Chapter Nine:
Storms gathering

Yuki continued to stare at her brother, not noticing as a mech stopped in front of the store.

<I just don't understand how you could be so happy to see the woman that got you in that chair,> she said, a look of confusion on her face. <I mean, its not like that old hag actually cares about anyone but herself.>
<You don't know her,> was Yuuji's earnest response. <She does care about her fans. If she didn't care, why would she stay so close to them, even in hiding?>

Yuki sighed. Her brother was the one person who could forgive her for doing nothing as he faced down all those crazed fans. <I give up. If you two,> she gave a dirty look to Yanagisawa, <want to forget all about what she did…fine.>

She turned around and walked right into her father.

<Yuki,> Masamichi said, <what just happened here? I just got a report of an unscheduled otaku event here.>

Yanagisawa stepped forward. <Director Sonoda, it's alright. We handled it; no need for TPCD to get involved.>

Masamichi's eyes narrowed <Handled WHAT, exactly, Yanagisawa?>

Yuki was the first to reply. <She was here,> a venomous look on her face.

<She? Erika? Here?>

Yuki shook her head in agreement. <I only saw her here after the event, but she was talking to him,> pointing to Yanagisawa.

Masamichi's voice grew angry, <You know she's not allowed within a mile of this sector, and YOU let her hold an unscheduled event here? I have half a mind to drag you in after all that's happened in this store.>
<Father,> Yuuji said softly, <It's okay. I asked her to do it; she didn't want to.>
<That doesn't matter. She shouldn't have been here at all.>
<Father, please,> Yuuji pleaded, <For me? Don't take Yanagisawa in and, for God's sake, leave Hayasaka-sama alone. Having her work for the Americans was bad enough.>

Masamichi sighed. He didn't have time for this. <Okay, fine. We already have a couple of Americans rousing up trouble that need to be questioned. If Hayasaka-san stays out of trouble, I'll leave her alone, but I'm keeping an eye on her.>

He looked at his watch. <The strike team should be closing in on the two Americans now. They were at the scene of two unscheduled events today already; they seem to be attracting a lot of chaos. I had better go down there myself.>

He turned around and walked out the door, holding up his hand to wave goodbye to his children. A few seconds later his mech was started up and he was as good as gone.

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Across town, Officer Tetamousa was standing next to Largo, Piro, and Tsubasa. Tsubasa was trying to plead on the behalf of his friends.

<They did nothing wrong; it was my battle. They were not involved.> Tsubasa started to go through his pockets, pulling out his wallet. <Here, these are my assassin papers. I'm authorized to finish my mission.>

<Sir,> Tetamousa said, looking at the Assassin License, <your mission ended a couple days ago outside the country. You don't have a record, though, so I'll let you off with a warning.>

He pointed at Largo and Piro. <However, these two were involved in two unscheduled events this morning, including your little party here,> pointing at the crumpled form of the attacker. <We're taking them and your friend here into custody. Take it up with my boss when he gets here.>

He looked over at another officer, examining the body in the snow, and called over to him. <We're done here. Book 'em.>

Largo looked at Piro, asking him, "Hey, what's going on?"
"They're arresting us for being around two 'unscheduled events,' whatever the hell those are."

<Shut up,> the new officer said as he walked over. <If you must speak, do it in Japanese.>
<My friend doesn't speak Japanese, officer,> Piro said.
<Then I guess he shouldn't speak, should he?> he asked, fastening handcuffs on the two while leading them to the nearby police car.

He proceeded to roughly toss the two boys inside, closing the door behind them and locking the door, not noticing Asmodeus and Boo already inside.

"Hey, bud," Asmodeus addressed Piro. "Been a while, huh?"
"You could say that. Hey, who's the hamster?"
"Oh, the fuzzy guy's Largo's conscience," Asmodeus pointed to Largo, who was busy checking out the mech that just pulled up.
"Hey, we're gonna get through this, but I'm gonna call Seraphim first; let her know the mess we've gotten into."
"You know Seraphim?"
"It's a long story," Asmodeus pulled out his communicator.

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Seraphim was sitting atop the Sony building when her communicator started beeping. She pulled it out, answering, "Make it quick, Ed's just about here."
Asmodeus explained the situation, prompting a few quick death threats from the CEA operative.

"I'm not finished with you, but Ed's walking in. I'll take care of you after I find out what he's up to."

She put down the comm. device and activated her cloaking device. She fluttered down silently, following the crazed Sony operative as he led her thru security, unbeknownst to him.

Ed walked quite a ways before arriving at a door marked "Sony Enforcement: Conference Hall."

He walked into a huge auditorium, looking more in place as a college classroom than a mega-business' conference room. He took a seat near the floor, next to a few other operatives. The room was slowly, but surely filling.

A few minutes later, the doors shut automatically and the lights dimmed as a man walked out from the back. He flicked a switch on the wall and a large hologram started up on the floor, which played out a Sony logo, followed by that of the Enforcement division.

The man spoke into a microphone.

<How are we all doing this afternoon?> he asked.
<Great, Usaka-san!> the room chanted in unison.

Sera wondered what kind of a business Sony was running as the man moved to the "urgent" agenda that had pulled Ed away from the EDS.

<As you on operations right now are already aware,> Usaka started, <we at Sony Enforcement have recently become aware of a few issues that require immediate attention on all operative's parts. But first,> he looked at Ed; <can Ed fill us in on the rogue EDS situation?>

<Yes, sir,> Ed said as he rose. <The EDS has been located and tagged. She is ready for capture as soon as this new operation ceases.>

<Great,> Usaka said. <Now, to the first of two issues we face this afternoon. As you all know, Microsoft is readying its Xbox 360 for a worldwide launch as we speak.>

The room booed the mention of their hated enemy.

Usaka laughed, <Of course, Microsoft is no threat to Sony, or to PlayStation, but they recently moved up from minor annoyance to a major one with their newest addition to their marketing team.>

The hologram shifted to show a picture of Hayasaka Erika. <She has been recruited, no thanks to the fools over at TPCD, to work with the Americans. They hope to lower her influence by moving her into the corner of Japan's consciousness, which associating her with the Xbox brand will surely do, but it also makes the Xbox 360 have the potential of gaining a foothold in our market. We can not allow this.>

The picture shifted again, this time to the image of Nanasawa Kimiko. <She is our solution. We have discovered vast untapped potential for this young woman, Nanasawa Kimiko, to be a legitimate Idol in her own right. Our first mission is to recruit her before she is picked up by a rival company, either third party or first party.>

<We have discovered that our second mission ties in with the first in a surprising way. Sony scientists have found a strange rift in the time/space continuum. We have traced this back to approximately six months ago.>

Seraphim whispered, "No way…"
Ed shifted in his seat, looking around for the source of the voice.

<We have found that the rift is shrinking, but there are several anomalies that we have located. TPCD has been alerted to the first: two Americans who entered the country this morning.>

<The second is Nanasawa-san, whose Idol powers have not been activated yet, but had in the other timeline. We believe the proper timeline's restoration will help us to activate Nanasawa-san's powers, leading her to be a powerful force for Sony. To do this, we need not only Nanasawa-san, but the Americans, who themselves seem to be the catalyst for her power.>

"God, how did they find out?" Seraphim wondered out loud.

<TPCD Director Sonoda has been asked to not deport the two Americans, but to keep them in custody. We will assign a few operatives to monitor their situation. Those operatives who are assigned to each situation will be notified in briefing after this meeting. You are dismissed.>

Usaka started to walk out, when Ed called out to him.

<Sir, I believe we have an intruder.>

Preview:
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Dreams are granted while others are destroyed. It's part of the circle of life.

However, that cycle is far from easy. Frendships will be betrayed while others are forged in the next chapter of TimeLines.

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MegaTokyo TimeLines -
Chapter Ten: Unsuspecting targets

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