The World Is Not Enough by Lori McDonald
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The World Is Not Enough

Lyrics by David Arnold and Don Black. Performed by Garbage.
Songfic by Lori McDonald, using lyrics from the song for dialogue.


Slowly, the Onna no Taicho walked towards the huge mirror on the wall above the make-up table. The wooden top of the furniture was sprawled with makeup and the various accoutrements used for making masks and prosthetics. Thoughtfully, she picked up a sleek black gun that lay half under the soft long hairs of a red wig. She looked at her reflection.

"I know how to hurt," she murmured, watching her reflection's fingers trace down the gun's shaft. Laying it down, she picked up the wig and placed it onto a mannequin head mounted on one edge of the table, completing the image of a woman with features very different from what she herself looked like. A completely new face, made out of plastic. "I know how to heal," she continued and turned to get dressed, choosing a glamorous red dress for the newest mission. Onna no Taicho could never wear it with her colouring, but the woman she was becoming certainly could.

"I know what to show," she laughed as she settled into the dress, her cleavage outlined by the deeply plunging neckline. Taking the gun, she put it into a holster on her thigh. "And what to conceal."

Hundreds of UN officials moved smoothly through the great ballroom, the men distinguished in their tuxes and suits, the women in their gowns. Crystal sparkled from the chandeliers and glasses, people laughing as wine poured and waiters cycled through the crowds, balancing trays of perfectly prepared food.

"I know when to talk," Katse assured one high ranked official in weapons design. He'd made a comment on how quiet she'd been since they first met at the champagne table, where unknown to him, she'd been lying in wait. Her gloved finger traced down the side of his face. "And I know when to touch." He sighed in pleasure, his eyes closing and she trailed it down his chest and away, the barest of movements releasing a quick dissolving powder into the wine he held as her hand passed over it. "No-one ever died," she whispered to him with a kiss. "From wanting too much."

"The world is not enough!" Katse shrieked at the monitor that had been hidden behind her great mirror. Three men were dead at that party, all high-ranking and vital to the ISO effort, all seemingly from food poisoning. The wine and the tight wig were making her head ache though, and she glared at the red eyes that looked out at her from the monitor.

"But it is such a perfect place to start, my love," Sosai assured her in his deep voice and she felt a shudder go through her at the sound of it. Just as she always did. He went on to outline the next mission for the Onna no Taicho. "And if you're strong enough," he told her as he finished. "Together, we can take the world apart, my love."

With a perfect assuredness that didn't match how she felt in the pit of her stomach, Katse walked up to the main gate for ISO headquarters and presented her ID, all designed to give access to the female doctor she now pretended to be. Her fear she kept hidden deep as she answered the guard's pointed questions, as well as her exhilaration as he waved her through.

"People like us," she whispered to herself as she stood alone in the rising elevator. A mantra to fight the terror she still felt at being in the heart of her enemies headquarters. "know how to survive." She wasn't sure who she spoke to, whether herself, her other half, or to Sosai-sama, who she suspected could always hear her. It was a thought that gave her comfort.

That comfort faded as the elevator stopped a few floors short and the Condor stepped on. He nodded at her and she nearly had heart failure as he stood with his back half turned to her and watched the numbers climb. Intelligence had said the Ninjatai weren't in the building. They weren't supposed to BE there! Terror that she would be recognised and attacked filled her, but he only smiled as the elevator reached his floor and strode out, deadly but oblivious.

Left behind, Katse put a hand to her mouth to hide her smile. "There's no point in living," she reminded herself, the fear now replaced by exhilaration at the narrowness of her escape. "if you can't feel alive."

Kozaburo Nambu glared at her from his seat behind his desk, his hands flat on the top where she'd ordered him to keep them. Katse smiled at him from where she stood before his desk, her pose almost relaxed except for where she held her gun pointed at him, the muzzle lengthened by the addition of a silencer.

"We know when to kiss," she taunted him, sure that he was just as scared as she had been before, but far more powerless. As far as he knew, it was only a Devil Star who'd come for him, and he had no way to know who really faced him. Not that it mattered. "And we know when to kill," she continued. Devil Stars had a reputation to maintain, after all. Always as sensual, sexual, even when their audience was about to die and would never share it with anyone. She smiled at him calmly, her eyes on the drop of sweat that trickled down his forehead and along his cheek like a misplaced tear. "If we can't have it all," she told him and fired twice. "then nobody will."

"The world is not enough," Katse laughed to herself as she darted up the stairs to the roof of the ISO building. She'd sent the elevator to the ground floor alone as a distraction in case anyone found Nambu's body before she escaped, and from the sound of the alarms echoing around her, someone had. She wasn't surprised. He was too busy a man to go unvisited for long. Without him, the ISO would be severely hampered. Galactor had the upper hand now. The world would fall before them. "And it is such a perfect place to start, my love."

Reaching the roof, she ran out through the door, opened by a quick explosive charge, and raced towards the edge of the roof. A sudden shout made her look back to see the Condor just emerging from the stairwell. Her heart leaped. He looked magnificent, but she felt invulnerable. Turning, she dove off the edge of the roof, knowing he would be only seconds behind. Blackbirds would be waiting to catch her, all lying in wait since the night before for this moment. Not enough to defeat the Condor, but enough to slow him enough for her to escape. He'd tear them apart in the process though. "And if you're strong enough," she called back to him, knowing it would only inflame him further. "Together, we can take the world apart, my love."

"I feel safe," Katse whispered to herself as she smoothed the blue and purple uniform of Berg Katse down over her tightly taped breasts. She looked up at the hundreds of assembled Galactors who thought she was a man, all waiting for her to announce the attack to begin. Behind them, the crow mecha Sosai had constructed filled the underground hangar, looming ominously over them all.

"I feel scared," she admitted just as softly. This was it. Without Nambu to guide them, the Ninjatai were at a disadvantage and this would be the deciding victory, while they were still confused and grieving. They'd raze the ISO to the ground and she'd finish the evening by dancing on its ashes. Nambu was the ISO's equivalent to HER. Without him, they had no chance.

"I feel ready," she assured herself, and she was. Years had gone into this moment and she called out, sending the men racing to their stations, but she paused a moment as the mecha warmed up, forced to admit something quietly to herself. She did feel ready. "And yet unprepared."

"The world is not enough!" Katse screamed at the view screen. On it, Utoland City lay before her, but the thrice damned Ninjatai wouldn't let her near it. They fought like madmen, even without their mentor, and her mecha groaned under her feet, weakened and losing altitude. This wasn't supposed to be happening. The ninjatai were supposed to be the ones weakened, not stronger. But the Phoenix raged in front of her, destroying section after section of her ship, killing her men, denying her destiny. She sneered. They no doubt thought that killing HER would even things. It never would, she cried. They still had to deal with Sosai. Even if they did kill her, they'd still have to deal with Sosai.

"But it is such a perfect place to start, my love," a voice purred above and behind her. Startled, Katse turned to see the Condor crouched on the top of a support beam, his eyes focused on her. He knew, she realised. He knew who and what she was.

"And if you're strong enough?" she hissed, backing towards the escape hatch until he dropped between her and it. He'd tried to kill her a thousand times, she reminded herself, and she'd always escaped. She would this time too.

Unless killing Nambu broke whatever delicate balance existed between them, a voice in her whispered. "Together, we can take the world apart, my love," she told him and dashed for the self destruct button. He roared and dove after her. Time seemed to stand still.

The world is not enough

The world is not enough

The world is not enough


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