Demonic Conversions (Excerpt 1)
“A writer’s prerogative is so versatile. To create or destroy, to let live or die, such is theirs…” thus speaks a quote from my biography. I am Lady X, Bloody Kitten, renowned assassin and spy. It is a lonely life, I’ll admit that, but in the end it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters in Zion. Perhaps I should tell you a tidbit of information about Zion. It is the last of all productive cities, and now in all of its ‘glory’ it controls others.
It doesn’t matter. It’s still just a miserable wreck to me. Of all the cities combined, it is overall the most gang run. Perhaps that is the reason this city is the most powerful city on this miserable planet called Earth. In fact, that might even be the reason the other cities are actually becoming useful. In my case however, the cities are just a prison. When earth was taken over by the other planets, I was taken as a slave to be sold. Those days following my capture have scarred me forever.
Others I had never seen before had been taken as well, but nothing mattered. We were all crammed into the cargo hold of the spaceship of a galactic slave trader. We were all so hungry, sick, tired… over fifty people were stuffed into a room less than 30 square feet. Then the horror of being sold, to feel like a piece of property… We stood in a line by the illegal slave trading area. I was lucky, if you can even call it that. I was bought by a representative of the Yakuza. This is where my story begins…
I stood angrily on the stand, hands and feet chained to the other unfortunate soon to be sold slaves. This was not right, and my sense of fairness wouldn’t let me give up without a fight. Many of the slaves had been sold by the end of the auction, then the ‘bargain slaves’ were there for observation. Most prospective buyers were deterred by my angry glare; however one man just didn’t get the message. He smiled at my furious but confused glance, and then asked the auctioneer how much the starting price for me was. The auctioneer looked me up and down and replied rather cockily, “This little vixen here? Ain’t nobody wanting her, she got the worst temperament of any ornery child anywhere!”
“Exactly why I wish to buy her,” snapped the man. He wore a black jacket with a Japanese symbol even I could recognize. Aku, or bad, was the symbol on his back, and I knew this meant trouble. He looked Asian, so I figured that he was Japanese, since usually only the Japanese would wear their symbols.
The auctioneer finally saw the symbol and bowed low, “I apologize fuku-honbucho-sama. This girl would do the Yakuza great honor if her free will was tamed, but it will not be an easy task. Her starting price was ten-thousand yen, but I will freely give her to you for five-thousand.”
The yakuza representative nodded, then handed the auctioneer the money from a briefcase he carried. The auctioneer carefully undid my chains and restrained me with ropes. The representative pretty much dragged me away, and I waited until he took me to his headquarter until I struck. He left me in the care of an inexperienced initiate. The initiate turned away, and I used my bound hands to strangle him enough to make him pass out. I used the knife he carried for protection to cut my bonds, and then I escaped through the fire escape, which was next to the window.
As I quickly ran down the fire escape, I heard a commotion from the room where I’d attacked, and realized that they’d soon be after me. I sped up, and jumped down from the 2nd floor level. Hitting the ground running was a skill I soon found out was actually useful for street life. I made my way to the main streets, only to find I was not going to find any help from the meek looking vendors. So, I decided to cut through some more alleys, and almost ran into a very handsome man. He looked rather like a thug, so I apologized quickly and began to run off.
He grabbed my shoulder though, and forced me to turn around. His nearly black eyes finally captured my attention. He then spoke, “What’s a little girl like you doing out here in the alleys alone? You could get hurt, killed, or even worse,” he eyed my young body carefully, almost casually.
“Running, isn’t it obvious?” I quipped hurriedly. He chuckled, and then motioned for me to follow him. I didn’t have much hope for help anyway, so I figured what the heck, he might actually help me. I followed him down an especially dark alley, and then waited as he walked right up to the Yakuza representative that bought me! He laughed at the worried expression on the representative’s face, “Honestly, you baka, I thought you said that you had a new slave for me!”
“I did oyabun, but she seems to have escaped!” When the representative said this, the “thug” I ran into laughed so hard, tears streamed down his face. He pointed to the place where I was hiding, “She’s over there! I ran into her about five entire blocks from here!”
The representative furiously dragged me out, and then stuck a hypodermic needle in my arm. I felt a strange sense of déjà vu as I passed out and was dragged back up the fire escape to the Yakuza headquarters. This was how I got my start in this ‘business’ of mine, as I call it. Though I regret it now, I must say, I rather enjoyed being in this business of hate, blood, death, and pleasure. Why? I don’t have a clue, but I truly wish I did, in order to understand my life better.
The representative, who was named Angry Dragon, hated me forever. He made sure to torture me thoroughly, especially by doing things to kill my free spirit and stubbornness. I refused to bend, but his intent was to break me. Fundo finally sent me to the dance hall, formerly where geishas entertained, but now it was just a place of mockery for the slave girls. I was determined to get my revenge however, so I performed there, making myself known to those Yakuza I hated.
The “thug” I ran into turned out to be the leader of the Yakuza, and his name suited him. Kitsune… fox… he certainly was mischievous enough, and I heard that he enjoyed the company of dance hall girls. Sure enough, when he visited, he sought the sultriest of all the girls, and enjoyed their favors, as he was the leader, after all. I decided to take my chances at revenge, and stole a jeweled blade from one of the guards to the harem, as I called it. I hid it within my leather boot and danced up to Kitsune. In my “prostitute” clothes, he didn’t recognize me, so I got behind him, massaging his shoulders.
He seemed relaxed, and the guards were all drunk, so I pulled out my blade and pressed it to his throat tightly. Kitsune froze, and I could feel every muscle in his body tense as he waited for the killing slash. When it didn’t come, he asked curiously, “What do you think you’re doing?”
Finally his guards reacted, but he waved them down nonchalantly, and I answered harshly, “What does it seem like to you, baka?”
He shrugged, “Well, what do you think you’ll gain from threatening me with a knife? I mean, really, how could you not be happy here? I know for a fact that all the dance hall girls are well fed, clothed, and have their… needs met. Is this not correct?”
“It may be correct, Kitsune, but you don’t quite understand. None of those things you mentioned are important to me, and since your representative, Angry Dragon, hates me, I don’t see why I shouldn’t kill you. If I kill you, what is to stop me from killing any other Yakuza, who says they are strong, but runs from the truth. All I want… is my freedom,” I hissed. His reaction was not what I expected, in fact; it was what I wanted least.
Kitsune laughed. Then after I got over my shock, and he began breathing again, he said, “You certainly have fire, girl! What an advantage you’ve gained from your anger towards me! Now, I can give you something better than your freedom.”
I was surprised, but not completely off edge, “Don’t try to trick me out of my freedom. Nothing is better than having your life in your own hands.”
“Well, you’d be free, but you’d be making quite a considerable income. You’d be working for me of course,” as he said this, I began protesting angrily, but he cut me off, saying, “you’d have benefits, I assure you. You could be something like one of my guards, how does that suit you?”
Guards get a million credits a year at least, and that was more money than I’d ever see without working for someone like him. Eventually, I became his advisor at only 14 years old. Kitsune was young at 18, but he was almost like an older brother to me. However, I wasn’t his advisor for long, since being such a high ranked person; I met my future mentor in his service.
Kitsune had hired an assassin named Death Kiss, or Zetsumei Seppun in Japanese, and he wanted me to help him decide whether or not he was worth paying to kill his enemy. I strongly advised him against it, saying that assassins were shadowy wimps, too afraid to fight their battles in broad daylight. Kitsune shot back at me saying that this Death Kiss did challenge his opponents in broad daylight with witnesses. I was so frustrated, I stuck my tongue out at him in a last attempt to argue with him, though I knew it was futile.
I sat next to Kitsune the next day, pouting. It didn’t help that Kitsune enjoyed doing impressions of me either. Then, in a crash, the door flew open, and the assassin strolled in with the head of the Yakuza’s enemy. I smirked silently, knowing for sure that when he took off his mask, there would be an ugly, old, scarred face full of evil in his eyes. He began to remove his mask and I found myself very angry with myself. Was I always WRONG???
Yes. He was nothing at all like what I expected. He had dark blond hair, slightly spiked, and though his eyes were as mercurial as the sea, but they were currently a beautiful turquoise. I fell for his good looks immediately, and since Kitsune noticed, I was in a huge mess. Curse teenage hormones…
As Kitsune and Death Kiss began talking, I slipped out. I sat in my chamber on the floor, banging my head against the wall. Kitsune walked in, raising an eyebrow, and I turned around. He came in with a proposal. Apparently, Death Kiss had heard of me, and liked what he heard. Death Kiss wanted me as his apprentice, and neither Kitsune nor he would let me refuse. How could I refuse an assassin anyways?
Death Kiss took me to his home, a secluded hut in the forest, that’s how I viewed it then. He began training me the very same day, always sparring with me, making sure I would be strong enough to carry on his legacy. I had to wake up early, then eat enough to last me for half the day. In only 2 years I had learned almost every skill known to man (and several known to monkeys) and developed a few of my own. However, Death Kiss had a purpose in running me so hard. When he taught me the final method, used by the hitokiri called Kawakami Gensai.
Death Kiss told me that his methods were in every way effective, but he had one weakness. He didn’t exactly have an open mind, as most men don’t. Death Kiss told me that this was why he had chosen a female apprentice. He said that one who has experienced pain, anger, sadness, longing, and still has an aura of fire, is perfect to carry on the legacy of the ancients. We continued our sparring into my second year of training, when he told me I would have to kill him soon.
I was in shock, thinking that he was surely jesting. With a look at his eyes, I kneeled down in sadness, looking at the ground tearfully. Death Kiss jerked me up roughly, and though I didn’t realize it then, it was for my own good. I was torn apart with that, and was confused as I had never been before. He had been so kind to me, like a father or brother… why did he take me as his apprentice… if he didn’t I’d still be with the gangs though…
I covered my head with my hands in pain, tormented with the thoughts of his death. He gently took my hands, hugged me, and then handed me my sword. I bowed numbly, and we went through the motions of battle. When it came time for me to kill him, I hesitated to strike, and he didn’t die instantly as it should have been. Death Kiss lay in a pool of crimson blood, dying, gasping for his last breath. I cupped his face in my hands, realizing I had blood on them too… Death Kiss looked at me one last time, “Never hesitate and never show emotion to anyone… I suppose I must give you a name…” He looked at my stained hands, and then at my meek face, “Your name is Bloody Kitten. Guard your name well, and carry on our honor.”
I waited for him to stop breathing, then allowed two tears to slide down my face. I had never cried in front of him, and never cried in front of anyone I didn’t trust. I didn’t realize that trust could be taken advantage of at that time… I was so naive. I cremated his corpse, and heaved dry sobs as I threw his ashes into the ocean. His eyes haunted me though, how they went from a shining turquoise to dull, tarnished silver…
I never forgave myself for making him suffer, but I went back to the Yakuza anyway. They were only a shadow of the past, and the great Yakuza were now overrun. I watched as my ally, Kitsune, was captured and tortured by Angry Dragon, his former friend and guard. I escaped, but never forgot Kitsune, and I decided to kill Fundo’s new employer. His name was Golden Dragon, and he was a Noble. The Nobles were very well respected among us city people. You see, there were city people, and there were Nobles, which consisted of the Lords and Ladies.
To be a Lord or Lady, you had to be born within the system. They ruled over the cities with an iron grip. Of course, there were the… exceptions, such as myself, and we got by because we were dangers to society. Don’t get me wrong, they wanted to get rid of us, and they tried to send their own spies within the cities to find us. I hesitated to kill them because of their respected status. Finally, after being wounded by one of their assassins, I killed him quickly, and killed his kind for fun.
It didn’t bother me that they were assassins as well, I only cared about saving my own skin and making credits. I couldn’t kill Golden Dragon outright, since that would only excite rage at me and my kind. I had to protect the reputation of the city dwellers, for their lives would be at risk otherwise. I bribed one of Golden Dragon’s cooks to poison him, and it worked like a dream. Now… onto Fundo… that betraying, soon to be rotting corpse of a man…
I followed Angry Dragon home one night, and I crept silently along the low rooftops. He heard me, and turned around with terror in his eyes. How pathetic could he get? He cried out, “Who are you? Why are you following me?”
I slid down behind him, grabbed his chin and the back of his head, and then twisted with all my might. His head came off easily, and I hung his head on a streetlight by his ally’s house. They all learned never to betray me, or anyone close to me on pain of death! I had taught them well.
Among the common city folk, I was known as Lady X. This was my “real” name, and it was given to me for my polite manners and my anonymity. Hence, Lady X was the title given me. The Lords and Ladies didn’t appreciate this, and you can imagine that this was how they first heard of me. They soon learned why I was called Bloody Kitten as well. Besides the fact that Death Kiss gave it to me, I was deadly, but polite and shy. The gangs respected me more than their own leaders.
At the tender age of 16, I had become the most feared and respected of all assassins. Besides Death Kiss, nobody had ever defeated me in a battle since my training had begun and ended. I made 10 million credits per job, and that was the minimum. I finished my jobs in record time, so my employers had no complaints about my prices. My efficiency more than made up for the cost.
With this sort of record, you wouldn’t think that I would have any competition, right? Wrong. I met someone who was my better, not in killing, but in giving life to the undeserving. I had become as bold as to go to the Noble’s City, the city in the sky, where the Lords and Ladies lived in relative peace and harmony. I was now killing off the Nobles in their dwelling, Babylon.
My job was to exterminate a Noble-hired assassin who was getting too powerful. I figured he was just overrated, like all the other “dangerous” assassins I had been assigned to before. Of course, I was wrong again, just as I was about my teacher. First, I established his routine, followed him to his home, and prepared to kill him. As I followed him into the building, I waited for him to go up the elevator first. When I got in the elevator, I took out the camera and began to change, just in case someone recognized me. I stepped through the door and…
He was waiting for me. He reached into his pocket, showed me a picture of myself, then reached into my knife sheath and pulled out a picture of himself. I wouldn’t have minded much, but my knife was in my bra. You can imagine my chagrin at him smiling, then sending me back down the elevator. Never… NEVER had I been so… insulted in my whole life!!! I was surprised though…
Why didn’t he kill me while he had the chance? Surely he knew that I was going to kill him for that. If he was hired to kill me, he certainly failed his mission. I had a job to do, whether or not he did his. I took out the maid, and then I went to his room to impersonate room service. He let me in without any questions, after all, I was a mistress of disguises. While he busied himself with letters, I dusted and such. My dance hall days had taught me seduction, and I wasn’t hesitant to use it. Now, how was I going to kill this annoying little bugger?
I walked over innocently, “What are you doing?”
He whirled around, upset at my disturbance. This one… his hair was silver, but he wasn’t old, and he had feral eyes… what had I gotten myself into? This was too odd for my liking… He looked me up and down, then relaxed a bit, “I’m doing paperwork. Please don’t disturb me, I’ve had a long day…”
“I’m so sorry,” I put a hand to my mouth, feigning surprise, “I didn’t mean to make you upset, sir…”
He sighed heavily, “It’s not you. Have you heard of Lady X?”
“That horrible murderer? Hasn’t everyone heard about her?” I acted shocked.
He frowned, “She isn’t as bad as everyone says. She’s quite involved in domestic things… she enjoys painting, drawing, singing, acting… She’s been following me, but I’ve been following her as well.”
“Oh my, how intriguing! Please, do continue,” I begged, this was becoming very informative.
He continued, “Well, she’s a dogged pursuer, which is stressful, but everytime she lost track of me, I had to follow her. She’d catch sight of me right after that though… Attractive too, for a city girl, I mean… I haven’t sat down and relaxed with a lovely girl in ages…”
This was my chance, “It shouldn’t have to be a long time, should it, sir.”
He smiled, flashing his pointed white teeth. He got up and made me back up, now I was pretending… He backed me down onto his bed, completely unaware that he had fallen into my trap. As he kissed me passionately, I slowly got on top of him, and then held him at knifepoint (using the knife in my bra…Oy…).
“All right you Noble… what’s your name!”
He sighed, “Litho, and I take it that you would be Lady X?”
“No, I’m your mother. Of course I’m Lady X. Now, why exactly don’t you hate me like the other Nobles?”
Raising an eyebrow, he answered, “Hate you? If I hated you, I would’ve killed you. No, I respect you. You have no respect for me I take it?”
I acted offended, “Of course… NOT!!! I think you are an inexperienced, proud, arrogant, chauvinist prig. Does this answer your question?”
Somehow, in my rant, he flipped me over, then sitting on top of me. I did NOT like that. It was very uncomfortable. This would look very bad on my epitaph. He laughed, apparently he knew my thoughts. How in the world could I kill him without regretting it later? WHY WAS HE SO LIKEABLE???!!! How could I deprive the world of this… dream come true?
“Let’s make a deal, apprentice of my apprentice, if you don’t kill anyone, I won’t kill anybody either. I will kill someone for everyone you kill. Is it a deal?”
My jaw dropped in shock… was he always 5 steps ahead of me? Hey… “apprentice of my apprentice”? Meaning… GAAAHH!!!! If he was the tutor of my tutor, just how old was he? He laughed at my confusion… was I that obvious? He said, “I’m not a Noble actually, I’m a demon from Jigoku. I was hired to kill you, but really, I came to investigate you.”
“Listen, I agree to your deal, but investigate me? What kind of crap…”
He covered my mouth before anything else came out. I didn’t like the way this conversation was heading. Litho, or Li as I later called him, started to gently push me down. I would’ve resisted, but how could I? It was almost as though I was spellbound by his beautiful eyes…
“I needed to find out, how a mere human has killed so many, and yet hasn’t ever been caught? I wondered whether you were even human… The Nobles have sent Cerberus hounds after you, and they’ve come back whimpering like pups. What is it that frightens them so much about you?”
I was frozen, but finally he nodded towards the window, “That’s the only way out. Go ahead, you’re free. Remember the deal though.”
Taking one last glance at him, I never forgot how Li looked in all the years I was apart from him. His silver hair shimmered in the moonlight, and his eyes were golden lamps that burned holes into my soul. His clothes were slightly rumpled from our tussle, and memories of his hard body against mine sent shivers down my spine. I turned away before I wanted to stay more than I did already. Now, how to get down from the 28th floor of the hotel window? I smirked.
I leapt out the window. My technique was never to bend at an angle while falling, but to keep my hands and feet flat, so I could use them to break my fall if necessary. The steepness of the wall was more than I expected, and my velocity was increasing. I flipped onto my back to avoid being flattened, then kicked off the wall. After that, I flipped back so I could see the ground. At the last minute, I arched my back like a cat, then bent my limbs to absorb the shock of the impact, but there was a trick.
The trick was to bend my feet just enough to land running. As I executed this operation to near perfection, I looked at his face quickly. The expression of awe on Li’s face was by all measures priceless. It was so funny, I actually laughed all the way back to my alley.
I tried to keep my promise to Litho. I really did! I even left the planet in order to ensure it. Luckily, I had over 100 billion credits saved, but I only needed 1 billion to travel in ease. I used the money to travel to the planet of Japan, where all the old traditions were kept. The Japanese wanted to have their own planet, so they kept their own traditions, and basically lived in the Meiji era.
I settle down in a house surrounded by dense woods on three sides, and by a river on one. Though I’d promised not to kill anyone, I made sure to keep fit. I didn’t think I would be tempted to kill anyone, and only went to the village for food, clothes, and other necessities. Yet, fate played me a bad hand once again. I decided to go to the bar. Being a bit of a showoff, I was drafted into a fight, since the opponent wouldn’t take no for an answer.
I took a beating, then the familiar bloodlust crept back into my veins. Suddenly infuriated, I threw but one punch. It snapped his back, killing him instantly, and it also sent him flying across the room in two pieces. There was a long silence as I left the bar. Feeling very upset and guilty, I left Japan just as I left Zion. I knew that my past would catch up to me again, but I tried to put it off as long as I could. I had nowhere to go except back to Zion, where I could blend in.
In my heart, breaking my promise to Litho hurt me more than anything else at the time. Contemplating suicide was a daily occurrence for me, and self inflicted wounds scarred my arms and legs. I though that even if I killed myself, I could at least be with Death Kiss. However, I knew my assassin teacher himself wouldn’t approve, so I didn’t. I wanted to make him proud, so I shunned my old ways and started a business under a new name… Kitten.
I was waiting for customers one day, so I started sketching a picture of Death Kiss and myself. I had been experimenting with different crafts to sell, but I finally settled on portraits… mainly. I worked contentedly, and then I heard doors and windows slam. A high-tech carriage, property of Nobles and high-class city dweller, came zooming down the street. It stopped in front of my small dwelling, and I figured that a Noble must want a portrait or something.
Out of the carriage stepped a boy that had jet-black hair, tan skin, and turquoise eyes… just like Death Kiss… my love… After he came, a girl with bright red hair, and she looked like someone shoved a sword up her arse. Anyway… they walked up to my door, and just before they knocked, I opened it slightly. The boy stood there shyly, but the girl shoved her way inside. His eyes captivated me… I adored them, but they hurt my still raw emotions, for he resembled my teacher too much… The girl had a dark green eye, and a golden eye, how odd these two were.
“Are you the one they call Kitten?” asked the boy politely.
“Perhaps,” I replied, “It depends on who’s looking for her, and what they want. Do you need assistance?”
“It’s actually the other way around. You are the one in danger. We should be asking you if you need help.”
“I need no help,” I said, raising an eyebrow. The boy, who had been occupied looking at the sketch I left unfinished, then decided to speak up, “Actually, you are in danger, they found out who you are.”
As I was about to laugh, he continued, “Lady X, please don’t make this any more difficult than it has to be.”
At this, I saw that he knew quite a bit about me and my past. I pulled up three chairs, and motioned for them to sit down. The girl spoke, “You have a ½ clone of you. Death Kiss is the other ½ of the clone. They spliced the DNA and created it…
“The clone has a male and female form. When he is a male, his features are yours, but his eyes and body are not. When female, the features are those of Death Kiss, and the body is yours.”
I was a bit skeptical, “How did they get his DNA if I burned him and threw his ashes into the sea? Is he even dead then? No…” I gasped, “Can he really be alive?”
The boy shook his head, “I seriously doubt that, but they searched the oceans to find the DNA. They have no respect whatsoever for the dead, and I should kill them for the disturbance of his ashes… We need your assistance to kill someone called Dragon Heart. He’s the father of Golden Dragon, and a very intelligent scientist. He developed the clone.”
“I’m terribly sorry,” I sighed, “but killing isn’t my game anymore. It is also based on a promise to someone who would be extremely upset if I broke it… again.”
“YOU DON’T GET IT DO YOU???,” the girl yelled, “HE IS THE FREAKING CLONE!!! DUH!!!”
The boy winced, the affirmed the fact by saying, “Xyla… I didn’t want you to tell her yet…They called me the Koneko Projekt. They wanted to create the perfect assassin, a killing machine with the strengths of a human and a…”
Xyla elbowed him hard at that point, then he continued, “They didn’t count on this project rebelling though.”
At this point, I picked up my necessities and began to walk out of the door. Koneko jumped up, taking his guns out of his holsters and pointed one at Xyla and myself, saying, “If you leave, I’ll kill us all.”
I laughed at him. I took a deep breath, then pointed out the facts, “There is a problem with that, sonny boy; One, you are young and inexperienced. You’ve just been created, and have no idea what killing involves. I on the other hand do, and I say you don’t have the guts to pull the trigger on me, or your little sweetheart.”
He opened his mouth to protest and the latter of what I said, but I had to cut him off, “Listen, you are half of me, I sorta know what goes on in your head, OK? Plus I can see your aura, your emotions, and your thoughts. You aren’t like me or…”
“Death Kiss?” He asked.
“Yes. You…combine our qualities, yes, but you combine our faults as well. I know these faults, and you do not. You are aware of this, are you not?”
His seemingly soft eyes suddenly chilled, and he regarded me with cold calculation. He then proposed a bit of a compromise, “You want adventure, surely sitting here drawing former loves gets dull. Will you help us get information about them? We will pay you extremely well…”
I scoffed, “Pfft. Yeah, I have over 90 billion in credits, 50 billion credits in property, and people extremely grateful to me. You can neither threaten nor bribe me, so what can you offer me?”
Xyla chuckled, I didn’t like the look on her face. She said the magic words, “He might not know what you want, but I can offer you something. Let’s just say we need other help too, how ‘bout a partner named… Litho?”
I paced around the room, amused by the surprise in Koneko’s eyes as he looked at Xyla, and I walked to the door. I dropped my bags inside their carriage, “Well, what are you all gaping at? Let’s get a move on! Time to tear up the streets.”