Sony Enforcement Barracks: 9:00 A.M.:

<We have a contract offer from Higher Authority. >

<Let me see that. >

<Hmm, how many Shock Troops do we have available? >

<With the new one we picked up last night we have seven. >



<American, 1.85 meters, 75 kilo upon induction. He took a heavy caliber handgun round between the eyes that exited through the crown. His health wasn't good but he responded to regenerative implants well. >



<Where are these people now? >



<Very good, I'll prep the units and get them loaded on an Osprey. Making examples is what cyber-zombies do best. >

The Sony Assault Osprey flew over the city in broad daylight. It had been painted in a black and gray tiger stripe pattern; it showed no other markings. On the street below TPCD Inspector Sonoda Masamichi glanced up at it briefly then looked away. The call would come soon enough.

As the Osprey made it's final approach Largo caressed the barrel of the H&K MP5, he'd never actually held a weapon like this before.

<Making final approach. >

The co-pilot brought up his HUD and painted the center of the penthouse roof with a targeting laser then fired a Hellfire missile.



<Roger. >

A Sony Air Assault trooper jerked Largo to his feet, "Time to earn your keep, meat." The trooper snapped a line onto Largo's combat vest and snapped his sighting optics down over his eye.

"Out the door, you know what to do from there."

Largo nodded numbly then turned to step out into empty space. He hung there like a fishing lure for a moment then he began to descend rapidly as his line played out. As he descended into the hole in the roof the Trooper pressed a detonator which severed Largo's link to the line.

Largo fell heavily into the room landing on a burning sofa, which collapsed under him. Everywhere around him he could hear screaming. Largo didn't like the screaming at all. A young man knelt on the floor in front of Largo clutching at the stump where his hand should have been. Largo hit him with a long burst starting at the crotch and ending at his throat.

<Damn meat, short burst on single targets! > Largo was hit with a wave of pain that dropped him to his knees but ended almost instantly.

<I |-|34r j00 d00d>

A girl stood unsteadily, clutching her head. Largo gently stroked the trigger sending two rounds into her chest. She collapsed without a sound.

"That's it, short and sweet."

Largo could only grunt in reply as something hammered into his helmet. He turned to see a large man drawing back for another strike with his sword.

<F00! > Largo stroked the trigger again to send two rounds into the mans chest but he didn't fall. Largo brought the weapon to his shoulder and flipped it to semi-auto and shot the man in the mouth just as his sword struck his helmet.

"Quit screwing around! Check the bedrooms and baths then drop your charges. TPCD won't hold back too much longer."

"Roger Control"

The Trooper grinned; Largo's change to milspeak from l33t was a very good sign. He might just make it after all.

Largo loaded a fresh magazine as he strode heavily across the room to the master bedroom. He could hear screaming and he wanted to make it stop. Four naked teens huddled in the center of the huge, round bed,

"Time for a long burst."

Largo emptied the magazine into his victims in two long bursts, working each of the bursts in a figure eight pattern. One of them was still moaning as he tossed a one-kilo charge onto the pile of bodies. He loaded a fresh magazine as he checked the last three rooms but he found no other living person.

"Time for extraction…Largo."

Largo ran back into the main room and snapped the dangling line onto his harness, as the Osprey jerked him out of the room and he was reeled in he pressed the detonator for the charges he had left.

Hands reached out and pulled him in as the wings of the big machine pivoted into flight position. The other cyber-zombies stared at him for a moment then began to smile.

"I n33d a b33r!"

The Trooper grinned and reached into a cooler, "Here you go, you earned it!" As Largo drained the can the trooper and the cyber-zombies started to chuckle and then broke out into open laughter.

Largo looked around, "What's so funny?"

The trooper smiled, "You have a sword stuck in your helmet."

Largo reached up and felt the blade then joined his comrades in laughter. He felt alive again.

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