Death in the Shell Ch. 11-1

A/N: So here I am back with a new chapter, I was hoping to pay tribute to some of the iconic scenes from both the In Death books and Ghost in the Shell anime. The thing with recreating the iconic chase scene in the original anime is that it’s hard to make a good description of it. So if any of you got any advice on how I could fix it, I would greatly appreciate it. Happy reading everybody.

*****

“Nice play on my words, little one,” Motoko said to Eve Dallas as they entered the elevator. “You’ve grown up quite a bit.”

“Yeah,” Eve agreed. “But you can only imagine the pains I’ve gotten from that growing up.”

“Why are you having pains?” Batou asked.

“Because I still remember all the times I told you guys that I wasn’t going to be married because a cop should not be in a committed relationship, but Roarke had changed all that for me.”

Eve told them all about how two days before meeting Roarke, she had gotten a domestic disturbance call near her old residence and had arrived too late when she caught a little girl chopped up to pieces by her father, a father who had been in a drug rage. One look at the girl’s father and Eve didn’t hesitate to unleash a deadly stunner shot at him. Originally, Eve had to report to testing the day after that kill, but had gotten another call to a homicide…the murder of Sharon DeBlass. Roarke had originally been a suspect in that case, but the only way she had to talk with him was at the funeral for DeBlass.

Flashback

Eve hated funerals. She detested the rite human beings insisted on giving death. The flowers, the music, the endless words and weeping.

There might be a God. She hadn’t completely ruled such things out. And if there were, she thought, It must have enjoyed a good laugh over Its creations’ useless rituals and passages.

Still, she had made the trip to Virginia to attend Sharon DeBlass’s funeral. She wanted to see the dead’s family and friends gathered together, to observe, and analyze, and judge.

The senator stood grim-faced and dry-eyed, with her grandaughter’s killer, Rockman, his shadow, one pew behind. Beside DeBlass was his son and daughter-in-law.

Sharon’s parents were young, attractive, successful attorneys who headed their own law firm.

Richard DeBlass stood with his head bowed and his eyes hooded, a trimmer and somehow less dynamic version of his father. Was it coincidence, Eve wondered, or design that he stood at equal distance between his father and wife?

Elizabeth Barrister was sleek and chic in her dark suit, her waving mahogany hair glossy, her posture rigid. And, Eve, noted, her eyes red-rimmed and swimming with constant tears.

What did a mother feel, Eve wondered, as she had wondered all of her life, when she lost a child?

Senator DeBlass had a daughter as well, and she flanked his right side. Congresswoman Catherine DeBlass had followed in her father’s political footsteps. Painfully thin, she stood militarily straight, her arms looking like brittle twigs in her black dress. Beside her, her husband Justin Summit stared at the glossy coffin draped with roses at the front of the church. At his side, their son Franklin, still trapped in the gangly stage of adolescence, shifted restlessly.

At the end of the pew, somehow separate from the rest of the family, was DeBlass’s wife, Anna.

She neither shifted nor wept. Not once did Eve see her so much as glance at the flower-strewn box that held what was left of her only granddaughter.

There were others, of course. Elizabeth’s parents stood together, hands linked, and cried openly. Cousins, acquaintances, and friends dabbed at their eyes or simply looked around in fascination or horror. The President had sent an envoy, and the church was packed with more politicians than the Senate lunchroom.

Though there were more than a hundred faces, Eve had no trouble picking Roarke out of the crowd. He was alone. There were others lined in the pew with him, but Eve recognized the solitary quality that surrounded him. There could have been ten thousand in the building, and he would have remained aloof from them.

His striking face gave away nothing: no guilt, no grief, no interest. He might have been watching a mildly inferior play. Eve could think of no better description for a funeral.

More than one head turned in his direction for a quick study or, in the case of a shapely brunette, a not so subtle flirtation. Roarke responded to both the same way: he ignored them.

At first study, she would have judged him as cold, an icy fortress of a man who guarded himself against any and all. But there must have been heat. It took more than discipline and intelligence to rise so high so young. It took ambition, and to Eve’s mind, ambition was a flammable fuel.

He looked straight ahead as the dirge swelled, then without warning, he turned his head, looked five pews back across the aisle and directly into Eve’s eyes.

It was surprise that had her fighting not to jolt at that sudden and unexpected punch of power. It was will that kept her from blinking or shifting her gaze. For one humming minute they stared at each other. Then there was movement, and mourners came between them as they left the church.

When Eve stepped into the aisle to search him out again, he was gone.

End Flashback

“It was like he had a sixth sense about me,” Eve continued when the elevator stopped at the parking garage. “The moment he had looked at me, everything had changed.”

“Perhaps you can tell me what did change,” Motoko offered. “Might help get your feelings out.”

“The first thing that changed was the coffee, I drank the first cup of his coffee and it felt orgasmic.” Eve replied as they approached a vehicle sanctioned by the Ghost Organization. “But that was nothing compared to the first time we slept together, I’ve had sex before Roarke, some men were cops and the last date Mavis had set me up with was a dentist. But once Roarke kissed me and fucked me in his gunroom, it felt amazing but I still had conflicts with myself. Before him, I never had the feelings of love, the way I felt for the both of you.”

“Did he break up with you when you didn’t accept him?” Batou asked.

“I don’t know if you’d call it a ‘break-up’, but one month after I continuosly slept with him he gave me this,” Eve showed them the tear-shaped diamond Roarke gave her. “But I rejected it and things gotten so rough between us, to the point where I couldn’t eat, sleep and even Roarke stopped giving me his coffee for a week. I finally gotten to the point where I stormed into his mansion that night to question him about another murder and wept right in front of him. I loved him and admitted that I seriously needed him and in turn he admitted that he needed me.”

Motoko and Batou took an interest to the diamond necklace nicknamed “The Giant’s Tear”. The stone graced a twisted gold chain and glinted fire. Shaped like a tear, it was long and wide as the first joint of a man’s thumb. It was mined about a hundred and fifty years ago and came up for auction while Roarke was in Sydney. A gift that symbolized his love for her.

“Such a simple thing to give to a simple woman,” Batou said of the diamond. “But it definitely fits you.”

“I admit that it does,” Eve agreed. “But I don’t ever show it in public, because I don’t want to get laughed at by my bull-pen.”

“But I bet you have a deeper reason to why you don’t show it in public,” Motoko said as Eve put the diamond back in her shirt.

“Yes,” Eve admitted with a breath. “I’m scared that somebody might either kidnap me or kill me and take it as a trophy.”

“There’s nothing wrong with having fear, Eve,” Motoko assured her. “Sometimes fear can be used as a gift.”

Eve nodded as she remembered what The Major said to her during their trainings, “Fear is nothing more than a warning to let you know when to watch your back.”

“Exactly right, little one,” Motoko ran a hand down her cheek. “Once you embrace the fear, it will become your friend.”

Suddenly Ishikawa contacted the group via the Ghost-Link: Major, I got a hit on Bassi’s computer.

Motoko: What do you got?

Ishikawa: Apparently he had been working with the people related to Cassandra around October of last year, from my gatherings on reading his journal entries, he had mostly been meeting with two men and a woman.

Eve: October? That was around the time when I was investigating the cult that had been murdering those high-school teenagers.

Ishikawa: For four months prior to this month, Bassi had been hired to make a total of five high-grade explosives with enough power to blow buildings up like that abandoned glass-factory.

Motoko: Was he able to list any specific properties they were targeting?

Ishikawa: Negative, Major, but apparently he was able to sneak in a tracker on the female leader’s pocket a month before he died. Because of that, he was able to find out her name: Clarissa Branson.

He began to transmit data to Motoko, Batou and Dallas on Clarissa Branson, her ID shot portrayed her as a Caucasian woman with skin as white as lilies and eyes as dark as midnight. Her wheat-colored hair was severely pulled back and knotted at the nape in smooth, snaking twists. Her birth-date was all but unknown with the only confirmed info being her birth year of 2013.

Ishikawa: She was originally the daughter of James Rowan, the alleged leader of Apollo.

Batou: The terrorist group behind the Pentagon bombing.

Ishikawa: And unfortunately no longer with us, they apparently found him splattered when his Boston headquarters exploded.

Motoko: Did Bassi ever find out what Clarissa was planning to target?

Ishikawa: Apparently they found out that they were bugged, because the last entry in his journal detailed his fears of another Arlington and was prepared to leave for Ratso’s hideout. But right when I was about to tag you, Saito let me know that one of our fellow agents may have a lead on where the next bomb might be.

Motoko: Saito, what did you get?

Saito: One of our spies caught a courier walk into Radio City Music Hall with multiple unmarked packages.

Roarke: Wait you said Radio City Music Hall?

Batou: I’m afraid he did, Rich Boy.

Eve: Don’t tell me, Ace, you own that building?

Roarke: Wait for me, I’m coming with you.

***

By now Roarke had rejoined The Ghost Organization en-route to Radio City Music Hall and had already gotten finished with notifying members of the NYPSD and other members of The Ghost Organization to help with evacuation. By then The Major, Batou, Roarke and Eve had dressed in full riot gear: anti-flak jacket, assault helmet and face visors. All of which would prove as useless as fresh, pink skin if they didn’t have time.

It wasn’t exactly the happy reunion Eve and Roarke were hoping for, when they found Peabody and Baxter, along with Feeney helping uniforms evacuate what turned out to be a full house ranging from: tourists, locals, preschoolers with parents or caretakers, classroom groups with teachers and chaperons. The noise level was huge, and the natives weren’t just restless, they were pissed.

“Listen,” was the first thing Eve said to Feeney. “I know it’s an awkward time right now, but do you at least have a status on the building?”

“There had been multiple devices detected, Malloy had already located and neutralized two. Scan indicates six more. Teams already deployed. The stage has four elevators, every one of them can go down twenty-seven feet into the basement of this place. We got hot ones in all of them. Working as fast as we can here.” Feeney replied before turning to Roarke. “Your manager wasn’t thrilled about canceling the Rockette’s show over a ‘water main leak’.”

“I’ll deal with it after we get things dealt with over here,” Roarke replied while he and Dallas smoothly entered the lobby, catching Peabody and Baxter guiding people out of the the entrance of the music hall.

It had been no easy task to move several thousand annoyed ticket holders out of a warm theater and into the cold. The main lobby area was jammed shoulder to shoulder.

And there were countless other rooms, lounges, lobbies. Beyond the public areas there were dressing rooms, control centers, offices. Each one had to be searched, emptied, secured.

Add panic to annoyance, Eve mused, and you’d have several hundred casualties before they hit the doors. She saw Peabody on an Art Decor table looking down on the grumbling horde being pushed along through the grandiose lobby with its stylized glass and chrome.

“This is the NYPSD,” Peabody announced over the echoing din. “Your cooperation is appreciated. Please don’t block the exits. Continue to move outside.”

And it didn’t surprise Eve to see the glare that Peabody gave her. A glare that belonged to a friend who felt like he had been abandoned.

“What the hell are both of you doing here?”

“In case you hadn’t noticed,” Roarke answered before Eve could speak, “this building is mine.”

He then made a cool swipe of Peabody’s headset.

“That’s police property, sir.”

“And an inferior product if I may say so, but it should do the job.”

Then, looking cool and sleek, he addressed the disorderly crowd. “Ladies and gentlemen, the staff and performers of Radio City apologize for this difficulty. All tickets and transportation costs incurred will be fully refunded. An alternate date will be set for today’s matinee at no charge to any ticket holders who wish to attend. We appreciate your understanding and we request that everybody move in a quick and orderly fashion.”

The noise level didn’t abate, but the tone of it altered dramatically. Roarke could have told Peabody that money, unfailingly, talks.

“Trying to be slick on us?” Peabody asked sarcastically and swung down behind the table.

“You needed them out,” he said simply. “What’s your status?”

“Why should I give a police status to two regular citizens?” Peabody shot back.

“First off, Officer,” Eve shot at Peabody with her own badge. “You’re talking with a member of The Ghost Organization. Second, we have jurisdiction over this case. So unless you want us to take complete control of this scene, you’ll pull that stick out of your ass and let us diffuse the bomb.”

“I may have a stick up my ass,” Peabody admitted, “but I’m not the one who became a turncoat and abandoned the people who were trying to save her job.”

“Would you have rather seen me be a turncoat, or mourn for me at my funeral over my self-termination?!?” Eve shouted back.

“Lieutenant!” The Major hollered over the two. “Stop the arguing and help Roarke with disabling the bomb on the catwalk.”

Eve failed to notice that Roarke was already slipping quickly through the oncoming crowd. She initially thought about stopping him when her mind began to realize that one of the bombs was on a catwalk, but kept following Roarke out of marital pride. If Roarke were to fail, Eve would rather join him than live life alone.

***

Motoko and Batou were still outside the music hall helping uniforms and Feeney escort the citizens outside to safety as they had no need to dismantle anymore explosives, thanks to the NYPSD Bomb Squad. But that was before Batou began to notice a cloaked figured in thermoptic camouflage running towards an oversized van marked “Branson Tools and Toys”, the side door was open when Batou saw the figure get in.

Batou: Ishikawa, was Clarissa Branson linked to a company called Branson Tools and Toys?”

Ishikawa: Her husband, B. Donald Branson, became majority owner after the death of his brother a couple days ago.

Motoko was too busy with evacuating the civilians to notice what Batou noticed.

“What did you see, Batou?”

When Batou relayed to The Major about the thermoptic figure getting into the van, Motoko ordered Feeney to get some uniforms to finish evacuating the last of the civilians exiting Radio City Music Hall and didn’t hesitate to follow her husband to their own vehicle to pursue the Branson Tools and Toys van.

***

Even though the Branson van had been going at high speeds, it didn’t take Motoko and Batou long to track down the van in their hot pursuit. Most vehicles had been smart enough to avoid the high speed chase between the two vehicles, but the Branson van definitely didn’t give a shit who they ran over as long as they were able to avoid Motoko and Batou.

“For a terrorist group using a toy company as cover, they sure are acting like a bunch of amateurs,” Batou said as Motoko was driving as maniacally as the van in front of them began going into flight mode.

“Amateur’s maybe,” Motoko agreed. “But I don’t think they counted on us intercepting their target this quick. Why else would they not know about Eve Dallas not being a part of the NYPSD?”

“When you get right down to it, it is kind of strange. Why would they send those messages to her old place instead of The Ghost Organization?”

Before Motoko began to hypothesize an answer, the van they had been pursuing had made a sudden landing at an alleyway outside of Chinatown in Canal Street. They found it curious that this van decided to land at a spot near a public phone/computer that hadn’t had a lot of use in recent years since the Urban’s, but was surprisingly still functional.

But they failed to be quick enough when two figures in body-armor had exited at both sides of the vehicle, banned heavy machine guns in their possession, aiming directly at their landing van. If there was anything Motoko and Batou learned, it was to never take a machine gun to chance against their own armored vans. High velocity bullets taught them that lesson.

They were quick enough to exit their van before bullets started flying at them, making them fortunate to narrowly escape an exploding van.

“Shit,” Batou cursed as both he and his wife landed feet first on the hard concrete. “Well when it comes to terrorism, they’re definitely not afraid to break every law in the book.”

“Especially when it comes to them using High Velocity Bullets,” Motoko agreed as the shooters began to make their escape. “Keep on their tails, I’ll come around from the top.”

“You got it,” Batou said as the couple began to split up in their pursuit.

Knowing his wife making her efficient climb to the top of one of the medium-sized buildings in New York City, Batou didn’t hesitate with worry as he began to follow the two gunmen making their way through the crowded streets of China Town in Canal, where Batou guessed they would be safe hiding in.

They never did count on the fact that Batou had his trademark set of lenses that replaced regular human eye-balls. That same pair of lenses that could help with his targeting and his ability to see thermoptic camouflage. A feature he’d definitely been putting to use as he stood silently amongst the crowd of tourists and shoppers navigating what to buy from whoever merchant they wanted to trust.

People who had passed him by, looked at him strangely when they began to notice his eyes, wondering if they were monocles or special glasses without the ear hooks. Batou was used to that at this point in his life, because at least they were kind enough to not be assholes to him and in turn, he never gave out a threatening presence unless he needed to. It definitely gave him the opportunity to look for the two gunmen who shot at him and The Major’s van without any conflict.

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