Prologue 2

80 miles outside Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska

Sub-zero temperatures, frozen winter hell-scape, arctic tundra, hellish wind chill, lighting storms in blizzards to make you think an angry god was venting it's pent-up fury. Hell in all it's violent ferocity truly had frozen over. But not today. Today was a day for stillness and silence, and of course the nigh omni present bitter cold. Nothing stirred as a gentle breeze blew across the fields of snow and ice, except for a silver and cotton-candy-blue haired bombshell that is. In army fatigue short-shorts, pink sports bra, hiking boots, cotton-candy pink lipstick and almond shaped mismatched eyes, a sort of Lara Croft meets Candy Rocker meets color blindness. This oddity in the middle of the wilderness was aiming an extremely odd looking, and extremely large, rifle at something well beyond human sight down range.


A rifle shot shattered the stillness. A massive casing was ejected and a new round chambered with an absent flick of the shooter's fingers. After a long five count a 2' x 2' target 3.47 miles down range shivered as a custom 20mm round punched cleanly through it and kept right on going to penetrate the snow and bury itself in the frozen earth. The round hit high and to the right on the target, quite a ways from the center circle. There is a pause while the marksman readjusts.


The spent round is again ejected and a new one slides into place. Again a solid five seconds pass before another hole appears in the target at almost the exact same distance away from the center circle though down and to the left. The target is shuddering now as if physically pained. Perhaps it's not having a good day. Another pause, another readjustment.

Before the rife can speak once more the Imperial March sounds from the snowmobile behind her. Without moving anything but her right hand Katranna Graham carefully reaches up and activated a throat mike connected via bluetooth to the Sat-Phone on the machine behind her.

"What's up, mom?"

"How's target practice going, honey?"

"So So. Though I am out to almost 56-hundred meters. Not to rush this along, or anything mom, but I've not hit the bulls-eye yet and there's a storm coming in. What's up?"

"Weeeell, now I'm temped to make you wait until you come home."

*sighing eye roll*

"But I've got a very thick letter in my hand from Korman University, it came in by Teleporter earlier today along with your father's scotch. Izumi's letter should have showed up too."

Katranna felt a squeal begin in her stomach and fight to get out. "Be home in a flash!"

Pause. Deep breath. Readjust.


5.3 seconds later the bullet hit the target dead center from 5584.5 meters away.

Katranna Graham surged upright, leaping a distance of 6 and a half feet off the ground and allowed herself a single air-punch of victory before she started breaking down the bi-pod; policing her brass, of which there was an astounding number and weight; and storing supplies and unspent ammunition. When all was packed away and secured down she brushed off the snow and dirt, shouldered her odd looking long rifle and strode to her ride. As she started the snowmobile she didn't even notice the temperature gauge was holding steady at -20° C.

In the air 50 miles outside Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska

Izumi Ryoko was having fun and justifying it by... well, she wasn't really justifying it at all. Wasn't really any need to. Teleporting felt soooooo nice after all, the exhilarating rush was akin to an ecstasy high. The 5'5" eighteen year old with an asian cast to her features and long autumn colored hair, heavy thermal gear and round tinted airman's goggles was currently flying through the air at tendentious speeds. Izumi felt more alive up here than at almost any time when she was on the ground. Most would probably be afraid of smashing into the ground, but not Izumi; whenever she fell too low she would simply teleport herself higher, ramp her velocity up, then let go and enjoy. It was so intoxicating; but she needed to find Kat and tell her the amazing news about Korman, which was her reason for coming out here on the advent of storm after all.

After some time sailing through the air, doing loop-d-loops and barrel-rolls, she saw Kat skimming across the rugged terrain at breakneck speeds on her suped-up snowmobile. Bleeding momentum Izumi appeared on the track ahead of Kat, but off to one side just to be prudent. Izumi still remembered her last incident with a high-speed 'mobile, and it wasn't a pleasant memory. Pushing that thought to one side Izumi cocked a hip and stuck out her thumb in the universal hitchhiker's sign.

"Hey, Yo, Ba-by!"

Kat, startled by the familiar voice, slowed her ride, and scanned the trail ahead to see her girlfriend standing off to one side of the trail. The wide grin that appeared on Kat's visage was answered in kind by Izumi.

"Iz!" Kat brought her 'mobile to a halt, but jumped off before it had stopped moving, green and gold mismatched eyes aglow in the failing light. Jumping and grabbing Izumi, Katranna Graham bore her to the ground and proceeded to greet her girlfriend in an extremely enthusiastic fashion. Being teleported high into the sky did add a little something extra to the greeting too; Iz so did love to make Kat squeal.

When both sets of feet were firmly on the ground again they set off toward town to see if Kat had made it into Korman, the thundersnow blizzard roaring in the distance and gaining.