Ghost In The Shell Fan Fiction ❯ Ghost in the Shell: Once Burned, Twice Shy ❯ Twice Shy One ( Chapter 4 )

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

Twice Shy: Part One

Major Motoko Kusanagi strode through the pouring rain, looking around cautiously until she reached the unmarked vehicle. Her trenchcoat dripped with water, but it also easily concealed the weapons and gear that she carried.

"What are we dealing with?" Motoko asked, sliding her sunglasses down.

Batou sighed, the tall man smiling grimly. "Murder," he said crisply, his optic implants gleaming, "and it involves a politician."

"Which is why we're here, I guess," Motoko agreed. They walked towards a body covered by an emergency services tarp. "So how did the Interior Minister die?" she asked as they moved into the shield that protected the crime scene.

"Head shot," Batou said as he flipped open a small notepad, "the shooter escaped, and we don't have any information on him or her. No witnesses, still collecting evidence."

"Aramaki contacted me on the way here," Motoko said, "he said we had a liaison officer here from the regular police?"

"Yeah," Batou nodded to where a woman with long black hair stood nearby the crime scene investigators, intently watching them work, "she seems pretty competent, so far. Closed off the scene, got the techs in, found what might be the weapon."

"Huh," Motoko nodded slightly. "Well, Aramaki told me we're stuck with her, so I'd better go try and make nice with the lady." She gave him a look, "Contact the team, I want a full background check on the Minister, look for any traces of motive. We need to hit the ground running on this case, these political cases always get complicated."

"Got it," Batou agreed as she walked away, "good luck."

Motoko kept her eyes down as she walked, remembering being at previous crime scenes. There was a flash of silver, and she knelt down to take a look. Half hidden under a piece of garbage a silvery recording disk lay there, unmarked and looking brand new. She was tempted to pick it up and pocket it, but... "Hey," she waved, getting the attention of a technician.

The tech quickly trotted over, her long blonde hair bouncing. "Damn," she murmured, kneeling down beside Mokoto. Using a sterile field she collected the disk, sliding it away in a protective case. "Thank you," she smiled

"You're welcome," Motoko got back to her feet as she looked over the tech, the girl's name-tag reading 'Alexandria.' She smiled slightly, "After you're done with it, I'd really appreciate knowing what's on that disk."

"We'll try," Alexandria beamed before returning to her duties.

With that Motoko made her way onward carefully, soon reaching the liaison officer's side. The woman's long black hair flowed down her back like a cloak, though in this case it was a damp and soaking cloak. "Major Motoko Kusanagi," she introduced herself, "Section Nine."

"It's been awhile," the black haired woman turned to look at Motoko. Her smile was grim, but there was a twinkle to her eyes as she continued, "Yayoi Mitsuri."

Motoko looked over at her former partner, her onetime lover, and felt a moment of vertigo. She didn't look the same, her stance and face a bit more mature than she once was, but she still made Motoko's body respond with the memory of other times together.

"So what do we have on the murder?" Motoko asked, keeping her voice even and professional despite her gut instinct to flee.

"Hello to you, too," Yayoi smiled wryly. "I assume your associate gave you a summary?" she nodded to where Batou had been standing.

"A polititian bought the farm," Motoko kept her voice level, "no suspect, no witnesses so far, evidence still being collected. Is that about it?"

"Evidence you helped collect," Yayoi noted, "thanks."

"Just doing my job," Motoko said simply. "Is that it?" she repeated.

"Pretty much," Yayoi calmly agreed with her, "but there's something that your big friend doesn't know just yet."

"Oh?" Motoko looked over at Yayoi, trying to keep her face expressionless.

"We got a call just before the killing," Yayoi said, "that's how I was able to respond so quickly. We also warned him, but it didn't do any good."

"Do you know who phoned in the warning or threat?" Motoko asked.

"It was a threat," Yayoi clarified, "and there was a familiar name attached to it." She paused, but Motoko didn't rise to the bait. Yayoi smiled grimly, "The caller claimed to be representing something or someone called the Wired."

Motoko swore to herself softly. She had been keeping an close eye on the name ever since the assasination attempt a few years back, but there hadn't been so much as a peep. The only things that she had ever found were whispers about people who had surrendered their physical bodies, becoming something.. else.

"My feelings exactly," Yayoi agreed. She tilted her head back thoughtfully, "I put a call in to Dr. Gretchen Phillips, just in case they want to take another shot at them."

"Good," Motoko sighed. She narrowed her eyes, "What were the politics of the Interior Minister, was he pro or against cybernetics?"

"He had at least some cybernetic enhancements," Yayoi said to her calmly, "I saw that when I looked over the body."

Motoko nodded thoughtfully. "I have my people researching his background," she said as she began to walk away, "if we hit anything good, I'll pass it on."

"Motoko," Yayoi called out.

Motoko slowed to a stop reluctantly. She had passed the protective field around the crime scene, and rain dripped down as she turned back to ask, "Yes?"

Yayoi hesitated, pushing her long hair back from her face. "I was wondering if we could talk later," she said softly, "off the job."

Motoko knew it was a bad idea, but she still answered, "All right. I'll comm you, when I go off shift later."

"Thanks," Yayoi smiled, then turned back to her work.

'Dumb, dumb, dumb,' Motoko chanted to herself as she strode towards the unmarked cruiser she came in. There was no sign of Batou around, so he was probably back at headquarters helping with the data search. She slipped into her cruiser, then jerked as the comm activated.

"Motoko, we've got another problem,' Aramaki scowled, his snowy white hair standing up around his bald head.

Motoko felt herself tensing. "What is it?" she asked curtly.

"Two other killings," Aramaki said simply, "same method, similar government officials, and happening at the same time."

Motoko used a rude word she learned back in her black ops days. "No way in hell this is a coincidence," she muttered to herself softly. "All at exactly the same time?" she asked.

"Exactly at the same time," Aramaki agreed.

"Were there warning calls?" Motoko asked. He looked a bit surprised and Motoko smiled grimly, "Talked to my liaison officer here."

"Yes, there were," Aramaki confirmed, "and timed so that we couldn't get to the victims in time to protect them."

"Just like here," Motoko muttered. She thought about it for a moment, then stuck her head out of the car window to yell, "Hey, Yayoi! Get over here!"

The dark haired police officer made her way to the cruiser, her expression quizical. "Yes?" she asked, looking at Mokoto curiously.

"There's a new complication to this case," Motoko said to her simply.

Yayoi saw the face on the viewscreen, recognizing him instrantly, "Sir!"

"Two aditional murders," Aramaki said simply, "aparently taking place at the same time and using identical methods."

"We're not just dealing with murder," Yayoi said gravely, "or at least not murder alone. Conspiracy, at least, or..."

"... or a puppet master," Motoko added grimly.

To be continued...