Chapter Twenty-Six | The Game

"What the hell is going on?!" Piro yelled, moving in front of Ping.

"Ed! What the fuXX0rZ are you doing? Selling out to t3h 3\/1l 3|\/|p1r3?" Largo demanded, pointing an accusing finger at Ed.

"Largo, don't be a moron. I didn't sell out to anyone. I just chose to be loyal and play for the winning team," Ed said as he shrugged.

"Loyalty is for fools."

"Perhaps, but that robot chiXX0rz is my key to Level Ten. Neither you nor Piro are going to stand in my way unless you have a death wish. To stand in opposition of Sony is to be a fool, not the other way around."

"I will die a fool before I give Sony what it wants unopposed."

Ed shook his head. "I don't have time for this." He waved his rifle. "I don't want you to get hurt unnecessarily. Idiots or not, you're still my friends. I'll take you in peacefully, but the girli3 is going in a scrap heap. You have no weapons, you have no power-ups, and you have but one life. Move out of the way."

Largo laughed. "We do have a weapon. This 'girli3' is quite formidable."

"We shall see. Are you going to move, or do I have to pwn your ass too?"

Ping tapped Piro and Largo on their shoulders. "I can fight this battle on my own," she said, smiling weakly. "Thank you for your assistance, but you two needn't be involved."

Ping stepped in front of the two boys, and proceeded to hit a button on her earblade. The bright blue eyes flared red for a second.

Piro then looked around him at the passing people, who didn't seem the slightest bit concerned about the ensuing fight between an armed man and what appeared to be a young girl. Sadly, this didn't seem at all odd to Piro anymore, who didn't think anything would faze him anymore after seeing an assassin take on a cloaked intruder, mechs right out of Gundam under command of the local police, a Godzilla-looking thing in rescue mode, and a trio of brutal murders. All of a sudden, Largo's constant insanity seemed…almost logical. So, it didn't surprise him when the ensuing fight was delayed by Ed's PDA beeping.

Ed held up his hand to signal that he needed a minute, and then pulled out his Clio to examine the source of the interruption. Sighing after a second, he lowered his gun.

"You got lucky, girli3. I'll see you around."

And with that, Ed turned around and waved goodbye before fading back into the crowd walking the Tokyo streets. Pulling out his PDA again, he shook his head as he reexamined the display. "Sony seems to have something against me getting to Level 10."

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Objective Change:
This is a direct order from Enforcement Command. Failure to obey the following orders carries a punishment of a one level downgrading:

Operative 521 (Level 9), you are to disengage from your current Level Objective immediately. Report directly to Headquarters. Operative 368 (Level 12), Sgt. Kiada Ian, will brief you on your new objective.
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Largo watched Ed leave with a grimace on his face.

"Dammit," he said, his hand becoming a fist, "how did I let this happen? Ed: A Sony dr0n3?"

"Largo," Piro said, "we can't think about it. We just have to deal with it."

"Yes. We need to get g3ar'd up if we are to rescue Ed from the Evil Empire and get out of this. Sony is playing a game that they made. We have to pwn them at their own game. This will require massive amounts of l33t sk1ll5. Where can we go to shop?"

"Uh…do we have money for what you want to do?"

Ping turned around, smiling for whatever reason. "I have funds that were given to me by Tsubasa-sensei. They should prove sufficient. We can get supplies in Akihabara and find lodging at a hotel downtown."

"Okay, there's that," Piro said, nodding. "Then what?"

"I haven't thought that out yet," Largo admitted.

"Ugh…"

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