Target: Hanako Shinshu

(Half of this is adapted from an actual RP scene, so including the tag)

Originally Posted Sep 11, 2015

The assignment is simple enough: Acquire the target known as Hanako Shinshu, aka Hanyu, and bring her to Seoul. She’s done this before. It’s not quite as cut and dry as drugging new bees and kidnapping them, but it should still be easy enough. After all, Medrina is faster than most bees, stronger than most bees, and she has the cunning of over four million years of feline evolution at her disposal.

Hanyu could be anywhere in the world by now, but Medrina knows things about the girl, secrets that many do not. She will not be anywhere in the world. She will be where demons are, where monsters are. To Medrina’s knowledge, Hanyu doesn’t have a society or contacts sending her to certain places, so she will be in obvious places, easy-to-find places, the sorts of places mentioned in the National Enquirer or on conspiracy theorist message boards. She puts her focus there.

Multiple sites talk of an outbreak in the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico, right near Highway 169. There are numerous reports of “demonic creatures that look like skinned dogs” roaming the area, attacking animals and wildlife, even a couple possible attacks on humans. Some of these attacks are credited to the Chupacabra, a favorite folk lore of the area, others to wild dogs. Despite the numerous reports, there are less than a handful of very grainy photos to be found. It’s hard to make out what’s actually happening in any of the pictures, let alone their legitimacy. It’s 2015. A paparazzi can use a long-range lens to take an up-close shot of Kim Kardashian picking her teeth from a block and a half away but the idiots on these sites still rely on gen 1 cell phone quality photos and still wonder why nobody takes them seriously. Still, it’s worth investigating, especially if it might get Medrina any closer to Hanyu.

As luck would have it, it does. She asks around in Magdalena and there is talk of an Asian woman with pink hair who came through the area a day earlier. She had claimed to be an antiquities trader working with the American Alliance of Museums, and said she was looking for some sort of old Navajo artifact. It’s not the strongest story, in Medrina’s opinion, but the locals have no reason to assume it isn’t true, so Medrina piggybacks it, claiming to be working with the woman, claiming her cell phone just isn’t getting good reception and they are supposed to meet up, but she just can’t quite get ahold of her partner. Somebody mentions Hanyu was headed northwest when she left town, and it’s all the help Medrina needs.

Once Medrina heads northwest, it’s not hard to follow Hanyu’s trail. For one, there is a scent in the area she only became familiar with back in Magdalena. For another, there are remnants of fights, bits of flesh here and there, buried remains, drops of blood on the ground and on plants. None of it would be obvious to a mundane human passing through the area, but she is not a mundane human. She is a natural hunter, one with anima coursing through her veins, and everything is heightened to her senses.

The sound of a woman’s shout in the distance encourages Medrina and she’s at a full sprint heading in the direction from which it came. A loud rumble sounds soon after, then the clang of metal against wood. She keeps running and almost doesn’t stop herself in time as she sees three naked, half-charred pink-gray creatures on all fours ahead of her. She stops, a rush of momentum briefly dizzying her. The creatures turn their blind heads toward her, jaws full of teeth gnashing and snarling. She doesn’t have time for this but she can’t exactly leave them, either. They don’t wait for her to make a choice, simultaneously launching themselves at her face-first, biting and chomping, clawed hands trying to grab as they topple her.

With inhuman strength she throws the creatures from her, silently cursing as she draws a pistol. She fires a clean shot into each of their heads in succession, the sound of the shots echoing in the trees around her. For half an instant, the sound of the nearby battle ceases and Medrina is sure her target is fleeing the scene.


She hears another distant growl, though, and more metal against wood. She holsters the gun and scrambles up, brushing off leaves and debris, and steps around the writhing, moaning and now dying creatures. She’ll come back to dispose of them. Right now she needs to catch Hanyu before she gets away. She hurries in the direction of the fight and hasn’t quite arrived when she hears a loud, blood-curdling screech that slowly becomes a deep, heavy wail. The sound dies away and Medrina comes through a break in the trees in time to see the figure of a woman with short pink hair, crouched over the large, bloodied and trembling corpse of some sort of massive Hellbeast with a tough exoskeleton, its open mouth oozing some sort of acid onto the ground, burning anything beneath it. In the soft part of the beast’s abdomen, a glowing blade rests, the woman’s two-fisted grip on the sword firm. Hanako looks up, locking wide eyes with Medrina’s.

“Hey,” Medrina starts, and Hanyu leaps away from the beast’s carcass, large sword yanked free in an instant. It’s almost comically large for the woman, but she doesn’t seem to have any trouble maneuvering it. Now, she points the blade in Medrina’s direction.

“Don’t come any closer,” the words are spoken rapidly.

Medrina holds her hands up defensively, not taking another step, “I’m here to help you.”

Hanyu shakes her head quickly, though her eyes do not leave Medrina’s, “I don’t want your help. Leave me alone.”

“I can’t,” Medrina shakes her head this time, then takes a single step forward, preparing to leap if necessary.

“DON’T!” the woman shouts. Medrina freezes. Hanyu turns and, rather than taking off at a sprint, sort of zig-zags away, leaping against tree trunks, pushing off them to propel herself forward in huge, impressive jumps. Medrina is after her in an instant, hurling herself in the direction of the woman, running as fast as she can and managing to at least stay close. Hanyu is faster than the average bee, though, and it’s not her only secret.

Medrina lunges forward, hand briefly brushing a low tree branch as she goes. She barely feels the leaflike, papery thing resting against the branch but she hears the sizzle of it igniting, then a snap before what feels like an explosion. Her body flies backwards and she lands on her back, head smacking hard into an exposed tree root. She stares straight up, the world around her spinning and wobbling. Her eyes focus on something, though, pressed into a tree trunk near her, one Hanyu had passed right by. There is a white paper hanging from it, one she hadn’t noticed as she whizzed by.

“Wards,” she murmurs, and is back on her feet. She moves more carefully now, and can’t even see Hanyu in the distance, but she keeps running, mindful now of the little flashes of white here and there as she goes. Moments later, she hears the roar of a motorcycle engine.She curses silently and keeps running. In no time at all she finds the thin tire tread of the bike and hurries along, following its pattern through the forest. Her heart feels like it’s going to burst from her chest, its beating intense and erratic. As she keeps going, though, she becomes aware of the nearness of the highway and the increased distance of the bike until finally the sound of the motorcycle fades away.

She stops, collapsing to her knees, panting and cursing all at once, fists beating against the ground. Finally, when she regains her breath, she pulls her phone, quickly dialing a number and speaking as the line picks up, without being greeted.

“I lost her.”

“This isn’t like you,” the main in the suit says. He’s pacing back and forth like a lion while Medrina sits in the only chair at a long table that dominates most of the room. Her back is straight, stiff, and, whatever she is feeling, her expression gives nothing away. Her eyes follow the man’s movements, study each wrinkle of his aged face, each twitch of his lips.

“Everybody makes mistak–”

“No,” his voice is sharp, cutting into her words. He whirls around to face her fully, slamming the palms of both hands against the tabletop. If Medrina winces at all, it’s internal, and her expression stays neutral. “This wasn’t a mistake! It was sloppy! And careless!”

Her eyes widen, indignation on her face.

“Are you forgetting how quickly I tracked her? Your… ridiculous models… didn’t even have that date as an option. I found her three days ahead of your predictions!”

“And still you alerted her!”

“I told you,” she starts again, voice raising to match the intensity of his, “The stupid wards caught me off guard! And… and she’s really fast for supposedly being a clueless beginner…”

He points his finger right in her face and for an instant, she has the urge to bite the tip. She doesn’t.

“Those are poor excuses! This was an easy assignment and you failed.”

“I’ll pick up her scent again. I know what to look for now…”

Shaking his head, he pushes off the table, standing at his full, and rather imposing, height, “No matter. She’s being reassigned.”

“What?!” She rises as well, right out of her seat, half ready to spring across the table at him, “No! This is bullshit! You can’t punish me for one m–”

“One?” he cuts her off again, “Do we need to talk about the interruption at the show, the careless sharing of anti-Dragon propaganda, the mess you made just months ago when you took off?”

Medrina is silent, biting back her words as she watches him. He continues.

“And those are only the most recent incidents. Your choices lately aren’t making you seem very…”

He lets the words hang, but Medrina is quick to finish his sentence, spitting the word like venom, “Loyal?”

He shrugs, indicating she’s made the point for him.

“Are you calling me disloyal?” she asks, now moving around the table and toward the man. Her eyes are narrowed and so are his. She stands only about shoulder high to him, but she doesn’t seem the least bit impressed by his large frame as he glares down at her.

“There are concerns,” he says, voice flat, “Your models are exceptionally erratic right now…”

“I have done nothing but show loyalty to the Dragon,” she says, and even as she says the words, she can feel the lie in them. She had every intention of severing ties, of following Alex into the darkness. And then she had a change of heart… or lost her nerve. There is truth in the words, though. She has shown loyalty, even in subtle ways. She made a point of using the OBEY poster at her show, in response to his command to RESIST. She wore a shirt with a single six-sided die, overtaken by a snake. These were small efforts meant to convey her place WITH the Dragon.

“Walking away does not show loyalty,” he points right at her face and this time she reaches to swat his hand away. He catches her by the wrist, though, and squeezes lightly, a reminder of the bonds she once had. “And neither does this behavior right now. Nor does ducking the protection we assigned you, disappearing every chance you get, assaulting other Dragon agents…”

“That woman was in my home,” her eyes burn as she glares at him, “She had no right to be there!”

“She was doing as she was told,” he releases her wrist and Medrina drops her arm to her side, “Obeying instructions. You could learn a thing or two about obedience.”

“I have been obedient!” she practically shouts the words, eyes flaring bright yellow, “I do whatever I’m asked and I do it well. I watch, I listen! I spread the words I’m told to spread. I have been loyal to the Dragon since the day you brought me in. I have bled for the Dragon and I have spilled blood for it, too! I have never shown any reason for you to doubt my place.”

“And yet, we do.”

Medrina shakes her head, deflated, voice quieter for the moment, “You had no right to send anybody poking around my apartment.”

“We sent her to Alex Morgan’s apartment,” he corrects, “You know, the man who openly declared war on the Dragon? The man who, until his own erratic behavior some months ago, you were obviously very connected with…”

“…we severed that connection.”

“Have you?”

She doesn’t like the doubtful tone of his voice, the implication of the two simple words. Moreso, she doesn’t like that she’s not sure how to answer the question for herself. She had, in a moment of confusion. And yet, his words still haunt her, and his argument against the Dragon still makes her question every choice she’s making.

“I have.”

“The self-declared sharpest of the teeth and claws of the Dragon declared war against the Voice of the Dragon. Of course we are suspicious of the woman who beds him.”

“Past tense.”

He continues, ignoring her, “And remember, any tooth can go bad and need to be pulled, just as any fingernail can need to be clipped away or dislodged.”
Medrina looks away, inhaling a slow breath.

“Don’t mess up again,” the man says, then points to the door. Medrina remains silent, skulking out of the room.


Medrina moves quickly and carefully through the dark forest, her eyes scanning the trees for any slips of white paper.

It has taken months, far longer than the Dragon had anticipated, to track down Hanako Shinshu after she gave Medrina the slip in September. But she’d done it again, and rather quickly, once the assignment was given back to her.

It should have been a simple job, but Hanyu caught Medrina off guard last time. This time, however, she was prepared. Hanako Shinshu would be delivered to the Dragon.


With a feline grace, Medrina hops onto a fallen Redwood, pausing for a second to smell the air. She hears a familiar sizzling sound, and leaps from the tree just in time to avoid the worst of the blast as the ward ignites. The force shatters the tree, pelting Medrina’s back with splinters, and sends her crashing to the forest floor.

Momentarily dazed, Medrina lays on the ground, her nose wrinkling at a familiar scent. After a second, she quickly scrambles to her feet, her eyes wide in surprise, and dashes away from the shimmering gray mist wafting her direction.

“Silver?! How the fuc–" she curses. So much for the element of surprise.

Taking a deep breath, she sets off again, more cautious than before.

A few minutes later, she reaches a moonlit clearing. Slowing down, Medrina carefully creeps into the clearing, staying near the tree line. Not sensing any danger, she takes a step forward into the moonlight. As she does this, the hairs on the back of her neck prick up, and she springs forward, rolling out of the path of a fireball. The flame explodes as it hits the ground, a wave of heat washing over Medrina’s back. She looks back to see a smoldering patch of earth.

She leaps forward again, dodging two more fireballs, before looking up to see Hanyu a little more than ten feet away, standing on the branch of a lone Redwood, her right hand ablaze.

“Whoa,” Medrina says, raising both her hands. “I’m not here to hurt you.”

“Typically,” Hanyu says, narrowing her eyes at Medrina, “you don’t hunt something you don’t intend to hurt.”

“I’m not lying,” Medrina replies. “I just want to tal…”

She doesn’t get to finish her sentence. Instead she leaps back to avoid another fireball, this one landing inches from her feet.

This chick’s fast, Medrina thinks to herself as she looks up to see an empty branch. She stares blankly for a second, before leaping back to narrowly avoid and overhead strike from Hanyu’s large, glowing sword.

Really fast.

Hanyu doesn’t pause and rushes forward, swinging the large sword with impossible speed. Medrina deftly avoids the blow, and the two begin a furious dance as Hanyu continues the onslaught with Medrina narrowly avoiding each blow.

Hanyu actually manages to nick Medrina once, and the smaller woman grimaces in pain as the wound sizzles and burns. Sensing an opening, Hanyu presses even harder, but is unable to take advantage.

Medrina’s smile continues to grow as the two continue the dangerous dance.

“You’re good,” she says. “Fast, too. I haven’t had to try like this in awhile.”

Hanyu just glares and sends a strike at Medrina’s head, one easily avoided.

“But not fast enough,” Medrina blurts with a smile. “It’s about time we end this.”

“Fxck you,” Hanyu growls, whipping the sword at Medrina’s legs. The strike is easily avoided, but before Medrina can react, Hanyu lashes out with a kick, hitting her with a surprising amount of force in the abdomen. The blow sends her flying back, but instead of crashing to the ground, Medrina rolls backwards and pops to her feet in one fluid motion.

Hanyu doesn’t push forward, though, and stands, sword at the ready, about fifteen feet from Medrina.

“If you leave now, I’ll let you live,” Hanyu says.

“I can’t do that,” Medrina replies, shaking her head.

“Fine,” Hanyu says, gritting her teeth.

She lunges forward with incredible speed then simply flickers out of existence.

Medrina smirks, calmly pivots to one side, lifts her knee and drives it into Hanyu’s gut.

The pink-haired woman lets out a groan, her eyes wide in shock, as her momentum stops completely. The force of the blow sends the sword flying, and it skitters to the ground, the runes no longer glowing.

Before Hanyu can react, Medrina raises a fist and punches the woman in the back of the head, driving her to the ground and knocking her out.

“Sorry about that,” she says as she heads to retrieve the sword. “I really did just want to talk.”

She reaches down casually to pick up the sword and grunts. It’s far heavier than she expected. She stares at it for a second, then at the unconscious Hanyu.

“You are just full of surprises.”