Mardock Scramble: The First Compression
In the future, life has dumped Rune Balot, a 15-year-old prostitute and incest victim, at the bottom of the heap, leaving her searching for reasons to stay alive even though she is certain that she does not want to die. That conviction is her saving grace when her most recent sugar daddy, the psychopathic casino manager Shell, burns her alive as part of a mad scheme to make gemstones from the compressed ashes of his victims, as it allows former military tech researcher Dr. Easter to legally swoop in and rebuild her under the provision Mardock Scramble 09, which authorizes using otherwise-forbidden technology to preserve a victim's life – in other words, she comes back a cyborg, one unable to speak directly but able to manipulate electronics around her (and thus speak through them). With the help of Oeufcoque, a shape-changing “universal item” whose natural state is that of a talking, very intelligent golden mouse, Balot tries to piece together some meaning to her new life while Dr. Easter pushes forward a legal case against Shell. However, Shell has his own formidable right-hand man in the form of Boiled, who has no compunctions about resorting to drastic measures to end the case. For Balot, quickly learning to take advantage of her new fighting skills and partner soon becomes a matter of life and death.