Cowboy Bebop Fan Fiction ❯ Poisoned Minds ❯ Alive and Well ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

So alone out here. My spirit has left me. A soft stripe of silver. A harsh stripe of green. How good the two seem together.

Reluctantly Ashina pushed open the twin oak doors. The domed office before her was large enough to fit sixty people comfortably. She couldn't help but be amused by the single man standing in the shadows, as one shade was pulled a quarter of the way open letting in barely enough light to see.
Tossing her hair over her shoulder she approached the man who was slumped over on the floor. An empty whiskey bottle lay loose in his hand as he slept, and his over coat hung halfway off his shoulder.
“Sleep well?” She asked glancing over to the abandoned bad in the corner that appeared as if he had tried to go to sleep but was too restless to. He grumbled before fixing his icy gaze on her.
“Was he with them?” His voice came out smooth and commanding.
“No, they said he has been dead for almost five years now.” Ashina informed pushing back up onto her feet. Then added, “They seemed surprised by the photo so I believe they don't know a thing.”
“Cloning perhaps?”
She shook her head. “Not possible, he was apparently cremated, and his ashes scattered. A suitable sample of flash would not be accessible. Though, he may have been drugged into a sleep, and then the coffins switched. His crew mates would have seen his body as dead, and then when left unattended temporarily the body was switch with someone else. They never would have known or suspected.”
“Very well, get some rest now. We'll have time to spend together later. I'm going out to see what I myself may be capable of digging up.”
Ashina started to protest, but his gaze warned her against the action. “Yes, Vicious. Just please be careful out there.” Bowing she left with the same gut wrenching feeling she always left his presence with. The feeling of being use, of being his pawn in an endless game. It hurt as she found it to be truer every day. While it hurt inside she knew better than to express it. She was his creation, and that meant her life belonged entirely to him. Wither he decided she should live or die she would abide by his wishes.

Edward tapped away on her computer pulling up various surveillance scans, and gate logs without success.
“Anything?” Faye asked tentatively.
“Nada, nothing, zip zap zero!” Ed shouted in anger and frustration as she begun to type faster. “I put out a watch for his ship through the surveillance mechanisms but nothing. . . wait a minute.” Several more screens popped out and closed leaving behind one single video feed that enlarge to fill the whole screen.
“That's the swordfish!” Faye shouted happily while hugging Edward.
“I can't get a clear visual of the pilot though so we can't be positive it is him. He just came out of the mars gate though so we can look into it.” Edward smiled and gave a thumbs up while adjust the back of her bra strap that had crawled up.
Faye ran off to get Jet in the navigational room, and have him adjust their course as Edward turned back to her computer and continued her other search so Ashina Takara. Groaning as her the results cam up she turned as Faye and Jet came crashing into the room.
“My second search turned up negative. Ashina Takara does not exist.”
“Another puzzle?” Jet scratched his head. “I reset our course for Mars and we'll be there in a hour, give or take a few minutes.”
“She was really nice and all. Why should she lie about who she is?” Faye flopped down on the couch thinking it over before scowling at the dusty TV beside her. “I wish Big Shot still played.”
Growling Ed put her computer on the table and turned it for Faye and Jet to see. “See, she doesn't exist! Those when I ran a check to see record of people that she might be through physical appearance I got match on five people who are all dead.”
“This one,” Faye pointed to the blonde on the screen. “This is Julia, the woman Spike was involved with. She looks a lot like her but Ashina's hair is red, and her eyes are more of a bright amber. Her hair is also longer though.”
“Contacts and hair dye could do that but there are a few physical differences Compu checked into.” Edward brought up diagram with the women's full physical body in a grid. “I tapped into the Bebop to get Ashina's, and some old police records for Julia's.” Edward reached around hitting enter and the grids strung bring up data on each person. “According to this, Ashina's only four years old which means cloning using various DNA from various subjects.”
“So she has some of Julia's DNA?”
“Not only that.” Edward brought up another list. “These are top ranking syndicate members. She's a perfect fighting machine. The only part of Julia she shares is being female and similar body structures. It's other attributes such as strength, intelligence, and skills that make her dangerous.”
Jet took a deep breath and read over the list again. “She didn't seem dangerous, and she might be a government experiment being used to help track down missing people. We'll take care of it later. For now, let us worry over our Spike problem. We can always come back to this later.”
Faye and Edward nodded in agreement as Ein barked and rushed into the room happily. “Guess he's hungry,” Ed laughed. “I'll take care of it. Either of you hungry?” Faye and Jet mirrored each others look of dread as Edward race out of the room.

Ashina yawned, and glared at her frantically beeping laptop. Reaching over carelessly and almost knocking it over she flipped up the screen, and read its new information. With lazy grin she pushed the screen back down, and threw back her blankets.
“So Spiegel, you have come to me.” Pulling her back she quickly braided it, and tied it off. Time was of the essence if she was to catch up to him before he moved on. Grabbing her pants she slipped into them; forgetting to fasten them as she pulled on her tank top and shoes. Starting toward the door she fasten her pants, and then reached for her jacket and holster.
Growling at the lack of weight she found her gun gone, and slipped out down the hall to the same empty room she'd spoke with Vicious in the prior night. The holster secure, she slipped on her jacket and slipped into the room silently.
Vicious stood leaning his head against the window staring down at the streets. He held her gun loosely in his hand as he turned to face her with the same expressionless gaze he always wore.
“May I have it back?” She pointed at her gun, and smiled gently. “Please?”
“Don't kill him yet. Just let him know that we know he is alive and well.” Vicious tossed her the gun which she snatched deftly from the air, and place in the holster at her side. With a chuckle he stepped toward her, and kissed her forehead before leaving.
“A bullet or two won't kill him, but. . .” Ashina checked her cartridge and found it emptied. “I'll have to do some shopping first. Ren will have the size I need, after all he made it.” She held up to the light to admire the dedicated and precise craftsmanship. A seemingly innocent 35 mm with a much larger force. From the weight to the ivy engraved in the barrel the gun what unique, and had only one sister. That gun, had been stolen long ago. . .
Shivering lightly Ashina stepped into the abandoned warehouse to find herself surrounded by wooden crates stacked to make walls. Her sight impaired by the shorter distance she could see was made up for by her keen hearing. The even clap of her heel against the stone floor made the constant, and left her listening for the change in echo or added strength to it. A simple warning to her prey she there, and preferably it would coax him into a chase.
Coming to a dead end she stared at it angrily. “A labyrinth of crates?” Growling she quickly climber up onto the top and looked across to find it being just tat. Dead ends, isles leading back on one another. It was enough to frustrate someone into becoming reckless.
A second set of footsteps found above her drawing her attention to the second floor that went around the edges of the warehouse. They, or he, had been watching her the whole time.
Angrily at her stupidity she spoke the metal rungs of a ladder welded into the side of the building, and took off across the top of the crate. Leaping over gaps, and mindful of possible weaknesses in the cheaply built structure beneath.
Reach the ladder she rushed up it, and glimpsed the man rushing up another flight of steps on the opposite side of the warehouse from her. Cursing she rushed after him and up the steps. She rushed to the door leading to the roof and found it locked. Growling she drew back and reached for her gun, but was stopped as a hand closed of her neck and yanked her back.
Choking, Ashina shoved back knocking them both down the steps. Whoever it was had hidden in the shadows and waited for her to pass by before attacking. Tumbling down they caught their feet at the bottom.
The man behind her gave a strangled yell as he was slammed between the railing and her. Gasping at his grip around her throat she found his momentarily stunned and shoved back against crushing his back into the bar; this time his grip released and she spun away.
Coughing and gasping for air she leaned against the wall opposite of him kneeling down on one knee while catching her breath. Knowing she should attack while he was off guard, but needing to get herself together first. Plus, Vicious had told her not to kill Spike yet, and she didn't want to assume this wasn't him only to find out it was. Coughing again she forced her legs beneath her.
“Spike Spiegel?” The man nodded grimly confirming who he was as he shook his head and recovered. “I am here to kill you.” Her voice didn't come out as harsh as she wanted it too, but she was simply happy to be capable of talking.
“We shall see. . .” Spike ground out harshly as he stood straight popping his back, and then taking up a fighting stance.
Panting quietly she measured up her chances of attacking him and not getting thrown of the railing, and found them against her. A few bullets though, she grinned, and she would have the upper hand.

A/N: Wither it be one or many, I write to please. Even if one wished to read I shall finish simply so that person doesn't get left hanging.