Prologue 2 - The Ninja
Ahh, weekends. Whilst a ninja is never truly off-duty, it is still nice to not have to go into the office. Plus I get to sleep in a little later than normal.
Now I know what you're going to say.
"But Mr Ninja, sir, ninja don't actually sleep."
Well, you're kind of right I guess. We prefer to use extremely deep meditation rather than true sleep. This way, much like the fighting dolphin of Kobetonga, we can stay alert to any intruders whilst still getting refreshed.
I "sleep" in a variety of places, so as not to allow my enemies a chance to plan an attack. The last place you should bother checking is a ninja's bed. There's only one thing that it is used for, and that's something those Shaolin "no sex please, we have taken a vow of chastity" monks will never own up to. "Vow of chastity" my arse! We all know what the abbot does with his young diciples to while away the hours. Big faggy beardy soft-as-shite yellow-trousers-wearing pajama-plunderers, the lot of 'em.
By the way ladies - if you think jumping backwards up into a tree is cool, you should see the stuff a ninja master can do in the sack. Our "ancient secrets" aren't all about warfare, you know. My "boshi ken" is powerful!
It's a little known fact that Sun Tzu was a bit of a devil with the geishas. When he was seen by his enemies on the battle-field, the men shat their pants whilst the women stepped out of theirs.
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So anyway, I got changed out of my ninjamas and brushed my teeth before heading down the shops for some milk and bread. I try not to keep anything much in my fridge in case someone poisons it. Mind you, with the age of some of the things in my fridge it would be a brave man indeed who would open one of the containers to poison the contents. There's a translucent bowl in the back that seems to be growing a kidney. Mysterious dark shapes bulge unpleasantly behind the milky white plastic. I plan to use it as a ranged weapon of some sort in the future.
I flip quickly onto the roof and make my way to the local 7-11. RV-583, the robot who lives next door, is in his shed banging away at something. I have this vague feeling it's his wife.
Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to travel along the footpath on a whim like everyone else. There must be a small thrill to be had by people as they casually saunter, whenever they choose, along a surface designed for increased balance. Still, I chose the ninja lifestyle and am bound by their rules - uneven roof tiles and tree branches are my standard travel surface.
Luckily the shops are only a few roofs away so it takes less than a minute. I land lightly next to one of their air-con ducts and quietly lift the cover, slipping quickly into the blackness within.
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Having secured the goods I made my way back out the way I'd came. The deft use of a smoke bomb made sure no-one was any the wiser. Were there 4 loaves of Baker's Priapism Multigrain left or just 3? With a ninja in your midst, who can be sure?
You know, I wonder if anyone's done a study of these smokebombs? Sure, they're made from all-natural ingredients like female hyena phallus, spider eyes, and ethylene-1,4-cyclohexylene dimethylene terephthalate copolymers, but do you think they could cause cancer or something? I should probably bring it up at the next meeting.
So I drop my stuff off at home and go sit on the roof. I'm sure you've seen this sort of thing in movies or anime - some enigmatic ninja is squatting on the roof or in a tree, silently watching things unfold. I'm hoping to catch sight of this furtive peeping tom I've heard about. It's been in all the papers - some mysterious hooded figure that peers in through people's windows whilst pleasuring himself. Some sad pervert that would be best locked away, I'm sure.
So, I'm scanning the neighbourhood. I've got my katana by my side and am using the time to polish the handle.
I notice that Janelle down the road is sunbathing in her backyard again. But I don't let this distract me from my mission for too long. Just then I notice a sports car pull up at the shops and a guy in a Hawaiian shirt gets out. Haven't seen the car around here before, so I think it worthy of further investigation. A few quick jumps later and I'm at a much better vantage point.
The number plate on the car read "CH4D", which didn't bode well. He came back out of the shops with a bottle of Coke and some other stuff in a bag. I was going to go back to my roof when he yelled something out to the cashier in the shop. He was an American!

Now, I'm no racist but we all know that Americans are all borderline sex offenders at best. I've seen enough episodes of CSI to know the kinds of shit they do in their own country, let alone what they do here. All we need is some drug-dealing psychopath moving into the neighbourhood.
It was at that point I knew I'd found the peeping tom. It all made perfect sense.
I had to find out where he lived. I couldn't hang underneath the car - not enough ground clearance. I'd have to do this the old-fashioned way. Legs - do your stuff!
He was quick, I'll give him that. However, I was able to use the roofs so could avoid traffic lights, plus I'm a ninja. If you read something that sounds unlikely, just keep telling yourself that last thing. It's the answer to most questions.
Eventually I watch him pull into a wild-looking place up on Groyn Lane. There's a heap of trees along the back so I nip in there to check out the situation. Who knows, he could have guard dogs or laser killbots stalking the grounds.
Lucky for me I checked, as it turned out he had a robot guard wombat.
These feisty little fellas can be quite a handful. Don't ever let their shuffling gait fool you - they can get up to quite a decent speed and the last thing you want is to be butted by one of these 150kg monsters. Mind you, you don't really want them to start targetting you with their weapon systems, either.
So rather than muck around trying to avoid the darned thing I just did what any ninja would do - took the little bugger out. I didn't think it worth flipping out and chopping it up with my katana so I went with the old bow and arrow. Nice ranged attack, quiet, and effective when in the hands of a trained practitioner. And guess what? I'm a trained practitioner.
This is probably a good time to teach you amateur ninjas out there a thing or two that may save your arse in the field. Robots don't give a damn that your arrowheads have been lovingly polished over many weeks, that they have been beaten and folded so many times they are stronger than titanium. You see, these bleeders are designed to take that sort of punishment. Anyone with a robotic guard animal is expecting unusual trespassers. If all you expect is drunken rednecks who think your shit would look better in their house then you'd just get an alarm or a cop-wannabe earning minimum wage to walk around your garden all night.
So, make sure you have suitable replacement arrowheads to match your target. For robots I recommend either high explosive or EMP, the latter is obviously quieter.

I'd just taken the wombot out when someone else approached the house. Two guys, one looking a little ill, were sidling up to a window, and not being too stealthy about it. They spent a few seconds peering in through the grimy window when the sick-looking one suddenly turns around and I swear he was looking right at me!
I know, hard to believe.
There's a brief exchange, during which I try to become even more hidden, and they hastily make their way back to the road and away.
It seems this CH4D fellow has some other people interested in his activities. Perhaps my enemy's enemy would be my friend?