Written by Ken Stone
Catgirls Paradise Webmaster
Web posted by the Seattle
Washington Autoduel Team, January 13, 1999
Updated September 08, 2000
Close your eyes and no sneaking a peek with your infra-red!" Brian instructed Peach. Taking her by the hand he led her into the police workshop.
"OK, you may open your eyes now."
Before Peach was her car. Last time she had seen the car, it had been in a terrible state of disrepair. Fifteen years had passed since it had been overhauled. The damage to it had been extensive. Now, two months after she had let Brian talk her into allowing him have it for a while, it had been comprehensively rebuilt.
The roughly hewn wheel flares were now molded custom guards. The mangled front fender and driver's door had been replaced. New twin titanium solid tyres had put on the front and the monster tyres on the back had been reconditioned. The whole car had been tastefully painted in bright pink, with red-chrome trim. Sitting behind it was a matching trailer.
"The engine has been completely rebuilt. The weapons have been replaced, and we have installed the fully optioned cyberlink. You will be able to do quite a few interesting tricks with that."
Peach ran her fingers through her pink hair. "How did you afford it?"
"No problems. Your car is still registered as a police car, so once we got rid of your false rego plates, we just pushed it through as a normal repair. Since you are back on semi active duty, it's OK."
"Thank you," Peach said, giving Brian a hug.
"Take it for a spin. I'll see you tonight."
Peach climbed into the car through the open side window and strapped herself into the drivers seat.
"You can open the door now, you know!" Brian stated.
Peach shrugged. "Old habits die hard!"
The engine erupted into life and the car glided out of the police work shop into the street. People on the sidewalk stopped to watch as the custom rumbled past.
"Oh well, so much for camouflage," Peach mused.
Arriving home, she backed the trailer into the yard and unhitched it.
"Vivienne, where are you?" Peach called.
Vivienne appeared through the front door of the house.
"That is impressive. Do you think Brian would like to borrow my car for a while, too?" She quipped as she walked around the car studying the modifications. "When are we taking it for a spin?"
"Right now," Peach replied.
"Hang on while I get ready." Vivienne disappeared into the house returning a few minutes later wearing pink shorts, a pink top and pink shoes. "Got to look right, you know," she said, locking the door behind her.
As Peach drove the car back onto the street Vivienne turned to her. "I know it's an exciting new toy, but don't use the nitrous unless we're on a straight bit of road." She looked down at her evenly tanned legs. "It hurts too much when you don't make it around the corner."
"No problems." replied Peach, pressing the pedal to the floor, allowing the Magnachargers and turbos to prove themselves by smoking up the rear tyres. "I'll save the nitrous for the freeway."
After a run up and down the freeway, Peach headed back towards home.
"Could you pick Moko up from school and make tea for yourselves. I have to work tonight."
"Yes, Mother." Vivienne replied cheekily to Peach, who looked no older than herself. "What's the assignment?"
"Don't know yet. I'll tell you tomorrow. Anyway, see you later." Peach said as she pulled up in front their home.
Vivienne watched as the pink custom vanished down the road. "Oh well," she thought as she walked down the driveway to where her car sat, "what am I going to do with you? You are still an absolute mess." Her car was a a replica of an antique Corvette modelled on an ex-police cruiser chassis. It had been roughly repaired a few months earlier after a battle with a courier. Every thing had been painted black. Vivienne hated black.
"Time to get Moko, I suppose." she said to herself, jumping over the
door and into the driver's seat. "These legs aren't bad, but I still think
they're not as good as the real thing. Lucky Peach." She gunned the engine
a couple of times then backed out of the driveway. "At least this thing
* * *
Peach walked into the police headquarters. Brian appeared through an office door, signaling for her. When she stepped into the office, Brian shut the door behind her.
"We have a few major problems, Peach. One of the Cybercops has turned up dead. To make matters worse, the cybernetics were taken from the body.
"Since you have returned, the freeze on the Cybercop program has been partially lifted. A couple of new experimental models are being constructed. Details are non-existent. I don't know how the Branch is going to react to the news."
"Which Cybercop showed up dead?"
"The big fellow, Brad. The one that made Johnny R. look like a weed. Our job tonight is to go out to the area and look for clues. You are not known as a Cybercop due to the undercover nature of your previous work, not to mention the fifteen year gap when you were on the run, so you should be pretty safe."
"Is this job undercover or battle jackets?"
"Undercover. I'll even be wearing my good leg. Let's get moving. I'll meet you at your car in about five minutes."
Peach slipped her pistol into her skirt pocket as she stepped from the pink custom. The central locking activated at a single thought. Brian grinned. "I see you like the new link."
"Could be useful." She looked around. "This is a pretty disgusting area of town. How far from point X?"
"Just up ahead."
The two were approaching the area when a new Mercury lowrider with flames painted down the sides purred past, followed by a collection of rusty wrecks that had been armored with steel plate. Peach glanced at the graffiti painted on the cars. "Uh-oh. Pyromaniacs. They're a long way from home." Peach was about to reach for her pistol when the lead car swerved onto the footpath, blocking their way. The other cars pulled in around them. "It can't have been the Pyromaniacs that killed Brad. I don't think these guys even know I'm one." Peach whispered to Brian as the driver's door on the lowrider slowly opened. "It's Dogmeat. He must have escaped from the NSW police."
Brian and Peach backed themselves against a shop wall as the Pyromaniacs closed in around them. The Pyromaniacs had taken a bystander hostage and now they were levelling their guns at Peach.
"We are going to have some fun with you, lady. You have killed too many of my gang. It's time you found out what it feels like."
Some of the gang members had overpowered Brian and he watched on helplessly as the thugs taunted Peach.
"Hey Slasher, come shake hands with the lady." With much laughing the gang parted to make way for their latest member. He approached with a sadistic grin on his face. He had lost his right forearm and strapped in its place was a large triangular blade.
He lunged at Peach and she side stepped giving him a swift kick as he stumbled past. He spun and leapt at her again and she sent him sprawling into the onlooking Pyromaniacs. "Hey, watch it Slasher, you've just killed Arnie."
"Uh sorry." He grunted. "Who was he anyway?" Turning, he swung his weapon at Peach. She stepped backward a fraction too late, and the blade cut into her right shoulder. Peach looked down at the blood running down her arm. She lifted her hand and pointed it Slasher. He watched, amazed as a small gun pushed its way out of her wrist. "Say bye-bye to Mama, you sleaze."
Peach screamed as her arm was blown off just below the elbow. Dogmeat lowered his recoil-less rifle.
"So you are a cyborg are you, my dear." he sneered. "Finish her off, boys."
Peach thought hard. There had to be a way out of this situation. The custom. With the new cyberlink it would be in range, so she could control it with her mind. Dropping to the ground, to get clear of her car's weapons, she linked her mind with the targeting computer. The Vulcan started chewing at the rear of the crowd of Pyromaniacs. Like true men of courage, the 'Maniacs released Brian and the hostage and ran for the shelter of their vehicles. Peach sounded the custom's sirens. She had used her inbuilt radio to alert the police as soon as the trouble had started, but until they arrived, the more confusion, the better.
The last of the Pyromaniacs were driving off as the H.I.T. cars arrived. Peach sat up and looked around her. She could not see her severed arm anywhere. She struggled to her feet, clutching her shoulder.
"Brian are you all right?"
He looked up at Peach. "I'll live. How bad is the arm?"
"Expensive. They've stolen the hand. I don't think this event was related to Brad's execution though. Those crazies were after revenge."
Peach looked down at the stub of her arm. "Lets go back to the station and clean up. We are not going to achieve anything tonight."
Brian nodded. "I'll drive. The H.I.T. boys can clean up this mess."
* * *
Peach's shoulder wound was nearly healed. The cybernetics below had not been damaged by Slasher. She washed the blood from her arm. The mangled cybernetics below her elbow had been removed for repair and the exposed flesh and bio-mechanics had been capped with a universal adapter plate.
She threw on a shirt she had borrowed from Brian and wandered out of the women's locker room. Vivienne ran up and hugged her. "I only just heard. Are you OK?"
"Yes I'm all right, except for this." Peach showed Viv the stub. "The guys at the police lab have promised to come up with something until we get the hand back from Dogmeat's gang. How's Moko?"
"A bit upset. Here she comes now."
"Peach!" Moko cried, running up and embracing her. Brian was just behind Moko.
"Moko." Peach put her arm around Moko's shoulder and gave her a squeeze. "Don't worry about me, kid, I can look after myself."
Brian looked at Peach. "More trouble. Can I speak to you for a moment." Peach nodded and followed Brian into a nearby office. After shutting the door he sat on the desk. "Another Cybercop has gone missing. We haven't found anything yet. I think you and the girls had better spend the night here. I'll send one of the officers around to your house for anything you need."
Peach closed her eyes. "Who was it this time?"
"Kim. We have the other two Cybercops here tonight, with double security." Most of the others are out looking for clues.
"Oh, yes. Dogmeat and his gang have given us the slip. We have alerted the border check points so they wont be able to get out of Victoria." he added.
"Bother. The bio part of the arm won't last long. I think I'll hit the
sack soon. It's been a busy day. Who should I see about getting my clothes?"
* * *
Vivienne woke to the sound of an ammo clip being pushed home. Peach was sitting on the next bed facing away. Her hair was back to its more usual orange- blonde color. She was wearing designer jeans and loose white blouse with long sleeves and a black belt that pulled it in around her waist.
"What you got there?" Vivienne asked still a little sleepy.
"New toy from the lab." Peach held out her right arm. An ammo clip protruded from a cut halfway up Peach's sleeve. Just showing at the end off the sleeve were the encased muzzles of a pair of weapons. "Gyroslugger and auto-loader shotgun." Peach explained pulling back the sleeve to give Vivienne a better look. Nicely encased so it won't singe my clothes. "Targeting still works, so this will have to do until we recover the hand. Brian has some more news for me so I'll see you later." Peach picked up her black cape as she turned to leave.
"Vivienne. You and Moko stay here today. I have arranged for you to use the workshop, so if you like, you can start fixing up your Corvette."
As Peach was walking to Brian's office, she heard a voice inside her head, giving her a set of coordinates and begging for her to go there. Peach closed the door to Brian's office and sat down.
"There is another Cybercop operating. It just contacted me via the direct link. It is either the trap that was used to lure Brad and Kim or it is one of the new models you were telling me about " Peach told Brian.
Brian nodded and picked up the phone. After talking for a couple of minutes, he hung up.
"Neither of the other two Cybercops heard anything, so whoever it was wants you specifically. I suggest we roll on it. We'll take my personal vehicle. As it isn't a police car it may just give us the edge we need. Oh yes. We've found the Pyromaniacs. We can visit them later."
Brian reported to his senior officer for a moment then led Peach out to the car park. A custom camper was parked there, the sun glinting off it midnight blue paint.
"I call her the 'Shadow'. What do you think?" he asked.
"Maybe we'd better get married before I climb in there. Hmm?" Peach looked sideways at Brian.
"The idea holds merit." He retorted.
At the command of the remote in his pocket, the front of the van swung up to let them in. Peach strapped herself in as she looked around at the array of controls and accessories that Brian had installed. "How did you afford it?"
"Compensation for losing my leg. Cybernetics were out, remember?" He
asked, giving Peach a tap on the shoulder.
* * *
"Are you sure this is the right place?" Brian asked as they pulled into a road side rest stop that was little more than a couple of roughly hewn picnic tables. While popular in the 80's and 90's, no one would dare use facilities like these now days. Peach threw on her cape as she stepped from the camper.
"You stay in the camper, Brian. I'll scout around. I'm pretty sure it isn't a trap."
Peach slowly meandered down the length of the rest stop. She could just make out a heatsource to the left behind some of the scrub. She causally sat on one of the tables and leaned back. "You can come out now." She thought into the Cybercop direct link.
The scrub rustled a little and figure wrapped in a blanket pushed it's way out.
"Lose the blanket!" Peach barked, throwing off the cape and aquiring target lock with the gyroslugger. The figure froze, and the blanket slid to the ground. The figure appeared to be a girl. It was clear that large portions of her body were cybernetic as they were not yet covered by any form of skin.
"I'm not armed."
Peach lowered the gyroslugger. "Who are you. Are you one of the new model Cybercops?"
The girl reached for her blanket as she replied. "I am Grey and yes, I am the prototype," She paused to flick her shoulder length blue hair from her eyes, "and I need your help. I don't want to be a cop. I heard all about you. The people who were building me discussed you quite a lot while they were trying to work out what was wrong with the restrainer design. You are the only one who can help me."
"How did you escape?"
"They hadn't completed the new restrainer design yet, so I wasn't fitted with one. I managed to break out. I destroyed their tracking equipment too, so they can't trace me."
"When did you break out?"
"Over a week ago. I've been hiding ever since."
Peach stood. "Come with me." Peach led Grey to Brian's van and let her into the back, before climbing into the cab with Brian.
"Brian, this is Grey." Peach introduced Grey as she leaned into the cab.
"Anne Grey, actually, but call me Grey."
"She is as impressed about being a cop as I was." Peach explained. "So like me, she has escaped."
Brian turned to Grey. "What injuries did you have before the conversion?"
"None that I can remember. They said I had been involved in a car accident, and showed pictures of the wreck to prove it. But it can't have happened because there was a fault with my car's powerplant and I hadn't saved up enough to have it repaired."
Brian drove the van back onto the road. He and Peach had decided that the safest place for Grey would be back at the police headquarters. Grey was a little reluctant at first, but agreed when Peach explained that the police force were not directly involved in the new Cybercop program. They had travelled about a mile from the roadside stop when Peach felt a strange disturbance. Moments later an explosion rocked the van.
An olive green pickup was gaining on the van at an alarming rate. It fired a second missile that also missed.
"Grey has been detected. I felt them scanning the van," Peach explained
"They are still gaining on us," Brian replied as another explosion rocked the van, "and I'm going flat out, but to make things worse, the damn cover on the rear weapon has jammed, and I can't deploy it."
"Open the sunroof." Peach yelled as she scrambled into the rear of the camper. "I'll have a shot at them."
"There is something for you under the bed. Have a look at it now." Brian replied.
"It had better not be from the lingerie shop." Peach yelled back as she lifted the bedspread. Brian coughed.
The surprise was a man portable rocket launcher. With a bit of difficulty, Peach managed to get the MPRL onto her shoulder and out the sunroof. The first shot missed, as did the second.
"Grey, get up here. I can't aim this thing with one hand."
Grey reluctantly stood through the sunroof and took the MPRL from Peach. Peach fired her gyroslugger as Grey let loose with the remaining missiles. The pickup turned into a fireball as it left the road. Its huge rear mounted supercharged engine could just be seen through the flames.
"They meant business. That pickup was designed for hunting Cybercops." Peach commented as she climbed back into the cab with Brian.
"Something has occurred to me, Brian. These experimental Cybercops, when are they meant to be ready?"
"Ask Grey. She should know."
"I was going to be demonstrated to the top brass tomorrow. The continuation of the program depended on the impression I made."
"And with you missing, there would be no way that the program could succeed? They didn't have enough equipment to build a replacement for you?"
"None of which I knew." Grey replied. "and I heard them say they were
behind schedule with the other one."
Brian and Peach looked at each other. "Brad and Kim!"
* * *
Brian walked back into his office. "I've been discussing the situation with the chief. We have been granted unofficial permission to raid the new Cybercop lab. He reckons Grey's kidnapping and the disappearance of the other two are enough justification. Of course, we'll be on our own. Where's Grey?"
"Vivienne is fitting her out with a set of clothes. She'll be here in a moment," Peach replied. "What vehicle are we going to use in the raid?"
A knock on the door distracted them and Grey entered. Vivienne had dressed her in black leather. The pants, jacket and gloves completely covered Grey's cybernetics. Holstered at her hip was a sawed-off shotgun.
"Viv said you wouldn't mind me borrowing the gun."
"It's no use to me at the moment." Peach replied, standing. "Shall we go?"
After some discussion, the three decided that the best way to hit the Cybercop lab would be to walk through the front door, using Grey as the ticket. The lab's security and surveillance systems would be of the latest type, so trying to sneak in would be next to impossible. As a back up, some firepower would be left outside the compound to cut its way in and cause confusion, should it be needed. Peach hid her car close to the complex then joined Brian and Grey in the camper. "OK, let's roll."
Brian opened the side window of the camper and held out his pass as they approached the guard house. The guard looked at it briefly. He shook his head. "You don't have clearance mate."
"I have something the guys in the lab would be rather keen to get their hands on. Tell them I have Grey." Brian replied.
"I don't know what you are on about."
"Just tell them."
The guard returned to the guard house and after a couple of moments on the phone, he opened the gate and signaled for them to drive through. Following Grey's directions Brian drove straight to the main entrance to the building complex and parked the camper.
Holding Grey at gunpoint, Peach followed Brian into the complex and into the first elevator they found.
"No one watching in here. The camera's faulty. Records are on the third floor," Grey said. "These guys are a bit slow. I was expecting them to be waiting at the door with the artillery."
"That is unless they are wise to our game." Peach replied. Grey reached up under her jacket to where she had hidden the shotgun.
"Two guards. One each side of the door. Use guns only if you have to," Grey said under her breath just before the doors slid open. The girls leapt out, Grey flattening one guard with a punch to the face and Peach knocking the other senseless with the gyroslugger. It seemed no one else was using this floor at the moment. Sitting at one of the terminals Grey took a cable from a compartment at the side of the computer and plugged it into a socket that was hidden behind her hair on the back of her neck. Information rapidly scrolled across the screen as she searched for the data she needed.
"Look at this!" she suddenly exclaimed. Peach and Brian watched as a nearby printer silently produced several documents.
"It's a list of suitable donors for the Cybercop program compiled from information taken from the medical computers from across the country."
Grey's name was third on the list.
Grey disconnected herself from the computer and beckoned for the others to follow as she headed toward the elevator. Brian pocketed the documents as they left. One floor down, the girls removed the guards in much the same way. Standing in the corridor they looked around.
"No resistance yet. They're playing us into a trap."
"Kim is here. I can feel her," Peach said. "She isn't responding to my signals though." She reached out and gave the door a push. "Locked. What's through here, Grey?"
"Don't know. Let's find out. Stand back." Grey blasted the lock with the shotgun. Peach swung the door open.
Kim was lying on a table near some computer and transmitter equipment. She looked to be undamaged but other than her slow breathing, showed no signs of life. Peach cautiously walked in and looked around then approached the equipment. "Restraining transmitter." She explained before discharging a couple of shotgun blasts into it. Kim slowly opened her eyes and looked around. The girls helped Kim onto her feet and they all walked into the corridor just as the lift doors slid open.
The man that stepped out towered above all of them. He lifted a pistol and fired, catching Brian in the chest and throwing him to the floor. Peach and Grey both responded by firing back. One shot blew the weapon from the man's hand. The other hit him in the centre of his bare chest. He staggered back a little then purposefully bore down on Grey, ignoring the next two blasts that hit him. As he passed Peach, he swung at her, knocking her across the corridor and into the opposite wall. Kim ran to Peach as the giant placed his hand around Grey's throat.
"Zac's a psychopath. They built him using the cybernetics they stole from Brad." Kim explained.
Brian stirred, lifted his prosthetic leg and emptied its built-in shotgun into Zac. Zac lifted Grey from her feet as he tightened his grip on her throat.
"Stop it!!" Peach screamed. Zac laughed.
"OK, you son of a bitch, you asked for it." Peach fired her gyroslugger, hitting Zac in the side of his head. He dropped Grey as he was thrown to the floor, dead. There was a gaping hole in the side of his techno-plastic armor skull. Peach shook her head as she dropped to the floor near Brian. "Are you OK?"
"Only a little bruised." he replied, giving his body armor a pat. "Let's get out of here."
"Good idea." Peach said as she reloaded her arm weapons.
Grey rubbed her throat. "Thanks Peach. I was getting worried."
"Yeah, thanks." Kim added.
The four made it into the elevator just as several armed guards burst through a door at the other end of the corridor. Peach pushed the button for the ground floor.
"The place will be crawling with guards now. How will we ever get out?" Kim asked. "There is a limit to the damage we can take and Brian isn't a cyber."
"I've got a surprise." Peach replied as she paused the elevator just short of the ground floor. "We'll be safe in here for while."
The others watched, puzzled, as Peach leaned back against Brian and closed her eyes. Shortly they heard the sounds of heavy gunfire approaching and the curses of annoyed guards. There was a splintering crash followed by more cursing and finally a throaty roar just outside the elevator. Peach opened her eyes.
"My Interceptor is just outside the door. It seats two, me and Brian. You two hop on the hood until we get out of here." she said.
With the push of a button the elevator doors slid open to reveal the pink custom. Peach dived through the passenger side window and scrambled into the driver's seat. Brian followed, firing a couple of rounds at the guards with his pistol. The others jumped onto the hood and held onto the hoodscoop as Peach slammed the car into reverse. Guards scattered as the custom punched it's way through them and out into the evening. Peach stopped behind Brian's camper. Brian and Kim climbed into it and Grey joined Peach in the custom.
"Trouble. The guards are in their interceptors." Grey said looking out the rear window. "Get moving."
Peach headed towards the exit. The gates were shut and somebody had parked a car across them. One of the interceptors pulled in front of Peach's car, trying to force her to stop.
"Here's our ticket out." Peach exclaimed, hitting the nitrous button. The custom picked up speed and rammed the interceptor in the rear. Peach pushed the accelerator to the floor. Picking up speed, the custom pushed the interceptor toward the gates. Peach slammed on the brakes and opened up with the vulcan. The interceptor, now totally out of control, ploughed into the car that blocked the exit, pushing it aside before crashing through the gates and exploding. Peach drove out through flames, followed by Brian, who was doing as much damage as he could with the camper's front mounted linked twin lasers.
Four interceptors perused them, firing at the rear of the custom and camper.
"You drive, Grey," Peach instructed, switching control across to the gunners position. "I'm going to have a shot at these guys."
Leaning out the side window, Peach emptied her auto-loader and the gyro slugger into one of the pursuing cars. She ducked back in as shells bounced of the custom's armor.
"Peach, I don't like to say this, but I think we have some problems. There are two more cars approaching from in front."
Peach looked ahead. The cars that Grey had seen on the radar were just coming into view. Both were black and very hard to make out. One seemed to be fairly rough, with a few grey primer patches on it, the other was in good condition.
"Is that you Vivienne?" Peach radioed ahead.
"Sure is. Need some assistance?" came the reply.
The two black cars moved to opposite sides of the road and opened fire as they went past the custom and the camper. Two of the persuing interceptors burst into flames, one of them swerving to avoid Vivienne's car. The driver lost control and the interceptor rolled, showering the others with debris. The other burning interceptor exploded, its chassis meandering across the road.
Grey slammed on the brakes, forcing the two remaining interceptors to
pass. Using the vulcan, Peach shot the wheel off one as it sped by. Grey
hit the nitrous. They were soon bearing down on the last interceptor. Peach
took control of the custom again. Training the vulcan on the rear of the
interceptor, she did not slow. The rear armor of the car gave way just
as the custom nudged it. The driver panicked, swerving so hard that he
rolled the interceptor. Peach braked to avoid the wreck. "Scratch four."
* * *
Brian stopped his camper at a roadside rest point. The three other cars pulled in behind him. Peach climbed out through the window of the custom. "Thanks Vivienne. Thanks April. Those guys were getting annoying."
Peach wandered around her car inspecting the damage to the custom, shaking her head at the bullet chips and ram damage. "At least I didn't mind so much before the car was fixed. Oh well . . . "
Brian was muttering and thumping at the back of his camper, so Peach wandered around for a look. He was trying to lever the licence plate off with a pinch bar.
"Yes, it's the second time I've needed the rear weapon and had it fail. It's hidden behind this swing down licence plate."
Brian looked at Peach who was standing, hand on hip, with a dangerous look in her eyes.
"What gives? he asked.
"Your rego. I just noticed it."
"Uh, well, yes . . . "
The plate read "Peach."
"May be I had better marry you." Peach said with a grin.
Kim leaned out of the camper window. "Hey, guys?"
"Yes." Peach and Brian chorused as they stepped from behind the camper.
"I've radioed a report into headquarters. They are heading around to the lab to close it down. They also said there are a couple of units heading out this way to deal with a gang called the 'Pyromaniacs' or something like that. They said you might like to move in before they get to them."
"Sure would." Brian answered "Grey, you take Peach's car. You girls follow us. Hang back when we leave the main road, as we'll be switching to stealth mode."
Peach leaned into her car and grabbed her cape and a reload for the arm weapon, then climbed into the camper beside Brian. Kim moved into the back.
"Let's go get 'em. Dogmeat's mine!" Peach yelled.
About two miles down the road, Brian switched to stealth running and turned down a side road. Peach leaned out the side window and listened.
"Not bad. I can hear the gang up ahead." she said.
Brian grinned. "That's one advantage I have over you petrol heads!"
Brian steered the camper off the track and edged his way through the bush until the camper was just sitting at the edge of the clearing in which the Pyromaniacs were camped. Kim climbed up through the sunroof with the MPRL as Brian opened the door for Peach.
"Cover me. I'm going in alone. I think I can see what is left of my arm hanging from the rear view mirror of the lowrider."
Putting on her cape, Peach walked into the centre of the clearing. Some of the Pyromaniacs eyed her suspiciously, others paid no attention at all.
"Dogmeat!" she yelled, "You have something that belongs to me, and I want it back!"
The Pyromaniacs dropped what they were doing and turned to look at Peach as she slowly scanned the crowd of ruffians. Dogmeat opened the flap of his tent and looked out. "Her again. Slasher, finish her off for me. I'm busy," he commanded.
Slasher came forward through the mob and approached Peach, a wicked sneer on his face. "You don't learn, does yer." he drawled, running his finger along the surface of his prosthetic blade. "Come on lady, shake hands!"
"I'd be delighted to!" Peach laughed throwing back her cape. The blood ran from Slasher's face when he saw the weapon that replaced Peach's arm. "Oh sh . . . "
The sound of the blast drowned out the rest of his comment, and the impact of the gyroslugger shell on his blade spun him around. He bolted when he saw that his blade had completely shattered.
"Dogmeat, I want my arm back now!" Peach demanded.
Peach thought into her radio link. "Brian, blow something up, please. And bring in the girls, and the interceptors, if they have arrived."
"No problem." came the reply, followed by a blast as Brian blew the exposed fuel tank out of one of the gang's cars.
Dogmeat burst out of his tent. "What's going on here? Can't you no-hopers kill a lone girl?"
"Ah, but I'm not alone," Peach told him as another car burst into flames. "And your wimps don't know what to do unless you spell it out for them. You are under arrest, and so are the rest of this collection of scum."
Dogmeat laughed a loud callous laugh then reached for his pistol only to have it blown from his hand.
"Okay, I'll get your arm." he said, trying to buy some time. He slowly walked to the lowrider and disarmed its security system.
"Okay, Brian, blow the rear out of the Merc'. I think he's going to run for it. Open season on the rest." Peach thought into the link.
Engines burst into life as some of the gang members decided it was time to move on. The girls and interceptors used the sound as cover to close in, opening fire as some of the gang tried to break through. Peach swung around and fired the auto-loader at a battered car that was heading for her. The third shot brought it to a standstill. Slasher jumped out, cursing, and ran for cover.
Peach stepped aside as Dogmeat drove past. He nearly made it to the road leading from the clearing when the rear of his car exploded. Dogmeat jumped out and started running, straight down the road. Peach ran to the burning car and leaned in. What remained of her arm was hanging from the rear view mirror. The flesh had been stripped off, and that which was left looked somewhat battered. "Oh, yuck. What have you done to it, you primitive." Peach muttered as she tore the arm from the mirror. Moving away from the Merc', she noticed that those of the Pyromaniacs that remained were coming out with their hands up. She looked down the road at Dogmeat, who was still running.
"Hmm. A few more seconds and the range will be just about right . . . Target locked . . . Fire!"
"Peach, what are you up to?" Brian radioed.
"Send someone down the road to get Dogmeat. I think he may need a little help. I've just given him a backside full of buckshot!"
"I'm sure he appreciates it."
Peach looked around her at the burning wrecks of various vehicles and
the gang members shuffling around with their hands up. "I don't know why
these wimps call themselves the Pyromaniacs. Give them some fire, and they
* * *
Peach removed the empty auto-loader mag and tossed it into the custom, along with her cape. Examining the remains of cybernetic arm, she wandered over to a couple of empty drums where Kim and Brian were sitting. Vivienne and her friend April were in their cars, playing a game of chase through the Pyromaniac's wrecks. The other officers were loading the last of the 'maniacs into the divisional vans for the trip down to the station. Dogmeat was being incredibly cooperative.
"Want to donate an arm to a worthy cause, Kim?" Peach asked as she poked at the torn wires of her own.
Grey wandered over and joined them as an interceptor rolled up near by. All conversation ceased when they saw what stepped out of the car. Made entirely of dull, primer coated armor it stood nearly seven feet tall. Its four eyes were video cameras, recessed deep into its armor plated head. No attempts had been to make this cyber look human. Instead, it had been built in such a way as to be intimidating. The mini-gun it pulled out of the car had been built specially for it, obviously being to heavy for any human to lift.
"It must be the prototype for the new assault cybercop." Grey gasped. "I never saw the other unit they were building."
It said nothing. Instead it fired a short burst at Grey. The bullets went straight through her chest, spraying blood out behind her. She fell forward into its arms. Grasping her with one hand, it threw her over the top of the Interceptor then turned its weapon towards Peach. Peach shut her eyes. There was a mighty roar, followed by an ear shattering crunch, and the bullets from the mini-gun flew harmlessly past.
Peach opened her eyes. Vivienne had seen what was happening and had done what she could to save Peach. She had rammed her Corvette into the heavy cybercop, squashing it against its interceptor. It was evident that Vivienne had been going rather fast because the Interceptor had been thrown aside and the assault cybercop had been cut in two by the impact. The Corvette had been flattened up to the firewall and Vivienne was slumped back in her seat, unmoving.
"Vivienne, Vivienne." Peach ran to the wrecked Corvette and climbed in. Vivienne's legs were trapped by the twisted armor. Peach released the safety harness and pushed it aside. Vivienne whimpered, then opened her eyes. "Did I get it?"
"With out a doubt."
"Oh, my legs . . . I hate Nitrous."
Brian leaned into the Corvette to help free Vivienne. She looked at him, then hesitantly asked "Grey? Is she . . . "
"Kim, how is Grey?"
"She has a hole through the biopack, but she'll live."
Two Police Interceptors pulled up near the group and one of the drivers surveyed the carnage before speaking, "One of the cybers got away. He was a big ugly son of a bitch, looked like a robot. I believe he was running some sort of spoilsport program. We followed him out this way. Have any of you seen him?"
"Yes. He's smeared over the front of the 'Vette. Call for some rescue equipment and a couple of ambulances, would you." Brian replied.
Vivienne muttered something under her breath as she tried without success
to free one of her legs. "For once I'm glad I'm a cyber. If I could get
these . . . legs free I could probably still walk."
* * *
Brian was pacing backwards and forwards in the hospital ward learning to use his new cybernetic leg. Peach, who was sitting on one of the beds, was watching him.
"That was a bit of good luck, wasn't it. With the cybercop program shut down again, I never would have imagined that they would have given you one of the spare legs." Peach stated.
"I'll miss the inbuilt shotgun, but its great to have two legs again," he said, reminiscing about his prosthetic leg.
"I know what you mean," Vivienne said from the other bed as she ran her hands down her legs. "I think I'll have to stop using Nitrous. This is the second time it's landed me in hospital. Have you heard any news on Grey?"
"They say they will have finished building her in a day of two." Brian replied. "Then they are going to let her go. As she was kidnapped, there is no way that she can be made to stay with the Branch. I'm sure Peach understands. Oh yeah, how do the repairs on the arm shape up, Peach?"
"Good, thanks. The flesh layer should be finished by this afternoon." she said holding up her encased arm.
Moko walked into the room. "Hi everybody. Forgive me for changing the topic, but when's the big event?"
"In three months, come Saturday," Brian answered.
"Can I see the ring?" she enquired.
Peach held out her left hand to show Moko the diamond ring she was wearing.
"Wow, I love it!" Moko enthused.
"Something has just occurred to me." Brian mused. "I wonder if our kids will come with batteries."
Peach laughed. "Vivienne did!"
The Cybercops and Vivienne are built according to Autoduel Champions.
Peach -- Strength +1, Regeneration, Find Weakness +1, Handgunner +7, Damage +6, Driver +3, Gunner +5, Mechanic +1, Infrared Vision +2. Peach has some disadvantages due to her personality and some due to the cybernetics. She will rarely shoot to kill. If her cybernetics are damaged, (left leg, right arm, left eye, part of brain) repairs are available at the police headquarters lab. Minor damage (1 point) she can usually repair herself. Injury to her natural body heals rapidly. First aid is handled by the cybernetics. All of the critical areas of her body are armored. Peach is 42 years old but the cybernetics keep her looking about 22. Her arm weapon is a combination of the single shot gyroslugger and a five shot auto-loading shotgun. Peach was the third Cybercop to be made.
Vivienne -- Driver +1, Gunner +1, Damage +4, Regeneration. Vivienne's legs are both cybernetic and critical areas of her body are armored, so she has the same healing advantages and disadvantages as Peach. Vivienne is Peach's daughter. She is 23.
Moko -- Driver, Gunner +2, Handgunner, Paramedic. Moko is Peach's adopted Japanese daughter. She is 15.
Grey -- Strength +1, Regeneration, Handgunner +5, Damage +6, Driver +1, Gunner +3, Infrared Vision +2. Anne Grey is a new model Cybercop. Because she has not fully adjusted to the cybernetics she has not reached her full potential yet. She is also lacking in experience. She is usually shy and quiet but being kidnapped has made her angry. She is in her twenties.
Kim -- Strength +1, Regeneration, Find Weakness +1, Handgunner +7, Damage
+6, Driver, Gunner +5, Infrared Vision +2. Kim was the fourth Cybercop
made. She is about forty, but like Peach, she is kept youthful by the cybernetics.
She has no qualms about blowing someone away.
Peach's cruiser -- Luxury, x-hvy. chassis, blueprinted 250 ci ICE (with tubular headers, turbo-supercharger, nitrous oxide tank, overdrive and three 5-gallon petrol fuel tanks), hvy. suspension, 4 titanium-cored solid tyres, driver, gunner with extra driver controls, VMG front, HDSAs, roll cage, 2 HRSWCs, LD radio, radar, AL brakes, airdam, improved custom two-way cybernetic link to Peach, trailer hitch. Titanium armor: F15, L8, R8, B12, T4, U4, (51 points). Acceleration 15 (20 at 40 mph+), Top speed range 135-202 mph, 28 MPG, HC 3.
The custom cybernetic link allows remote operation of the vehicle.
Vivienne's Corvette -- Luxury, x-hvy. chassis, blueprinted 250 ci ICE (with tubular headers, supercharger, nitrous oxide tank, overdrive and three 5-gallon petrol fuel tanks), hvy. suspension, 4 solid tyres, driver, passenger, laser in 2-space turret, HDSAs, roll cage, HRSWC, LD radio, radar, AL brakes, airdam. Plastic armor: F35, B30, R25, L25, T0, U10 (125 points). Acceleration 15, Top speed range 125-187.5 mph, 27 MPG, HC 3.
The "Corvette" is a once-off custom built based on the chassis of an
old police cruiser. The project was financed by Vivienne's adoptive parents
after her accident. Its armor and tyres are standard.
Police Interceptor -- Luxury, x-hvy. chassis, blueprinted 250 ci ICE (with tubular headers, turbo-supercharger, nitrous oxide tank, overdrive and three 5-gallon petrol fuel tanks), hvy. suspension, 4 titanium-cored solid tyres, driver, gunner, 2 linked VMGs front, HDSAs, roll cage, 2 HRSWCs, LD radio, radar, AL brakes, airdam. Titanium armor: F12, R6, L6, B10, T0, U3 (37 points). Acceleration 15 (20 at 40 mph +), Top speed range 137-205 mph, 28 MPG, HC 3.
The Interceptor is the standard vehicle of the Victorian Highway Interceptor
Teams. It is built for speed and sacrifices some of its previous armor
plate for the sustained firepower, improved accuracy and greater ammunition
options of the Vulcan MGs, which replace the once-standard linked RRs.
The rebuilds were finished three years ago.
Titanium Armour -- 4x cost of metal armor, 1/2 the weight. Not readily available to the public except on the Black Market at 5x its normal cost.
Titanium Cored/Belted Tyres -- Same cost and weight mods as titanium armor.
Cybernetic Targeting System -- this system will be declassified by 2199 (maybe). Until then, tough bickies. Stick to cyberlinks. (It doesn't hurt as much to get one).
Cybers (Cyborgs) -- Cybernetics like Vivienne's are readily available if you have lots of money. The advantage this has over the Gold Cross clone system is that you get to live the rest of your life. In the clone system, someone else (the clone) carries on from where you left off but you are still dead. The system can be implemented on someone with no DP left if medical help is instantly available, and the cybernetics installation is started within the next 24 hours.
Cybernetics like Peach's are not available at all. Five Cybercops were originally made and three of the other four are still with the Special Branch in Australia. One (Brad) was destroyed. Two new experimental models were made. The new assault Cybercop was totally destroyed and Grey was set free after being completed. She has no internal offensive weapons. To any onlooker, she looks like a normal human. Grey was last seen hitching a ride with an unknown green-haired girl who was dressed in a tigerskin jumpsuit . . .