Ghost In The Shell Fan Fiction ❯ Ghost in the Shell: Once Burned, Twice Shy ❯ Interlude: After the job ( Chapter 3 )

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

After the Job: A Ghost in the Shell manga mini-fic.
With groan Motoko Kusanagi peered into the refrigerator, noting that the cheese was changing color once again and the amount of edible supplies were getting pitifully low. "Damn it," the purple haired woman shut the door with a thump, walking across her neat apartment to the door. Grabbing her coat she headed out to the hall then over to the elevator, descending to street level.
The city-state known as Tokyo was a hybrid of the advanced and primitive, beautiful and terribly ugly. Gleaming silver towers rose to the sky even as slums stretched out below, people scraping by as wealth flowed from country to country. The streets were filled with people, humans, androids and cyborgs going about their business even as Motoko blended in to the group.
'I guess after being gone two weeks it's understandable,' Motoko admitted to herself, sliding her sunglasses on as she walked towards the market, running through the mental list of what she needed. She thumbed through her wallet, noting the American bills mixed in with the yen notes, a left over from her last job.
"Miss Motoko," the young woman from the coffee shop waved as she passed by, "do you want your regular?"
"Not right now...," Motoko started to say when she heard it, a low whine cutting through the air. Recognizing it she bolted forward, grabbing the lady and ducking for cover even as the younger woman cried out in fear and alarm.
The mini-rocket hit the front of the coffee shop and detonated, sending pieces of glass, wood and the broken remains of the interior flying out in all directions. Shrugging off the mangled wreckage of a chair Motoko rose, her eyes scanning her surroundings even as she tersely asked, "Are you all right, Anna?"
"Hai," Anna managed, her blonde hair covered with dust and debris.
"Get to cover," Motoko ordered as she raced off, heading for the building that the shot came from even as she heard sirens wail off in the distance. 'That was fast,' she thought as she leapt up to the older building's fire escape, clattering up steel steps towards the roof. Raising her head cautiously she peered across the roof, only to duck down as bullets whizzed by.
"Come out and die," the older man called out to her, his gray streaked brown hair falling down around his face.
Her quick glance had registered that he was dressed casually, but the twin pistols in his hands were jarringly out of place, as was the spent rocket launcher that was laying nearby. Pulling her own pistol out from the holster beneath her jacket Motoko called to him, "Surrender, the police are already on their way here."
"I know, I called them here," he answered angrily, "to witness the death of the assassin Motoko Kusanagi!"
'The American job,' Motoko realized, 'of course.'
Am American fundamentalist group had been making some rumblings about pulling out of the United States, and their covert agencies had been called in. Apparently Motoko's boss had owed them a favor so when they asked if he could loan Motoko to them he agreed. A sniper rifle and the right place and time had been all it took, then Motoko had headed home.
"You murdered our leader," he rambled, "but the dream lives on! We will grind all the unbelievers beneath our heels..."
"Oh shut up," Motoko popped up to fire, punching a bullet through his hand in a burst of sound. As he reeled back from pain and surprise she raced across the roof, kicking the gun from his hand with a single smooth motion.
Snarling in pain and fury he drew a long knife from a concealed holster and lashed out, nearly slashing her across the face. Motoko dodged back, watching him warily as they circled around, holstering her gun to keep her hands free. Shooting him would be easy but final, preventing her from getting any more answers from him.
He used the knife like an expert, and making things even worse it was clear he was a cyborg like her. His speed was plainly unearthly, the weapon flickering silver in the air, Motoko barely able to keep ahead of him. Her own knife slid silently from a wrist sheath, comfortable in her hands as she watched him warily.
"I'm glad," he casually licked at the blood dripping from his right hand, "you're not making this too easy for me."
"You're people had to have known this was going to happen," Motoko asked him conversationally, eyes searching for any moment of weakness, "so why?"
"This world is falling to corruption," he snarled out as he met her eyes with a gaze that was more than a little mad, "we had to take a stand."
In his anger he lashed out, blade singing, but Motoko was ready. Smoothly she caught his attacking arm in her left hand as she slammed the hilt of her blade into his face, stunning him for a precious moment. Releasing his knife arm she struck out once again, this time dropping him with the second blow to the head.
<<Major, you all right?>> Batou's voice rang in her head.
<<It took you long enough>> Motoko answered wryly, <<I've got a pick up for you, another attempted assassin.>>
<<Third time this month,>> Batou sounded amused.
<<Take him in before the police get a turn,>> Motoko silently instructed as Batou's cruiser descended to the roof, <<I'm pretty sure it's a political attack, but he could be lying.>>
"Got it," Batou said as he strode over, picking up the wounded cyborg easily. "You all right?"
Dusting off her clothes Motoko muttered, "I never got my shopping done and my favorite coffee shop is toast."
"Nuff said," Batou agreed.
Notes: The biggest difference in the manga and anime versions is that Motoko is much more of a covert agent in the manga, rather than a police officer. She performs an assassination in the first chapter of the manga, as well as using some fairly dirty methods throughout the series.