I have no idea how this occurred to me, but when I started freewriting for kicks, Lynne from Ghost Trick popped into my mind. And so, for your enjoyment, here is a little ryona featuring a sometimes-clumsy yet always-courageous detective and her solo adventures in the mafia underworld. No ghost tricks to save you this time, Lynne :) Here are some story elements, highlights, and spoilers, hidden in case the reader enjoys being surprised: Spoiler: Hidden Heroine gets caught sneaking Two weaker girls gang up on heroine Heroine's overwhelming advantage is suddenly stripped away Taser/electrocution One-sided punishment Body blows Handcuffs/humiliation Heroine is captured and forced into the same scheme she was trying to stop If anyone has any input or ideas concerning the direction of the story, I'd happily consider it as I write the next part. I love requests! ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Moonlight creeps through the office blinds, casting a pale glow on the desk's papers. Newly-minted detective Lynne picks up the topmost sheet and reads it for the fifteenth time. . . . investigate reports of forced brawling . . . . . . figure out who is responsible for capturing these women . . . . . . find evidence to prove these underground activities . . . Her first assignment as an undercover detective is serious. Reports of human trafficking and enslavement were already swimming through the precinct, but the latest news involves an underground fighting ring forcing these captive girls to fight for amusement. Her sharp wit, investigative prowess, and social connections should prove invaluable in uncovering the truth. Her initial search even turned up a lead: the location of a nightclub suspected as a front for these illegal operations. It also doesn't hurt that Lynne can handle herself in a fight. As a plainclothes detective, she carries no weapons; recently-mandated field training has given her the confidence to defend herself effectively in hand-to-hand combat, and she has taken to it surprisingly well. Her only concern is blending in. Law enforcement types already stick out like a sore thumb in this city; a young girl with look-at-me red hair doesn't help matters. Thankfully, as a new and off-beat addition to field operations, she is difficult to recognize as a detective. Although she enjoys wearing her badge, keeping it pocketed while undercover is her only choice. Lynne looks at her watch. Almost midnight. Time to act. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "I can't let you in here, lady. Invitation only." A beastly wall of a man blocks entry to the alleyway club, muscles bulging from every possible crevice. His brown jacket and tie seem a bit too tight, an odd contrast to his mammoth physique. Behind him, neon lights and loud music pulse from within the club. "Hey, I just wanna dance like anyone else!" huffs Lynne. Arms folded, she gives the bald-headed sentry a cocky stare. Suddenly, she perks up. "Oh! You want me to, uh, grease the wheels, huh?" She rummages through her jacket pockets for loose cash when the guard nudges her back with a meaty hand. "No entry. Beat it." "Hmph!" Lynne looks over her shoulder, but sees no one around. "Come on, I bet this place needs a few more girls around, don't you think?" She gives the guard a lewd wink. The corners of his mouth curl up into a smile ever so slightly, but it doesn't last long until he assumes his usual stone-faced demeanor. "No. Quit wasting my time." You're the one wasting my time, thinks Lynne. And you look like a dressed up gorilla. "Fine," she replies. "I'm outta here." Hands in pockets, she trudges away, turning the corner back onto the street, the volume of the club music fading with distance. Getting in conventionally to observe activity would have been much easier. Sneaking in is her only remaining option. As nonchalant as possible, Lynne casually walks around the building's perimeter, looking for another entry point. Darkened windows and steel doors with no handles gradually discourage her until she spies a narrow, ground-level basement window, just underneath the building. Lynne grins to herself. Just enough room for me to squeeze through. After a cursory glance to make sure she's alone, she bends down to peek inside; however, the basement is too dark. "Dammit." Standing back up, she thinks about the situation. Case intelligence suggests that this building is holding captives but will be changing locations in the morning. Once they move, the precinct will have to spend days picking up their trail . . . No way. I've gotta check this out now! She fiddles with the window latch and pushes the pane open. Gritting her teeth, she snakes herself through the opening feet-first. It's a bit of a struggle to shove even her slender body into the tight window, but at last she slides through. "Ah!" yelps Lynne. The distance from the window to the ground was further than she thought, and she unceremoniously tumbles onto the basement floor. She comes to her senses and slowly absorbs her surroundings. The basement is mostly open space, with a few stacks of wooden crates strewn about. It's still too dark to make note of much more visual detail. Lynne can hear a dull beat thump through the ceiling, fragments of the club music playing above. She starts dusting herself off when she notices something missing from her coat pocket . . . Her phone is gone. She looks at the ceiling window and sees it peacefully resting at street-level, having slipped out of her coat during her entry. Lynne rushes back over to the wall and tries to reach the high window when the sound of footsteps breaks her concentration. Panic sets in. She finds a few wooden crates in a nearby corner of the basement and scurries behind them just as several people enter. A commanding voice echoes throughout the dim room. "An excellent job, as usual," says a man in a gruff voice. "You girls have done well for me." "Thank you, sir," answers one of the girls. "We are at your service, after all." "Go a little lighter next time," continues the deep voice. "This last one won't recover for weeks." Two voices giggle in unison. "Sorry, we got carried away. But look at all the money we earned!" Lynne carefully repositions herself, peering through the crack between two crates. She sees a tall, well-built man dressed in a sleek, black business suit, resplendent with a silk, royal-blue tie. The man's well-groomed, slicked hair and overall rich persona seem somewhat familiar to Lynne, but she can't place him. At his sides are two dark-haired girls in identical costume, one with a long ponytail, the other with her hair in a short bob. Each wears a revealing, low-cut wrestling singlet that looks better suited for the beach than the ring. They stand confidently, despite only wearing scant foot wraps. The two girls quietly watch as the man counts a thick wad of bills. Lynne examines the girls more closely; each one has a name printed on their uniform. The ponytailed girl is Busty Lawless; the short-haired girl is Jade Dragon. Sheesh, one's a porn star and the other's a Chinese restaurant. I'm gonna need their real names to piece this all together. Suddenly, the silence is broken by an aggressive buzzing noise. Lynne's cell vibrates just outside the window. No! There is nowhere to run without being seen. Lynne cowers behind the crates, shrinking her body as much as possible. A calm, measured pair of footsteps approaches the window, pauses, and waits for the buzzing to stop. Patiently, the man turns toward the crates and crosses his arms. "Well, well. What have we here?" Lynne looks up. With a smirk, the mysterious man stares at her. "What a lovely girl. Looks like we have someone new to play with." A lump forms in Lynne's throat. It's now or never . . . "Don't move!" yells Lynne, quickly standing up and pointing aggressively at the man. "You're under arrest!" Without skipping a beat, the suited man shakes his finger at Lynne. "Silly little girl. You can't arrest me." "Yes, I-" "No, you can't," he interrupts. "I'm in charge here. You're the one under arrest." Lynne flinches. "What?" The gritty-voiced man gives her a toad-like grin. "We need some new blood, and I think a spunky little thing like you is perfect." He snaps a finger toward his two female lackeys. "Girls, initiate her." Lynne turns around. The two girls slink toward her, arms outstretched. When she glances back at the man, she lets out a small gasp- He's gone. Where the heck did he go so quickly? No time to think about it; Busty tries to grab Lynne, but she swats away her arm. She reaches for her once more, but Lynne again deflects her. "You're pretty feisty," says Busty. "This is gonna be fun." Lynne remains silent, narrowing her eyes with deadly intent. In one fluid motion, her body explodes into a swift flying kick; her boot crashes into Busty's face, sending her reeling. Without hesitation, Lynne turns to see Jade about to deliver her own spin kick. As if in slow-motion, she grasps Jade's leg mid-kick and twists her to the ground. A surge of indignation boils within Lynne. These girls aren't real fighters at all. They've just been beating up defenseless, kidnapped girls! With Jade on the floor, Lynne turns her attention back to Busty, who is nursing her hurt cheek. She flashes Lynne a look of contempt, then raises her arms in some mock-fighting stance. "Come on, red-hair!" she taunts. Lynne is all too happy to comply. She marches forward and thrusts with a palm strike to Busty's chin. The ponytailed girl's head snaps backward, absorbing the full impact of the blow. Before she can recover, Lynne follows up with a standing kick to her chest, knocking her down. The scuffle of feet behind her shifts her attention. Jade has already bounced back and is charging Lynne with a strip of wood from one of the crates. Holding it tightly with two hands, she raises it in preparation of a heavy strike. Lynne boldly intercepts her swing, driving a knee into her wrists and knocking the wooden plank from her hands. She retrieves the slab of wood and slams it upside Jade's head, shattering the makeshift weapon into pieces; the slender faux-wrestler yowls and crumples from the impact. A guttural scream comes from behind, warning Lynne. She sees Busty already back up, still livid and eager to fight. The fiery girl throws a flurry of poorly-aimed punches at Lynne, who effortlessly dodges and parries each one. Five, six, seven . . . Busty lashes out over and over, desperate to land a hit, but the well-trained detective doesn't give her a chance. Weary of the struggle, Lynne blocks and catches her fist, leans forward, and throws a sharp elbow into Busty's temple. She follows with a swift hook in the same vulnerable spot. The one-two strike instantly floors her. With both girls on the ground, moaning and incapacitated, Lynne takes the opportunity to run, rushing toward the far end of the basement. She sees only one exit, but when she approaches the door, there is no handle, not even a nearby button or keypad. Pushing against it does nothing. She grabs a nearby sheet of metal and wedges it into the doorframe, trying to pry it open. No luck. Forget it. I've just gotta climb back through that window! She hurries back but pauses when she finds that the two girls' bodies have vanished. Before she can turn her head, something jabs into her side- "-aahhh!-" -and fires an electric current through her body. Fireworks cloud Lynne's mind as she helplessly convulses in place. A few seconds later, the shock ends and she is pushed to the ground. Her body collapses, slightly twitching from the attack. Standing above her and smirking, Busty dangles a taser in front of Lynne's face. "Gotcha, red-hair." Lynne slowly clambers back to her feet, but not nearly fast enough to avoid another jolt. Busty sharply digs the taser into her belly before letting loose with another blast of electricity. The detective flops back to the ground, unable to do anything but violently wrench her body in tune with the electric assault. Once the shock subsides, Lynne lies unmoving on the ground, still but for the occasional, involuntary muscle jerk. She can't even wipe the drool from her mouth; her own arm is barely responding. The first thing her hazy mind catches is Jade's prideful voice. "Let's teach her a lesson." She slowly walks up to Lynne and prods her slumped-over body with her foot. "C'mon, get up." "U-Urgh . . ." It takes all of her willpower, but Lynne manages to prop herself up on her hands and knees. Not for long; Jade kicks her belly from underneath, sending her back to the ground. "I said, 'get up!'" Lynne tries once more, struggling to stand, only to take Jade's foot in her belly yet again. Busty laughs, but holds out a hand to stop her partner. "Wait, wait. Let's give her a chance. Only fair, right?" Jade winks and pokes at Lynne, goading her back up. Swallowing hard, Lynne slowly musters the strength to stand. Her body feels sluggish, and her mind is spinning. Barely able to focus her eyes, she tries to attack Jade with a quick jab, but the short-haired girl easily sidesteps it. Lynne tries another straight punch, but Jade doesn't even have to dodge; it's a complete miss. Rolling her eyes, Jade raises her leg. "No, no. Like this!" She tries the same spin kick that had earlier been easily blocked, but this time it connects with Lynne's midsection. Happy to hit the once-cocky detective, Jade tries it again and blasts her belly once more-Lynne is far too slow to react. "You're not so tough now, are you?" Between the shocking and the last few stunners to her belly, Lynne can't help but wobble in place. Jade walks behind the dazed Lynne and slips her arms beneath her shoulders, holding her still and pointing her toward Busty. Before Lynne can react, Busty delivers a roundhouse kick to her open face, her nearly-bare feet leaving a mark on her cheek. I have to get out of this some- Lynne's own thought is interrupted by another high kick. Busty laughs, happy to finally use Lynne's face as target practice. I can't take much more- Yet again Busty's foot slams against her face. Wearing an unbridled grin, she playfully pinches Lynne's now-reddened cheek. "How does that feel, huh?" The red-haired detective ignores her taunt, instead trying to wrest free from Jade's overpowering hold; however, in her weakened state, she can't struggle free. All she can do is sink further into the shoulder hold as Busty sharply slaps her. "Hey! Don't mess her up too much," says Jade. "We need her face all pretty for the crowd." Busty pauses thoughtfully, then nods. She instead steps closer and gently places her hands on Lynne's shoulders. Without warning, she drives her knee into Lynne's crotch. The stunned detective opens her mouth in shock, but before she can say anything, Busty buries her knee inside her once more. Again. And again. Her relentless assault does not stop until a few tears trickle down Lynne's cheek. With wicked glee, Busty leans forward, hovering her face in front of Lynne, who tries to look away. She uses a finger to dry one of her tears and smiles softly. "Now that's what I wanted to see." Jade lets go of Lynne from behind. She slumps to the ground, broken and weeping. "I think she's finished. Now what?" "Let's search her." The two girls paw at Lynne, who offers no resistance. They peel off her jacket and rummage through her pockets. Busty pulls out her badge. "Whoa, she really is a detective. Look, her name's Lynne. Aww, that sounds cute." At the mention of her name, Lynne turns her head in shame. "Hey, check this out," remarks Jade. She pulls her hand out of one pocket and jingles a pair of handcuffs. Busty's sly smile is all the confirmation she needs. The two girls push Lynne onto her belly and twist her arms behind her back, strapping on the handcuffs. They force Lynne onto her feet and parade her around. Busty takes on a mocking tone. "You have the right to shut up and do as we say. Now march!" The girls guide her toward the basement exit, which is now open. Standing beside the door is the mysterious man, the same knowing grin plastered on his face. He holds Lynne's cell phone, turning it over and over in his palm. Relishing the moment, he looks his new prize up and down, eyeing her handcuffs in particular. "Like I said, detective," he calmly states, "you're under arrest." He dismissively waves toward the door. "Lock her up."