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Copyright

Mardock Scramble

© 2003 Tow Ubukata

All rights reserved.

Originally published in Japan by Hayakawa Publishing Inc.

English translation © 2011 VIZ Media, LLC

Cover and interior design by Sam Elzway

No portion of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the copyright holders.

HAIKASORU

Published by

VIZ Media, LLC

295 Bay Street

San Francisco, CA 94133

www.haikasoru.com

ISBN: 978-1-4215-4093-1

Haikasoru eBook Edition

Contents

Copyright

Book I: THE FIRST COMPRESSION

Chapter 1: INTAKE

Chapter 2: MIXTURE

Chapter 3: CRANK-UP

Chapter 4: SPARK

Book II: THE SECOND COMBUSTION

Chapter 5: PISTON

Chapter 6: INJECTION

Chapter 7: ROTOR

Chapter 8: EXPLOSION

Book III: THE THIRD EXHAUST

Chapter 9: CRANK SHAFT

Chapter 10: MANIFOLD

Chapter 11: CONNECTING ROD

Chapter 12: NAVIGATION

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

HAIKASORU

Book I:

THE FIRST COMPRESSION

Chapter 1

INTAKE

01

A girl murmured, in a voice that could barely be called a voice, “I’d be better off dead.”

It was the half-hearted sound of words that weren’t real, words not meant for the man next to her.

It was a sound that she thought could just be heard above the bustle of the pleasure quarter of Mardock City, over the noises that drifted in through the car windows.

She perked up a bit after speaking the words, as if a jazz singer had cast a spell with a song.

She was floating along in a four-ton black jewel. It was the highest class of AirCar there was, its body kept silently afloat by the Gravity Device Engine. All the door windows were Magic Mirrors—you couldn’t see anything on the inside when looking in from outside. You needed special dispensation to have this sort of window— Hunter Killers, they’re called, windows to keep the cops away. And of course, to get that special dispensation, the city needed to consider you a person of suitable standing.

Usually there was a chauffeur assigned to the car, but now it was on complete autopilot, gliding through the city unconcerned.

Perhaps the car wasn’t so much the jewel as it was the jewel box. Perhaps it was the girl inside that was the jewel. Certainly, that was what her appearance suggested. The shimmering lights of the city lent her cheeks a lustrous sheen, illuminating her innocent face. It was beguiling, seductive. Her slim body, her piercing ebony pupils and her fawnlike eyes, her shoulder-length black hair: all there to give the client the pleasure of an encounter with an exotic doll.

Doll was just about right. That was her status in life. She might be treated better —well, she was considerably more expensive—than the likes of those you found in the sleazy Internet classifieds: Seduction by Precocious Nymphette. Milk-Colored Lollipop Girl. But human desires are what they are, wherever you were on the social scale. Needs are needs. And anyway, she was already in a colorful uniform of her own: gaudy striped tights that showed off her not-quite-yet-developed thighs and calves, her skinny little ass wrapped tight in white hot pants. She might as well have been advertised as Sexual Innocence Available Here in one of those creepy ads.

Over her outfit she wore a trench coat that came down to her ankles. The type so beloved of the Senorita class of girls. It was spread open, and both her hands were stuffed deep in her coat pockets. She was the very picture of a cute, alluring young thing who’d been transported into an adult wonderland.

It was just then, as she was thinking about herself, reacting to the bright lights of the city, that the words

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