Issue #1 - â€œPilotâ€
A black sedan pulled into an old lot at two in the morning. From atop the adjacent parking garage, Melody watched. She was motionless, perched at the edge of the building. The wind blew around her short red hair and rustled her black tank-top. â€œRight on time,â€ she said as she slowly drew the sword from the belt of her jeans.
Three men in suits got out of the sedan and walked towards three other men who were already standing in the lot. They talked for a while. Melody couldnâ€™t hear them from here, but when one of them pulled an amulet from their pocket, she knew the trade was happening now. With one great leap, she dove from the fifth story of the building. Twenty feet from the six men, she landed in a crouch and cracked the old pavement beneath her.
All six drew handguns, nearly in unison. â€œYou know what Iâ€™m here for,â€ Melody said as she stood, â€œCan we just do this the easy way?â€ The men looked amongst each other, then opened fire. A flash of reflected light and sparks interposed between Melody and the gunmen, her arm blurring as she flicked the bullets away. â€œGuess not.â€
With one lunge, Melody rushed toward one of the men and plunged her sword through his chest. A twist of the blade, and then she slashed it free through his side. In the same motion she turned with her swordâ€™s momentum and kicked the eviscerated man into one of the others. He fell back, with his slain and bleeding colleague on top of him.
The other four kept firing, trying to keep their aim on Melody as she moved. She ducked down and swept her leg around, knocking another of the gunmen from his feet. She stopped with her back to the attackers, got her legs under herself, and sprung backwards into the air. She flipped over the men, slashing her sword down the back of one as she descended. He screamed in pain, blood pouring out from the base of his neck to his waist. He collapsed to his knees as the tripped man fell to the ground.
â€œRun!â€ one of the two men still standing shouted, and they took off toward the sedan. With a flick of her wrist, Melody slashed the neck of the man she tripped. She turned toward the fleeing men, one of whom still had the amulet. He got into the driverâ€™s seat of the sedan while the other took aim at Melody. She pulled back her sword as the gun was raised, and hurled it point-first as he fired. The tip of the blade struck the bullet, shattering it to fragments. The weapon then struck the handgun itself, impaling itself down the barrel and cutting free the top half of the gun as it sliced down the length. The next moment it had skewered the manâ€™s shoulder and into the side of the car.
Oblivious or unconcerned that his associate was stapled to the side of the car, the man with the amulet stamped the gas. The wheels spun and screeched a second, then the car shot toward the exit. Melody sprinted after the vehicle. As the car turned onto the street, she leapt over the fence surrounding the old lot. She landed on the hood of the car, her boots denting the metal. With a punch the windshield cracked and fell inward.
One hand on the wheel, the man fired shots at Melody. She grabbed the top of the car and hoisted herself vertically into a handstand. One of the bullets shot flew through her hair, just missing her head, as she flipped up out of the line of fire. She grabbed a good hold of the edge of the carâ€™s roof, tucked her legs in, and swung back down. Both feet snapped through the open front and into the driverâ€™s face.
Using the now-unconscious manâ€™s face, Melody kicked back and sprang from the car as it went sharply out of control and then crashed into a streetlight pole. She skidded across the road a few feet before stopping. Calmly, Melody walked over and drew her sword from the side of the vehicle. The skewered man dropped limply to the street. She then opened the passenger side door, reached in, and pulled the amulet from the driverâ€™s pocket as he bled hunched over the wheel. â€œBeen looking for this, thanks.â€
Back in the lot, the last of the suited men pushed the eviscerated body off himself. Melody put a boot against the manâ€™s chest before he could move, and pointed her sword right to his face. He stared at her with angry but doomed eyes. â€œSay â€˜hiâ€™ to your boss for me, okay?â€ With that, she bent down and used the manâ€™s tie to wipe the blood from her sword. She let him up, and he ran off as quickly as his legs could carry him.
Melody walked from the lot into the back streets of the city, just in case someone heard all that and called the police. She held up the jade-amulet and looked over the ancient etched writings on its surface as she walked. â€œNever the easy way...â€