Author's Notes
Sorry about the wait on this. My weekend was a bit hectic. Hopefully you'll find it to have been worth the wait.

Chapter Twelve:
Signing bonus [part one]

The train screeched to a halt inside the station and the doors slid open. A mass of humanity was unleashed upon the building like a flood, with dozens of late people trying to get to their destinations. Ray Peterson laughed at the sight, knowing full and well the EMP he had set off earlier was the cause of the panicked venue.

But his mind quickly snapped back to his objective: Hayasaka Erika. Ray spotted the tall blond exiting the train. Despite the sunglasses she wore to hide who she was, Ray noticed her instantly and radioed his commanding officer to clue him into the situation.

<Sergeant Kiada, I've spotted the target.>
<Very good, Peterson; keep an eye on her and radio in anything suspicious. I have your back.>
<Sir, she seems to be with someone.>
<A bodyguard?>
<No…he doesn't appear to be built for that. He looks like your standard pretty boy: slim, tall, dressed like he has cash.>
<Appearances can be deceiving. Keep an eye on this new guy too. I'd be surprised if she didn't have any protection from Microsoft hanging around.>
<Rodger sir.>

Ray lit a cigarette, much to the annoyance of several people around him. He shot them a glare and the commotion that had started up in the no-smoking zone quickly stopped.

The Idol was holding hands with the man who had followed her off the train. She was laughing at a joke he had told, but quickly looked away, silencing herself. A serious look returned to her face as she got close to the Sony operative.

All at once, Ray realized he wasn't smoking anymore. The woman held it in her hand for a second before letting it fall in her path. She stopped and shot a look right through Ray before turning back around and continuing on.

Who is this woman? he thought. The man next to her started to snicker at the surprised look on Ray's face.

<Amora, enough,> the Idol turned to face her companion. <Fools like him want that kind of attention.>

Rage started to boil under Ray's skin before he noticed that his earpiece was going off. <Ray, what's going on there?> It was Kiada.

<You just let the target pass you! Stop her, you idiot! Use any means necessary!>
<Yes sir,> Ray whispered. Turning towards Erika, he yelled out, "Hey, no one makes a fool of me!"

Hayasaka didn't even turn around. "It seems you're doing a perfectly fine job of that on your own."
Ray fumed. Think, man, think. How do you stop an overconfident famous bitch?

<Hey! Isn't that Hayasaka Erika, the famous seiyuu?!> Ray yelled out.

He was nearly tossed aside himself as the crowd pushed to get a view of the Idol. In the commotion, Erika's sunglasses were knocked to the ground.

As the sunglasses shattered underneath a stampeding fan's feet, Erika's confident visage melted like an ice cream cone in the summer heat. Almost immediately, a gunshot went off.

The crowd barely flinched, but Ray's trained ears could hear the muted return of the QDP. <This is Kiada; Ray, we have a situation. Microsoft thugs scattered around here. They're in damage control mode. Move to neutralize.>

<Yes sir,> Ray sighed as he pulled his own QDP. Damn it, he thought, this was supposed to be easy.


<Damn it,> Megumi thought as she was informed of the situation through Agassi, <This was supposed to be easy.>

<What's wrong, Megumi-chan?> Kimiko inquired. <You look troubled. Is everything okay?>
<Yes, Kimiko-chan, I'm fine.> Megumi sipped on her tea. <Now, are you still trying out for seiyuu positions?>
<No.>

Kimiko picked at her ramen. It had hardly been touched, but she wasn't that hungry right now. <I'll never make it in the business; why waste my time trying anymore.>

<What kind of spirit is that?> Megumi stared at her target. <Kimiko-chan, you have talent. Promise me that you'll never give up on your dream again.>
<What talent?>
<Promise me!>
<Okay, I promise.>

Kimiko sniffled a little. <I'm sorry for getting all weepy and depressing on you.>
The negotiator smiled. <Now that we're through that, let me let you in on a little gossip I heard…>

Preview
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The situation escalates and the hands are shown.
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Next in MegaTokyo TimeLines:
Chapter Thirteen:
Signing bonus [part two]

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