long and prosperous. Hi, Sarah."
Another tall lady appeared behind Sarah. She had small pinched features and deep black eyes.
"Amanda? It's been AGES!"
"I know. Got locked up, didn't I?"
"You never did say what that was for....."
"Just some mix-up. Some girl who looked like me pulled a heist."
"Of course. See ya."
The tall girl wondered off elsewhere, and Sarah turned to Elisabeth Minson. "I don't know about you, but she gives ME the creeps!"
"S.. Sure. Bye."
Elisabeth wandered off into the crowd.
Sarah looked for someone else to talk to. Then she saw HIM. She wandered over. "Yo, Rich! How's life in the fast lane?"
"Going. So, did I miss anything?"
"Nope, you're not that lucky."
"Heh. Me and my big mouth."
"So, what do you do these days? I heard you quit your job at Pennyfield's."
"This and that. Hang around. Stuff."
"Right. Whatever. Seeya then."
Sarah wandered across the party, looking for anyone she knew.
She was in a corner. She watched Amanda silently, as if taking mental notes. This was her first party of this type. She was a bit nervous. She just wanted to get it right.
Jim Hali was what people call filthy rich. He SMELT of cash. He had a huge mansion which he used for these sort of parties. The rest of the time, he lived in another house in a TOP-SECRET LOCATION to avoid nosy reporters! He knew more than people credited him for.
Then he saw the new girl hiding in a corner. He went over.
"Hello...... Miss Min..."
"Sure. So...." he desperately searched for a topic of conversation, "what did you think of these two dead criminals?"
"Y'know. Two people who were involved in crime being killed. Recently."
"O... Oh yeah. T-T-That."
"You're stuttering a lot. You OK?"
"J-Just a tad n-nervous."
"Fine. So what DO you think about the killings?" This question had moved on from being a desperately thought of topic to being an interesting one. He WANTED to know what she thought. She seemed to be sidetracking.
"I dunno. W-Whoever it is is just taking justice into their own hands right? If it was illegal all private detectives would have b-been locked up. Right?"
"So, do you approve?"
"I think so......." She was nervous. That's what he thought.
Jim frowned as he walked away. "Well," he thought, "THAT went well!"
Richard left. He looked at his watch and slipped away. And as she hid in the shadows, she saw him. And she slipped away too.
"AWRIGHT! EVERYBODY SHUT UP AND GET DOWN!"
"Damn," she thought, "Zorro escaped. I can't just kill a prominent businessman. I need evidence. I was hoping I could get some witnesses of him consorting with the guys who just broke in. Oh well, back to the task at hand....."
With that thought, she leapt forward.
As Jim wandered back, a lot of his patrons had left the main ballroom -- Amanda, Sarah and Elisabeth among them. And Richard.
Seconds before he would have followed their example, he saw a shadow move. He stopped and tried to focus it. Then the shadow leapt into plain view.
"AWRIGHT, RICH PEOPLE! GIVE OVER YOUR CASH!" the masked man yelled.
The few remaining folks prepared to part with their money. But suddenly something happened. There were three of them. WERE.
Because a line snaked out and dug into the chest of the one furthest back. He screamed and tried to pull it away. Then the entire room lit up as a massive electric charge went down the line. His clothes smoldering, he collapsed.
"AWRIGHT! WHO WAS IT?"
Then the shadow moved again. Someone in a black suit flipped into the center of the room. The leader stared. Then she shot out a line. He put his gun up to block it, and the line snaked around the gun and plucked it from his grasp. He ran towards the figure.
She charged also.
Claws out on her fingers. It was over in a second.
She flipped over him and tore his back. His jacket was shredded and his back cut. He fell to the floor. She went over to him and kneed him in the head. He screamed to anyone, to God, to the Devil. Then the last one standing grabbed a handgun. As she went to finish him. She kicked him in the chin as the gun went off. She flipped back. The bullet tore away.
The leader was half-standing against a wall... Until the bullet entered his brain.
One more. And this was gonna be good. She fired a line to the ceiling and swung towards him feet first, her feet claws on a collision course with his face.
He ducked and she retracted the claws so that she didn't end up stuck in the wall. She pushed her feet against the wall in a flip so that she came down with her feet on his neck. No claws yet. She landed with all her weight on his neck. He screamed. Loudly. THEN she popped the claws. They were all dead now.
She retracted the claws and raced via the hole the criminals had entered by.
"Hey, everyone here?" Jim was hoping everyone had escaped.
"Yeah, sure Jim. What happened in there?"
"Some ninja woman knocked them all dead, Amanda. And I mean DEAD."
Then the woman came to the top of a nearby building.
"Know the power of the Lady Shiva. Fear her."
"Shiva? Back? How can that be?"
"OK. Sarah, hi."
"Jim. I heard you mention a ninja woman. Was that..?"
"Nice. Where's Liz?"
"Elizabeth. Miss Minson. Her."
"Dunno.....hey she's over there. Hanging out on the outskirts of the crowd."
"Catchya later then, Jim."
Then Amanda spoke up. "So this party is over?"
"Yeah. I'll get the repair people on this hole. Seeya round."
And Sarah "escorted" Elisabeth away. And Amanda wandered away. And Jim went to find the repair men.
It was Saturday, three days since the event that had everyone talking -- the foiling of an attempted robbery by the mysterious Lady Shiva. And since then, it had been assumed that she had also been responsible for two previous killings of criminals.
And opinions were mixed. Some thought she was going to be the one who banished crime. Others thought she would be a killer who was just trying to get on people's good sides. And some thought she was a hero using unpleasant means. Because the ends justify the means, in most people's opinions. And no minds were more biased then that of Zorro, crime mastermind of San Francisco.
While violence is most definitely a justified tool in his book, only when it's used on his side! This annoyed him immensely. He had no real way of stopping her right now, and she hadn't done much. Lieutenants are expendable and three hoodlums is hardly a problem.
All he'd ordered was that Riley, a local group of ninja outcasts, like Shiva seems to be, to have a little stab at finding out who she was. Hell, maybe they were connected. You never know. And right now he didn't really care. She couldn't possibly do anything else. He still had three lieutenants. Yeah, she was powerless. Wasn't she?
The Lady Shiva hurled herself through the air and shot out a metal alloy coil to a nearby rooftop. She swung all the way across, as far as it could go, and retracted it. Her target tonight? Olivia Koveritakis, Zorro's only female lieutenant. She had certain connections which made her privy to such interesting snippets.
And, although she was a woman, she was one of the people least obvious to be "in" crime, she was the second of Zorro's four lieutenants who would go down. She had the third as well, and after Koveritakis had gone down, he was next, before he got wind of what had happened and quadrupled security. She landed on her penthouse roof.
Olivia went into her apartment. She was most definitely upper class. She saw an envelope on the mat. She opened it. An invitation to a party from a Jim Hali. In a week from today. She'd attend. Just to keep up her profile. Then the phone went. She picked it up from the table. "Koveritakis."
She listened to the man at the other end.
"Zorro. To what do I owe the pleasure if this call?"
"A warning. You know Berkowitz was killed last week?"
"Well, you could be next on this...Lady Shiva's list."
"Thank you for your concern, but I can handle myself."
"Guns concealed all over this penthouse apartment. Security HEAVILY armed."
And without another word, Zorro hung up.
Shiva removed the device from the phone line. She pulled the tape out and wrote on the case "Koveritakis on phone to Zorro" and placed the tape in it. Then she planted the mini bomb over Olivia's head.
The explosion rocked the house to it's foundations as Olivia screamed. Before the last piece of shrapnel hit the floor, Shiva was leaping in. Olivia ran for the wall and Shiva started to fire a coil to kill her. Then a muscular man grabbed her from behind.
Without a word, Shiva flipped over and the man's head cracked loudly on the floor. Another two bodyguards came to get her. She popped her claw on her left foot and leapt forward, spiral kicking him in the chest, scattering major internal organs.
Then she turned to the other. She jumped high and, retracting her claw, kicked him back. Then she punched him hard in a certain place. The bridge of his nose. He screamed as his sinuses were driven back into his brain.
Olivia hammered the alert button hidden behind a portrait and grabbed a gun. As she looked into the main chamber, four men raced in with guns and laid down a barrage across the whole room. Every inch was raked with gunfire. Shiva flipped and leapt between gunfire lines. Then they finished the barrage and aimed for her.
One shot narrowly missed her leg as she shot out four of her electrified coils. The coils wrapped around each of the men's wrists. They screamed and dropped their guns as hundreds of volts of electricity tore through their nervous systems. Then she retracted the coils and pulled the tape out of her pocket and put it on the table in a prominent position before racing after Olivia.
Olivia saw her. Picking up the shotgun and putting a handgun in one pocket, she stood in a corner. As Lady Shiva came into the room, a shot rang out. It missed Shiva and ricocheted around until coming to a standstill.
Shiva stood still, listening. Then she heard the click of a gun being reloaded. Without a word, she struck a punch to her right. Olivia screamed as the bones in her wrist snapped and she dropped the shotgun.
Pulling out the handgun, she leveled it at Shiva. Shiva grabbed the gun by the barrel and pulled it out of Olivia's hand. Putting the weapon in her pocket, Shiva grabbed Olivia's broken wrist and hurled her into the main chamber. Then she punched her in the chest and broke her other wrist. Next she pulled out the handgun.
Olivia's body was found twenty minutes later. It had five bullet holes shot in a precise pattern across her chest that would cause her immense pain without killing her. Surgeons estimated that, around ten minutes after firing these five, Shiva had shot her in the head.
They also found the tape, containing evidence that Olivia had been linked with Zorro. That job was complete. But, before any of that had come out, Shiva had been on her way to get her next victim.
Alan Eeley was a builder. Simple job. Not the sort of guy you suspect of being involved with organized crime. But then, Zorro doesn't like obvious lieutenants. In the past, he'd sabotaged buildings for Zorro, planted bombs whilst pretending to do maintenance and other things. And he was about to die.
Shiva wasn't interested in making this one suffer. She already had a file which linked Eeley to several crimes. She smiled as she planted the bomb. A bit of poetic justice coming up. Then she prepared to let it rip.
Eeley was working down the bottom. He had just planted a bomb, which, in fifteen minutes, would take out this section of the city. And it's detective section with it. Then Shiva pressed a button on her belt. And the building site ceased. It fell in upon itself with an almighty explosion. And Alan Eeley managed to survive. But he'd never be able to get out.
He hid in a shelter section to hide from the debris. He knew he had fifteen minutes to get out before his bomb exploded and took him down. And in this wreck it would only mildly damage the detective department. He cursed. Then he saw the spilled petroleum. And the spark. And his bomb, filled with volatile materials. Then he stopped seeing. Forever.
Even the San Francisco police department aren't so stupid that they ignore two huge explosions, originating from the same place. They came running. As the detective stood by the building making notes, one of the site employees, joined him.
"Detective? Everyone's out except Eeley!"
"Only one casualty? Not bad for this type of explosion."
Then Shiva swung past him, dropping a file in his arms. It contained some very interesting data............
Zorro was not going to just settle for minor measures now. In the space of a hour, he had lost two of his three surviving lieutenants. He picked up the phone and hit the speed dial button which connected him to Riley.
The man on the other end responded angrily.
"I DON'T WANT YOUR MOANING! I JUST WANT THIS SHIVA'S HEAD ON A SILVER PLATTER! AND GET YOUR BEST MEN ON IT!"
The man at the other end hung up. He had his orders. And Zorro paid highly.
The party at Jim Hali's residence. The hole in the wall had been repaired swiftly by the best builders money could buy. The guest list was similar to the last one. Amanda Riker, Sarah Challa, Elisabeth Minson, Richard Kelly and of course, Jim Hali himself.
"Sarah! You came back!"
"Of course I did Jim. Not ALL of your parties are home to hundreds of members of the criminal element."
"Yeah, of course. And speaking of the criminal element........."
"Evening everyone." Amanda Riker smiled slyly. Not difficult for her; it was her second default expression.
"Ha, ha. So, what's new, Jim?"
"Well, this isn't going to be half as much fun as my last party, as I doubt anyone else will break in."
"You never know," Sarah grinned, "We're all loaded, someone's got to take it!"
They continued their pointless conversation for several minutes. Then Elisabeth Minson arrived.
"Hi Liz. Speaking normally this evening?"
"Um....sure." She said nervously.
The small crowd dispersed. Sarah went to say hello to Richard, Amanda went with Jim and Elisabeth returned to her native position on the outskirts of the party.
"Hello Sarah. Another exciting evening?"
"Hey, you know. It's a dirty job......."
"Bog-standard," he grimaced, "though I have been having a few problems."
Captain Hoi-Chan was commander of this branch of Riley. They were second only to the main squad, and they only did the ABSOLUTELY vital jobs. This branch usually did a good enough job for Zorro's requests.
The plan was simple. When that group of punks had broken into one of Hali's parties, Shiva had shown up quickly. So quickly, it was safe to assume that she was one of the guests in her secret identity.
So the plan was simple. The guest list was nearly the same as the last time for this party. So they break in. Draw her out. And kill her.
After Richard had mentioned his problems, Sarah had inquired about their nature. Richard had, however, been very un-forthcoming about their nature. And he had moved off. Sarah went to find someone else she knew or had heard of, as a lot of famous faces can hang around at these things.
Amanda was not exactly out of touch with the criminal element, even though she had only recently left prison. And she had heard that something may be happening tonight. At this party.
Elisabeth was hanging around at the side. She had a feeling that something was about to happen.
Richard Kelly slipped away.
Next second, to the surprise of some of them and to the complete expectations of others, a large window shattered, and four ninjas armed with swords catapulted themselves through the window. And as everyone tried to exit, she hid in the rafters, having changed into her 'working' clothes. There was no one left in the room except for her and the ninjas. She leapt towards them.
"There she is!" Hoi-Chan yelled out, and two of his subordinates charged forward. Shiva leapt to one of them and chopped him in the hand. His sword flew up into the air. She kicked him to the floor. He immediately knew what her plan was. He rolled to the side. Seconds later, his sword embedded itself in the floor about where his chest would have been.
Meanwhile, another one hurled himself into a flying kick. She deflected it with her wristband. Then she punched him in the stomach. He rolled with the blow and unsheathed his sword. He used it to vault at her, then swung it in an arc as fast as he could. She couldn't touch it otherwise she would be cut into ribbons. The metal coils knocked him out of the air. One wrapped around his arm and delivered a massive electrical shock.
Hoi-Chan sent his last man in as his other one tried to pull his sword out of the floor. This man had no sword, just a small knife. He flipped over Shiva's head and landed behind her. He landed a kick on her back and she fell forward. As he pulled out his knife to land the finishing blow, she hooked her leg around his ankles and tripped him up. he yelped and fell to the floor, dropping the knife. Shiva picked up the knife and plunged it between his shoulder blades. Two dead.
The other threw his sword across the room, clearly having managed to extract it from the floor! Shiva heard it whistling through the air towards her and tried to side-step out of the way. The sword slashed into her shoulder. She looked at him with eyes like steel and hurled herself across the room towards him. She kicked him in the head. He back-leapt to absorb the force of the blow and karate-chopped to break her wrist. She blocked it with her wrist-band and then sent a phenomenal electrical charge through the wrist band before he moved his hand. He screamed and fell.
Hoi-Chan had lost his three men in the advance squad. He leapt through the broken window. Shiva fired a coil and swung after him. She saw him land on a neighboring roof. She landed in front of him. He snapped his fingers and his left hand became a flare. Riley ninjas came onto the roof from all directions. There were around twenty of them, all with swords, intent on fulfilling the contract.
Captain Hoi-Chan wasn't overly worried. He had the Lady Shiva just where he wanted her. And, with an army of ninjas from the mysterious organization called Riley backing him up, he knew he was onto a winner.
Zorro watched from a hovering spy-cam nearby. Shiva was surrounded by ninjas with no hope of escape. Her only way out was to defeat them all, and no one human could do that. Could they?
Lady Shiva steeled herself as Hoi-Chan yelled, "Yoi! Charge!"
A unit of ninjas, around five, came charging towards her with their swords. As they slashed down, she leapt above them and popped her foot-claws. She kicked into the hoods of two, and they screamed as they fell.
Then another two hacked downward at her. She blocked one sword with each wristband and activated the wristband's electricity devices. Hundreds of volts surged into them, conducted through the swords, and they fell, a little column of smoke spiraling upwards from the slits they looked through.
One more. She had a cut in her leg from her last fight. As she looked towards him, he threw a small throwing knife at her. She deflected it and catapulted forward. He drew his sword as she came forward, but didn't get a good grip in time. A clear kick sent it across the rooftop.
"NO!!!" he screamed. Then a piece of metal entered his mind.
Meanwhile, Jim Hali was getting VERY stressed! "THE BUILDINGS INSURANCE WON'T COVER IT! THEY'LL THINK I'M PAYING THESE PEOPLE SO THAT I CAN CLAIM ON THE INSURANCE!!!!!!"
"You had another party in two nights didn't you?" one of his guests asked.
"Yeah, but all this MESS!!!!!!!"
"Don't worry. It'll be sorted. I mean, windows are easier to replace than walls."
Zorro was not having as relaxing an evening as he thought he'd have. He had expected to just watch the Riley ninjas kill Shiva, then go and lie down. Instead, she had killed a quarter of them already.
And that number could well rise. As the captain yelled, "Nye-Kal! Charge!" another unit raced forward. Another five. They were a better team, with different abilities. One was a strong-man, one an agility specialist, one an expert swordsman and one a generally well-rounded ninja.
The strong one charged forward, butting Shiva off her feet, and the swordsman tried to plunge his sword down. She flicked it to one side with a wristband, and the strong one grabbed that band and held it down. Next second a massive electrical charge ran through him. Shiva stood up and hurled his body at the swordsman, who had just recovered his sword. The hacker slashed through the flying corpse.
Then, before she could react, the acrobat leapt into her like a pinball, knocking her clear towards the swordsman's blade. Then she managed to turn in mid-air and pop her foot-claws. Feet-first, she thudded into the hacker's chest.
Then the ninja grabbed her by the neck and tried to break that neck in two. Shiva shoved off as hard as she could and flipped over the ninja's head. But, while still in mid-flip, the pinball man slammed into her.
She fell backwards over herself and landed, hard, on the floor. She was winded, and her enemies took advantage of it. The ninja pulled out his sword and went over to her. Then she, in a minor panic, pulled out a small explosive and threw it at him. The explosion damaged her costume and threw her across the roof. It also killed the ninja.
Then it was her and the acrobat. The acrobat tried to distract her by pulling an elaborate maneuver. He leapt off the rooftop and plunged down. Shiva ran to the roof's edge and saw him dangling from the balcony. Then he started to flip up. He was clearly going to swing around that balcony and shoot upwards. So Shiva tossed a bomb onto the balcony. It exploded, and the balcony came away from the building and smashed into the alley below, crushing the acrobat.
Zorro cursed. Then he yelled for a transporter. He was going to watch this scuffle himself.
Ten down, ten to go, plus the captain. And then all ten charged. An attempt at strength in numbers, no doubt. Five piled onto her, holding down her legs and arms. Shiva sent a charge through the wristbands to clear some of her arms. Then she kicked up.
The men flew upwards, and she shot up some of her coils. Four dead. Only one left. She pushed with her arms and legs and managed to force him to the ground. Then she stood up and kicked him in the face. He fell screaming. The leopard blow, a blow passed down from her ancestors. It drove the sinuses back into the brain. Instant death.
Five more. And here they come. No gimmicks. She was going to use pure martial arts and her own prowess. She leapt into them and kicked one in the face with the leopard blow and punched one down like this also. Then she swung her foot along the floor and tripped one up, although the others jumped over it. She grabbed him by the throat and strangled him whilst simultaneously leopard-kicking another in the face.
She dropped her strangled victim and turned to the remainder. One ninja and the captain. The last ninja leapt forward. In the conclusion to her little display, she kicked out. Hard. No leopard blow, she just kicked him so hard in the chest it broke six ribs and killed him.
As Shiva and the captain turned to face each other, Richard Kelly trained his binoculars on them from a nearby rooftop.
Hoi-Chan had that classic ninja weapon, the nunchaku. Shiva had her electric wristbands and coils, claws and bombs. And she would need every one.
Hoi-Chan charged, swinging his weapon at her. She kicked towards him, but he wrapped the chain around her foot and pulled her off-balance. She fell to the floor bottom-first and contemplated quickly what to do next. She grabbed the ground behind her and flipped up, untangling the chain from her legs.
Then Hoi-chan put the weapon back on his belt and leapt forward in a flying-kick. She managed to block it with a high-kick of her own and tried to hit him with her coils, but he managed to dodge. As she was retracting the coils, he threw the nunchaku, and they spun towards her. She blocked them and grabbed one end. Now the tables were turned. As he aimed a kick, she grinned and flipped the chain around his foot.
On the nearby rooftop, Kelly cursed.
She was swinging Hoi-Chan around by one foot. Until she let go. And even the let-go was carefully aimed. He plunged over the side and landed on top of his friend the acrobat. Then Shiva swung off.
Jim Hali was a happy man. He had managed to get the window replaced in time for the next party. And this was gonna be the PARTY to end ALL parties. And he was right. But not in the way he thought.
Zorro was an extremely ANNOYED man!!!!! Shiva had trashed Riley's top squad. She had taken some injuries, but she had WON!!! And it infuriated him. As no doubt she would continue her quest to bring him down, slowly killing off his lieutenants.
And maybe him, eventually. He shuddered at the thought. And then he left the room for the night. He'd had it.
It was two nights later that Elisabeth Minson, Sarah Challa and Amanda Riker left to go to the party.
"Yeah, I suppose it was nice. Me, Sarah and Amanda arrived at the same time. We chatted. You know, the mindless sort of conversation you have at these.....oh what's the word?....'do's'. The sort of mindless crap I've been listening to since I started coming to these things. I find it a bit difficult to socialize sometimes. I guess it's my nature. Sarah introduced me to a friend of hers, a Richard Kelly. We didn't exactly hit it off. So, I continued to wander, hanging around.
"Until a large event. Amanda had slipped away, I was wondering where she was. Then I heard gunfire. Some people were shooting. They were threatening everyone with guns. They stood up on the balcony next to Jim's nice new window, and I could see that one of them was......Amanda????? Amanda Riker was clearly not the ex-criminal she claimed to be. She was shooting high. And, unfortunately, the doors were being blocked by her fellow goons, not armed, but dangerous. Then, someone whispered to me "Charge the fifth exit". Clearly the plan was to all attack one exit. We charged. And, after much obscure punching, kicking and scratching, we hit the target on the nose. He fell. And some of us started to leave the room, sweating like pigs. We were in total blind panic. Then the bullets started flying. Just warning shots, no one was hurt. But some of us had made it out. I, however, was still stuck inside.
"As one of the guards was trying to keep us back, he wasn't looking behind him. Big mistake. The metal ropes wrapped around him and killed him with a powerful electric charge. The Lady Shiva leapt into the room. I was really excited as I have never seen her up close. Come close, but never at this range. She leapt over our heads and towards Amanda. Meanwhile, some of the braver attendees of the party were dealing with the men guarding the other exits. However, when there was only one exit guard left, he was shot in the back by several men with guns. They took someone, but I couldn't see who it was. Then everyone started to leave. I'm usually the type who hangs around and goes with everyone else. But I stayed with some people and watched the fight!!
"Shiva kicked the gun out of Amanda's hand then delivered an uppercut to the chin. Amanda made a wild punch which Shiva blocked easily. They were next to a small window which Jim had recently had installed to light up the room, he had told me earlier. Shiva wrapped those metal tentacle things of hers around Amanda and started to SHOCK her!! She screamed and fell backwards and fell, whilst still being shocked. She was still alive. She fell through the window. I looked out of the big window and I could see her fall. She had managed to shake free of Shiva's metal lines. Then she landed on some power lines! She lay there, probably dead. Then the police came in and escorted us all out."
That was what Elisabeth Minson wrote in her journal about that night. Later on, when the authorities came to remove Amanda Riker's body, it was gone. They couldn't find it anywhere. She is therefore missing, presumed dead. No one quite knows what the Lady Shiva's goals are. She has stopped several criminals, but that ninja massacre is hardly a public relations triumph. She will always be an outsider, and a major subject of disagreement among San Francisco authorities and civilians alike.
At his fortress, Zorro was having one of his "bad weeks." Lieutenants killed, Riley operatives massacred, he was VERY annoyed. And he swore that, come what may, he would KILL Lady Shiva and serve up her head on a silver platter.
Jim Hali must have one of the most desecrated houses in San Fran. Thank God it was only a little window!! Life goes on......
The statue sits in the building the Riley operate from: that of Christopher Riley, one of the greatest ninjas of all time. He was an idol to many. All those who join the organization named after him strive to equal his demonstration of true perfection. So why is this respectable organization working for a crime-lord? Because they get a challenge suited to their skills. Because, as members of Riley, they serve a greater good. They will be heroes. Even if they have to kill all the others.