Chapter Three:

As Piro, Tsubasa, Ping, and Largo left the busy airport; they failed to realize they were being followed. Not by the police, as Piro and Tsubasa feared, but by someone much more deadly.

Ed picked up his cell phone and speed-dialed #1. The receiving end picked up nearly immediately.

<Thank you for calling Sony. Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line, an operator will be with you shortly.>

Looking bemused for a second, Ed quickly dialed his employee number.

"Hello, Ed. Have you located the subject?"

"Yes, sir," Ed grinned as he looked at the EDS prototype. "The beta tester brought her right to me as I arrived in Tokyo. This should be a snap."

"We need you to lay low for a few days and head to SCEI. We have a more pressing situation."

"More pressing than the EDS?"

"Yes. But, do set a tracker on it. We don't need to lose it…it has yet to be registered."

"Very well. I'll see you in an hour or so."

He hung up and angrily shoved the Erickson phone into his pocket. He starred into the darkened evening sky for a few seconds while wondering what could be more pressing than the EDS issue. Sony scientists had discovered some major flaws within the program running the machine, and had prescribed either captivity or neutralization as the only two options.

Ed had no real interest in bringing the doll back in anything close to operational capacity, but cutting her down now was out of the question.

Ed sighed and pulled out his rifle. Taking out the cartridge, he placed a tracking device in the barrel of the Killstick and aimed at the doll's head, just as he was planning to do a minute ago. Adjusting his aim slightly, he fired the device at the right ear blade.

<Owww…what was that?!> Ping exclaimed.

<What's wrong, Ping?> Tsubasa cooed. He stepped behind the android and asked, <Where does it hurt?> much as a doctor asking a particularly young patient.

Ping pointed to her right ear blade, saying <It feels like someone hit me with something.>

Tsubasa examined the ear blade in question, but seeing nothing obvious, as the tracking device was equipped with a cloaking device of its own, said <I don't see anything. It must have been nothing. Are you okay, Ping?>

<Yes, Tsubasa-san, I'm fine. Thank you.> Ping replied, turning and bowing slightly.

Seeing his work for the moment finished, Ed put the Killstick back in its case and headed the other way towards SCEI headquarters. "This had better be good," he muttered. "I really wanted to kill something today."

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