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[SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

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[SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:22 pm

Tougane Masaru wrote:OOC Note

Since currently, there is no OOC thread for this SS, and the writer is losing patience and energy to deal with the possible and incoming problems about this thread through either chatbox or PM. This message is hoped to clarify on some issues.

This closed SS is being written to retcon and fix some inconsistencies regarding Tougane's character in Unendliche Jagd SS and his application, and most importantly, to pave way for the future of this character or give a closure to him. The story only revolves around the character 'Tougane Masaru' in obnoxious and pretentious fashion. This SS is expected to be found with inconsistencies in early chapters which will likely be addressed later on. The story sets in the universe of To Aru according to the RP of this forum but most of parts do not overlap this forum's timeline. Thus it does not feature or mention any canonical character or original characters. The expectation is to set on a different tone to any of the threads here and to anime-traditional fashion. It is not the intention at all to feature this as a long running fiction with the length of novella or light novel.

Initially, this SS is planed to be released at once with all chapters as most of the parts are written, but due to some errors and complications in timing schedules, this SS will be released episodically until the final chapter. However, it is not mandatory to go through every chapter as each only serves a justification in some action, both in-character and out-of-character.

Some content is likely to feature sexual-related content, drug and alcohol abuses.

At the current stage, this thread expects no participant.

Unendliche Jagd's plot: After the event in 23rd of July, an operative under a private military company - Tougane Masaru - abandons and attempts to forget the life of endless conflicts by moving on with his life. Married and relocated to Sapporo to start a new beginning, he encounters a hardship to settle in with a normal life and soon finds himself haunted relentlessly by the dark side of his past.

Monster ohne Namen's plot: Asada Shuji, a troubled orphan, deals with the loss of his parents and the seclusion from his childhood as he is seduced by violence to settle on a dangerous path ahead of him.

Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam's plot: The most daredevil and relentless operative of the counter-intelligence agency under the Academy City - Tougane, whose loyalty and dedication devote to complete any objective given - is sent to chase after the missing biochemical weapon manufactured by the city and the people behind the act. As the existence of the weapon destabilizes the Academy City's national security and the internal politics inside his own agency, and the plot against the city itself unravels ...... A new threat emerges.









Unendliche Jagd:

Opening theme

A few pints of blood is drawn from the large and deep wounds bleeds and blends with water beneath the dark, gushing and cold river, the strong stream soon dilute it away. The stream underneath the long and wide river, surrounded by snowy forests, it sweeps him violently under deeper as he is deprived of strength and conscious. Every ounce of water soaks into his heavy Ulster coat and layers under it, pulling the man down closer to the frozen mouth of hell.

Still in his hand, he holds tight to a single action revolver, a weapon which is man’s sharp teeth and claws, it kills, it fends, it dominates beasts of nature or man among their own. At least he thinks so, he believes in the way of gun and he believes the things that stand in its way will perish. But he is not the only one who has that idea …..

That day starts out like any in the land of unforgiving winter, a loaded gun, a hangover and a bad attitude. Far away in the vast snowy plain, far away from the city in rural of Hokkaido, he travelled with a caravan through a dense white and blue forest.  A man wants out of the harm’s ways, he is hired to protect the man in his journey, his desperate escape. Through forests, the fastest way is to head down south along the river, the caravan boarded the raft, loaded the man’s precious cargos. The man is sweet and juicy meat anything with carnivore’s teeth wants.

Apart from the preparation, he does not think of much. In truth, he is also trying not to think of what had happened to him in his past, and especially months earlier. He had a life before today, but that was meant to be left behind.  A job is needed to be done, thinking about those things only weighs him down, as letting his feelings towards the past get him will do. He was promised today would be the beginning of the rest of his life. Leftovers from that life, low self-esteem, self-deprecation and sociopathic tendency within him. They bring back trouble from the past and trouble the present, alcohol is the sanitizer for them.

He intends to live a moment to a moment, free from his past and its pain. And thrives on the peak of every exhilaration he once knows.

It is such a good sport to come out and hunt for once in a while. The job is what it matters, why he matters, that is why he comes back to do what he did best. This one, it will be fun and games, they said. Easy money, they said. He thought he might enjoy it.

He was dead wrong.

And because of that he was near death in the middle of nowhere.

Once the game was afoot, bloodlust has overcome him.

The caravan and raft were bombarded by the bounty hunters, in the high of overconfidence and pretentiousness, he lost himself and his way in the middle gunfire and explosion.

A blow came when he was not aware, he would trust the old him would know it would come and that the old him would survive it.

Shrapnel and burns knocked and sank him in the gushing river as the rest the caravan was struggling against the attack.

The heartbeat slows and faints.
A loud burst of explosion roaring over the face of water as the battle between the caravan and the bounty hunters wage on, shockwave wakes him from a deep sleep.

The battle goes on without him on the other end over the water, in a grey world engulfed in flame and dust, the slaughter continues without his significance.  

He swims up as other dead bodies keep falling and sinking his way. He grabs a hold of the floating log as he reaches the surface, cherishing the air once again. Pain does not matter, it is not hurtful as knowing that he is out of control, incapable and meaningless.

The slight sense of duty and embarrassment saved him from death and defibrillated his heart, keeping its beat up and hold steady the vessel of rage, shame, vengeance revenant that lusts reckoning.

The cylinder of the old-single action revolver he holds in his hand as if it is a part of him, spins its loaded chamber when he pulls the hammer. He fires into the clashing mass of bounty hunters, trying to save the caravan from the attack as he holds onto the floating log, straying further away ahead.

A bullet after another only tears into the woods of the bounty hunter’s raft, and yet when the hammer falls on the empty chamber, it manages to hit nothing.

Everything ever achieved in his life, triumph, power, they all slipped and drifted. Once something he thought he was capable of, once the place he earned in this world, he no longer has a proof of it. His defeat brands him like a burnt scar that stays forever.

Anything he does that point on is useless.

The game had ended before he knew, if it was even just a game. No funs allow.

At that point, he realizes he had taken things too lightly.

The stresses were real.

The stakes were real.

No rooms for mistakes, he had forgotten what it has been all about.

He let his weak body hold on to and lay on the floating wooden log, watching the battle rages on land as the caravan boards the land and retreats in the wood. He falls off the current.

The sense of abandonment, failing to catch up to the world, let him adrift further in the river.

He closes his eyes and sees no more than aches in his heart and spirit, he sees nothing more than failure.


Finding out he had not gone anywhere from his bed, panting and pouring cold sweat in his brief and knit vest in the cool moonlight that came through the window, he sat up on his bed confusingly, disoriented.

It felt real, like it happened in yesterday, he was still feeling something.

Powerless, embarrassed.

What was it all about?

“Jesus Christ, if you’re going to wake up early than someone else, just make sure to keep your noise down, okay? My shift ended late last night …. At least let me get some sleep.” Her voice came under her sprawled blonde hair hiding a face resembling Daniela Bianchi but with a less-chiseled face and a slightly-shorter and bigger nose. It was muffled in the bed sheet they shared that he had pulled away from her after the carefree awakening. She came home late for the past two weeks, it must be tiresome to be waken in the middle of the night.

“Sorry …. It’s just some dream ….” He spoke back.

“I told you not to watch those movies you bought hours straight, they stuck in your head. Thank god it wasn’t a horror movie box set that you bought. Go back to sleep, Masaru. I’ll wake you late today, the refrigerator is not going to fill it ….self …..” Her drowsy voice faded out.

“Yes, ma’am.” He chuckled a bit to her attempt at staying half-awake before tucking himself under the soft sheet to get some more sleep.



The lake at nightfall calms as ever, in the middle of the blue forests surrounding it.

There is no motion until the man emerges from the still water. The grasping for air disrupts the quiet motion of the surrounding. That unconscious man floats his tired vessels to the shore.
He lies on the shore tiredly, his soaking dark blue Ulster coat catches dirt as he drags himself further on the land.
He grasps for air as if his soul strayed off and was on its way of becoming a wandering ghost.
He overexerts his stamina, trying to crawl his way through the dark and on the snow ground back to the battlefield, he kept calling until a pair of white bare small feet stopped in his way. The light aura sparkles in the dark, muted demonic blue atmosphere of the nightfall. He rested and laid his back on the cold ground.

A woman stood over him. She is wrapped in white kimono with sparkling aura all over her, as white her skin is and contrasted by her blond hair and red lip. If it is true, that snow woman or snow fairy exists, is she the one?

The snow fairy, is death paying a visit or a spirit of a good life trying to embrace him?
He must be that desperate that he feels he is need of rescue of sort.

Did I lose my way? He doubts himself. Having come to the woods to do one thing he is ever regarded his best as, seeking for his quantum of solace after everything in his previous life went downhill and failing at this attempt miserably because of overgrown carelessness and confidence. Having to find that once the place he earns and deserves in this world is no longer for him, it overwhelms him with embarrassment of his inapt. Did his lose his way? He sees no directions where to go, he knows where he wants or needs to go, but he is all by himself in the dark.
To others, this is just a game. But for him as he just realizes now, it is what he has been facing all along. His validation that gives himself the recognition of his own, keeping his spirit unbroken as time and fate wear it down.

He comes to reclaim what he had in his past, yet loses even more.

Just one thing he should be able to do it, his failure brands a mark on him.
If it did not matter to him before, it matters now.

On the way triumphant, no funs allow, no rooms for mistake.
The man looks up in the sky, looks up to the nightfall sky that goes on the far side of forests, realizing he is left with two options: trapped here forever or try making his way through the sea of blue forests and see if he stands a chance and will not be lost forever in it.

A power he had slipped out of his hands, so his confidence.  He is not slipping, he is slipped. He needs an assurance there will be a way to get it back.

“What do I need to do to make this right?”

Her touch of light comes and warmth on his hand, a smile on her face. She bends forward to his ear and whispers, “It’s time to wake up…….”



He feels heavy on his chest, a heavy pressure.

“It’s time to wake up before we’re late.” She whispered in his ear as she rides him before getting up from the bed and heading into the dressing room.

Huh?

It was a bad treat to get a brief, dry ride in the morning, especially with the morning wood. Despite her weight being lifted off from his chest, he did not feel exactly comfortable, still restless and disoriented.
The dream still felt real, those clinging bad aftertastes felt so. But by now, he was sure …… It was not the first time he saw it.

It felt real because it happened, a month ago. Even as a weird rendition, it was not too different.

He left Academy City and quit a life of an assassin, a hired gun, leaving what he used to behind after that job that went wrong. It was the point he knew he was out of the game, the stress was overwhelming, he deserved an end to that life. He made up with his ex-girlfriend – Lea - a French psychologist he met years before, moved up to Sapporo and finally settled down together with her, married. She was not so keen on his profession, he gave up the old life behind no matter what and how it meant to him. At a certain point of that last job that he started to think of her, it was his sign.

Even days of running in the shadow were over, life for him was not as easy as he imagined.

He sustained a grave injury, losing his left arm during the last job even he had a prosthetic that looked like his own arm, it was not perfect, a chronic pain still occurred time to time. He had pills for the pain, and also for the series of stress that overwhelmed in a day.

He had not been working since he got fired from a job he only worked for a week. He was overwhelmed with stress and unpleasant people in his unusual working environment, he once reported how ineffective his female co-workers on the project they handled were, which led to an argument in his workplace. They used their influence to tarnish him and discredit his claim. Soon they discovered his medical record which contain his ongoing stress treatment and used it as pretext, accusing him of being provocative and problematic to how their division operated due to his illness. Stranded along and without any help, he was pressured to resign.
Financing including his medical cost was giving her a bad time as everything was on her paycheck in his downtime, despite putting her in a bad position, she has yet to mention how hard it was much, maybe she understood that he tried hard and was still doing.

He was looking at her, getting dressed for work in her tight blouse and dress, and heels. He imagined how much time she had to spend in those uncomfortable things at her clinic, how much hours she had to keep her face straight when she was with her patient, and more hours for the after-working hours research. He felt guilty of her effort in trying to keep their marriage life going on while he was not doing in much apart from hunting for a job and then failing to get it. He just felt sometimes she was better with someone else who was not dragging her down all the time. And the most undeniable, he felt guilty for needing her and being too happy with her, making it hard to leave her.

He regretted not believing her and having done what she asked before it was too late and has taken a toll on him.

As she noticed him peeping on her, she smiled and shook her index finger playfully before closing the door between the dressing room and the bed room. Yes, even after being married, she was not that kind to let him see a lot of her.

Without her attraction looks and thought, he left the comfort of their bed to find something to put on for himself for a day of early spring outside, a pair of jeans and a blue jumper. He went into the kitchen to make a cup of coffee for her.

The aromatic smell of the coffee grind lured her out of the closet like nectar lures a bee.

He embraced her lightly from behind as she was all about sipping that coffee, he felt a slight stroke of shock before she let her loose of her tense body on his arms. Her weary lean suggested a sleepless night.

It was one of the first things he should apologize for, “I’m sorry I woke up you last night.” He said softly said as he carefully held her in his arms.

Both slowly danced in soft and slow rhythm, for minutes in silence before she broke it.

“You’re moaning through the night, bad dream?” She flatly replied, the night deprived of rest has stolen his cheerful wife from him, she was still a part of her that he could no way abandon. Or perhaps it was her job that she was getting character, her work could not afford too much of overly happy face.

“Yeah, but at least you were in there.”

“Probably in some sort of your fetish again, what was it? A cow girl? Since what you mentioned last night ….” She joked to soften her tired and stressed demeanor.

“No!” It was he thought, it was weird to admit that he wanted to see his wife dressed in a cowgirl attire. In fact it was not so, “It’s not like that ….. It’s a snow …. Fairy?” [/color] He tried to put his whim of a dream into words. It’s just like one those youkai tales, I read when I was a kid.”

“The one that melts away when her husband discovers her true nature?”

“Yeah …..”

“Younger you believes in these kinds of things?”

“Younger me used to be believed in all sort of things.”
She stopped with a stare deep into him, trying to see what was inside his head, inside his mind. “So what was he like, the younger you, that kid?”

He barely remembered that boy, his dreams and life crushed to pieces. He was still glad that they still hold themselves after being putting and taping back.

He whispered softly into her ear, “He’s vibrant, energetic, caring, peaceful ….. Do you want to know more?” He slipped his hand down and up through her thigh, “He’s not exactly a warrior, a lover more likely.”

“Naughty! Not now.” She slapped him in the face playfully, but that did hurt a bit. “What happened to him?”


“Something bad happened to him, he was lost for a while. It was long as if it was an old, another life. Until he met you, you brought him back.” [/color] He rested his head on her shoulder, slowly shaking her in his hug.

“You’re not going to get any girl if you are cheesy as that. Seriously, had you had any before me?” Her tired face grew red but still faced him daringly nevertheless.

“They were not like you. You’re different, so I had no clue how I could get you to …..”

“Love you?”

“Bed me- Ouchhhh.” That earned him more than slaps, it came rumbling fists on his chest as she turned back and hit him mercilessly.

She asked him, “So I’m your one shred; one light; one bright, shining you clung to in this universe? What would you do without me?”

“I couldn’t imagine.”

“That’s why you’ll go buy groceries today, then won’t be ‘us’ if you don’t get them, right?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Don’t get too worked up on finding a job, one day a good one will come, just hang tight. And don’t forget to take the pills, okay?”

“Right ….”

She has not left his arms as he still held on, both looking at each other in the eyes as if things had paused.  He endeared that pair of blue eyes, before the red marks on her lower neckline distracted him, “What’s wrong with your neck?” [/color] He gently fondled the bruises on her neck.

She removed his hands off of her and averted his stare, “It’s just a patient gone out of control …. Don’t worry, he’s a nice man when he was aware of himself.” She said as she walked away to the door.

“But-”

“I said don’t worry about it.” She sighed and turned the door knob, stepping out. “Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” [/color] Those were her final words before the door shut.

But still, he did not hear any footstep since the door shut. He walked up to the door and peeked through the door hole.

She was holding on to her knees, trying to keep her feet on the ground. She was on the verge of her tears, she gritted her teeth as she refused to let that sob out.

He froze and watched with no idea of how to make things better, until she walked away to her work. Saddened by the sight, he collapsed by the door.

Behind her smile and sugar-coated ways of word, behind her tolerance against unease, she was a normal human trying to keep up with the world pressuring on her. At a point she just felt it was not bearable anymore that she just let it out against her will. She was facing more stress than just from one thing,  

He moved to sulk on the couch and picked their wedding photo on the coffee table in front him.



Guilt of not being able to help was killing him. He wondered how long he could hold hands with her and say that everything was okay. He was happy every moment with her but that forced her to hide her pain away from him …..

Her pain was contagious, he was feeling as if it was his own, only would it help her in any way he was glad to.

He turned the TV on to let other voices swarm and block his thoughts from going too wild, hear someone else sometimes to think of other things else.

The news played,
“A woman was found burned to death yesterday in passageway under Hakodate JR line nearby Sapporo Factory. It is still unclear whether this is-”

Enough about the dead for now, he thought as he changed the channel to some sort of talk show, even Sakai Masato was in there, he did not really pay attention really well.

He went to look for the pills she reminded him to take, he hated the one that it was for stress, it just made him tired and faint some times. He grabbed it from the med tab he took periodically and the one for his arm pain from the orange pill bottle, looking for something to rinse the pills down: a bottle of Macallan he hid from her in the cabinet. It was true she asked him to quit, but the downer he could not risk having let it last until another job’s interview tomorrow still lasted.

He sat on the couch as he poured more glasses than he initially planned to drink, he looked at her in the wedding photo, him in a traditional black tie Ivory dinner jacket holding this silly-smiling blue silk dress.  Their wedding was humbly small, just her parents and friends for a private black tie, from his side there was just a few co-workers from the front of his company, even they were not aware of his true profession back then. Her smile of happiness in that day, she has a pair a bit crooked and spaced from each other white glaring teeth in the middle top, hiding behind her red lip, and her shallow lines above her mouth and under her eyes ….. The smile everyone tells her she was better off with it, her ugly laughter that accents those feature. Sometimes, he just thought she looked more attractive when she looked mad, but as if that ever mattered.
“Snow fairy, huh …. Shining, guiding light, even in darkness. Just hang on tight for a bit, it’ll be okay.” It was her in that tunnel that reminded him it was time to leave the game behind if he wanted to see her ever again.

“I told them I quit, I hope that made a nice conclusion for them.” He spoke to himself as he thought about the past, when they approached him after the last job, trying to get me into some task force of sort. He was done with that life. He was not going to let that life destroy him again.

A glass after another, another problem was gone. He was able to get himself afoot for once and get some groceries. He put on the beige single-breasted trench coat and left the room.



It was already evening since he left the apartment and went to get some groceries, an empty fridge would displease both of them very much, and they got tired of a local ramen store.

“Ehh …. Milk, sirloin, salad and dressing ….. Damn it, I forgot butter.” He muttered to himself as he looked the paper groceries bag as he was sitting in the waiting of the psychiatric ward. Despite he regularly checked up with his psychologist, Dr Nakano here, he never before visited her at her workplace, the local hospital with seven subway stations including a line-interchange away from his apartment. He thought he could be of help, picking her up and getting home with Taxi instead so she would not bother to be cramped into the train in a rush hour.

He looked at his Seiko wristwatch, seeing it was 5 PM and already twenty minutes passed her shift. He walked to the reception of this floor, a bored-looking nurse was dying to get home perhaps, as she was clicking through web pages.

“Excuse me,” He modulated his voice to the nurse, “Is Dr. Tougane’s shift over? Normally, it should be over now …..”

“Let me check for a second,” she flipped through the manifest, “Ah …. She said she’ll stay until 9 o’clock this evening. Did she appoint you for today?” [/color]

“No, no, I’m her husband. I’m here to pick her up.”

“Ehhh, is that so …… Dr. Tougane never mentioned you once.” She almost spoke in an undertone, but he heard it.  That was somewhat rude, he thought. Rarely a worker got balls to talk something like that, she was hardly a brat here. He did not really mind, a day without trouble would be blessing. “I actually thought she was going out with Dr Nakano, since they’re hanging out a lot ….”

“Nakano? My psychologist?” He met the man more than once, but it was the first time he knew that Dr Nakano knew his wife personally. “What makes you say so?” [/color]

“I just see them go to lunch together, go out together after work …… I probably shouldn’t say that …..”[/color]

“Right ….” Even he was her husband, peaking in her business was inappropriate, he knew her, he was sure, she would not do something bad for sure, it was just nature of her work. “So, you’re close with her?” [/color] Hence this nurse seemed to know some of those picky things, he wondered so.

“Yes, you can say so.”

“May I ask you something?” He thought about her neckline’s bruises he noticed earlier in the late morning.

“I guess …” The unenergetic voice persisted.

“Is there anything strange lately that happened to her? Like a violent patient …. I saw bruises on her neck …..” He lowered his voice to avoid attract other people around, it would not be good to talk of her like that in public.

Wonder sparkled in her eyes, they rolled over and over. “Hmmmm ….. I didn’t hear anything like that. But that’s ….. Peculiar.”

The unease throbbing his heart grew worse. What could it be then, the curiosity of bad occurrence agonized him.

The nurse was turning her head away and back to face repeatedly.

“What’s wrong?” He asked.

She looked behind him again for the last time and turned back to him, “She didn’t come with you, did she? She is looking this way.”

“Who?” Of course, he would have to ask, he came alone.

“Reddish-brown hair, there! Sitting on a seat besides you just earlier ….”
She pointed behind him.

The seats besides the one he sat earlier were vacant, the rest was occupied by stressed-out salarymen.

“She was just there …..” Her jaw dropped and barely moved as she spoke.

“You must be too tired on this shift. That’s alright then. I guess I’ll go home now. Thanks though.”

He dismissed her and she seemed to begin wandering off in her thought, he could feel it.

He crossed the busy streets filled people who did not see him and neither did he to them, the blubbery arm and a one without much carrying a bag of groceries, both of the soft life had him by his neck and they were slowly strangling him. He was a man of conflict and when, for a long period, the conflict dies down, his spirit went into decline.

A normal life he longed for with her was already within reach, but still things did not seem to be in the right places. Social life, hanging out with her friends, he tried to come off as normal yet he felt it was pretentious and exhausting. Being around with people at this very time was deteriorating his confidence, he was either with her or alone for the most of time. A life of lies back then glossed with excitement and thrill of the chase, a guilty pleasure for him, he missed a good part of it where he thrived and had things under control. He felt small having pretending to be an ordinary human being.

He backtracked through the same route he took on his way to the hospital earlier. He walked down the tunnel crossing under JR rail line, it went down deep enough to be deprived of evening daylight, a long tunnel was filled with lights on the side.

The tunnel seemed longer as his legs tired down and the groceries bag weighed his arm down.

He walked through the long tunnel for minutes.

No matter how he walked through, he only made it half way there. He thought it was odd, but for a man who drank just earlier, he thought alcohol was playing tricks on him.

Both the end ahead filled with dark void.

He looked back as the cold wind blew in his face and throughout the tunnel, and yet again the other end was as dark as.

As he turned back to the way he was walking ahead, the lights have gone with the wind, the darkness consumed the way in front of him.

*tok* sound from a pointy-dull tip object started pounding on the concrete floor behind that dark void and echoed throughout the tunnel.

And soon, the lights have completely gone out, leaving him in the dark.

The pounding noise has not stopped, and was still at same pace, steady knock with a rhythm.

The eerie atmosphere startled him from within. He gasped faster in the quiet dark. He brought out a lighter he used for smoking to bright up the surrounding. A dear lighter only glowed a few feet ahead. He thought the noise was unnerving. It was best to get back the way he came if he could not see anything ahead, at least he has just gone through the way behind him, he jogged back as he kept his eyes to the direction of the sound.

He walked before he stumbled his foot on something heavy.

The lighter and the groceries bag slipped out of his hand after he fell and rolled over.

He felt blunt pain in his face but it was also numbed, “Arhhh…..” his slow moan cried. He fumbled for the lighter as he could see nothing.

The noise has died down, the uncomfortable silence ate him from inside.

He tried to take a deep breath, he tried to think what was the noise. He pulled out the med tab to check if he had taken the latest dose, the answer was he had.

The lighter was again lit up in the dark, near in his face …..  But it was not his hand that was holding it.

He looked up to the source of light and the one who ignited it, he could barely see the face was holding the lighter as it was drenched in something viscous and dark. Bloodshot in those eyes were about to burst.
His eyes widened, he choked in his tongue, he crawled back and tried to get up to run away.
The glimmering-dim light from the lighter revealed the path ahead that was blocked by crumbled concrete all the way to the ceiling, there were yellow warning taping all over it, it was a dead end. He backed all the way through the warning tape and the crumbles.
“Hahaaaaa …..” Coarse and dry laugh came from the point-face woman covered with dark dried red liquid and dark brown-orange hair as the lighter glowed in her face, it was gravelly like it came out from a sagging throat of a hag. She was covered in a scent of burnt stench. The other hand of her was holding a red canister.

The light in her hand went out again.

He felt the stinky, wet and cold splashes on him a few times before the liquid poured down all the way and on the floor.

“Can’t you just finally die!” She squealed in the pitch black.

A flip-flick and then came the light ….. The bright and burning light from a human torch, she laughed as she was on fire and barged to him.

Before he could do anything, he was caught by her and caught on fire.

“Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggghhhhhhhh!” His scream was buried under maniac laugh.



Like as though emerging from water, air was in his lungs again, he inhaled and exhaled.

People on the train looked at him as if he was crazy, they looked as confused and spooked as he was.

He got down as soon as he made to the stop. As the train left, he felt short on his breath again and to his knees. What the hell was that? Was that just a dream or something? He thought.  He was sure he had walked through that place which was ….

He remembered the fright, but like electric shock, once it stopped, he could not feel it anymore.

“Just a few blocks to my apartment ….”  

The sun has already set, the warmth of the day has already gone.
The key got scratched as it was put and turned on the wrong side, the lock was flustered open and locked back once the door bashed closed by his weight.

“What’s wrong? You look a bit tired …..”  She was sitting the couch as she faced him, she was seeing a man out of his breath, paled and almost faint. The look on her face said nothing than confused.

He caught up with his breath as he laid on the door with fatigue. “You’re home already?  I thought your shift ended late ….” He tried not to picture what she was doing out there late or what the nurse he talked to told him, that she was going out after work with someone.

“It did, it ended 9PM. It’s 11 now ….”

“What? but I …”  It should not have taken that long, he already left the hospital since evening. Even just by walking it should not have taken this long …

“What’s the matter?”  It was toneless, maybe she was tired from work.
Some of his time has just simply gone, he knew what he saw before he was on the train. But what it truly was ….. “It’s just weird …. I left hospital by 5, I took the train, I should be here way earlier.”

“Did you take the pills?”  She faced away to the window and shrilly said.

“Of course, I took the damn pill.”

“Then it should have worked!”  She finally lashed out, “Christ! This isn’t the first time you’re behaving like this.”

He was confused how it had to do with anything or why she had to lash out, he did not understand.

“Could just tell me what is wrong with me?” He stumbled his words through.

“I don’t analyze my husband! It’s not it should be. It isn’t right!”

“How does that even matter?”

“Because……….” It ended just as that, she covered her face with her hands, avoiding him, “Just take another dose for today and go to sleep. Alright?” Her rage tone calmed down but it was not yet pleasant.

There was something wrong about her he did not know. She lashed out like that first time ever as he could remember. Did she think he just become her burden? He feared so. It was heated enough, they were tired, nobody would want to go on talking if was such a hassle.

“Fine.”  He went out of her sight and called it a day.


Last edited by Tougane Masaru on Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:17 pm; edited 22 times in total

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Why it's kinda a mess ....



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Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:30 pm

Unendliche Jagd (Conclusion):

The cruel courtesy is as merciful as it can be, he was on his own again in the dark snowy forest. The demonic blue tint has not gone anywhere, corpses of either his faction or the opposition laid on his path like drought. While the landscape is not much than just a plain and some slopes filled with trees and their enormous roots, only for how the trees pack closely together is enough to confuse him. He is not even certain about the direction he is heading to. Like a maze of underground tunnels convoluted back and forth, the slopes and the obstacles he avoids may have done a similar trick to confuse him. The compass is abandoning him, the deeper he goes, the pin gets more unstable.

He drinks alcohol from his large flask to ease the pain and the stress and help him with the cold.
A mile further, nothing apart from trees and corpses of either his caravan or the opposition.
This is where men come to die. It is a suicidal forest for certain.
Voluntary or not, his demise is starting form itself.
Sounds of thunderstruck bellow throughout the woods, birds panicking and leaving their branches, it is not far from him. And soon as he follows, he sees torches glowing from a far in the woods.
He continues to pursuit the torch-wielding men with his tired, badly-wounded and bloodied body.

As he closes in, all the glowing lights from torches start to go out until none. Screams in pain of those men ensue on in the darkness, fleshes being torn out as the snap grinds.
He begins to hear the menace of beast and smell the reek of blood as he got closer to one of those bodies which is apparently someone from the caravan he travelled and was meant to protect. He covers himself behind the large tree. He slowly peeks from his cover.

“Good girl.”   The man who stands unscathed among those bodies speaks to silhouette of a wolf, a grey wolf. He then hands out a piece of cloth for it to sniff on, “Go on, and hunt him down.”  

The moonlight glares on its sharp bloodied teeth as it howls and trots ahead.

The bounty hunters, the men who want his client die and the men who attacked them in the river, utilized grey wolves to continue their unending hunt in the nightfall, to track the smell of his client. Grey wolves normally do not kill and eat man, but they fall into wrong hand, domesticated and trained to be a hunting hound. They make a surprising killer despite their look.

He still keeps his eye the wolf tamer and the wolf.
He does not know how many of these wolves are used to track down his client. He is not sure if stopping them right here will ensure the survival of his client and the rest of the caravan. But even if this is a small chance of them succeeding, he must take as an absolute certainty that they will.

The reason is there to tell him what needs to be done.

But what is driving him underneath? His weary and wounded body has enough excuses for him to either flee away or stand down …. Every moment, every breath and every move take strength he barely feels he has it.

In his living breath, the shame and the pain inflicted from previous battles never die down. This is why he comes to do this job in the first place, the validation of his own in this world, to be known and to be feared. The previous chance blew in his face badly, the second just comes, as deadly as the first was.

To him, any completion is atonement, simple as that.

He does not believe it is his fate to come out here and die in the middle of snow, he believes he has the power to change that as he always did.
Therefore, his choice is to fight. Things can go horribly wrong, but he cannot afford to waste more time.
This is a suicide after all, if it makes any sense.

His gun rings once, and the wolf tamer falls dead to the cold ground. Another shot follows but the wolf is too quick.
The wolf leaps from behind a tree to another and then comes a long howl. It may be that the man fuels it with enough anger by killing its master.
He does not see the wolf anymore. He has no idea what it is going to do. He has no idea what direction he will be attacked by. He can only do one thing now: moving forwards.
The mother wolf jumps from nowhere on him. He loses to her greater speed. His physical strength is undoubtedly inferior. He is stopped there, knocked to the ground by her heavy body crashing on him. His revolver slips out of his hand as the wolf tackles him to the ground.

When he gets up, the wolf keeps her distance from him, howling at him.

She must think of herself superior to him, that he does not have that speed, that he does not have that strength. As if it were telling him no matter what he did, he would be dead at her hands.
He released the warm exhale in the frosting air, barely stands on his feet, he pitys himself for coming all the way here just to face his end. He thinks he has always lived up to his obligation and never given up, but it is not paying off.

The only thing keeps the wolf from tearing the man to pieces is her ecstasy for the imminent victory, with her bark and presence, He feel sharp claws scratching in his heart.
Blood of slain men in the wolf’s mouth reeks and drops down.
Without a gun in his hand, the wolf grows overbold.
He looks around and there are just corpses to affirm the wolf ‘strength.

It steps closer and growls even harder, slowly. It is taking its time as if he is already destined to be its prey and meal.

He slowly retreats in awe and falls down on his knees, something is at his side.
A torch, a guiding light which once is ablaze and illuminates the way in the dark times, now it goes quietly into the night.
The light that has led him here vanished.

What does it take to make it burn brightly forever? He asks as picks it ups.
No answer, all he hears is just his breath and the wolf’s growl.
For a second he loses focus of present, he just feels tired and hopeless, and he just feels tired of having to feel those feeling over and over. He just wonders what does he need to do to end it all? The apparent answers are either die or fight, he always chooses the latter but it never seems that it is really the answer he is looking for.

He closes his eyes, he sees every good moment of his life that has gone, every moment that he misses.
The world is in his head is without pain and disdain, but when his eyes are open they are all where he is.
He just misses those days that he could feel deserve living. Death is not as painful as what feeling is killing a man to his deathbed. He tastes shame enough …...

Once more into the fray …..

Into the last good fight I’ll ever know ….

Live and die on this day …..

Live and die on this day …..
He takes on the liquor flask and pours some on the tip of the torch, seeping it with flammable and setting it on fire with a match.

He pours onto the woods besides him and setting them on fire, they slowly burn.
He pulls a knife out in the other hand and grabs it tight.

He looks her in the eyes, the still bodying burning within and yet he holds himself steady.

The growl rampages and resonates throughout the dark forests, and then the rush of steps …..


He laid on his bed, and saw his wife looking at him, the light shone through the window behind her.

He felt warm and soft in her embrace and the bed they shared.

She smiled at him, and he smiled back.

It was his whole world.
She stroked lightly on his cheek before bringing her lip to his forehead.
The broken heart was healed.
The emptiness was fulfilled by her company.
The moment that the past never mattered.
He promised himself and her that he would never let go.

He felt her hands in his grips loosened, she started to move away and get up.

“Wait ……”



He lays on his side on the cold ground, the fire he set up on the woods is surrounding him, ablaze and shining in the dark forests.

Trapped in the walls of fire, he lies down painfully and bleeds his warm blood over the white snow.

He feels tired and powerless.

He just feels so exhausting to keep this breath going on ….

He has fended off the wolf and injured it.

But at the cost of doing that with the best strength, he sustains more wounds.

The wolf had mauled him.

He thought the act of fulfilling his duty would atone his careless mistake and be satisfying.

It did not feel so.  

With all the force he exerted, the limit he pushed beyond, it cost him too much just to stop that beast of nature, one of which born with more power than him.

While the wolf just has a few fresh wounds and burns, he is near his death, losing to its greater raw power and senses, those teeth and claw dug deep in his skin times and times.

Is it worth it?

A crisis he thought he averted, his attempt brings him to the brink of death.

Does it even matter if the one he is supposed to protect is either alive or death?

He coughs in blood and struggles to breathe in this cold death.

Nothing can be heard but the blaze of fire catching on trees, roasting leaves to crisp, and his pale and dying breath.

Or not …..

Another panting and footsteps are louder and closer …… A white light is coming in his way, a light so bright blinding his eyes. The light swarms him with soft and comfort warmth.

All is bright.

All is calm.

That warm light starts to pull him further in the light and away from the scorching hell.

The pain and agony is eased by its presence.

Let it go ….

A touch comes upon.

He has so many questions, so many answers he wants to hear. But even so, his is trembling too much than he can utter a word.

“You’re dying …..”

And with the meaningless and scarring battle ended, he fades away into the light …..

It felt like having been reborn again, with the weariness clinging along from the previous life. A sleep that felt sleepless.

He woke up alone to the late daylight of a day.
His wife has already gone to work, leaving a garment bag with a bill from dry cleaner and her note that said – For the interview. Leaving post-it was Japanese-like thing to do, one thing he rarely saw her doing it. But hers was too straight to the point, without any heart or smiley.

The garment bag has a dark blue suit like many he has worn during the time he worked for the city. He used to wear it to make him seem ‘normal’ and if possible ‘noble’. Despite wearing it with confident as any man would, it just felt like trying to hide his monster within, trying too hard to look like a normal human-being, to be perceived in a good way, just for the looks. After leaving the violent life behind, he did not feel need of using it as a disguise anymore, but for the job interview, he had to do that again.
After a breakfast and a bath, all dressed up in dark blue suit and tie, he left the lonely room to try making a living like he used to do.

The interviewer for this job flipped through the resume, nodding on every detail on it, and finally he closed the last page and gawked at Tougane. The interviewer cleared his throat and said in his rough voice, “I understand that you have experiences in various fields that we could rely on you, but …..”
“But?” He was sure nothing should be wrong with his resume and that he answered the interviewer’s questions earlier well enough. He sure maintained a humble pose throughout the process.

“It’s our procedure to check up with the previous employment as part of hiring process …”
Unrest swelled inside Tougane when he heard so ….

“They say you are hard to adapt working environment, disobeying, aggressive-”

“And you trust their word wholeheartedly without doubting? Without considering the judgment on my reflection I have just demonstrated earlier in the interview?” He interjected resentfully as he heard the claim. His calm and humble posture has turned sullen as when the topic of his old workplace was brought up. He did not understand why his honest mistake, one which he believed he was right, must become his obstacle and stigma.

“You have to understand, it’s our policy that we don’t accept-” The interviewer voice was stopped, not because of Tougane’s interjection again. But a chair Tougane was supposed to be sitting on was thrown at him and missed him by a few inches. Shivered in shock, the interviewer was lost at his words.

Tougane only walked to the door, grabbed the knob and turned it. Just as he was about to step pass the door, he spoke, “If you don’t plan to listen to me in the first place and just decided things based on their views without mine. You should’ve fucking told me, so I wouldn’t have to waste my time here!”

A door then shut violently.



The room is vast and gloomed in hellish, rusty red and orange as a light bulb reflected on it. The horizons are in the dark, middle of nowhere.

A large rusty air vent fan on the ceiling shrieks as it spins painfully slow.

Its screech pierces his ears as he lies on the rusty metal-sieved floor.
It spins and hurts in his ears again and again.

Again.




The piercing noise has gone, only that he heard the noise of commuting in a café he had been waiting for his wife in her afternoon brake in a café near her hospital. He felt asleep as he waited for her. Now that he half-awaked, he felt sleepless and did not want to open his eyes and rise up properly from dozing.

“Ai-chan, have you heard about the woman that burned and died in the underpass tunnel?” He heard a man spoke energetically from the table besides him, closed enough for him to hear clearly as the whole café was noised by chatting.

“Yes, Katsuo! What about it?” A youthful feminine voice replied silvery in anticipation.

“They say that tunnel has become haunted, maybe we should go and take pictures to get it on the internet, it’ll be another famous urban legend!”

“Are you crazy!? Don’t you know how she was killed!? That makes a ghost haunting and vengeful. When it is vengeful, it doesn’t care who is in its way, it’ll haunt the livings just to fulfill its thirst for revenge and its sorrow. If we go there and she’s there, we’re not going to make it out alive, Katsuo-kun!”

After that, it was all gibberish and annoying arguing whether should they go or not between the two, he was so disturbed by their even-louder noise than the entire café combined, that he had to open his eyes and stay wake.

A part from his own cup, in front of him for another seat, there was empty coffee cup placed there, drunk all the way to the bottom.
He dialed to her cell and it was not answered.

“Hey, guys. Excuse me.” He interrupted the arguing couple, they turned and looked at him weirdly. Slightly stalled by the awkward stare, he asked them, “Have you seen a blond woman sitting here? Did she go anywhere? Bathroom or something?” [/color]

“What blonde woman? I don’t see any.” The guy answered before ignoring and starting the argument with the girl who came with him over again.

Maybe they just didn’t pay attention to her, so they didn’t see. But what’s wrong with her anyway? Coming here and didn’t even bother to wake me up and then left. Is she still mad at me? He thought.

He looked carefully again and notice a piece of paper slipped under her emptied coffee cup, in that note it said, “Dr Nakano, rescheduled to today at 14:00.” [/color]



He was standing in the wild wilderness of snowy forest, dark in nightfall, and a just half a mile from him, that part was lit by fire, catching on the trees, burning and falling apart and it kept spreading to other trees nearby.
He stared further away from the fire, inspecting the scene from his last dream over again.

“I shouldn’t be seeing this again ….. It was as if that day never ends and I live with it again and again. I keep seeing myself losing, struggling and dying.”

“There’s nothing wrong with clinging on to the past, it’s what people do.” Dr Nakano spoke to him with his calm, soothing and young voice. “What do you think you’re seeing?” [/color]

“I’ve told you about it from the beginning-”

“No, Tougane. I meant what’s really behind it. Do you understand it?”

In the deep dark part of his mind, he found no sensible answer he would find himself believing it.

“Let me ask you something else then, what do you feel about it overall?”

“I feel fear, fearing failure ....”

“What does failure mean to you?”

“It makes me feel weak and incapable.”

“Since we talked last time, you said letting failure happen is your guilt, right? That it has been eating you away, and you’d always find triumph to overcome it, to keep you stable, you’ve gone way too far and done so much to avoid it but a single mistake topped, it put you down again.”

“Yes, doctor ..... I let it drove me so far.”

“That’s dangerous. Guilt is a huge burden for a normal human being, it consumes your mind and soul, hard to forget. By pushing you far, when you come back up you don’t know who you are anymore.”

“I don’t understand how it has to do with this ….”

“You’ve tried so hard but you didn’t get what you deserve, it disappointed you. Trying to overcome the impossible and failing at it, it stresses that you are weak and because you are weak, you let bad things happen. You’ve so frightened that you try holding on against it, it symbolizes and projects the devils you see, tearing life apart of you. You can’t handle the truth, that things are out of control and you are caught in its whirlwind. You’ve got to let go of it. Stop denying that it didn’t happen. Your subconscious will symbolize it and let you face it until you come to terms with it. Stop denying its influence, embrace its existence. In the last part of your dream, where you are dying, in that moment you are holding on, everything is trying to tear you apart, but if you make peace with it, you’ll be set free.”

“I can’t … Doctor, I can’t ….. The fire has come to burn me, I’m already in hell ….. I can’t. I can’t I can’t …..” He fell to the cold ground and seizure struck him.

“Tougane. Stay with me!” [/color]

A forceful slap snapped him out of the world behind his eyes, the burning forest has gone, he was sitting on a chair, in his office, his psychologist’s office. A light was flashing in his face with a constant pace. He felt dizzy and uncomfortable, hot even in the winter. He barely remembered how he got here, how his earlier conversation with Dr Nakano was, or if the voice he heard was actually the doctor speaking to him. But he could feel that the prick in his arm from the needle was fresh.
“I’m sorry, you were slipping further. This should be enough for today.”

“How am I doing, doctor?”

“Not so well, I’m afraid. But don’t worry, just get some rest for now.”

Dr Nakano switched off the flickering light and put away the syringe, both have been used to induce Tougane to his dream to find out some answers in this therapy. But that all ended well and was well-worth the bucks.

“We’ll continue next week. I have to take some calls. I’ll let you rest here for a few minutes, I’ll be outside if you need anything.” He walked to the stationary phone and picked it up from the receiver and headed outside the room.

Tougane was once left alone again, in familiar territory, alone in somewhere or nowhere.

He just felt drained that he could not move away from the chair.

Despite it was taking up on his mentality each time for the therapy, he did not feel any advance on the progress. He did not think the doctor was doing much besides doing some prep talk and giving out medications.

And now with the rumor that the doctor was going out with his wife, things concluded oddly for him whether on how he should feel and see about this …..

“No, no, no. I don’t do that anymore ….” He saw the phone receiver and an idea popped up in his mind. That idea was to eavesdrop on the phone using its speaker, maybe it was to find out what was going on between his wife and his psychologist.

He peeked his ear and the doctor seemed to be far from the room, that was the idea if he were to discuss something about Tougane, talking close to the man himself did not seem smart. “Damn it, alright ….” He dragged his worn-out body to the receiver and turned the speaker on. “I hate being a paranoid and jealous husband.”

“-good. They want to know the progress on him, how is it right now, Dr Nakano?” Thank god, he thought, at least it was not his wife he was being talked to behind his back. But really, who was this bloke? [/color]

“Tougane seems to progress further, he is definitely slipping into insanity, the drug induced hallucinations in real life and dreams which increase his stress level even more. And soon he’ll be out of control and we should be able to proceed as planned.”
“Very well, I’m counting on you.”
“But there’s something you should be aware of, he started to suspect the effect of the drug we have given him, he questioned me about it. But I got it covered, I hypnotized him into forgetting it for now.”

“Well, just get it done. We need him dead, he’s a loose end we cannot afford.”

“I understand, sir.”

The line was cut.

What the hell? That was reaction he could give, things were becoming too confusing. Incoming footsteps forced his heart of out of its beat. He hurriedly turned off the speaker and tried to get back to his seat earlier.

He slipped on the carpet floor, hitting his head hard on it, a dull pain occurred in his head.
The door slowly creaked open.

“Tougane?”

“I was just trying to get up and I fainted, I’m fine.”

“Oh god, let me help you.” Dr Nakano came up to him and carry him up on his shoulder. “I just got off the phone with your wife, I asked her to pick you up but she said she was busy.  I’ll have a nurse take you downstairs, get a cab and deliver you home, alright?”

“It’s alright, you don’t have to.”

“You shouldn’t overdo it, just relax and everything will be okay. Don’t forget to take the medication regularly as prescribed. It’ll help you get better with the stress and the symptoms.”

That slimy bastard trying to appear that he genuinely cared, arsehole. He held his disgust back as he was carried by the doctor and let it out with the gushing exhale as soon as a nurse came with a wheelchair.




All these times he spent with the doctor, hoping to be cured, and he was backstabbed. Christ’s sake, his wife recommended this specific psychologist herself.

All time he doubted he developed insane tendencies, he was drugged and fooled.

“Fuck!”

He felt a shudder on the couch, but it was not his.
“Calm down, Touge. We’ll figure this out all right?”  A young nerdy adult with long curly hair and a pair of glasses was sitting with his toxicological equipments as he stated that they were and laptop on the couch inside Tougane’s apartment.

“Right, I’m sorry, I just snapped.”
“Okay ....”

Kurosaki Kyou was working in tech department in his old workplace, one of the few people Tougane thought they could be considered as friends. Kyou owed him a debt in the past, now that Tougane left the violent and treachery life behind, this man seemed like this only option for him to figure out a new threat upon him.

The drug was making him insane, he was certain, it was someone from the city. For a moment he thought he had gone crazy himself, he should have known they would not let this drop easily.

“Touge, I ran the check for the third time, it’s definitely it. The drug you were prescribed with was not what you thought it was, they swapped it to this one,”  the information showed up in the screen, the detail was far beyond his simple knowledge in medication and toxicology, “they’re inducing hallucinations in a long term. This one was produced as a mental enhancement medication back a while ago, it wasn’t much of success. I didn’t think they would weaponize it, against you. There’s no record of death caused by this drug, but I bet you, it was certainly disguised as something else and made to leave no traces behind in the victim’s system. All the investigation about those deaths would end up as suicide due to chronic mental illness.”

It was not far-fetched when he recalled the capability of what the city could do, but still it was unbelievable for him, after he thought it was over.
“Did you know something they don’t want you to? Touge …. Something they will mess with their business ….. Ah, hum. A man with history of violence and military background, no one will suspect a thing if you are dead by your own hands. See? They set you up with a psychologist, their man! Through your wife! They provide you the drugs! They are trying to make you insane so it will be one less loose end!”  Kyou alarmingly spoke.

He thought about having actually ending up as Kyou depicted, maybe by his own hands or they would make it look like so. His wife may be caught in this act, the realization was frightening him.

“I can’t believe it. I have no idea, I don’t even know if it’s either my old alliance or the enemy from the past. Damn it! Don’t they just get that I quit?”  

The words from that nurse at his wife’s workplace about how that bastard Nakano and his wife were around together a lot, the image of her bruise on her neck ..... He honestly thought it was different kind of affair, now it was rather a conspiracy against him. He did not feel safe having someone he cared around that person who intended to harm him. That bastard may have even forced her into this. Maybe the bruises on her were from that bastard!  He thought as he was reminded of that bruises.
“Thank you, Kyou. I wouldn’t know what to do without you. I’m gonna need new identities and the passports, for me and my wife. How fast can you get it?”

“Tomorrow? Where you going?”  Kyou spoke fast, as much as he packed up all of his stuffs and equipments, beginning to leave.

“I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it yet. I just feel there’s nothing good in staying here, being targeted all the time. We’re in danger, I need to get her out of this before something bad happens.”

“Right. I’ll drop it right here by morning then.”

“Thanks again, I really don’t know what to say ....”

“You don’t have to .... Just stay safe, and good luck.”



Since his old friend, Kyou has left, Tougane barely moved from the couch he sat on. In his head, he pictured the possibilities of bad things that have happened and will happen now. He worried, he was dying to see her and-

The door was turned and pushed in, stepped in the dear wife he waited to see.

He rushed up to her and held her tight by her arms, startling her. “We need to leave.”

“Leave? Leave what?” [/color]  The look on her face was telling she was not entirely on the same page as him.

“I’m sorry, we’re danger, we need to leave. Someone in the city is after me .... I’m so sorry that it turned out like this .... If they don’t get me this way, they’ll find another way to kill me ....”

“What!? I don’t understand any of what you’re talking about ...”

“The drug I’ve been prescribed with, it’s worsening my conditions, they planned it intentionally so I would look crazy and fall in their act. They’re targeting me! It’s Nakano, he’s sent by someone from the city!”

She looked as if she ran into the wall, she was stunned, silent of word, and shocked. He was waiting her to understand. She would understand eventually ....

“Masaru, I can’t do any of this anymore, ever since we’re together, your condition is getting worse .... I understand it might not be your fault, but I can’t bear this anymore, a life like this with you ....”  She sounded disappointed, gravely.

“Of course, it’s not my fault! It’s their fault, it’s Nakano’s fault! I should be cured, not backstabbed!”

She stood there, trembling, shaking her head around, trying to utter a word out which nothing comes out but air. She just stopped for a moment, trying to get her around this, mustered her concentration and spoke out “No, you .... I don’t know how to make you believe me .... I talked to Nakano already. He said you weren’t cooperating, you’re avoiding taking drugs, your condition is developing out of control-”

“Hey, it’s me ... I’m not lying, Lea. I’m not sick. He’s the one who’s lying!”  He paused as something inside has been broken, he did not believe the person he trusted most would trusted someone else’s words more than his. But wait, he suddenly realized....  He looked at her bruises on her neck, even they had faded, but he remembered how they well. “Nakano did this to you, didn’t he? He forced you to cooperate, right?”  He slowly reached out for neck, “Don’t be scared. I’m here. I can protect you ....”
The thin line snapped, a forceful whip landed and shoved on his cheek, he slightly staggered back. Even from a slim and small hand, it was hurtful, not because the pain it inflicted, but because .....

On the verge of tear and trembling in fear and anger, she pulled and parted her blouse where the bruises were on her neck. “Protect me!? You did this to me! You see, this is yours!” [/color]

“I don’t understand, Lea ....”

“You fuck- Do you know what people say when they know my husband is mentally ill? Of course not! I have my life to handle and it is hard enough. Having an incapable husband, a psychopath who has excuses because he’s just ill so he can do anything and then simply forget.... You’re not an action hero anymore, Masaru. You need to be normal, you can’t let all of that destroy our life. Get your shit together! Stop bullshitting me! I can’t- I can’t even-”

She just stopped, staring down at the floor, saying nothing.

“Lea?”  He shook her lightly.

“GET OUT!”  Her high-pitch scream penetrated his ears, she pushed his hand off, and went in the kitchen and grab a knife, pointing at him, “I SAID GET OUT!” [/color]


Even his life was seemingly in an imminent danger, if his wife refused to come along, he did not know why he would bother trying to do anything at all. Damn, she did not even believe him. It was just all meaningless, why go? Why would he do anything at all.... He doubted himself if she said was true, that he hurt her, that he was truly sick.... He did not realize before that the drug made him do things. He did not have any recollection, of course it had to be those blackouts he had ...

He was just stumped, not knowing what to do now ... He just preferred his last moment to sit in a cheap ass 500-yen bar. Nights after nights that he kept seeing the things in his sleep, he felt tired every time he woke up if he dreamed of those things. He hoped alcohol would put him at ease eventually.

The bartender kept pouring his drink after each ran out, he lost count on how many glasses he have drunk ...

“Look  who’s here! Tougane Masaru, the psychopath! Have you found any job yet? Or they just know what you did at our workplace and refuse you.”  The annoying female voice barked from a table behind.

“Small world .... Don’t you have other classy bars to go, the ones with richer ugly fat dicks you’re desperate to ride on? What the hell do you want Mizuki!?” He smashed his glassed down on the bar.

Mizuki, the one with tea-coloured hair that struck her out as a leading bitch of their clique with a few generic grunt bitches hanging around, he remembered these people from his latest work after moving here. In fact they were the reason he got fired from his job. It once proved to him again than a single voice of truth will lose to enormous lies. He honestly performed his job as he should, it was not his fault that he had to report them because their stupid actions were obstructing his work. Threatened to lose their job, they discredited him and tarnished him to protect their job, even all of this was orchestrated, no one batted an eye, and they just got away with it. In one of those early days where he killed, all of them were probably resting at the bottom of the sea. These bitches that just had a pretty face and shamelessness, thinking they could do anything with their body.

“Why in such a foul mood, Tougane? We just wanted to talk, don’t be so misogynistic.” Mizuki still continued on harassing him.

“Fuck no. And fuck off!” He yelled among the crowded bar, everybody just stopped and then stared at him.

Fuck, he had no better words in his head. He had problems before hand and now this .....
Mizuki got off from her arse which no one knows how many have gone in through it, walked up to him and whispered in his ears “Hey, Tougane,” she grabbed him by his arm, “Behave nicely, Tougane. You do know if you even lay your hand on me, the words will get out, they’ll know you’re sick, that you’re a psychopath. Riding the right one got my hands on your medical record, maybe you wanna try on someone once just to get even?”

He was drinking too much already, he did not want to think much and trouble, “Please, just cut off with your office drama. I just came here for a drink.”

“This glass? Enjoy.” She picked up and poured over his head, “No one will bat an eye. Just lay your hand on me and you are done” [/color] she whispered.
Mizuki sure got nerves for doing that right in front of people.

“Fine. You’re done? You’re entertained?”

“Pretty much. Well, see you around. Hahahahaa” She turned back and laughed, and her bitches laughed among their own.

Enough with this .....

His hands started to shook due to arising stress, ache mashing from both of his temples, he tried to reach for the medicine tab inside his pocket. As he lifted it up, the shaking and uncontrollable hand dropped the pills all over the floor, the orders and the type of the pills were mixed up.
His disorient and dizzy vision faded the colours in this world and distorted the sight, he crawled through the floor trying to pick them up.

“Haaaah. One of them, straight out of psychic ward? Seriously, this society doesn’t need people like you, you only weigh them down. No wonder you don’t have a job. No wonder anybody want you.”
That should not mean much apart from what it was said, it should not hurt much. But it reached to his core like a knife stabbing through.

Mizuki started kicking the pills out of his way, as vision was worsening.

“Can't you finally drop dead, you persistent piece of shit?” She stepped her heel on his left hand, piercing its sharp tip through.

“Gyarrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” The sharp pain spread through nerves in his stabbed hand, the world before him was fading of colours and seemed bleak as he felt he was about to pass out.

He slurred his pleadings, his words became more inaudible as he tried to defend himself.
Yet they were laughing even more.
Enough was enough.
The glass shattered.



Those screams pierced through his ears and inflicting burning pain inside his head.

“MASARU! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!? CHRIST….. No …… What have you ….” It was a familiar voice, it was Lea’s.

“What are you here? What do you mean ‘what have you …..’?”  Even more baffled at her reaction.

He looked down to his hands.

They were covered with blood as the broken bottle was in one of his hand.

He looked around, seeing people look at him in fear and disgust.

“What?”

He looked down.

The girl who had bothered him earlier, the girl with tea-colored hair, Mizuki was laying dead by his feet with blood splattered over her.

Her blood was on his hand.

He did not understand, he just felt embarrassed, angered and pain, he did not meant to hurt her ……

“There must be something wrong ….”

“There’s not a fucking thing wrong apart from you! What did you think? What have you done, you monster!?”  Lea yelled at him, disappointingly. Her face was red, teary and about to burst.

His heart shattered, he never expected to see someone like her to say something like this to him.

She quickly turned away, shunning him, running away from him.

“Wait!”  He begged and followed her down the street.

She was running away from him, crossing roads without regards as if a monster was chasing her.

Was it?

Maybe it was.

He kept begging her to stop so he could explain, but she kept disappearing to the horizon ahead.

He tried to be as fast as she was.

He crossed roads with no hesitation.

Again, again.

The horn and screeching heavy noise squalled from his side.

Before he knew, he was floating in the air and landed further away. A car had hit him despite its attempt to brake.

He still saw her running into horizon.

He forced his legs up, but nothing was moving at all.

He gave up, laid still on the cold and harsh concrete, looking up to pitch dark sky.

His vision started to fade into blur.



The large rusty air vent fan in the vast and dark room, its noise was screeching above him.

“We’re losing him! Give me vasopressin now!”  

As much as he resisted, the blur world faded into to black.



*wink* noise hummed inside his dark vision.

He has woken up, too many times that he did, it became confusing what layers he was on.

He has come to, the small white room with nothing but quilted padding on all sides including its door for protection. A room he felt has never been to before. He was dressed in white patient’s clothes.

Where am I?

Lea?  

He banged the door where there was a glass panel that could be looked through.

“Hey! Is anyone out there? Let me out! Where’s my wife!?” He kept yelling that, faces have passed the door but none was paying attention to him.

He continued doing so until his hand bled from banging the door and his was sore.
His tired body collapsed by the door.

Huh?

Under the door, there was an envelope, inside there was a note .....

“I’m sorry, Masaru. I tried. I tried so much to make things better but I failed ....

You promised you wouldn’t let that old life to destroy ours. I trusted you, but I didn’t know you were already on the brink of it, I didn’t have a clue.

I know I’ve done a terrible thing to you. Something you’ll never forgive me for: leaving you alone. I couldn’t bear seeing you turn to a monster. I wish I could change that but I can’t. I feel so pathetic of myself that I can’t do anything, hopelessly watching you slowly changed.

Every day I stare up at the cracks in the ceiling and all I can think about how unfair it all is .....

I finally accepted that it’s inevitable. I have to let you go. I am angry and selfish for doing this ....

That’s why I understand if you do hate me.

But I want you to know this.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world, we had some wonderful times together.

By the time you are reading this, I would be long gone to the place that you’ll never find me.

Thanks and sorry for everything, Masaru.”
.

Lea .....
He scrapped the paper into pulp after he read.
He heard the door being unlocked, he quickly folded the note into his chest pocket.
The door was unlocked, he heard the sound of it being turned. The men in white flocked in the small and narrow room.

He fought them off, trying to free himself from this room.

He lost to their number and rendered powerless in their stranglehold. He felt liquid injected in him and his conscious faded away.


A disc was inserted in the player, it was label ‘Tougane Masaru’ on the disc.

A few second of loading, it played an audio file through the speaker.

“I’m sorry that it was a little bit rough for these past few days, Tougane.”

“Dr Nakano? Fucking bastard!”

He tried to plunge towards Nakano who was standing in front of him, unaware of the straightjacket restraining him, up from the feet to his shoulders, he was bind.

“What have you done to me?”

“Huh? Nothing, besides trying to cure you. You were ‘slightly’ violent in these past few days.”

“Stop with your nonsense! Where is she? Where’s my wife? Where am I?”

“I honestly don’t know. As far as I can remember, you don’t have a wife. For where you are; psychic ward, Ginza hospital.”

“No, before that girl’s death and the car crash ..... I just saw her before it happened. I’ve been living with her for the past month-”
“Tougane, you have to understand, you have been here for seven years.”

“Seven years? I don’t understand ....  I still have her letter, in my chest pocket, I promise, I won’t do anything. Just get it and take a look at it.”

Nakano unfastened a few straps of the straightjacket, took the piece of paper Tougane fold in his chest pocket. He unfolded the paper and read.

“See?”

“Tougane, I understand that it’s been hard for you. You are doing well, it’s just the medication is putting some strains on you. I understand you’re trying to cope ....”

“What are you talking about?”

“You better take a look for yourself.”

Nakano held the letter unfold and in front of Tougane.

It was blank.

There was nothing there.

“You’d experienced a great pressure after the grave injuries you sustained , when you woke up, you murdered two nurses in a fit of rage. That’s why you are here.”

“No, this is not right. This can’t be true.”

Inaudible scream blew the grain in the speaker for a few second before it cut.


“Oi, Tougane.”

The man with a coconut haircut, sitting beside him in the cafeteria called him out, Tougane did not really pay attention. He was not paying attention to anything. He just felt that he had that life with his wife, he lived and it just collapsed, in fact it was never real. He could not cope with it, he just felt there was nothing to live for.

“Tougane!”

“Huh? Do I know you?”

“I’ve saved your ass many times, got into problems with other patients and the administrators here. And you’re just forgetting me now. I hate your symptom, really!”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know ….”

“I’m Kawabaru Gan, We’re like buddies before your symptom kicked in, too bad we have to start over again. But you can pretend you already know me, let’s start with using first name basis. All right?”

Dr Nakano had told him that under an extreme circumstance, he would forget things and repress them, retreating to the world he created as a method for coping like a person in there was his reflection or subconscious notion was forming itself an action or incident there, the doctor told him it had happened to years before he admitted here, it was left uncured until it developed into further stage. Over the past five years, they were trying to cure him, his progression was going positively. Until a few days ago, it happened when he got into a fight with another patient in the same ward, he was stressed out and had gone into denial state. Memories started to come back as time passed, but the feeling of the life he thought he had was clinging onto him.

“I think I’m just gonna call you, Kawabaru.”
“That’s exactly what you keep saying every time I ask you, so the old Tougane Masaru’s going anywhere, most of his part.”

I told them things would eventually end up in a hospital, but I didn’t know it was going to be a psychic ward. [/color]

“So, the guy you got into fight with, Kirawa .... He just passed away this morning.”

He really did not have much recollection about this guy, he just remembered he tried to talk to him and it did not ended well. Still, it could not help to feel anything but terrible. In a sense he feared becoming like that man, too far beyond saving and unwanted.

“The guy was way beyond saving, the doctors didn’t want him. When he’s out, nobody even mentioned him.”

“If nobody wants to hear or talk about him, then don’t. I just don’t feel very well this morning ...”

“Sorry.”

Silence fell for the rest of the lunch, he mindlessly munched through some pulp-thingy food that was on his tray, he did not care if it was shit or something, it did not matter to him. Thoughts were going crazy inside his head, he never knew that not hearing someone talk to him could trap him inside his own head. He needed a diversion, he looked at Kawabaru who was still playing with his lunch, thinking about that man and what he said.

“Something on my face?” He caught a glimpse of Tougane staring at him.

“Nothing.” Tougane did not bother to look away or avert his gaze, he was genuinely curious, “You just look normal. How did you get in here?”

“Hahahaha” Kawabaru burst into laugh, “You want hear again?”

“Of course.”

“Well, I used to work as a writer for a publisher. It sounds like an easy job, but it actually was stressful. It didn’t seem easy as it looked. I tried to be a normal nice guy, talking to some people and be there for them when they need, trying my best to write something. One day something I wrote caused a problem for colleagues there, I tried to solve it step by step and then ..... I don’t know what’s with them, I thought I knew them. I just realized I was in the peripheral, my words weren’t heard, they didn’t care and went ahead to deal things without me. I was alienated. It just feels like a waste of time that I spent time ‘actually caring’ about things there, why would I continue to care anymore? Their words and actions contradicted themselves. After that I felt things were different, I couldn’t keep it normally like I used to. Nothing will change. The only thing that could keep that life going on ‘peacefully’ was that I shut my mouth like people always tell me to, it was their subtext. It was my mistake that I decided to work there, that I liked it there. But never once since then when I worked there that I felt happy or at least normal. I always had to worry. I wanted to be there, there’s nowhere else better to be. But that wasn’t how things turned out, things keep playing in my head over and over again. Maybe it’s not me that should be there. It’s just not me. I like it there, I hate it there that it was such a turn-up like this. I couldn’t be there. Not like this. I didn’t deserve that. I didn’t deserve to be treated like that. I hate not being able to do what others did to me. They just pretended it never happened, it was nothing to them, it didn’t matter at all. I couldn’t bear living in that environment feeling tormented while seeing them happy and fine. In the end, I lost it and attacked them. I was diagnosed and sent here.”

“Oh ….”
That summed it up, this man told this like he remembered how to, it did not feel like he heard this in his head just once.

“Yeah, your expression is always like that when I tell you. There you go, my story.”

Kawabaru sighed heavily from his puffed chest.

“Things are just like that when you are against something in numbers, living in the world with the rules they expect you to follow but they don’t even. I learnt I should never have had any faith in them.”

Tougane felt that the words Kawabaru spoke was familiar, he delved into those words like it was his own. Sitting still until he noticed he was alone in the room.

He then understood why he and all of them were here .....




Dr. Nakano’s office has a large pane of glass which warm daylight came through, swarming the room.

The audio was played from a player through the speakers, on the last few seconds it ended with a scream. Dr Nakano turned the player off and walked back to his chair, facing his patient: Tougane.

“We’ve never gotten past the point where you don’t break down. We’re trying our best, I hope you understand.”

“I do, doctor.”

“How are you feeling today?”
“I feel better without restraints.”
“On any account we wouldn’t want to make you too uncomfortable.”

Without the straitjacket, he still felt he was choked tightly by a certain feeling, he had sometimes to think about the surrounding of this ward, the people, it planted a thought in him. He felt trapped in this white ward of the hospital, he was not expecting to recover. Every time he closed his eyes, he desperately hoped this would all end.

“How could I know that I am still alive? That I’m not trapped in my mind anymore?”
“If you think this is hell, it’ll be your hell. If you think this is your purgatory, it’ll be your purgatory. It’s just a matter of perspective. If you can deal with what's in front of you, it'll end soon and you'll be embraced by the light. No more pain and struggle.”

He knew the doctor would answer so, but he did not know where to go on from now. It was a long life he has lived, it felt too long, the vessel carrying the soul struggled so much while the soul was slowly dying. It did not mean anything to live on hereafter. He lost the will to strengthen his determination, or even illusion, both of which would keep him breathing.

Ending theme

In my restless dreams, I see the world I want to see, I see things that cannot happen in the waking world. Good things usually live in the time that passed already, buried under the heavy rubble of painful pasts. There were times I wished I never woken up, dreams, distorted realities were much better than what is in the present.

I wrapped in my cocoon of desire and loneliness, to avoid pain.

Every time I came close to knowing the truth, I make excuses just to fool myself.

But I was not either strong enough to completely fool myself to the extent I truly believed it, or strong enough to handle the reality. I end up not being able to live in neither of which; I shattered the dreams, I reject the reality.

The hard part is that I have to wake up the next day and live the life that is not like I expected and hoped yesterday, knowing something has gone and will never come back.

I was just trying to stop the mutation within. Part of me knows I could not bear to live on after turning to something I don’t want to.

I let the plague of my past to grow and destroy me, the plague that lives in the darkness.
Once it has taken control of me, there are things in the darkness that can keep my heart from ever feeling the light again.

That man has already died in that tunnel.

This is just coping because he could not handle what happened.

I’m beyond going back …..

Acceptance.

I tried to understand the reasons, I tried to rationale.

In the end, I still feel overwhelmed by the emotions.

I want to let go of the hold I've been trying to hold on.

I feel tired.

I want to go.

I want this to end

I'm tired.

Let me go ........




_________________
Explanation for my writing in case you are wondering:
Why it's kinda a mess ....



Maybe just one doesn't suffice, have a gif.






Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:20 pm

Monster ohne Namen:


Opening Theme

It was the noon bell that freed Teacher from this distress, standing for almost 4 consecutive hours and talking alone in front of the class that no one seemed to pay attention to. The teacher and the other students had left in haste for the cafeteria, leaving alone the middle schoolboy sitting in the back of his classroom, reading his notebook with a plain cover.

He laughed as he turned each page, not with pleasure but disgust and pity.

Each page of his notebook was drawn with horrific sketches of urban legends and their scribbled hand-written description. One of which he was looking was a tall and masked figured in a cloak painted with red pen and outlined by black one.

“What’s that, Asada-kun?” It was his classmate, a vibrant popular-type schoolgirl which contrasted his nature of being lonesome and secluded, her name was Kanade, he did not know her personally, neither did he to the rest of his class. She appeared out of nowhere and curious about his hobby he spent his lone time with. He hoped she was not interacting with him just as if he was something like extraterrestrial being. She popped her face in his sight and cheerfully asked, “Did you draw that yourself?”

“Yes, the infamous Aka Manto.” He dully replied.

“Ah! I know that one, that story creeps me every time in the toilet. May I see the book? Please~?”
It was not her cute tone in her request that he handed the book right away, he knew he no longer needed it anymore.

“Aww-” She moaned and overreacted like in a typical Japanese-fashion as she flipped further into the book, chill crept on her spine, her face twitched in disgust and horror. “You like urban legends much, Asada-kun?” She lifted her face from the book briefly.

“I used to. But now, not really. I don’t like the idea that I need to live under a constant fear of something.”

“Then what is this for?” Looking at amount of artwork he has done with the book, she doubted why would he draw these things.

“I’m just curious about what other people fear in general.”

“Is that so …..” She focused her eyes on the book again, flipping to the last page.
It was drawn with a dark red silhouette of a boy ripping and emerging from tearing pale and pimpled skin of his own like when a snake molted, tainted with blood, his eyes glowing red, his claws grown out of his hands, corpses laying around him. It did not fit any description or any lore she could think of.
“What is this one? There’s no description of this one.  I’ve never seen or heard of this one before. What is its name?”

“It doesn’t have a name…... He used to be a normal boy, but one day he lost his parents in a fire accident in his home which deformed his figure with pale and pimpled skin from the burn. He was lost and he strayed from one village to another, trying to find a place he could live or hide. Often, villagers who saw him would mock, hurt and call him monster because of his hideous form. Day after day, it got more severe, wounds to scars, he cried louder each day he was hurt. He was accused of all sorts of bad things that happened in the village, livestock turned up dead, stuffs stolen, even he did not have anything to do with those things. Nobody knew if he truly committed those things, nobody had evidences for what he did and the worst, nobody doubted themselves, they only wholeheartedly believed that he was responsible for those things. He knew he was not a saint but he believed one day they might have a change of heart if he showed himself in a better light, he tried to redeem by doing good things but they went unnoticed. The boy endured through the ordeal without having a slightest of thought in hurting them, he felt weak and did not deserve to live, shedding tears why these things must happen to him and hoping one day these people would understand the truth and treat him better until one day he learnt it would not come, he long forgot what kind of person he used to be, who he was, only remembered what people accused him of. He was fed up with it. He peeled his hideous skin off, the skin that branded him something terrible. And when he was about to be hurt again, he retaliated every of them. He looked at the eyes of the survivors, the wounded that he attacked, they looked back in fear, not disgust or disdain like they used to. He felt powerful. In that moment, he knew himself, he wanted to live on being feared, untouchable, it would the only way he could feel safe again. He burnt and left the place, never to be seen again …..”

“Wooah- This one is quite a terrible tragic.” She started to flip over the entire book again with enthusiasm, looking through each one shortly, “Which one are you most afraid of, Asada-kun?”

“They are not in this book. These are not real, these are just something they create to be afraid of, they don’t want to know the fact or the reality.”


“Which is?”

The door slid open loudly, slammed, rather. And entered five boys.

“You still owed us a ‘dogeza’, Asada!” Youjirou yell across the room and interrupted. He stood in front of the almost empty classroom with another four of his underlings. He was the brute who broke his arm and tied him in a ‘display’ in the utility barn behind the school, leaving him for days. It happened about half a year ago.

“I didn’t do anything wrong.” He still kept his tone as dull as he used to speak to the girl.

“Well, the teacher wouldn’t stumble on us exactly when we were smoking in our secret spot, wouldn’t they? My father had a great deal of trouble having to clean that up. Does reporting to the teacher make you a great Samaritan? Praised by the people? Cut the crap, you know no one cares about what you think or you do.”

“I have nothing to do with that.”

“You lying! Do you want to get beaten up like last time? No one even lays an eye on you or has a light mouth about what happened, we can beat you up as much as we want and get away with it. I suggest you come crawling at our feet and do ‘dogeza’ before you get yourself hurt.”

The afternoon bell rang, and he was not saved yet. Other students started to flood in the room, taking their seat before the next class start soon. No one seemed to pay attention to the brutes in standing in front of the class and the boy and the girl in the back.

He ignored the brutes in the front for a second and turned to Kanade. “Man can be the most fearsome monster. Together in mass, blinded by fallacy or flawed rationale, and for their own interest, they can do something bad without having to feel bad about it. Anyone who somehow doesn’t fit in and was too weak to stand against them, eventually will be expelled to isolation by those people or end up like that boy I just told you. I fear living among those people.”

Kanade heard and acknowledged in her silence, she lingeringly handed the book back to the boy, he merely looked back and replied, “Keep it if you want, I have no uses of it now.” She kept the book to herself and started to head for her seat, but then the boy called out to her, “Wait.” She looked back at him wonderingly.

“I forgot to tell you. Not all the villagers did participate in harming that boy, some just looked, spoke of nothing and did nothing about it, there were opportunities that he could be saved and they did nothing about it until it was too late. Like when you lied to teachers that you didn’t see what they did to me, Kanade-san.”

At that moment, she began to grasp what he was talking about, her mouth gaped open as she took a double look at the creature in the last page of the notebook.

The boy calmly slipped his hand in his trouser’s pocket, pulling a pen out and taking out the cover at the tip.

She knew by then it was too late.

“YOU CHOSE THIS!” Youjirou yelled as he walked through straight to the back of the room.

The boy turned away from her and closed his eyes, accepting his fate of what was to come.

Behold, the great red monster!













“Shoot that thing! Or we’ll all go down.” A voice yelled amidst of the aloud bursting gunfire and the rotating helicopter rotor over the heavy gushing wind of blizzard.

“I’m trying!”

A harsh impact and penetration occurred and followed by the explosion before the heavy chunk of metal crash-landed onto the ground. The only things that still made sound were just blizzard winds of winter and a helicopter on fire.

He heard of that in darkness of his mind, severed of senses in present. A playback of the past played the loop to keep the feeling that everything was not over and would go on again and again, the history of this violence. Sometimes he just wishes that if he closes his eyes, everything, every problem, every pain will vanish. Or at least if he can those eyes closed forever, that will be almost as good. But we both know things never end like that.












I knew … Just closing my eyes, not seeing the problems right in front of me …. Hoping it might just make the pain go. Crap. Hell if it works … I knew it was pathetic. So I got up and tried to get rid of it instead of crying and moaning in the pain. So I opened my eyes.

The young teenage him was in the teacher’s room, full of people who did not care about his presence, went on with stuffs they seemed to care so damn well about ….. but just one in front of him may do a little. It was not a casino he was sitting in, but he certainly did smell the scent of gambling: smoke, sweat and fear. The eyes annoyed teacher was gazing at him, he looked back and how she looked hardly mattered to him …. after what just happened.

I must have admitted I felt scared, I would be lying if I say I don’t. But it’s not about Ms.Tanaka. Not about how angry she looked, not about what she was going to say or do with me. I just …. I’ve just never gone this far …. ‘Far’ as in progression. As a matter of fact, yes. I’ve too gone far with the intensity which led things to be at the tipping point. I’ve gone too far that I’m not certain of what will happen after this. Do I regret? I don’t feel all too well, but I suppose this is the only way.

“Do you have anything to say?”

Loud grunts and clashes of fists, kicks and hard objects that occurred just minutes ago rang deep inside his head, moans of pain followed each strike. He was glad he was the least injured this time.

Ms. Tanaka was a bit of a bitch. It was not the first time I talked to her. I’ve gone from begging help to an inquiry in just about 3 years. She was useless then. She was a pain in the arse now.

“With all due respect …. Ma’am.” The last syllable was pushed out hard and curt. With a pause for reluctance of what he was about to say. “I do think they deserve that.”
“You sent five of your friends into infirmary, Asada-kun.” She stated the obvious, unbelievably to the claim he said they deserved that.

“I wouldn’t hurt friends. It was self-defense.”
“You broke Youjirou’s jaw with a chair. You busted Kimura’s knee, he might not be able to walk again.” [/color]

“I was outnumbered, I didn’t have much time to think.”

It couldn’t be truer. In that situation, minimizing damage was the last thing I would think of. I’m not a cape crusader. I’m a desperate loser turned violent sociopath. If that’s not what I am, they will dub me so anyway.

“Sure you didn’t. That doesn’t save you anyway.”

I’m at least glad that it was over, the days of sitting quietly under the tree I liked to be read my book under or at my desk and get fucked up by their gang. Beating me up, calling me things, ‘faggot’ was one of them. Irony that it was always just me against a number of them. I fought, lost. But I did for a while until I felt tired and that I might just deserve this, so I stopped and pled for help and mercy. Of course, they didn’t and no help ever arrived. I was afraid, if one day I was not the one who ended up in the infirmary, I would be prosecuted for defending myself, expelled as consequence. I was a fool that I thought things didn’t change because maybe I did it the wrong way. No, nothing has been right to me from start, nothing has been right to anything. I was playing by their rules which were used against me whilst they enjoyed their immunity. How would I ever win? What did I do that I deserve this pain for every day of my life since things went downhill? The hatred? The abandonment? I’d admit I am not the most charming guy among them, not the best personality, quiet, plain ….. What kind of person they wanted me to be? I don’t have much awaited in my life, my loved ones are gone. A tragic forced upon, so I ended up being a living embodiment of pain. You would think it was stupid and who would ever hate a person just for that. Well, think again and see how stupid they are, doing things based on that notion and hate …. I never hurt anybody for being what I am or doing what I do …. I seemed to have all the things they could hate about. For one mess I didn’t do, they said I fucked up, they accused me. I wasn’t seen, I wasn’t heard, ever again. Anybody could just treat me however the fuck they wanted. Day by day, rumors and lies flew around, I became from just a quiet guy who was not so likable, to a silent psychopath. I already had hell even before them, the effect of what happened to me before sent me even deeper in hell. Words, and then forces. I went home with bruises and wounds almost every day, and every day worsened that I started to have bones broken. I could see the next being my soul if I had let that happened for longer.

So I rethought, I must fight. If they are not fair, I don’t have to be. I learnt how to evade, at least that I tried to use that. I learnt how to throw the punches back. Getting home with less and less bruises, giving them back more and more. I was high on a peak of it. They’re fed up. I guess that’s why they jumped on me today.


“I don’t have any way of saving myself against them.”

“You could tell the other people to help you. You shouldn’t use violence.”

Of course. I did the pacifist way for a number of times. The next day usually followed by harder punches for having a light mouth. They still did what they did, eyes were blind, ears are deaf, and mouths are speechless. Ms. Tanaka was rather busy with wearing her lipstick and brushing mascara, rather than doing what she gave her word she would. The others were just the same. The authoritative figures though it was easier to keep things quiet. They are good at making problems go away by wiping them under the mat rather than actually solving them. Maybe the only way to end it, the way they want it to be: surrender. Admit to defeat. Admit to the accusation. It was only one thing that hurts me more than physical pain. Admitting to something I am not, I did not. Accepting your fate from horrible actions based on that notion.

“But of course, you said I could tell you and you would help. That was last year, I had to wear splinters for months and when I recovered, things were just about the same.”

“There was no proof about what you claimed-”

“You didn’t want to prove. If you hadn’t been their bitch, sacred of their parents, I’d have felt things would be slightly better.”

“Are you accusing me of something!? You should learn how to talk to adults, the ones above you. This is disrespectful!” Her tone never struck as anything more than boredom now it was impatient and furious.
“Of course, adults do say that. I think they deserve respect with they are being respectable. With all due respect, ma’am. You’re not. Not more than a hypocrite, a liar and a laze.”

“Shut the hell up, brat!” All things, people which were in motion earlier, stopped. Only the blades of fans still spun reluctantly. All eyes were gazed upon. “You could say all you want, but it doesn’t change the fact you assaulted 5 of your classmates today.”

He could not feel more uncomfortable than he already has.

“Of course, nobody says anything. Just a few that claimed that I single-handily assaulted 5 of my classmates. Of course ….”

“Who the hell asked for your comment?” [/color]

“I hadn’t thought of that an inquiry would be just you talking and addressing things alone …”

“Fine, think however you want. At first, I thought I might help you of this shitty mess you created. Their parents are going sue you. You’re gonna be prosecuted! You might as well want to go back home and cry in your parents’ arms for the last time before you’re going to a juvenile. This is the end of you. Just fuck off for today, go!” [/color]

“That’s all?” There was nothing better to do than giving a sigh. He got up from the chair, strained and tensed throughout his body. He shook his head in confusion for a second. “Then have a good day, ma’am.”

He left the irony and coldness of words in that room as he stepped out.

You might just think no one of his age thinks about this kind of things. Try not having anything, no one. You’ll see how much you are stuck in those voices inside your head. One of these days if you don’t let it out, it’s going to kill you.

“You might as well want to go back home and cry in your parents’ arms for the last time before you’re going to a juvenile. This is the end of you. Just fuck off for today, go.”

Dad … Mom ….

Maybe if they were here, none of this would happen.

Nobody seems to ever know that they died a while ago. Leaving me with the scar I could not patch up, unlike the wounds and bruises from brutes.

“DAAAD! MOOM!” He screamed as he was dragged away from his unconscious parents and out of the flipped-over car, burning the supplies it carried and waiting to explode. He tried to free from the hold, but all he ever got was a throw to the rust and harsh ground and hits from the butt of rifles until everything had gone black.

His thought deprived him experience of sight on his path, he got home without knowing what happened on the road he took. The body unconsciously interacted with the world while the mind was adrift to somewhere else, it always has been like that in the past three years. He threw his bag away without care as soon as he passed the front door, set himself in front of the phone. Shaking his head back and forth as he dearly hugged himself around the knees for the warmth of company he did not have. The maid someone hired for him was nowhere near. The boy was alone by himself in the narrow corridor of his house.

Should I call?

The head still shook back and forth, but erratically. It was days after the incident that took his parents’ life in the African badland of southern west, not a soon spring of Nagasaki in his residence. On the bed of the empty room, not the narrow corridor in his house.
Despite the fever cold that shivered his entire body, he felt the burn, he felt the fire burning. Burning the life of his parents, the only people whoever loved him. He still saw his parents trapped inside the burning car, chaos of barbaric men ravaging the very same people who came to help them. Lives were ignored and thrashed in the fire and hail of bullets unlike the supplies and any valuable, he wished was overlooked, but he was not.

Not out of mercy.

Not out of care.

He was dragged and saved from the fire that would kill him. It would be merciful if they had let him die in the fire, so he would not suffer what was about to come in the days of the rest of his life. And still unknown to something that he thought it turned his normal life upside down.

Days and days afterward, he remembered it was just a dark room and cattle electrocution-rods, a few changing faces come and go, each taking turn for entertainment from the writhing meat chunk and his scream. Pain was over and gone by the break of each turn, but the present when it was going on seemed to last with no end.

Part of me wants to die along with them when they were caught under the burning car as I was dragged by African boys of my age, led by a warlord. True that they didn’t let me die, but they were the cause why I was almost and why my parents did. Part of me hated them for raising me to be a man too naïve for this world. If I hadn’t believed them, I wouldn’t suffer this much. Just one goddamn phrase they told me to live by, ‘be good and it pays off.’ Tell me that they didn’t kill them. The situation was ridiculous and got unnecessarily fucked up. Who the hell would come half way around the world to promote charity, handing out the help in badlands and not expect either get robbed or killed. They wouldn’t be dead if they weren’t lusted for merits that they believed would send them to heaven in afterlife. Their interpretation of ‘be good’ was spamming charity acts, that’s what got them. Doing right things, at wrong place. Even they tried to help any people without discrimination, went just about anywhere, people could still be ungrateful and just do whatever they want. The point is, what’s funny about it, they wanted to do good so much that they went somewhere they should never have gone. They thought it would pay off, but they just ….. Maybe they did go to heaven. Yet, they left me behind to rot. Fucking stupid. I saw those men, they didn’t even have to care and they could be happy. They just take whatever they want, no matter how violent it is or how many people will suffer. Having to be good isn’t just their concept in life. They even enjoy themselves committing terrible things. I had no hope …..

“Hey, kiddo. It’s alright, everything’s fine. My name's Daniel. What’s yours?” Suave tone came from a blonde, craggy face man, wearing tactical gears over his plain clothes. He could only tell that the man was certainly from the west. The accent did not help much as a boy he had ever only heard a lousy one from a teacher who thought his English was any good. It was an odd situation that the two came across. The man claimed he and his friends were paid by the colleagues of his parents to find him due to the sensitivity of the situation and its extreme circumstance. "I understand if you don't feel okay right now .... I'm sorry about your parents and sister, I wish I could have done more."

Asada stopped shaking his head aimlessly to the greeting for a moment as the shiver still lasted. Asada first saw the man's face hours ago. The mean, serious and vicious face was painted with a smile trying to comfort a scarred boy who still shivered and braced his knees tight after things went downhill in a sudden, losing both of his parents, leaving behind just an unimaginable future to think about. In the boy’s head, everything was already over. His living breath meant nothing to him. His recent savior could not tell whether the shock or the empty state of mind caused the boy to look so vacant.

Daniel patiently waited for the boy’s answer.

“A …. Asa …. Asada Shuji.” The boy shaken voice was forced through his throat.

“Everything’s fine now, Asada. Nobody’s gonna hurt you. Just a few days, we’ll get you a plane back to your home.”

“Home?” Was there anything left to go back for? No one, nobody, nothing, everything was over as far as he could imagine. “What am …. I …. going to do …. then …. ?”

The enormous amount of oxygen that was taken in, the blood pumping through and to his brain, Daniel was not given with an answer that could truly set the boy free. “Well, I guess you’ve just earned a second chance at living. Go back, try your best ….”

The boy called Asada stared through the dead air, stumped by the reply.

“I don’t know, kiddo. I’m just a man who kills for living, not a prep talker …”

Silence resumed as it was when the boy alone in the room, Asada dismissed the man and went back to staring at the wall like he did before, like he felt he did forever.

“But if you ever need help, you can write to me or call me. I promise I’ll reply. Anything. Just anything.”

“Anything ….” He murmured.

He dialed the number he had been given. The only person he could think of in this time. No thought had been given to what he should say to the man who saved his life, who provided him sanctuary and services when he got back to his homeland. He never asked anything from the man, never before. This time it seemed desperate that he had an idea of doing it.

The line has connected.

“Hey ….” In the past three years, he had never contacted that man once. He had no slightest of clue to say something that he could continue on without getting to the point …. He felt that the man who held the phone at the other end of the line must think of him that he called for no reason, nonetheless than begging for a help like he would do last time. “I ….. It’s over. I’ve got nowhere to go.”

“Anything, just say it.”

It was not that long that I began to pack guns and grenades in my bag instead of books and stationary, to places of conflict instead of school. Killing people day and night instead of studying and hanging out with friends like a man of his age would.

Why did he abandon the normal life he had behind on the homeland, never to return and started learning the way to thrive on violence?

Gunfire rang multiple times, penetrating a thin paper with a marksman silhouette of man and creating metallic sound on impact by the slugs.

I wouldn’t call that normal life. People do the same things they ever do, just on the different scales. At least it’s fairer for me this time, a little. At least I get to choose what I face or how I face it.

Nothing was between him and the paper marksman target for 25 meters but air.The center of the bullseye was perforated almost a single hole. He fired through enough paper targets and fleshes to achieve this level of precision.

Slide locked back, the handgun was tossed and another in smaller size was pulled and fired rapidly over the head of the paper target. The burnt scent of gunpowder speared through the air around, he welcomed it more than the smell of packed lunchboxes in the classroom.

Am I satisfied?

Days without a fight spent for preparing himself for the next, there were just training and then training to kill. He started many of his days in this year by grab a hold of his gun and discharged the rounds as much as it required, just that either the target was a mere paper or a man. Reading something on the bed, the backseat of the car or on the top of the tree for instance, there was not many going on in his life. No suffering he could not endure, no struggle he could overcome. Everything came to its balance, even amidst of piles of bodies and gunfire. Sometimes it felt high on it as it lasted, sometimes it was just numbing.

It was Daniel who was observing the firing practice. Worry had its presence on his face, it was not about the performance of a young man-turned soldier of fortune, something he exactly was. His reason in doing this for a living were simple, he has got mouths to feed and it was something he used to do for queen and country, in his case.

About the boy? He was never sure until now. Ever since this boy, Asada, dialed to him for help, the reason why Asada became like him was never explained to him. Asada had only said he had nowhere to go and that he needed one. There were no places for free-loaders but the boy found the way to co-exist with his comrades for a while before he displayed some interest in the things they were doing. Everything the boy was interested of, it was put on the plate for him. Others gave the boy lessons on those things like an adult letting a child drink alcohol, for curiosity and pleasure. Unexpectedly, this runaway was not so different from any of them in the field, it took a while to reach this but he now held himself well. This was not the life he wanted for the boy, he protested times but it was ignored by everybody including Asada himself.

“Keeping your tip up, Kiddo? You’re not tired of it yet?”

Asada loosened his stiff shoulders that were previously in the stance, he turned back and shrugged. “Not really. I kinda grow fond of doing this.”

Daniel snorted and wiped with a palm on his face. “That’s what I’ve been worried. Do you really want a life like this?”

“From what I’ve been through, I can see that this is the far better option than any other.”

“How is running around killing people better than a normal life?”

“You don’t understand.” The boy tossed his gun aside and walked up to Daniel, clenching his fist before using it to point and the man he was talking to, he spoke “I made it out of that hell. I got back and I thought things wouldn’t be as worse. But then I learnt, it was. That got me thinking, people would do whatever they want , and to the weak like me, they would do anything they want for their satisfaction. They don’t care about being good or respecting the rules. If I happened to be the one who lived under those rules and in the world they seem to rule, I would be as good as dead. Here and this, it’s how I can at least fight back.”

Was that all of it? Thought the craggy-faced man called Daniel, a thought to the boy whom he brought out of the fire and frying pan. Asada was always still the boy he first saw while his comrades Asada as grown up and treated him like they treated one another comrade. He hoped for better opportunities for the boy like anyone would sympathize. Instead the boy had thrown it away, and chose this. Asada might be too young to make such choice but he claimed it was inevitable. If he lectured Asada more, would it help? So it would not be late by then? Would it be ignored as ever? Something else came up, something that might just work this time.

An opportunity, a better chance at life.


“Hey …… I asked because it’s been a while that you are working with us, travelling with us. I figure you might be tired, it’s a lot for someone as your age-”

“Age doesn’t guarantee efficiency!” He opposed. He showed it clearly it was something he always disliked to be criticized with. Daniel may forget a few times that he had made such a move like this that caused this kind of reaction.

“Calm down …” He sighed, he was not even sure if the boy would want to hear what he was about to say and now the boy has showed some sign of displease, he was less confident if it would work. “I know it will be troublesome if you go back to Japan after your charges were filed against you ….”

He remembered it well, remembered them well, the people who hurt him, and when he retaliated in desperate. That was how was dealt with, he was charged for crimes he did out of self-defense. It was not as severe as murdering a man which he would soon do if he were to let himself pushed further, but he knew that was the point for him, where things must change. There was not ever justice, ever. Taking matters into his own hands was the only way he could see. For once in those years, years he was trapped in the pain and branded weak, he felt powerful in that moment he took down the men who used to bully him, he became powerful. In that moment, fears in his heart were gone. He became feared, he felt as their eyes looked back at him. It was ridiculous that things just started out of something regarded as trivial, but that was the world in nutshell for him. That power that came to him, he wanted it, he always wanted to feel it, he never wanted to let it go. Was that why once was never enough?

“What are you talking about?”

“Charges are why you cannot go back, right? But you know …. If there’s a way. If there’s a way you can go back ……”

“What is it?”

“You remember the contact from Academy City who contracted us in the last assignment?”

“Yes. The one that your friends did not really like, saying that he looked shady. They said they won’t be working for him ever gain, right?”

He saw the man paused for a second. “He asked us to do something, on an unofficial note. He said we could name whatever we want.”

“So what does it have to do with me?”

“I asked him if he could wipe your slate clean and maybe put in some good school in there. I hear it is fancy in there, nice place, advance technologies. Maybe it’s your second chance there.”

“I tried it once, it didn’t work.”

“Hey don’t give up so easily ….. Just think about it.”

Why would it be a good idea? Going back, trying to be what they call ‘normal’ ….. Soon or later I will find myself in that position, cornered, pressured. Like a time bomb, I would explode.

“You know, we always find a way to lay down with this life. Put a stop to this kind of life, go back and live normally. We all want it. We know we would reach the point we would want to stop. This is not just your chance at life, it’s ours too.”  

The boy who stood there and inhaling the smell of gunpowder like it was oxygen, was confused, he was not expecting that he never knew this was not what they all wanted. He thought everybody was happy the way they were, he was happy in that way too.

I fight enemies affront of me, people I trust are at my six and I watch theirs too. I would not rather it be anyone than this. We choose our own battles, battles we deserve.  We lived the way world wanted us to. The world calls for wet work and we answer. No greater good. No just cause.

“You mean …. You’re gonna stop …. You, them, all of us ….?” He lost his nonchalant and lax tone, his voice soaked inner fear and sadness he did not let them out.

“I’m sorry, kiddo. At some point enough is enough.”

“Why would you abandon me?”

My parents did. People I thought they wouldn’t did. And now …….

“I’ve got nowhere to go.” It felt like falling from height, a forceful pulled in deep within. It was not easily explainable and it was implacable for him. Whatever he felt he had, whatever he felt entitled to, they were slipping out of his grasp.

“No …. Of course not. I will be watching you where you go, and I’ll make sure things go smooth for you. I’m gonna find a nice place where you’ll belong to, where you’ll be happy.” That was the console Daniel, the man who supposedly understood the boy the most as the people around him thought.

I didn’t want that …..

He did not speak his mind out. Instead, “I’ll think about it.” [/color] He scurried out of the room, avoided any of human contact and locked himself in his room.

Strains occurred all over his face, tremor of his mind shook him harsh from inside, he did not move a tickle. Hugging himself alone on his bed when things crumble, staring at the whiteness of the wall for god knows how long.

Whiteness he saw was no longer the painted wall, it was snowy mountains and plain. He was still feeling the vibration and the instability. Not of what he was feeling a week ago, but because he was on board a helicopter. He healed – or was numb about feeling anything. He was not trying to think of anything right now. He was not in the comfort of the bed and pajamas anymore. He was strapped to a helicopter seat, loaded on with winter tactical gears and some weaponry. He felt tired, nights passed without a proper sleep. Things have been bugging him in his sleep. He figured he could rest his eyes for a few moments here before he landed. Still, with his eyes closed, he still overheard voices of his accompanying comrade yelling in the helicopter to overcome its engine and rotor sound.

“Are you sure that shady man from Academy City is going to deliver what we asked for?” A distinct tone came from a large well-built man, one of his comrades.

“Tsushio? I don’t think he’s a slippery bastard like you. He’ll get us want we want.” It was Daniel whom Asada had not talked to since that day in the range. “Why you keep calling him like that?”

“You don’t know what goes on in the where that man comes from? Well, any G-man is as shady as that.”

“Just recover the artifact and we’ll have that in case if he wants to double-cross us. Don’t worry about it too much, there won’t be anything to be paranoid about anymore. Since this is the last job …..”

“Sure, you haven’t met my wife. There’s always something to be paranoid about.” The conversation stopped for a second. “We’re close.”

The sound of rotors does make one hard to sleep, he overheard every bit of what they were talking, but for him it was not the time to sleep anyway.

He felt a powerful grab on his shoulder, each finger thicker than a Cuban cigar, squeezed on him. It was fairly painful. "Rise and shine", yelled the large man with beard in a typical fashion that a senior would do to a junior in a military camp while opening the left side door. It revealed the dawn and cold breeze blew inside; he very much preferred the weather to be cold, but not in a way that it was in Russia. Roughly 20 meters above the icy ground, the only things visible to the horizon were mountains, a railway and the target; a moving train.

He came back to his sense, a job was waiting to be done. He had been nervous in many previous field operations, this was the time he started to feel that it was becoming a habit and a daily routine.
Everyone was getting ready for deploying, checking their gears, he did not think it needed to be state because it was just a normal operating procedure.
"What's the ETA!?" Asada shouted out to overcome the sound of rotors.
"3 minutes”, that was the answer, and one that he did not want to hear in a way.

He flicked the safety on his assault rifle off, switching off any thought that was not about the current job off.

Let’s do this.


Last edited by Tougane Masaru on Sat May 07, 2016 10:59 am; edited 6 times in total

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Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:56 pm

Monster Ohne Namen (Conclusion):
Things had gone wrong. We expected to be outnumbered but that was hardly the problem. We were overpowered. We encounter something we did not understand, something invincible …… Mystical. One by one, my comrades are slaughtered, the people whoever meant something to me ….. The person who cared about me most, and that I did too, he died in a blink of an eye. I didn’t get a chance to try to help him. In an instance, he was gone. All things I should have said to him, all thanks I should have given for inconsiderable amount of things he did for me, all were lost. That chance was blown away along with the cold wind in Russia.











“Shoot that thing! Or we’ll all go down.” A voice yelled amidst of the aloud bursting gunfire and the rotating helicopter rotor.

“I’m trying!”

A harsh impact and penetration occurred and followed by the explosion before the heavy chunk of metal crash-landed onto the ground. The only things that still made sound were just blizzard winds of winter and a helicopter on fire.












The grey sky was the first thing he saw as soon as he opened them. He would delve in that for eternity if he could, had it not been the lash of fire flashed and plunged in his vision.

He realized …..

He was still on the face of the earth, where men become demon in the fight for what they believe and desire.

It was just another day he did for living, he fought for living, for pleasure, for pride. He fought for people who has a goal but will not shed any sweat and get their hands dirty. A package he secures, a man he kills, a VIP he protects. He was paid enough for to abandon the so-called sanity every normal person has and go lengths just to accomplish a goal that someone sets.

What did he get from that? Of course there was compensation to spend, but any hard work pays as well. Why this? Why this and all the killing?

It was the only thing that someone who had not been born with a fortune and luxury to choose what to do and to earn like me. It was the only thing I could do in this life without making his own fortune by bowing to the people I hate and disdain, the people who see me as just a cog in a gear that keeps their division functions, their company functions and their nation functions, replaceable at any moment. I did not want to live in the world that in order to earn a dime to live or exist in a society where I must bow and obey to others, and that I must admit to the shame and fault I did not deserve, or that he must work hard to earn a little while that hard work he has done make a man rich and respectful by every ordinary, only to have that man comes back and tell him what to do or not to do, treating me as if I were a livestock or a machine.

They say it is just a phase of life. ‘It’ll be over’, they say.

A bloodthirsty bully, an ignorant teacher, a mean and selfish boss, that son of a bitch in every reunion party who keeps asking rude things and boasts how good his life is, a dictator whom I did not choose?

When is it going to be over then? When I am put in the coffin?

You might say ‘others can make it, so should you’. Well then, you were not in that place, you had the luxury of avoiding those things. You cannot make a standard based on what you just see – all you ever see, and impose on anybody who faces his own hell. You better keep that mouth shut before someone does it for you.

I did not want to admit to the failure of someone put on him just because he is the low in the ranks, low in the food chain and out of their sphere, that top ones can pitch their failure on me. I did not want to bow to a boss in the workplace for something that does not go as it is supposed to, I did not want to live a life that the only way to keep my job, my mouth fed or family – if I were to have, not torn apart by admitting the defeat: to take blame. Be ashamed of the choice I made because it was the best one but not the right one for me.

Even he is right, people will pressure him into defeat because that makes things easy and convenient for the people, made them happy. An outcome he does not deserve. The world that he could just watch the people who hurt him be happy while he is dying inside.

That was one of hell of a depression. The one that alcohol and drugs cannot kill.

He wanted to choose the life he wanted to have, or at least the closest one, the one he did not feel powerless and coward.

Anger fueled into rage, harming every vessel it holds. I did not just become an angry gun-totting bastard because I wanted it deep down ….. I was just a mere reaction, a reflection …. From what people do to me.

He chose battlefields.

So here he was ….

Lying in the helicopter flipped on the side, put out of commission by an unknown superior firepower, waiting to expel the last scorching breath before its life went out.

Holding the rifle and the briefcase of what he was after tighter and more dearly than any teenager of his age of his holds his beloved woman in his arm.

Because that was all he had, whatever left that meant anything to him, whatever that made him mean anything.

Fiery-will was set ablaze, warming him even better than white winter tactical gear he was wearing and a bonfire made of the burning helicopter on the background.

Strength mustered, he climbed out of the soon-to-be coffin.

A survivor, a sole survivor. That was what this world made him, the thing he did not want but could not deny. His friends who journeyed along, dead. Comrades in arm who fought to keep each other back cleared, dead. Just for a goddamn briefcase, they were all dead. One by one, they died like an ant crushed by the man’s palm. The far greater power they did not understand. He did not understand.

They died to get it into the good hands. He did not, not yet.

Make sure it does.

He carried the briefcase and the rifle that made him lethal as the fangs made a hound so, dragging his feet through the mean and cold snow to the timberline ahead, away from the burning helicopter.  

The vicious wind of Russian winter overwhelmed, reminding that there is always a superior force.

To a hound like him in the woods, there is a bear, there is a panther.

The man who dressed in a mystical and ancient robe, covered by a mask that represented something occult about it that he did not understanding, the man who wields a staff, the man who wields the far greater power that just a flicker can whip and wick the life of out every friend he witnessed their death.

Untouchable. Invincible.

That was not fair.


He kept his pace going, the way to win is not always about one or another life ending but accomplishing something. At this moment, this package needed to be delivered. Whatever it was did not matter, if that man got it, he lost.

He pressed the radio that hanged on his shoulder strap. Damn the military radio procedure, he would speak just whatever he needed to.

“We’re shot down. All men are down but me ….. But the package is still with me. Over.”

“Acknowledge. Keep the beacon activate, we’ll send another chopper.”

“What’s the ETA on the extraction?”

“20 minutes, there’s a blizzard going on now. But we’re trying.”

“Understood. I’m heading south and through the wood to find a better LZ. There’s a hostile in pursuit.”

“Understood. Good luck out there, you’re going to need it.”

And that, he was alone again.

There was no time to waste after all.

He ran into the timberline.

Into the woods, passed numerous trees, he ran for his life, hoping that the other end there would a way to escape.












Breathing the cold air faster than ever, surpassed the limit that any ordinary can do. The tired legs was running fast as if it was doing it tirelessly. Minutes felt like hours. Pain and fatigue felt like eternity.

He felt it was just him alone in the wood, like he had gotten away. But the hunch was not saying so.

The clear line of sky was before him, the evening sun not obscured by the blizzard, water stream pouring down from heights to give life for the lives below. The end of the trees line was giving him the hope as he saw those. He was close to making it through the woods and meeting the clear sight of sky where he will be saved.

Going too fast, out of time to think.

Like a branch of a tree pulled and flicked, something swung to him from behind the tree he was about to pass. If he caught it, it might have been a death of him for the fierce speed it seemed. It was not life that he lost, only just balance. He tripped and rolled over the frostbiting snow.

From behind he still felt something plunging his way, aiming to penetrate through him. He rolled sideways.

It was him, how could it be any other than him. The man in the red occult robe covering entire body, withstood the harsh winter and held the staff in his hand. A mask drawn with a face of monster he had never known covered the man’s face.

“Running, running, running, and chasing. It’s exhausting. Wouldn’t you agree?” The tender voice came through the monstrous face. Unbelievingly, it was the voice of something that has just massacred lives.

“I can do this all day. It’s what I do for living.” He replied as catching breath.

“So can I.” The red-clad figure flicked the staff and rammed the butt into the thick snow. “But you must know, it’s not going to end well if you don’t choose wisely.” [/color]

“What choice do I have besides just running around for you to be caught eventually? The gift of god that you’ve been granted does you well, makes you invulnerable.” His strong tone that hid the desperation started to wear off as he went on.

“Mister, it was not his gift. It was training, it was what I achieved through hard-working. We’re alike, trained, armed, a warrior. We fight for something. We’re both alike, only that we come from a different world. The worlds that exist separately. But when both collide, and that we do what we do: strike at each other, the weak is going to be eradicated.”

“Well, then. Why don’t you just kill me right now?” It came out without a second thought, unaware of what he wished for. “Like you just massacred all of my friends …..”

“A courtesy for a friend in the same profession, or at least to a life. I do not wish to murder everything in my way. There is no thirst for blood in me. It is all for the necessity. What belongs to my people, what you took from us.” The warrior in red pointed the staff to which another man was holding: the briefcase. “Do you know what it is? What is inside of that case?” [/color]

“I hate not knowing, but I don’t.”

“Then you don’t know what it means to us.”

“But I do know what it means to me.”

“You’re taking its true value for granted. It doesn’t belong to you! What are you fighting for? A prize? Master? Honor? Just because you are ordered, so you have wander mindlessly in the harm!?” The tender voice was not so tender as before, it became more impatient and angry, matching the monstrous mask.

“Myself.” He whimpered.

“Ridiculous. What do you gain out of this?”

“I sleep at night without hating myself for yielding to something I shouldn’t and wouldn’t.”

“Then you are incredibly foolish!”’

He slowly got up on his feet, stepping back closer to the end of the woods as the red warrior crept on its prey along. He raised the rifle in one hand. “That’s not the first time I heard that.”

A crisp click unleashed the barrage of bullets unto the figure in the red robe, the warrior as himself claimed.

A magazine ran dry, he discarded the rifle and discharged the rounds from the pistol instead until it met the same unfortunate fate, empty and ineffective.

The red warrior did not budge, the warrior from the other world stood still unscathed. No trace of the bullets, as if it had vanished in the thin air. “What does it take you to understand that of this is useless? Your gun, your skill, your tactics, they are unmatched to my power. Any effort you’ll attempt can be rendered useless, just like those bullets you fired upon me. A mere swing of my weapon will put you of misery. All there will be is just the ashes of yours.” Seemingly like the last warning after hail of bullet did not make the fleshes wrapped in red cloak bleed at all.

“You are not the first to say something like that either.” As the warrior in white who contrasted the opposition in the way of killing, he threw away his pistol the only thing he was supposed to depend on in a dire when all else failed. Well, there was a knife but that was ridiculous. A ridiculous fool like him had no better idea, so he pulled the knife out of sheathe and grabbed the briefcase by handle and held it like a shield.

“Then I’ll be the last. Drop your weapon and give me back the artifact. Or suffer the consequence. Choose wisely, be a man of your own and live freely, or die like a dog, trying to acheive that victory you are infatuated about. Don’t be a fool.”

“I guess my answer has crossed your mind already.”

At the end of his words, both the red and the white who claimed to be warrior clashed each other.

He leapt into the distance of harm and as expected, another swing came from him. He dodged one after another without a chance to strike back like a boxer foot-stepping around the ring unknown to the step of another boxing, unknown to his swift hooks and jabs. The red warrior swung and kept flanking. The white-clad one evaded each attack and retreated further out of the line of woods. Their panting and clashing weapons were drowned out by the waterfall. The end of the line of woods seemed to be the end of the path, it was cliff.

His stamina was drained each evasion he was compelled to make. Even if his stamina was not finite, he would soon be cornered by reaching the cliff’s end.

Two men quit on releasing relentless moves of attacking and dodging for a second as though they came to understanding that oneself was tired of moving and in need of good breath.

“Are you content with this? Your end. Running away does not fix things. It can only prolong your inevitable end for a few second that you seem to value more than the rest of the life you could have, that I offered you.”

“But of course. Life’s full of small challenges to overcome.” He finally stopped his steps. Instead of keeping himself move, he made himself an easy target as he stayed still in the ready stance.

“Remember, you chose this.” The red warrior struck at once with his staff, with tip aiming for the heart of his foe.

Excluded of all fancy power the red warrior used to wipe every life on the train, his swings and stabs were not entirely unfathomable, once in a while the pattern would repeat like a scripted attack in a boss battle.

Everything or nothing.

The white warrior, who ridiculously wielded a knife and a briefcase as a shield like a novice lacking a proper weapon, braced for the plunge of the staff. Tired of running away to escape his untimely death, he decided that this would be either his last move, or no move at all. Eyes were not exactly tracking the incoming weapon, but still aware of it. He swung the briefcase as a shield like a hook to close guard. And as the staff was coming into contact, he pulled the makeshift shield back sideway to deviate the attack, the direction of the spear, parrying his opponent. The briefcase was let loose and slid almost to the cliff’s end; the thing both were after for was ignored for the time being. All that mattered appeared to be a battle to death between the two.

In an awe, the red warrior was staggered by the parry and strayed upfront his foe. The white one decided to finally make use of his blade and stab in the abdomen of the man in front of him. The red one gasped as the knife in the belly was thrust. The knife pulled out and was ready to strike back again.

The red warrior pushed the knuckle holding the blade as it coming again to the side to avert the strike and smacked with head against the forehead of the other. The blunt force was still too much to resist from straying back.

The white warrior was confident of situation and rushed back from the stagger to end everything, he rushed forward with full force along with the sharp tip of the blade.

His motion was finally stopped, the knife did not tear the fleshes through nor did it make through half way of the air between the two.

Like something pushing on left side of his chest, the staff held by the red warrior pinned on the heart of the white one, pushing him back from reaching.

A blue light flashed from the tip of the staff upon contact.

He felt a sharp pain on the contacted chest despite its dull tip, the pain began to spread like a venom, throughout his body. His motion resumed, but with him shaking uncontrollably and straying back.

With all his strength and control leaving him, he refused to be on his knee as he staggered back to the cliff’s end.

The warrior in red removed and threw away his cracking mask and binding, revealing his youthful, innocent and pale face, long blonde hair and blue eyes. A tender voice resumed. “It’s over.” The voice was yelled over the streaming waterfall, still even softer than before, more feminine than which the mask helped concealed if it ever did. It was hard for him to believe it was this person who killed all of his friends in a just a blink of an eye. “Your body is shutting down, in a few minutes, you won’t be able to control anything. Do you want to be left here and die in the cruel coldness? Last chance.”

As his body, his voice was uncontrollably shaken due to the attack, “That’s … not fair ….” He still slowly staggered back until the cliff’s end before he stopped his heavy body from falling to the great lake below and gushing stream. His heel lightly bumped into the briefcase, the thing that caused all the killing and the great pain which was ignored just earlier.

“Nothing is. My wound will heal, will yours?”

A suffocating breath, even in the air all he could breathe, he was having a hard time to …. “What …are you? Really ….”

“Would it put your mind at ease if I tell you? Pick up the briefcase and throw it to me. I’ll tell.”

“Alright…….” He struggled his weakened body to bend down and pick the briefcase up.

“That’s good, finally you learned to obey.”

As the briefcase was lifting up, at the word of ‘obey’ that he heard. He swiftly looped his hand through the handle and hugged the case tight in on his chest. “I’m … taking the briefcase with me! To hell, even!”

“You fool, you could’ve prevent all of this if you handed to me in the first place. Why does it even matter than you still get the case? You’re done with! Just give up and admit your defeat.”  Once a soft voice creaked and crazed now, she yelled frantically.

“Never.”

Before losing control of himself, before everything went out of control. This was last command he could make to his body.

He lessened the strength he used to control and hold his body, let himself fall back.

He made a leap into the hailing down water.

The disappointing protest against the foolish action from the red warrior was barely heard beneath the water fall.









As a small fish in the pond, he never fears the sharks in the great ocean. Like the idea that each man always has some sort of overwhelming power shadowing him or not, he had a taste of it. For a moment he thought he could outrun the world if he tried hard enough. But apparently god, if he existed, had another plan.









In the vast pitch black darkness where he often comes to; memories, dreams, hopes, desires, desperations and fear sleep. One does not see, but one certainly does feel their formless presences. Where everything collides and forms into one, he traverses.

It was an instance to be here, he felt. But it was a long way in hindsight. He left the heavy eyelid and gained a blurry vision. He gained his conscious after a deep sleep, staring at the white ceiling and trying to connect the dots of which led him here. A warm light came through the window and pulled the blue tint out of the curtains, softening the room. A smell of flowers of which the untrained nose was not able to tell what it was but just its fragrant soared in the air. The bed was not as comforting as one in the grand suite but it sure as hell did a better job than soil ground.

Even all of his memories have not vanished but they were blurred enough that it was hard to tell if it was a dream or reality. Still, he could tell the room was his and that he has never been to. But indeed it felt like a familiar scene. To tell more, just rolling the eyes around without even budging would not suffice. So he moved – tried to move himself, but compelled by some sort of influence. He was stripped of his power, an easy task like getting up was not so easy. Not even half way he rose, the gravity shoved upon and pushed him back to the white bed and pillow.

“Relax, we’re not in a hurry.” A voice, a matured-masculine one but not so old, came through in a response to the only thing seemed to be in motion in the room.  

“Where am I?” He asked and turned to the source of that voice, there was a man sitting on a chair beside the nightstand. That was all his blurry eyes could tell, not even how the face looked like.

“A hospital” , the man paused and put down whatever seemed to be in his hand, “You were injured. It’s been a while that you are here. It’s totally understandable that everything feels fussy and that not of it makes any sense.”

There was not any proof but he felt it was all true.

“You were on a mission, son.” The lax tone became focused.

“You did well. You delivered the package even you were gravely injured. You did better than I expect an eighteen years old would be capable off.”

Mission? The sound of helicopter rotor and a running train were rumbling in his head.

Injured? Gunfire and explosion were earsplitting on the inside.

“You suffered some injuries from the crash landing, blunt force trauma, internal concussion …. But there was something odd about that, those shouldn’t have put you in a coma. The doctor couldn’t tell why. Did you encounter something strange back there?”

He was shivered with cold for the answer of that question, the realization of that.

He remembered that ……

He was facing something unfathomable, a far superior power.

“It was …. Nothing.” The thought and the sight did not make into words.

That feeling of being powerless that led bad things happen, was eating him slowly. Years of training did not mean anything when he was up against that thing, everything he tried to do could just be easily overpowered. What was it? What was it that harbored a further great power? It was the time that made him feel truly weak, not being able to understand and handle the situation.

Does something like that truly exist on this world?

He thought if he had the courage to make a step forward, he would be as strong as any man. But that … that was just ….. In the end, it did not have to be fair, someone would always born to be stronger and powerful. Even he did accomplish the mission, he felt he has lost something more during that.

All the power he had, gone.

All the confidence he had, gone.

Leaving with just a vessel with enough conscious to feel the pain.

“Anyway, that’s way behind. It only matters that you did accomplish. I’m here to tell you something. First of all, my name is Tsushio Hisashi. I’ve been handling with your team in the last three operations. Nice to finally meet you in person, Asada-kun. Your friend Daniel spoke highly of you. It’s a shame that he passed away.” [/color]

“He was a good man …. Like the rest of us. Like ….” Asada paused a s he could not bring to say the name of his fallen comrades, afraid of seeing their faces, afraid of thinking about the past, afraid of missing the feeling that there was always someone to watch his back, afraid of knowing the fact that he failed to protect them as they had been doing to him.

“I understand that it’s hard to speak about them. You’ve been living out there with them, fighting along with them. Like brothers. It’s normal to feel strange and empty once they are gone, like a lost limb.”

Why would the man called Tsushio come all the way to here, waiting for almost a lost soul to come back? Just to comfort him after a disaster?

“Past cannot be fixed, something is just inevitable. You’ve still got a life ahead of you. You can choose.”

Choose? He did once and it was not exactly nice ….. He was not ready to make the decision again.

“You can go back out there into the world, either to continue the fight that no longer means anything to you, or to live a normal life like any others. Without brothers in arm to watch your back.”

A normal life? What was a normal life like? Sitting all day, doing the desk job I hated, getting humiliated by colleagues and superiors, relatives …. Bowing ….. Taking chances out there in the battlefield seemed like a better choice. The pain and suffering is always there, just the balance of physical and mental ones is different. Some is unbearable while another is tolerable.

He was afraid of going back to be alone in the world again, where he lacked his strength to go through each day. Without them, the future seemed ….. nothing.

He had no place to go, a monstrous being like him, even he tried to disguise, he knew one day the skin hiding what was underneath would peel off. The way he lived has changed.

“Or ….  You can come and work for us. Make sure our back’s covered and we’ll make yours is too.”

?

“You don’t have to go and fight for various sides to earn a dime. You don’t have to be always aware of allies turning into enemies whenever you sell allegiance to a new employer. The days of being junkyard hound are over. You can have somewhere you can call home. A nation in need of your service. Somewhere you matter. Your days of running are over. You can fight for a cause.”

So far I have only fought for a place to be able to exist and for the people who watched my back. I fought for a place that a monster like could be, I’ve never expected one day they would need that monster.

“This city, it’s on the verge of striving and becoming the most powerful nation on earth. We will rise amidst of cold tension between the West and the East. The time which we were weak is about to be gone. And absolutely, that cannot come without making enemies. It was those two days that 2 bombs were dropped, the power that could evaporate lives in a blink of an eye, destroying any hope and life ahead. If there was one percent of chance to prevent that from happening again, we must take any action at any cost. You witnessed this nation fell, you see it trying to survive. By bowing to the victors and living in shame, in a hope that one day it could be free of its guilt. Ridiculed and tarnished. But that’s not what you call ‘striving’. No one can hurt us anymore once we are strong. You can help us. You can help make our nation great again.”

I wouldn’t be able to tell if he had meant or he was just a slick bastard, but those did sound like something. It was impossible that he could know what I’ve been thinking of all these times.

I did feel like someone has finally noticed my wound. I wouldn’t want those things to happen to me or to someone if I was able to do something.

Was it a lie I told myself so that I could keep the fight going forever?

How could I know the lies and the truths apart from each other? They all felt genuine. An impulse which like a flick and it begins, I just don’t want to try thinking about it much.

Besides from what I felt? What could I do if not what I’ve been doing? I thought I suited it, and that people wanted me to.

Apart from all else, I felt I needed to let emotional ties from the past go, stopping it from driving me around. I need to embrace this as my nature, that I was born in the conflict and there was nowhere I could run from that.

Here it was, a chance to be able to tell myself later on that I was young and a fool that I led bad things happen. Some sort of self-redemption in the name for others.

And this was the place that a monster like me can exist, and be their necessary evil.


“What do I need to do?”


“You do what always do. In an attempt to recover from the fall, we strive for better, for greater power. If the world sees what we do at the height of the cold war, they will be afraid, they’ll strike because they are afraid. Everything we do to make our comeback possible must remain a secret. Those from outside who attempt to seek for it, to make use of it, to imitate it, you’ll eliminate them. This ongoing war might not be our time to rise, but it will not last forever and that, our time will come. You can help us make sure that day comes true. The day we rise.”














Days have gone by, I no longer looked like that boy, I no longer remembered much about him, I have grown out of his shell to be a man of his own. Things that swelled in him started calmed and died down, but I still lived on the path he paved for me.

It was quite a while, I had my time experiencing something like I’ve always been doing, just on the legal sides this time. It was kind of like workshops. I guess they didn’t want a child psychopath straight out of battlefields, they seemed to figure a way to ‘groom’ or ‘educate’ me. Metropolitan police force wasn’t after all bad, I got to do things on the other sides. I thought that was fancy enough, I didn’t know what strings they pulled that they got me into Naval intelligence. That was the real deal, I spent so much time that I forgot why I was there. But then I remembered that those were just pit-stops before somewhere I could truly thrive on.


The strained hands were finally relieved of its muscle. He had time to finally breathe again. He was standing in the flooding bathroom, water poured down from the broken sink, washing away the blood stained on the pieces once was a sink, washing away the pool of blood that another man seemed to be drowning in.

He was panting lightly and staring at the body that was no longer breathing. Sweating all over his bruised and cut face, blood dripping on his shirt.

It was not strange that his job involving a life being taken, and it was not strange that it was never always easy.

This time was not a mere trigger-pull and the problem was gone. There was a struggle, there was a fight. It was not easy.

But all that it mattered, was he was the one still alive, breathing. He was the survivor. It was not him whom was beaten, crippled, drowned in the sink or smashed and pierced by the pieces of ceramic in his face.

It was slightly overkill, but it did not matter.

It was he who perpetrated all of that. It was not a piece of art, but it would do.

“I see your time in naval intelligence is paying off well. This man was hard to find, and yet you did.” [/color] Those words came out as there were beats of feet on the flooded floor.

“If he was really hard to find, you wouldn’t be here.” Was it not odd? He thought.

Tsushio, the man who offered the chance to get back in the game, appeared at the exact place where the dead man who was claimed to be hard to find was at …..  “Well, by other agencies’ standard, probably. I reckon you’re not truly aware of what ‘Academy City’ is capable of. It wasn’t that hard to find with their techs. People who administrated this just wanted to see if you are capable of they want you to do.” [/color] Tsushio spoke of it like it was a normal debrief of other ordinary jobs, the ones without a corpse laying death in the room.

“So it’s a test?” He knew, but still, it was as if it was obligated to be asked.

“Yes. Do imagine if you operate under full discretion and their technologies, what can we achieve? Techs are no good without a skillful operator. We look for the man and we provide what helps them to finish what needs to be done. You’ve proved yourself to be that man. Welcome to the other government agency.”

That all sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

“Thank you, sir.”

“Well, there’s one thing more. Asada Shuji disappeared years ago after assault charges were filed against him. The naval intelligence officer Taneda Mori has gone MIA during the reconnaissance mission in Korea. Those men died, gone.” [/color]

It was true of all of it, that he came to think of it. He no longer remembered what the boy called ‘Asada Shuji’ was meant to be, what he was like if he had not met things that turned him upside down. He called himself ‘Asada’ and was sometimes called that because he used to be ‘Asada’. The man who was standing here and Asada were no longer the same person. In reality, the story of Asada was never told through Asada’s eyes, it was through the eyes of the man who got up to defend himself and fight, stop being weak, adopted the world as it was and accepted it, not believing the lies. It was not really Asada who struck back at the men who bullied him, it was not really Asada who ran around the world to fight, it was not Asada who found another reason to keep his fight going on by killing in the name of nation. It was his demon, his monster, born out of his wishes, living and being molded in anger of his past. Until one day, it ate and tore the skin that was hindering him beneath and revealed its true self.

He looked into the mirror he shattered with the dead man’s head, the blood from him smeared over the shards of glasses, he saw a reflection, distorted.

The dark red silhouette of a man, glowing red eyes and his claws exposed.

Essentially, Asada Shuji died a long time ago. The man who was living right now, the man inside his head, was the monster without a name.


Ending Theme



“There’s a lot to be done - Tougane Masaru. Are you ready to get to work?” [/color] Tsushio asked him, with the faith that he would receive the answer he wanted to hear, the only answer.

Now that it had its name, discarded of its host and its shell behind, it sought to go back out to the world, living free from the ties with its host and as its own.

“With pleasure, sir. With pleasure.” Replied Tougane Masaru.


Last edited by Tougane Masaru on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

Tougane Masaru
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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Wed Jun 01, 2016 6:54 pm

OOC Note


Since some contents do not seem to fit in the third chapter, so they are taken out and chopped apart, rearranged into a new chapter. The reason why this is not the third chapter is that it does not feature Tougane as the protagonist and this chapter only sets up for later chapters, more or less.

Color coding and additional themes may be added later on.





Prelude to "Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam" Part 1:
It was a warm and quiet day, perfect for going out in the woods.

Katsuo, a high-school graduate arrived to Nagasaki from Tokyo by train about a week ago, he went ahead of his family for vacation, they would follow up in the coming weekend, he pretty spent his time strolling around the city or on the fields. But today, he decided he would go to the hillside, to catch some insects since it was his hobby, one that his parents did not really agree.

He wore a loose white linen shirt and sky blue summer shorts, carrying an insect net.

He wandered in the woods for an hour in the morning, catching and letting insects go, it was not long before he became bored again.

“Naaah, I wish they could be here soon …” He missed his family. “I’m so lonely out here!” He shouted out.

A few seconds, there was a voice shouting out from the wood, “I’m lonely too!” The shout was soft and tender, it was a girl’s. The shout continued but seemed gibberish.

What was that? He wondered. Why was a girl doing out here alone?”

He ran through the woods to the source.

And finally, he found her ….

A girl about his age in a long and soft white dress, shiny long black hair, and a cute face that hid under a panama hat.

He always thought he would find a lovely girl wondering in the woods some days, but he did not expect was to see the girl dancing and jumping around in circle like she was praising some god and chanting some gibberish …

He listened to that gibberish, carefully ….

“Bakabakabakbakbakbakbabaka BAKKKKAAAAA! BAKKKKKAAAAA! BAKABAKABAKABAKA!”

Katsuo could only stood there and scratch his head.

She did not stop for a while until she noticed him. “GYAAAAAAAH!” She screamed. “What are you doing here!?”

“Eh …. I heard a voice in the woods, I followed?” He still scratched his head.

“Uwwaaahhhh! That was you?”

“What was me? The shout, I mean you heard me shout and then you shouted too?” He fumbled his words.

“WHHHHHHHAAAAAAAT!? That was you? I thought it was my calling.”

“Calling?”

“Like from god?”

What was this girl thinking …. He found her so silly.

“It’s so embarrassing!” She cutely yelled at the ground, ignoring him, or at least trying to. “Iyaaahhhhh!”
He turned back and tried to exit stealthily.

“Hey you! Where you goin!?” She held his hand, pulling him back.

“EH?”

“Stay with me.” She pouted after saying that.

“What? Wait! Why?”

“You heard me said that …. I meant it …..”

“You meant you were lonely?”

“Ye- …. I’m not going to say that again!”

This did not even make sense to him, it was even more bizarre if he thought he were a protagonist of some story ….

“You’re so …. Silly. I don’t understand a thing you’re trying to communicate ….”

She made a face like her soul was going to leave her body that once before exhaling …..

“Stay with me, it’s lonely out here.” Her face was serious but somehow that looked so attracting and cute, he got embarrassed and averted her gaze at him.

“Why exactly?” He said as he was facing the ground.

“Sit.” She told him and he compiled like a little puppy.

Then she proceeded on to tell her story, how boyfriend was stupid, how has he hurt her, blah, blah … He held his excitement of having her around and it made his blood pump so much, he held it back and pretended he was listening to her talking trash about her boyfriend.

“Are you listening?”

“Yes?” He blatantly lied, the last thing he remembered her talking was about her boyfriend and that was like ten minutes ago …

“So you think which is better, Kanto style or Kansai style?

“What? Wait! I thought you were talking about your boyfriend, how come you’re talking about culinary now!?” The poor boy was so confused.

“Correct! Good boy! Allow me to elaborate on how idiotic he was, he did not notice I changed the recipe every time!”

It was ten minutes and she was finished with the boyfriend thing? And where were we now? He started not to know whether who was not listening to whom.

“I don’t understand why you keep talking about him if he was so bad …” He complained to her as if he was understanding anything with her.

“Because I did so much for him and did not notice!” She stood up and stomped on the floor rapidly like a child.

“Well, you just go find a new one?”

“How can men say things so easily like that? It’s feelings, it’s not simple. I wish to be man sometimes!”

“You wouldn’t want to.”

“Why?”

“Because then you would have to listen to women.”

“!” Her eyebrows twitched, wrinkles appeared on her forehead, “Are you saying that we are annoying?”

“Uhhh…”

Before he could properly answered, she started to hit him again and again.

“Please, stop!” He pled. “Do you want to know why they are they are?” He spoke of it, disregarding if it was the truth or just his opinion.

It was effective, she stopped, but she also demanded to know, “What is it?”

“Eh …. I don’t know if I should say it or not ….”

“Speak.”

“Well, you don’t listen to men as much as you think you do.”

She stared at him intensely.

He was sure he would not survive another barrage of palms.

But she nodded and sat down quietly. “Go on.”

“About what?”

“Anything, it’s your show now.”

He started to talk about his fathers, insect hobbies and else and he went on for so long he started not to remember what he was talking about.

Suddenly his mind just stopped feeding him anything.

He looked at the white cute face under the long black hair and panama hat.

“She’s cute.”

“Who’s cute?”

“I don’t know why her boyfriend could treat her so bad like that … I would do anything to please her ….”

“What!?”

He thought he was just thinking what he has been thinking but he actually said out loud.

He realized he was in so much trouble.

“You’re cute too.”

Both were dazed by each other’s word.

Nothing was spoken between two as their face was drawn to one’s another.

“OUCCCHHHH!” They exclaimed at the same time when their forehead clashed.

“Do you really mean it?” She asked.

He meant it, but it was just a couple of hours that they saw each other, they did not even ask for each other’s name as far as he could remember.

When he turned to her, she already got up and ran away.

He got up and chased after her, he wanted her to know, he did not want to let this day be just a day, he wanted this every day of his life from now on and he could not imagine what it would if there was not her.

He chased after her out of the woods.

He found her stood there on the cliff with a view of the city down below, lying on the grasses.

“Wait!? Why did you run?”

“Who said I run? I told let’s do it here, it has a better view. You dumbass …”

What? Everything with this girl somehow could always turn into to confusion. Maybe it was not everybody’s romantic story but it might very well be a starter for his.

He went there and lied down with her.

“You meant it, didn’t you?”

“Yes …”

“Have you been all my life?”

“All your life? You’ve just gone with your boyfriend for three years …”

“So you paid attention?”

“Well, some part, sometimes.”

“That’s good enough for starter.”

“You look like …. Kinda like …. A likable guy.”

“You too.” He replied without thinking twice, or actually without thinking, he was following something else.
“Isn’t that too fast? We just saw each other, we don’t even know each other’s name yet!”

“Uhhhhhuuhhhh ….  Mine, Ayase.”

He did not know he was doing but he felt this what he waited so long to do, “Katsuo.”

“Nice to meet you, Katsuo-kun.”

“Nice to meet you too, Ayase.” He did it … But what now, he felt confused. “So?’

“So we’ve got a life ahead of us to see if it’s going to work.” She rested her head on his chest.

He felt this was a beginning of something, he had a hope it was going to be great.

But only time would prove.

The two still laid on the grasses, sharing a comfortable silence between each other before something interrupted them.

He felt a light quake, the sky quivered as if it would fall.

“It’s a place, don’t panic.” She spoke to his startled face. “You’ll get used to it, they pass here all the time.”

He let his worry go, he thought it was an earthquake of some sorts.

He looked onto the blue sky.

“This looks so beautiful.”

Something fell quickly from the sky, he caught it in the corner of his eyes.

“What was that?” He got up and tried to look for it.

An fairly big object with an oval head connected to rectangular base, it looked like a hanko stamp from afar.

“What’s the matter? What’s wrong?” She stood up and still clung onto his arm.

That object landed on the center of the city.

In a blink of an eye, a flash so bright as it could blind their eyes lightened up, a shockwave imploded.

They could not close their eyes before the light swarmed them and faded into the light.





Part 1


33 years ago (Before the third chapter)


Three kids stood by the lonely road in the rural and enjoyed the ice cream not far from the stall they just bought, the oldest one who was already in his mid-teenage watched over the younger two.

“Ne, don’t take your ice cream from Ai-chan, she’s your older sister, respect her.” The teenage boy told the little young kid who looked to be about two years old who was attempting to take the ice cream after he finished his from his sister’s hand, who was about ten years old.

“Hehehe”, the boy laughed innocently as he circled around his older sister, stretching his arms out like a zombie.

The teenage boy held that younger boy with his hands. “You must not take what is not yours. Alright?”

The little boy nodded but also made a moody face. He looked like he wanted more ice cream.

“Perhaps, I must indulge you more.” The poor teenage boy searched his pocket for coins.

“I want more too!” Ai said.

“Alright ….” He proceeded to buy them more.

They walked down the road, heading home.

But then a pack of dogs came from the rough besides the road, the dogs circled around the three kids.
They barked and screeched, the two little kids started to cry and that provoked the dogs, they appeared more hostile.

The teenage boy held his fear back and acted intimidating to fend off the dogs, but it seemed no avail.

It was then he picked up a longest and biggest piece of stick he could find around there and hold up.

He channeled his inner anger out and the dogs were scared off. He chased them away.

Walking back to home, two little kids rushed for the mom’s embrace. “Mom, Nii-chan helped us from the dogs! He scared them off with the big stick!” Ai told her mom. “Where’s dad?”

“Dad … He’s watching your brother, he’ll be down here soon.”

The teenage boy worried if their mom would be angry at him, that he brought those kids to the path where he should not have. His face looked shocked. “Okaa-san-” He was about to explain and say he was sorry.

“You did good. I’m sure it’s not your fault. You’re brave.”

The mom did not seem to be angry.

“Thank you, ma’am.”

“I’m sure he would be proud of you too.”

“Yes …. Where’s the professor?”

“He’s watching Katsuo-kun, he’ll be down here soon. Go play with the kids, have something to eat.”

“Thank you, Okaa-san.”

He went inside the house, he sat a couch while the two little kids were creating the commotion elsewhere.

“Ah, good afternoon, professor.”

“Good afternoon, Satoshi-kun.” The middle-aged man who was the father of those two kids came downstairs. “I heard you saved the kids from the dogs, they told me. Such courage should be rewarded.”

“You are exaggerating, sir.”

“No, no … Believe it, you deserve it. I’m proud of you, not just for this. You are a good kid, you are diligent, right? Is that why you’re here? You want me to help with the school project, right?”

“Yes, sir.”








30 years ago




“You won the award, Satoshi-kun?” The mom excitedly asked as she sat on the couch in her home, she brought her legs up from the ground without knowing.

“Yes, Okaa-san.” Satoshi who sat beside her humbly said, he was in his school’s summer uniform.

“Is there a ceremony for it? How come you did not tell me before this?"

“There was. I was not sure if you were available and I didn’t want to make a big deal about it.”

“Come on, we’re like family, of course I would go …. You know … Things have been rough for him. If he doesn’t work in his office, go to work or attend party for charity, he just stays in that room.”

“But, Okaa-san …”

“Yes, he still couldn’t handle it.”

“I’m going to some sense into him.” Satoshi quickly got up for the couch and rushed upstairs.

“Don’t, Satoshi!” The mom could only warn as Satoshi ignored her words and headed to where he should not. The mom closed her eyes so tight like she had a headache.

Satoshi opened the door, and inside was the professor, sitting by the clean empty bed.

“ ….. just hold on a little longer, everything is going to be alright, Katsuo-kun, you won’t have to endure this pain anymore.”

“Professor, please ….”

“What are you doing here, Satoshi-kun?”

“Professor, Katsuo has been dead for three years! For the sake of your children and your wife, stop doing this!” Satoshi leaped closer to the professor and shook him.

He only got pushed away but more force.

“You’re not my son, don’t act like you are. Can’t you say I’m taking care of him?”

“But-” He could not believe he would hear this with his ears.

“GET OUT.”

Satoshi, tears on his eyes, left the room before he could pick up pieces of his broken heart.







28 years ago



Daylight illuminated through the hollow of the deep cave underneath, warm light came in contact with faded yellow flowers in the tall grasses and its sparkling golden spore. Vines burrowed over soil and rocks, this hollow space underground seemed like a miniature garden. Its acoustic of cicadas and wind blowing through was eventually interrupted by the intrusion of a local boy and two men, level B hazmat suit and apparently foreign to this land, all of them dropped feet from height after a long climb session down.

“How could you- It’s like 25 meters drop …. Never mind.” His voice reverberated in his own hazmat suit, sweated and toasted badly in the African heat. But it was better than inhaling micro-sized pollens floating in the air directly, considering he heard how dangerous it was to do so before his and his colleague departure from the village to this underground cave. “Told you, Nanoba …. Should’ve brought the ladder ….”

“Don’t blame me, they said just ‘cave’. Not an underground cave, who the hell would have known? It’s not like my own English and their interpreter’s were very good.”

“Shhh-” The local boy held his index finger on his lip, he spoke a few more words but the two Japanese men who were poor at English already, let alone the boy’s local tongue which bears no resemblance. The boy mimicked and imitated that the two were noisy, shifted his posture and expression to a rigorous and furious one before spreading his arms and stomping on the ground repeatedly like an angry deity or a kaiju. He ended with swiping his hands outward meaning ‘this place’ and then a prayer before he turned ahead and led the way to the flowers.

“I didn’t major in hand language-”

“I think he means that this is a sacred place and we should keep it low.”

“That’s always the idea, isn’t it?”

The hazmat men followed the boy to the heart of the cave where flowers and light were. As deeper as they got into tall grasses, the ground felt slimy. As the hazmat man stepped his heavily protected foot, making a crack like he had stepped on a dried branch, and it yanked on his foot.

He looked down.

It was not a branch of wood, it was bones from ribcage of a decomposing corpse. Slightly shocked, he flinched. He gathered his nerve before crouching down for further inspection. “So this must be one of those who had partaken the ritual to become ‘guardian’, to transcend. Unlike this boy, he didn’t survive.”

“Of course not. You actually paid attention? You a fan of fairy tales? Folklores? Who in right mind would stand here and inhale poisonous pollens just to see if god wanted him?”

“That’s why I tried to listen. In their belief, this is how they select men for warrior caste to inherit the power of god. A very few surpass the test, those who fail are left here to merge and depart to hereafter, those who succeed carry on and use that power to protect their tribe and so forth.”

“This is just whacky, old-timey tale …. No wonder why the tribe is about to extinct, they kept sacrificing boys to the god of-whatever-the-heck-that-is. At least these don’t reanimate, what a relief!”

“Don’t be so sure. Don’t you remember the demonstration back at the village? This boy’s arm was cut with a wound and it only took 2 minutes for the wound to regenerate. It’s the proof what the tale says is true. He wouldn’t be standing still if this didn’t work?”

“Increase of strength, speed, durability, vitality and a strong regeneration ability …. That’s what we do now, right? Working our ass on a project based on fairy tale? Alright, alright, alright, let’s get some samples and get out of here.”

Nanoba dismissed the complaint, he continue to inspect how the corpse looked. Across the body, there were distinct purplish pimples like bruises, apart from those, the rest seemed about just any decomposing corpse.

They began to pick the pollens into the vials and sealed them tightly, they were ready to leave as soon as they packed the vials.

“We’re ready, send it down.” Nanoba talked through the radio.

A silver reinforced crate was being rappelled down slowly until it reached the ground. On the lid, there was a logo printed on it …..    

‘Heian Foundation’.


Last edited by Tougane Masaru on Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:55 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:07 pm


Prelude to "Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam" Part 2:






Part 2


12 years ago


A round of applauds to the good-looking man who dressed nicely for a formal occasion as he rose for the chair among audiences in the hall, he waved to the crowd as if he were a celebrity as he walked down to the stage before podium. The man looked happy and honored to be where he was right now. He soon shifted his pleased and blushed face to a serious and determined one, readying for what he came to speak.

“Wars ravage for ages, lives gone. Conflicts bring nothing but destruction. And the people who suffer most are the innocence who stand between two sides raging war against each other and nobody stood by them. They live a day of their lives worrying if they will ever make it another day. We should understand a fact: our nation once fell to its knees. At the time, everything was devastating, our future was dim, but look where we are today! We have come far, we had an opportunity and we used our will to drive our nation forward, we rise from the ashes and rubbles of our cities. But to those out there today who suffer from conflicts, I have little confidence that they are getting the opportunity they deserve. With just a will, the future they deserve is just a daydream. This is where we can contribute: we give them opportunity at their life, there are great and determine people out there who deserve a chance, a potential. And that would be nothing if they continued to be weighted down by hardship. Heian Foundation was founded to do so, ever since 1945, we have expanded our humanitarian support operations to other part of the globe, supplies, medical supports, shelters. We started small. I used to work for the foundation, it made me see the world, and better yet: hope. Back then it may not be capable of achieving as much as it has potential today. With what the technologies of Academy City, the vision of the world we want to see is near. Advanced innovations would be for nothing if they just sat still on the shelves. I have built my business on improving the qualities of life, I have earned greatly, but my fortune is nothing if I cannot return and share to the world to help my fellow men. This is our sincere expression from the brilliant people behind Heian Foundation, the corporations behind it and the Academy City, that we have faith in humanity to achieve greatness with every opportunity provided. Every greatness starts from a small beginning, and we are providing that. Thank you for your time, I’m Shinohara Satoshi, your friendly fellow at Shinohara – Takashi Corporation.”









She laid on the hospital bed helplessly, the only thing she could do without moving too much that it hurt was watching television all day long. And in this summer was particular a pain for her, she was uncomfortable in the heat.

She watched the man offered hope and an opportunity to people, she too longed for them but both have long passed. For months, she hoped the man sitting next to her now would help her end her pain, he failed.

Nakajima Ryuko was a young beautiful model at her peak and about to come into fame in the last year. All she wished would come true if she had not become bedridden from the horrific burnt all over her body in an attack almost a year ago, the first victim of many cases happened in the Kanto region. She was doused in gasoline and lit on fire, she miraculously survived, but the burnt was beyond repair, it destroyed what she was using to make a living. Her face was not the same, her voice became hoarse, nothing she once had remained with her whenever she looked at herself in the mirror. On the inside was nothing but anger and sorrow for fate. A beauty turned into a beast within and outside. Every person she knew began to distance from her because she was of no use or she lost herself and lashed out at every human in her sight, it was not long she was imprisoned in solitude. All she was thinking now, was to know the bastard that did this to her suffer a worse fate.

“I had hope in you, detective. Had.” She lamented.

She looked at the detective who was near his retirement staring blankly at her, stuck in the empty void in his head, saying nothing in reply. He looked worn out but managed to keep an awkward smile on her face.

Sergeant Tsunemori was the only visitor who regularly visited. He often came to keep up a progress with her or just a simply friendly visit. But they were no way in bonding with each other, he was an eyesore to her.

“How are you, Ryuko?”

“How am I!? Look at me and tell me how I should be! You told me you caught the bastard and he hanged himself in the cell. And who the hell is running around attacking more people and sending me these goddamn mails!? There’s no day I can sleep knowing that he’s still out there!” She burst like a witch’s howl.

“Ryuko, I’m sorry. I promise I will catch him and this stop.” He sounded faint and looked heartbroken as her gravel voice seemed to pierce him.

“You’re sorry? How is that making things better? It’s all your fault that you’re incompetent … I knew I should’ve never trusted your words in the first place…. All I just want is to make this pain go away. What did I do to deserve this fate …..” She became subdued, not from calmness but exhaustion. “He did it again, didn’t he?”

He nodded once and sighed. “But we’re close. We’re close to catching this man. I came here to ask you want me to do with him when I catch him?”

It could have a blatant lie that came out of his mouth, a fear of losing faith from her more than he had lost.

“So you say ….” She did not buy his words and remained dubious at him. She did not have faith he would be able to catch the culprit after he failed once by catching a wrong guy. But an answer would not hurt, and she had in mind what she wanted to be done. “Just make him suffer as much as I do.”







“Takashi-kun. Are you still here?”

It was the inspector, his superior.

“Yes.”

“Are you alright? You can go home and have a day off. Leave the case to the others, you’ve done enough.”

“I’m fine, I just thought of something. I need to close this case, every moment passing is a waste if the killer’s  still out there.” Sergeant Tsunemori persisted. He wanted to believe the inspector’s word that he has done enough but it was not true, the attacker was still out there and attacking people. ‘Done enough to fuck everything up’ was more likely truer. He thought he caught the suspect, motive was right and circumstantial evidences were right even the suspect kept telling he was innocence. Tsunemori pressured him enough to the point where the suspect began to appear unstable and take his own life in the cell before there was a trial. He thought that had ended.

Two months later, it began again. The method was the same, the preference in the target and the target was the same. The old case was reviewed again and somehow the attacker’s alibi he thought he had arrested in the last two attacks before the suspect was arrested and dead checked out. The skillful and respected detective became disgraced. He caught the wrong man and faced the consequence. He spent the past months in shame as he tried to redeem himself by catching the man as his retirement approached closer. Just one case, it drained the life out of him, he always looked worn out and always exhausted with no trace of happiness ever occurred in his face. His wife and son abandoned him after he became more obsessed with the case. He never spent a peaceful moment at home or somewhere else without leaving the crime scenes in his mind. Victims haunted him in his sleep. He wanted this to end as much as Ms Nakajima wanted.    

“Well, in that case, I’m partnering you up with Taneda.”

“You don’t trust me, right? Pairing me up with that fucking brat …”

“I’m doing this out of good intention, Takashi-kun. There’s no way you can deny to me what the others say about you. You haven’t been sleeping for days, you drinking, you showing at work looking like a pile of shit … You’re not alright, Takashi-kun. Nobody believes in you anymore, well not me. I cut you slack several times, this as far as it goes. Someone has to keep you in the line. Take your ego out of equation. It’s not that you are incompetent, it’s just you’re not in the right mind …. For a very long time. That’s all I have to say. I already told Taneda about this-”

“Fine.”

Good intention, my ass. He thought.

Taneda Mori has joined this division for 2 years, he was the newest guy around here if excluding the newbie who got shot in the raid. He got along with the fellows around here well, he’s everyman’s man. But that seemed more like a coating than a genuineness side of him. There were things going on with Taneda that nobody so far has noticed, his instinct sensed it. In the raid that both participated, Taneda handled himself ‘too well’ for a newly-appointed police officer or a detective. He was too ‘relentless’ and ‘ruthless’. If the others had known about his notion on Taneda, they must just have said he was jealous.
He furiously left his superior’s office and walked through the office of his fellow detectives. Keeping his head and chest high, he tried to show he was arrogant and unconcerned of others’ notion of disdain and doubt against him, but inside he believed they were right and he felt weak and pathetic. He walked through the walk of shame and clicked his tongue as he passed Taneda’s desk, signaling him to follow to the patrol car. He was the first to get in the car, and while alone, he gasped and let out the panic attack he had been holding on the inside to clear his head before he had to deal with his new partner.
He did not expect a warm embrace from his partner, but if he could save a dead cold face under his glasses and put on the one that he was often seen with in a night-out with his colleague, that would save him a little annoyance for something else later on today.

“The interior looks charming.” Taneda said joyfully. But of course, it was not the truth. The car was messy with alcohol cans. The smell was stuffy due to the lack of ventilation.

“Keep your sarcasm for your inner monologue, it’s the blight of age. Are you going or not?”

“Alright. I pity the guy who’s going to clean up this car when you retire and return the car.” Taneda swept the cans and trashes in the passenger seat away, before sitting down he made a disgusted look on his face. “It’s not like I want to be assigned to this case …” He murmured.

He caught the murmur. He did not like that attitude at all, it was annoying. “Sorry, did I stain your nice suit? Can’t you just have your daddy or whoever put you here in this division order a new one?”
Tsunemori mocked the pretentiously-prickly noble Taneda.

“If that helps to feel better, keep saying it. What do you know about me? Of course, that the others don’t.”
“You see, if you had not put that ‘new-nice guy’ act around here with other people, I would not know. Something always seems off about you. You look too young to finish the police academy and start working right now. You didn’t panic once during the last raid, did you? I thought so, I saw it in your eyes when you handled yourself in firefight, you’re no rookie or new to this. Besides that, I called the drilling sergeant and a few of your supposed mates back in the academy, it seems that nobody knows you.” He displayed his distrust through his insight, showing that he was not a fool like the other people Taneda was around with, to gain dominance over him. He did not hold back information for nothing, he informed the inspector but only got a reply ‘There’s nothing to be worried’.

Taneda looked back and grinned, he was not displeased, he retorted without anger or anxious, unlike what Tsunemori harbored inside. “We’ve gotten off to a rocky start. You seem to pay more attention to me than anybody else. I suppose it might have been more productive if you put that energy on this case. Don’t you agree?”

That would not hurt if he did not care, it was better to stop for now and get a move on. Tsunemori twitched his eyebrow and gave a long sigh before starting the car and drove out of the station.







A long quiet drive, both were on a highway and nearing the destination.

“So, what do you know about this case?” Tsunemori broke the silence.

“Kanto scorcher, two victims before a month hiatus, one victim per a month. After the hiatus, another two more including this new victim were found within a month, all female, considerably good looking and bearing similarity in it among them: dark hair and pale skin. Out of four, only the first survived. Method: abduct, physical assault and then burn while in bondage in a remote location. Except for the first, who was drugged beforehand, both physically and sexually assaulted and burned on spot. After the first victim, there was not much for the autopsy since they were all burned to smithereens. God knows what happened with the rest while they’re taken before they were burned.” Taneda did not seemed disturbed while speaking of the matter. Tsunemori took a brief look at him.

“What do you think of it?”

“There was not any symbolism present at the scene through four victims, the crime itself seemed out of pure, raw desire.” He paused, a slightest of sympathy appeared on his face. “I can see why you’re having a hard time. Victims, after the first two who were all a model for the same agency, the third victim is not even related to the first two in anyway. The region of the crime is spreading all over the Kanto region. How about you, what do you know that I don’t?”

“The first victim, a model, she said she felt a ‘presence’, a feeling she was stalked all the time. She used to receive an anonymous letter. You know how a fan letter’s like. And then you know how it turned out …. I traced the letter back to sender, by the time, there was another victim. I found the guy, seemed a little odd in person, introvert, repressive. He worked as a photographer where our first victim was working for. One day, I managed to sneak in his apartment. I don’t know what would you call it if not ‘obsession, the first victim’s photos were all over the place. I caught the guy, I pressured him, cornered him. He did not admit, and I kept going for answers with ‘unorthodox’ means, people who were in this case had faith in me, they turned blind eye and let me to pursue the answers. One day, he’s just had enough, he hanged himself in the cell. We thought it’s over, case closed. It was quiet for two months ….”

“And he came back, the scorcher, attacking people again.”

“Yeah.” Tsunemori was reminded with a hard fact that he failed, “I caught the wrong guy. And now, here we are.”

With the mutual understanding between two men, silence fell again.








It was two in the morning, everything was murky as there were not many lights around in the junkyard apart from the guard post. Taneda was carrying a body wrapped in white cloth, a red gas canister and a wrench in the other hand, coming from the small back entrance to the junkyard. He slowly snuck in after breaking the lock. He halted his footsteps as he heard the voice from the guard post from afar, hiding himself from being seen by two guards.

“Good morning, Osato-san. You’re way too early for the shift, it’s still three hours ahead.”

“I just got back from drinking last night, I doubt I could get myself up from bed if I went home. I guess I’ll just enter my shift now. I’ll take it from here.”

“Are you sure? Don’t you want to take a rest first? My shift hasn’t ended yet,  I can still do it.”

“Nah, don’t worry. It’s not like there’s anybody sneaking in this place anyway, there’s just junks. I’ll rest on my shift anyway.”

“Thank you, Osato-san. Take care. See you later.”

After his colleague left, the guard went away to a shack nearby. Tsunemori came out from hiding and found a tire to place his victim in. He unwrapped the motionless body from the white cloth, he carefully pick up the woman who was bound by a set of ropes and placed her on the tire. He screwed the lid open and doused the gasoline over that body, he watched the liquid pouring over the bruised and beaten body of hers.

But suddenly, the body gasped as if she were drowning after she came to sense. And as she realized what was going on, she started to scream.

Panicked and unexpected, Taneda dropped the canister immediately and reached for his wrench, he used it to smack once to the victim’s head to make her quiet before he anxiously pulled out a match, lit and threw it at her.

The fire quickly overwhelmed her.

The burning pain woke her to her senses once again, she groaned loudly as she was engulfed in fire.








As he started to change into uniform and begin his shift, putting his trousers on and about to put his shirt on, a loud scream came from the back of the junkyard not too far from his post. It was brittle and high-pitched of a woman.

He ran out of the shack with his shirt still in his hand.

He saw a fire gushed behind the tall pile of junks. He rushed to the source of charring and screaming.
A humanoid figured was strapped and bound to a tire, burning.

He tried to use his shirt in his hand to put the fire out before it spread.

And by the time the fire was out, he just realized the scream stopped, the reddish body peeled of epidermis no longer pled for her life.









That was the words of Osato, a security guard who worked at this junkyard, and the evidences laid around the scene that provided Sergeant Tsunemori reenactment in his mind. Taneda interviewed The guard briefly, there was no reason to believe his words, considering the circumstantial evidences. Apart from that, Taneda could see through the body language if the guard was lying or not, this was not the case. They dismissed the guard and return to the scene where the vicious crime was committed. The body was already taken to the morgue, only the chalk-drawn silhouette and a few items were left on the scene.

“This is exactly like the other previous times … Just the body isn’t burned till it’s crisp. This looks sloppier than the last time, maybe something put him in a panic.”

“So you think he was panicking, maybe victim was still alive before he burned her was not the part of his plan?”

“It could be, you found a wrench with dried blood covering on its tip, he dropped it almost the spot he was rinsing the gasoline. There would be no point in hitting her with it if she was already dead. Since the guard said he heard the scream, it would likely be that the culprit used it to silence her. Also the matches he dropped from the box, probably when he was in a hurry.” Tsunemori concluded as he bent down to pick a match from a few of them dropped on gravel ground.

Tsunermori seemed to put himself in the shoes’ of the culprit based on the evidences he left on the scene but still lacking the emotion and motivation of the culprit. He has not questioned or mentioned the drive behind these actions yet, only the logical explanation to the evidences left here, such as why incinerated her instead of burying her somewhere? Maybe he wanted to be noticed? Taneda pondered. “I understand all these things, disposing body. There are better ways covers up, but placing the body like this, it was as if he wanted us to find it. Perhaps, he’s taunting us.”

“That or he’s just plain stupid. The bodies always appeared in a place they would be found. Why though?”
Taneda stood quietly for a second, his mind was likely adrift in thoughts, from what Tsunemori saw. And then he spoke, “To some people, it’s just thrilling. But I wouldn’t assume I understand him clearly and perfectly until I know more.”

“Right. At least, this time we’re luckier with the autopsy, hopefully.”






“Cause of death: internal organs failure due to fire injury; time of death: around 2 in the morning, matching the witness’s calim. I found a match in the missing person list by using her dental profile, this is Ms Honda Naomi who has been missing for almost a week now, working at PR for Heian Foundation. You’d recognize this face from the past promotional stills for their campaign. Well, actually not ….”

“But of course …” Taneda simpered.

Nobody between them both would know how she used to look.

Tsunemori and Taneda glanced silently at the coroner, Tsunemori’s face was dead serious while Taneda’s was sympathetic for the coroner’s carelessness. Much to the coroner’s chagrin, he eventually handed a folder over the reddish corpse to Tsunemori. Taneda seemed to focus on the body which has been sewn up already while Tsunemori read the file.

“Black hair, pale-lovely face, he’s back at it again.” Tsunemori mumbled to himself without being aware of it. “So what you can tell us more about the body?” He asked the coroner.

“It’s not going to sound pretty, first of all, nothing too oddly morbid, every organ is still there, none of them is missing. Starting off, there is gynecologic hemorrhage which confirms our suspicion that she was sexually assault, it looks very recent, although no trace of semen, perhaps it’s washed off or he wore the protection. And there are also several shallow stab and cut wounds on her both thighs and on the back, but her cuts on the face were deeper. Since the epidermises overall her body were damaged by fire, I couldn’t detect anything else.”

Tsunemori started to see in his mind what was done to Ms Honda in the time she was abducted. It was cruelty beyond any normal man could do to another, out of selfishness and lust, no man would do that, only monsters. The more time he let it pass, the more victims fell at the hand of this monster.

“What’d you say, we’ll go the foundation’s office first?” Taneda’s words brought him back to his senses.








“She was a very nice person, I couldn’t imagine something like this happened to her. I thought she was sick or quit her job ….” Her female colleague told Tsunemori and Taneda as they were discussing on the cafeteria’s table at the Heian Foundation Office. On the desk was promotional brochures with the latest victim in them, Tsunemori was still in denial that this bright and vibrant smile was gone, cruelly tormented and burned.

“Did she mention anything strange happening to her lately before her disappearance?”

“Ah … Let me think ….” She paused briefly before bursting into tears and crying.

“What’s wrong?” Taneda moved closer and handed his handkerchief to the lady. “Take your time, I understand it might be something you feel you are responsible for it. But trust me, it’s not your fault.” He comforted her.

Tsunemori just had a thought briefly that the sarcastic and sly bastard he was with earlier just got into soft? Or it was another person in him? It was not the first time he noticed it. He just had the feeling that this man would do anything to get what he wanted, becoming what he was not was of them. Taneda may act all nice and kind when people were around him, but just when he thought he was alone or he was careless, he let it out briefly like his mask slipped from his face, cynical and violent side of him showed. That was what he hated about Taneda.

The victim’s female colleague calmed down, she then spoke “She told me, she felt like she was being watched all the time. I just told her that she was just imagining it since the work in that week was particularly overwhelming and she often complained about the job and asked should she take a new job she was offered with.” She then sobbed more.

“Is there anything else? Just in general, like you seeing her with someone who you never saw before? How was she like the last time you saw her?”

“Yes, two weeks ago. I saw her talking to a man just outside the office on her break. He’s not working here, as far I as I can think of. When I asked her, she just said he’s nobody. Oh ….. I just recall it now, the last days I saw her, she seemed spooked, paranoid, and she was overly quiet. That’s about all I know.”

“Thank you for your time. If you know or remember anything more, please call us.” Tsunemori handed his card out to her and left the cafeteria, heading to his car ahead of Taneda who later excused himself, saying ‘he did not feel well’, an offered to get coffee for them both while he went away.

As Tsunemori walked out through the corridor, he was called by a man who was companied by two guards, “Excuse me”, the man said, he told the guards to leave him be and approach Tsunemori. “You’re the detective who’s investigating Ms Honda’s death, right?” The man was about his 30s and had a handsome face, he dressed nicely in a suit that reflect his wealthy position.

“Yes.” He looked at the man and remembered it was the man in that broadcast at the hospital – Shinohara Satoshi, who gave a speech that Ms Nakajima was listening to.

“My name is Shinohara Satoshi. I appreciate your hard work, detective. I’m deeply sorry for her, I believe no lives deserve that kind of cruelty out of selfishness. Let me be harsh for a moment, the world is filled with bad people and the world itself is not ordered or rationale, bad people enjoy that. It is you and great men like you who are working hard to put order to our society so we can live safely and happily as a civilization. I have to thank you. If there is anything I can help, tell me right away.” His words were soft-spoken and soothing but firm. He bowed down with his card in both hand handing to Tsunemori.

Tsunemori clumsily took the card. He thought Shinohara might have been a little exaggerating, but in a good way, Shinohara tried to encourage Tsunemori against the hardship he was facing. He felt comfort by the man’s words, he sensed sincerity and emotion at every word Shinohara has uttered. It was his charisma that he spoke and showed that he understood the person he was talking to.

“Of course, but I don’t think it will be necessary.” Although Shinohara looked like a nice person to talk to, Tsunemori still felt uncomfortable to discuss the details regarding the case, so he tried to digress after he strolled his eyes around the big and fancy building he was in, that must have had a great significant. “So you founded this ‘Heian’ Foundation?”

“Oh, no, I didn’t. The foundation has been around for a decade, it was the great people I knew back then who founded this foundation. By the time, I was merely their disciple, I learned a lot of things from here, I made fortune out of those things I learned, and I intend to give back to people as much as I can through foundation, to carry their name, their will and their hope.” Shinohara proudly said.

Tsunemori did not expect that energy out of Shinohara, he merely wanted to avoid talking about the case, it seemed to rude to drop it off first, he would just have to bring another topic up and until Shinohara excused himself to his business or Taneda showed up. “So what is this foundation up to?” He brought it up since he did not quite clearly know what it was about and it seemed like a something to ask.

“Our foundation began humanitarian supports by providing medical supplies and treatments in many third-world countries, especially the ones in conflict because we do not believe that political disputes should have their priorities over the quality of human lives. We later provide food supplies and build shelters, setting a job training center so people there can settle themselves once they get the opportunity to do so. Our goal is to help everyman to be able to stand on his feet against hardship of life at hands from both nature and human. And they would never rise if they were oppressed by that hardship. We believe need is need, it’s not embarrassing, we give them so one day they can give back to the next generation and our world. The Academy City generously lend us technological and financial supports to make this dream come true-”

One of his guard came to him and whispered something.

“I’m terribly sorry, I wish I could talk with you more but I have to excuse myself now. Good bye, detective. And good luck with your case.”

“Thank you. Good bye, Mr Shinohara.”

He dropped his heavy body onto the driver’s seat. It felt exhausting having to be around the people who had so much energy in life while he did not have so much, even it was a good thing. His energy and life were drained by this case and its monstrosity already, now with expectations from more people, he was pressured even further.

“Don’t you think something is odd?” Taneda spoke.

“What’s odd?”

“This society. Don’t you remember when she said ‘…. she was just imagining it since the work in that week was particularly overwhelming and she often complained about the job and asked should she take a new job she was offered with’? That doesn’t even make sense, yet she could brush the victim’s problem away from her with the reason so irrelevant. Just because it’s not her problem and it doesn’t concern her, she brushed it away nonchalantly. If she had listened, it could have turned out the other way …” Taneda cold spoke as he stared blankly through the windshield.

“Why? You’re just over-thinking it.” Tsunemori started to get confused with this Taneda.

“When was the last time you tried to open up to someone? If not someone close, they would shove it away and shut it. Workplace stays workplace, they don’t care what you’re facing. People of this society in this country don’t care you as an individual, they think of you as a part of machine, they expect you to work and nothing else.”

“So you think it’s her fault that she ignored her friend?”

“Did anybody care to ask how things really are with the case? Nobody cares, they just know you failed, and that’s it. Nobody cared about the newbie who was too scared to be sent into field, then he got killed last month. I’ve seen this thing myself, I’ve been there. I’m at the both sides of this, I faced it and I also did it because that’s how one can thrive among the others.” Taneda let a long sigh, “I’m just saying to you because you don’t care what I show to be. I’m just venting out. One day, I’ll be the man who does these things without thinking if they’re right or wrong: just do it. But it’s not today, not yet.”

That had made sense in a way for Tsunemori, “Right. Maybe I’m just an old guy who lived too long to actually realize how things really are.” He understood and had no better input for it. It was his turn to shut this down and move on. “So we’re going to crack this case now?”

“Yeah.”









They were at Ms Honda’s apartment, it was a small room on the second floor of two-storey apartment, located in a suburb. The area around her apartment was too quiet, too perfect to snatch someone and no one would notice. It made sense for someone who was still young and whose job only provided this much; Tokyo downtowns were too absurdly expensive. Not so many seemed to be aware that she was gone, let alone knowing anything about her abduction, that was so much help from her neighbors, if it was not for the old man living in a house across to her apartment who remembered and usually saw her leaving for work and coming home from work, both detectives would not know that she went missing that evening since the old man mentioned he never saw her leaving or coming again after that day. That day was second of June. Her room showed no sign of forced intrusion, everything was in its place, knobs and locks were still intact. Since it was the victim’s room, they did not expect to find anything groundbreaking here.

“I found her handbag!” Tsunemori heard Taneda yelled from the other room while he was checking the laundry, her office clothes were on the top of the pile. It was likely she was not taken on her way back home from office. “Go check the shoe box, I’ll check the wardrobe.” He told Taneda.
She was in many promotional stills for her foundation, she looked to be in a very good shape and stunning. Maybe she routinely worked out. He checked the wardrobe and found some sporting clothes. He was half-sure that she was taken during her working out session. “Is there a pair of sneakers in there?” He asked Taneda.

“No.”

“That’s likely what she wore and headed out before she was abducted, I found her working clothes on the top of the pile. That means the culprit knows the victim’s routine enough to choose the time and the spot that nobody would know when he abducted the victim.”

“So that’s it? That’s all you’ve got?” Taneda sneered and shrugged.

“What do you mean? That’s all there’s here.”

Taneda had a dry laughter, he handed a name card to Tsunemori. “I found it in her handbag. Goddamn Japanese, everybody does, even our likely-perpetrator gives this one out. Does this take you back?”

‘Yves Modeling Agency’.

“Remember that her colleague said the victim once talked to a man on her break or the job offer? I think this could be it.”

That was the name of the modeling agency two first victims worked at.

Tsunemori gawked at the piece of paper he was holding in his hand.

“I thought the culprit was from inside when I arrested that photographer, but the third victim took the case into another direction. That had thrown me off. It led me to believe the culprit was not from inside that modeling agency.”

“Don’t be so sure now, maybe it’s still from the outside, just that he picks the victims from here.”

Tsunemori started to feeling boiling from the inside. How could I miss it if the culprit was here all along? He was furious. He waited for so long to catch him, he did not want to believe he had a chance catch the culprit. Still he had no clue who could it be and that frightened him.





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Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:25 pm

Prelude to "DER MANN, DER AUS DER KÄLTE KAM" Part 2 (Two-third):

 
 
 
 
After a drive around the city, they arrived at the office just before the time it was closing. They were in this agency’s office, a place once Tsunemori visited and it gave him a bad nostalgic feeling. Sitting across them was the agent of this modeling agency, Sagawa Ito. He looked to be in his 40s, his hair started to bald hence the exposed forehead which gave the face a creepy look, he seemed calm, too calm; he did not seem to be provoked by the situation with people related to him turning up dead horribly, Tsunemori felt something was odd with him.
 
 
“What happened to Ms Honda is very unfortunate. I was the one who visited her and talked to her in that day at the office she’s working at. We saw some stills she did for publicity and we liked her, so I contacted her office and set up a meeting with her.” Sagawa replied to the question after both detectives informed him of the situation. “We did a photo-shoot with her a few days after meeting her.”
 
 
“Who knows about her doing the photo-shoot here?”
 
 
“Just us, this place is not big as you can see. It’s just me, the photographer, some crews …. And Make-up artist. I don’t think there’d be outsiders who know about this. We consider privacy to be important, we wouldn’t some jackass to harass one of our models after seeing them in a magazine.”
 
 
“Lastly, I need to ask where were you in evening of the second of June?”
 
 
Sagawa quickly rose from his chair and slammed on the table impulsively, “What am I now a suspect!?”
Taneda tried to calm him down even both he and Tsunemori started to feel something off about him. “Sorry, sir. It was just procedure.”
 
 
Sagawa tried to look relieved, he calmed himself and sat down. “Sorry, it’s been a rough year since many of our models are dead, it’s not good for business. I was working here all evening until midnight, everybody knows I always stay late at work, always the last to leave.”
 
 
“Thank you. I hope you don’t mind if we stick around here to ask people some question.”
 
 
“Of course not.” Sagawa spoke of out of sudden when the two detectives got up from the chairs and were heading out from the door. “So it’s not him, Inoue-kun, the photographer?”
 
 
Tsunemori recalled the sight of that man hanging himself in the cell who turned out was not the culprit and the dead bodies of those victims. “Unfortunately, it’s not him.” He forced the words out of his throat.
 
 
“That’s unfortunate.”
 
 
Tsunemori paled, he left the office along with Taneda. The awful feeling he had inside started to emerge within, it kept telling he was incompetent and he was at fault that more people kept turning up dead, it kept telling he deserved the shame from his failure he was living in right now.
 
 
For a moment he could not hold in there anymore, he punched to this nearest hard surface as powerfully and repeatedly as possible, hoping the physical pain would scramble his mind and save him from tormenting himself.
 
 
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Taneda shouted as he tried to pull Tsunemori away from wrecking the vending machine.
 
 
Tsunemori faltered back from the pull, he felt his presence was shrunken and felt pressured. He held on to his knees to not collapse, panting heavily for the force he exerted and the pain he endured.
 
 
“Goddamn it. Just take a minute to rest. Don’t stress out too much, you’ll have a stroke!” Taneda exclaimed. He went to check the machine if it was okay, he inserted the coins and pressed for a can of coffee, not that he wanted to drink it but rather to see it was still capable of dispensing. “You want some? I’ve got some spare changes.” He offered.
 
 
“I’m fine.”
 
 
“If you say so …”
 
 
They shared a moment of silence as Taneda proceed to buy a pack of cigarettes from a vending machine besides the one that sold beverages. They were about to walk away from there, but Taneda flinched once as if he forgot something, groped his chest a couple of times.
 
 
“What’s wrong? You forgot your breast pads?”
 
 
“Screw you. You got better now, grandpa? I forgot my lighter.”
 
 
“I don’t smoke. Pancreatic cancer is about to get me any day already. I just quit five years ago, thank you.”
 
 
“Fu-” Taneda almost let that word out.
 
 
A woman who dressed fashionably walked by and stopped for vending machine. She looked stunning, even though aged, probably late 30s, it could that her make-up was doing her a little favor. She was fairly tall for a woman but not than both of them, she had dark brown curly hair. She stopped at the front of vending machines. Taneda eyed her from the toes to the top, forgetting his urge for cigarette for a second.
 
 
He turned to the woman, he walked up to her and asked “Don’t you happen to have a light? I forgot mine.” He pulled his cigarette. He thought she might have some since she was standing in front of the cigarette vending. She could be buying it, or she could be buying the beverage, that was a fifty-fifty chance for him to guess it right.
 
 
“Yes.” She went through the another dimension of her handbag before pulling a box of matches out, she lit one up and used it to let the cigarette, Taneda bent down to get it lit. He saw her tender hand, it was pinkish both her hands and nails. It was odd for a smoker.
 
 
“You smoke?” He said flirty as he smiled and his eyebrows curved up.
 
 
“I don’t.” She tenderly said. “My boyfriend does, besides that it often comes in handy.”
 
 
“That’s awful.” He did not mean the fact that smoking was bad for her boyfriend’s health.
 
 
“Excuse me?” Her face was confused.
 
 
Taneda did not want to cock the whole thing up and have himself look like an idiot, he turned to Tsunemori once and saw his nod. He would just turn this awkward moment and divert her attention away, beginning the interrogation, since it was what they both were here in the first place. “You work here as a model? Do you mind if I asked something.” Taneda asked before he pulled a badge out of his pocket, “Detective Taneda, from Tokyo Metropolitan Police.”
 
 
“No need for the badge, you two look like a cop from a mile away. Well, at least, he does.” She glanced at Tsunemori shortly. “Why you think I’m a model?”
 
 
“Because you look gorgeous.” Taneda teased her, he wiped the serious and confused face he had earlier from what Tsunemori did and put a smile on it.
 
 
She then gave a soft laughter, “A model? Oh, no. I used to work as one, but not now. I’m working here as a make-up artist. Though, I’m their Swiss Army knife, I also handle the wardrobe, teach how models should post and a few other little things. Basically, I do almost anything here I can, apart from taking those pictures and being taken for those pictures. Sure, I'll answer those answers. I’m Yoshida Mei by the way. You guys here for Honda's murder?"
 
 
"Yes, ma'am. Is there anything you can tell us? Is there anything you can tell us?"
 
 
"First, it's Nakajima, Tennoji, Asakusa and now Honda ... I started to think this place is cursed."
 
 
Those are the names of all victims, both Tsunemori and Taneda remembered that. "You know them all?"
 
 
"Of course I do, I'm the closest to the models, usually, we talk about girly things, about fashion, about health, I give them advices on working and keeping shape especially Sagawa often take them out to ‘celebrate’, we develop personal and our routine for each other. Well, except for Asakusa, she's just in talk with Sagawa, she hasn't been shot here yet. They're all nice persons, even Honda who I only knew shortly. I think I know something but I don't know I should say it ....." Yoshida looked uncomfortable when she mentioned the thing she did not know if she should talk. Her eyes rolled to from left to right, she brought her arms from her sides and crossed and hugged herself. She leaned on the vending machine and crossed her legs also. Taneda started to get skeptic while Tsunemori felt compelled to what she was about to say.

“Please tell us.” Even Tsunemori did not speak as soft as he felt Taneda did, he thought to himself it was as if he was begging to hear that thing.
 
 
“Eh, I’m not … Ah …” She still looked anxious. She took a moment to brace herself. “Alright. It’s Sagawa, the agent.”
 
 
“What about him?”
 
 
“He’s strange. No, that’s not the right word. He’s perverted.”
 
 
“What makes you say so?”
 
 
“He wants those models. He always acts friendly around them. He always personally gets involved with them … Well, he says if he recruits them, it’s his ‘responsibility’ to take care and watch over them.”
 
 
“What do you mean by ‘wants’, by ‘responsibility’?”
 
 
Yoshida annoyed faced meant she expected both detectives to get it without her saying out loud which it was what she probably wished, but nonetheless she had to do it. “He wants to sleep with them. He thinks of them as his mistresses. He gets lusted and infatuated with their beauty, if you look carefully you might see him slip it out. First, he lures them to fame and fortune, when they get in, he applies and manipulates them to do whatever he wants them to do with him. See what I mean?” She shrugged and glanced over past them.
 
 
Both men turned back and saw a beautiful young model who seemed to just have left the set or was having a break from it, talking to Sagawa whose hand was on her shoulder and seemed to stand too close to that model. Both Tsunemori and Taneda quickly turned back to avoid being seen by him. They both nodded at Yoshida.
 
 
“How far does he go to ‘take care’ of them?”
 
 
“Everything that a good daddy does for his daughter, in this case, including some intimate actions.” A look of disgust appeared on her face.
 
 
“So all he had sex with all those victims?” Tsunemori bluntly said.
 
 
“I don’t know …. I always try not to see or hear what he does, it only makes my life more troublesome. But who I know for sure … Nakajima and Tennoji didn’t sleep with him. Actually, after a while that they worked here, they seemed to despise Sagawa for his ‘perverted’ behavior, even that I heard he secretly stalked them … If I were to say it myself, I would think he stalked every of them, but that sounds too biased. Sadly, even for what he does – perversely – nobody dares to say anything.”
 
 
“Because?”
 
 
“That’s the end of your career if you were to do that. There’s a living example here.” She just stopped.
It was silent for a moment, both detectives looked at each other profoundly confused either at what she meant or what she stopped.
 
 
“Who might that be? I think we need to talk to that person.”
 
 
She laughed again. “You cops are fool, you keep asking questions but never fill in the blanks with the clues you have. You’re talking to her.”
 
 
Both detectives were a little perturbed, but as long as they got to know what they needed, and they unconsciously acknowledged that fact, they would just let that slide.
 
 
“So …. What did he do to you?”
 
 
“Of course, he did many things to me. But one of them is not sleeping with me. And that sent me down the rabbit hole. My career ended the moment I refused to ride on his ‘private part’. If you had been reading fashion magazine about two years back, you would see me in those magazines. That was before he put a sanction on me.”
 
 
“Why didn’t you quit?”
 
 
“Like every circle of something, politics and what else, and fashion, if you have connection and power, you can do anything. Like I said, he can manipulate them to do what he wants. I refused to comply and I said ‘I’m done, I quit’, he just said that he would make sure there would be no place I can go, he said he could make the truth looked like that I was the troublesome one who attempted to tarnish him, he said he could turn everyone here against me, so I’m stuck here. He didn’t get a nerve to fire me at first, I made him a lot of money, I was his money printer, after a while that my fame seemed to lessen, he fired me. But guess it, who handles the make-up, the artistic aspects or everything for the shooting? Me, I was more than their models, I handled those things. They just started this agency because they’re greedy and perverted fuckers, nobody knew how to do shit. I handled those things, I was their diamond in the rough, I made their shitty agency survive until this day. See how they repaid me …” 
 
 
She stopped and took a breath for a second, both detectives would be worried if she had not done so.
“About almost a year ago, he called and asked me to come back and work with him again, doing same things, just not as a model. I didn’t want to, but I needed money, I still do now. So I accepted the request. Story of my life, gentlemen. I handle most of the shooting, taking care of them, making sure they look great. But not every of them, some of them Sagawa and his photographer handle themselves, you know those seem more private, I never really see them. The business here spirals up and down, it was at peak when I was a model, and it was down when I left. It peaked again when I came to handle things and it went down the murders started to happen to our girls. People must think this place is cursed!”
 
 
Both detectives felt relieved after the drama ended, there was something useful in there, they admitted, but as drama, it was a lot for simple men like them to digest.
 
 
 “Thank you very much, Ms Yoshida. Can you help us with a few more things?”
 
 
“Of course, I’m glad to be a good Samaritan.”
 
 
“Can you confirm Sagawa’s alibi on the second of June in the evening? He said everybody here knows that he always works late in the office.”
 
 
“Of course, that bastard does! A locked room with curtains down! Who knows what he does in there. But let me tell you some secret. That room has a hatch to the rooftop, that room used to be something else but he turned it into his office and that hatch still stays. If you know what I mean …. If you’re looking for anything, it’s probably in his office, he always keeps everything in there.”
 
 
“Okay …. Can you confirm your alibi on that day? It’s not that we’re suspecting you, it’s just procedure.”
 
 
“Of course. I was at the bar with my boyfriend at the bar at four-north and three-east intersection, it’s just a 500-yen bar, I suppose. I regularly visit there every evening. Ask the bartender there, I’m sure he doesn’t forget us. He’ll remember. Oh, my boyfriend’s name is Inoue Iwata, in case if you need to check.”
 
 
“Thank you, Ms Yoshida. That’d be all.”
 
 
They were about to walk away, Sagawa approached walked past three of them and spoke to Yoshida, “Can you handle the shooting for this entire week? I have some meeting to attend to.”
 
 
She replied, “Of course.” And Sagawa walked away. She winked once at the detectives before walking away.
 
 
“You look disappointed.” Tsunemori said to Taneda whose smile was half-shut.
 
 
“Well, yeah.”
 
 
“You respect the concept of faithful relationship?”
 
 
“No, but when a girl mentions she has a boyfriend either you ask or not, it’s likely she’s not interested to … Usually.”
 
 
“She’s not a girl, she’s a woman now.”
 
 
“Age’s just a number.”
 
 
“Whatever.”
 
 
Both detectives continued to interrogate people on the set. They only learned that some of the models started to feel she was being stalked recently and the relationship between Yoshida with people around here since she seemed to be someone important here, they mentioned that she often fought with the models and Sagawa, but they thought it was just about work since there still was a lot of friction in this line of work and it bounded to happen time to time, ‘nothing too worrisome’ they said. Apart from that, they did not learn much from what they already knew, some turned blind eye, some genuinely did not know a damn thing, it showed when they asked people there if Sagawa was there in the office on second of June, most saying that he was there but only because the curtain in his office was down and it meant he was in there, they said. The case started to sound more solid with Sagawa being at the center of it. Then they called it a day and parted away. Despite Taneda’s invite to go night out a bar, Tsunemori refused and headed to visit Ms Nakajima again, feeling obligated to.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
She was laying on the bed turning away from the way he came through the door and approached. Maybe she was sleeping, he thought. He laid quietly on the couch besides her.
 
 
“What are you here?” Nakajima said tiredly, her voice was trembled as sobbing was heard.
 
 
“Sorry, I thought you were sleeping.”
 
 
“Never mind. I don’t see pleasant things in sleeps anyway. All I see is either what happened to me in that day or what I would do to the bastard if I ever see him … but that’s a daydream, isn’t it? I don’t care if it’s right or wrong, I just want to ….”
 
 
Despite being exhausted, he tried to make his voice as gentle and as audible as possible, “I understand your pain, I’m trying my best-”
 
 
“YOUR BEST IS NOT ENOUGH!”
 
 
Tsunemori stayed quiet, he was lost of his words.
 
 
“SAY THAT’S NOT TRUE! SAY THAT AIN’T TRUE!” Her anger blended with sorrow, like a sea with rains and storms, a vast water with no calm.
 
 
“I’m so tired …. I don’t want to care this much, but I do, I can’t help myself …” Her sorrow was contagious, he could not keep it inside anymore, tears slowly rinsed from those closed eyes. “I just want this to end, I just want to go home and sleep. I just want to feel normal again. There’s no day I rest myself on bed, close my eyes and I don’t see you, don’t see bodies, don’t see the dead …. I don’t want to see no things … I don’t want … I feel so obligated to put you at peace. I don’t have to care, I don’t have to care, I don’t have to care but I do. I could just wait until I retire but I feel I can’t … There’s nothing in my head but you suffering and those horrible things …..”
 
 
“Sorr- …. Sorry. I’m sorry. Have some rest, detective.” Her fire of anger was put out by his flooding burst of tears.
 
 
It was morning already, he fell asleep on that couch. He heard people talking and that woke him, nurses were cleaning her behind the curtain around the patient’s bed. They did not mind him sleeping in the room, maybe they mistook him for her father. He doubted how they came they did not know her parents were gone but only he did, it was useless to think or speak of it anyway. He waited until they were done with her, so he could ask something from her. Last night was not really appropriate and too emotional, so he did not ask.
 
 
“I need to ask you something. Were you involved with Sagawa … in an inappropriate way?” He kept his tone as soft as possible, he did not want to anger her.
 
 
“Yes …” She admitted, her voice sounded shallow and empty.
 
 
“Why didn’t you tell the police at first?”
 
 
“I was drugged when I was attacked, I didn’t remember anything. I don’t know who it was at the time …. I was afraid to say it … He was threatening to cut me loose, he was paying my hospital bill and he told me not to tell the police that I was involved with him … I just didn’t know what to do … I thought it could be him but I was not sure. When you caught the that photographer, everything seemed to go that way and I believed it was so …. Now he did not even bother to help me anymore … Those taunting notes keep coming, telling how I don’t deserve to live and I should just die and it threatens me and threaten me …. I don’t know anymore …”
 
 
“It’s okay, I’ll catch the man.”
 
 
She seemed to believe him wholeheartedly this time, he thought he should be glad that she did, but he did not feel even close to being comfortable with that fact.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
He went to the station, to meet up with Taneda to continue the case, but his superior told him that Taneda has been tracking on the case since last night and left a message for him, telling him to go to a certain witness by this address and this time ’10.00 AM’.
 
 
He drove to that address and arrived by the time, again it was an apartment, but it looked more fancy now with more decoration and more storeys. He was stuck by the entrance for half an hour because the goddamn gate required him to have a key to building which everyone living here probably owned that, he waited until someone came out and he pretended to get the door and acted like he lived here and went through it. Finally he was at the door, he waited another half an hour for Taneda to arrive so they could begin but Taneda still has not come yet. So he decided to go ahead first and he knock the door loudly. No time to be wasted, he thought. Goddamn Taneda.
 
 
A sleeping yawn and shout came from inside “Coming!”
 
 
Answering the door was a tall man in tank top and striped boxer short, his eyes were so narrow that he almost looked a Chinese man but that face told him was not so. He knew that face, he remembered it.
 
 
“What the fuck!? What the hell are you doing here, Taneda?”
 
 
“Come in, come in.” Taneda kept saying it as he yawned.
 
 
Both being baffled and confused, but still managed to make it in.
 
 
“Don’t be so loud, don’t be so loud.” Taneda repeatedly said it as circling his index finger in the air. Tsunemori had no idea what he was doing but he knew why he was doing that, Taneda’s breath smelled alcohol.
 
 
“So what the hell are you doing here?”
 
 
“Hey, I said don’t be so louuud. She’s sleeping.”
 
 
“Who?”
 
 
“Tsujime .... It’s along story.”
 
 
“I have time.”
 
 
“Eh …. You know. Remember when Sagawa told Yoshida that he would be away and Yoshida winked at us?”
 
 
“Ahuh …”
 
 
“And that there’s a hatch in his room to the rooftop?”
 
 
“Ahuh ...”
 
 
“And he keeps everything in there?”
 
 
Taneda managed to speak of all that while still doing his thing with his hand.
 
 
“Ahuh …”
 
 
“You’re right about I am not what people actually think I am … I went there. Down that hatch. I found the way from the rooftop. I went in, grabbed something in his desks.”
 
 
Tsunemori had a thought if Taneda was an ex-crook or something but that hardly mattered now … “So?”
 
 
“But I wasn’t careful. I came out through the front door which I shouldn’t have. And she caught me.”
 
 
“She who?”
 
 
“Some model, she probably tried to go in the room to see Sagawa, to …. Eh .. I don’t know? Ask him for allowance? That’s so misogynistic to say …”
 
 
“It’s okay, you’re in Japan.”
 
 
“Oh, right. Eh… Then. I told her not to tell her boss and the reward for doing so would be me taking her to a fancy dinner. And we came back to do some more interrogation. I used some substance to make her talk more…”
 
 
Tsunemori looked around and saw a lot bottles of beer laying around, “You mean that?” He pointed at one of it.
 
 
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever it’s called.”
 
 
“So what do you learn from her?”
 
 
“She … She …. She likes … Strawberry?”
 
 
“What the fuck …. Get your shit together.”
 
 
“Hmm, ahmmh. Hmm. Hmmm.” He looked like he was speaking but he was holding something in his mouth, he nodded quickly at Tsunemori, trying to say something before running to the bathroom and vomiting non-stop.
 
 
“Fuck?”
 
 
He went to the desk, seeing a large folder, he picked it up and started going through it. Whatever in there made him curse more than Taneda’s nonsense.
 
 
It was a photo album, of some models whose face was familiar to him since he saw them yesterday. But this did not look appropriate for a fashion magazine at all, even for a pornographic magazine, it still looked too bizarre and it looked more homemade, ‘suggesting’ an act of intercourse in various tones. It had many sections and each section was named in English related to the ‘content’ of that section. He scrolled to the one that was named ‘Pyromaniac/Pyrophobia’ and in there it was slightly grotesque and erotic with fire as a component in there, its theme was likely to show the ‘pleasure’ and ‘fear’ around the idea of using fire, most pictures only included the clear view of the female models, some managed to show a figure of male in there but there was no face of the man. That ‘pleasure’ seemed more of a ‘torture’ with these females models acting as the victims in those scences. Most of them ended up looking outlandish more than artistic, he did not know why would these models would agree to do so … It needed a true, sick psychopath to come up with these things. This section seemed a little longer than the other ones, he scrolled to its second page of this section, he started to see the face of the victims who were attacked or murdered …. Nakajima …. Tennoji …. Asakusa …. Honda ….
 
 
Their naked body, tied up in bondage, tortured and bruised …. Their face in fear of a source of fire, a match, a lighter and else …
 
 
Sagawa was trying to recreate these scenes, bringing his fantasy to life …. At their death …. Tsunemori realized.
 
 
This belonged to Sagawa, Taneda brought it out of his office, this was his design, a design from a sick mind.
 
 
“Looks like we’ve got ourselves a prime suspect!” Tsunemori said to himself a little amazement.
 
 
“That’s the shit.” Taneda faced peeked from the bathroom and came his voice.
 
 
“Shut up.”
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
Tsunemori kept his flooding feelings and flashbacks of what Nakajima told him distracted and away from his mind by progressing on the tasks which would aid the case. On the inside, he felt the relief of this coming to an end, he felt the rage and the justice that would be brought upon that man who did this crime. He knew he was close, he only had to hold on a little longer so the moment came and he would be able to cease it.
 
 
They spent pretty much of the day driving around, asking things from people at locations they visited yesterday. Saying ‘they’ was not actually true, Tsunemori was the one who did it all and Taneda spent his day sleeping in the car because of the hangover.  By the time he got sober and clear, they arrived at the bar that Yoshida and her boyfriend came on the second of June to confirm their alibi. It’s a small bar, only two person worked there at a shift, the bartender and the cook, but each day the bartender and the cook changed since it was more of part-time job to them.
 
 
“I thought you were going to bring him to question him at the station.”
 
 
“Yeah, we could save that for later. I have some other idea. We’ll stakeout and catch him red hand in that act to make the case looks solid, if what people say about him staking the models is true.”
 
 
“Alright."
 
They went in and asked for the bartender whose shift was on that day and she came out. The cook did not see anything since he only stayed in the kitchen.
 
 
“Is there anything I can help you, sir?” She said.
 
 
“I want to know if you see a couple coming here on the second of June, they said they regularly visit here almost every day. They normally sit there.” She pointed at that table. “They’re very cute, they always joke around and go lovely-dovey.”
 
 
“Are you sure it was her?” Tsunemori pulled out a photo of Ms Yoshida, the make-up artist whom he met yesterday, he got the photo from the database of the city office he visited during the day.
 
 
“Eh … I didn’t remember seeing her face in that day … Oh, it’s her, I remember her curly hair. At least some of them peeked out of the cap she’s wearing.”
 
 
“What about the guy, is he here too?” Tsunemori pulled out a picture of Inoue Iwata whom Yoshida claimed to be her boyfriend.
 
 
“Yeah. He’s here. The guy looks a bit thuggish, but he looks kinds, I think he lends his oversized jacket to his girlfriend on that day, maybe the air condition was too cold. They both stayed here until midnight.”
That sounded legit for an alibi, these two persons were the only person who was not in the modeling agency’s office on the second of June when Ms Honda was abducted, excluding Sagawa whose alibi was questionable and could not be exactly confirmed. This place was far to the other side like in another town, they would have not have time to slip out of the bar and abduct the victim if they stayed here the whole night and both of them were present, they did not seem to have any motive to commit the crime even that appeared suspicious, that was what Tsunemori thought. Nobody in that agency who had accesses to information regarding the routine of the victims had the motive and the will, apart from one person whom he just discovered the ugly nature of his …..
 
 
That was the worst case the estimated. Everything started shaped and centered around Sagawa again.
 
 
“Why thuggish?”
 
 
“You know, track pants, a lot of prints on the shirt and the jacket … I don’t mean to be stereotypical but it just gives off that vibe. Do you need anything else?”
 
 
Tsunemori was going to thank you and leave but Taneda cut off.
 
 
“Two whiskey with water, spring water, the most expensive one you can find, Macallan, if the bottle on the shelf is actually Macallan. But if you put Suntory in that bottle, then don’t bottle pouring from that bottle and just use Suntory. Thank you.”
 
 
The female bartender hesitantly smiled back as she nodded.
 
 
“Then just use Suntory then.”
 
 
After the bartender went back into the bar, both of them went to sit at the table Yoshida and her boyfriend was sitting at in that day. Tsunemori just stared at Taneda.
 
 
Taneda noticed the cold stare, “You know, they always try trick to us, by putting the cheap domestic alcohol in the bottle of the expensive one to fool us to pay more. If you tongue is shitty, you’re not going to know the difference. 500-yen bars always do that.”
 
 
“No, I didn’t mean that. You just got sober!”
 
 
“No, it’s fine … Normally I have limit.”
 
 
“When do you not have limit?”
 
 
“When fun people are around.”
 
 
They were quiet for a second before Tsunemori seemed to notice something. “So you admit that you just drink for the brand?”
 
 
“Of course. Well, for now, tastes brew and develop, and it wouldn’t if I keep drinking poor stuffs. When you go out and are around with people, you’ve got to show you’re sport enough to buy them the good stuffs and drink those yourself too. It’s annoying, but yeah … Inevitable.” He pulled a pack of cigarette out.
 
 
“I wouldn’t know, I didn’t go out for so long, I just drink beer. I don’t know if this is just my feeling, I kinda you’re getting too comfortable with me.”
 
 
“I always get too comfortable with someone.”
 
 
The bartender rushed out from the bar and came to the table, she looked at Taneda “Ano, excuse me, sir. This is not a smoking table, if you wish to move and I can arrange that now.”
 
 
Taneda looked a bit sorry for his careless, he packed his cigarette back, and as he did he said, “I’m sorry. Don’t bother doing that. We’ll leave soon anyway.”
 
 
The bartender nodded silently and went to bar so quick that when Taneda lifted head up from packing his stuff, she was gone from in front of him. “Damn, she’s quick.”
 
 
Not long after that, the drinks came. “Enjoy the Suntory. Hail domestic products!” He lifted his glass.
 
 
“You don’t sound too happy about that.”
 
 
“Of course, I don’t.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
“So you’re saying it’s Sagawa who did all of it?”
 
 
“Well, the evidences and claims are pointing at him. You see that stuff in that album you took?”
 
 
“Yeah.”
 
 
“Even that kills nobody, it shows how sick his mind is. And he stalks people! If that’s normal, I don’t know what’s wrong with this world. If you remember what Ms Yoshida said-”
 
 
“Alright, alright …. If I remember all those things, that why we are here.” Taneda just shoved it away, annoyingly. “And if I remember right, Sagawa said we would be away which you thought it was suspicious.
 
There were in the car parking in front of someone’s house in another suburb to north to stakeout on one of the models who claimed they felt being stalked, and surely they informed the residence of the house they were parking in front of and the model, if they had not they would actually end up being more suspicious. They were already there after they left the bar that evening, now it was the evening of the next day.
It was Tsunemori’s turn to stay up, Taneda slept in the driver seat during his break. He now appreciated some silence when this brat got a chance to close his mouth, it was not that he truly despised it but rather it took his focus away from what he was doing: to catch the culprit and bring him to justice. ‘I want him to suffer as much as I do’, he remembered Nakajima, the first victim’s words, he remembered what Yoshida said, he remembered what the evidences and the clues were, especially his ‘sick art’ in that album, and they were all pointing at one man: Sagawa. He started to imagine what he would do and how far he would go to milk every truth from that man and when he admitted to his crime, things he would do to that man would be unthinkable.
 
 
A three hard knock snapped him from his thoughts, it was a patrol cop on a bike, “Sir, you cannot park here.”
 
 
“Police business.” He showed his badge.
 
 
“Sir, you still cannot park here.”
 
 
“Fine, just give me the ticket, I’ll handle it later.”
 
 
The patrol left.
 
 
He felt another presence around him, it was Taneda, sitting up straight from his seat.
 
 
“Since when did you wake up?”
 
 
He just shrugged, he looked serious, and a little startled, like when waking from a nightmare. Tsunemori recognized that kind of look because it was own look when he woke up and stared at himself in the mirror in the middle of the night. Taneda finally spoke, “Are you sure he’s our guy? How far would you go to do what you think you should if he's our guy?”
 
 
“Absolutely. I would do anything to bring the man to justice.”
 
 
“I don’t want you to make that mistake again, I just want to be sure.”
 
 
“Surely, I don’t want that either.” Tsunemori replied but that still did not wipe the look of doubt away from Taneda’s face. “You look like you still have something in your mind.”
 
 
“Yeah.”
 
 
“What is it?”
 
 
“I’m not sure. I understand that this is personal to you. This case means something to you, you feel it’s your duty to close it. I know you’re in a lot of pain in the past months ….”
 
 
Tsunemori thought he covered it up well by acting that he did not care, or at least did not care the people around him …. “How did you know …”
 
 
“I’ve been following your lead for the entire time, because this is your case. But I think as a partner or a colleague, I must say something. I think something is not right, things about this case sound too simple just now …”
 
 
“It always is, like this. The world is a simple place, just sometimes we are too foolish to see things.”
 
 
“No, I meant, it’s giving a wrong vibe. As if it was set up to point at this direction … Maybe- Are you still listening?”
 
 
Tsunemori had turned away from Taneda, he stared through the windshield, there was a car ahead.
 
 
It was Sagawa.
 
 
Before they had a chance to think or say anything, that car Sagawa drove started to back up quickly, trying to get away.
 
 
“Drive.” Tsunemori said.
 
 
Taneda stepped on the pedal, fully.
 
 
The car that Sagawa drove had gone from their sight as they tried to catch up in the mazes of turns and houses of suburb. They speculated that Sagawa would avoid the main roads at this time because he would be stuck in the traffic. They went to the road that was likely heading out of the city to rural in the next province.
 
 
And here they found him, speeding for his life. The road ahead led to tunnel and sharp-curve downward road, it would be hard to keep up with the car. As long as they were on this straight road before tunnel, they still had the chance.
 
 
Both detectives speeded up closer to the car they were chasing.
 
 
Tsunemori looked at Taneda, determinedly. “Ram his rear.”
 
 
“What?”
 
 
“RAM HIS REAR! IF YOU DON’T DECIDE NOW WE MIGHT LOSE HIM!”
 
 
“FUCK!” Taneda cursed before turning his the wheel sharply, their car swung to Sagawa’s car at the rear, sending his car out of control and spun around before it crashed.
 
 
They stopped the car nearby, Tsunemori was the first one to get down, he walked up to Sagawa who was trying to crawl out of his crashed car.
 
 
“I’m so glad, you’re still fine.” He looked coldly at Sagawa who desperately trying to crawl away, Sagawa did not seem to be injured fatally. Tsunemori brought out his handcuffs and locked Sagawa in the cuff by behind.
 
 
‘Make him suffer as much as I do.’
 
 
Her word, her plea, her request …. Nakajima’s voice was loud in his head.
 
 
He untied his own necktie and used it to tie a gag around Sagawa’s mouth, stopping him from making any sound. “This is you do them, isn’t it?” Victims from the moment that they were alive until they were dead popped in his mind, the things that he speculated that Sagawa had done to those victims ….
 
 
“What are you doing!?” Taneda freaked out and came pushing him from the back.
 
 
Tsunemori stepped back a little and when he recovered his balance, he turned to Taneda.
 
 
Taneda lifted both of his hands up like when one tries to calm another person a panic situation. “Tsunemori, you’ve got to calm down, alright. What are you doing?”
 
 
“This is justice, can’t you see?” He said it firmly.
 
 
“No, we’re going to make this right. I know what you’re thinking. I know that look in your eyes. I don't want you to do that.”
 
 
“Really? Tell me what is it … Tell how does it feel …” His voice became demonically cold.
 
 
“Tsunemori, you’ve got to calm down first. Holster your weapon.”
 
 
Tsunemori looked down at his hand, he did not realize he already has drawn the police-issued Minebea Snubnose revolver from his waistband holster. Maybe he was instinct, that he was ready to use it at any cost to bring that justice he long sought.
 
 
Or maybe he needed to calm down ….
 
 
“Tsunemori ….”
 
 
“You’re right, let’s make this right. Sorry, I got little overwhelmed.”
 
 
“Alright, everything’s fine. I’m going to go back to the car and call it in. I’m gonna call for backup. You stay right there, holster your weapon, remove the gag from his mouth. Nothing happens here, right? Don’t do anything stupid. I trust you.” Taneda slowly waved and lower his hands before turning back to the car they rode on.
 
 
‘Make him suffer as much as I do.’
 
 
Taneda continued to walk to the car but before he could reach it, he felt a hard force from behind, he was locked from behind, he could not feel air entering his lungs, and within no more than a minute and half, his body became motionless and fell to ground.
 
 
Tsunemori pushed Taneda off the road and out of the way, and then walked back to the subdued Sagawa.
“I really don’t know what do first with you.”
 
 
He proceeded to grab and drag Sagawa across the road to the car he rode in.


Last edited by Tougane Masaru on Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:51 pm; edited 6 times in total

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:46 pm

Prelude to Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam Part 2 (Last part):

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
It was forty-eight hours passed the disappearance of Detective Tsunemori and the man called Sagawa. Tsunemori drove further into the rural and avoided being caught. He eventually sought an abandoned building in the forest which seemed to be a hospital in the past and stopped there.
 
 
Sagawa was tied to the old chair Tsunemori found in around there. Sagawa has not been fed with anything, or talked to after the first hour, he tried to get out of that chair but he did not have the strength after being beaten. Sometimes he was left alone, all he heard was the quietness. Sometimes Tsunemori just stood there and stared at him. It slowly drove him to insanity. He cried to the point his cry for help was dry, but in the woods, there would not be anybody to hear his call for help.
 
 
“Is this what you do to them before you burned them to smithereens?”
 
 
Sagawa kept shaking his head sideways, telling Tsunemori it was not so.
 
 
“It takes a strong man to deny the truth in front of him. I give you that.” He slowly approached Sagawa.
 
 
“But my patience is running out!” He grabbed the pinky finger of Sagawa and broke it instantly.
 
 
Sagawa’s adrenaline kicked it and he started to scream loudly again, still not to the point it would be heard.
 
 
“You still have nine fingers left. If you still don’t talk, we can just go through all that. If you still don’t talk, I can the dig the nails out, if you still don’t talk, I can cut the finger off with dullest object I can find here. That’s for the starter. Or do you want to use fire? Because your ‘Pyromaniac/Pyromania’ seems to be your likening, there are so many photos in there, and familiar faces too. But let’s save the fire for later.”
 
 
Tsunemori move his hand and grabbed the ring finger of Sagawa. “Here’s what we can already surmised, you have no alibi. You posse what pinpoints your motive, a very sick one. People talk about your ‘queer’ behavior. And when I was staking out, you showed up, despite you said you were leaving for the entire week. Okay, let’s start. The rule is, if you lie and I know, your finger goes.”
 
 
To protect and serve, to him that had ended, his tenure as a peacekeeper, the law enforcer, it was dying as he was. From this point, he was the judge, the jury and the executioner.
 
 
“Let’s begin.” He tightened the grab and used the other hand to remove the gag from Sagawa’s mouth. “Did you kill those women?”
 
 
“No” His voice seemed scared, but Tsunemori bet this was barely a quarter of what Sagawa did to them.
The cracking was loud and the scream of pain mixed with a crazed laughter followed.
 
 
“Maybe that was too hard to admit right away. Let’s start with something easier. Did you stalk those women?”
 
 
“N-” It only came out as that  when Tsunemori interrupted.
 
 
“Think again, we found you found showing up at one of the models’ residence, people talk about you doing and being all crazy with those women, I bet you sleep with almost every of them if you can, you blackmail them if they don’t want to sleep with you. But murder with your sick art as an inspiration …. That’s …. I don’t even have a word for it.”
 
 
“Alright …” He cried mid-sentence. “I stalk them, I just can’t help myself, I follow them around …”
 
 
“Why didn’t you admit it in the first place?”
 
 
“Because it’d make me look like a suspect …” The voice damped in tears.
 
 
“Because that makes you a suspect.” Tsunemori removed his hand away for a second and clapped, “That’s an improvement. See, you can be cooperative. Okay, next one. The photo album, your sick art, it’s your idea, isn’t it?” He put his hand back to that ring finger again.
 
 
“No, no , no, no.”
 
 
“You said what?”
 
 
“It was her idea, Yoshida.”
 
 
“Look me in the eyes when you said that.”
 
 
Sagawa tremblingly raised his head up and looked at Tsunemori in his eyes.
 
 
“It’s not mine, it’s hers.”
 
 
Tsunemori saw in through those eyes, he looked in there that pitch black darkness in the eyes, he saw that the pupils dilated. “I know you’re lying!”
 
 
Another loud cracking was heard and the scream followed suit.
 
 
“Whaddyouwant!?Whaddyouwant!?”
 
 
“I want the truth!”
 
 
“This is the truth .."
 
 
He was not a fool, he believed he saw through this bastard’s trickery.
 
 
“I WANT THE TRUTH, NOT YOUR VERSION OF TRUTH!”
 
 
This bastard had all the reasons to shift the blame at Yoshida, she was his problem since she refused to climb in the same bed as him.
 
 
Tsunemori moved his hand to the next finger.
 
 
“Alright. FUCK! It’s my idea.”
 
 
“Good, another improvement.” He paused and let go of the hand. “To be honest, this is the last question I can come up with. Because the truth is, we both know deep down inside what the truth is.” He grabbed that finger again. “Did you kill them?”
 
 
“No, no, no ….”
 
 
But instead of bursting into anger again, he sounded tired, “This doesn’t look good Sagawa, maybe I was wrong about that guy, the photographer. I don’t think I’m wrong on this one. Your condition looks far beyond any cure. You have actions that bind you, that give you motive, you reflect your sickness” He sighed. “Did you kill them?”
 
 
“NO!”
 
 
Another finger was broken.
 
 
“You know what I’m asking” Tsunemori moved to another finger.
 
 
“I don’t want know what to say …” He cried again like a pathetic whim.
 
 
“No, you do know what to say.
 
 
Another finger went broken.
 
 
Sagawa cried in tremendous pain, but Tsunemori wasted no time and moved on the thumb.
 
 
“I know, I just want you to admit.”
 
 
“How many times I do- ARGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!”
 
 
“As many times as you think you can fool yourself. I will keep doing this as much as I need to do to make accept the truth and see there will be nowhere for you to go unless you accept the truth.”
 
 
The cry started to die down.
 
 
“Alright ….”
 
 
Then came waves of inaudible curses.
 
 
“Take your time.”
 
 
Tsunemori waited.
 
 
“If you admit it, you’ll stop this and take me to the police?”
 
 
Tsunemori only looked.
 
 
“I killed them. I killed them. I killed them.”
 
 
Tsunemori did nothing but looking.
 
 
“Take me in! Take me in! Take in!”
 
 
“You’re such a fucking pussy, it only takes you a hand to break you. I can’t imagine how much they pled for you to stop.” He reached his hand to his waistband and pulled out the very same revolver he drew out to intimidate Sagawa not long ago and to show Taneda how far he would go to end this.
“This ends here.”
 
 
‘I want him to suffer as much as I do’
 
 
What could that truly mean? He thought.
 
 
The justice was in his hand, a squeeze from his finger would deliver what the law and other enforcers failed to, what he failed to do in the first place.
 
 
The nights he could not sleep, he was about to get that back.
 
 
He would not live in shame anymore.
 
 
He would avenge Nakajima and the dead.
 
 
He cocked the hammer of his revolver.
 
 
“You’re insane! What the fuck do you want!?”
 
 
The curse kept coming, but he did not hear it, he only heard silence in his head.
 
 
He accepted the consequence, it was a price he had to pay, but it was also a price he was willing to pay.
 
 
‘You’ve got to make this right …’
 
 
He heard Taneda.
 
 
What that it meant?
 
 
What was right and what was wrong?
 
 
Letting this son of a bitch to live, one day he would make it away from the insane asylum.
 
 
But who was I to judge?
 
 
But who was I to decide?
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The car that had been missing with the detective called Tsunemori and the man called Sagawa, returned and parked in front of the police station, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Station.
 
 
Stepped down from the driver seat was Tsunemori, the old detective who walked calmly out of the car.
Every cop there stared at him, tension emerged between them.
 
 
He popped the car’s trunk and carried the motionless and bloodied body of Sagawa out of the car and to the cops. He handed Sagawa over. His superior gazed at Tsunemori.
 
 
The cops checked for the vital sign.
 
 
In a brief of seconds.
 
 
The reply was ….
 
 
“He’s alive, sir.”
 
 
He could not bring himself to kill that man, nevertheless, he believed the justice was served.
 
 
Hours he sat in that station in the very office he worked, everyone looked at him with disdain, but he did not feel as bad as before, he felt better, he felt satisfied.
 
 
His superior walked in along with Taneda whose head had bandages wrapped around.
 
 
“You’ve done fucked it up!” His superior yelled at the first sight of him. “You fuck, you outright tortured a man! What am I going do with you?”
 
 
“I don’t know, sir. Give me a medal would be a great start.” He said without being intimidated by the situation.
 
 
“Keep your sarcasm inside your thick skull! I don’t know what to do with you, I can’t let you alone for a second, can I? I sent you the best guy to keep track on you and what is this cluster-fuck?”
 
 
“I believe he did his best in keeping track on me.”
 
 
“Fuck, we’re going to be sued, this special division is going to be shut. You’re going to be fired, you’re going to be sued.”
 
 
“What’s the matter, sir?”
 
“You’ve still got the guts to ask me that? Guess what, Sagawa, the man you tortured, he’s going to sued us because you tortured and forced him to admit to the crime he did not commit.”
 
 
What the hell? That was his first thought. He just realized how stupid he could be, of course, Sagawa would turn his statement the other around when he got a chance. Tsunemori thought he should have killed that man right away when he had a chance, now Sagawa was going to slip.
 
 
“I had his confession, we still have evidences!”
 
 
“You have nothing. You’re supposed to bring the evidences in not, not to use it to judge on the an yourself. I don’t know what to speak with you… It’s no use telling you how to be a cop now.”
 
 
“But sir-”
 
 
“No buts. Badge. Gun.”
 
 
Tsunemori furiously stripped those out of him and handed away.
 
 
“Go. Just go. I don’t care. But just be at the court if Sagawa means it and I’m praying he doesn’t.”
Tsunemori turned away and headed for the exit, but suddenly he fell down to the ground by a heavy hitting force from behind.
 
 
He flipped himself, and it was Tanade who tackled him to the floor, he did not get to see that face so clear before Taneda started to punch him.
 
 
“Great! What a fucking civilization we have here! In next minute, is there anybody going outright to take a shit here?” The inspector, Tsunemori and Taneda’s superior yelled, but no one seemed to be looking at him, the colleague of both men seemed rather to care for their fight. “Stop him, are you going to let him kill that fucking old sack of shit!?”
 
 
Among the crowd of the other cops, a voice spoke “No, that guy has like, a black belt in Judo.”
 
 
“Fuck, you fucking useless piece of shit.”
 
 
Taneda relentlessly punched in the face of Tsunemori left and right, presumably for what Tsunemori did to him earlier, when he seemed to stop, he moved both hands to Tsunemori’s throat and choked.
 
 
Taneda gazed him in his eyes.
 
 
Taneda brought those eyes closer as he bent down closer to him.
 
 
“The parking lot A, third floor. Entrance trash can, there’s a brown parcel inside. Happy Early Christmas.” Taneda whispered to Tsunemori’s ears.
 
 
Tsunemori was going to pass out if his colleague did not drag Taneda away. He dragged his beaten body away from the room and heading for the location Taneda told him.
 
 
What Taneda left for Tsunemori inside that parcel was a four-inch Colt Python revolver, and it did not look legal with the serial number on the gun scratched off.
 
 
A shell missing during the practice firing in the firing range, the whole station would go in panic. Let alone having an illegal gun. Tanade has got ball to do that, Tsunemori admitted. He would go nuts too if he found out before, but not now. He could not care less, he needed one and here he got one. A man too old and soon to face a vicious killer needed more than a limp fist, he was not thinking out the consequence if he were to fire and what problem it would cause, all he cared was to kill that man and end this once and for all.
 
 
He came out and it was already dusk.
 
 
He realized there was not much of time left.
 
 
 
 
He burst into Sagawa’s office at the modeling agency. Sagawa was not there.
 
 
He did not know where to look for Sagawa anymore …
 
 
He walked down through that corridor, almost passing by the vending machines.
 
 
“Fuck health.” He bought a pack of cigarette from the vending machine. Still he could not find the light, and as would he to the light, he would find Sagawa this night no matter what.
 
 
He continued to walk.
 
 
“Detective-san!”
 
 
He heard a familiar voice, it was Yoshida.
 
 
“Hey.” Before he could mention any wonder in his mind, the woman began to speak again.
 
 
“One of our girls is missing again!”
 
 
“What?”
 
 
Sagawa …. Tsunemori could only think of one person behind this.
 
 
“Sagawa must have taken her!”
 
 
Yoshida heard that and started to tremble, but she forced it to stop and spoke “I think I may know where he is, let me help you. But we cannot talk here. I don’t know if Sagawa has anybody inside who’s loyal to him …”
 
 
This was getting out of hand, Tsunemori thought. “Okay.”
 
 
Tsunemori followed Yoshida to the quiet parking lot, to the floor where no car besides her parked there. They ran to it.
 
 
Her boyfriend stepped down from the mini-van. He greeted the detective, “Good evening, I’m Inoue. Let me help you.”
 
 
Tsunemori felt grateful for the help, but he disagreed, “No, it’s too dangerous for civilians.” He proceeded to ask what they knew about the situation, Yoshida mentioned she knew where Sagawa was. “Where’s Sagawa?”
 
 
The boyfriend, Inoue, “We followed his car after he came back, he just left here and went to the girl’s house and then he went to the abandoned dock at the south, I can drive you there. We knew something was not right about him. We want to help you.”
 
 
“I’m thankful for that, just lead me there would be fine.”
 
 
“Don’t you want to call for backup?”
 
 
He took a moment to think, he let the man slipped away once because he served the man on the scale of justice, and see how that had turned out … He was not going to let that happened again.
 
 
“No. This is what I have to do by myself, I hope you understand.”
 
 
“Of course.” Inoue, the boyfriend of Yoshida replied. Both he and Yoshida were about to get in the car.
Tsunemori excused Inoue for a second, “Sorry. Do you have a light?” He pulled out a cigarette. “I need to clear my mind for a moment.
 
 
“I don’t smoke.” Inoue looked dumbfound, he turned to Yoshida and turned back.
 
 
Tsunemori has noticed that.



 
 
‘You smoke?’
 
 
‘I don’t. My boyfriend does.


After the bartender went back into the bar, both of them went to sit at the table Yoshida and her boyfriend was sitting at in that day. Tsunemori just stared at Taneda.
 
 
“I always get too comfortable with someone.” He pulled a pack of cigarette out.
 
 
The bartender rushed out from the bar and came to the table, she looked at Taneda “Ano, excuse me, sir. This is not a smoking table, if you wish to move and I can arrange that now.”

If her boyfriend actually smoked, their regular table should not be a non-smoking table. She did not carry the matches because of smoking .... Perhaps it was a generous mistake she made when she gave a light to Taneda and she would have lied that she herself smoked only if it had not been Taneda who noticed that she did not smoke, so she said it was her boyfriend who smoked ....



 
 
 ‘Okay …. Can you confirm your alibi on that day? It’s not that we’re suspecting you, it’s just procedure.’
 
 
‘Of course. I was at the bar with my boyfriend at the bar at four-north and three-east intersection, it’s just a 500-yen bar, I suppose. I regularly visit there every evening. Ask the bartender there, I’m sure he doesn’t forget us. He’ll remember. Oh, my boyfriend’s name is Inoue Iwata, in case if you need to check.’
 
 
“Is there anything I can help you, sir?” She, the bartender, said.
 
 
“I want to know if you see a couple coming here on the second of June, they said they regularly visit here almost every day. They normally sit there.” She pointed at that table. “They’re very cute, they always joke around and go lovely-dovey.”
 
 
“Are you sure it was her?”
 
 
“Eh … I didn’t remember seeing her face in that day … Oh, it’s her, I remember her curly hair. At least some of them peeked out of the cap she’s wearing.”


That woman there whom the bartender saw could be any woman. Yoshida did not have to be there to have a legit alibi, and in fact she was not there ... She mistook the bartender on the day of the alibi to be a guy when in fact it was a woman. She only had to go there everyday except that day to make it look like she was always there, having her boyfriend there and taking some other woman out with him to fool them that she was actually there, all in order for her to carry out the crime during the time of her alibi .... 



  
 
‘Of course, that bastard does! A locked room with curtains down! Who knows what he does in there. But let me tell you some secret. That room has a hatch to the rooftop, that room used to be something else but he turned it into his office and that hatch still stays. If you know what I mean …. If you’re looking for anything, it’s probably in his office, he always keeps everything in there.’
 
 
‘The photo album, your sick art, it’s your idea, isn’t it?’
 
 
‘It was her idea, Yoshida. It’s not mine, it’s hers.’
 
 
‘Are you sure he’s our guy?’
 
 
‘I don’t want you to make that mistake again, I just want to be sure.’
 
 
‘I’ve been following your lead for the entire time, because this is your case. But I think as a partner or a colleague, I must say something. I think something is not right, things about this case sound too simple just now …’
 
 
‘No, I meant, it’s giving a wrong vibe. As if it was set up to point at this direction …’
 
 
‘You cops are a fool, you keep asking questions but never fill in the blanks with the clues you have.’
 
 
‘You cops are a fool.’
 
 
‘You are a fool.’
 
 
‘A fool.’
 
 
‘It takes a strong man to deny the truth in front of him.’

He trusted and believed things that led to one man but he never took a better look at something else. He thought everything seemed that this was so, and he thought it was right ....

Wrong, he was.



 
 
Shit.
 
 
He reached for the revolver he tugged in his pants and aimed at Inoue.
 
 
But a blunt force snapped his vision into darkness.
 
 

 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tsunemori, laying on the cold and hard floor, he woke up in a dark place, it had a high ceiling, he felt, and a vast area too.
 
 
“I had told you so many truths, you could have pieced that up and see the picture. But I guess you really are a fool.” It was the voice of Yoshida in darkness, the darkness was gone when she lit a match in her hand. The light illuminated on the figure bound to a chair and gagged, a woman, one of those model, naked and bruised like he witnessed in the past crimes. She looked soaked in gasoline.
 
 
“Ehhhh. Don’t do anything to stupid. If you do try anything I don’t like, this girl goes into flame.”
 
 
Tsunemori now only had one thing in mind: “Why? Why did you do all of this?”
 
 
“I didn’t lie to you. Most of what I told you was true. I even told you the reason why I did it.”
 
 
His mind did not really process really well, after the concussion he had.
 
 
“Sagawa is actually a perverted bastard, all the things I told you he hid, he actually did. I just never told you he was the one who murdered those girls. He was the reason I did all of this. You understand how it’s like to live in the world men rule? They view and treat women like a sexual object. That’s do to me, I was a fool from the rural, a little girl who to come to the big city. I thought it would be like a dream. It turned out it was not so, but I kept fighting for it, I learned things, skill, to survive. I didn’t want to be a low scum bitch who spreads legs for men and earns dimes. I learned to things, I found my way in to world of fashion, I learned every aspect of it and anything related, I put my heart in everything because I believed that would make things better. But bullshit! I thought I found what I could do and was great at, I thought I found my way to make a living, BUT IT ENDED BECAUSE SOME FUCKER COULD NOT KEEP HIS DICK IN HIS PANTS! Sagawa … After all I did for him, for his stupid slimy agency, I made him money … How could he do that to me … He took everything I loved and could do away from me … Just because his dick wants me. He never actually valued me as a person … Just a pretty hole to go into. Life after I lost every mean to make a living was not kind to me, I didn’t feel I deserved to live. But he was there … Inoue, he was not rich and anything, but he’s a good man, I love him and I’m thankful for him, he helped through it. Even we’re not doing well, but we had each other. One day, that fucker called me, told me he wanted me to help him, that fucker Sagawa. I swallowed my pride because it would make our lives better, his life better, he would not have to overwork to support both of us. So I went back and worked with him. I couldn’t believe he turned what I built into his own whorehouse. But I kept my eyes closed and my mouth shut. He asked me to help him with his ‘sick art’, that’s when I thought he could not be more fucked up, but I did it anyway because for what he earned, he barely paid what I deserve. His whores mocked and insulted me …. HIS WHORES! Those low lives … That’s when I had enough, if I was the one helped all of them earn the fortune they enjoyed, if I made them beautiful, if I created and served everything on silver plate for them, I can undo all of that ….”
 
 
“But why killed all those women? Isn’t Sagawa who you hate?”
 
 
“They were his precious whores, or some would be. His ‘sick art’ made perfect evidence if he were to kill those girls based on his sick desire into those arts, it was true I created them, but at his request and his desire. Two birds in one stone, I hurt him and I get him out of my way. His sick behavior makes him a great suspect. I planned and tried to make it looked like it was done by him. But you cops are fool, you never got to him. I brought that photographer you arrested to our first step, his lusted over that model, Nakajima, I let him do everything he wanted while she drugged, he was not at person at heart, but again his lust and dick rule his head. Thankfully, you caught him.  I offered him fortune from this agency, if he was declared insane, he would be institutionalized, and you know how this country works, he would be out before a decade. He’s young, he’s got his life ahead of him, he would get to enjoy it. But that fucker Sagawa got to him, he exploited and threatened he would do bad things to that kid’s ill mother if he were to reveal to police that Sagawa was related to the case, he used money to silence Nakajima, they both did not really have to know if he was actually wrong or not, they took the money and Sagawa got away. That kid could not handle it, he took his own life in the cell. You didn’t catch him. I waited and I waited, and here you are, you almost did it, you almost did what I wanted you to do more than catching him: to kill him. But suddenly, you just screwed it up. It’s not too late for improvisation.”
 
 
“What do you get out of this?”
 
 
“Revenge, but also what I built to be back in my hands is even better.”
 
 
All of this has gone into madness, he understood her but that did not justify her. Before thing went worse, he needed to calm her down.
 
 
“It’s not too late. You can still turn in now.”
 
 
Yoshida laughed maniacally, “You’re really a fool! Who said I’m going to be caught? You’ll see what I mean.”
 
 
The woman gone mad, he needed to remind of the good that she had it in there. “Think about Inoue, your boyfriend. He doesn’t have anything to do with this, you’re dragging him into this. If you love him, you wouldn’t that to him. If you do, you’re just selfish.”
 
 
She did not reply instantly, but after a heart-throbbing tension for Tsunemori, she eventually did, “Maybe I am, but that makes me that he really loves me and will go that far for me. Now ….” The ceiling light shone dimly after a flick of switch in her hand.
 
 
He could see the girl who was abducted more clearly, he saw the mad woman, Yoshida, moving back to her and still holding the lit match in her hand and the ceiling light switch in another. He could see now he was in the dark empty hangar. But with more light, he just saw Sagawa lying on the floor not too far from him, unconscious. He tried to wake the man up, Sagawa woke up but dizzy, he did not even freak out.
 
 
Tsunemori turned to Yoshida, “What do you want? What are you going to do?”
 
 
She rested the cable of the light switch on her shoulder, still holding the lit match to make sure things go her way, she pulled out the revolver Tsunemori brought with him earlier and tossed the revolver to the floor in front of Tsunemori. “You will shoot Sagawa.”
 
 
“Why am I going to do that?”
 
 
“Because you will save this woman. Right, Inoue is preparing and planting evidences to make it this looks like it’s all on Sagawa. Deep down you know he deserves it, you still get what you have been pursuing and you will save this girl.”
 
 
Tsunemori picked the gun and rose up, he pointed at Sagawa and cocked the hammer, once again Sagawa’s life was in his hand, and again that he had a reason to take that life away.
 
 
“You know what he did to me. He deserves it. A man like him doesn’t deserve to live. Shoot him.”
 
 
But he made his resolve once not to kill this man even he was the perpetrator of this crime, now he was not even. How could he kill the man now …. He was wrong and he could not stand himself being wrong again.
 
 
He hesitated.
 
 
He turned turn the gun on Yoshida.
 
 
“I won’t kill him, it’s not the right way.”
 
 
“Well, you know, I kinda figure you might say something of this sort … Sagawa, the deal still stands!”
What did that mean? Tsunemori was frightened and before he could turn back to Sagawa to see what she meant, he felt a sharp object pierced him in the back.
 
 
“ARGGGHHH!” He fell down after being stabbed a few times.
 
 
“Well, even everything seems to make you look like the criminal now, at least you get a chance to run.”
Sagawa shakily stood between downed Tsunemori and Yoshida.
 
 
“Run!” Yoshida told him.
 
 
Sagawa did not react, Yoshida seemed to startle ….
 
 
“You bitch, if I’m going to hell, you are too, you fuck!” Sagawa slowly crept onto Yoshida, her hand that held the lit match trembled and looked like it could fall from her hand at any moment.
 
 
“At least you would care for this girl! You have to!” Said horrified Yoshida who did not expect this to happened.
 
 
“I FUCKING DON’T!”
 
 
Three gunshots were fired.
 
 
Sagawa gasped abnormally before he fell down.
 
 
Tsunemori has fired his revolver, his powerless and bleeding body let go of the revolver. He did not trust if Yoshida would let the girl go …. But he could let his partner die … So Yoshida needed to make it out of here alive, that was why he shot Sagawa.
 
 
Yoshida relieved from the shock and walked toward him.
 
 
“I wasn’t so smart as I thought … But that was thrilling, better than I had anticipated.” She crouched down to speak to him.
 
 
“What now …”
 
 
“What now? Sagawa killed his latest victim. You caught up with him, he stabbed you and you shot him. Case closed.”
 
 
Of course, time and time, he was a fool … He had gone too far, the end only got worse and worse.
“You could just set us up while we’re unconscious. That’s smarter …..”
 
 
“That would be no fun … Too sad, you didn’t that fucker Sagawa broke down, you had no idea how much in despair he was when I pushed him to do this. It’s like his whole filthy world is crumbling down on him! He didn’t see his way out. I told him I would let him go if he killed you, I’ve put a knife in his pocket and he woke up, he knew what to do. Too stupid, I thought I had him, I thought he’d care for this girl … In the end, he did not want to make it. But I admit that letting him go, letting him live a life of a rat who runs around the house away from the cat is more satisfying. He would not get a chance, I had evidences that would incriminate him. Right now … This looks almost perfect.”
 
 
“So at least you would let my partner go …”
 
 
“You choose to believe me at a wrong time, detective. What partner?” Her maniac laughed resonated in the hangar, she walked away from him. She lit a new match and threw it at the poor girl.
 
 
Woken by fire, she started to cry out in pain as flame burned her.
 
 
Tsunemori, bleeding and powerless, could only look at another life he was supposed to save dying in front of him.
 
 
He was a fool as she said he was, blinded by his personal feelings, he had chances to see what was in front of him. He was lured by a glimpse of something ... a scent of meat, enough to run madly and hungrily, searching for that meat like a hound even that piece of meat may never be there.
 
 
The fire spread, creeping closer at him.
 
 
He was begging it to finish him quickly, he wanted to be freed from this pain.
 
 
His motionless and helpless body waited for the fire to devour him as it crept closer.
 
 
His conscious was fading away.
 
 
"Make her suffer as much as I do …"
 
 
Suddenly, he was pulled away further and further.
 
 
He did not feel blessed as his conscious was too blurry.
 
 
He saw the dark night sky as he faded away ….
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
Yoshida was standing at the quiet pier, looking at glimmering lights across the water on the other side of the gulf.
 
 
She was waiting for her boyfriend.
 
 
No matter what happened now, he and she would get through it, their life would be better, they would be happy.
 
 
Her heart was throbbing with excitement, she waited for this day for so long, for her pain to end, for her justice to be served.
 
 
The headlights swarmed on her from the back, she turned her boyfriend’s van was here.
 
 
There was nothing that could excited her as much as a sight of him, she kept her cool, she wanted to know what her boyfriend would do and say to her.
 
 
The door opened, footsteps followed closer, his warm presence was behind her.
 
 
She felt a weight on her shoulder as his hand rested on her.
 
 
The hand was not tender flesh, it felt like creamy leather.
 
 
She could not wait for him to say something, she decided she would be the first one to talk, the excitement that swarmed and swelled in her, she had to let it out.
 
 
She exhaled quickly.
 
 
“Aren’t you going to say something?”
 
 
“Well, you don’t happen to have a light with you, do you?”
 
 
She knew her boyfriend was not the most romantic person, but he would not say something like this, he was not the one who said this.
 
 
She tried to remain cool, keeping her panic inside.
 
 
“Detective Taneda, what are you doing here?”
 
 
“Your boyfriend was worrying about you, I came here to look for you. I heard a psycho is killing gorgeous girls around this region, it’s not safe to be here alone.”
 
 
What happened to him? She was terrified inside. What did he know? She looked at the young calm face, the detective who looked sure of himself. His hand that wore a leather driving glove was gently stroking on her cheek. In his mouth, he had a cigarette in.
 
 
“Well, you found me, detective. Do you care for a light?” She pulled a match from the box in her pocket. She did not have any weapon, but if she distracted him long enough, she could blow the hot ash from the cigarette to distract the detective.
 
 
She lit it and handed to the detective, he took the hand closer to his mouth to lit the cigarette.
 
 
“I always find your hand to be intriguing.” The fire lit on the tip of the cigarette, she was about to blow the wind from her mouth and send the hot ashes in his face.
 
 
But her hand was snapped forcefully and she bent her entire body because of the pain, the match fell off her hand.
 
 
Taneda smoked in and filled his lungs before he blew the smoke in her face.
 
 
“Like I said, it’s dangerous to be on here alone, unless you are the killer.” Both stared at each other intensely before Taneda broke silence between them, “Back then it was the lack of smell on your hand, now it’s gasoline. It should feel good to play smart, shouldn’t it? But in truth, I was too late for that. I screwed up almost as much the detective you tried to kill.” He let her hand go and put the cigarette in his hand. “Playing detective is also intriguing. It gives the satisfaction when you solve the thing, it makes you think you are smart, but all it really takes from one, is to pay attention and observe enough. Under the other detective’s lead, I was a blind man as much as he was. But I did feel satisfied when I figured out where to find your boyfriend. You thought you sent him to set up evidences and create an alibi for you and you’d be off the hook, you’re not entirely wrong, you’re just not lucky enough. Well, if I found your boyfriend, I would find you. We had a little chat, he was worried about you, so I asked where I could find you so I could take care of you.”
 
 
“No, no, no, NOOOOOOOOOO!” She screeched loudly over the lonesome pier, her fright faltered her on her knees. “What did you do to him?” Her tears poured out of her eyes.
 
 
“He told me all the lovely things about you, how much pain you had to go through and what he had done for you. I explained to him the reality of the situation that I understand your pain has pushed you to somewhere so dark you could not see or understand things as you should be able to. He loved you, all he wanted was to help you. I asked if he wanted to make you understand, he said ‘yes.’”
 
 
She did not understand what he meant. “Where’s he? Where’s IWATA-KUNNNNNNNNN!?”
 
 
“Well, obligatorily, I should have arrested him. But we took a ride down near here, we stopped to see the view … Where is he? Depends on how much that chunk of concrete weighs, he could already be at the bottom.”
 
 
She cried like a baby, lost of hope and love, her world crumbled upon her when her only light died and the darkness resumed. “WHY? WHY? WHY? YOU PSYCHOPATH!? YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST ARRESTED HIM. YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO ARREST HIM, NOT KILL HIM!”
 
 
“People don’t always make the right choice. They choose the right thing for them, even it’s not the right thing to do. I raced against time to find my partner whom you left for death. I hope you fathom how far I went to protect the fellow man, as how far you went to achieve what you wanted. I was merely putting your beloved boyfriend out of misery when I was done with him. I understand why you did all of this, you’re here … why we’re here ….”
 
 
“No, YOU DON’T! THIS IS JUST SICK! YOU WOULDN’T DO THIS IF YOU UNDERSTOOD!”
 
 
“Now …. It’s always easier to see how wrong other people are than seeing how wrong you yourself are. I did the same thing you did to those girls you murdered. They’re just casualties, they’re just your sacrificial lambs. You hurt the wrong people. You wanted to destroy the fortune of the man you hated, but you did not touch him until now. You’re using them against him, like I used your boyfriend against you. Does it hurt? Do you understand how it feel? That’s almost how other people involved in this case feel … Their family, the people who loved them. Revenge is understandable, I understand you, but I also understand the people who were caught in this crossfire. I was like you …. Revenge devours the people on both ends. And the anger brews inside turns man into monster.”
 
 
“Then what makes us different? You’re avenging on someone’s behalf!? You’re a monster as much as I am! How are we different!? How could you be so proud while you are speaking of that!? What gives you the right to do this!?”
 
 
“I am. But I work on the side of the angels. Here’s what we’re going to do. Obligatorily, I must arrest you, but you know I wouldn’t do that, at least my partner is not one who wants to see you go to trail and let off the hook because you look insane. This ends here. I’m going to kill you, unless you kill yourself. This is too much for you to walk away alive.” He put a heavy metal object in her hand, dark, cold piece of forged steel, the very same revolver she tossed to and forced Tsunemori to kill Sagawa. “I’m going to count to three.”
 
 
She held that piece of metal in her hand. She felt fear and despair in her heart. She wanted to lie to herself that this would still turn okay somehow, she wanted her beloved one to do so, but it was impossible.
 
 
He offered the end to this. She did not want to do it. She still clung on the pictures of beautiful life she dreamed a moment ago. This man came and destroyed it, her house of cards crumble.
 
 
“3.”
 
 
She put the cold metal barrel under her chin, she cocked the gun.
 
 
“2.”
 
 
Her hands trembled, her whole body trembling.
 
 
She was not ready, she kept thinking.
 
 
She did not want this, she kept thinking.
 
 
“1.”
 
 
The hammer fell on the chamber.
 
 
But the gun was not pointing at her own chin.
 
 
She was pointing at the man who forced her.
 
 
The hammer only fell, nothing combusted.
 
 
She pulled the trigger again and again.
 
 
“I thought so.”
 
 
She heard two gunshots and smelled the gunpowder.
 
 
Her adrenaline kicked in and she felt numbed and imbalanced.
 
 
She felt on her back.
 
 
“That’s a Colt Python .357 Magnum, illegal, I took it from a yakuza and it was never registered as evidence.” He described as he slowly approached her and stood over her. “I only meant you to feel the despair you forced other people on. I didn’t need to do this, I believe the detective you tried to kill would put the gun in your hand after he shot you. I gave you a chance, but you gave it away and gave me a good story for a report instead. Of course, this self-defence, it is a lie. But it’s the lie I’m going to believe, that I’m justified to kill you. Just as you believe you are justified to kill those people.”
 
 
Blooding in her mouth, she struggled to say, “I’m sorry …”
 
 
“I don’t care.”
 
 
Another gunshot howled at that pier.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
“How are you feeling?” Taneda asked Tsunemori who has admitted at the hospital for three days, he only got conscious just now.
 
 
“Terrible. This is not really my familiar scene, hospital.”
 
 
“But it is to me....” He chuckled but his eyes were sorrowful.
 
 
“So how’s the case?”
 
 
“Yoshida died, her boyfriend disappeared, Sagawa died ….. Another victim, Tsujime died. You knew why they did this?”
 
 
“Yes …. What’s wrong?” Tsunemori saw Taneda’s gaze of doubt again.
 
 
“You look disappointed.” He told Tsunemori.
 
 
“Yeah. I thought the case would be more …. I did not expect to find some sympathy for the people who committed this crime, I expected them to be the kind that were in no way to be sympathetic for.”
 
 
“You expected this to be psychotically terrifying? Isn’t this more terrifying? We thought we were facing the absolute insanely and psychotically cruelty, but the truth is just that it’s just about reasons and emotions. Let’s be honest, we expected the culprit to be a some sick-mind killer who satisfies his thirst with no reason but pure desire, yet it turned out it is not so. She’s not evil by birth, she’s just pushed to the point she became crazed and went beyond the limit. To me, that’s scary because it’s more relatable than a monstrous madness, and it’s more of something that can happen to anybody if one’s not strong enough.”
 
 
“Yeah … That’s one hell of job for us …”
 
 
“We’re screwed. This is not our best, I think. Sometimes, things just turn out like this. Is that all you want to know?”

"You killed her? You killed Yoshida?"

"I only did what you asked." Taneda coldly replied.

"I thought said it was not the right way ...."

"Right is actually hard to define .... Maybe I just forgot who I really am for a second when I said that .... I just wanted my last time to contributing .... Setting any trapped soul in that case free." 
 
 
“Is there anything you want to know?” Tsunemori digressed.
 
 
“The person, or the persons you were chasing in the past months, died, justice is served. How does it feel?”
 
 
“What feels?”
 
 
“The fulfillment, either it is revenge, avenge or a duty to you … I accomplished what you longed for, if you know what I mean.”
 
 
“It feels empty, there’s no satisfaction. But I would have done it anyway nevertheless. It just had to be done. It's not to achieve satisfaction, it's achieve the freedom from imprisonment, to be freed from whatever haunts you.”
 
 
“You’re right …. I would do that too.”
 
 
“Did you tell Nakajima?”
 
 
“Yes.”
 
 
“How much?”
 
 
“All of it, as much she wanted to know.”
 
 
“Did she feel satisfy?”
 
 
“No, she felt sorry when she knew it was Yoshida. She said Yoshida she knew was actually a nice person, she felt sorry for that one time she hurt her with her words, she had no idea things would turn out like this. She just felt empty. That’s all I heard from her.”
 
 
Tsunemori noticed Taneda was uncomfortable with something regarded that, but he did not bother to ask him.
 
 
“Tsunemori people knew back then before this case was a great man. The great detective who worked hard and solved cases.”
 
 
“Not anymore.”
 
 
“You’ve done well, you solved cases. Don’t let just one to ruin your life. You're just blinded by something all this time before this case was solved, it changed you and how you looked at world ... Was it rage? Sorrow? I would never know.”
 
 
“It’s always easy to say something like that. But when it comes to feeling it, it’s not as easy to do as saying those things. I understand what you’re saying, but I can’t do what you ask. I just can’t surpass the feelings with that logic. Like it's easy to say now, but it might take someone a whole life to see it, or it might someone to be in that place to understand. I just hope you won't have to be in that place.”
 
 
“Of course, I understand.”
 
 
“So what’s now for you?”
 
 
“I’m done. You?”
 
 
“Obviously, done.”
 
 
“I guess this is it for us.”
 
 
“Yes.”
 
 
“Take care.”
 
 
“You too.”

After Taneda bid him farewell, he felt the weight on his shoulders leaving along with that man.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
Tsunemori recovered days later, he was able to get out of his room, he decided to visit Nakajima to see if she was still okay.
 
 
He turned door in.
 
 
“Hey.”
 
 
No one replied, the room was empty.
 
 
He walked to ask the nurse nearby. “Do you know where is Ms Nakajima? Did she leave?”
 
 
The nurse looked anxious, “I’m deeply sorry. She passed away.”
 
 
“How?”
 
 
“She suicide.”
 
 
“Oh ….”
 
 
The nurse left him, he still stood hanging … onto something ….
 
 
He understood she just wanted her pain to end ....

Anger has devoured her life away already after that day she was attacked, she was just breathing, not living. She only lived to see her fire of anger to be put away, but when it did not turn out as she expected ....
 
 
The ghost of vengeance, haunting the livings around it just to fulfill or in response to its thirst for revenge and its sorrow, that who he thought Nakajimi to be, after all this time. She was the reason he pursued this case. In his mind, he always saw her being tormented and he could not stop seeing it, he felt guilty for what happened to her and he felt responsible for not being to prevented from happening to her and someone else. He wanted it to end.
 
 
Now this just has gone ….
 
 
He did not feel happy.
 
 
He did not feel sad.
 
 
He just did not feel.
 
 
He just did not know how to feel.
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 
He went to the station to pack his things and leave, his boss called him in the office and at least seemed to be calmed down than the last time he saw him. He did not speak much, just generally talked about things after Tsunemori leaving the force. Tsunemori was about to leave as he carried a box of his stuffs in his arms.
 
 
“How are things with Taneda?”
 
 
He did not know what that meant.
 
 
“What about him, sir?”
 
 
“Just curious, what goes on between you two. He requested to be on this case before he resigned. Saying he wanted to work with you.”
 
 
‘It’s not like I want to be assigned to this case ….’
 
 
“Did he say why?”
 
 
“No, I didn’t ask. But it turned out to be good anyway. The cold case was finally closed. He’s like your angel or something for this case ….”
 
 
‘….. I understand that this is personal to you. This case means something to you, you feel it’s your duty to close it. I know you’re in a lot of pain in the past months ….’
 
 
‘… I accomplished what you longed for, if you know what I mean.’
 
 
“Perhaps, sir.”
 
 
‘…. How far would you go to do what you think you should?’
 
 
‘….. I would do anything to bring the man to justice.’
 
 
‘Make her suffer as much as I do.’
 
 
 
“Or perhaps not.”

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Tougane Masaru
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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:49 pm

Prelude to Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam Final Part:



1 year ago (before Chapter 3)





“You don’t need to go, I can take care of you. It’s okay, I can help you out with this. I’ve earned more than I use anyway, sweetie.”
 
“It’s not about money, father. I’ll be alright, I already have plans.”
 
She stood at the phone booth in a crowded train station with luggage by her leg.
 
People walked around, looking like they have a destination in their mind. She too had, but she felt she was lost. She stroked her blonde hair as she watched those people around her.
 
Where were they heading?
 
Where was I heading?
 
Was I heading to somewhere or running away from something?
 
Was I a fortune seeker or just a runaway from my own sin? She thought.
 
“But I don’t want you to leave, I believe you are right and I don’t believe in what other people say.”
 
“It’s not about that either, father …. I don’t want to think about this ever again. I don’t want to always be reminded of this, I just want to forget. I’m sorry for being selfish, father.”
 
“Don’t be, it’s not your fault. I just wish I can help you more. Anyway, don’t forget to send me some postcards …. *coughing*” Coughing came from the other end of the line.
 
“Are you alright, father?”

“I’m fine, it’s a sore throat. Hurry, you’ll miss your flight.”
 
She became worried for a second for her dad but she did not want to spawn any argument with him before leaving him alone for a long time.
 
“Goodbye, father.”
 
“I love you, Lea.”
 
“I love you too, father.” 
 





 
 
In a room full of twelve men apart from himself and his secretary, angry, worried, calmed or calculating, all mixed up and sat by the round table, Tsushio Hisashi sat at the end of the round circle. Tsushio, a weathered and veteran middle-age man whose nameplate on the table said ‘Director of Field Operations’, was once an admiral in Navy Self-Defense Force  and now he served in a position in one of the intelligence and national-security institution among the intelligence community of the Academy City – that organization was only known as the ‘Agency’. While it comprised of many divisions, all twelve men here in the room were just the administrative figures, the observer and the ‘Director’. Today they were here on their own a little ‘congressional’ meeting, involving an important decision and a large amount of fund.
 
 
It has been an hour since the presentation on technical data on ‘Mutagenic enhancement’ Program, a project which worked on the virus the Academy City discovered and seized into its possession about two decades ago, after years of having been stuck in the developmental stage due to complication in engineering, this project was the first project to benefit from that virus. The city solely handed the virus and the rights in development to the Agency. Tsushio was a strong supporter in pushing the use of this virus in enhancing the operatives of this agency. He has spent time and resources to convince these administrative figures to approve of this project and fund it, he was sure he has done all he could to achieve the majority of votes, now he could only anticipate …. He waited for the commotion in consultation among these men to finish, then he turned on the microphone to amplify his voice and accentuate his point, reminding them.
 
 
“We have causes and interests to pursue and protect, we deem and we decide what’s needed to be done, we launch operations, but we all here do not have the capability to carry those operations ourselves, we do not have that strength, we do not have that courage, we rely on them to achieve our goals: those men, men in the shadow, our hands to pull that trigger. Man makes the most dangerous weapon itself, arms him with a rifle and a will, he fights yours wars, teaches him art of science, he gives you state of the art technology. Every weapon on this planet is nothing without the efficient wielder. As much as we need weapons, we need them. How many of you here have been in the field? How many you have handled those lives on the field? You wouldn’t understand how harsh it is out there. Your wars, your interests and your causes I and those men fight for, are never as same as you know them previous decades. Our enemies lurk in the dark rather than on the frontline of the battlefields, in yesterdays you might recognize them from their uniform and their flags, but today they don’t even have faces, they are in the shadow, they are the shadow. Our world is plunged into darkness more than ever. And you know now what kind of enemies we face out there, and you know why we raise our own men of the shadow, we need them, and as of now, we need them to be better than our enemies. To push the man’s physical limit to the boundary, a little improvement that promises a better result. You look at these wars and conflicts as economy, therefore you must make a wise investment to achieve profit. With the mutagen-enhanced operatives, they are stronger and deadlier, they are what ten men are and they produce efficiency at that level. I’m only here to provide you insight to our future, whether you want to invest in something that would never be used or you want to invest in what is practical and what we rely on, is up to your discretion. I provide you efficiency, you provide the money. Thank you, gentlemen. I hope your decision is the best for our future.”
 
 
It was the time to vote.
 
 
Hands raising in turn to vote for approval like students in a class.
 
 
The vote was six against four for approval of this project, enough to start and initiate the project as of now.
 
 
“Seems we’ve come to an agreement, the project is a go. Thank you for every of you who have come to attend this meeting.” Said the director.
 
 
And then all of them started to leave.
 
 
“Looks like luck is on our side.” Tsushio whispered to his secretary.
 
 
“When it comes to you, Mr Tsushio, I never believe it’s just luck.” His secretary jokingly said as she gathered her documents. She knew what a man like him could do to get things done.
 
 
“Well, anyway, this is just the beginning.”
 
 
He knew what was to come next, but this was all he had to do for now, from this moment he wished to have a rest and clear his head. He left the room the last.
 
 
“Impressive talk in there, Tsushio.”
 
 
“You know there’s just for an act, the real thing happens behind the curtains …. And a tightly locked door, Hernandez.”
 
 
A European man was waiting him outside of the meeting room, clean cut, dark face, good-looking, a bit too good for a researcher who now worked in bureaucracy in this place. Javier Hernandez, Tsushio had some sort of rivalry-relationship with this man. But to him, something sent off a bad smell under that friendly act Hernandez put up. So far they managed to get along well. It was better to have a rival among your own than an enemy, Tsushio thought so.
 
 
“That’s your kind of thing and you’re good at that … Selling dreams to visionaries. But the practical who I work for do not really appreciate this, getting them to vote, acting like we have democracy but those people are already deceived by the illusion of the full potential.” Hernandez was as straight to Tsushio as he could be, he did not seem to be afraid of causing antagonistic relationship between them. He was serious but not hostile.
 
 
“That’s a little slice of democracy we enjoy here, but I wouldn’t care about how it is done much as long as I can get what is necessary done, I put efficiency before bureaucracy. I show what’s better and what benefits us to them, and many chose wisely.”
 
 
“You show them a possibility of the success, you know how much of chance it’s going to reach the maximum potential. Not much. People I work for therefore are led to believe that you’ve got your own agenda in this.”
 
 
“Haven’t we all? It’s no use we discuss it here, then … The decision is already made.”
 
 
“We’ll see about that. Work aside, you up for a drink tonight?” Hernandez brightened up his face, he gave a smile. “You know when it comes to you, I never confuse personal matters with work, I like you more than any airhead around here.”
 
 
“I’m not sure you’re meaning it in a good way or not … Thank you for inviting, but I’m not free this evening. You know, family reunion of some sort.”
 
 
“Okay, next time. Later, Tsushio.”
 
 
“Later.”
 
 
Hernandez waved back at him as he walked away.
 
 
Sometimes, that bastard threaded between being friendly or an asshole, Tsushio thought.
 
 





 
 
They did not really much of free time to lay and stray around, the life of these men was almost always on the line, they knew why and they had to. Dodging danger and surviving to the next day was a bless. Tougane and Fujiwara, their time as a conventional combatant was over, they now worked even deeper in the shadow.  Only today, they both managed to find some time to relax at quiet bar and tall glasses of beer, in amidst of smoke and under dim lights.
 
 
 “How’s the sergeant after all of that?”
 
 
“He committed suicide a year later.”
 
 
“That’s a shame.”
 
 
“Lesson learned, anything getting too personal in line of work will leave you dead inside, or actually dead. It’s fault he let it consume him, other people would just forget it and let it go.”
 
 
“You sound too sure about that … Don’t you worry one day it can happen to you?”
 
 
“That’s up to men like us to know when to quit.”
 
 
In the middle of the night and many glasses drunk, they had time to share some stories in the past time while they were waiting for another person.
 
 
“How are you boys?” Tsushio showed up at their table.
 
 
“You’re two hours late, Fujiwara is already drunk.”
 
 
“I would argue, but I am not the one who has been telling those stories for hours …. Maybe I have to really excuse myself.” Fujiwara stood up from his chair, unstably he stood.
 
 
Tsushio pulled out a folder from his briefcase and handed it to Fujiwara, “Don’t forget why you’re here.”
 
 
Maybe it was not exactly just relax and recreation after all, there was a little of aspect of work in there.
Fujiwara bid farewell and was about to walk away, he stopped and spoke, “Oi, Tougane. You didn’t finish that story yet?”
 
 
“Which one?”
 
 
“The one that has a guy who comes up to you in the middle of the woods and asks you is there a signal for his ‘keitai’ before you stumbled to a damned village?”
 
 
“Maybe next time.”
 
 
“You know, it’s rabies. Definitely rabies.”
 
 
“No, it’s not. It’s never rabies. Go now, fuck off.”
 
 
“Later, brother.”
 
 
After Fujiwara left, the smile on Tougane faded.
 
 
“You two close?” Tsushio asked him.
 
 
“Well, it’s normal when you’ve been through something together. I watched his back and he watched mine when we both served in the navy. Where did you send him?” Tougane referred to the content in the folder Tsushio handed to Fujiwara. Supposedly, it should a mission.
 
 
“Not exactly where, but who. One of defectors, again, internal information leak.”
 
 
“The Academy City sure has many of such case. People out want to go in, people in want to go out.”
 
 
Tsushio ordered a drink and both men rested the matters of work for a while.
 
 
“You know the enhancement program for our operatives is a go? You sure you want to apply for it?”
 
 
“Yes, it’s about time. There have been times where I reached the limit in struggling to do something in physicality. Like you always told me, we cannot afford to fail, if becoming stronger is a available choice, I’ll choose it even it comes at great cost. Failure is too far expensive that we can pay.”
 
 
“It’s good you made your resolve. I’m just worried with this being too much for you, with everything that happened to you when you were young. I just want to make sure you’re fine with it.” Tsuhio appeared genuinely worried.
 
 
“You needn’t worry about me.” Said Tougane with his glass of drink in his hand before he drank it all the way down.





 
 








1037 hours local time (The present time with Chapter 3)






 
After a year ago, the content in that folder has let Fujiwara to the defector on the run, the defector left the clue after he relayed a dead drop and died, revealing his connection to a security advisor for Academy City who was responsible for a data leak. The dead drop slipped out of Fujiwara’s hand without him learning who took it or what was in there. Four days later, he found the opportunity and now headed to this security advisor’s estate in Singapore for answers with another operative there to assist him.
 
Fujiwara and the security advisor as the host to Fujiwara’s visit were standing in the luxurious living room that was decorated for guests by the fact that there were pictures of the family, trophies, paintings and a piano in that room, holding their glasses of a drink for the talk evening, the host poured for himself and the guest, they seemed to be talking about some kind of business. They eventually came into a disagreement in a certain topic, evidently by Fujiwara whipping the given glass of drink into the host’s head and dragging him to the piano while he was dazed from the swift attack.
 
Here was where things stood, Fujiwara was tired of this man playing dumb, he knew the man was a traitor, but he did not know what was leaked and that was what he had to know before something terrible happened.
 
Almost in chromatic scale, the notes climbed to higher pitch, too quickly and not quite the right tempo. Had it been at the hands of an experienced pianist, it could have been done with more taste and class. At the hands of Fujiwara, this was the best he could do; with a head of someone who was not in the mood to talk which Fujiwara was working on it. Keys for non-flat notes were visibly covered in blood. A combination of notes that could not be called a chord was made rapidly as Fujiwara rammed the man’s head on the high note keys over and over again before they were broken.
 
“What’s in the dead drop!? Who did you leave it for?” he stopped to let himself and the victim to catch some breathe before the gentle persuasion continued. He threw the victim on the ground and pressed his one of black leather derby on the victim’s right side of ribcage. As it was fracturing rustlingly, the victim screeched painfully.
 
“Have you had a change of heart now? What is it that makes you unbreakable until now? Fear? Loyalty? What did they promise you!?” He loosened the pressure on his foot and removed. He walked back and forth in the room and scratched his head with the free hand frantically, trying to figure what made the man silent about his question. “Don’t make me do this. Tell me what’s in the dead drop you ordered your contact to deliver, or I’m gonna start with your youngest child! No parents would want to outlive their child, wouldn’t they?” Fujiwara had the other operative rounded up this security advisor’s family as Fujiwara was talking to the man, he knew things would have gone drastically.
 
Fujiwara exited the room in haste, the victim could already imagine the worst scenario to happen. The man has not figured out the solution to this as he writhed on the lacquered floor, Fujiwara came back with a little girl; probably the youngest child of his, shaken and stirred yet no tears and cries. Fujiwara got on his knee and held the girl by his shoulder before brandishing a pistol.
 
“There’s no sense going half-cocked this time, choose wisely. There’s no cavalry to rescue you.” He cocked the gun and aimed it at the girl’s head, “You’ve got five seconds.”
 
The security still weighed between his duty and his family. He has not reached the outcome of each choice yet.
 
*bang*
 
It was not even three second, Fujiwara shot the girl in her thigh to push the man further. He finally made up his mind after the girl cried in pain and collasped after being shot.
 
“Okay, okay, you monster! It’s in the safe behind under the rug on my room on second floor, the password is 3691. In there you’ll find a copy of what I ordered my contact to leave it as a dead drop in the red parcel.
 
“And who was it that you left the parcel for!?”
 
“It’s Chu Tao.”
 
That name means many things, but for now he did not have the time to delve on that.
 
The girl collapsed on the floor as Fujiwara letting go of her. Fujiwara grabbed the phone on the counter near him and threw on the man, “Call the ambulance, and remember to give the statement carefully. The city still has their eyes on you. The next time it might not be me, but I can ensure that it will be worse.”
 
Fujiwara went to the second floor along with another operative, they searched for the safe under the rug and unlocked it, there were a lot of papers inside but only one red parcel. Fujiwara took it out immediately and read it.
 
 
There were two sets of document inside, one was about a cargo flight path from Academy City to South Africa set to fly by 10:00 PM in its local time which by now should have taken off and left, and another set of document was the location of the offshore armories owned by Academy City, he read through the list of weaponry until he stumbled on a name in the list – Hs92A Portable Surface-to-Air Missile Launcher.
 
 
He knew this weapon, it was developed to take down planes in their flying altitude, this unique missile could reach up to almost forty-thousand feet.
 
 
With both the location of this high-tech weapon developed by the city and the flight path of a flight that left for three hours ago being together, that meant …..
 
 
The look of horror on Fujiwara’s face made another operative question him, “What’s wrong?”
 
 
 
“Call it in, tell them to check the armories on the list and see if any of Hs92A Portable Surface-to-Air Missile Launcher is missing. Shit ….. Someone’s going down that plane!”
 
 
-To be continue in  'Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam'-

_________________
Explanation for my writing in case you are wondering:
Why it's kinda a mess ....



Maybe just one doesn't suffice, have a gif.






Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:47 pm

OOC Note wrote:With the trend of posting his own story rising out of nowhere, I feel strongly obligated to follow it.

P.S.The mess with naming and designating terms in used in the title will be handled soon.

2nd P.S. The first part of this 'chapter' will be released soon within a few days after a few or a lot of tweaking.

Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Prologue:




1827 hours
A certain military outpost, Mozambique




Through the metal mesh air duct came turbid teal light of a rainy day into the dark cell block, it came through and shone on the bare brown skins of the prisoner, a young boy, who was surrounded by matted grey concrete walls and rusty iron bars which trapped him inside. His eyes have gotten used to the darkness of this place after days of imprisonment, he started to forget the taste of freedom of the outside world. But he then realized, for almost a decade that he was outside, he never really had that freedom. Days after days he waited to bath in that only light that came through the mesh duct, neither of his cell or the hallway was ever lit, he came to believe that he was destined to sink into this darkness but somehow he still desperately sought for a chance to have his heart touch upon by and feel the light ever again.

That could not be true, though, he thought. He was too painful, too angry, to live normally, or even to live. The white teeth only glared because of rage rather than joy. He breathed every micron of air with anger, it was inflammable and volatile fuel for this machine of madness. 

The boy heard the creak of the iron door to this detainment section he was in and followed by rocking footstep which was odd to him, rather than the rubber sole that would make less and dull sound, this however was wooden of leather heels, it was unusual. Nonetheless he did not get any hope that it would be his time to freedom, either another prisoner akin to him got taken in, or out for execution, and worst, it might even be the boy himself. The one who came in might just be someone of a higher rank rather than low-rank grunts who came in and out or guarded this place.

As dark as the hallway was, the boy could not see who was approaching toward his cell block, until the silhouette and the footstep stopped right before the iron bars which separated the boy and the person, that little of light glimmered on the sheen of the man’s dark blue suit, a rare sight he has ever seen in the hot and wild badlands he believed he was in.

“Hello.” The voice came from the silhouette, not in native tongue he spoke but it was still from a few that he could speak: English, with an accent was slightly oriental but with the heaviness and sharpness that he heard his German mother spoke once before. “You must be Franz, right?”

“Yes …” The boy replied with the same tongue as he slowly rose his short stature on his feet, he felt he must have forgotten how to speak this one but still he was surprised at himself that he still could, but not as much surprised as when he heard the name, besides his mom and a few friends, nobody really called him that even they knew. “That’s not what they really call me by.”

“Yes, unfortunately.” The man in the suit said as he lurked in the shadow. “I hear the names they call you by, but rather disdaining and disrespectful to call a person as such. I like your name, I think we both will be comfortable with that.”

“You’re not someone from this outpost … You’re not in the ranks …. You're not like those bad people out there, are you?"

"Like them? No. But bad? Possibly." The man pleasantly answered.

"Still, I have no idea who you are or what you want ….”

“Hmm …. Who am I ….What I want … We’ll get to that soon. I’d rather think we should talk about you first.” The man casually spoke. “Rhodesian Bush War …  Mozambique Civil War … 2 wars already for you, the other 14 years old boy are still running around playing with toys … That must be tough for you.”

“You wouldn’t understand.” The boy bitterly replied.

“Trust me, I do.” The man said. “But I must give you credit that your profile looks … a bit more hardcore … I don’t have an idea how the hell you survive out there for almost a decade after your parents died. A son of a Rhodesian jurist and a German Missionary, robbed of his beloved ones, robbed of his future, a life …. turned in a child soldier … How many have you killed as far as you remember?”

“I don’t remember … It’s more than I want to remember.”

“Do you feel anything when you slaughter them?”

“No …”

The pathetic chuckle came from the man. “I guess you become numbed with it.” He said. “I hate to say this, but you’re exactly what I’m looking for. What’s your price? For all those bodies you have slaughtered, you must have gotten something in return for doing so.”

“What I got is survival.” The boy became agitated with the man’s question, he felt he was being judged all time for every choice he made, it was not fair, it was not like he had a choice to do what he had done. “Mister … If you take me that I chose this life, I’m telling you that you’re wrong. I have always been a prisoner, of war. I only did what I had to do.”

The man has detected an acute shift in the boy’s tone. “I’m not here to judge you. It’s understandable that they would use such a skilled boy like you to their wet works, it’s how you’re raised to be, there’s nothing for you to do because you never did something else and there’s nowhere for you to go … If there were, you would be out of this hell since your first war. Swept up with the wind of madness, you continued your fight here.”

What the man said was true, he seemed to understand the boy more than he himself thought. The boy, having no argument, he stayed in silence.

“So …” The man continued. “You must be very good, as far as I’ve heard. You’ve got your own squad, a death squad they use to wipe out their problems. I heard you led it yourself. And you did it so well, I heard you and the other kids got a better treatment than the other child soldiers who aren’t in the squad… Your commanding officer is still kind of surprised why you decided to rebel after everything he has given you. You along with them kids tried to liberate the outpost, caused so much damage, risking your lives in process. I take you must have known the risk before you did. I’m curious. Tell me why, tell my why you would risk it all after everything.”

“I’m tired of this life … So are friends of mine. They want freedom.”

“And do you not?”

“It’s different.”

“Does it have anything to do with a certain FRELIMO high-ranking officer who was here on the day you tried to liberate from this outpost?”

The boy did not answer, he knew it in his heart that it was true and he could not deny it himself.

“So that’s why, when the other boys started to run, you stayed and snuck into where a FRELIMO high-ranking officer was …" The man said. "Almost succeeded, shame, he slipped from your hands and none of your friends got away … alive. But you know the risk. Now there’s nothing in your hand. Why is it important that you risked your live to kill that man?”

“He killed my parents …. Back in Rhodesia.”

“Casualty of war, how tragic. Wasn’t entirely the madness that you followed to here, it’s vengeance” The man muttered to himself. “Let me tell you something, revenge might not be as satisfactory as you imagine, but that’s not my business. If that’s why you want, that’s the price I can offer you, I can give you him, on a silver platter, handed right before you. If you blame him for the life you have and you think it’ll end right after you kill him, you’re free to believe so. But I must warn you, it’s just the way of how the world is, your life is simply caught in it. What do you say? You like what I offer?”

What the boy longed for has become true, for a second time after his first failure, it was tempting to say ‘yes’ no matter what he had to do to get that prize. “What do you get from me in return if I agree to that?”

“Your skills, your instincts, what make you survive this long to this moment, that make you the beast of battlefield. And apart from all of that, your absolute loyalty.” The man said after a careful contemplation.

“Why me?” The boy was genuinely curious.

“Your CO that I have just sold 30 caches of missiles to was a very talkative man after two bottle of local beer, I heard about you and I told him I was interested. I digress.” The man playfully said. “I find we’re alike in many ways, a friend in the same profession, former for me … I sympathize you. And you’re still young, you’re only driven by the purest forms of emotions. Men in my world either lose themselves into their blinding belief or greed .. or something else after some prolong exposure to the elements of the world they live in. But for you, I can trust you more than them … If you want revenge, I give you revenge and you do what I ask you to do.”

“What will that be?” Although having a firm idea, the boy still felt shaken in his anticipation.

“You’re going to be a tourist in my world, nothing more. Engage a few activities that require muscle work. High risk, lots of lives are on the line, you have to do everything necessary to complete your objective. You’re going to be my triggerman. World needs men like you to fuel the conflicts that go on forever as long as humans are alive and breathing, I need a man like you to do things for me.”

The boy without further hesitation, he said: "I agree ... to your agreement."

"That's the spirit ... You'll be out of here in no time. Just hang on a little longer while I handle the things with your CO, former CO." The man finished his sentence and began to strutted away.

"Wait!" The boy called from behind. "Who are you?"

The man stopped mid-way, he did not turn nor budge. "I'm a man like you, Franz. I'm also known by many names. My work is mostly about helping certain people with their problems, they call me a 'problem solver' but a 'problem eliminator' is more likely. But you can call me 'Tougane Masaru.' And right now, we're having a big problem."

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sun Aug 07, 2016 6:53 pm

OOC Note wrote:Since I have stalled the thread for some time, I feel the urgency to wrap it up before it causes a problem. One part per a day due to the limited capacity.

Chapter 1: The Concierge of Chaos:

5 months earlier .....






October, 1986
1104 hours, local time
Estimately 86 nautical miles to the south of Hong Kong's coast


Four RHIB speedboats sailed along the calm sea in amidst of nothing but dark water in the early hours of the day, nothing but darkness under the clouded moonlight. Men on these boats cloaked themselves either in dark tactical clothes or a wet suit. They soon slowed and stopped the boats in the middle of nowhere.

“We’re at least half an hour ahead before the cargo plane passes this point, assemble the launchers.” Chu Tao, the leader of his highly motivated and heavily armed enforcers, ordered his men, they began to remove parts from the olive-colored rectangular crates.

“Do you really believe this is going to work?” One of his crews questioned him.

“This, my friend, is the state of the art weaponry. You know what Academy City is capable of. And these Hs92A Portable Surface-to-Air Missile Launchers will make the American’s Stinger launchers they hand out to the Mujahedeen look like a flintlock rifle. We’ll down the down plane in the air without having to fly up there, how fascinating is that? Let’s waste no time and see if I’m right.”

The men loaded the projectile round into the launcher and carried it over their shoulder, they checked if the heat-seeking system was working before the cargo plane went past above them. Three of the launchers readied to fire and take the plane down.

One of the crew has been tracking the heat signature of the plane ever since they were heading to this place, now he has noticed that it was arriving and alerted his boss, “It’s now above us!”

“Good. Fire at once.” Without hesitation, Chu Tao ordered his men.

The water was still and the sky was quiet, but then soon, not anymore.

The smoke exhausted from the launchers and three missiles launched themselves into the air, they quickly climbed up before disappearing into dark clouds.

In that quietness, those men anticipated for what came next, what this fortune would offer them out of the wreckage at their hands.

The missiles have hit, the explosion roared in the sky, the fire rained down.

It trembled in the air as if sky has fallen.

The burning plane blazed and brightened before the dark water on the face of the earth as it was diving down levelly from heights, soon it crashed land on the surface of the sea.

The fiery wreckage reflected a red glare in the eyes, a grim grin appeared on Chu Tao’s face, “Begin the salvage operation.”  

The wreckage burned before them as it slowly sank.

The fire was set onto the sea.

The storm was soon to come next.




 
1013 hours
Special Assault Police Headquater, Tokyo.


It was chaotic in this dimly-lit operational room, people walking in, out and around, typing and talking madly fast as they were racing against time. The map of area around Kowloon and various information about the situation were over the large screen down in the front of the room, along with a face of an Asian man on the large screen, he was Chinese than, his name was Chu Tao, a freelance enforcer currently working for Japanese Red Army with a long list of involvements in his career history, most of them were not incidents that went without public chaos, many of those have affected Japanese authority, resulted dead civilians, data leaked. They have long been on this man’s tail for the disasters he created in where he went but Chu Tao always came and went like smoke after leaving wreckage of destruction behind. He was skilled and certainly one hell of a mayhem maker, but did not look like any type of a mastermind.

Japanese Red Army (or known shortly as JRA) has carried numerous attacks in Japan and around the world as part of destabilization on Japanese constitutional monarchy and to revolt the world to their ideology ever since the previous decade after its emersion. This organization has proven itself to be a threat to the free world, and by no means, had to be stopped before more lives were lost. By capturing Chu Tao, it would lead to the members of the JRA behind those chains of attacks.

A few hours ago, a cargo plane owned by a company from Academy City was shot down after an intel leak, providing Chu Tao and presumably JRA a flight path and a means to take the cargo plane down. Due to a sensitive cargo was on board which was likely what they were after, a representative from the Academy City alerted Japanese authority after intercepting the intel of this terrorism plot.

Tsushio, the suit from Academy City and an overseer to this operation, average in his size and look and in his 40s, glassed, he stood in the middle of the room along with Chief Inspector Sakayama who was in charge of commanding Special Assault Police in this operation, the man who looked as experienced and stern as the wrinkles on his face and his police uniform suggested. Their heads were swirled by the heat of situation.

The room was diffused with smoke from cigarettes, sweat and fear.
 
“Listen up!” Chief Inspector Sakayama got the attention of the personnel in the room, after all eyes and ears were on him, he further announced. “10 hours ago, a cargo plane leaving from South Africa should have arrived in Academy City if it were not for our old friend Chu Tao and his colleagues, they took down it down around the coast of Hong Kong. One of the cargos belongs to Academy City that was being transported by the plane was taken. The size of the cargo is about a small briefcase, easy to conceal. The emergency beacon was activated when they extracted the cargo out of the downed plane, it showed that it was heading towards Hong Kong. We don’t have much time before he and his crew disappeared. Apprehend him, we need to know who’s behind many orchestrated attacks in the past years. We cannot risk losing him, people. This is our chance!”

One of the technical operators came up to Chief Inspector Sakayama and notified him. “They’re in position. Standing by for order.”

Then the chief inspector pressed the conference microphone from nearby on, “Come in, Team Leader.”

“This is Team Leader. Their convoy stopped by the top of the shanty town up on the hill, we have a visual on target, 15 more additional hostiles, armed. Looks like they’re waiting at rendezvous. We’re monitoring if there is any signal coming into contact with him.”

The Special Assault Police Teams have flown along with an observant from the Academy City within the hour they received an intel about the flight path being leaked, the teams got on the ground and managed to track Chu Tao from Kowloon shore to the shanty town, the assault teams have utilized the construction workers on site there as their cover by seizing their clothes and vehicles for the time being as they tracked Chu Tao incognito. Right now, Chu Tao was waiting on the top of the shanty town near the construction site behind it.

“Does he have the package with him?” Although it was barely what concerned him, the Chief Inspector still held the package as a vital factor to this operation since it led the emergence of Chu Tao.

“He’s carrying a backpack, size big enough to fit the package of the description.”

“What’s the status on the observant?”

“He’s still with us, sir.”

“Make sure he’s not doing anything out of the line.” Said Chief Inspector Sakyama. “Stand by for further order for now. Over.”

“Over and out.”

Chief Inspector Sakayama turned off the microphone and turned to Tsushio, who was definitely one of the suits type, shady and calculating, who in his pretense, looked so nonchalant to the situation around him. Chief Inspector Sakayama had come to despise the man inherently when he first met this man years back.

“I don’t know what kind of friend you or your boss has to make a call to and authorize this operation to retrieve a package which you claim to be too sensitive to be disclosed. I don’t care about it, it doesn’t give you any privilege here, I run this OP. Tell your man to stand down and this will be over soon. We wouldn’t want an international dispute on a British colony, would we?”

“I’d rather much prefer it that way, if things were that simple ….” Averted eyes and his low down tone seemed nothing but carefree and cockiness. “You just go ahead and grab your man, I’m just here for the cargo.”

“Good.”

The situation seemed that Chu Tao has stolen the cargo to hand over to somebody, choosing the shanty town in the hill to avoid attraction.
 
The team leader has patched back in again, “HQ, the target is making a contact via radio now.”

“Is there anyone apart from him and his crew?” Chief Inspector Sakaya responded.

“Negative, sir. No sign of them-”

‘KBOOOOM!’ A loud explosive rumbled through the transmission, leaving silence in static before it went to a hail of gunfire and groans in pain.

“They’ve opened fire! Kayaba and Fujita are down! The target’s getting back on his vehicle, he’s getting away!” The team leader spoke through to the chief inspector before he turned someone else in his vicinity, “You, get them out of crossfire!”

“Where’s the target heading?” Asked Chief Inspector Sakayama. Even the lack of visual, the audio had him terrified by the situation.

“He’s heading downhill.”

“Get back on the vehicle and continue the pursuit now! We can’t lose him!”

“Negative, sir. Our vehicle’s done, it’s been hit.”

“Well, get cracking!”

“ Oh …..Shit.”

“What’s wrong, team leader?”

“It’s the observant, sir … He’s …..”

“He’s what?”

The sound of metal being crashed and falling apart was all over the radio, obscuring the team leader voice in the transmission.

Chief Inspector Sakayama turned to Tsushio who brought the observant to this operation …

“What the hell is he doing? You and I made it clear that he has no authority in the field, he’s only there to verify the stolen package. So tell me, what the hell is he doing!?”

A grin slowly appeared on Tsushio’s face, like he knew something that Chief Inspector Sakayama did not. Tsushio did not avert away, he looked deep in Sakayama’s eyes and he coldly said.

“His job.”


Last edited by Tougane Masaru on Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:17 am; edited 2 times in total

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:47 pm

Chapter 2: The Blunt Instrument:


0914 hours, local time
Kowloon, Hong Kong

The sun lighted up bright on the top of hill where this shanty town located. The shanty town itself paved the way from up the hill down to the foothill before a long road cut across at its end, the Kowloon Walled City was on the other side of that road to the right.

The red car which Chu Tao took has taken the only downhill road on the left side of the shanty town, curving inward, connecting to that busy road down at the foothill.

The relentless eyes tracked the car from afar as it moved further away from the shanty town and ran along the curving downhill road, determining it was too late to follow on that very same road.

The engine of the large industrial dump truck roared as the key was twisted, the six-meter tall metal giant started to spin its wheels from where it was parked behind the construction site at the top of the shanty town.

Chu Tao’s crews have opened fire against the Special Assault Police Team dressing in a green jumpsuit as their construction worker disguise, to stall them down and give Chu Tao an opportunity to escape from the rendezvous point. The man was slipping out of the Special Assault Police Team’s grasp as the team was pinned down.

Two of Special Assault Police operatives were lying down in their own blood and the team leader who tried to save his men from their wound were panicking as the situation has gone out of control.

The heavy and sudden collision distracted them from the damn of battlefield.

The team leader stared and gaped at the sight of the moving six-meter beast dump truck breaching the fence from behind them between the construction site and the shanty town they were at.

“What’s going on? Respond!” The distorted yell came through the radio.

None of these men responded to the call, but merely watched the dump truck driving past them and heading down the hill’s slope, through the shanty town stacked up with metal shacks all the way from the top to the bottom.

The observant who wore a green jumpsuit like the rest of the Special Assault Police team members sat behind the wheel, he was the man who tagged along in this manhunt operation and was not actually a member of Japanese official Special Assault Police, he adjusted the back mirror of the dump truck towards him, a glimpse of himself appeared in the reflection reminded that he was still the same man who had to make a drastic decision in a face of threat.

Tougane Masaru was behind the wheel of that dump truck.

Tougane watched himself in the rear mirror and assured that he was in the right mind, and that his action was justified and unavoidable, he then shifted the gear and stepped fully on the gas pedal.

The metal beast clashed and crushed metal plates of those shelters, the engine roared over the screams of the civilians who lived densely down there, he felt a crisp at every bump, he could only hope that it was not fleshes and bones he was riding over, he could only hope.

He looked on his left at the road downhill which curved inward and connected to the foothill road leading to Kowloon Wall city on his right.

It was the only way to escape downhill.

Apart from going straight downhill itself ….. like he was doing.

The red car carrying Chu Tao and the cargo was reaching the road down below. The horn and the siren from local police force mixed and wallowed.

Tougane knew the risk, it was not just any cargo, that cargo was something he could not let a factor like civilians get in the way.

That cargo was a newly developed bio weapon that would take a lot of lives if it fell into the wrong hands, every authority would have a hard time tracking it if it slipped out of his hand this time, and for god knows how much time it would take, by then it could be too late and the weapon could be ready to deploy.
Tougane could not let anything stopping him right now as he was mowing everything in his path just to catch up with the target. Appliances, belongings, clothes and what made up of their shelters got run over or else blew in the windshield as he ran down through the shanty town faster than a landslide would do and kill. The path where this heavy metal giant and its four wheels rammed and crushed left nothing but crumbles and wreckage behind, if these people who lived here barely had anything before, now they had nothing after he ran over with the dump truck, if they ever survived this madly driven truck ….

The dump truck grinded the way down and ran aground on the road not too far from the Kowloon Walled City on the right, it was welcomed by honks of cars and siren from police cars in pursuit in unison on the busy road before each was silenced as his dump truck crushed on it. The dump truck turned to the road and headed up the road to the intersection.

Through the windshield of the dump truck, Tougane caught the red car he was chasing in his sight, it was trying to make it across the intersection ahead and to outrun the large dump truck that dashed its heavy body towards it.

The red car sprinted and kept pulling ahead the cars in front it as the dump truck was chasing after and crushing the cars in its way like it had been a rolling boulder.

Once crossed the intersection, the police ensued from every direction possible, the road ahead was jammed as the police set up the blockade in a distance.

The red car was trapped in the traffic, the blockade ahead and the chasing dump truck behind. The sides of the road were framed with buildings on one side and the Kowloon Walled City on another. It dove for the alleyway of the Walled City as it was cornered.

The red car drilled itself through the narrow alley until it met a dead end deep in the middle of the walled city.

Chu Tao and his crews started to unload from the car and flee as they thought they would lose the pursers.

Then the dump truck came crashing through, disregarding of the infrastructure in its way and the size of the alley.

Those men watched in horror as the heavy metal beast crashed in, after getting out of their car, Chu Tao and three of his crews retreated to the nearest door in the narrow way.

The unfortunate driver for Chu Tao who got stuck in the car cried out in extreme shock before the dump truck crushed over the red car.

The concrete dust floated in the dark thin air of the narrow alleyway.

The siren was still heard from afar.

It was not long that the dump trucked had penetrated deep in the walled city, its driver in a green jumpsuit and a yellow hardhat kicked the truck door open and stepped down from it.

“Safety first.” Tougane grabbed the hardhat by its plastic brim and tossed it away from his head. He looked around and sniffed the dusted air, he unzipped and stepped out of the jumpsuit, revealing the bulletproof vest over his navy polo and tan chino he wore under.

The iron bar door deep in almost at the end of the narrow alley tottered inertly after the tremendous force of the beast – dump truck punched and crashed through, it looked like the only way those men had retreated in. He stared through that mouth of darkness before traversing into dark world where men of madness, chaos and violence come and go.




A city of darkness and deprived of daylight in the heart of it, stacked buildings packed tight together and maxed out their storey, from a far it looked like a fortress surrounded by slums on the west and the south sides, Kowloon Walled City was under siege after the firefight erupted between the undercover Special Police Assault Team and Chu Tao with his crews in the shanty town uphill nearby which ensued the rundown of the shanty town and a car chase throughout the street until it ended in the alleyway of Kowloon Walled City. The entire police force of Hong Kong has surrounded the walled city, SWAT teams have entered from various entry points from ground level only a few minutes after the incident, and started to clear each block for the culprits who were responsible for the disaster. The Special Police Assault team has aborted the operation and withdrew from the field after it had turned sour as they could not risk compromising to exposure to the public that they conducted a manhunt operation on the foreign soil without any authorization from the Hong Kong government. Tougane was left alone as he was after the tail of Chu Tao and the package.

He readied Japanese Self-Defense Force Issued Sig Sauer P220 pistol as he walked cautiously in the narrow dark hallway.

March of feet was non-stop, it was all over the place, he could not tell whether it was people living, the SWATs or Chu Tao and his friends.

The cold fear crept on his skin as he was in the dark, with awareness that it was not so hard that the target could slip out of his hand any time and that the operation was nearing to be blown any time soon as Hong Kong’s authority has stepped in.

He moved through each block faster than he could properly cleared it.

‘BAAAM!’ The small explosion combusted in tight space, a gunshot, it was loud. A flash of flame lit in darkness and reflected on the wall behind the corner.  The gunfire rang once and screams reacted to chaos. Tougane, with the Sig held tightly in his hand, followed to the source and wondered what the hell was going on.

He turned and met no more than another long dark hallway with intersections, but one door was opened and behind the oozing-gloomy red light, people flooded out like hell had broken loose. It might very well have been hell, naked men and women ran out from that whorehouse which opened without regards of time to the narrow way in panic, spread out everywhere like water run-off. He did not feel all too safe for running through the stream of panicking crowd and into the whorehouse since it naturally housed Triads inside, they would not be very pleased when men with guns used it as a shortcut without permission, judging from the gunfire, they seemed not to be pleased.

Tougane hurled the gun around as walked deep through the whorehouse, the visibility was too bad inside, all he could see were just silhouettes under red interior lights, he followed the chaos that was moving through another door in there. He entered through despite being unaware to the surrounding.

The moment he stepped past the door, a knife tore through air as it hissed past his head and stuck to the wall on the side.

The big mass of man stood on Tougane’s right flank after he missed his stab, the man pulled the knife back and swung at Tougane again. Apparently a Traid who reckoned Tougane as an intruder after Chu Tao used this place as a shortcut to the other side.

Instinctively, Tougane pulled that incoming knife-wielding hand with his free hand to the towards his flank to disrupt the Traid’s balance, the big body hugged and knocked him over to the floor. His gun cracked thrice from his hip until that heavy chunk of meat was still.

Across the gloomy room, two muzzles flashed and fired their bullets blindly. Tougane felt the enormous body of the Traid that fell on him writhed as bullet shot into him more times unnecessarily, Tougane survived the bullet barrage with the use of this meat shield. He fired back until the slide locked to where the flashes came and bodies fell, more than just the ones who held the guns, more than just Traids, he could feel.

Tougane pushed over the body that pinned him down and reloaded before he followed outside where another gun battle began.

Upon exit, the continuous firing from submachine guns exchanged between both parties from dead ahead as Chu To and his last three crews ran into a team of SWAT, a few of the SWATs dropped dead to the floor, and the rest of the surviving members chased after Chu Tao.

Tougane took cover until the battle and the SWAT team went past him, and then pursued. He turned and moved ghastly fast through the parallel narrow path to the one Chu Tao was being chased in, to jump in front of him from the corner ahead. The skin on his forearm grazed on the concrete wall as he closed to the corner where he was certain he could cut Chu Tao ahead, he peeked and saw one of Chu Tao’s crew hit and fell to the floor as Chu Tao and the remaining crew fired back on the pursuing SWATs.

The firefight then ceased and it appeared the SWATS have lost as Chu Tao and his crews were the only ones left standing. Tougane saw a glimpse of Chu Tao and the package he was after in the backpack Chu Tao was carrying once again.

Only three hostiles left, Tougane accounted. he got around the corner to their back as they turned to where the SWAT had come earlier. He approached from the back at Chu Tao, his fast hand disarmed the Mac-10 submachine pistol in Chu Tao’s hand and swung the man violently to the edge of concrete corner, knocking him on his feet.

Two of his crews who stood not too far were alerted by the presence of the new assailant, they drew the barrel of their gun up. But before they could fire, Tougane leaped out to the armed crew closest to him, and in motion, he shot the farther one dead at the same time as he tackled the one nearest to him as hard as his body mass and strength allowed through the wooden door behind the man.

The impact through the wooden door to an apartment room knocked both of them off their senses as they landed on the floor. The crew gunman struggled against the gun Tougane tried to point at him while riding over him, both hands of the crew gunman grabbed Tougane’s P220 pistol by its slide and pushed it back, causing the hammer to be blocked and prevented from firing, the man pounded Tougane with his knee at the flank until Tougane lost his resistance against the blows and the force knocked Tougane aside and knocked the gun out of his hand.

Both men rolled away out of each other’s attack range, they got up and intimidated each other with their ready stance at melee as they now lost their weapon.

The crew gunman jabbed his fist forward, Tougane in response deflected the strikes away, the crew gunman spin-kicked, aiming for the head, though the leg hit the guarding arm Tougane lifted up to block just in time. In a swift moment, that guarding arm of Tougane wrapped up over the crew gunman’s leg and locked before he twisted and hurled the crew gunman to the ground.

The crew gunman slammed and slid across the floor, Tougane took the opportunity to seize his gun back and took aim at the crew gunman. But as he was about to pull the trigger he heard a metallic from behind, it was a gun pointing at him, from the sound he could guess that it was out of the range he could disarm. The crew gunman started to laugh even he was the one who got beaten up as the tide has turned.

Tougane surrendered as he slowly raised his hands up.

The crew gun man recovered and looked definitely pissed, he took the gun from Tougane and angrily waved at Tougane’s face.

“I guess we should reconcile now.” Tougane calmly said as he was being threatened.

The crew gunman did not bother to listen and kicked Tougane in the stomach, causing Tougane to fell down. “You motherfucker, I’ll fucking kill you.” He said as he was giving Tougane the luxury of looking down of his own gun’s bore, definitely a point of view Tougane would not rather see.

Then gunfire erupted once. ‘BANG!’

The crew gunman was shot in the head before he could pull the trigger.

Tougane, in confusion, slowly rose up and turned back. He thought someone who was pointing a gun at him from behind was not on his side. Why would he shot the crew gunman instead of him? The thought was bothering Tougane as he was about to find the answer.

Standing behind him earlier, was Chu Tao and MAC-10 clinging on his index finger. “I surrendered.” He said. “That fool wouldn’t get me out of here, but you might.” Chu Tao gladly spoke in a calm tone despite the look on his face, “Japanese authority or Academy City’s?”

The uncanny sight of his enemy gave Tougane the comfort to ease up and put his hands down. “The latter. Does it make any difference?” Although not having seen it coming, Tougane relieved and responded naturally. He certainly did not expect the man he was after would be the one to help him.

“It might, the Japanese want my head, but I doubt Academy City gives a dam. Allow me to move a bit, I didn’t shoot you then, I wouldn’t shoot you now.” Chu Tao slowly removed the backpack from his back, “You’re after this, aren’t you?” He unzipped the bag and revealed the device.

A rectangular object, size about a boom box, with three tube canisters filled green liquid inside, the control panel has a few buttons and one small green and red lights that indicated the stage of the device: green for ‘armed’ and red for ‘unarmed’, the green light was lit.

“I was hired to intercept this device from that plane and delivered it to a Soviet contact here, a GRU agent. And in return for accomplishing this assignment, we would be significantly financed. We were told to deliver at the shanty town uphill until you clowns jumped us. We contacted back to relocate ….. This went on, they accessed it remotely and armed it, I tried to shut it down but it doesn’t seem like I can without leaking the canisters somehow…. The police were over the place …. The best I could do was to use this jammer-,” Chu Tao pulled a small-size radio-shaped object, “to jam the signal for the time being, I had it in case they double-cross me and they did, I bet this was their intention in first place, to release it from the uphill with the help of wind to increase the range.”

So the Soviet was at it again, Tougane grew anxious as he learned the fact, he was not surprised as the current world occurrences provided him the context. Soviet Union was suspected to have planned to resort bioterrorism as a last measure, to the fear of many, it was plausible that it was the only country that was willing to start the biological warfare. It was understandably clear if the Soviet wanted to steal a technology of this weapon for themselves if the technology would benefit them somehow, but as it turned out, the weapon was not meant to be delivered but instead detonated. And by the fact that they did not need this weapon, it meant that they could have possessed this weapon already or could acquire it on the less messy occasion. The weapon was planned to go off here, either to test its capability or for any strategic reason, by borrowing the hands of a small organization, they could cut the ties and deny their involvement. Thanked to paranoia that Chu Tao had, he prevented the plan from succeeding.

To Tougane’s wonder, he asked Chu Tao. “You’ve could just left it and let it detonate, you’d just run while you could. Why didn’t you?”

“If I could, I wouldn’t have gotten too far, either the authorities or the Soviet would get me. At least with this weapon on a tray served up to them, your authority will welcome me with two whole arms.”

That was at least smart if not genius for a goon, Tougane thought. The man comprehended and adapt to the situation rather quickly.

“What makes you think I wouldn’t shoot you and take it with me?” Even that sounded like a simple question, Tougane was asking what the man had to offer to him, after all, his priority was to retrieve the weapon.

“Well, your people aren’t gonna be too happy with the men behind this running free, get me out of here and I’ll talk – down to every bit of detail, everything you want to know. Time’s running out, you wouldn’t be able to squeeze the truth out of me just in time. You’re gonna have to take me in.”

That was true, Chu Tao has answered wisely. He earned a ticket for his way out of here. As much Tougane did not like, he had a sounding reason to take this man alive. The plan to detonate this weapon on Hong Kong’s soil was almost perfect, only that they chose a wrong man to carry out the operation.

“True. The Soviet who used you, they couldn’t find the soldier who was brave enough to suicide, they couldn’t find a martyr who was skillful enough to carry out the act, so they ended up with a wildcard like you ….  And of course, my employers don’t care about you, you’re just a small fry.” Tougane unwilling spoke. “Fine, give me the device and the jammer.”

“Well, you’d better hurry then, Mr Japanese man.” Chu Tao zipped the bag and threw it towards Tougane along with the jammer.

The situation has escalated slightly-shockingly. Everybody expected it to be just a delivery of stolen technology – in this case, a bio weapon - not an orchestrated attack on a foreign soil. Due to his unsanctioned status right now, surrendering to the Hong Kong’s authority was not an option for him, the weapon device falling into the hand of any authority but Academy City’s would ensure the instability in international community as the existence of a powerful weapon produced by Academy City was exposed to the world.

Two men, under siege of almost entire police force of Hong Kong, the odds did not sound so good to him.

“Gather your weapons, we’re going to have last until the exfil comes.”





1047 hours
Special Assault Police Headquarter, Tokyo

“Come in, Headquarter. Suspect apprehended and package secured. What are our options on exfil?” Tougane patched through back to the headquarter in Tokyo.

“Acknowledged, standby further instruction.” An operator replied.

“What the hell is wrong with him? Causing a ruckus by running down an entire shanty town, engaging a chase and firefight in highly populated area, then he attracted the entire police force on that island! Now we’re blown, he has no way of getting out of that compound!” Chief Inspector lashed out at Tsushio who still remained calm and still with a lit cigarette in his hand.

“We have to retrieve the package at all cost, trust me, you wouldn’t want to the package to be exposed to the public. Your men have failed to apprehend Chu Tao in the first place, my man is just doing his best at the given circumstance.” Tsushio replied.

“Let me remind you who is in charge of this operation …. I am! You can’t just let your man do whatever he wants! And what is so damn important about the package!?”

Tsushio looked back pathetically, annoyed by the attitude. He pouted and shook his head before he blew smoke in the Chief Inspector Sakayama’s face. “I don’t have an authorization to disclose the information regarding the package, if you wish-”

“Damn you, Tsushio! Stop playing games, I don’t care who you are. This is an international disturbance!” He interrupted aggressively.

The ice cold demeanor suddenly melted, Tsushio burst “WELL, STOP GETTING IN THE DAMN WAY SO MUCH! JUST ONE PHONE CALL AND I’LL HAVE YOU GO BACK PATROLLING ON BICYCLE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE!”

Not one spoke a word for a second, the tension was cold between the two.

Tsushio calmed his cool and all of sudden he looked cold as he was again, “You don’t have one it takes to get it done. Your men slipped and mine has to clean after it. It’s not an international disturbance yet, if you don’t want it to be soon, just let me handle this.”

Chief Inspector Sakayama only gritted his teeth before giving a rude upward nod, meaning he would just let Tsushio do whatever he wanted for once.

“Redeploy your men, we’re going need to distract the police surrounding the compound.”

Tsushio pulled the nearest microphone to him and said to the operator nearby, “Patch me through to him.” He patiently until the line was connected again. “This is headquarter, what’s your position now?”

“We’re on the east wing of the building, fifth floor.” Tougane spoke back.

“Can you move to the south side and exit the compound through the slums? There’ll be a diversion to distract the police surrounding the area, we’ll have a blue van with pest control markings wait by Carpenter Rd. under 10 minutes.”

“Affirmative.”

“Good luck out there, headquarter out.”

Tsushio looked as worried as Chief Inspector Sakayama was, but he had a glimmer of hope in his face. He looked onto Sakayama and said: “If I trust my man, you should be relaxed that this will end better than you expect. Normally I don’t put much hope on somebody, but I do in this one. He’ll get it done.”




Several years back
0053 hours
A certain classified exercise facility;
Ashibari, Hokkaido


In the white room, plain, and heated and moist like sauna. Tougane sat there for hours, staring at the man who sat in front of him. The man was bagged on his head and tied up to a chair, Tougane did not know who he was and he did not know why or what he had to here.

The door opened swiftly and a man entered.

“Are you ready?” It was Tsushio’s voice that came from behind where Tougane sat.

Tougane did not bother to turn his eyes away from the man who was bagged and tied to the chair in front of him, not even when Tsushio circled around to in front of him. “I am.” He said indifferently.

“If this man is a terrorist, he has blood on his hands and he strikes relentlessly at our foundation of nation and lives …. Any moment this man is running free, he will kill and lives will be lost. Your order is to kill him, what will you do?” Tsushio said.

“I’ll kill him.” Tougane answered. He did not find it hard to do in logical senses or even emotional.

“But what if this man is a normal civilian, a loving father and husband, a endeavoring man who drives this nation forward. He lives the way he is supposed to, but one day he gets caught in the situation that he shouldn’t be. Let’s say, he’s strapped to a bomb vest and left on the bridge, the bomb is too powerful to evacuate people off the bridge in time. You don’t know when the bomb is going to explode, and you don’t know exactly how to disarm the bomb because you don’t have enough time. The only option is to throw him off the bridge and let him explode and die alone, or you spend every minute to the last and try to diffuse the bomb and risk failing, what will you choose?”

Weighting between the options, lives against one, it was still easy to choose. “I’ll let him die.” He answered without reluctance.

Tsushio looked satisfied after he heard the answer.

“What if he’s a father or someone important to the man whom you chase for years, a terrorist. You get a hold of this man and use him as a leverage, the terrorist whom is being chased by you don’t believe you are evil enough to lay a hand on his loved one. Are you willing to do anything to do this man to the level of cruelty that it will convince the terrorist and bring him to his knee, willing to comply to any command you want? If you let this terrorist away because you don’t have the guts to convince you’re evil enough to manipulate him through a cruelty inflicted on his beloved one, the terrorist might go on to take more lives or even force you to face the prior scenario I asked you. What will you do this man, the loved one, a leverage to something bigger?”

It was harder to answer, the moral senses weighted down on him but he knew the consequence would be worse if he chose it wrong. He acknowledged the morality, but what he had to choose was beyond its boundary.

“I’ll skin him down to every flesh he has, to make that terrorist believes I will stop at nothing and the only way to make me stop from laying my hand on his beloved one is to surrender and comply.”

“Good.” Short but adequate, that was Tsushio’s response, satisfied but he was not done. “What if this man stands between success and failure of the mission, a collateral damage from the strike you unleash on the enemy, you might have a feeling that you can choose another option, you never truly know if that option that will save this man from being a collateral damage works, but you know for certain that if you unleash the strike, whether it be a bullet from your sniper rifle or a blast from your explosive ordnance, the enemy of yours will die and that is what you have to do, will you take this man’s life along with the enemy?”

“Yes.” Tougane persisted.

Tsushio grabbed Tougane by his shoulder and bent closer, in his other hand he had a pistol, he handed it to Tougane to take it. “What if I just ask you to kill this man, just to know that you are capable of doing it, capable of not having a heart, capable of not letting morality and emotion to take away your determination and decision, capable of remaining detached to anything that will compromise a mission. Will you do it?” Tsushio was harsher in his tone than before.

Tougane did not answer, he merely took the pistol from Tsushio and pointed forward at the man.

That was when he heard the muffled scream from behind the bag, scared and pleading.

“You know this is not a test, it’s a proof. You know by the weight of the gun, it’s loaded and intended to be fired. You will not let whatever this man has and is to distract you from pulling the trigger. Whether he tells you how good he is and how he doesn’t deserve it, he asks you to have a mercy on him or he screams and curses at you for what you are and what you are going to do, you will pull that trigger, won’t you? Because deep down in your heart, you know this is how the world is, it’s not fair and something has to be done even it brands you evil. He gets in your way, and you don’t have any choice but to kill him. Saying is easy, you can say that you will do, but proving it … You know how it is. You have to anything necessary to complete a mission you are given. Will you do it?”

The rumble came from the barrel, it flamed for a short moment after the trigger was pulled.

The bullet went straight to the poor man’s head, penetrating through the bag and his skin, blood spurred out from the hole carved by a lead round.

“Good, very good, Tougane. Do you want to know who this man really is?”

“I don’t. And I don’t care anymore.”




Present time
0959 hours, local time
Kowloon Walled City;
Kowloon, Hong Kong
 

The unlikely allied men attempted in exfiltration from the complex. Tougane and Chu Tao were moving from the room they encountered each other, heading down to the south side of the complex. They slowly avoided the SWAT teams sweeping the area in a game of two mice and too many damn cats in a dark maze.

They reached the stairs at south-east corner of the complex and went down two floors before being herded up by an incoming SWAT team. They backed up and tried to head for the west side, unfortunately, another was sweeping in their way, they exchanged fire and were cornered  by hails of automatic firepower into a room after making it half way from the east side to the west side.

The residents have escaped due to the chaos and shootout in the whorehouse. It was a small room used as everything, living room and bedroom. But at least it came with a bathroom.

They were now trapped in the room with two SWAT teams approaching within a minute. The locked wooden door undoubtedly would stop the SWATs.

Two men hid behind the counter facing the front door with MP5 submachine gun borrowed from the fallen SWAT members, hardly an assurance against the overwhelming force, the fate of the weapon device in the backpack Tougane was carrying was uncertain.

“What do we do now?” Chu Tao startled.

Most of the time he had his way out of ordeal, this time the moment where he knew how to get away did not come to him yet. They spent too much ammunition on taking out a couple of hostiles. “We’re facing at least 6 armed men here and more in a few minutes, outnumbered, outgunned. I’d just pray the food in the prison is good, and there aren’t too many of Triads there who like it in the ass. If we ever survive from this …” Tougane grinned and chuckled sarcastically at his own fate he dragged himself into.

“The size of your confidence frightens me, Japanese man.”

“Well, we have to make do with anything we can find, our ammunition is not going to outlast them.”

The SWATs would soon come knocking the door, Tougane and Chu Tao would be greeted with a stun grenade, both of their asses would then be dragged to Hong Kong prison if not a black site, and if they were not killed.

Tougane went to kitchen and dragged the gas tank to the wall upfront nearby the door before their little time ran out. All thanked to gas supply system here, he would not have to bother with the pipeline buried in the wall instead.

Chu Tao looked worried as anyone should be in this situation, “What are you doing? You’re gonna kill us all if that goes off.” He alarmed. That was not far from truth, small room permeated with flammable gas a small ignition could engulf the room in flame. But it was a risk Tougane was willing to take, what he does for a living.

“Now I find your lack of optimism in the dire slightly discouraging.” Tougane only winked back to the petrified face. “Take a deep breath …. On a second thought, don’t.” He busted the valve of the canister with the butt of the MP5, releasing the unpleasant smell. He walked back and both braced for the incoming attack.

Parade of boots closed in front of the room, the cease of their sound meant they were stacking up and readying up for breaching.

The door was kicked and broken in like a busted nut, a stun grenade fell through.

The room flashed, not with brightness of flashbang, but fire. The gas canister combusted and exploded, obliterating the front wall of the room where SWAT members stacked up and took them down, and tearing the hallway apart.

The explosion knocked both of Tougane and Chu Tao hard to the floor as the counter they hid behind was blown to pieces, they were dazed over the debris.  

The yells echoed in resonance, before they got up and continue the fight, they were put down to the ground again, bluntly prodded at by three of the SWATs who survived the explosion.

As Tougane kneeled up, he felt his right arm being brought to his back to be cuffed, soon his arms would be of no use and he could no longer do anything. He swung his left elbow to the back and he twisted himself up, aiming for the face of the assailant.

In a brief and swift moment he saw the SWAT member who tried to cuff him stunned in the face, he tossed himself passed the SWAT member’s right flank and locked the man tightly from behind as he drew the sidearm of out the holster and jammed in the face of his hostage.

They perhaps did not shoot him because he was unarmed at moment they advanced in and took him down after the explosion or they would risk a friendly fire at close range. Now they wished they should have as Tougane bought himself more a little more time to think and act with a hostage in his hand.

In the middle of the room, Chu Tao had a MP5 submachine gun pointed to his head as he kneeled, another SWAT member was aiming at Tougane at the range less than three club-lengths.

“Shoot him already.” His hostage shouted out in Cantonese. He understood it and that he had less that he could hope for.

He was stranded between a barrel of a submachine that fires a bullet at the velocity of four hundreds meter per second and a dead end bathroom that could barely fit just one man. A few more steps upfront would result the SWAT aiming at him to be more confident and trigger-happy, a few steps back would hit a dead end in the bathroom.  He could try to shoot them ,a slightest of second that could be, that would take Bob Mundane to draw and Jerry Miculek to fire, his muzzle would hardly draw on one of them before he was shot back into the head accurately.

The more hesitant he appeared, the more likely the SWAT would shoot.

Either he died or not, Chu Tao got captured for certain at this point and as he offered to Tougane, even for less reward or not at all he would rat every information of about this operation, the men who hired him, the weapon, the Japanese authority who was after him and the weapon device fell into their hands and would be exposed; every aspect of it would be blown and that meant a great failure.

The boat had too many holes to be patched, he could only grab what he needed before it sank. He made his choice.

“Alright! I’ll drop the weapon …” The muzzle slowly moved away from the head and he de-cocked the gun. His left arm which had locked under the hostage’s armpit groped for sphere-shaped object hanging on the SWAT’s vest, a finger slipped through its ring, all happened as the attention was drawn to his self-disarming of the gun in his hand.

Something rang like a small bell.

Tougane pushed the hostage away to his teammates as if it was his mistake to take one in the first place, surrendering to them.

On in pretense of …..

The freed hostage returned to arms of his SWAT friend, after being pushed, he quickly turned to Tougane and looked about ready to beat the hell out of Tougane for messing with him
.
A smirk appeared on Tougane’s face rather than a face of defeat, it perplexed the recently freed hostage.
Those hands in the air lifted up as Tougane pled surrender, a silver metallic ring clung on his left index finger.

‘!’

The SWAT member who was caught hostage briefly earlier looked down on his vest and scurried his hands against time. He turned to his friends who looked as horrified as he was ……

The bathroom door swung shut acutely.

Another explosion blasted violently, spitting fragments and sending shockwave in every direction.

The bathroom door was blasted back along with and over Tougane due to the shockwave, though it had saved him from the lethal fragments.

Cooked stench hit his note as he put the fallen door aside and got up.

Quadruple kill, their upper physical description was screwed up beyond recognition.

“The Japanese authority’s not going to like this ….” Said Tougane to the only man in the room: himself.

Chu Tao was charred and gaped with wounds over all his body. He deserved every of this. But him dying left Tougane with no trails of those who orchestrated and planned today’s attack. The weapon device would not get into the proper hand if he had not made a quick decision. Many of law enforcers were caught between this incident and were dead, even they were on the same side of angel as he thought he was on, but he had to kill every of them if one got in his way and would lead the situation to a devastating outcome. In the end, he massacred more law enforcement officers than he did to the outlaws as Chu Tao and his men were.

The battle up here on the floor he was at had ended, or ceased for a moment, but down on the street level, the chaos has arisen again as gunfire was exchanged between the remnants of Special Assault Police Team and Hong Kong police force on siege to create a diversion for him to escape.

“It’s a gas and all, but let’s not do this again.”

No time to remorse or everything would in vain.

His window has come to get out of this situation after he held out too long and was forced to take too many lives, in order to take out the device in the backpack he was carrying.

He went to the balcony of south side and jumped down on the roof of one of the slums. He ran down a mile and more to reach Carpenter road for exfil, ditching his bulletproof vest on the way to appear less conspicuous. Upon reaching the road, he found a blue pest-control van and boarded it.

“Where’s our plus one?” The driver greeted him.

“He caught a grenade for me, he’s done for. Step on it.” Tougane hurried the driver to leave the scene as the battle between the Hong Kong Police force and the Special Assault Police Team raged on.





1114 hours
Chief Inspector Sakayama's office;
Special Assault Police Headquarter, Tokyo


“Oh, that’s a little unfortunate. But at least the package is secured. We’ll arrange the transport from Macau to here, go lay low for a while we prepare documents for you, well done Tougane.”

Tsushio hung up the office phone on Chief Inspector Sakayama’s desk.

“Chu Tao died, which is disappointing but we secured the package ….”

“My men died to capture Chu Tao for the crimes he committed, our chance at learning who’s been using him to attack us numerous times in the past is now gone with the wind; your man killed a bunch of people and did not even bother to take Chu Tao back alive… What is it so damn important about the ‘package’!?”

“You needn’t worry about it, it’s way over your head.”

“You don’t know how long we spent tracking Chu Tao down, you don’t how many resources and men we put over these past years ….”

“He’s a small fry, he’s not important. Just a hire gun, not even a true believer … You wouldn’t get much out of him.”

“For god’s sake, you can’t just shove yourself in and exploit us! We worked hard to catch that man! In the next 30 minutes, the government officials from National Diet are going to call this phone and demand answers why our manhunt operation turned into a colossal clusterfuck on a foreign soil, whining  how pissed the Hong Kong and the British are right now. If the Operation Nimrod set a standard on how a successful military operation should be conducted, ours set one for how to fuck everything up! I haven’t got a slightest of clue how to answer or what to answer …. We catch no man, we cannot disclose what the package is or how it was there in Hong Kong in the first place. Tell me,Tsuhio. What the hell do I do now?”

“Relax, if the information regarding the package is not revealed, I can assure you will get to keep this seat. If you want to patrol on a bike after you retire, that’s entirely up to you. The Academy City will deal with the British. The only thing important now is that we keep everything regarding the package secret from the public.”

_________________
Explanation for my writing in case you are wondering:
Why it's kinda a mess ....



Maybe just one doesn't suffice, have a gif.






Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sun Aug 07, 2016 7:52 pm

Chapter 3: Close Shave:


2239 hours, local time
Macau.


Male grunt and female moaning from a hotel suite in the middle of the night. That kept a lonely gambler in the next room who ran out of luck and decided to retreat from the casino to his room awake as the sound was loud and seemed they were at it, tempted by what the sound implied.

‘She’ started to laugh hysterically as the appliances and the things around in their room fell were bumped, pushed away and fell down.

‘His’ choked breath was tumultuous.

Was that how they like it? Thought the restless gambler in the next room.

It seemed they were moving around the entire room as things have yet ceased to fall and make ruckus.
Their bodies were clashing on the wall as either of them was pushing into one another, causing her moan to be louder.

The gambler overheard footsteps at weight of two persons danced across the room before a heavy thud occurred as they both sunk onto the bed. Followed by slapping palm with momentum between each swing, squeezing a high pitch feminine groan out of her throat.

The whole bed and the bodies laying on it tensely rocked, one’s skins flapping on another. The vibration was shaking into gambler’s room for a couple of seconds and then came the shatter as if a brick went through the pane of glass.

Silence with breaths of exhaustion playing in the background, resumed.

The gambler has had enough of it, if it had gone for the whole night or started again once more, he would not be able to sleep and wake up in the time of the flight tomorrow. He had to tell.

The gambler went to the door of the room beside his, he knocked on the door rapidly out of impatience as the respond was late. The other end took a few second before unlocking and come answering.

The door was opened, there was a tall man in his 30s, dark short hair, pale skin and was only wearing his dinner dress trousers which was not properly fastened and hooked, implying urgency in putting it on in the first place. The man had red bruises and scratches over his chest and neckline.

“Sorry, mister ….” The gambler murmured.

“Tougane.” The man brusquely said. “You’re not the room service, are you? If you come to inform about the lack of caviar I just asked for, then forget it.”

“Ah, Mister Tougane, it’s not about that. You see, I’m not the room service.” The gambler could not tell if the man was just plain ignorant or he was just fooling around.

“Is there something wrong?” The man asked.

“Would you mind ….. doing ‘that’ quieter next time? I couldn’t bring myself to sleep …” The gambler awkwardly proposed.

The man then looked sincerely apologetic. “I’m terribly sorry. She’s just rough, if I had known, I’d be careful. Again, I’m so sorry that we interrupted your sleep. I promise there won’t be another round, we’re not really in the mood for that …” The man gently answered.

The long moan from the woman came from the inside.

“We’re just finished now.” The man added.

“Well then ….” The gambler did not finish his thought and departed to his room, finally and hopefully to get some sleep.




Not a day has gone by without any sort of stake, he managed to find self in the middle of it. Spies, terrorists, radicals and threats of any kind he hunts down in the name of a nation-state as his duty. If they could not keep up, he always had another stake to thrill himself with: gambling and women, there was nothing much apart from that, nothing to go back to in his old life, nothing has survived that.

How he lived explained why he was in this hotel, there were a casino and a glamour lounge, both place he lived in more than his own lonely apartment, or some else’s bed.

It was a while he has been working for an agency in the Academy City, the city full of secrets they did not wish to let the outside world know, the experiments, the technologies, they needed people with a certain set of skills to keep those secrecy secret. He was one of them. He did what he did best, but with a lot less anger and pain, being emotionless about it and taking the job as an obligatory duty, as a service. It has becoming a daily routine. The childhood influences which drove him this path started to fade as he aged, though the visions of those days still came in his sleep, so draining and drenching himself in alcohol and something else sometimes avoided being reminded of those things in the time of rest, sleeping would be hard without them. That being said, he did not really think much about himself in these days apart from what he wanted and what he needed to do. He kind of accepted himself as he was: a mere monster they use to slay another kind of monsters. Thinking about being able to live as it or not was throwing him around in the vacuum of vacancy, he was better off stabilizing himself without having those ideas in his head at all, so all the violence, boozes and women have contributed in fading it away.

Tougane slammed the door shut, sighed with fatigue at the sight of the thrashed hotel room due to the woman he shared the room being slightly violent.

He collected his black-tie garment he wore to get in the casino earlier, along on the trail of his and her clothes which were hastily undressed on the carpet floor.

He put on his dinner pleated shirt with mother of pearl buttons, and his ‘60s cut and fit’ shawl-lapel dinner jacket  which his tailor commented it was ‘2 decades late into the trend’ but he insisted that a trend comes and go, and very well come back again. He would not be surprised if some decade in the 21st century, people would come back to this trend, with a possibility that they will like take some aspect to the extreme such as fit.

He picked up his Walther PPK that he dropped on the floor earlier when he tried to use it. He and Mr Walther went way back, he turned away from a big revolver like Colt Python he got his hands on back in police force which he saw somebody carried it and thought it aggressively expressed enough prowess and fear as people look through and beyond the barrel, but in reality it did not work quite well. Like the large size of ego and overconfidence, it compromised itself in some situations like when one has to quick-draw it and it gets caught with the clothes. So he shunned it and went for a small subcompact pistol like Walther. Even a considerable size of genital intimidates any maiden it comes across, a smaller one still does the same job as a final result without being overly dramatic about the size of its own and the ego of its owner, might as well do a better job. That being said, carrying a big gun was almost a mark of a cad if it was just for show. He holstered that gun and dressed himself with that dinner suit after the rough affair with the woman he shared a room with.

Tougane had met a beautiful foreigner, brunette, which was not exactly his favorite but he was a simple man and surely not a fussy one at this matter. She was sitting down in the hotel bar when he went to ease himself a bit after a long, disastrous business visit in Hong Kong and unlucky games of roulette, he never appreciated the game that does not use much of skill and mainly rely on luck to begin with. They shared a few jokes and laughs. Both travelling for pleasure after the business and staying for just a night, she suggested that it would be a bit lonely and depressing, to which he wholeheartedly agreed. On any account, he would not let any damsel go through both. He was going to have a few more glasses of martini before coming up to her room and having a few minutes of pillow talk, but she insisted he go right up away after just the first glass.

He grew careless, thinking he would be able to live a moment normally for once. He knew that he did not really keep his tip up so well after a session with this beautiful woman who was laying in her red lingerie, in the bath tub after he was done with her. She had just about enough as much bruises and scratches as his, only pieces of glass piercing through her body that she did have and he did not. The wounds bled over her pinky-pale skin and red lingerie. She was out of her stamina and breath as she throbbed painstakingly.

Tougane walked into the bathroom and dragged a small shower stool to sit by her near the tub. He gently lifted her wrist up to him. “Nice watch, shame that it didn’t work out that well”, he commented.

Things were shaping up nicely as they just got into the room minutes earlier and hurriedly undressing. Just a moment he had turned himself back from her to the phone to order a bottle of Bollinger and caviar for the chill of the night, she jumped, literally, on him. He was caught with his pants down.
It would not be much of a problem if she was into this ‘master-disciple’ scenario with a piggy ride. If she had not decided to pull a piano string out of her watch and strangled him with over his neck as she rode over him.
If she was into weird sadism, she could have told beforehand. Instead, she proceeded and laughed hysterically as she was doing it and that had scared him out.

He had to move around and hit things in the room to free himself.

And finally both hit the bed, he has gone from the top and down to her thighs, but things were as squeezing and suffocating down there.

He applied blunt force with a few strikes to the side, freeing himself.

She appeared she was not satisfied as her nails dug into to his neck.

He started to slip out of the groove and mood so he decided to smack her out of her sense.

And as wild and persistent she maintained, he lifted her and threw through the glass pane which was separating a panel between the bedroom and the bathroom, landing her perfectly in the tub and not without cuts.

She was not going to die at this rate.

So Tougane made sure she would if she did not talk, he pulled one of the piece of glass that was stuck in her body and slit across her wrist. Now even more, blood poured from her wrist, only defiance she showed was a low hoarse squeak.

“Who sent you?”

She could be employed any nation which sought to using a deceptive appearance, inside his head, the names in the intelligence community and underworld started to come up.

The nature of his nowadays work was to investigate and neutralize any threat to the state he was employed by: Academy City. Terrorism, sabotages, espionages from the outside involving the affairs of the city, those were which he frequently encountered in the line of his work. At the heights of this cold war where things were tense, nations raced against each other in arms and technologies. It was a common idea to steal and try to replicate innovations from the most technologically advance nation on earth, so they could win a war and use it a basis for the road to absolute domination. He had terminated some of agents representing their nations, their facilities and resources. It was not too far-fetched to guess that he should be disposed of by one of the agencies he had come across.

Or perhaps … They tracked the device he secured and prevented it from going off, it was the people who orchestrated that incident.

Even quickly bleeding, she was reluctant to tell at first, but after two pints of blood bleeding out and a steady hold of the arm by Tougane without the sign of mercy and a change of heart, she came to the answer that she would be dead soon if she did not comply. Even how worse the outcome might be for her that she revealed her employer or the organization, that was better and to be dealt with later if she had survived in the first place, it was unnecessary to remain too loyal when she was rather a gun for hire than a true martyr.

“It’s ……. Academy City.”

She was soon to pass out as her face fainted. Tougane grabbed a nearby towel and stopped the bleeding with it. Her answer went on in his mind as he applied pressure.

What did the city have to do with the weapon device he recovered if someone in the Academy City was behind this? He thought.

Did he step over his boundary and go too far with last operation, so the Academy City would consider him a liability? Did he step in someone’s way? Did he learn anything he should not have? Was it a mole inside?

If the Academy City wanted him dead, his agency would declare him in a way a liability and silence him by themselves with their own hands, and the same if his own agency wanted him dead. Who was it in the food chains? His agency operated with the city way too formal compared to some death squads with the level of afternoon tea-party club that the city employed. It may have been an organization under some top brass and this was entirely on an unofficial note for the benefit of a certain someone or a clique.

Tougnae was not sure if he was facing just one enemy or two. But one thing was for sure, he was facing a new threat from within the wall.

He gave her a first aid, making sure she would be alive when she was in ‘their’ hands. He went up to the phone and dialed a certain number.

“Tsushio? It’s me, Tougane.”

Tsushio, his handler, the man who came to him at hospital years ago when he was a boy back then, a wounded animal without a future, Tsushio provided an opportunity and seemed to care more than he should. He treated Tougane like his own son rather than an employee. He became one of the few people Tougane trusted in this business, or even in this world. He was rather a good friend, if not annoyed father at times.

“Where the hell are you, Tougane? You were supposed to come back yesterday. They were looking for you all over the place during the day?” The other end of the line, Tsushio, yelled at Tougane much to his annoyance towards Tougane’s behavior.

“I was enjoying an overdue holiday for a bit, I’ll be back soon. By the way, did package arrive there?”

“Yes. What’s the matter with it?”

“Well then, I just need one thing. Can you send someone here to clean up the scene and pick her up? I think you haven’t sent all of the crews back, have you?”

“Who? What the hell did you do again this time?”

“A certain assassin, sent by someone inside the city. I think it’s not just about the Soviets. Trust me, you want to know about this. Send someone to take her in and interrogate her, find out what she knows more, I’ll be on the interrogation as soon as I can. We’re going to go after them.”

“That has to wait. Are you sure you not being targeted as an individual? We have little of proof, what you said is just a speculation now. And also, you haven’t heard, have you? They initiated Fifth Protocol:  start preparation in pulling back and call back every of you in the program to headquarter after the mess in Hong Kong. Not just the Hong Kong, the British and the Japanese, our people up there, starts off with the head of division, they are not too pleased with your performance and wreckage you left in Hong Kong. If words got out that we’re on heat, they’d ditch our program and cease funding. We have to swipe this under the rug for now. Come back and deal with those people first.”

Goddamn bureaucracy, he thought. “Just do as I asked, I’ll get back as soon as I can.” He hung up.

The current has changed, it has swiped up something, bringing the rotten smell along with it. Of which a new threat soon to come.

He tidied up to depart for Tokyo, leaving the poor woman hanging in the hands of his ‘nice people’ Tsushio would send.




Day 2
1041 hours
The Agency's Headquarter;
Undisclosed location, Tokyo.


The top floor of the Agency’s building was broad like a plain sport court, with trailer-like rooms and a few office desks installed over the places. It was practical as it was intended to be, this organization had no use of rakishly decorated room, this floor was only for top executives to come together and talk discreetly on a serious and sensitive matter.

Tsushio rushed to this floor as soon as he was called. He noticed clerks around here looked busy than usual, he got a feeling that it had to do with why he was called here. He was summoned to the meeting room, the small trailer in the middle of the broad hall, no windows and only a door, sound-proofed. A lot of matters were discussed here before, over coffee or tea and cigarette, a few arguments and banters, and then the action was taken following whatever decision was made in that room. If the room was to be used, it only meant that the ‘director’ was participating.

He opened the door and enter the trailer, five men in suits sat around the table, surrounding by orange sound-proofed walls. A mixture of smoke and coffee stank in the closed air of that room, the concentration of the scents told Tsushio that the talk was already heated among themselves before his arrival.

“Good morning, Mr Director.”

“Good morning, Tsushio. Take a seat first.”

Tsushio looked across the table with the director sat at the end, two men sat next to him on the left and another two sat next to an empty seat on the right side of the director. Tsushio, slowly, walked to the seat and sat down. He felt as if this moment was when he stepped into the enemy’s territory. Although they were all on the same side, internal conflicts with other were not uncommon, and in fact, always occurred and painstakingly lasted.

The director was the only one in the room who greeted him. Under his aged, grayed and blank face, it was hard to read what was on the inside of this man, it was likely what to anticipate from the man at the top of this intelligence agency. Whilst the director’s face was expressionless, other four men in the room looked significant dissatisfied or pissed, they all stared back at Tsushio right from the moment he entered the room. He knew them well, the only people in the administrative figures who were not under his influence after all these years. They all looked grim, menacing or cunning like a politician or a businessman which they were in a sense.

Saito Tanzan, the man who sat besides the director, calm, cold and calculating, he was the chief of foreign department. He had to do a lot with other allies in the intelligence community, trading intel and such to achieve an interest which concerned the Agency. Often, he manipulated others through a false intel or something looked more valuable than it actually was, he was the man ‘who turned shit into gold’.

Nakada Iemitsu, who sat next to Saito, he looked stressed and paranoid which Tsushio could not blame him for being like that; the business here often made a man mad and those habits could be related to what he was assigned to do, he was the chief of surveillance. He monitored people not through only just records and phone tapping, he planted people inside or near where he needed them to be. He was responsible to know any sort of information flows.

Takata Eien, who sat besides the empty seat, suave and soothing, if he were not sitting here he would be flirting with women downstairs, he looked most cunning than the others here, he always coated himself with a friendly smile, but whenever his vanity emerged, it fell off and revealed a sly sneer underneath. He ran the main office in Tokyo, he knew people inside and outside the Academy City, he did ‘just about anything with words and a light labor’ to get things done. The director favored this man most of all.

Kitagawa Shirosama, who sat next to Takata and crossed his legs over the table, he looked anguished and pissed almost all the time, Tsushio did not believe he would be the kind of a man who sat behind desk, the manner of this man was more of a street thug, he did not look part of this intelligence organization, but he was competent in his job. He ran a paramilitary division of this organization. More than often, he fell under the influence of Takata or Saito. He was more of a muscle and less of a mastermind, apart from his jurisdiction, he posed no real threat in term of power and connection. Tsushio worried about this man least.

Chiefs of the other divisions were not here, all of those who Tsushio had under his wings. Sometimes they fell off the line, but a few right words from his mouth would make them go back to where he needed them. The reason they were not here was likely because their close relation to Tsushio and their irrelevance to the matter of present. Four men here formed an alliance with each other in order to stay out alive outside Tsushio’s influence, in the food chain, below the director himself would be Tsushio and these four men. They did not see eye to eye with each other in term of ideology and how Tsushio approached and tackled a matter, but they co-existed and got jobs done under the leadership of the director.

Tsushio was once an administrative figure, chief of intelligence, to be exact. He was appointed to a new division after he purposed a ‘mutagenic enhancement’ program, he was given his own division, his own death squad and fund to run anything he wanted. Despite all of that, Tsushio knew that the director did not favor this idea so much, but the majority of the administrative figures and his own trust in Tsushio let this program happened.

In the silence among these men, he grew worried if it had to do with the division and the program he was handling.

“Tsushio, do you know why are you here?” The director calmly spoke.

“No, sir.” He replied.

The director looked onto the rest of the men here, he sighed as he acknowledged every of them. “This is nothing personal, I hope you understand me. They all discussed carefully and agreed … of which I couldn’t deny them. Saito, would you please?”

Saito turned his eyes from the director to Tsushio, a mix of pity and disdain in his face. “The operation in Hong Kong is unacceptably disastrous. But let’s save it for your subordinates. So how was the investigation?”

Tsushio understood that there was a collateral damage and public attention to what had happened in Hong Kong, but to call it a ‘disaster’ was too much. Arguing it was a waste of time, Tsushio proceeded on with the question. “We know the Soviet contact used Chu Tao to shoot down the plane and steal the cargo. We also know that the missing cargo – the weapon - belonged to a Shinohara’s proxy company when we traced back to the cargo plane. Which as far as I know, he doesn’t have the authority to produce it-’”

“Good. But that’s it.” Saito jumped right in. “Shinohara’s none of our concern.”

“What do you mean by that?” Tsushio was shocked at first, he did not understand what that had meant. “But the weapon was in his possession ….”

Saito’s eyes were deadly as he gazed back, “The situation is that a rouge Soviet agent took a liberty from an unfortunate leak to attempt stealing the weapon and caused this incident. Shinohara is the victim here, not the culprit. We don’t go after him.” He made himself clear with a consistently heavy tone. “Officially, there’s no weapon on board and neither did we recover it.”

Tsushio was confused by that statement, he began to sense more eeriness and suspicion in this situation. Something did not add up, when he notified them, they revealed to him a certain biochemical weapon was on board but now they were denying it. By that statement and that fact, he knew it was not just the Agency, someone above them or powerful was pulling strings inside his organization.  “Even who is responsible for the incident in Hong Kong is not Shinohara, the discovery from the situation is pointing to a new imminent threat that Shinohara poses to be.”

“Do you know how much Shinohara means to the Academy City?” Saito asked.

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean he could-”

“Shinohara is the only connection we have with the Soviet bilateral relationship. He also has his hands on many facilities and operations that are beneficial to the city across the globe. We won’t do anything to make him compromised, do you understand the situation?”

Tsushio tried to state the true fact more than once but all of it was shot down, he saw no uses in arguing. “Yes, I do.”

“Good, you’ll brief your men as I told you. We cannot make a mess out of this situation, we have to be on the same page.”

“Certainly.”

“That would be all for today, dismiss.” The director announced.

Frictional scratches from the chair legs and departing footsteps from men in the room, Tsushio has yet to move anywhere, remaining where he was, dazed and confused.

“Are you alright?” The director asked. Tsushio did not expect him to stay around he thought the man had left. “I know that look, Tsushio. After working with you for years, I can tell that look in your eyes are disbelief and a suspicion. Even we come to disagreement many occasions, I trust and respect your guts. I know you wouldn’t let that drop easily, even this one is way ahead of me.”

That was true, it had always been like that, Tsushio felt. This time the director did not back him up even slightly in front of the other men who were just here, but behind their back, the director now acted differently. Tsushio grew mistrust of the situation, especially when the man who had the most authority in this organization had to talk to him this discreetly behind the others. He started to believe himself that this one was even way over the director’s head.

“What the hell is that about? You and your fellows, calling me here and burning me on the stake, mocking me like I was a fool. I conducted that operation out good intention, not to let anything compromise the Academy City. Why am I facing this?”

“You know, I would back you up if I could, but this is not the case ….” The director paused and gave tired look. “Apparently, there’s a bad apple inside. I don’t have that kind of authority if those four ganged up and go over my head, I can’t oppose them. The weapon is gone, it never made its way here from Macau, do you know that?”

Tsushio had just heard that for the first time, the fact that the weapon was gone caused ambiguity in this situation.

“God ….”

“We can’t verify the existence of the weapon now, the intel we had was just a speculation out of words on the paper without the proof of the weapon itself.”

“Someone made the weapon disappeared and covered up for Shinohara …. It’s among them for certain …. Saito, Nakada, Takata or Kitagawa …”

“That’s what you think, right? This is absolutely madness.”

“Yes, sir.” Tsushio replied, determinedly. “If we lacked the actual proof of the weapon, that is enough for us to stop the investigation on Shinohara. Someone on the inside who has the access to the information regarding the situation tampered us by making the weapon disappeared.”

“Who do you think it is among four of them?”

“I don’t think it’s Kitagawa, he’s never on the lead. And Saito seems to sound too obvious for someone who is a mole, but he still can be …”

“Okay, this is going to be off the record. I know you won’t let this drop easily, if you are going after them, you have to do it discreetly. Find the mole among us before it gets worse. If there’s anyone who can oppose those four, it’s you, Tsushio, not me.”

“I understand, sir.”

“Also, they discussed and voted than your division a liability after the situation in Hong Kong, they’ll come up with excuses to shut you down. You have to be careful.”

“Yes, sir.”

Tsushio thought this day was going to be simple as yesterday, how wrong was he. Tsushio could not predict what was on the road ahead in future, but what he could do now was not to put down the weight on his shoulders and ensure he did everything he had to do to unravel this plot.




Outside the cream door in the hallway of the house’s second floor, Tougane smelled the inside of the room, a peculiar secret he wanted to know. The smell filled his curious mind, longing to know what was actually there on the other side. But he knew well, he was forbidden from even touching the door knob in front of him despite it was the place he lived in.

His hand irresistibly went for the knob and was about to twist.

“HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU? YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO GO INTO TO THAT ROOM!”

“But dad …”

“NO BUT! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO PUT UP WITH YOUR CRAP!? WHY CAN’T YOU BE LIKE YOUR SISTER!? WHY DON’T YOU JUST LISTEN ME FOR ONCE AND STOP DISAPPOINTING ME!?”




Day 5
0159 hours
Tougane's Apartment, Tokyo


Not again, thought Tougane as he woke up, perspiring, in the middle of the night. It was that dream again which made many of his nights in the past months restless if he were out with the help alcohol. Why did it just come back now? Tougane had thought he has almost forgotten all about the past. But as now, the more he thought about it, the more anxious he became without truly understanding why.

Although it has ruined his night, but Tougane was glad that it did, he noticed light from the living room coming through the creak of his bedroom door. As far as he could remember, no one came to his place along with him. He got up with his gun he normally hid under his pillow and carefully checked the living room.

Tougane looked across his tidy room despite he rarely came here and cleaned it himself, his maid has done a fine job with as always. Everything seemed to be in its place but just one, a good-looking Japanese, tanned, short hair, tall but shorter than him, was kneeling and groping around his guitar amplifier on the floor. It could have been a thief, but a thief knows better not to turn on the light. So Tougane put his gun away.

“Your girlfriend kicked you out of her house, Fujiwara?” Said Tougane jeeringly.

“No, she left me 3 weeks ago, thanks for remembering it so well that you happened to remind my heartache again.” Fujiwara complained while his eyes and hands were still all over the amplifier. He was a fellow man who served in the naval intelligence and now employed under the same ‘program’ as Tougane, in fact Tougane was the one who recommended Fujiwara to Tsushio. Unlike those straight-up silent and serious killers or utter dicks in the program, Fujiwara was sociable and bearable enough for Tougane, the two enjoyed each other company and trust. Even sometimes he seemed too ‘light’, Tougane thought Fujiwara was better at his job than Tougane was. Fujiwara was another Tsushio’s boy, but Tsushio did not favor him as much as he did Tougane, Fujiwara just lacked tenacious tendencies, something Tsushio liked and saw in Tougane, it could be put in another way that Fujiwara knew when to quit and Tougane did not.

“Nice Amp, Fender Tweed Deluxe, ’55?” Fujiwara mildly said as he still messed around with the amplifier. “It’s nice. But I’m kinda more into Marshall myself.”

“It’s ’58. This pairs well with my Strat, I like the crunchy twang more than burst of grain.” Said Tougane casually.

“I know that pairing!” Said Fujiwara as if a light bulb appeared above his head. “Clapton or Hendrix?”

“Clapton, But I prefer both to the shredders these days.” Tougane would word it that ‘the only way to listen to the shredders of this guitar hero age was to listen them with an earmuff on’.

“I never knew you play guitar. How come you never talk about it? You’ve got a lot of things in your hobby room ….”

“I don’t get a lot of chances to play, you know just how busy we are. It’s just never in my head; I bought a lot of things I’ve always wanted as a kid, but I don’t know what to do with them when work is always demanding me ….. And neighbor complains the noise, you know ….”

“They say when you are kid, you have time and energy but no money. But when you are adult, now you have no time. But in this case with Mr Tougane, he doesn’t seem to have energy, that makes him more of a sad old man.”

“Screw you.” Tougane jokingly said. But after that he would be a fool to believe that Fujiwara came to visit him just because he wanted to see his amp. If it was not urgent like always, Fujiwara would have called beforehand. Something was definitely wrong, Tougane speculated. “I’m not going to ask you how you got yourself in here, they wouldn’t employ us if we couldn’t do a simple break-in. Why are you here?” All those questions sounded a bit interrogative, Tougane simply and nicely asked without any ill-feeling.

Fujiwara finally left the amplifier alone but he still looked like he would steal it back home with him if Tougane was not careful. He rose from his knees and walked slowly towards Tougane, the joy of discussing lighthearted matters has gone, he put on a serious face. “We’re being called back to headquarter, our friends in the program started to begin wrapping up operations in oversea or postpone them to come back to report. But I guess know that already, haven’t you? It’s not why I really came anyway.” Said Fujiwara. “Something happened, about Hong Kong.”

“What about it?”

“The package you recovered there, never made it here.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just gone on its way here. Nobody knows. That’s about it. Tsushio wanted me to secretly informed you. And you could buy me some drink as reward. Do you have any idea what is happening, brother?”

What was going on? Someone came after him, allegedly sent by someone in the Academy City. And now the package – the bio weapon he recovered in Hong Kong disappeared on its way to the Agency’s headquarter. “Sorry, I’m as clueless as you are …” Tougane answered with low-spirit. “We’ll have to figure that out when we report to him. And Fujiwara …”

Fujiwara looked concernedly at Tougane. “What is it?”

“Don’t talk about anything to anybody until we talk to Tsushio, right?” Until Tougane could come to grasp the situation, he decided it was better not to slip anything into the wrong hands and ears.

Tougane noticed a glimpse of displease in Fujiwara’s face before he nodded in reply. Was that for him? Or was that for something else? Tougane doubted but kept it to himself.

“There’s one more thing, brother.” Fujiwara said, and from the face, Tougane has predicted it was not a better news than the previous one. “They subjected us to a psychological evaluation.”

“Why would we be subjected to that?” Tougane had no clue about it.

“At first I think it’s a periodically monitoring after the implant process, now that some of us have manifested some side effects from it, difficulty in sleep, stress, episodes … I’m having some of it myself. But to think the evaluation is just being issued after the incident in Hong Kong, the timing is too peculiar.”

“So you think it’s about internal politics, that it’s a political move against our division?”

“It’s possible. The evaluation may gain them an opportunity to shut the entire program down.”

“So I guess whatever we go through now, we have stay quiet about it.” Tougane concluded.

_________________
Explanation for my writing in case you are wondering:
Why it's kinda a mess ....



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Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:39 pm

Chapter 4: Dame of Distress:



Day 5
0845 hours
A certain clinic,
Downtown, Tokyo

*Ding*

A man in a gown coat has been expecting the elevator from the upper floor. But as he was about to enter, someone went ahead in rudely from behind despite he should be the first to go into the elevator, he caught the profile of that person, it was a woman, in a beige trench coat over her brown corduroy skirt and jacket and sky blue polo neck jumper as her autumn ensemble to incorporate with the warmth of her pale skin with an ivory sheen and her blonde hair. The heels gave her presence more than her height could provide, even she was fairly tall for Japanese women average size. Then his eyes trailed up to her face, and he has just noticed she was a foreigner. She had the look of a knock-off Daniela Bianchi but with a less-chiseled face and a slightly-shorter and bigger nose(?), he told himself as he recalled what the actress looked from one of the movies he has seen.

She, whose pouting face seemed to be bored to death, has gone ahead and was standing in front of the elevator panel before he could. He gave slight nods a couple of time to her as he entered the elevator but she did not notice him.

Should she be excused of the lack of manner? The man was a little agitated.

He tried to glance at her to tell her which floor he wanted to go to, but as their eyes came in contact, she quickly hid her pair of both slightly spaced and crooked teeth in the middle top of her teeth row, like the one that a bunny has, behind her red lip. That made her face looked colder. The man grew nervous and turned away.

“Uhh ….” He reattempted to gain her attention and hummed out but she could not hear it over the sound of her atomic gold-fleck heel rocking on the floor anxiously, lifting his head up from staring down at the floor like anyone who uses elevator does to avoid any contact with anyone in the elevator and attempt to look at the woman,. Despite having seen him entered the elevator, she seemed not to notice that it was another human being in need of the elevator at all, she did not ask which floor he needed to go or even turned to him so he could tell her, as of now she has yet to respond to him. Given her pouting face and demeanor that signaled her mind has wandered off, she might not even be aware of anything. He could only stand there in silence as she was blocking the elevator panel from reach.  For an average polite Japanese, it was a hard time to whether ask or press the button himself, fearing of intrusion despite he was not the one at fault. No wonder to him that Japanese people never bother to stop any idiot whether a fellow man or foreigner who thinks it is a good idea to make a loud noise all over the train carriage.

Another *ding* has rung as the elevator stopped and opened on the fifth floor, she slowly stepped out of it. The man has gone to press for the floor he has already passed and back to standing where he was, she has not budge once her motion stopped and froze there in front of the elevator and a long marble floor corridor. The elevator door began to close as he doubted what she was up to.




Damn the bloody wine, thought Lea. It made her woke up late, she rushed from her apartment and got herself crammed in the subway filled with Japanese office workers who refused to put deodorant on despite sweating heavily, she frown in disgust at the smell that stuck on her. But that was worth it, she was still at least a minute early for the appointment with her patient, he was of the patients she had since the early days of her psychiatric career in Japan from the start.

Through the long corridor, Lea reached one of the few doors on this floor, normally she would meet up with a patient in her new office, to the suburban. But this patient, somehow, managed to remain unreachable in anyway, so she did not have a chance to inform him about the change of location and had to meet up with him in the clinic like she had in the previous sessions. Though that did not bother her so much, she still had to pick up some equipment that the university lent to her as part of a certain project.

Lea got into the room, finding that her patient was already in there, she exclaimed, “Shall we begin?”

Her patient perplexedly looked at her and said: “I guess …”

It has been half an hour since Lea had arrived, they did not discuss as most of the details have talked through already. Lea sat in her own chair and contemplated what she had to do in the afternoon, rather than about the patient who sat before her. But she need not pay attention to him, his mind was already somewhere else.

The patient was wearing a helmet-like device which had pads lit up in blue that connected to the user nerve, it had a long cable linked to its processor. It was developed by the university she worked for as a part-time lecturer and an outsource specialist. Lea did not really intend to use the equipment with her own patients, but the project leader saw the opportunity lent it to her for study purpose, she would observe its functionality and performance in use.

The purpose of the equipment was to induce and visualize the projection from the user’s mind, with a hypnotic stimulation and input, the subject would go on to dream about the thing in his or her mind, often a mental complex he or she hid behind. It also could be use as a medium for another subject to enter and view the host subject as a spectator.

Although, she never has tried that herself, after hearing that the spectator subject could influence the host, it was inappropriate to do, thought Lea.

“Huhhh!” The patient jerked with shock as he was in sleep state, nothing sinister, it appeared. It was just he was reacting to the things he was seeing before going back to lay still.

The patient was a corporate manager with mother issues, he began to suffer some episodes after his mother has passed away. But when asked, he could not answer properly himself  what was the cause behind the episodes. So Lea was hoping to use the equipment to help him explore his mind.

Lea looked at the clock, the duration of the sedative she used should be out by right now and soon he should be awake.

As soon as the patient woke up, he was panting heavily like he has seen a ghost.

“Is there something new in what you have seen this time, Mr Kayaba?” Lea spoke in English as her Japanese was not so proficient at this point, even many of Japanese working in the high-ranking positions were still not capable of speaking English fluently, her patient could. In fact, there were not so many psychiatrist or psychologist that were Japanese, some Japanese have taken classes to study English in the sole purpose of getting mental treatment.

“It’s not so different than last time, but …” The patient faltered.

“What is it?” Lea softly spoke. “That’s nothing to be ashamed off if you so …”

“No, it’s not like that … I thought it was me who I was in the trance … But then I saw myself. It was accurate as it was before, but this time, it feels like I was seeing things and feelings I think my mother was feeling.”

“It’s possible to experience such occurrence, the subject is able to assume someone else’s perspective according to the collective thoughts and views the subject has about that person. It’s still in the developmental stage, it’s bound to-”  

The patient’s Motorola cell phone rang and interrupted. It was a newly-released cell phone, only the people who earned a paycheck per a month that could feed himself for the entire would buy it. He picked up the bulky phone and put it near his head, he spoke his Japanese turbulently before pausing and shyly looking at her. “I have to excuse myself for today.” He said it quickly and picked up his bag.

“Please call me soon so I can tell you about the-” Lea failed to finish telling him about her new office as he rushed out of the room and the door shut loudly behind her. “That’s why we’re not going anywhere ….” She lamented.

Soon, Lea started to forget about the patient, she started to pack some of her own stuffs here to be moved to her new office into the cardboard box. As she was doing so, she began to think about the matter in the afternoon. She had a very conspicuous feeling about it, about having to drag herself to the new work, having no idea what the whole thing was about. She was told that she would be properly briefed when she arrived at a certain facility in the outskirt of Tokyo. Until then, she would better think of it in a positive way.

Another phone ring came, and Lea began to get annoyed by it, this time, it was her own office phone.  She picked up abruptly. “Hello.” She greeted.

“Is this Dr Moreau? I was told that it might be this number or the other …”

“Yes, the other is for my office. I won’t be using this one after today. Who is this?”

“It’s Mrs Cassel, Dr Moreau. I want to discuss about the offer.”

Her mouth became trembling, Lea’s heart was skipping its beat, she began to feel the nausea as she recognized the voice and the name.

“Please, for the sake of Jacque, it would be heartache for him if he were still alive. We should end this as fast as possible.” The voice continued. “The situation on your side is not going well, it’s time for you to reconsider your position and come to my agreement.”

“Listen to me carefully, Mrs Cassel.” Lea shakily spoke. “I’m not considering anything. And we’ll never talk about anything outside the court. And please, don’t call me ever again.” As She finished, she furiously slammed the phone onto its cradle.

Lea was breathing heavily as if she had run a mile without stopping, the thing that could make her do that was either anger or fright.

“Greedy bitch ….” Lea has let it out without being aware of it.  




1410 hours
The Agency's Headquarter;
Undisclosed location, Tokyo

Her brown heels rocked and echoed another corridor as she hurried to go through. Right now she was already in a certain facility within in the outskirt of Tokyo, to meet a certain man. He said he would bring the subject with him that she would have to handle.

Earlier this week, this man had called her at her clinic. He introduced himself as Javier Hernandez, a name that strokes her as Spanish. It could be Latino or Hispanic too, but she could not really tell with her limited knowledge of those parts of the world. He looked to be in his late twenties who sounded and looked too ambitious for his age, maybe a few years her junior. He was not really blond, but his pale skin made it seem more likely that he originated from Spain rather than Latin America to her. Either way, it was not frequent for her to see fellow Europeans around here.

Yes. She was also European. More precisely, French. And she was glad to meet someone who knew the place she called ‘home’, who understood the feeling of missing it, who lived the same childhood that she did. That was why, upon the realization that Hernandez was Spanish, she unconsciously let down her guard. She got a feeling he was assigned to her for this exact reason, but she dropped the thought as soon as she came to think about it that it was no more than her paranoia after a certain event that happened to her.

Her professor had referred and introduced her to this man, whom was said to be in charge of some program under the supervision of the government. But honestly, she had no idea what all of this was about. Whom did he work for? And what kind of program was she participating in? Such questions kept playing in her mind but were still unanswered. She did not have the chance to ask them during their meeting. No, she did not even have the time to think of them when she found herself agreeing to his request without knowing any of the important details about this project or the people funding it. She did not even know how their conversation went nor how she ended up signing the contract. And this worried her greatly, but not as much as the pressuring financial problem she was having, it was the reason she took the job so sudden. Signing papers you did not know what they talked about always ended terribly. She thought that she fully understood this. Yet, somehow, she ended up doing that same mistake.

She headed to the interrogation room. What kind of facility had an interrogation room when it posed to be something that was not a military or police facility at all? She pondered. Eventually she got into the room he described on the phone the night before. She was hesitant about what she would find on the other way of the door, but she could not allow herself to look frail in front of others, so she mastered a strong front like she always did when she was nervous. She was confident about her skills however, so that usually sufficed to fool anybody and give her an aura of confidence, hiding her hesitation and awkwardness during social interactions.

Just like now.

She opened the door with a firm hand and a solid standing, and got in. There were three people, one European and two Japanese, she glimpsed over and observed them while she hung her coat.

The first person she noticed was Hernandez, a matured-looking European man in a navy suit contemporary with the 80’s cut with his chest held up high, white shirt and red tie with mustard-motifs. As she has seen once, he looked dangerously ambitious, he spoke of what needed to be done and what it would result, it showed when he talked about the work he was involved. He always seemed to keep his smile up when he was around her, though it was rather forced or a mannered one as she saw no glare in his eyes.  

Next to him was standing the first Japanese man who looked really quiet and younger than Hernandez who looked in his 30s himself, maybe this quiet man was in his early twenties. He was oddly quite too, he did not look as rigid as a security guard, but at least he left some distance between himself and Hernandez. The physical appearances between the two were not too different and exact to determine what position the quiet man belonged to. Although his clothes and the dull color palette of black and grey gave her some clue, even both men’s suit shared a similar 80s detail; wide shoulders and low notches on their lapel. Despite sharing the similar features and since it did not fit as well, the suit cut of the quiet man was wearing lacked the authority and the expression of confidence that Hernandez’s suit shoulders and drape chest exuded, and with all of that. The gap of affordance between the two men, in this case: their clothes, have divided them into different category, one with a higher rank and another lower.

Another Japanese man, clean-cut, shaven, pale face and athletically tall, was sitting relaxingly on the other side of the room, separated from them by a two way mirror. Wearing what seemed to be wearing the same thing, the suit, but the cut was from two previous decades. It fit and was snug for him, giving him an athletic look rather than power look that both men in her room dressed as higher gorges drew longer line on his torso. Has he not visited a tailor almost any time in this decade at all? She thought. That man kept his color subdued, charcoal stripe suit, pale blue shirt, grey-blue subtle patterned tie, unlike the color that Hernandez used to signal his authority and  a slight amount of trust: navy, white and red for his ensemble. But after all, her job did not lie in spotting these details, what she does require some social interaction and observation.

"I have to apologize for calling you in such a short notice, Dr. Himeko had run into an unfortunate circumstance, so he couldn’t be here." The man called Javier Hernandez whose mischievous face was painted with an awkward smile, said as he gave a firm handshake. "It's been a while I have given a handshake, most of foreigners I know here are cooking things down there in the lab, they barely get out. Must be a bit lonely as a foreigner on the island full of nationalists, and awkward to their customs, too?"

Hernandez diverted himself to the two-way mirror and the man on the other side. "At least what you'll be handling won't be a typical Japanese salaryman, he's quite a bit different from the rest. I hope you two will get along since it's going to take a while from now on."

He turns to the quiet man, "Kaga, give us a moment, would you kindly?"

"Yes, sir."

At a glance, Kaga, the man besides Hernandez put his hands across his hip as he left the room and accidentally revealed his handgun. He seemed to be some kind of protective detail or some kind of operative. Was Hernandez a figure so important as to need one? Who was he really? He looked too young to be in a powerful position. So, was he trusted to carry out important things by them?

Hernandez’s words always hit the right string. Of course she felt lonely in a country that was so drastically different in culture. Meeting Hernandez has brought some fresh air to her monotonous life, in more than one way. However, he looked as if he was aware of that, as if he knew what she had been thinking. He always said the words that she wanted to hear the most. It was always so accurate that it would not t be strange if she suspected it to be intentional. But she refused to believe so. Her stubbornness was merely for self-satisfaction. She did not want to think that the existence of a person understanding her is a cruel lie.

"I heard you are more than ‘being qualified’ for the job, but we wouldn't ask you to do anything too hard. Of course, as you see in the papers you signed, we’ll endorse you with any research you wish to pursue after this project has ended, also we’ll find an institute that is in need of a good professor and issued you as one.”

Lea stared at the man for a moment. His words were a mix of flattery and consideration. This made it a request that she could not bring herself to refuse. An outsider however would have long realized that those beautiful words were nothing but sweet venom he injected to her gradually, words that were coldly calculated, and lured her into saying nothing but ‘yes’.

“You haven’t explained what this job consists of yet. If you would kindly do so before we start”, she retorted in a somewhat strict tone, making it clear that she was not pleased by how she was left in the dark about the whole thing. She was not as foolish as not to see through this much.

“I’m sorry that I haven’t done so. I don’t want to make you feel that this is so stressful.  But if you insist so …..”

Hernandez left from her stare and reached something from his case, a thick cream file holder of abundant information. She was not tempted to read it by any means, rather repelled to do so.

“You don’t expect me to read all of that, do you?”

Hernandez laughed lightly, “Of course not, most of it is crossed-out by black marker anyway. But I advise you read a few first pages of his. He’s your subject for your evaluation today. After that we want you to keep an eye on him.”

The thick file looked too heavy for her slender arms, she sat down and pulled pages open.

Tougane Masaru.

The photo in his dossier matched what the man in the next room separated by one-way glass and a door. Early on in the file included his personal details which seemed superficial to what she had to do with, later on it listed his recruitment from naval intelligence six years earlier, then a long list of operations he participated in various countries along with information of people marked as ‘High Value Targets’ he terminated.

“He may look normal and dress what he thinks a normal human being wears, but he is quite a killer. Again, don’t get too overly panicked. We don’t really employ psychopaths here. He and the rest of the candidates from our agency are either an ex-special force, a former assassin or just a random mercenary. The agency functions like any counter-intelligence agencies out there either from the west or the east, our primary focus is to eliminate any threat that will occur to the city in anyway, with a ‘considerable’ amount of discretion and clandestine secrecy. The Academy City denies any knowledge of this agency’s existence and the operations it conducts in domestic and foreign soils.”

She nodded in reply. In her mind, predictions of what kind of man Tougane Masaru was were flowing in. She depicted some as an ‘easy smile, nice watch, and a lot of body count’ or a ‘silent but deadly’ type. But all of that did not tell her why she was needed. This man has already entered service for some time, the questions occurred to her whether if there was any special circumstance required him to be psychologically evaluated and monitored in the middle of his service. She pushed the file away from her and looked back Hernandez who clearly had something more to tell. “And?”

“Cutting to the chase, are we?” Said Hernandez indifferently. “About 16 years ago, a group of explorers encountered a local tribe in West Africa. A few number of the male locals there appeared to possess extraordinary capabilities, greater reflex, faster and more effective perception through seeing and hearing, high stamina and strength, high tolerance against pain, high rate of regeneration, and longer lifespan than an average human. Through observation, those who possess those skills have feasted on a certain species of plant in a deep cave underground, its complicated survival conditions, the plant only grows in its native origin. The plant contains a toxic mutagen which enhances whose physical and genetic characteristics are suitable. We spent two years here in engineering the sample of the mutagen to optimize it as much as possible to increase the number of suitable candidates. Agents issued in this program are tested with the said engineered mutagen to enhance their capabilities and performance in the field. The program is being issued, funded and proceeded in the middle of turmoil in espionage world out there, we might face issues from accelerating the program to give a definite result to the people up there in the given time, one of them being what you are to deal with: psychological effects. We suspected that the psychological effects might affect their performance in the field. This is where you come in, though they might not give it up to you so easily, men of his type are known to be a great liar, they wouldn’t be very good at their job if they’re not so. I trust you can handle this. Observe him, every of his tendencies. Though today, it’s just only an introduction between you two.”

Never having been there herself, yet Lea had some knowledge regarding the Academy City, she heard rumors about the city conducting various experiments before, after all it was the most technologically advanced state on the face of the earth, it certainly would do such things. Not that she was too surprised about the experiment or the existence of the agency. She thought she should be safe after all if her involvement was just about collecting and evaluating data on the field of psychology and psychiatry. She repressed the worry she had earlier and put on confidence, if not more than she had.

“When should we begin?” A sharp smile carved with confidence appeared on her red lip.

“Whenever you are ready, doctor. I’ll be watching from here.”

She stared the white door to the other room as she was reaching for the knob, she wanted her mind to be as clear and clean as this whiteness of the door so she could perform to the utmost extent without any distraction. She puffed her chest and put a smile on her face before twisting the door knob swiftly and entering the room.

“Good morning, Mr Tougane. I’m Lea Moreau. I would like to take a few tests and ask some questions, I’ll try to finish it as quickly as possible, so I won’t bother much of your time.” She used a bright voice and spoke it naturally in English.

Tougane pushed himself up from the chair and stepped towards with his right hand out to shake with her, something she did not expect. She was shook gently with the rough right hand of his. As she held his hand, she noticed he scrolled his eyes from her feet to her eyes, taking enough time to see through his dilated pupils.
 
“We have all the time in the world, Dr Monroe. Please don’t be too hurry, not on my account.” He also replied in English without any hint of his natural tongue. “You’re from France? I think your accent sound so.”

“Yes, I’m impressed. You are familiar with French?”

“No, I’ve only met a couple of girls who spoke like this once.”

Lea did not truly grasp what that meant but with his gaze, suave smile and demeanor, she could picture it not in so-a-decent way.  “Let’s begin then. It’s just a basic psychological evaluation for now.” She handed out the form to him.

“Sounds pretty straightforward.” Tougane said. He took the form and sat down. Lea watched him go through those short questions on the evaluation form, he read it over and over before he marked anything. His hand was busier moving and adjusting his tie knot and shirt cuffs more than circling anything with the pen, some of the questions perturbed him even he tried to minimize his body language like he was at the poker table.

After ten minutes, Tougane handed the form back with a undercurrent of displease before he hid it with a smile upon eye contact.

The form was nothing more than general psychological assessment, with questions for the applicant to rate himself. He rated temper and emotions further on the positive side. But it was only useful when the applicant was not lying. She did not expect to learn too much from the form but rather additional questions she asked afterward and his reactions.

“Very well, may I ask a few more questions?”

“Of course.” Tougane wiped his belly once with his hand before resting both of his arms on the armrest of the chair.

So far Lea only felt the ease and suave look he put on was merely covering his discomfort, even he maintained his posture calm almost all the time, but at the first sight he experienced discomfort, he usually slipped a glimpse of it.

“How was your childhood?”

“I didn’t have much of that.” Tougane curtly answered.

“How was your relationship with your parents and siblings?”

“There isn’t much to say. I’ve never had any sibling. They were ordinary parents. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that they affected me much. Naturally, it’s a long lost part of my life, I don’t think about it much. I am not the son they thought they had anymore? They’d be disappointed. That’s how I put it.”

“No influence from them in anyway?”

“They tried to raise me in their way, being philanthropy, believing in karma. Nothing proves them wrong better than after all the good they have done, they died rather poorly for a good human being. That’s one of the two things I learnt from them.”

“May I ask how did they die?”

Tougane gasped for a second. “Excuse me, I don’t understand what does it have to do with anything.” He was apparent in being more uncomfortable than already when she kept mentioning about his parents, it was not how they died that she was interested to hear him, it was how he would react to the pressing persistence about his parents. It was no doubt it disturbed him to the point he would not want to talk about it. His eyes that were off-focus for a few seconds could have been stalled by what he saw in his mind, the trauma he had in his life.

“Okay, moving on then. Can you describe the nature of your job?”

"My work is mostly about helping certain people with their problems, they call me a 'problem solver' but a 'problem eliminator' is more likely."

“You mean you kill people to end those problems …”

“If it’s unavoidable, yes.” Tougane showed no remorse when he confirmed her thoughts.

“What goes in your head when you take a life?”

“Nothing, apart from how to kill the next man who’s ready to kill me as much as I am ready to kill him. I wouldn’t be very good at my job if I think a lot about that.”

Lea had nothing to say to that, it was rather safe to behave the way he did when he killed people for a living.

“We almost finish, just a few more questions. Do you have any relationship?”

“With some colleagues, yes.”

“And intimately?”

“There are a few people I have been with, though I don’t really know them very well, I have to climb down from their balcony at 3 in the morning before their man comes back, I don’t have much time to get to know them.”

Lea understood what he meant, and it disgusted her. For once, she considered every five minutes in asking him to be more professional and less playful, but she never actually did.

“Okay …. How much do you consume alcohol?”

“Too much.” Tougane wholeheartedly admitted.

He seemed a little displeased at the end, but he covered up with a few winks and a smile, as if he was dying to get to this part.

“Okay then, I believe Mr Hernandez will have us continue our session in my office next week instead where we’ll start to work on things. Here’s my card, feel free to call when you feel uncomfortable.” She bent to him from her chair as she handed her name card. His hand missed to catch the card at first and went for her wrist.

His eyes were seeping as he held her wrist a little too long.

“Oh, great. I think your office’s interior will induce more positivity and participation than this white room and a two-way mirror.” Tougane let go off her hand gently before he got up and went for the door, “After you, Dr Moreau.” He waited for her to get out first and closed the door.

As she exited the white interrogation room, a middle-aged man than Hernandez was already in the room, the man looked average in his look and build but more veteran than any of men in these did. The man looked toward Tougane and spoke, “In my office, 15 minutes.” Both men looked at each other and nodded. And as they were all leaving the room.

This Tougane guy did not seem more than a troubled orphan, a typical soldier with a bad habit for alcohol and women, a glorified killer. After all, this started to sound like a normal psychological assessment and treatment for soldiers with high hours of tour.
 
“Dr Moreau, can I have a word with you?” Hernandez asked, and that took attention from her thoughts just after talking with that Tougane guy.

“Yes.” Lea said without a thought.

Hernandez and Lea averted their gaze and shied away from each other, standing still until Tougane and the other man left.

Hernandez puffed and started talking first. “That’s Tsushio, field director of operation, Tougane’s big daddy.” He jokingly said before giving a dry laughter.

Lea drew her eyes from her feet to Hernandez’s face. “So …… What is it?”

“I haven’t told you everything.”

Lea started to frown and twisted her head lightly as she shrugged.

“Since Tsushio was here, I wouldn’t want to risk him knowing.”

“So, what is all about?”

“Have you checked the news? See what happened in Hong Kong?” Hernandez looked serious, the awkward smile gone from his face.

“Street gangs shootout? Lots of civilians and police died from it …. That’s what I heard in the radio this morning.” She recalled but that did not appear clear to her what he had meant.

“It was him, Tougane. He was operating without the authorization of anyone in the executive, but Tsushio got his ass covered. Anyone thinks they’re both out of their mind. Some people in the executive are upset by it, the rest Tsushio managed to persuade them to believe him. The boys in the program I told you are precious, people up there believe in the efficiency of this program, a huge number of operational funding goes to them continuously. Well, I don’t expect you to understand all of this ….. Let’s say, what Tougane did makes the program looks bad, people started doubting, they considered pulling the fund out and put the program on hold. But unfortunately, more people are convinced by Tsushio that the program are still efficient, reliable and needed, so the funding goes and the program stays, though the reluctance among them is apparent. People who don’t like that decision aren’t happy with it and they are doing every way to shut the program down, they think if they can make those who still fund and approve doubt the program more than they are doing now, it will be easier to gain their influence and shut the program down. And the funding will go to the more appropriate projects, not a daydream like this one.”

It slowly came to her that she was being used for other purpose than just a psychologist, “They are using the psychological evaluation to get rid of the program ….. By claiming that they are too volatile and unstable.” She felt unease as she found herself in the middle of some scheme.

“Exactly, we couldn’t do without a psychologist and a definite proof that somehow the experiment for this program produced a deranged operative. I want you to break him from inside, we cannot just fake it, we need him believe it and make Tsushio believe it too, if even Tsushio buys it, there’s nothing he could do to keep the program active.”

Even Lea stared back at Hernandez with a hint of appraisal, he did not budge, still calm and calculating. She was anxious that she was being dragged in something sending off a bad smell. Lea would not be surprised and hoped it not to be the case, that she would be asked to do something ethically wrong.

“You want me to tamper him?”

“As I said, make it look real that he himself buys it, so everyone will doubt the program, it may be put on hold or shut down. But that’s nothing you have to worry about. You see the way he looks at you? That gives you a great head start….”

‘That gives me a great head start’, what the hell did that mean? Lea was provoked and insulted. Was he suggesting the fact she was a woman with a fairly-decent looking would ….. That just meant he wanted to whore her out to Tougane!? Lea’s mouth has fallen open before she shut it quickly. “What exactly are you implying?” Lea grew angry and sounded grating, blood pumped in her face.

“I only suggest, that’s not necessary if you have another way in mind already. All I’m expecting you to do is just get inside his head and break him down from within, that way puts him out of commission, shut the project and the funding goes somewhere else that deserves it. “He’s very skeptical with the previous male psychologist, which makes it hard for us to manipulate him. I’m not saying he would lift the armor off entirely, I’m just thinking he will be interested in something else with you rather than playing mind games with you.” Hernandez spoke of the matter with ease as if there was a binding on her neck and she would follow without questioning.

“What makes you think I will do what you ask?” She was near to walking out and leaving the whole thing, her emotion toppled over why she came here in the first place and what she was paid to do.

But before she did what she wanted to do very impulsively, Hernandez twittered “Auuu ….” He almost sneered if he did not realize it was better not to agitate her more than he did now, but he still he looked like the man with a better pair of cards. “I heard your impulse was a trouble back when you were working as a psychiatrist, I don’t understand how a psychiatrist would get so involved with a patient to the point that ….. It wasn’t that long ago, right? How’s the trial? I heard his family was all boiled up, went as far as accusing you of seducing their beloved father, a family man, at his weakest moment. But I cannot and wouldn’t want to blame you on his death.”

“How did you know that ……” Her mouth trembled, visions flashed in her mind, all of that hurtful moment she left behind and tried to move away from was now suffocating her. It was a sincere mistake, she told herself that. She was trying to be nice, she had no ill intentions when things went wrong. She only came here and accepted the job offer to pay for the trial process that has been going too long and it broke heart to see and to speak of things that reminded and tormented. She just wished to see it end so she could move on with her life. No matter how the truth actually was, the only person who saw it as it was seemed to be just her alone. The unheard repetition of plea and cry looped in her head.

Hernandez looked smug as he knew the right button to push, and that his endgame was close, “We’ve always been careful and cautious with people we work with, for the best interest. As for Tougane, he needs to go when he’s screwed things up. And for you, I think we share some interest here. We get a better internal management here and you …. Let’s say with you provide some convenience with the ongoing trial, and the other things … You look for opportunity in the academic spectrum? We can manage that. Recommendation? That goes. Just about anything you want to name, we can provide, you see, money is not really our problem, so is the connection.”

“How could speak of it with me like this?” The thought that they kept an eye on her and used her personal matter to pressure her into doing this frightened her ….. That was not much she could do than walking out of this but Hernandez would not let her in here if he had no way to make sure she could not, it was as if he slapped her in the face and then stroked her back and told 'here's candies' for her by offering a prize if she did what he asked. She threaded back and forth if she could do this or not. But nevertheless, she already felt bad enough like she was pulled back in time into the room with that patient where the horrible thing happened.

“I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable, this is not just me, and people are expecting the result. I just want you to understand where we’re coming from. Don't rush, you have a couple of days to think. And remember, we can make it all go away if you do what we asked.”

Make it all go away ..... Make it all go away ..... Make it all go away ..... That circled in her mind

Other things Lea could handle with logic, how she thought and prescribed drugs but that patient and the thing that happened in that room were always hauntingly vivid. People involving it, his family and the trail did nothing more scratching her throbbing heart. All she wished is to make it end and the silence after that would eventually calm her.

Now she had a chance to make it end.

Lea was already standing alone in the room as thoughts and past storming on her, Hernandez had already left. For now she just only needed a couple glasses of something and a blast of music or words from a normal human being to flood her mind and distract her from distress.

"Doctor Moreau." Tougane called out as she made it through the door to the hallway.

She was spooked as if she had seen a ghost, but it was not long she washed it away and tried to look normal again, she hope he did notice her weak moment or at least he would not bring that up. “What is it, Mr Tougane?”

The man leaned on the wall of the corridor, his hands in his trousers, his face upward. She sensed his attempt at showing his superiority. But she did not back down, she headed in and acted tough.

“I understand that Hernandez might have given some instruction to pressure me as you did. We can play this game if that’s what you want-” His face was a smug, he said it frankly, although he did not sound harsh or angry but rather slyly casual about it. Nevertheless, that was not something to feel safe about. He did not seem as clueless as she initially thought. Maybe what he appeared in the room was to distract Hernandez, to make Hernandez believed that she had him under control. Because she was easier to handle for Tougane than other people? She doubted. She was sure she pressed the right buttons, it could not be that he let her win, she believed. Or did he notice her sense of competitiveness? She was sure she did not let that slip either. But for now, it was better to stand on the same side rather against each other, they gained nothing from having an antagonistic relationship with each other, she could fulfill what she had to and he could have an illusion that he gained something in the process.

“I can assure that’s not the truth. I may have some ‘unorthodox measures’, please excuse me for that. For some people who appear ‘uncooperative’, I may have gone a little too far in that.” Lea assured it was her own act and not someone else, she could not afford to what Hernandez asked her to, she has not yet made her mind but she was trying to keep that window open for her.

“So why are you here?” His face was too thoughtful for a simple question, too skeptic.

The man may grown in the world full of people who opposed him, feeling alone and always having to be paranoid were supposedly what he was doing. To agitate him further, it would only make him more skeptic and careful, if she were to do her ‘job’ she needed him to lift his armor up and trust her, so she could stab him from behind when he was not aware of her. “I’m here to help, obviously.” She played it straightforward.

“Then I’m going to need know that I can trust you, I dislike one-side communication. It’s better if we are ‘comfortable’ with each other to a certain level.”

As vague as it sounded, she had a slight of idea what that meant, “I’m all ears.” This was the chance, she made her mind to do what Hernandez offered her.

“For starter: I’d like to see you on the fly without someone’s instructions in the environment that is less depressing that a white room with a two-way mirror. Somewhere we get to talk casually and comfortably while we have something to-”

“You mean dinner?” Men, that was her first word that popped in mind. Was he trying to lure her into a different environment where he thought he could have an upper hand or was that just how he treated every woman? Both did not sound worse than other, but if she could handle one, she might as well nail another. She was not too innocent after all when it came to this kind of things.

“That’s quick …” His face was like a thief got caught in the middle of the invasion, he laughed lightly at himself.

“You’re not first to ask. If the dinner’s what you mean …”

“Then I hope to be the last …”

Lea could assure that was not going to be true, but seeing his pathetic endeavoring would be a little entertaining. “8 o’clock this evening, my apartment.”

“I don’t know where you live …” Now she really started to hate his smile that he kept putting on.

“You’re not in the intelligence service for nothing, Mr Tougane. Don’t be late.” Lea imitated his annoying smile and ended the talk, she walked away to the way she came.

Lea got on the elevator and watched Tougane sending her off until the moment the door closed.

This deception was for the benefit of herself, thought Lea. The less she cared about him as a patient and the more she looked at him in the awful way as an object, the easier she could pull this off. There was nothing to feel guilty off in doing this, and there would be nothing to feel guilty at all anymore if she succeeded, Lea has repeated that to herself.




Credit:
Hiromi has given some ideas and drafted the post herself before the interrogation sequence as 'Lea Moreau' which she shows up at the facility and to the point she is about to get down to business with 'Hernandez', and since then I have utilized what she implied in the post in the scenes before and after. But however, I have taken the liberty to some extreme with the character. The inappropriate aspects in the portrayal likely belong to me.

Thanks to Hiromi and apologies beforehand if the post causes her any problem.

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Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:44 pm

Chapter 5: Internal Affairs:


1436 hours
The Agency's Headquarter;
Undisclosed location, Tokyo

The woman was gone, down with the elevator, he watched her.

It was a stretch to say Tougane liked psychologists or psychiatrists whom were sent to diagnose or deal with him in any way, even this one, Lea Moreau. He hated their games. But if there was something he could get out of this, he sure would do something about it. He treated her like any other woman he met, it was an awful thing to do, but he was never more than a man who did awful things to please himself or to serve a great cause. Getting her to sympathize or side with him would be better than having to work against her.
 
The play time was for after work, now he still had a duty to attend to.

Tougane headed for Tsushio’s office. Inside there, apart from Tsushio, there was also Fujiwara who sat on the chair and another man who Tougane has never seen before stood and awaited for Tougane.

“This is Saito Tanzan, representative from our foreign department.” Tsushio introduced Tougane to this man.

“Good morning, Mr Tougane. I have heard of your reputation.”

“Good morning, Mr Saito. Should I be glad or frightened about that?” Said Tougane, playfully.

“Then let’s waste no more time here. I do understand if the Hong Kong city does not really appreciate the sight of shanty town, but it’s by no means your job to run down and demolish it yourself, Mr Tougane.”

“The situation was critical, I only did what’s necessary.” Tougane spoke his mind, but not only that did not help, it seemed to stir things up with Saito hence the serious death stare glance under his glasses from Tsushio, its meaning was ‘not now’.

“Your ‘necessity’ was careless, Mr Tougane. We risked facing an international dispute, if it were not for the good relationship we had with the government of Britian, we would all be on the front page of today’s newspapers, gentlemen. Let me warn you if you had forgotten, the business of the government of Japan is by no means of our concern, we only operate on the ground that concerns our interest.”

“What do you mean it’s not our concern? Isn’t the weapon related to Academy City!? That’s what we took action in Hong Kong!”

“There’s no weapon, ever. What happened in Hong Kong was just a mistake from a manhunt operation that caused a lot of collateral damage. The Academy City does not acknowledge of this operation, what the authority of the government of Japan decided to do has nothing to do with us.”

“But-” Tougane held back his word as he saw Tsushio shook his head, then Tougane decided now was neither the time to state the true fact or argue. This man only came to swipe the shit under the rug, and there was no use into talking him to senses, he was just a minion who came to relay the information regarding this situation, dictated by someone in the upper echelons.

“There will be no more investigation in this. The recovery operation of this weapon in Hong Kong never exists and no plane of ours was ever shot down. And now we are on the same page, there should not be any misunderstanding our watch from now on. Have a good day, gentlemen.” Saito left the room without bidding farewell, rudely.

“What an asshole. You know what they told me they found in the plane? Agricultural equipments. What a load of bullshit.” Fujiwara was annoyed when he talked to Tougane.

“If you ever wonder why you’re going through psychological evaluation, this is just for starter and there will be more of measures to shut us down for certain. This is the reason, their word was ‘the mutagenic enhancement affects the operatives psychologically, clouding their judgment as Tougane demonstrated in his latest operation’. They’re trying to disband our program, move the fund to somewhere more appropriate, they say.” Tsushio finally spoke after he endured the bullshit Saito spat. “I should have known when I handed the intel Fujiwara has given me to them and what they did was informing the authority of Japan and only sending you as an observer in their operation instead of sending our own people in, it was just us who was told that a ‘certain bio weapon’ was on board, they didn’t tell that to the Japanese Authority. They’re trying to keep their bloody hands out of this, they don’t want to get their hands dirty, they’re keeping their involvement to minimum, it’s like that they’re blaming on us. And now ….. One problem’s gone, another has come. At first, if this weapon’s existence was leaked into the public, we’d face consequences we could not afford. We prevented it but we are facing another problem from our own - what they call ‘structural adjustment’ which is merely a word for ‘they’re trying to shut us down’, they’ve been trying it for some time, those people who I failed to convince in the administrative figures, and now those I convinced in the first place started to lose faith in our program, they start to think we’re mental, out of control. With all due respect to what you did in Hong Kong, I understand it was necessary, but my god, you’ve just given them an opportunity to bust our asses!”

“I’m sincerely sorry, sir.” Tougane did not appear sorry as his word suggested, he thought he was justified to do that and there was nothing to feel sorry for, he was just saying because it would not piss his boss more than he was about to be.

“The bio weapon you recovered, it’s gone. We don’t even the chance to examine it.” Tsushio looked to be in a bad temper, he looked too tired to lash out or do anything. “It’s gone in its arrival here, probably some of the administrative in the committee helped to cover it up, both the existence of the weapon and the entity who manufactured it.” Tsushio referred to the administrative figures in the Agency’s organization, while all of their purpose was to maintain the security of Academy City, some of them merely use his position for their own agenda, and it was even harder to pinpoint where this organization stood for in de facto sense, whether for the Academy City or the government of Japan which had some significant ties to the administrative figures inside this organization and to Tsushio himself. So far, Tsushio has obtained the influence to control the majority of these administrative figures, apart from a few who looked to be bound as an entirely another entity within this organization.

“Do you have any idea whose this weapon belongs to?” Fujiwara inquired.

“This is where plot thickens.” Tsushio said, stressfully. “The cargo was registered under a proxy company owned by Shinohara-Takahashi Industries. But just so you know, no one from the boards of the Academy City ever authorized him to develop any weapon.” Even it was a co-own corporation in its name, Shinohara was known to run things behind it. But that was not the reason to be worried about the situation. “Are you familiar with the name, Tougane?”

“Yes, sir.” Tougane confidently said. “Shinohara Satoshi was a researcher in his youth who later became a known philanthropist and entrepreneur in various businesses involving with Academy City, food industry and medical industry, he used to appear for publicity in the previous decade but not so much now. The man is also in charge of leading Heian Foundation as of now ….”

The name which shook Tougane a little, it was a humanitarian foundation that his parents along with his colleagues and friends in the industry founded it up decades ago, it later went to someone else hand’s after his parents died, how did the foundation later go to Shinohara’s hand was not known to Tougane.

It was not odd at all that the philanthropist act was just a front, it was known in the upper echelons of the dark world that he had his hands on selling arms on the city’s behalf to raise fund for the Academy City but developing a bio weapon was not the thing that was known. In fact that saint-like front that was known to the public was a perfect distraction for it.

Tougane thought that the world was filled with this kind of people who speak of good things but have his own hands on the bloody businesses, he despised these liars. The reason this man was still alive and able to seek his fortune till this day was probably that the city shared some mutual benefits and had ties to him, unaware of how much of a threat he could actually be. The devil had his charm, so that was why he could thrive among man. Now he has shown what he was capable of, it was of no doubt why Tsushio looked so troubled now. The suspicion that Shinohara was behind the manufacture of this biological weapon would threatened Academy City when he was doing behind their back. By catching the man, it would expose the corrupt coalition within his own agency.

To make the matter worse, Shinohara also had ties to some people in Soviet, he used his money to ‘support’ those people there as the state itself way dying and in return he secretly was allowed to invest installations there. The Academy City acknowledged this and used him for their mutual benefit, they used Shinohara to keep taps on the Soviet like he was a double agent. But due to Hong Kong incident, it sounded as if this man started to turn for another side and conspire against his own.

The situation was dire, and it stressed Tsushio out. “What did you learn from Chu Tao himself?”

“Not much than what I have told you. He said he was to intercept the cargo and handed it to the Soviet contact, a GRU agent, before he was betrayed. He only agreed to speak if he’s taken in, and now that is the not case. And as we learned that Shinohara associated with Soviet, it sounds like they both are up to something.”

Tsushio reached down from his cabinet, he pulled a folder with photographs in there and laid them out on the table. The photographs were taken from long range with high-magnification camera for the purpose of espionage during a casual meeting between Shinohara and a Russian-looking man in a private estate. “We have been watching them for a while. This is Kiril Morozov, talking to Shinohara, he’s a GRU agent that made contacts with Shinohara frequently since the beginning of this year. Do you think it’s the same man? It can look both ways that the GRU agent got close to Shinohara because they’re working together or the agent is spying on Shinohara and then exploits the intel he acquired like the Hong Kong incident …”

“Chu Tao hadn’t given up the name, sir. I’m sorry that I’m not sure it.” Tougane apologetically admitted.

“I guess that’s what we have to find out ourselves.” Fujiwara remarked.

“So here’s what happened ….” Tsushio said. “A known mayhem maker working for JRA was contracted by a Soviet GRU agent and sent to steal a bio weapon which was manufactured by Shinohara’s proxy for reason unknown, shooting down the plane from one of the Academy City’s owned logistic company which was supposedly only carrying agricultural equipments and heading from South Africa where there’s a facility related to Shinohara. Chu Tao used the information that he was somehow be able to received from one of our security advisor for the Academy City, therefore he gained a firepower and knew when to intercept the cargo plane. He took the weapon and was betrayed by the Soviet GRU agent who attempted to set the weapon off in Hong Kong but Chu Tao managed to disrupt the device until it fell into our hands. There are two entities in the play here, Shinohara and his people who covered up after his ass, we don’t know why he’s manufacturing the weapon and transporting it oversea or what purpose he would use it for. And the Soviet GRU agent who was behind the Hong Kong incident. They were going to set it off, that meant they didn’t want to take the weapon there, why did they want?”

“To test the weapon? Is there a chance that they needed an excuse to test the weapon on the grand scale, so they used Chu Tao to steal the weapon and made it look it was his own act of terrorism hence his relation to JRA?” Fujiwara asked “The whole thing in Hong Kong was just a set up on Chu Tao ….”

“It could be.” Tsushio replied. “But I don’t understand why they would risk doing such thing at this time where tension is still high.”

“It’s still ambiguous whether the GRU agent was given the remote access to the weapon or he just simply stole it. But if Shinohara has ties to some people in Soviet, does it mean he has to do with the incident itself? Even that whole thing looks bad for his business since his property was being attacked and stolen, but it was not impossible to set things up that way. Remember that security advisor who Fujiwara busted in Singapore? He was pressured into leaking intel to Chu Tao by someone inside. The assassin that came after me in Macau mentioned that she was also sent by someone inside the city. It sounds vague, but the one with motive was Shinohara and his associate, they would cover up the existence of the weapon by silencing the only man who knew and witnessed the existence of the weapon in Hong Kong: me. The Soviet GRU agent alone wouldn’t have that kind of access to the intel that would either let them pressure our security advisor or take me out after I foiled their act.” Tougane purposed a theory.

The theory got Tsushio’s attention, he bent forward from his seat and rested his arms by the elbows on his desk, he looked across the desk to Tougane. “So you’re saying that Shinohara was behind it or he intentionally let the incident happen?”

“It’s possible, sir. Since he had a relationship with some people in Soviet, however, this is just a suspicion.” Said Tougane.

“Why would he do that? What would he gain in conspiring this act with the Soviet?” Fujiwara asked.

“Because he would sell the weapon to them? Or he would gain something from the expected outcome of the weapon going off or from the Soviet? At this stage, it’s too vague to know for sure why he would do that.” Tsushio replied.

“Well,” Fujiwara smiled sarcastically, “I’m sure at least we should be thankful for Chu Tao and the Soviet, for making us discover that Shinohara is manufacturing a chemical weapon behind our back …. Whether the real threat was the Soviet Union or Shinohara, that’s up to be decided later.”

“I suppose so.” Said Tsushio. “Forget about the Soviet now, we couldn’t get them on our own. The only way we can learn more about the incident is to go after Shinohara.”

The look of curiosity appeared on Fujiwara’s face, “Isn’t he recognized as one of our allies? Even our organization covered up anything regarding his involvement.” He asked.

Tsushio was motionless as he thought, his eyes scrolled and he blinked thrice rapidly. He then glanced over to Fujiwara again, his manner became more tensed and uncomfortable. “It’s true that he’s running corporations and a foundation as a front to sell arms, he even used refugee camps of his foundation to transport and stockpile weapons, that was aware by us and the Academy City since it benefits the city. But by no means was he authorized to develop a chemical weapon, and when he does secretly and we find out, we can assume that his action is of ill intent, especially when there is a chance he conspired with the Soviet. We’re obligated to stop him, that’s the reason our organization exists in the first place. A weapon of mass destruction being developed by someone related to the city and without the city’s knowledge, it puts the city at risk, and the fact that weapon almost made its way and showed up in the Academy City before it was intercepted and stolen makes the matter worse for whatever purpose it was intended. We don’t know what exactly Shinohara is going to use it for, nor does the city, at best we could merely just speculate. It puts the city at stranglehold, if it is so powerful, it can be used for coup de tat if he wishes to. We have to find out and stop him before he uses it and poses as our threat. The Soviet GRU who used Chu Tao to intercept the cargo and attempted to use the weapon manufactured by Shinohara could either be exploiting the shortcoming or conspiring along with Shinohara. Our priority now will be to investigate why and what purpose is it for that Shinohara is secretly developing a bio weapon, who on the inside that is helping him covering up the mess after the attack was botched. Hence the order that there will be no more investigation in this, the man behind this will get away if we do nothing. Shinohara may know some of our people on the inside and some people in the city … I don’t understand why the director decided to go along with this … It may not be good for business since Shinohara has his hands on many businesses in the city, but if the notion of Shinohara being responsible for secretly developing a biological weapon is true, this is a national-level threat in our own backyard. But as long as there are people who cover up after Shinohara and we still lack the evidence that confirms Shinohara’s involvement, the Academy City would never acknowledge and do anything about this.”

By this point, the Soviet was out of the play, Shinohara sounded more dangerous in comparison. It no longer mattered if the Soviet was involved or how was it involved, its action only revealed a hint of a threat that Shinohara posed. And as Tsushio said, Shinohara was the only one that they could go after.

“If we have evidence on him, will we able to bring him down and bust him?” Tougane asked.

“Theoretically, yes. But that evidence must be substantial, like catching him red hand at the best. How are you going to do that?”

Tougane and Fujiwara looked at each other before turning to Tsushio, “We’ll find the weapon.”

“That’s like looking for a needle in the haystack, where’re you going to look for it?”

“At the source, where it’s manufactured. If it is to be off the Academy City’s radar, the weapon should be manufactured offshore. How many offshore facilities has Shinohara got?”

“3, in India, Nigeria and South Africa, that’s what I can recall.”

“Monitor as many researchers as you check, find out if there are researchers who travels to any of these facilities and if their expertise is related to creating the weapon somehow. That’s the best we can guess.”
Tougane was hoping to guess it right which facility it was.

“Alright, I’ll have intel gathered soon. Tomorrow, you two will be on a flight to the location, find out if the weapon is being developed there and bring back the sample if possible. I’ll assemble another team to pursue the truth regarding the orchestrated attack in Hong Kong, we’ll start from interrogating the assassin you captured. That’s all for today.”

“Yes, sir.” Both men got up and were about to leave the room.

“Gentlemen, if this goes wrong, you never exist, so does this operation.” Tsushio said it coldly, but sympathy and worry were on his face. “Tougane, I want to say something to you.”

“Hey, brother, I’ll be waiting outside then.” Fujiwara told Tougane and left the room
.
“Is there anything, sir?” Tougane was anxious on the inside, for any reason, he never liked that ‘we need to talk’ or something of such, he hated anticipating for it.

Now that they were alone, Tsushio relieved of himself a bit like he was about to speak of something from a different position, not as a superior or a commanding officer, but something else.

“I appreciate what you do in all these years for us, Tougane. I want you to know something. You’re not the boy I first saw you in that hospital. Yes, you are as skillful or even better to then as of now. What I meant is you have a cause now, you’re working for a cause. We do bad things so we can keep good things in place. It sounds harsh when I say in reality as close as we ever come to peace is deterrence, and we are the Academy City’s deterrence against threat within and outside. You work hard in all these years to prevent any threat to occur to lives, you do what you must. I see things, I talk and I’m the front man, but all of this, it’s your dedication, I couldn’t have done any of this but you could and you did. You’re the strength, our strength, not the raw power nor the enhancement you received over the years but the ability to decide what must be done in a face of threat, to do what is necessary to prevent the worse fate if you hadn’t taken any action. In all these years, you’re the one I am proud for most. This man, Shinohara Satoshi, if he has to do with the development of this weapon as we suspect, that makes him a threat more than to just us, we don’t know why the weapon was to set off in Hong Kong, what he will use it for or who he will sell it to. Stop this man, Tougane. There are a lot of lives on the line and we must take action before bad things happen.”

“I understand, sir.”

Tougane always felt was the most loved son all of the operatives under Tsushio’s command, he used to wonder why but figuring he might just be so damn well at what he was doing could be why Tsushio adored him the most.

Tougane then left the room to meet up Fujiwara, they found a spot to talk, have a few cups of coffee and smoke while at it.

“Brother, aren’t you worried about this? This time is different, we do not have the authorization nor the approval for this operation. If anything goes wrong, we’ll be all damned.” Fujiwara almost blared, he was pressured by the situation more than Tougane seemed to be.

Tougane put away the cigarette he just smoked, he watched the smoke swirled around him and had a thought about everything that just happened. “You know what I think, anything Tsushio says, it goes. It’s not we have never been up against something this big. Authorized and acknowledged or not, it doesn’t matter to us. We fail on the occasion which are both authorized and acknowledged, we’re done anyway. We’ve been doing for far too long to start to feel scared. Shinohara is just another threat, no matter how dangerous he is more or less than any other we have terminated, it doesn’t change what we do. We’ll go after him and we’ll go after everybody who’s involved with the incident in Hong Kong.”

“Days and days you started to sound more like Tsushio, and that scares me. It’s not that I won’t do this, I’m just worried and curious if you are worried about it to, this is life and stakes in our hands, it’s not games, we ought to be careful, especially with the mutagenic thing messing with us.” Fujiwara sounded too worried than his usual self, perhaps he was not numb about everything as Tougane felt himself was.

“You needn’t worry about me.” Tougane said.

“Work can be discussed on our flight, where we go tonight, brother? Remember, you owe me a drink for having me to bugger to your place just to tell you something.”

Tougane just remembered that he said he would go out with Fujiwara, but now that something came in between, he could not go. He had an appointment with a psychologist whom he intended not to be just a patient to. “I’m sorry. I have an appointment, an unfinished business to attend to.”

“It must be a girl for certain.”

“Of course.”

“What a bastard you are.”

_________________
Explanation for my writing in case you are wondering:
Why it's kinda a mess ....



Maybe just one doesn't suffice, have a gif.






Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Sun Aug 07, 2016 11:54 pm

Chapter 6: Lea the Lure:


2029 hours
Shinjuku, Tokyo

Lea had things stormed in her mind during the day but she was certain in the end that she would do this deceptive act and end it as quickly as possible. Most of the prizes Hernandez offered were complimentary, all she cared and wanted was to end what was haunting her – the ongoing trial regarding ‘that’ patient - to think about it was like being pierced in heart. And to fulfill what she has been tasked, she must tamper Tougane without the man knowing that she was doing it, but first she needed his trust and him to be unsuspecting of her, she was working on it.

Usually after work or on holidays, she barely did anything than sulking in her apartment. She never went out on a social occasion if it was not related to her work or her colleague here. She did not blend with the Japanese colleagues here apart from her professor whom she was close with, it was not that either of them hated each other in a sense, but it was hard for her to go into their world, faking herself to be able to blend in their world was an option but she tired of doing it, it put a strain on her and if she was not happy with it, she did not want to bother doing it, and because of that she was not really in someone’s company very much. The lonesome time left her in that quietness, and in that quietness she relived the horrible past that came haunting her. Some interaction from other people could help her forget the unpleasant things. Going out once in a while for her was refreshing, to get her mind off the work or off her own thoughts, listening to someone else for once, and discussing silly things. She had that when she came out with him, though she was still aware why she came out in the first place, enjoying it was complimentary. If she had gone with any other Japanese man like she had a couple of times, she would have felt too troubled worrying about things that she could do and not in their traditional senses. But with Tougane, he did not seem to care or give a damn, apart from his face, he was barely striking as a Japanese to her, she felt he was less of typical Japanese, he did not bother to put up so much act and avoid doing what could cause one another dissatisfaction, which Japanese is normally obligated to do even it comes off as dishonesty. But saying that did not mean he was rude, it was just that Japanese normally have three faces that is shown: one for colleagues and acquaintances, another for family and close friends, and the last is for himself, Tougane only looked to be doing what he wanted while it was appropriate enough, not bothering to care about layering himself.  

She has been sitting at this Maplewood table, lurking in the deep corner of the restaurant in the middle of dense alleyway. The restaurant itself was small, almost tight that could give off claustrophobic, it could only fit not more than tent tables but the decoration was decent, it was filled with vintage stuffs, the lighting was warm and rich.  It was not as busy as it should be in the evening, she suspected that people even knew if this restaurant existed. This was opposite of a romantic dinner she had anticipated and expected other men would do, this was not a fancy European restaurant for certain, no expensive and fine wine or champagne, but it was not that she was the woman who liked this kind of thing, it was just what she expected he would do as other men did to her. In front of her was dishes of mainstream and peasant Thai food: minced meat spicy salad, the stereotypical ‘Tom-yum-kung’ spicy soup and some sort of salad that confused her so much because there were vegetables, fruits and a crab in the single dish, all of which she could eat no more than a few bites because it was outrageously spicy for her. All she could eat was just a bowl of rice and rinsed a glass of beer down her throat to at least survive the burning taste of pain.

She sat lonely at the table, the man who brought her out has gone into the counter and was not at the table for at least ten minutes, probably to ask if the restaurant could blast another round of Gary Moore’s Parisienne Walkways’ after he told the story when he left Vietnam and stayed around U-Tapao Airfield in Thailand shortly, since this song, in his words ‘surprisingly sounded’ the same to the song ‘Night in Bangkok’ which the local ‘carbon copy of Jim Morrison’ – Laem Morrison – played in those local bars and cheap nightclubs that popped up for the demand like mushrooms in the rainy season when there was an American military base there. He longed for nostalgia, she guessed. She wondered what took him so long this time, but her tired legs from walking did not allow her so much to move. She walked with him here because he said his car was blown up last week due to a certain ‘vehicular accident’, she was not sure if she should just have taken it as a joke, but in the end it was what made her walk a long way to this restaurant. Such a gentleman he was.
Tougane finally came back to the table, and ‘Parisienne Walkways’ played in the background again, she guessed the workers here must be annoyed by him.

“Why are we here again?” It was long into the night, she started to forget why he wanted her here, she still remembered why and what she was here for. “I understand about the idea of talking and dining. But if you just  cared so much about the nostalgic trip? Couldn’t you do that by yourself?” She asked him that as things he told and did was more of to please himself than her, not that it was bad, but it was not as aggressive as she expected from him if he were to get her, she expected him to at least use some sort of a ploy on her so she could know where he was coming from and how she should avoid that ploy to make her plan work, but he just showed up here and acted normal as if all he really wanted do was to go out with her and nothing more, not to detect her deception. This genuineness of him made her anxious.    

“Being by oneself is too dreadful. And yeah, this is almost the same when I visited a Thai restaurant once. It just lacks the ices in the beer.”

Just about when she was to go on full serious, that baffled her. “Wait, who the hell would drink beer with ices?”

“Thai people.” Tougane unconcernedly said. “Trust me, you don’t know how hot it is there, the beer would just warm within a minute or two. They all do it there, I believe.” He did not notice she was serious or did not care if she was, her annoyed and stern face was affront of him but that did not help. He even commented earlier that she looked far better when she looked annoyed rather than her smiling. Was he enjoying himself in this?

“Why are we here again? I’m serious.” She asked again bluntly, her eyes gazed straight at his, she expected no nonsense this time.

Tougane sighed and turned away for a second before turning back and facing her. “Don’t you think I just happen to come out and have a good time for once? It’s not like I’m a man of plans. We are here because I want you to see what I am, Dr Moreau. I know you have heard of me, of what I have done, you must have known for certain I’ve killed many people. And I saw you trying to press me to find out what is wrong with me. Perhaps, you think of me as a monster under a man’s skin. Are you here to find out what’s wrong with me, aren’t you? There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m merely a man who does what is necessary which a lot of people don’t want to get their hands dirty and I became this man because the way of this world. You can judge all me you want. But if you start off by looking at me like I’m a walking abomination, we’re getting nowhere.” Anger appeared briefly on his face like the flame sprouting up from a lighter, it sparked and blazed but later calmed down and stabled itself like a flame from candle.

Tougane had a hint of self-deprecation in his sense of self-justification. He did not deny what he seemed to think he was. Even terming himself a ‘monster’, he sounded as if there were times he wanted to relax and stay relieved like any human, after being done with the deeds of evil, a necessary evil. And with all of that, he believed there was nothing wrong it, even him believing that he was a monster in a sense, he did not view himself that there was something wrong with that. Although as he suspected her to do, she was not here to judge, she was just here to know and find her way in; either to help him or tamper him.

He did not care to lick her ass or worry if he would piss her off, he was honest in his thoughts and opinion. What he wanted was someone on his side, not another antagonist or opposition. To go against him was of no use as she had this notion prior, she started to a glimpse of what could be her way in.

“First of all, you don’t have to refer me as ‘doctor’ all the time.” Lea impulsively reached her hands out to his and held it in hers, she looked at him and turned large blue eyes on his, speaking softly “In your line of work, I understand that might be many things that force you to always become paranoid, but paranoid is not being careful, it’s a pain and a setback. I’m not someone who’s going to cause you a problem of any kind, even whom I work gives you a notion of me being someone who opposes you. I work and stay true to the facts, I’m here to help you. And if everything’s alright with you, you don’t have to worry about anything.” She started to feel like a bitch, earlier in this day she treated him like a patient and now she had to treat him like she actually cared about him. But that was barely a quarter of what she felt for the mistake and terrible thing she had done that got herself into doing this. So to say, she was more than fine in doing this. But learning that he was not all tough as he imposed to be and had a slightness of vulnerability, it got her to sympathize with him a little.

His fiery glare was gone from his eyes, he smiled and chuckled once. He moved his free hand and held over her hands lightly, he bent forward. “Very well, Mrs Moreau.”
There was a pause as they stared at each other without any thoughts entering their, or at least it was what it felt like to her, she slowly forgot why she had to do this, she just only did and kept moving. “My friends call me ‘Lea’.”

“So you know my name, what to call me … Does that make us friends now?” He said cheekily.

“More or less.” With gaiety and warmth in her mind, rather than the cold calculation of her own and someone else she left behind, Lea continued “And it’s ‘Miss’ not ‘Mistress’. I don’t think you’re really a fool that you cannot know for a fact that I’m not married.” Teasingly, she just kept staring and remained motionless, and so did he, warmth gathered in their hands, rather hot it became, between their palms. They felt warmer despite hanging and leaving their coat and jacket.

“But of course.” Tougane said it without a budge. “How come you are not married?” He dared to ask.

Just a moment that Lea was not careful, she missed her steps and fell miserably, it hurt, even a little it still did. She thought about it. Why was she not married? She remembered she did find someone whom she was willing to be with. She remembered she had an opportunity. Why was she holding this man’s hands and not holding someone whom she really cared for? She later remembered that the chance had passed and the circumstances were not as fortunate as she wished it to be. It passed, all she could do was to live with it.

Her smile faded for the moment her teasing stare became blank, she was afraid he would notice it, she did not want him to know if she was vulnerable. She pulled her head up high and put it back as if everything was normal, she hoped his warmth would make her forget that for the time being. “People often miss opportunities in their life, it’s bound to happen. I’d like to believe that there’s always a better one waiting ahead.”

“I hope yours come soon.”

“Why is important to you? From what I heard about you, you don’t seem to respect a faithful relationship anyway. What is it with a married woman?” She raised her voice a little, and curiously as she moved closer to him.

“It simplifies things.” He said it flatly.

“How so?”

“You’d know when to quit.”

If it meant ‘meddling with someone who was owned already would give one the awareness when to back off and form no attachment’, Lea understood it. “What if you don’t have to?” She fired back in an instant.

Tougane looked blank for a moment like what he heard was never before in his head, he tilted his head slightly as he seemed to come to senses and spoke, “I’ve never thought of it.”

Their eyes glared at each other’s with passion, a mutual comprehension between them in silence and nothing else mattered.

“Care to go now?” Tougane glanced at their way out as he purposed.

“I’m still famished. The food is terrible. If this is how you are aiming to impress a woman, I would say you blew it the chance when you hadn’t tried it beforehand and now it turned out to be lame.”

“I was trying to surprise. The food isn’t half bad, it’s just you cannot eat it. I figure any Japanese man so far who has failed in hitting on you must have brought you to a sushi restaurant, at least once, that’s why we’re here. So ….”

“Sushi, it is. And maybe a few more bars on the way back.”

“The night is still young.” Tougane naughtily spoke.

They looked at each other, hurried to grab their coat and left the place together.




Hours have passed, their stomach was full and they were tipsy, a little too much with drinks but so far no one has managed to fall on the ground pathetically. He finally walked her back to her apartment.

Lea reached for her key and tried to get the door open clumsily, she heard footstep leaving. She turned and saw Tougane walking away.

Lea knew this was the chance to slip pass the armor he built for himself.

And this would mean she now became something more than his psychological evaluator to him.
It did not matter what she truly thought, this was superficial to her.

And by this night alone she managed to have her personal feeling buried deep down, she had to do was to act impulsively, and she knew there was nothing to regret.

Lea called him out. “Don’t you want to come inside?”

A few seconds of a pause, a distance between them filled with nothing but emptiness, they looked at each other.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

It was way early in the morning, she woke up on her bed alone, she felt cold after her naked body was no longer completely tucked tightly under the sheet. She remembered having the warmth of someone besides her when she fell asleep. As she could remember, after they got in the room, they did not get much of opportunity to talk to each other, and as close to that was making nonverbal noises to each other. So she did not know where he was gone to. She put on a nightgown from a cabinet by her unnecessarily-large bed and went out from her bed room to see if he had left.

She walked down the dark corridor and there was not anyone. It was only until she made it to the living room that she found the man in only his flannel trousers, part of the suit he has been wearing. He was sitting at the small coffee table aside the window. His upper top was bare, revealing scars on his body, he went through a lot of close calls, it appeared.

“Is this your habit? Ready to climb down the pipe out the balcony in case anyone comes back? There’s no one besides me here.” Lea joked based on what he had said yesterday.

Tougane slowly turned, “I just can’t sleep.” In his hand was a shot glass and besides him was a bottle of Polish vodka that she was gifted with not long ago. He was drinking it, easing himself as his face looked lifeless and uncomfortable. He took the liberty and opened the bottle for himself. Not that she was possessive about it, she was more into wine and did not drink apart from special occasions and before sleeping.

“What’s wrong?” Lea asked tenderly as she approached.

Tougane did not answer right away but instead looked out the window and scrolled his eyes around to scan, as if there was something out there, his eyes were tensed, she could feel the strain on his forehead as he gazed around. Despite his best at trying to keep it in, he looked tired, not because they have been out and what they did together, this looked strange. Liveliness fainted in his face. It looked as if he was trying to be aware all the time, he looked restless. “It’s normal, I tend to only sleep a few hours consecutively before I wake up if I’m not too tired.” He did not look at her as he answered, but still keeping his eyes on things outside. “Sorry, that I didn’t ask you for permission for this bottle.” He lifted the bottle up and gestured to her. “I’m just hoping it would put me into sleep.”

“It’s fine. I don’t drink this anyway. It would be a waste if it just sits there in the shelf.” Lea paused and recalled the words of the professor who gave her this bottle, “Polish, rice-grain. How is it?”
“You don’t know what you’re missing. Try it yourself.” Tougane pushed the shot glass closer to her and poured the vodka on it.

Lea took a hold of it and bottomed up. It was smooth and bitter, sharply; but not exactly her cup of tea. She put the shot glass down and pushed the bottle that was half-drunk away from his hand. “You’ve had enough.” Considering how much they have drunk when they were outside, it was as exact as his own word, ‘too much’ when it came to alcohol. He was using it to relieve his stress, it was surprising for her since hours ago he looked different than now. Was he feeling paranoid? She suspected. She started to understand what was going on with him and his line of work, and the ‘mutagen enhancement’ that was used on him might have a role in stressing him more. There was nothing to do now, what she must do resume later, it was better to have him go to sleep. “Come on, go get some sleep.” She embraced his head and pulled lightly towards her, she started to stroke softly and gently.

“I saw the scar on your neck when we were ….. I didn’t want to ruin the mood, what’s the deal with it?” Tougane mentioned the thing she least wanted him to, it seemed he has noticed.

The scar was a cut mark on the lower neck. She thought he could have noticed it when her top was off, since he could not see it earlier during the day and evening when she was wearing her polo neck jumper. She developed a habit of wearing a polo neck even she did not like it much, especially when it was in lambswool. It was itchy around her neck, she had to scratch it every once in a while. She did have a sounding reason to wear it almost every day to work.

“How did you get that?” Asked Tougane.

Lea did not want anybody to ask her, and of course when they did, she would be reminded how she got it again which was not what she wanted. She hesitated to answer him. “It was just a mistake.” Her answer was indirect. She just hoped it would stop as that.

“Hmm.” Tougane seemed to understand that she did not want to talk about it and he dismissed. He got up and went to ahead to bed, leaving her behind.

Lea looked at his back and sighed, as her unrest in her mind swelled up again.




Day 6
0912 hours
Dr Moreau's office, suburban of Tokyo

Lea was now alone again. Tougane left without seeing her, he was already gone when she woke up again. He was appointed to see her soon later on. So then when it came, she could continue what she must. With all burdens and buggery distracted away for the time being, she went to work at her clinic as usual. Sitting alone, reading her own journal, records and documents, she spent her day around her working desk and the sofa in her own office. Her office was not a tight, white room. It was wide and considerably spacious for its size that it could fit a mezzanine for book shelves, well-decorated, wood-floored and furnished, overall tone in light autumn for warm exudation. The room was not for her, but for patients, so they could feel as comfortable as they could while they were here.

Lea had a thought about Tougane, not intimately, but regarded of his conditions. His lifestyle, how he behaved, the work and the mutagenic enhancement, they all seemed to affect him to a certain level.

The dossier she got a hold of was filled with black-marker crosses in his history up until his military service, there was nothing mentioned about his childhood, and from what she heard from him, he did not like talking about it either. In his evaluation section, it described him ‘The subject is tenacious and relentless as shown in the demonstrations, such as when he refuses to succumb to the pain during the torture. He is detached from morality and emotions, thus allowing him to make a swift decision in a critical moment as proven the lack of reluctance in taking an innocent live as part of a test …’ The rest only praised him for being a ‘remarkable operative’, she was not interested by that. Sociopathic features she found in this man were common among special force operatives as usual that the situation demanded them.

As Lea wondered, something slipped in her mind: the cardboard box she packed from her old office yesterday. In the protective foam padding, the two bicycle helmet-liked devices and a heavy rectangular processor – the very equipment she used on the patient yesterday.
Would it work if she were to use the device on him? Lea thought about searching into details on Tougane that were noticeable by just eyes. To do, Lea must be sure the device would work on her since she had to go in there as a spectator in his mind. Some of the patients she once tried it on did not work properly, so she had to know that she was compatible.

It would be easy it sounded if she was not afraid to see what was in there in her own mind … It was the very reason she had not tried the device herself until now. But she had to get over that if she wanted get the task done, and she was no silly woman who would give up because of a pity reason, or so she thought.

After finding a place to lie down comfortably, Lea plugged all the cables and the power line, everything looked good so far. She provided herself a sedative before strapping on the helmet-like device which had stud pads for detect brain waves, she flicked the switch on and the studs were lit with blue lights.

“Here goes nothing.” Lea injected the sedative into her wrist. It felt relaxing and she soon fell asleep.




The room was brightly-lit, warm, on the top floor of the small building in the town houses of Paris. She almost forgot she used to own such place. It had a nice city view and street view down below, if she was not working, she could spend all day looking. It was a very nice room she got and made into her own little office. She wished she never had to leave it.

She was sitting on the red comfy chair, the very one she owned from the early days of her career, she just remembered how much she loved it.

“Are you still listening?”

That masculine, but soft and tender voice …. It was you, wasn’t it? She was surprised and glad to see him again. They spent so much time together, she started to think of him like he was her own family. We have spent time talking our interests more than actually discussing why he was here for, she recalled that great time she had with him. Paintings she had hanged in her room would not be there without him, vinyl discs she sought and put in the wooden shelf would not be there without him, or the antiques on her desk would be there without him. Even if they were there, without him, she would not learn to appreciate them. Whenever he was here, she always wanted to hear him talk for hours about arts and life, even if the session was over, she would still sit if he was still talking. She would not charge him if it were not for his persistence. Even this room was nice, they would often go out together to beautiful places. She ended up wanting to see him more than other way around. It did not matter to them what they were supposed to be to each other, they could not resist each other, he was more than her patient and she was more than his psychiatrist. He was a nice person, her heart always felt warm by his company, he was the man she wanted to spend her life with, he was just the person she could not resist herself to not smile at him.

Even now ….

The young man with curly hair, trimmed beard, the eyes of deep blue sea, sat across her on the chair similar to her. He was close, so close that she could reach her small hand out to him.

“I miss you.”

She thought that he would be glad to hear that but his face became sad. What did she do wrong? She worried.

“How can you do this to me? After all what we’ve been through together … Weren’t you happy? Don’t you want it?” In his tone, she could feel his tears welled up along in his words, that it felt hurt to think about and to speak it.

She wanted it, she wanted nothing more than this in this life, to be together with him. She was happy in those times she remembered with him. She ignored it for so long and she could not do it anymore, she knew why. He was not hers, and never would be.

“This is wrong. You have a family … I like you, but I don’t want to hurt your wife, you children …”

“My family doesn’t care about me! That’s why I came to here in the first place, and now you don’t too!?” He started to yell, it was not anger she saw, it was pain. It was heartbroken to see and hear it.

“I care about you…” Lea tried to console him.

“Then prove it!”

“I’m doing it now … It’s adultery, what we did. I knew I shouldn’t have done that, but I did and I’m sorry. You’re a nice person-” Her tears flooding in, it became harder to speak herself. “It was nice knowing you. And … Your wife is lucky, you children are too. They deserve you, and I don’t …. I love you and all, but I cannot hurt you or them, it’s not good for us, or for anybody. I’m afraid I have to recommend you to a more-suitable psychiatrist to continue your treatment which you are doing well-”

“Nobody understands me, not even my family! You do …. but you’re leaving me now?”

“They will, it will take time, you are strong, I believe you will make it. And the other psychiatrist will understand you. I’m not special, it doesn’t take me to do this. And I can’t let our relationship destroy everything.”

“There’s no ‘everything’ …. It’s just you and me ….You don’t understand what you are to me, you’re my world! How could I live without you? I don’t matter you to you even slightest?”

“You do. And you are my world too … But I can’t live with what I stole from someone else. I wish we could have met in a better circumstance. I’m afraid this is the last time we will see each other ….”

“No, you don’t- You can’t- You can’t do this.” He hurled from his chair frantically and crawled to her knees, he held her legs so tight that he would not want to let go.

She tried so hard not to cry out but she could not endure it anymore…. “Please don’t make it harder that it already is ..”

“Think this through! Is this what you want?”

“It’s not what I want, but it’s what I have to do.”

“Please have a change of heart …” He begged her as he let tears out on her knees.

“I’m afraid I can’t do that …” Her voice was so frail ..

He finally loosened his arms around her knees and he got up.

Lea too got up to walk him to the door.

But as she headed, she felt a strong grab on her shoulder and it swung her to slam her desk. Her head hit the edge of the desk and bleed, she became numbed and confused. “What are you doing …”

He did not answer. He grabbed her by two small arms of hers, lifting her and pinned her with his body on the desk.

“You’re forcing me to do this!”

As powerless as she was in his hold, she struggled. She made her plea, “Nobody’s forcing you to do this …. Please don’t do this … Please don’t.”

He was gone. He was not there. He did not listen. He lost his mind.

“I want to be freed from this pain … And I can’t live on with that pain … We’ll go together …” He frenzied in his shaking voice. He grabbed the letter opener on her desk and he lifted up …

She could see its sharp tip pointing at her.

“I love you.” That was his last word.

He drove the sharp tip of the letter opener down to her throat.

She used her only free hand to prevent it from piercing her … She could not fight his force, she was weak in her strength, her arm slowly could not resist and the sharp tip drove closer.

“No, no, no, no-” She cried out until its tip started to pierce through her skin and into her flesh. It was hurtful, even shallowly, but even more when the man who was doing this was the man she loved.

Lea pushed his hand away to the side and the letter opener bounced off, her blood poured out and scatters off. She gasped as her conscious still remained, it was not fatal.

After losing his weapon, the man brought his hands on her throat and choked her.

Lea tried to free herself from him, she bashed weakly on him until she suffocated more and lost her power, she could only put her soft hands on him and hope he would realize ….

She faced away from him, she did not want to remember this face, she did not want to remember this face as a cruel man not the person she loved.

It was hopeless.

Maybe she deserved it, she thought.

As her frail breath faded away, she noticed something on her desk. It was a brass antique cupid sculpture, he bought it for her from the market when she told that it looked lovely.

It was a pain to remember good times in desperate times.

She did not want to do this, she wished she had not to …

She reached her arm out for it, grabbed in her hand and swung to his temple.

It was instinctive as she did not realize until she had done.

He staggered back in pain and fell down on his knees, stunned, he lost balance.

Freed, she was able to move, and the heavy object in her hands, she moved closer to him.

“I’m sorry.”

She lifted it with all force she had and she dropped down on his head.

Hit once, he fell onto the floor, lied, he wrenched in pain but also silence.

She continued to hit him with the heavy object in her hand more times than it was needed to make him motionless.

She dropped the heavy burden from her hand, she did not want to know what it used to be to her or what it has become.

Blood splattered everywhere and seeped on the floor, she looked at his lifeless body.

It was not the face of the man she loved, anymore.




Lea emerged like she dove underwater for far too long, suffocating, she gasped heavily for air. It has been a couple of hours as the dose of the sedative should have sent into sleep as long as it was.

What the hell was that? She was still panicking. But then she thought, it really did work.

After calming down, as painful as it was, Lea was reminded again why she must make this nightmare in her mind go away. And now she knew what this could do and how she would use it on Tougane.


Last edited by Tougane Masaru on Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:17 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:09 am

Chapter 7: Deathly Disclosure:


Day 7
2210 hours, local time
Shinohara's facility;
Kashmir, India


Tougane had flown hours to India in which he spent them to get more sleep or have a chit chat with Fujiwara, they later rode a car up to the northern part of it where the facility owned Shinohara was located, it was registered as a food-related factory, but surely they both doubted it was so.

Stepped down from the car on the dark and deprived-of-people road near a dark forest, both men started to undress their suit which they wore during the flight and switched for something more ‘covert’. Tougane kept the dark charcoal suit trousers with him but traded off the shirt and jacket for a fine-knit dark charcoal polo mock-neck jumper and a suede Harrington in navy ‘marine’ for the cold temperature in Northern part of India, and he wore a bulletproof vest and a magazine vest over his clothes, keeping everything dark and non-reflective to light. He eyed at Fujiwara who fumbled with black tee shirt and a black M95 field jacket after putting on his black cargo pants. “What is it with black tee shirt?” His tone was scoffing.

“What is it with what?” Fujiwara was profoundly confused.

“Black tee shirt.” Tougane repeated.

“What? It’s a standard sneaking outfit. Anybody wears it, even a third-rate thief.”

“But you’re not a third-rate thief. And it’s not even standard, the polo neck is! It covers your neck and arm, you would want that unless your skin is as dark as black.” Tougane sounded serious, even his hand was pointing at Fujiwara judgingly.

Fujiwara looked even more confused. “Well, what do you want me to do? Next time you’re going to pack my clothes?”

“I’ll bloody do.” Tougane shrugged. “And black is not the perfect choice for sneaking.”

It was a mix of amazement and confusion on Fujiwara’s face, he could not believe Tougane would just find a time to be picky about everything he did …. It was ridiculous, Fujiwara thought. “But black is the standard color for night ops gear ….” He retorted.

Tougane stayed silent for a second, disappointment in his face, “Don’t you know black doesn’t blend with concrete? Dark grey does it better.”

And then Fujiwara became confused and silent while he was at it. Who the hell cared? You wore a vest over it anyway! That was the sound he heard in his head.

Absurd, thought Fujiwara. How could two grown men find a silliest topic to argue, and be serious with it as Tougane seemed, as they both were in the context that was far bigger and dangerous, what Tougane argued was that he did not wear the most perfect color for sneaking. Hell, shooting might as well started as soon as a minute has passed, who would care for stealth then?

Tougane still stared, disappointingly.

“Are you serious?” Fujiwara asked.

“Yes. We’re professional, or at least you call yourself that. But at least it’s great to know that you’d be found before I would be.” Tougane sheepishly smiled.

He was fucking around …. Fujiwara just realized, he was not always the one with Tougane’s weird humor, if that was what it was. “Fuck you … Okay, my sense of fashion might disappoint you, but this won’t.” They both smiled as Fujiwara walked to the trunk of the car, smiling would be something they would not do once their work started, they enjoyed while it lasted.

The trunk popped up, arsenals lied in there.

“The complimentary from the rug merchant, although he wasn’t really a rug merchant.”

“Ohhhh.” Tougane looked at the arsenal like the boy staring at the toys.

“Most of these you probably know, M700 sniper rifle in 7.62 equipped with a silencer, our familiar Minebea PM-9 submachine gun but this … It looks familiar but it’s not Minebea P9.” Fujiwara sounded geeky when it came to guns, Tougane enjoyed his silly overture as he enjoyed the guns. Fujiwara slowly lifted a pistol that looked similar to Minebea P9, or in its original name, Sig Sauer P220 which was the Self-Defense Force issued weapon. “Tadaaah. Swiss is not only just good with chocolate and banking with the criminals, and German is not just good with beer and-”

“Don’t say something racist, it’s a blasphemy. Don’t you remember the last time?”

“I was going to say ‘cars’, anyway …. Newly-released in this year, Sig and Sauer brought you ‘P226’, 9mm, double-stack magazine unlike P220 and no floor-mag release which perhaps kills the user in some occasion, this one has the magazine release where it belongs, like the American pistols. Besides those, you still have all the finest of Sig Sauer, double-action/single-action trigger, crisp, accurate. It’s time to put away your Walther PPK, it’s nice and light – in a lady’s handbag. You’re not going to kill anything with that.” Fujiwara waved the gun in Tougane’s face.
Tougane’s face faltered back a little like a cockroach flew in his face as Fujiwara continued to wave it. “You don’t know that I and Walther go way back.” He defended his favorite gun as if it was his religion.

“Oh, yeah? There’s some girl who takes 2 rounds of 10mm in her legs and she still stands. If you’re going to carry that piece of junk that fires .380 ACP, be my guest, but if my life is on the line because of that, I’m going to kill you before anyone does.”

“Who cares about caliber’s size …” Tougane took the gun from Fujiwara’s hand. And as he inspected the gun, he felt an intense stare from Fujiwara, “Of course, you do …” He gave a jarring look.

Fujiwara ignored and moved on. “All of these guns would be loaded with +P+ because fuck the sustainability of these guns, we are going to dump them anyway after one use. But! This time since we intend to use them with a suppressor, we ought to use subsonic rounds, which in case to be safe, you put a Mozambique drill on any bastard you come across, 1 in the head and 2 in the chest. Or do it reverse, I don’t care. Just make sure the guy’s dead when he touches the ground.”

“What am I? A 7 years old holding a gun. Stop screwing around, let’s go.”

“A friend from afar or up-close-and-personal?” Fujiwara held both the sniper rifle and the submachine gun in his hands, asking Tougane as if he lost a hack in the pond.

“You guess it.”

“You know what, brother … I don’t think a food-science facility normally employs securities armed automatic weapons and presumably with a military background.”

“Of course … Somehow I got worried. I heard nuclear power plant facilities in Japan employ old grandpas with an old baton as securities.”
They were on a high ground at a cliff about three hundred meters away where it had a great-enough overview of the vast area of the facility and high enough to not be obscured by the thick forest. It located deep in the forest and at riverside, there were many storages buildings around the place with the main building being near the center along with the power supply, armed guards patrolling around. They spent some time studying the pattern of the patrol with a binocular. The place was constantly monitored by lights from observation towers set around the perimeter, hard to enter the building without being detected by those lights. They came up with a plan to slip into the facility during the short period of power outage. Fujiwara would go ahead to locate the power supply and sabotage it, even the weapon lab still had a separate power supply in case of emergency, to be able to slip through the perimeter while it was dark due to the power outage and reach the lab was all they needed for now.

The night was dark by clouds, lucky for them. Fujiwara had a better opportunity to slip through guards and Tougane had a better time sniping from afar without being noticed.

“Two guards, one dog ahead of you, 10 meters.” Tougane spotted them as looked through the sniper scope, he notified Fujiwara who was sneaking in their vicinity. Fujiwara was to sneak past the guard post as he approached from the side of the facility as the front and the riverside which was a port had too much activity.

“Geez, I hate dogs. It’d detect me if I get to close ….” Now crawling on the ground with leaves all over him outside near the fence of the facility, Fujiwara stayed hidden from the guards in front of the post. The spot he could enter was the area where there were crates and the observation lights did not reach there from between the two observation towers. But after that, he would have to cross a driveway to reach container yard to be hidden again and they would have a clear sight on him when he tried to cross the road. “I’m going to cut this fence, watch out for me.” He radioed back.

Tougane kept his eye on the guard post as they were the nearest contacts, he would not rather shooting them as their corpses and the lack of presence would be easily noticed by other guards. The metal fence shook as Fujiwara squeezed himself through the hole he cut, the dog at the post seemed to notice but has yet to bark. “Slow down, boy. He sees you.” Tougane turned the crosshair on the dog’s head as it walked closer to where Fujiwara was. He exhaled and tightened his grip and cheek on the stock of the rifle while aiming at the patrol dog. “Easy, boy.”

They tensed, Fujiwara hid behind the crates and Tougane still waited for the dog to leave the post and make its way closer to the crates so he could use the darkness to hide the body. If it barked now while have not making it to the crates, the guard would come and check. Their heart would be beating quickly if they did not control and ignore it.

The dog turned away as the guard called it. “Lucky me, now what … The chicken still has to cross the road and he doesn’t see away.” Fujiwara mumbled through the radio. “If I waltz off now, either the dog or the light from the tower would get me.”

“Isn’t that supposed to be your job, to figure how to sneak in before you actually get in?” Tougane spoke back through earpiece.

“It’s not like this ‘mutagenic enhancement’ allows me to blend to the surrounding or make me smarter …. Of course it let me control my breath, my pace … But if they’re going to light this place up like a broadways stage, I be damned …”

Tougane looked around through the scope, “There’s a truck coming ahead. When it stops, roll underneath the truck and make it behind the container, after that it wouldn’t be too hard to get reach the power supply.”

“Roger that.”

It was a straight driveway, the truck would only stop for the front gate, so he had to make it stop by himself.
The truck sped up from the port and was soon to past where Fujiwara was. If he shot too early, it would be too far for Fujiwara, too soon and it would be too close to the guard post. The truck had two containers with it, so he had to time it right to shoot, so when it slammed brake with the heavy mass it carried, it would stop at the right place.

Now the truck was five meters away from where Fujiwara was, he landed a shot, aiming slightly ahead as he calculated for trajectory. A muffled crack rang. He saw it hit the front wheel and air leaking through the hole he punched with a bullet. The tire wrapped around it peeled and ripped off like skin of a orange as it rolled itself on the hard concrete floor after the bullet seemed to have enough force and velocity to cut the tire through. The truck bumped and the driver slammed the brake after he noticed something wrong, almost late, the truck stopped and the last container it carried aligned exactly on Fujiwara.

“Now.” Tougane alerted.

Fujiwara rushed out and lied on the floor quickly before he rolled smoothly and swiftly under the truck and through the gap like a baking roller on a marbled counter. Fujiwara wheezed after he made it behind container. “Okay, you’ll wait where I came, we’ll meet up on the roof of the main building when the light goes out. We’ll likely have 5 minutes before the light comes back on.”

“Affirmative. I’ll see you there.” Tougane packed up his rifle and slung across his back, he was ready to rappel down the cliff and head to the same entrance spot. He waited for two minutes and the lights went out. He squeezed through the fence and headed to the roof of the main building. Fujiwara was already there.

“Next time, I’ll do the sniping. Jeez, I had to roll myself on the floor to evade and execute 3 guards on the post near the power supply while you’re not there to help. Now my back hurts.” Fujiwara complained.

Tougane did not have a reply for that. He nodded at Fujiwara before both pulled their dark rib-knitted balaclava which they rolled up on their head earlier to protect their face. Tougane gestured to Fujiwara and spoke, “No names, no Japanese, English, put on an accent. Just in case, we wouldn’t want them to know who we are.”

Fujiwara nodded back and proceeded to the hatch, he opened it and held it for Tougane, “Ladies first.”




The light came back up, but not before they made it to the weapon lab, the hallway was reinforced with biohazard-containment material, lining in layers. And since it was biohazard, the lab was down underground of the building.

They were in front of the heavy secured door, a blast door, code-locked, leading to the lab which was separately reinforced and sealed on the other side as they could feel a thick layer that gave off a sense of claustrophobic.

“Bugger, seems like we’re going to break someone’s bone to get the code. This door looks like it can take a lot more of C4 than we can carry here.” Said Tougane.

“You never really pay attention to the tech guy, do you?” Fujiwara grinned, he pulled out an object from his tactical pouch, “Code decryptor, Academy City’s tech, learn to appreciate it sometimes, Tougane.” Fujiwara jeered at Tougane. “Give me the screwdriver, I’m going to bypass it.”

It took them two minutes to hack through the door, guns readied as the door opened, they headed through a narrow path leading to a balcony and down there was a lab. It was not a research lab but a manufacture lab hence the equipments and the process, the scientists in chemical suit there did not seem to be conducting any kind of experiment, they were rather producing it and loading it into the prism-shape canisters which were stacking high in the storage, their size was about the one Tougane saw in Hong Kong. Large tube canisters marked with ‘biohazard’ logo stacked up on the sides of a wide and long hall, and at the end of the hall was a room, built in the hall, looked to be owned by the person who ran this place as inside seemed like a little office. They spotted a few of armed guards inside the hall, after managing to make it here without causing too much of trouble, they both knew combat could not be avoided now.

“After you, Tougane.” Fujiwara gestured with Minebea PM9 Submachine gun in his hand.

Tougane and Fujiwara rushed out and fired at all guards in a sudden, nothing but muffled gunfire, all of them dropped dead before they could return fire, thanks to their enhanced reflex and responding. After the short and silenced engagement, the scientists began to notice something wrong and some started to scream which would not help them much since the hall was heavily layered with reinforcement. But one of them, instead of panicking and putting hands up to surrender, that scientist scurried for the office at the end of the hall.

“You’re on the crowd control, Fujiwara! And prep us a plan B!” Tougane told his partner to control the situation with the rest of the panicking scientists.

Tougane himself ran down the hall with conveyors and other lab equipments as obstacles, he tried to find a clear shot to stop that scientist but he was not quick enough to land a clear shot without hitting canisters of those volatile compounds in the way. “Damn it!” He was angry that he failed to stop the scientist from getting into that office.

The scientist got into the room and activated the alarm. The door Tougane and Fujiwara came in closed behind them, trapping them inside until the security reinforcement arrived. The artificial lights went off, the emergency red lights activated with an alarm sound. Instead of shutting the door, the scientist was waving for someone by the door to hurry in. But Tougane landed shots on the large and thick metal door, forcing the scientist to retreat in and sealed the door off.

Now that the door was sealed off, Tougane saw the through the large pane of glass of the office that the scientist was burning documents and deleting data in from the terminal after he set off the alarm. Tougane shot at the painfully thick glass but no avail, it was bulletproof. The control panel to the door was disengaged from inside as a safety measure to prevent any hacking, he tried to bypass with the decryptor but it did not work.

Tougane knew he did not have much time left now, he went back to Fujiwara. “I lost him, he locked himself in the office, I can’t get to him. The code decryptor couldn’t get through. We don’t have much time here.”

“What about explosive …?”

“The bulletproof glass is like 16 inch thick. We don’t have enough explosive to punch through, even if we have, we could rupture these canisters out here, we couldn’t risk.”

“Shit … What do we do now?”

Widened eyes exposed through the hole of balaclavas had tension and fear hid inside. They looked to be out of ways to turn situation into their favor. At best they speculate it would only take less than five minutes for the backup from those security forces to storm in here and kill them.

Panic, fear and desperate were clouding the atmosphere, screams of panicking scientist who were caught in the situation. Alarming siren pressured them further and the red emergency backlights in the place created the look of hell before these two men could actually visit by themselves.

They looked around to find a way out of this.

Tougane’s eyes were brought to the panicking cry of this woman scientist, even in her chemical suit, he could hear her cry, he smelled her fear. Then Tougane knew what to do.

“Fujiwara, plant the explosives behind these ‘biohazard’ canisters and bring yourself one of those prism canister at the end of the hall, it’s likely what we’re looking for. Go!”

Fujiwara rushed and left him, Tougane rounded up all of the scientists, six of them, and forced them to head for the office located at the back. He lined them up before the bulletproof glass that behind it was the scientist in charge, who was trying to clean up all the data. He told those scientists who were still panicking to shut up.

If he was right, in the room there would be a way to disengage the lock for the door that they came in or had another way from them to get out through.

Tougane walked up to the thick bulletproof glass and knocked, he gestured with his P226 to the lined up scientists, he told the man behind the glass to open the door, the man understood what he wanted but refused to comply.

Tougane anticipated that.

Tougane looked for the woman scientist who was crying in front of him earlier, he dragged her before the glass.

The scientist who locked himself in that room stopped, and was shocked, his body began to tremble as he walked forward closer.

They knew each other, Tougane could tell. He could see the face of that scientist pleading him for mercy not to do what he knew Tougane would do. Tougane was gambling and racing with time.

The scientist locked inside the room touched the glass and tried to reach for her, he was trying to tell the crying woman that everything would be alright, both he and Tougane knew that was a lie. The man looked up in Tougane’s face and he shook his head, the man’s face was full of sorrow and tears, he was saying he could not do it, whatever it was that he was thinking.

But Tougane believed the man could.  If he was not a monster and he cared, he could do it. And from that face that Tougane saw, he believed the man was not cruel person or bad person at heart, he was just doing his job, following orders.

Time was running out, Tougane needed the man to believe what he was capable of and therefore the man needed to see it.

A muffled shot rang, and a metallic case fell to the floor. A round of 9mm blew through her suit and her head, splattering blood all over the floor, ending her cry, her fear.

The scientist who locked himself in the office cried and broke down, he shook his head in denial, he felt guilty.
Tougane crouched down to the dead body and put his finger in the pool of blood, he used her blood as an ink and wrote on the bulletproof glass for the scientist to read.

‘OPEN THE DOOR.’

It was short and that was it.

But they both understood that was not just that.

Tougane quickly shot the next man.

Their body dropped on the floor and pushed the scientist further, he cried like a baby.
Tougane knew he did not have much time, he brought the third victim in front of the glass, a young woman, pretty lovely. He then pushed her and hold her on the glass pane.

His cold eyes still told the scientist to open the door.

But this one seemed to make the scientist to lose his mind, he put his hands up and prayed, he cried even more.
There was no time to waste, Tougane pointed his handgun at her head, she cried as much as any two previous one did.

He cocked the gun and put his finger on the trigger.

The scientist shook his head more frantically and stood up, that was not enough to make Tougane stopped and the man knew that, he pointed his hands to the door, surrendering eventually. He rushed to door and not long the door rang a ‘bib’ sound and opened, he came out of the door to embrace the young woman who Tougane was about to shoot, but both Tougane and Fujiwara dragged him inside the room, he kept protesting. They pinned on the office desk, stuffs fell down from it, Tougane fell something fell and broke at his foot, it was a photo in a frame, of a man and a woman, happily embracing each other, to be more precise, it was the woman he was about to shoot and the man he was pinning and subduing on the desk. The woman was important to the man that he was willing to compromise to the work and to his employer, to save his dearest. That was why he gave up and opened the door for them.

“We’re not done yet.” Tougane scolded at the man. “You could have made it easier but you didn’t.”

“You fucking monster-” The man cried, Tougane bashed with him with the butt of the gun.

Tougane knew he did not have time question everything he wanted to know about the biochemical weapon, he had to do that later with a sample he would take in. He only had enough time for important questions and he had them in mind. “What would happen if I blow those canisters outside?”

“No, no, you can’t do that, it will-”

“I ask what would happen.” Tougane grabbed the man by his collar and reassured that he needed answers.

“The biohazard substances would leak, even our chemical suit would not be able to protect us. It’ll kill us under a minute, once we’re infected there’s nothing you can do.”

“What next?”

“The lab is installed with contamination cleanser to prevent them from leaking out, by using high temperature to eradicate them, therefore the lab section is rigged to explode!”

“There must be a way to get out of here …”

“Yes, it’s behind the book shelf, there’s an exit to the dock.”

“Fujiwara, give me the detonator and the canister, take care of the man and watch out for me.” Tougane picked up the items and went to check behind the bookshelf, he pushed it away and there was a path to another blast door, it was a deep narrow path with stairs up to the door, and again the door was locked with code. “Doctor, what is the code?” He yelled back.

There was no response.

“Doctor?”

Something was wrong, no response from the man or his partner.

He was about to walk down the stairs to see what was happening.

And suddenly, someone spoke back, it was not the scientist or his partner, the voice was deep and hoarse, coming from a big body. “I suggest you and your accomplice stop what you’re doing and surrender.”

Shit, Tougane realized he was again in trouble, he rushed back to the locked blast door and used the code decryptor to unlock it.

The first two digit came up, two more left to go.

That voice began speaking again, “I can guarantee you that there’s no way out of here for you, you should surrender now.”

“I am sure that the man at gunpoint in my arm now is your lead scientist here, right?” Seemed Fujiwara handled himself well, with a hostage in his hand.

Another digit came up, last one to go.

In accomplishing a certain goal, these three things were main factors: skill, luck which so far seemed to be on his side ….

“Doctor, have you told the man about our work here?”

The scared voice answered, “No, I haven’t told them anything.”

“Good.”

Tougane heard a muzzle fired.  He started to feel scared and worry for his friend.

The woman that man saved from Tougane’s hand cried out again as her dearest was killed.
“Come out, little man. At least I’ll spare you two. There’s more I need to know about you and your friend here, don’t let the doctor come in our way, anyone here could be replace. You two are not going anywhere.” That voice compelled him.

“Tougane, do it now!” Fujiwara bellowed.

Tougane looked down at detonator in his hand, there was still a chance that Fujiwara or both he included would not make it out of here if he detonated now it.

“Do it now!”

Damn it. Tougane squeezed the detonator and the loud explosion occurred, the whole area quaked. Gunfire occurred but soon sound of pain and struggle followed as gases leaked from those biohazard canisters. It was a chaos, he could sense death not too far, and it was coming for him.

Tougane has released the deathly compound from those canisters, it started to kill anybody as it came into contact, it was turning this red place into hell.

The last factor that revolved in accomplishing something, the last thing was fate. The door was unlocked eventually, he picked up the prism canister and was ready to move.

“Damn it, where are you, Fujiwara … Don’t make me leave you ….”

Fujiwara followed swiftly, “We got lucky.”

Tougane was relieved. “Of course, damn sure, let’s head out of here.”

Two men left through the door after they made sure they shut it behind.

Alarming announcement went on, telling every personnel to evacuate.

All hell broke loose now, they had a better chance at escaping the place as every man was for himself, they searched the dock for a vehicle and found themselves a getaway boat. They sped up and hurried the hell out of there.

The bright light shone on their back as they departed from the facility’s dock, it was not the light of dawn, but the chain of explosion. They still knew that they were far from ending this and their time in stumbling in the dark was yet to end.




Day 8
1349 hours
The Agency's Headquarter;
Undisclosed location, Tokyo

They recovered what they were looking for in India, but somehow, that still did not relieve them of this cold fear. The lead they got from the assassin who tried to take Tougane out in Macau led to a dead end, though it appeared that the man who contracted her was indeed the GRU agent Kiryl Morozov, he was silenced by someone before they could find him and learn anything. And at this point, all they had now was just the weapon.

Two men, agent of death and chaos, men in the shadow, were back in the urban environment again, deprived of gunfire, they had room to breathe. They sat before their boss once again and they knew that in his office, there was rarely a good news or an end to something announced in this room.

“This is not good …” Tsushio sighed. “This is even more complicating than we expect. The weapon you recovered for the second time, it’s based on the very same virus it’s been using on the ‘mutagenic enhancement’ you received, this is a weaponized strain. What I don’t understand is that the city was who authorized and allowed only us to access the use of it, and the city is the sole possessor of it, it’s the only single source of this virus in this world, there is no way Shinohara can have an access to it, we would have been aware and so would the city, but no one knows about this even now, this hints Shinohara’s root may have been planted deeper in our and the city’s ring …. The sample of the virus he used for the production may have gotten on his hand either willingly or not. But for certain, we cannot let that man exploit on the city for his own goal.”

“So, what does this weapon exactly do sir?”

“The quality that appeals researchers to this virus is that it’s easily to modify to response to the genotype, how it will act to the host, what kind of host it will accept, its lifespan during the incubation period. As you know that this virus is the ‘key’ to cell, it can manipulate and enhance the performance as the genetic condition of a person and the engineering allows. While at this state, it’s hard to apply to anyone, only for suitable candidates and the virus itself requires a lot adjustment before being applied, those who don’t meet the qualification succumb fatally as a result. In the case of this weapon, it utilizes the failure of accepting the virus to the cell and succumbing to fatal, that being said , it does the opposite of the mutagen you are treated with, it’s design to not be compatible to one and so the person will die to the rejection of the virus to the body as it fails and shuts down the body system in a matter of minute. It’s a reverse of the mutagen you have, but when used as a weapon, it’s easier to engineer it as a weapon than an enhancer. In its natural state, it’s highly contagious, airborne and spreads quickly, that’s why it’s being used as a weapon. There’s no report on encounter of this weapon before. But from the sample you recover, it could be that it was being manufactured at the industrial scale.”

At the height of cold war, powerful nations pursue to develop more destructive weapons, and here Shinohara succeeded in the backyard of the Academy City with its own resources and the Academy City itself did not even know about it.

Tsushio was in the frying pan, he knew about it, but it looked like he has yet to find a way to end it. “If that weapon were to be used on our soil, it’s likely we would not be able to remedy that.  There’s currently no cure for it unless you infect one with it prior to the attack to have an effect of vaccine, even what is used on you who participated the program can be fatal on some, there’s no way you can create a cure for mass. And it can pass through a hazmat suit. It’s another weapon of a doomsday, it can cleanse anything as it wishes. If this weapon falls into the hand of the wrong people, it can force a nation to its knees. The entity who possesses this weapon pose as a clear threat, we are to take them down before they have a chance to act. With a facility that produced this weapon being crippled, that opens an opportunity for us. We have 3 questions that we must find the answers for them: What is this weapon intended for? When will it be used? Who is Shinohara connected to? Eliminating Shinohara may not be enough to stop the plan, and at worst case it will complicate the matters and we might even lose our chance at learning his plan. We have to cripple his operation itself, preventing the weapon from being use, find out his network or his people inside our own and the city. The weapon whether in Shinohara’s hand or someone else’s is highly dangerous as the Hong Kong incident showed us, we have to thwart Shinohara’s plan before he acts or the other entity takes a chance to exploit him. We don’t know what he use that weapon against, but for certain, if it’s used, it raise the tension between nations as of now, it will risk compromising, discrediting and raising hostility against the Academy City, nations would have a pretext to unite and form a pack against us in fear, it would create an opportunity for them to put us at risk. And the fact that this weapon is created from something which can be traced back at the city even makes it worse.”

Both men had heard it, they felt the heavy burden on their shoulders once again, but they were than willing to accept and proceed to go after this man and the operation at all cost.

“What are we to do from now, sir?”

“That’s what I’m about to discuss, the British authority demands to know who is involved in the incident in Hong Kong, they will form a classified task force with our agency to hunt down every person who is responsible for it. You are assigned on this task force, Fujiwara, I expect you to solve this matter.”

“But what about Tougane?” Fujiwara looked a bit confused at the direction at first, he looked over at Tougane and then onto Tsushio.

“That’s all Fujiwara, dismiss. And Tougane, stay here.”

Fujiwara left the room without further saying anything, he must have known for himself for how short and abrupt his superior spoke, it was a direction, not a request or something he could go against.
Tougane did not like where this was going if it was bad as his faint heart anticipated, he did not understand why he was not on this task force. Was it his ongoing psychological evaluation that stopped him from getting on that task force? He did not expect to be neglected from this assignment.

“Sir, may I ask why I’m not on the task force like Fujiwara is?” Tougane spoke politely, but stiff enough which meant he was disappointed.

“You’ll understand the reason.”

“If you think I’m not capable of performing in the field because of the psychological-”

“Calm down, son. Listen to me.” Tsushio cut Tougane off.

Tougane took a deep breath in, he could not wait to hear why.

“I don’t expect the task force to actually accomplish anything while being monitored and restricted the Academy City and its regulations, we don’t know how many on our side or the city work for Shinohara, in the last time they interfered with our investigation and so will they again on the task force. I need an eye to keep the progress on that task force, that’s why I sent Fujiwara. But I don’t want you there.”

“What exactly are you implying, sir?”

“Due to your ongoing psychological evaluation, you are now to stand down from any operation. But there’s no policy to keep in check and monitor with the operatives off-duty and on the field due to our clandestine nature. May he work on his own discretion, the agency does not acknowledge any of his action.” Tsushio looked at him intensely, “I’m putting you inside the ring of Shinohara, since the incident in his facility in India caused many of his men, he will likely employ men to replace those who died. You will have to find out everything about the operation that Shinohara is up to and take it down along with the moles he had inside us and the city. You will do this alone, and if you fail, there will be less of chance that we can prevent the attack before it happens.”

“I perfectly understand, sir.”

The look of tension and worry has not gone from Tsushio’s face, Tougane felt that it was yet that he too could be relieved now.

“There’s one thing you should know …”

“Yes, sir. What is it?”

“I suppose you have seen these men once in one of the meetings here …” Tsushio pulled out pictures from his drawer and laid it across his office desk, each was a mugshot of a man.

“Saito Tanzan, Nakada Iemitsu, Takata Eien, Kitagawa Shirosama ….” Tougane muttered along his recollection of these men, even that no one had told exactly whom these people were, he did his homework beforehand, he supposed he should always know whom he worked for.

“Chief of foreign affair, Chief of surveillance, Chief of the main office and Chief of paramilitary division, I believe you know which they are.”

“Yes, sir. What’s the deal about them?”

“Remember about the mole? We may have one inside our own organization, it may be one of them. If you come across the mole, gather evidence that he’s in bed with Shinohara.”

“Understood, sir.”  

“By the way …. How is Taneda Mori? He’s gone MIA for several years …. It’s about time we bring him back?”


Last edited by Tougane Masaru on Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:24 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:28 am

Chapter 8: Reservoir Revisited:


Day 8
1946 hours
Dr Moreau's office, suburban of Tokyo

It was on the day of the appointment with Tougane, Lea awaited in her office patiently in late hours, she sat back and relax on the sofa in the middle of the room, she still held a glass of wine she had not finished when she opened a bottle for herself and for her professor as a manner when he came to check up with her about an hour ago.

She had enough time today to study and plan her ‘treatment’ for Tougane, After inquiring a bit more about the device, the project leader had told that ‘the user tends to fail to notice the line between reality and the projection from their subconscious but after awakening, the user still retains the memory of what has happened’, she thought and calculated for herself that she should tweak her method if she were to use it on Tougane. Or then it would be too ‘straightforward’ and hard to control him. She would make sure he stayed in hypnotic state so she could lead him to believe whatever she wanted.

The conditions Tougane had were expected for a man who led a life of an assassin whether he be the government’s or not, especially when one had a hint of traumatic or troublesome background; not only him but also some others in the programs were reported to share some of the conditions which were paranoia, insomnia, stress and other related symptoms. If it was to be said, all the conditions he had now were like a weight, heavy one at that, what she needed to apply was a little push so it could move its own, and the path he would be heading, she provided him a downhill slope to ensure the estimated effect. And that said ‘push’ and ‘downhill slope’ would be she could learn from him and used on him to create conflicts within himself.

The bell signaled the arrival of an expected visitor.

The door creaked open and Tougane was on the outside on the hallway, “Good evening.” She greeted him. “You’re right on time … For French …”

He looked delighted to see her, “I guess I’m accustomed to your tradition.”
“That’s for parties and such, but considering you only care for where we will go after this session, I can see where you’re coming from.” She spoke like a mother to a prodigal son whom she did not expect a good bit from. “It’s a good thing I reserve this time for you, so time won’t be our problem and tomorrow I have time to rest for the whole day. Let’s begin, shall we?”

Tougane walked through and eyed around the room, “It’s a nice place, wide, not so claustrophobic for some unfortunate patients.” The room was furnished and had shelves of books more than he expected.

“Someone lent this to me.” Lea replied.

He seemed to notice what was there and finally, what was not there at all. “No paintings? I’d thought you were a little more artistic.”

“No, I’m not. I don’t really fancy it.” She did not have them here because it was how she decorated her old office that she left behind, it hurt her to remember that place, that man or to know he was gone and never to return. She pouted to cover her unease, “Can you have a seat and ready begin? Please do take in mind that in my working hours, I do take things seriously.”

“But of course.” Tougane put away his chesterfield coat he has been wearing over his dark blue suit on the hanger before he found a comfortable position to sit down, his eyes still glanced around and ended up on the glass of wine she has not finished and the other one that way empty. “Does drinking with a patient a part of your job?” He joked.

“No, I drank with a colleague. It’s a manner.”

“Of course, male, considerably older, close-”

“I’d rather you not pry into my affair, you’re only here for what’s between us. Now if you don’t mind, shall we start?”
An hour passed, they spent enough time talking about his attitude, aspects of his ‘daily life’ and his view towards it. He was persistence to where he stood, highly believing that he did what was necessary and everything was justified. She did not expect nonetheless from this glorified killer.

Lea got up to her medical cabinet and brought out a bottle of drug and syringe.

“What are you doing?” He curiously asked.

“Hypnotherapy; and this is the sedative. There’s nothing to worry about. I noticed you have a few problems with sleeping and paranoia when I last saw you, we’re going to clear your subconscious and improve your mentality.” She replied as she loaded up the syringe with the liquid. “Do you have any problem with it?” Her voice was shrill and she looked solemn, to make him feel guilty if he doubted her or bore a slight of amount of distrust.

He brooded for a second, “Of course not. Go ahead. What do I need to do?”

“Only sit down comfortably, relax. I’ll do the rest.”

He took off his dark blue suit coat and put it over the chair, he took off his cufflink on the left side and rolled his sleeve up. “That kind of sounds like what I always want to hear from a woman.” He sprawled on the couch.

“Not that comfortable.” Lea jabbed at Tougane to get him sit up still. She dragged a wooden stool before him and placed a metronome device on the stool, its hand was a light, she activated and the hand swung back and forth. “Please keep your eyes on this.” She closed the curtains and turned off the light in the room.

Tougane looked at the hand of the metronome swung back and forth, its light was pale blue, a lit pendulum in the dark.

“Close your eyes.” Lea whispered from behind.
Tougane closed his eyes, he could feel the light swinging back and forth.

“Feel the heaviness. Imagine yourself in a safe and relaxing place. Relax, completely. No matter how deep you go, my voice will be with you.” He started to feel dizzy but yet relaxing and calm that he could fall into sleep now.

“This will you feel relaxed and comfortable.” Lea injected Tougane with the syringe. He did not feel the needle, he did notice or react at all.

What Lea has injected him was a Benzodiazepine drug, it was often used in treating anxiety, insomnia, agitation, seizures, muscle spasms and alcohol withdrawal in short term. Although safe and effective for short-term use, cognitive impairment and paradoxical effects such as aggression, violence, impulsivity, irritability could occur from the heavy usages of it or withdrawing after developing dependence on it. Which was sounding as a pretext for what drove him insane and made him unfit for field work, incorporating with the anticipated effect from his ‘mutagenic enhancement’ and his personal trauma, it would push him to the edge and he would encounter dissociation or psychosis as a result, leading himself to believe that it was the mutagenic enhancement he received that was influencing him. She hoped it was a reason that was good enough to shut the project as Hernandez wanted.

“I want you to go deeper and deeper. I want you to think of when you were a child, how was it, what did you experience, I want you to go back in your childhood.” Lea whispered in his ear.

She flicked her finger at him to see if he was still awake, no response.

She took out the helmet-like device which she would use it on him to stimulate him and for herself to peek into his mind what he was thinking subconsciously, as he stayed in hypnotic state she would have control over him, she would suggest to him to forget and that there was nothing used on him. She put the helmet device on his head switch it on, she set up hers and booted the processor, readying to get into his mind, all she had to do was sedate herself.

To go where she needed to …




Lea gained conscious in a hallway of a house, she found herself standing on the wooden floor, the atmosphere and the light were warm and soft. She saw doors ahead and back of her, she heard something loud, it was sound of an instrument, an electrical guitar to be precise, it was playing some blue riff, it came from the door deepest in the hallway. She followed the sound and opened the door.

“Ah!” Someone in there was spooked as she intruded to his room. It was a young Japanese lovely boy, he looked to be about ten years old, in his hands was a electric guitar plugged to a small amplifier. ‘Stratocaster’, she remembered it because her old lover used to own one. She looked around the room and it seemed to be this boy’s bedroom. At the desk were textbooks, sciences and math.

“Ane, don’t tell mom and dad!” The boy still looked spooked in his face.

Ane? What a cute way to be called. It was not odd that a young boy that he was would call her ‘sister’ as she looked older and mature apparently.

“Why?” She asked.

“They told me before they were out that I had to study … But I haven’t got to play guitar for so long that my skill is so rusty …. I just want to play sometimes ….” The boy went listless.

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell them if that’s what you want. Where are they?”

“You know, they go to charity parties as always. ‘Work’, they say. I guess guests there see my dad more than I see him here … It’s not like they always care about me anyway ….”

“Let’s not talk about them if it makes you uncomfortable, right?” She would not want him cry, she would have no idea how to handle that. “Let’s talk about …..Why you want to practice now in all of sudden? You have to perform or something?” That was the topic she could come with.

“No … Not really, it’s just I wouldn’t have new trick to show them if I don’t practice …” He looked shy but also enthusiastic at same time when he talked about what he seemed to like.

“Them? Who are you showing it to?”

“You know, ane, girls like it ….”

“Hahahahahaha!” She burst out laughing, she laughed hard that fell on her knees. “You’re such a corny guy- I understand you want to look cool and all but that’s - HAHAHAHA” Her words mixed laughter that it was almost inaudible.

“HEY! IT’S NOT JUST THAT!” The boy blushed and yelled back, but for his age, it barely sounded threatening, it was cute that he tried … “You know ….. I always want to be a musician but dad and mom want me to be a doctor like him … Well, I can’t choose. If that’s what makes them happy, I guess I’m happy too. If I become one, you wouldn’t have to … I guess. It’s probably better, since in fact I don’t play guitar really well, I wouldn’t make it as a musician, I wasn’t gifted.”

“No, they wouldn’t force me like that and they shouldn’t do that to you.” She assured. “But let’s not argue about that, it’s no use now. About becoming something, all it takes for you is to endeavor, you don’t have to be gifted, it’s just have to be what you love and like do, and you’ll do it well because you believe you can do and therefore you are good at it. If you find something that you love and you are gifted for it, that’s a bingo! I guess.” She tried to cheer up the boy, she reached her hand and pat him on the head.

He blushed and turned away, “Do you mind to leave? I want to practice more …” He shyly said.

“Okay, big guy. Go get some girls with your guitar tricks!”

“I said it’s not like that!”

“Okay, okay …. Fine. Do you mind if I take a walk around?”

“Of course, it’s our home, you’re free to do it … Unless you mean ….” He looked saddened.

“What?”

“You can’t go to that room, that room by the stairs … He doesn’t like anyone to go in there even mom … Last time I went in there, he scolded me for it ….”

“What is in there?”

“I don’t know, I couldn’t get a look of it. Now I just don’t want to see it ….”

“Okay …. Well, see you later big guy.”

Lea came out of his room, it was a little depressing, she did not expect him to be that bright in his childhood, he used to be a normal kid for once … She learned something. She thought about the room by the stairs that his dad forbade him not go in, since there would be no consequence here, she guessed she should check it out.
She turned door in, at first she had a bad feeling about it but she opened it anyway.

Unexpectedly, there was nothing. The room was a normal bedroom, it was tidy, it looked kind of like that boy’s, but on the wall instead of posters, it was display frames of bugs. But still it did not seem like anything his dad would be serious about. It would not be his dad room since the bed was a single bed. And since there was nothing, she left and headed down stairs.

Everything looked normal, she went through the shelves in the living room, portraits of his parents, him and a young teenage woman. His sister, she guessed? Most of these photos were some sort of ceremonies, they were not family photo unless the ones that were taken years ago.

“So that’s it? It’s all you got in here?” She looked around and she could not find anything, until she caught a glimpse of something through the backyard window. ‘Tombstone?’ She went out the house to a look of it.

There were two tombstones in the backyard, she could not read the kanjis on them but the photo on the tombstones, they looked exactly like his parents. ‘What?’ She became confused, she thought at this point they would be alive as the boy told her.

“What are you doing here?” It was the boy’s voice, but rougher and longer silvery like a young child.
She turned to him.

“What are you doing here?”

Something felt wrong. The boy did not look the same, he looked a bit older, he was in school uniform, and earlier he was not.

The brightness of the day was slowly consumed by thunderous clouds above, it consumed and took all the light before it rained downpour.

Thunder struck aggressively before them.




After the loud strike and flash of light, she regained her senses again.

It was pouring rain outside the window and murky.

She found herself on a chair, a table and in a classroom, alone.

She questioned where she was again.

The rain soon ceased.

She heard a commotion from outside, faint, but audible. She got up from her seat and went outside.

She saw kids, middle school, about a class or two combined, they all lined up by the window and looked down below where the commotion came, it was grunting in pain that came from down below. She pushed her way through kids to the window and looked down.

Down at the back of the school, there were boys down there, the one she knew from earlier and another three were ganging up on him, locking him and beating him.

That boy tried to fight back but he was helpless, he kept getting hit more and more.

And the kids up here did was just looking.

“What are you doing? Isn’t he your friend? Why doesn’t nobody help him!?” She yelled at them.

They turned to her and looked erratically, they spoke nothing, just staring.

She felt crept out by them.

The boy down there got beaten down to the ground and he was being dragged away.

‘Christ’, she exclaimed. She turned back and tried to head out to save the boy by herself but something was pulling her.

Not just something, them, they were pulling her legs.

The kids swarmed on her, outnumbering her, she could not find back, she got pushed to the window, she tried to free herself but she was not powerful enough against all of them.

They lifted her up and threw her out of the window.

She tried to scramble but she was not able to hang on to anything before the gravity pulled her down and she plummeted towards the earth.  




Lea woke up and everything felt like that last time she used this device, she gasped heavily, feeling tired and sweating nervously.

Tougane still lay still.

What was going on in that head? Lea pondered and suddenly felt scared.

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:23 pm

OOC's note wrote:For how bad or worse it is, this is as much time as I had to write, check and fix. Furthermore would be stalling everything for too long. So I'm settling with this.

Soundtrack may be added soon, but since it is not the top priority, it will be proceeded after certain things.


The unparalleled chapter: ahead of time :


Day 42
0613 hours
A certain South American Country

A man was kneeling before his own grave, a hole dug in the deep of forest where he would not be found. He had a will to fight but his hands were tied, and he too was tired. Even if he could, the surrounding government death squad would open fire at him.

The man’s name was Salvatore Inez, he was a local guerrilla leader in the region. He has united and led the people to stand against the corrupt government who deemed nothing more than a terrorist scum, but the people who he fought for and have fought along with deemed him a hero. Inez waged the war on the corrupt government to end this injustice, he participated in many guerrilla warfare operations to destabilize the government.

Yesterday, Inez led a squad to attack the convoy carrying weapons that the government has bought to use on its own people, in a hope to weaken the government. But he missed, his men have died and he was chased the whole night through the woods, in the end, it was in vain. He was hunted down and captured by the seller of those weapons and its own security force who have taken matters into their own hands.

Inez was being transported and handed over to the government to be executed. From the moment he was dragged down from the truck that was transporting him on the way to his inevitable death like a boat ride to the underworld, but its driver was hardly Charon.

Inez begrudgingly looked at the Asian man in a business suit vest and trousers who has pointed a gun at him and forced him to walk to his own grave earlier, the man was standing before him, glaring him back cold-bloodedly through the tint of his sunglasses. The man looked to be a businessman, but nonetheless corrupted as the very government Inez fought against.

“We’re done here, Franz. Leave.” The man spoke to the boy beside him, he was a child soldier like some of kids Inez himself trained them to be, but this one fought for a different purpose.

“Okay, Tougane.” The boy replied before they began to walk away and leave Inez behind.

“WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS!?” Inez yelled at them. He truly wanted to know. “You’re not the people of this country, yet you come and meddle in our affairs. You don’t that right … WHY!?”

The man turned back and coldly said, “You’re a threat to this country. I’m simply doing the things to protect my and your government interest.” Then the man and the boy turned back and continued walking away.

The inadequacy in his answer enraged Inez. Was that all it took for the man to do everything? Was that the only reason the man stepped in and destroyed everything he tried to build? The man was not worthy, he was dishonorable among all the people Inez has ever come across. Inez was angered that he had to meet his end by the proxy who did not even belong in this fight.

“You people have come here and handed the weapons to the government for them to slaughter our people because each of you can be bought with bills?” Inez shouted out with all his breath, that man froze still in his place as he heard the ugly truth. “Kill me because I am a threat to this country? NO! Why do you think people of this country who have fought you and fallen had followed me? Because I’m their leader, I made myself a leader and told them to follow me? NO! I am a father to them, a brother to them, a teacher to them. I tried my best to live, these people tried their best to live. WE TRIED OUR BEST TO LIVE! WE FOUGHT FOR IT! The government just came to our land and took everything we have ever built. AGAIN AND AGAIN! We had been to the point that it was enough, our people have died for nothing. I STOOD FOR THEM, THEY STOOD FOR ME, WE STOOD FOR EACH OTHER! WE FOUGHT BACK, WE BECAME STRONGER THAN THEM, STRONG IN WILL, WE STRIVE TO LIVE. They were desperate, we almost won. They hired you to kill me, to put what they think of as an obstacle in their way so they can suck whatever they from this country and make fortune out of it ……. My death will not be the end of it, I will die a symbol to them, my legacy will live on, there will be people like me, who stand up and fight. Have you ever asked yourself? What will you become when you die? What mark you will leave behind?”

Inez was left with no more than prolonged exhaustion by the end of his words.

“There’s a lot of things you don’t understand in this world, and might never get to do or even learn the existence of it, Mr Inez …” The man responded. “And I don’t expect you to understand. That’s all I can say.”

The government death squad lined up before Inez and obscured his sight from that departing man. His heart rumbled with anger in the moment his death was coming. He wished for more and had fought for.

But then this man came and took it all away, the man did not even bother to look Inez in the eyes when he did it. “AAARRRRRGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” Inez showed the last display of his anger, from the injustice, from his desire that would never become true. He howled and left his voice to haunt the living who has stepped on him.

Then the guns in the hands of the government death squad cracked and growled over his voice.

Inez fell silent as soon as the gunfire ended and his lifeless body fell behind into the grave after the barrage of bullets has freed him from his anger and from this cruel world.




“Was it really necessary for us to kill him?” Franz asked Tougane as they were trotting on the dirt road back to their car.

It was them who have spent the night to chase after the man and captured, Franz did as we was told by Tougane but he never asked why until now. It was true that Franz did not pull the trigger on Inez himself, but he could not help feeling bad for killing the man, he looked like a decent man to Franz even they were on a different side. As far as he could remember, they were here just to sell caches of weapons.

Tougane was reaching for his orange bottle of pill from his vest pocket as he answered, “It’s bad for business to let him live. It’s not the first time he attacked our convoy, he had done so many times that now my employer is fed up with it and wants him dead. We would lose the opportunity to sell the weapons here in this region if we were to let the incompetent government to handle it like they had in the previous occasions. So we had to take him out to stop his attack against us.” He took a pill in his hand and swallowed it down his throat.

“Right ….” Franz mumbled.

Seemed Tougane has heard it, he turned and spoke, “Trust me, I don’t want to do it if it weren’t for my cover, it’s just orders from above. That’s what it’s about. We’re here for something bigger, don’t let yourself get carried away by other things.”

“So it’s wrong to even feel sorry for him?” Argued Franz.

“No, it’s not. But it does cloud your judgment if you’re not careful.” Said Tougane heartlessly. “In reality, we don’t have time and luxury to weight those things before we decide to do something. Take it as simple as this, anyone who stands in our way, we kill him. That’s all it matters. That man may have been the key in changing this country we stand on, but if that goes against what we have to do, we kill him like we just did. What I want is to stop the incident that is going to happen soon from happening, and what you want is the head of that FRELIMO’s officer, as long as we still want those things, we have to do everything, no matter what.”

Franz lethargically listened as he opened the car door.

“Franz.” Said Tougane sternly to gain the attention. “If that FRELIMO officer who orphaned you were a man like the guerrilla fighter we just handed off, would you stop your quest for vengeance? Would you?”

Franz was quick to make his mind, “No”, he firmly said. The pain was too much to be forgivable; nothing could undo what it had done on him.

“Then you know it should be the way that we care about nothing – and I mean nothing at all – but what we have to do. Value what you have to achieve most, and let nothing else stop it. Understood?”

“Yes …”

They both got in the car and moved on to the next matter that had to deal with. Franz thought he left behind the doubt he had earlier to be able to progress on like Tougane wished he to do, but then he started to question himself. Would this mentality get him anywhere?

Tougane Masaru
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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:27 pm

Chapter 9: Enter the underbelly :

September 1960
1858 hours
Biology Building of a certain University, Tokyo

Working hours barely meant anything to Shinohara Satoshi, since a day has starts, he would only get to rest when he dragged his exhausted body to the bed or the couch. The research has consumed his time, Shinohara rarely got a chance to go out and see the light of day for several months.

Although he has hanged his lab coat somewhere in the laboratory already, today’s work has yet to be done. Shinohara was holding a large mug of coffee in one hand and journals in another as he headed to the couch of the rest room. He set the journals and the stationery down beside him before he gulped the coffee down in one, the sweetness was too much for him that he wanted to spit it out, the only reason he put loads of sugar in there was that it would make him stay awake over the night. He pulled his sweater and shirt sleeves up, ready to start making notes in the journal.

“If you keep drinking coffee without eating anything before, you’re going to have gastritis … And I don’t have that kind of time to watch when you admit in a hospital … Satoshi …” Said the womanly and modulated voice.  Shinohara’s mind was focused on work so much, he just noticed the neatly-dressed beautiful woman standing in the doorway, her long, sleek black hair and the bag she carried swerved as she approached the couch and sat down near him.

“You know I’m too busy to get something eat-” Shinohara poorly excused as he nervously gestured after putting down the mug.

She clearly saw through that and shook her head. “I guess I have to be the one to look up after you.” She searched the bag she carried with and brought out two lunchboxes for a late dinner, or a overdue lunch for Shinohara. “I just made it back at the dorm, you should eat it while it’s still hot.” She pushed the lunchbox beside his mug.

Shinohara had known the girl since she was a small child, but to see her right now, he barely recognized what she used to look like. Even she was merely nineteen years old, the way she dressed and behaved gave her a look of a mature woman. If he had not known she was studying in the same university as his in the other faculty, he would say she was already an office woman. That was a reason behind that, she used that mature look to work on a publicity.

“Thanks, Aiko-chan.” Said Shinohara. “But I think the professor won’t be satisfied if I don’t finish the work before tomorrow.”

“Screw my father!” Aiko exclaimed. “If he’s so unreasonable with you to the point that he forces you over the limit … I’ll have a talk with him.”

“Aiko … You know it’s not like that.” Shinohara considerately said. “I want to do this, I want to help the professor with this work. If he appears unreasonable sometimes, it’s just because it has been stressful for him lately. As soon as we finish it, everything will be back to normal.”

Aiko looked to be uncomfortable to swallow his word as truth, but she did it as she hopeful and trustful in him by the lighthearted expression on her face and a firm nod. “I know.” She said. “But I’m just worried if it’ll be too much for you to handle all the hard work.”

“You know, for the professor, I will do anything for him.” Shinohara assured her. “Not because I owed him. To me, he’s like my father. And for family, I’ll do anything.”

Aiko’s eyes were little teary with profoundness, it and the sudden silence made Shinohara felt awkward.

“Uh … Is there anything wrong?” Shinohara said lamely.

“It’ll get cold … The food.” Aiko shyly spoke. She unpacked them and provided him and herself with a pair of chopsticks.

“Oh … right, the food.” Shinohara mumbled to himself as he took the chopsticks and the lunchbox from her. They dined in the embarrassing quietness, he looked at Aiko whose mind has wandered off. She came to visit him and also made him a dinner, leaving her in silence would a torture for her, thought Shinohara. “How are you lately?” He made an attempt at small talk.

“I’m holding up well, as always.” Aiko said. “I won’t ask about you, you’d just lie to me and say you’re fine …” She made a serious face.

“Hehe .. You know me so well … That’s just because I don’t you to worry about me.” Shinohara sheepishly smiled when he caught before he even tried it. “How about your brother?” He moved on the topic.

“He’s a little petulant .. He’s growing up, it’s not his fault. There are things he wants to do, and there are other things his father wants him to do. Things aren’t smooth as back then …” Aiko uncomfortably spoke. “I miss those days back when we …”

Aiko had left that hanging, but nevertheless, Shinohara knew what she meant, he remembered the days they all were together, happy, and had nothing to worry about. Those days were behind, but he had a hope that one day it would go back to be like that. “I miss that too.” He nostalgically said.

“I wish we can meet again someday soon.” He further said.




Day 22
2143 hours
Ginza, Tokyo
Ways of wars have been established over the centuries, even now it has not moved far from those only more refined by newer technologies and tactics. The battle does not just wage on the front line with men wielding weapons and killing those of opposition force, it is everywhere, on the ally’s territory and even behind enemy’s line through interception and deception. And when the front line engagement cannot be won? One goes inside the enemy’s territory and disrupts it from on the inside.

Who was Tougane Masaru? It sounded like a name for man but in truth it was nothing more than a serial number on a product – a codename – Tougane Masaru did not exist on legal papers, there was no person whose name was Tougane Masaru. Even the file in the archives of his own agency said he grew up in Otaru, parents died when he was young, had experiences in JSDF for five years, those were nothing but a story wrote up by some profiler in the office of intelligence service, saved for the orphan part which was a mutuality, often that orphans naturally made its way in this side of world hence no family connection or the drives that occurred from a loss of love ones shaped them to who they were and fit for a job of this kind. His history was just to fill in the blank, his past meant nothing to his organization – the agency – who employed him, what meant to them was what he did for them. The designation ‘Tougane Masaru’ was only intended to be used calling an operative who acts on the behalf of the state of Academy City in conducting operations to preserve the stability and the national security with any mean necessary under the highest discretion granted by its authority, anyone could have become or taken the name ‘Tougane Masaru’, the only requirement for this was to possess the ability to exercise his own power and execute under a situation of distress through physicality and mentality. The person who became ‘Tougane Masaru’ was capable of doing such things, that person ceased to exist once he embraced this identity, whatever drove him to the point he had a choice of becoming ‘Tougane Masaru’ diminished, so did whatever that clang onto that life. He now lived and served for one purpose: to take any necessary action for national security. Tougane Masaru was not a person, but a weapon to wield by a state like Academy City as the other fellow operatives were.

That was what he believed who he was. But as long as it got things done, he did not bother to care who he really was.

For the time being, ‘Tougane Masaru’ seemed to take a vacation or that the he was wearing a person-suit of someone else, if not the soul underneath the skin of Tougane.

He would become the one that was for the job.

“So you think he won’t know who I am?” Tougane was reluctant to the idea of going undercover.

“No, he won’t. Your program is very clandestine, even to some people in our own organization and to the city. A few know your name, even fewer with your face. For extra measure, I have burned your file in the archives, your existence can’t be traced.” Tsushio told Tougane without a stutter. He was sure and has thought through before deciding to tell him.

“What about the woman who came after me in Macau? Doesn’t that mean that her employer knows about me?”

“She’s an asset only, a sleeper, reported to that GRU agent. From interrogation, she revealed that she did not know who you are and neither that she was told, all she did know that there was our agent on the ground there who had interfered with their operation in Hong Kong. Once she was on the ground, she did not contact anybody. So don’t worry about your identity being exposed.”

Taneda Mori was a naval intelligence officer who was incarcerated in South Korea for six years after his government denied any knowledge of him after an operation gone wrong due to shortcoming of intel leak whether it was a mistake or a betrayal, it was never clear. But as a matter of fact, it was an elaborative cover-up to help him disappear and go on to become ‘someone else’, the man was never really incarcerated, it was just ‘a magic on the paper’. Two months ago, he was ‘released and return’ to homeland in a ‘prisoner exchange’, he was let go by his government, he became a freelancer and later went on to work with William Ironlass, a business associate of Shinohara Satoshi.

Even the long story of ‘Taneda Mori’ was mostly a ‘magic on the paper’, he did truly live that life in the past two weeks with that associate of Shinohara. It was the closest as he could get in the ring of Shinohara. ‘Taneda Mori’ cover saved him time in which he did not have enough to establish himself a persona to enter that sphere, a story of a burnt-out naval intelligence who has gone freelance sold whomever he came across so far, the reasons and the motive sounded enough. Putting him with Ironlass who was an associate with Shinohara was as close as his boss, Tsushio, could get him to, Ironlass was sloppier and less threatening than Shinohara, easier to get to and rise through the ranks when comparing to Shinohara, Ironlass would need a man who understood him linguistically and the ways of his dirty business, Taneda proved to be the guy. But from now on, he had to find his own way to Shinohara, he truly was bereft of any backing.

For once he could appreciate a comfortable day at work as an ‘assistant of sorts’ or a Swiss Army knife since he used for multiple applications from assassination to a simple talk with some people. Even Ironlass’ real business was dirty, he had a nice front as legit logistic company which his relation with Shinohara and other entities in the sphere of the Academy City explained why both of them and many figures gathered at here in a ball party for charity. Sure, rich and powerful people like to meet up and socialize with drinks in their hand while wearing something fancy in a place that screamed grandeur. People with masks gathered, he could call this a natural habitat for himself. Sometimes this kind of place was more dangerous, combatants in the front lines often identified themselves with flags and uniforms, these people here wore what looked to be neutrality but behind that it was hard to know who they were.

Tougane, Shinohara and friends and also the people of Academy City whether whose hands was dirty or not were not the only guests, if the joint task force between British intelligence and his own agency had a lead through the previous shared intelligence, they would tail Shinohara and be here.

Pool of spies, thieves, murderers and lunatics to come and swim together, he took a look around and that was his conclusion. They were all one of those in these categories in a way, for instance a corporate president may have a twisted view of the word and blood on his hands. Tougane was sure Shinohara was such.

Ironlass took Tougane along with him as a security detail but after having too many glasses of cheap scotch, he started to stray off on his own into the crowd of people and he did not care to have Tougane around with him anymore, that gave Tougane a chance to ‘socialize’ with some people he should, after all Tougane did not have much time, any opportunity up front he would take it. Tougane bumped into Shinohara earlier in the party without him noticing Tougane, he planted a small audio bug in the man’s jacket pocket.

He dressed himself in a midnight mohair-blend shawl collar dinner jacket which fitted his body well whilst following true black tie rules carefully with white shirt and an appropriate pair of shoes, he needed to have an attention from Shinohara and a good impression on him, to look like he was an idiot with built-up shoulders of the 80s on dinner jacket which looked like a NFL football player’s armor was not such a good idea.

It has been tedious hours at night of standing, walking around, talking and listening to people while holding a glass of dry martini, each time it was drunk down and finished, the waiter or waitress had to hark for a long specification for the drink. He moved around the place that was held for a grand ball filled with various kinds of people, it was a while he came to such place like this but he trusted himself to handle social occasions well with a glass of something in his hand.

Tougane navigated through the place with more black tie clad men and fancy night dress donned women, spotting a few familiar faces. He finally settled in a dancing floor, composing by what he thought as a string quartet, He stood there, pleasing himself in a cultural way that he was taught to. The band played tunes that were way better than listening to the Beatles with an earmuff on in his opinion. But that was not why he really was here, he spotted the Shinoharas again in this room, the husband and the wife, the husband was the one who did the socializing, the wife merely accompanied him and travelled back and forth between where her husband was and the bar. A perfect opportunity, he would say. If he could not get the man’s attention, the wife would eventually do, a man’s pride. He smelled his prey and he followed.

The bar itself was not busy, people preferred to have their drink where else in the room that they could go around and interact with people, being at the bar was like being stuck alone, which should be what she wanted. He never saw Mrs Shinohara in the fleshes before, she looked rather young, early 30s which was at least ten years younger than her husband, slim, pale skin, long and shiny black hair, and she wore a black velvet one-shoulder gala dress. There was something reminiscence about her face and looked even Tougane himself could not tell. She was beautiful enough to be a model and certainly enough for a trophy wife, she did not look to be a colleague in same sphere with the man before they married each other.

Under ten minutes, she had three glasses of White Russian, an appropriate drink for a lady, no way he could see himself drinking it. To at least gain her attention, he would make an entrance somehow.

“Dry martini, lemon peel, not olive.” Tougane made his order to the bartender.

“Will you have it shaken or stirred?”

“Only idiots will have their gin bruised from shaking.”

“Understood, sir.”

That sounded a little too pretentious that Tougane could not resist chuckle a little at himself, he glanced towards to Mrs Shinohara who also turned to him briefly, it was either that she expressed a little interest in him or she would just turn to anything that was moving in approximately an arm-length range just because of alcohol influence, she eventually turned away. So much for a good start, he thought.

“Does the ball bore you to death, Mrs Shinohara?” Tougane leaned closer and spoke. “I’m Taneda Mori, I work for your husband’s associate.”

Her eyebrow curled up, her face twisted, she looked clearly uninterested in him. But she responded as a manner, “Which associate?”

“Mr Ironlass.”

“Oh, so you work in ‘that’ kind of business.”

Tougane did not give a straight response with words. He was curious how much did this wife know about her husband’s affair, “What makes you think so?”

“Any associate who visits my husband more than 5 times a month usually work on something that isn’t publicly known. Ironlass does that. Couldn’t tell he always has business with my husband that much or he just likes my husband.” Her boredom tone remained consistent throughout the conversation.
Even the tone and the content were from the influence of alcohol and a moody day, it could be what was really her true feelings, he felt compelled to give a push to cart so it could move on its own, “You don’t like your husband much? You don’t sound so proud when you speak of him.”

“I don’t like what he does, he is usually a nice man. I just tire of having to come out with him so he looks perfect in the public, there’s no party for him here, he’s working, this is for his publicity.” Seemed alcohol influence was on his side, it made her talk, giving a glimpse to a life behind the door of Shinohara.

“Look who just had too much drinks for tonight. Darling, you don’t look so okay …” The husband managed to show up and support his drunk wife, he was a man of his early 50s hence wrinkles in his face but yet he remained charismatic in his facial expression, he was broader than Tougane but skinny and slightly taller. Even in gentle voice, Tougane could notice it was forced, Shinohara did not like to be talked like that by his wife but he likely understood that she was just drunk. “Go have some sleep in our car, or you can tell the driver to drive home right away, it seems like your night is ending …”

The wife made a face, “I can walk by myself,” she pushed his arms away from her and walked away. Tougane watched her back disappeared in the crowd.

“And who might you be, Mister?” Shinohara’s hand came out right away.

Odd for Japanese, Tougane thought but he reached and checked it nevertheless. “Taneda Mori.”

Shinohara as Tougane saw here did not look too different from what he appeared the public, around people he looked charming, charismatic and good-willed, befitting a philanthropist who did good deeds from the fortunes of food and medical industries and an anti-war activist who spoke of the horror in this world and endorsed humanitarian supports to help make the world a better place. In reality, Shinohara struck Tougane as a ‘businessman’ who took an opportunity and trust of other people to exploit for profit. He condemned wars but he supplied fuels of wars to entities that waged wars whether big or small, he used his humanitarian support facilities and camps across the world to hinder his operation. But supplying weapons and such to those entities out there was not why Tougane came after him, in fact the arm trade was what he was allowed and did for the city as a business to fund the system of Academy City, it was his capacity to create a terror in the unthinkable level with his now-unknown plot that marked him a threat that Tougane had to go after. As of now what Shinohara stood for was unclear to Tougane, he was truly curious about what this man really believed. Was it a cause or just for fortune that led the man this path? Tougane thought.

“I’m Shinohara Satoshi. About the check hand … Ah, graduated abroad, work abroad, travel abroad, it must becoming a habit for me.” Shinohara spoke as he firmly shook the hand.

Tougane recalled that Shinohara did indeed go to study abroad in US after graduating from the field biological engineering in Japan. But as his response to Shinohara was natural, he thought it might be good to speak of something that had in familiar. “I used to work abroad myself. I understand, it’s not like I’m much of a Japanese man myself.” He alluded.

“I remember you work for Ironlass. Ah, that bastard probably went drunk and left the place before my speech already … You said you worked abroad? What did you use to do?” The man leaned closer to the bar and seemed to pay attention to Tougane. Shinohara gestured to excuse himself and turned to the barman, “Beer,” he ordered it and then he went on to complain, “Champagne here sucks, don’t try it.” He was friendlier than other rich dickheads here, he was not cocky or ostentatious to talk to someone on the lower class like Tougane or Taneda in this case. He looked like ‘a man’s man.’

It was likely that he knew already who Tougane was, as far as he could check with two databases and the only that would tell him was the authority of Japan, of which he would just know him as ‘Taneda’, if he were to be careful with people who came across with, he must have remembered Tougane’s face from when he met up with Ironlass and Tougane accompanied there.

“I used to work for the government. Not anymore.”

“Care to tell why?”

What would Taneda feel after all that happened to him? Someone else’s mistake or an act of betrayal led him to a dark place, now he was out but no one cared about him, they did not even care to apologize him, what would he do now? Where would he want to head? Tougane asked himself before he was about to put the thoughts into words. “I lost faith in them, I did not believe they could let their mistake compromise me and let me to rot after that, but they did. So I figured I’d better make a living with something else. To them I was just a replaceable tool, I didn’t matter to them. If I want to make my life worthwhile, I should work for someone who values me more than that. Besides that, I don’t feel like I should fight for their problems anymore.” He channeled his detest he had with the bureaucrats in his own organization, it would not be too odd that this ‘story’ sounded authentic. “I found out that honor and good causes were just the things they used to lure young men to die for their political investments.”

Shinohara sipped his beer and relaxingly enjoyed, he put away his glass and looked tensely for a second. “So what’s now for you?” He asked.

“I’m looking for a new habitat, the one I can thrive on and let none of my proficiencies be of waste.” Tougane confidently replied. He was trying to appeal to Shinohara. “Less of a load of bull in the underworld; states’ politics and bureaucracies are coated with that. So far with Ironlass, I think I’m fine here.”


Looking satisfied with the answer, Shinohara lightly and slowly nodded his head a few times as a sign of approval and pondering. He took one more sip and then spoke, “I like men who find wisdom after a life of a lie on how to live on. We’re all used by someone at some point, it might not be avoidable but being able to gain as much as we give them or even more will allow us to thrive on.” He sighed once, “States view lives as expendable as long as those life preserve and maintain the state. They speak of great things, great causes in what they’re doing for the state. They keep telling their own people that they are a collective identity as a nation, and to survive as it, the people therefore are obliged to protect the state as a duty? Give me a break, they’re either corporate oligarchy or dictator, damn right they would tell people to die for them. Nationalism is a blight of age, it’s just a tool to bind people and control them, the states use them to make profit and for their interest.” He seemed to be straight to Tougane (or Taneda) as they inhabited in this sphere together, both knew what each other did and were to a level. Tougane found elements of truth in here, perhaps it was a way of expressing sympathy for Tougane from Shinohara.

Shinohara’s expression told that he bored of and despised politics and the world of it. Yet, he was the person who had to do with politicians and the government. That got Tougane’s curiosity. “You don’t sound like you like politics, then why are you still around them, working with the city …?”

“It’s the way the world is, I can’t run away from it. The best I can do is to adapt to them and live among them.” Shinohara casually replied.

It was truthful, a mutual notion Tougane had, they just accepted that this was the way world was and lived with it. But that did not justify his actions, Tougane judged Shinohara internally.

“I can’t argue.” Said Tougane.

“I wouldn’t want to see you do.”

Shinohara snorted and snuggled up on the bar. He looked at Tougane, a second past, the smile was gone and there was seriousness in this face. “So, young lad, what brings you here …. If Ironlass left, you have no reason to stay. You’re not here to socialize, you’re here to do businesses.” The tone was doubting. “I don’t think it’s a coincident that you’re talking to my wife ….”

Could he know what he was up to? That fear emerged from within briefly, but after making sure everything was covered beforehand it was unlikely to be so. The man was right that it was no coincidence, Tougane approached his wife to attract his attention, knowing he would come up soon or later. While the man may thought it was an affair of lust that made Tougane to approached his wife since his wife was considerably attractive and some such thing was prone to happen at a party like this, the act was purely business. Tougane had it planned ahead.

“It’s nothing more than just a courtesy, sir.” His eyes swiveled to meet Shinohara’s.

“A courtesy?” The man was not following him and Tougane was glad.

“If you don’t mind, sir.” Tougane lightly reached for the audio bug he put on Shinohara in his jacket hip pocket. He showed it to Shinohara and then put it in the glass of beer that Shinohara has yet to finish. “For reason I do not know and intend not to pry into, I think you’re being followed.” He was ready to feed more anxiousness and worry to the man.

Shinohara looked shocked but he maintained himself.

Then Tougane proceeded on to tell more, “It was just the experience from my previous employment, I happened to catch a glimpse of this man in a way that bothers me.” He said. “Over there, across the hall, the Englishman, in the past 15 minutes he kept his eye on you and whom you talked to. Before that I spotted that he was always in the same room as you. Presumably, he was tracking you.”

“Are you sure of that?”

“Yes. He also wears his watch upside down which is a habit found in military.”

“I don’t think-” Shinohara did not look like he bought the last fact or know how to take it.

Tougane was just adding an element of playfulness in there in case it might get a hang on Shinohara. “I’m just kidding. I remember that face from my run-in with this man years ago. I’m positive.” He ended up the play with a way out of harm for this courtesy call.

It did not have to be all true, all it had to be true was that the Englishman was a spy. There was actually an Englishman standing in where Tougane just pinned point. He did not have to keep looking at him to know if that man was the man who was following Shinohara around. He only planted the bug on Shinohara to make it more reasonable and make Shinohara buy the story faster. He never met the man or had a run-in with him before. He just already knew that face was a man from British Intelligence who now worked on the task force. Tsushio let him know all of who were on that task force beforehand so when any of them showed up, he could use it to his own benefit, like buying trust from Shinohara. All he needed to do was to tell Shinohara that one of them appeared here.

Shinohara glanced over his head to the door and two men came, he whispered and pointed to the British intelligence service whom Tougane just identified. And it did not take long that the two men ‘escorted’ that man out of here, the Englishman looked panic as soon as he was approached but it was too late for him to do anything. He would deny every allegation and proofs that Tougane used to convince Shinohara that this man was a spy, which was of course what the man should do. Even the spy denied it all until his last breath, it would be viewed as just that he intended to bring those confidentialities with him to the bottom of the grave or Tokyo bay.

Tougane just put a man’s life, a friend of same profession, a man who worked on his side, on the tray like a dessert to buy an amount of trust he did not know. It was as if he killed that man with his own hands, he understood that, and Tougane hoped that man would understand it too, if the man himself stood for what he believed too. It was an acceptable cost to pay.

Shinohara patted him on the shoulder twice as in ‘well done’. “Now if you don’t mind, it’s about time I have to go on stage and speak something. I hope to see you soon, Taneda-kun.” Shinohara was impressed and looked thankful, his smile was sincere. “I don’t think Ironlass make a good use of you as much as you truly are.”

That was what Tougane wanted to hear.

Shinohara left the bar and headed to the stage. Tougane still kept his eyes on Shinohara as he took another sip of martini to celebrate his first step.

_________________
Explanation for my writing in case you are wondering:
Why it's kinda a mess ....



Maybe just one doesn't suffice, have a gif.






Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:31 pm

Chapter 10: Rose's thorns:


Day 24
2048 hours
Dr Moreau’s office, suburban of Tokyo

Lea was heavily panting like she has just woken from a nightmare. It may be very was, but not hers, it was his: Tougane’s. After using that device like then and now, she looked at Tougane whenever he was wired to the helmet device and wondered what was wrong with him. In the past weeks they did same things, she gave a dose the drug, and she asked him to go childhood again and again during his hypnotic state. She watched it and experienced it, it was always about younger him getting bullied physically and humiliated. She still could not connect that dots on why or how it drove him exactly.

Lea packed all the equipments away and turned on the lights before waking him up, to him, this was just having a dream.

“Do you mind if we stay here and talk a little more?” Lea said.

Tougane looked tired and slightly disoriented from the drug, it would take him an hour or two to recover. “Of course.” Tougane then sat up properly.

From then to now, Tougane was not really open about his past when he was asked, Lea could peak into his past but could not get him to talk about when he was asked. She knew through what she saw last time that it started after his parents’ death, the trauma changed his personalities and attitudes, he slowly became an outcast when he returned to his life, he did not get along with the society around him in his childhood and became a target of hatred which pushed him further in isolation. But what kind of resolve that turned him to the man he was today, the man who killed for a living? That was the question she has been wondering.

If Lea knew that answer, it would help her to solidify to a notion to be planted on when the time came. There was not much to do now aside from studying him and maintaining an unethical relationship with him to avoid suspicion and gain trust, she could only push him and have the endgame when the drug kicked in and took effects heavily on a significant level to disguise as a side effect of the mutagenic enhancement he received.

“I have to be frank here, you have mentioned several times about being bullying in the childhood in hypnotic state. It’s not something you ever brought up yourself, it seems to be topic you avoid when I scratch the surface of it, but I think now is the time to talk about it. At this rate I can see that it might have something to do with you.”

Tougane looked uncomfortable like he did when Lea first met him during the evaluation when he was asked about his parents. Was it relatable to that somehow? Lea thought.

“Fine, we’ll talk about it.”

“There’s no need to strain yourself. I understand the nature of a man’s pride to avoid talking of such thing. But I’m not just anybody, I’m not here to judge, I’m here to help. What’s the deal with it?” Lea gave him a broader question, she just asked ‘what’s with it’ or ‘what do you think about it’, by doing that, she would see how he approached the issue and from which aspect he did.

“It’s ….. It’s never about why they started to treat me like that or bully me … What did I tell you when I wasn’t aware?”

“You were constantly bullied and outnumbered, ignored by others. You endured.”

“It’s just a phase that I let my vulnerability to make a mistake, I became outcast. The deal with it is, I just realized how things really were in that moment. I thought if I endured it, it would end but it didn’t. It’s not tolerance, it’s a weakness to them and if they saw I was weak, it would never end, they would continue as long as I stayed still. So I ended it.”

“How did you end it?”

“I tried the way that wouldn’t hurt anybody and it didn’t work, rationale … I did take a look back then, I found out people were indulgent, they’d just do anything they wanted. My parents were victims of a crime out of ‘need’, for a mouth to be fed … The people who killed them did it out of necessity from their own perspective, they needed, so they killed and robbed, they had a reason that justified their action and no rationale could save them from doing that, they would not listen. So it was the same with me in the so-called civilized society, I was their target of hatred or disgust, they needed to express violence to create a sense of satisfaction and superiority, even more barbaric than what happened to my parents, rationales did not help me, so I realized this has always been the way of the world … Even there are rules, when people around you don’t play by those rules impose, oppress and hurt you, you can’t deal with them by those rules, you’re outnumbered and you’re done. There was nothing I could turn to get help, it was always ignorance that I found while seeking for those helps …. In the end, if this was the kind of people I had to face who used violence to do things they wanted, so would I. After that I understood them, it did feel powerful in being able to win, it felt superior, I understood why it was addictive to them. And I knew by then I could stop and prevent anything if I were strong, if I chose to stand against it, if I chose to fight it And if I had power, I’d overcome anything. Power is absolute, and violence is that power I can exercise, I became good at using it. So I found myself somewhere I could fit in and live. I had a choice not to be oppressed and restricted by rules that people in that society wouldn’t follow, and I chose not to be there. I chose to do what I could, and turned out the world has a need for this kind of man. So I work on the side of angels, I work for a cause. Before that time when I was young, I just lived the way I was happy and did things I wanted, I didn’t think about the world I lived in, I just thought of myself, that things happened to me because I chose. But it turned out not to be true, my choices are limited by others. That time I was bullied just made me understand how the world works, I understood it, I adapted to it and now I live with it. That’s just about how I can sum it up for you.”

Now Lea came to grasp, Tougane was a man who was driven by a sense of superiority, who refused to succumb to inferiority. Tougane believed he lived the way the world shaped him to be and made him do things this way and that became his justification to act on his will.

He was ashamed and tired of being inferior and hurt, when victory came to him, he became addicted to it, he needed to win and the circumstances that allowed him to was the life he was leading. And in that circumstances, in that context, he cloaked himself with justifications and a cause.

Tougane was no different than those people who have hurt him and made him realize the way of the world he thought it to be, he became one like them. He believed he was right.

That was the initial conclusion she has drawn from his words.

Lea was awed as she looked on how pain and trauma embodied and turned this man cold and cruel. She felt him.

She wanted to talk back to him but there was no word she had in mind, she was speechless.

It was just a blank look on her face.

“Now if you don’t mind, I have something to attend to.” Tougane coldly bid his farewell. Following that, the door shut and he disappeared, leaving her hanging.

Her cruel intention surged in after his disappearance, Lea got carried away in the moment and forgot the reason why she was doing it. She should be more careful later on, Lea reminded herself.

Right in the moment Lea wished to take a breath and rest, her office phone rang and shook itself on the receiver.

Not that bitch again, please. Lea begged whoever listened to her. She picked the phone up and spoke, “Yes? This Dr Moreau’s office. How can I-”

“Lea! It’s me, your father.” He over-excitedly said.

“Oh father … It’s been a while.” They have not had a chance to talk since Lea came and settled down in Japan.

“How are you sweetie?” It was the gruff that tried to sound soft, Lea could not think of something else. In her memory, Lea remembered it in the other way, rather than this ‘soft-spoken’ one.

“I’m … okay, father.” Lea reluctantly spoke. “How about you?”

“Me? Uh, uhm, fine, I’m fine too, sweetie.” Her father nervously answered. The two have never been the type to share a casual talk regularly, even back in France. It has always been so ever since she was still a child, back then, her father was a different man because of his work.

So it led her to speculate why her father called her.

“So .. Is there anything in particular you want to talk about, father?”

Her father murmured shortly before giving her the answer. “You know, I just miss you … We barely talk when you were back here, even less when you’re gone.” He said before adding a long pause. “Can I ask you about something?”

“What is it?”

“Are you still angry at me? About your mother … I know it’s too much than an apology could make it up … I’m sorry.”

Lea has heard than a thousand time. “Father .. I appreciate that you came to realize, even there wasn’t enough time for you and her. But she wouldn’t hold grudge against you if she had learnt what you wanted to say to her before she passed, I think she would forgive you.” As she was saying it, Lea could not help not to think that it was his karma for realizing what he had done too late. Both Lea and her mother had run away from him when she was young because he could not stop laying his hands on her mother, one day her mother just had it enough and went away without seeing him again. The only reconciliation her father could get was from her, not her mother, and it took years to do so, wonderful things and memories they could have had and built missed their chance from happening and became nothing more than a sour gap of time to remember. She no longer felt angry about him, if she would be angry at someone, it would be herself for not being able to do anything to make things better and not turn out like this.

“Lea …”

“I’m not angry at you, but it’s hard to forget, that night, through the creak of the door … Father, it might take some time for me to deal with that. Lots of things are happening right now, but I’m sure it’ll be better after that.”

“I’m sorry, sorry about calling you and bothering you …”

“It’s okay … And it’s good to talk in a while.” Lea said. “But I think I’d better get going.”

“Okay … I love you, sweetie.”

“I love you too, dad.”

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:35 pm

Chapter 11: Tradecraft :


Day 25
0512 hours
The Task Force’s quarter in The Agency’s headquarter;
Undisclosed Location, Tokyo.

The task force was formed on the official purpose that the Agency and the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS for short) to join force and share intelligence, in order to hunt down whoever was responsible for the incident in Hong Kong. It was not strange that things would turn out like this, the British demanded answers after hell had broken loose in their colony, the Academy City felt pressured and complied by letting them to join force. But however, the intention was not idealistic as it seemed.

The only reason the people in the Academy City let the British to join force was that the British would do things on their own anyway and it would interfere the affairs of the Academy City, the city would not want someone to sneak and meddle around. Having them closer was easier to monitor and manipulated, that was why the task force was formed. The task force itself was rather being monitored than being fully supported.

SIS was targeting Shinohara for some time for his ties to the Soviet Union, they believed Shinohara may have been responsible for incident that caused them setbacks. The fire was rinsed with more fuel when Tsushio showed the evidence – a sample of the bio weapon planned to be used in Hong Kong - that his men recovered from one of Shinohara’s facility. Now it gave the British in task force a reason to go hell bent in getting Shinohara without regard of what the Academy City thought which made the situation more problematic.

Oliver Mansfield was a veteran intelligence officer sent by the British along with a number of men, he led the task force in field operations, thought he did not have the full authority, in some conditions he must seek an approval from Tsushio or the office of the Agency themselves.

But seemed like Mansfield did not give a damn about that, he sent his man to tail Shinohara during a charity party yesterday without informing Tsushio or the office of the Agency, which to his dismay, it created another problem.

The agent was blown and captured, now nobody knew where the agent was anymore. More hours have passed, his colleagues have lost hope in finding the agent alive.

“Seems like we had a rocky start.” Said Fujiwara to Tsushio as they watched Mansfield thrashing the working table from further away.

“Yeah …” Tsushio was noncommittal. “What do we know about the situation?” Despite knowing well, Tsushio played dumb to Fujiwara whom he intended to keep off his covert and rogue operation, not even Fujiwara was aware what Tougane was up to right now.

“The Brit are positive that Shinohara would not have that kind of access to know the British agent they used in the operation yesterday, Mansfield, uh- He suspects there’s a bad apple from the Agency, someone must have tipped Shinohara off, he says.”

“A bad workman always blames his tools, don’t you think?” Tsushio ridiculed the Brit.

Much to Tsushio’s expectation, Fujiwara was reluctant to agree. “Sir, I think it’s possible … Didn’t you say it yourself that we have someone who was helping Shinohara from the inside? I think Mansfield may be right.”

“You think? Hmm …” Tsushio was surprised that his man was to side with the Brit so quickly. “I wouldn’t say anything until we know it for sure.”

“Tsushio,” Takada Eien entered and called him, “can we talk right now?”

Takada was also responsible as an overseer to the task force along with Tsushio. He ran things in the main office with the British to provide convenience, that was the statement but Tsushio knew it better that it actually meant Takada was responsible for watching and controlling the task force from going beyond the line.

Tsushio looked at Fujiwara and excused himself, he followed Takada outside to his own office so they could talk privately.

“We got a situation.” Takada stressed as he was preparing a glass of whiskey for him and Tsushio at the cabinet.

“Apparently.” Said Tsushio. “A British agent turned up dead on the first day of our collaboration with them.”

“Exactly, but that’s not it.” Takada handed Tsushio the glass in which Tsushio himself felt reluctant to drink. “I know at the meeting with the chiefs and the director, they made it clear that the Academy City doesn’t want to raise any issue with Shinohara Satoshi. Well …. The situation has changed.”

Tsushio mused. “How come?”

“Shinohara has a mole on the inside. I didn’t believe it, but first the weapon disappeared from its way from Hong Kong to here and now Shinohara knew we’re on to him … I believe you think the same as I do.”

“I guess. Who do you think the mole is?” As opposed of feeling some sense of mutuality in being on the boat or a train of thought, Tsushion sensed the suspicious tension.  

“It could be any of the chiefs, Nakada, Saito, Kitagawa, me …. Or you. It sounds ridiculous because you’re the one who’s the most motivated to get Shinohara, but if you want people to believe so, that’s a great cover story that gets people to have their eyes off you.”

“Hahaha …” Tsushio chuckled and both shared the laugh. “Are you serious?” Tsushio said after the mistrustful laugh ended.

“If I was certain it’s you, I wouldn’t tell you. I’m just saying we all have the possibility of being a mole.” Said Takada composedly. “Someone has accessed into our clandestine archives, a lot of things in there were gone. I know that someone is you, Tsushio. But I don’t think you’re doing because you’re the mole. I think you’re on to something that the others don’t know.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“That kind of thing doesn’t look good, Tsushio. It can be taken as a treacherous act, by others, including the director. But I know better that you are not such a crook of a man. I got you covered, I made all the trails that give it away that it’s you – gone.”

Tsushio was surprised to hear. “I’ve always thought we dislike each other, Takada.” They were not certainly best friends in the past years, Tsushio gathered. It was odd to see Takada protecting him like that.

“I’m doing this because I want to find the mole as much as you do. And I know you stand a chance at doing that, so I’ll let you do whatever you’re onto.”

Tsushio nodded satisfyingly. “I’ll take note of that.” He finished the drink in his hand and tried to leave.

“Wait.” Said Takada with a serious tone. “Whatever you do from now on, be careful, Tsushio.”

“Understood.”




Day 26
1624 hours
Shinohara’s villa;
Phuket, Thailand
The blue sea out there rolling and hurtling on the sand was not a familiar sight for Tougane, it was long ago he had a time to sit by the beach and watch this relaxing sight. Even if he had gotten close to the water, it would have been for work and sure it would have bothered and taken his mind away from this enjoyment. That was the time he realized how long he has been working and never having a chance to settle down or lay low even for a short period. He knew he always had the time after completing an assignment but when he did, he never actually took a step back, he just had a short break and went back to work on a newer assignment.

Tougane wished he was here to relax and settle down, the sight was really gorgeous and luring him to think that he made it to paradise.

Though he was not here for that.

That was just a whim after a dose of silence and daydream. Tougane knew why he was always needed, always all hands on deck and sometimes that was barely enough, so he could not afford to back out, considering he knew he was significant.

It was work, again.

This was a paradise someone bought with a few millions, a villa with a nice beach view. Money well spent, he would say.

“Mr Shinohara wants to see you.” As relaxing as his thug could be, the chubby-brute man wore black from chest to toe, tee shirt, slacks and shoes. How appropriated under the heat of the sun and by the view of the sea. In contrasted to Tougane himself who wore white linen shirt and sand chinos for the occasion.

“Of course. Are you sure he didn’t want me to finish my sun-tan?” Tougane mockingly said.

“Funny. Get in there already, he doesn’t like to be waiting.”

“Me neither. But it’s already 30 minutes since I have been lying down here with you checking on me constantly.”

“You’re not the boss, you know that.”

“How discouraging. Don’t you think ahead of career progression? Because I do, and by then I’ll hire your old ass to stand in the sun on my own villa.” His interpretation of the new Taneda might have been a little too playful and ambitious.

Tougane brushed off sand from his linen shirt and trousers before heading in the luxurious and secluded villa, it would be unprofessional for him to stain his host couch with sand.

Tougane got a new job offer afterward that party which he handed a British intelligence officer on a silver platter to Shinohara. This trip to Phu ket, Thailand was like a job interview for him while Shinohara came here to relax and talk business with some people. Tougane has yet to get that close to know how things went on the inside of his ring. Everything started with a little step, he believed. So far this was good for a job interview, no pressure, no competitors, just him alone with the man.

Tougane found the man sitting comfortably in his living room with cool breezes, smoking cigar. Tougane was surprised he could sense so much presence from him as much as he looked in a suit or a dinner suit as he saw last time, this time around he simply wore red short-sleeves camp shirt and shorts. “Mr Taneda, a resourceful man and a pearl in Ironlass’s hand, if he were a bloody pig …” Shinohara’s first words to Tougane as he came to hug Tougane by the shoulder and led him to the seat.  

“I’d make to every yen of my payment worth.” Said Tougane dryly.

“Oh, then you probably got ripped off by that Ironlass bastard. You might find yourself a little too handful with me, but I will make sure I pay more than him and every bit of it will be worth your service.” Shinohara giggled and he held his arms open. Shinohara was generous with his offer, he wanted to be struck a true man, a big brother you could trust.

“Money is not the first thing I look for, it’s nice to be paid well but it’s not the first thing I think of.”

Shinohara was compelled to put down his hands and tilt his head with curiosity, Tougane knew which button to push if not that he was just randomly pushing to see that it would be right for once. “Young lad, what is then?”

Tougane grinned, or rather Taneda as his new persona. “To work in my natural habitat where I know how to do things. It’s likely the place I have a chance to see myself developing and progressing forward as I would. What I used to do grants me with something to start off with working as a muscle, but in the future I hope to see myself becoming more.” He confidently said.

Shinohara burst into laugh.

Was it ridiculous that he said that? Tougane got worried. Did Shinohara think it was too pretentious? Did Shinohara think I was lying? Or was he satisfied?

Shinohara shut his smiled and said, “An opportunist, I gather. Ironlass’ HR must be very stupid to just take you in for running simple errands.”

“Exactly, sir.” Tougane firmly replied.

“I like that. Did you know I did not start off as a businessman?”

Tougane knew his background, and of course, that he turned from a researcher to a businessman. Tougane always loved to play smart, it felt good and powerful as it should feel when one beating something. But in this case, playing dumb was smarter, if he knew Tougane (or Taneda) knew his background somehow, his mind would start to whirl around, like ‘how?’ or ‘was this man deliberately copying what he was and projecting it to him?”. It would be best if he came to believe it was a good coincidence or a destiny, whether of which he held belief in. And it would be the best if he could continue and speak out what was in his mind. “No, sir. I’m not aware of that.” He said.

Shinohara took a deep breath, and then Tougane knew what he was about to say could lengthy. “I was a young researcher back then, as my mentor supported me to be. I had worked hard with him on something that in the end gave me a good opportunity for me to take a step further and become more than just a doer, which was to run an organization, a company myself. A doer alone cannot change the world, it is the powerful who does by employing the doers and utilizing their capacity. It opened my eyes, I had to see forward and I had to plan which were not the things I did when I was a researcher. It taught me many things, not to stop with just what you are used to, pursue what you can and see a good profit in, I expanded more than what I was given, I utilize what I have to build more and more. I saw opportunities and I took them, they led me here. Being satisfied with where you are is good, but if it pulls you back from thriving more, you should ask yourself is it a good thing. If I remained a researcher, I wouldn’t be able to achieve this much, if I wanted something done while I was a researcher, I would have to do it myself and I would have to worry if I had enough resources and opportunities to get it done. Today, I can organize my own resources and opportunities to ensure that what I want will be done. An opportunist thrives. A man of your rank one day may very well run at the top of the organization if he knows what to do when the opportunity comes. Are you feeling me, young lad?”

“Certainly, sir.”

“And ask yourself, what would an opportunist like you do?”

Shinohara looked to be impressed of this Taneda. He did not want just a dummy who came to report and do things that he ordered, he wanted a man who knew for himself what was needed to be done. Shinohara wanted an ambitious man because an ambitious man was inherently an opportunist who would act and choose wisely, managing himself in a situation whether good or bad. Now Shinohara had a situation regarding his plans and operation, he needed someone to solve it. Tougane proved himself useful to Shinohara through a ruse, but working on what he would ask from now would lead him closer into the operation where Tougane would learn the information he needed about the biochemical weapon and the plans.

“Opportunities do come when problems arise. And I believe you have some. I’d use my skills to solve your problem, sir. I have helped people with problems before, but to be more precise, I eliminate them.”

“Sounds good for a starter.”

“I believe it starts with the British agent on that day, sir?”

“More or less. We can confirm he was one, but we could not get him to talk. He was disposed now, don’t worry. But I’m still curious what led him and his people to me, how, why? You might know a couple of reasons why they might come after me, I believe. I trust you on this, young lad. Make me proud.”

Tougane could tell that he started to grow on the man but it was not enough to let him further in hence his omission in what went on the inside, more precisely, Hong Kong incident and his facility in India. Too soon to be that trustworthy, he understood.

“I’ll see what I can do, I’ll have a flight leaving this evening.”

“Please don’t, at least stay over for a dinner and I’ll arrange your flight tomorrow, it’ll be more convenient if you use my jet. Now if you don’t mind, can you take my wife Rie and son for a walk by the beach? I have something to work on.”

“Of course, I’ll take them.”

“Thanks.” Shinohara sincerely said before he sat back down.

Tougane walked out by himself but as he passed the door, someone carelessly bumped into him, he expected a clumsy maid but it was not ….

“Ouch!” Tougane playfully exclaimed. It was his wife, Rie. She walked straight to her husband after Tougane moved out of her way, she draped her arms over her husband’s neck and started kissing him tenderly.

“Here she is.” Said Shinohara cheerfully as he pulled himself out from her and stopped before he could not restrain. As holding her with one arm, he gestured with another toward Tougane, “Darling, I presume you recognize this young fellow back at the party.”

“I do.” Rie turned and looked at him with playful and attractive face. “Tanaka, isn’t it?” She asked with a light voice.

“Taneda.” Tougane corrected her.

“He’s working on something for me.” Said Shinohara. “He looks like a lovely fellow, doesn’t he?”

“Not at all.” Rie replied right away as she dismissed her eyes from Tougane.

“I was worried you’d said otherwise which would make jealous.” Shinohara gave a small laughter. “He’s a nice fellow nevertheless. He’ll take care of you and our son if you need anything while you’re on a walk, I have some business to talk over.”  

Tougane had another chance of enjoying the sight at sea, even with a bearable noise from Shinohara’s son who was building a sand castle. He brought Shinohara’s wife and son out by the beach while the man himself was doing his business in the villa.

A nice view and a smoke would be great now, he thought. Tougane brought out his cigarette out and was about to light it with a flick of his lighter.

“Would you mind not doing that?” Rie asked, looking empty as her eyes looked beyond the sunset horizon. In the house earlier that he caught a glimpse, she seemed fine and happy unlike back when he first saw her at the party with her husband, kissing, hugging and flirting around like some couples do. Now she stood in silence and just looked empty when she finally got to be alone.

Tougane put away his lighter and turned to her, “I’m sorry, Mrs Shinohara,” He apologized. The sight of her in a white dress was distracting his eyes from turning back to enjoy the view of the sea, he was sharing the sunset view with Shinohara’s wife who looked too young to be a mother.

The more he looked her, he wondered what was she feeling. Was the happy wife in the villa earlier was just an act or a pretense and now she was alone and had no need for bothering to put up anything? This was just an occasional sympathy he had for someone once in a while but it was never that he tried to care too much about that person. And besides that, he figured he might learn something.

“You okay?” Tougane asked, breaking the silence between two.

“Pardon me?” Rie did not seem like she heard or caught what he was saying, she turned around to his face, she looked blankly as if she has just reconnected to present after her mind was wandering somewhere else, disappointed in not finding what she hoped to see here.

So Tougane repeated, “You look like you’re not here. Are you okay?”

Rie was all pouting as she looked in his eyes, she took too long for a normal response, a lot went on in her mind, it seemed. “I’m just bored. It’s not like I would enjoy this place very much. It looks nice, but after fifth time of these three months, it’s boring.”

“I thought you’d love vacation.”

“I do, but this …. This isn’t different from that party or any party. He’s here because of work, I’m here to make him look please him, make him look good like a ‘good wife’ should and look after my kid, as long as my son loves and enjoys to be here, I’ll endure.” She sounded bitter, depressed more than the content of her words meant. The tone and pace she used was as if she held this on herself for too long without venting it out to anyone.

As soon as Rie started to open up on her own, Tougane felt confident that with the right words, she would spill out what was in her mind. “You’ve never opened up to anybody, have you? Are you okay? Is there anything I can do to help you?” He spoke gently.

Her lip dropped and her eyes scrolled up, looking for an answer that was not seemed to be there. “It’s …. It’s not ….” Rie stuttered. “It doesn’t feel comfortable to be in the place I have to be aware of what I can do and I cannot, what I can talk and what I cannot, or what I know and I cannot. Behind his charming act and glamour of him, Mr Taneda, it’s nothing …. The world he sees, I’m not important, family is just a decoration. I’m not a person, I’m his property, part of his fame and status ….” Her shoulders shrank in as she felt and looked more fragile.

Tougane reached his hand to her to comfort her, “I’m sure everything will-”

“Can you look after my son for a moment please?” Rie cut him off and pulled her hand away as his hand contacted her, she looked uncomfortable and a bit teary in her eyes. She turned back and walked away. So much for an emotional intrusion, she had to leave and brace herself before she dined and got back with her husband and son.

Rie was more than a control panel with buttons, she was more of a volatile compound. It felt too easy to get on her side, thought Tougane. She was already emotionally fragile, and that made it easy. He understood how Shinohara’s business caused a problem in his own family. While now it was in its adolescence or incubation period, he could guess what would happen in the long run if it were to grow. It may be of uses to him, he thought to himself. Things began to sound solid for Tougane.
   
“Feelings …. First world problem.” Tougane said as he looked at her exposed back as Rie tried to disappeared away.

The poor boy was still building his sand castle happily, unaware of friction between his parents and the fate ahead of him. But it was unfair to let him know what was to come, the boy should enjoy happiness while it lasted.

“Hey, kiddo. You need a hand?” Tougane called out to the boy, kindly and caring in his lying act.

_________________
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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:42 pm

Chapter 12: Bleeding Hearts:

Day 25
0512 hours
The Task Force’s quarter in The Agency’s headquarter;
Undisclosed Location, Tokyo.

The task force was formed on the official purpose that the Agency and the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS for short) to join force and share intelligence, in order to hunt down whoever was responsible for the incident in Hong Kong. It was not strange that things would turn out like this, the British demanded answers after hell had broken loose in their colony, the Academy City felt pressured and complied by letting them to join force. But however, the intention was not idealistic as it seemed.

The only reason the people in the Academy City let the British to join force was that the British would do things on their own anyway and it would interfere the affairs of the Academy City, the city would not want someone to sneak and meddle around. Having them closer was easier to monitor and manipulated, that was why the task force was formed. The task force itself was rather being monitored than being fully supported.

SIS was targeting Shinohara for some time for his ties to the Soviet Union, they believed Shinohara may have been responsible for incident that caused them setbacks. The fire was rinsed with more fuel when Tsushio showed the evidence – a sample of the bio weapon planned to be used in Hong Kong - that his men recovered from one of Shinohara’s facility. Now it gave the British in task force a reason to go hell bent in getting Shinohara without regard of what the Academy City thought which made the situation more problematic.

Oliver Mansfield was a veteran intelligence officer sent by the British along with a number of men, he led the task force in field operations, thought he did not have the full authority, in some conditions he must seek an approval from Tsushio or the office of the Agency themselves.

But seemed like Mansfield did not give a damn about that, he sent his man to tail Shinohara during a charity party yesterday without informing Tsushio or the office of the Agency, which to his dismay, it created another problem.

The agent was blown and captured, now nobody knew where the agent was anymore. More hours have passed, his colleagues have lost hope in finding the agent alive.

“Seems like we had a rocky start.” Said Fujiwara to Tsushio as they watched Mansfield thrashing the working table from further away.

“Yeah …” Tsushio was noncommittal. “What do we know about the situation?” Despite knowing well, Tsushio played dumb to Fujiwara whom he intended to keep off his covert and rogue operation, not even Fujiwara was aware what Tougane was up to right now.

“The Brit are positive that Shinohara would not have that kind of access to know the British agent they used in the operation yesterday, Mansfield, uh- He suspects there’s a bad apple from the Agency, someone must have tipped Shinohara off, he says.”

“A bad workman always blames his tools, don’t you think?” Tsushio ridiculed the Brit.

Much to Tsushio’s expectation, Fujiwara was reluctant to agree. “Sir, I think it’s possible … Didn’t you say it yourself that we have someone who was helping Shinohara from the inside? I think Mansfield may be right.”

“You think? Hmm …” Tsushio was surprised that his man was to side with the Brit so quickly. “I wouldn’t say anything until we know it for sure.”

“Tsushio,” Takada Eien entered and called him, “can we talk right now?”

Takada was also responsible as an overseer to the task force along with Tsushio. He ran things in the main office with the British to provide convenience, that was the statement but Tsushio knew it better that it actually meant Takada was responsible for watching and controlling the task force from going beyond the line.

Tsushio looked at Fujiwara and excused himself, he followed Takada outside to his own office so they could talk privately.

“We got a situation.” Takada stressed as he was preparing a glass of whiskey for him and Tsushio at the cabinet.

“Apparently.” Said Tsushio. “A British agent turned up dead on the first day of our collaboration with them.”

“Exactly, but that’s not it.” Takada handed Tsushio the glass in which Tsushio himself felt reluctant to drink. “I know at the meeting with the chiefs and the director, they made it clear that the Academy City doesn’t want to raise any issue with Shinohara Satoshi. Well …. The situation has changed.”

Tsushio mused. “How come?”

“Shinohara has a mole on the inside. I didn’t believe it, but first the weapon disappeared from its way from Hong Kong to here and now Shinohara knew we’re on to him … I believe you think the same as I do.”

“I guess. Who do you think the mole is?” As opposed of feeling some sense of mutuality in being on the boat or a train of thought, Tsushion sensed the suspicious tension.  

“It could be any of the chiefs, Nakada, Saito, Kitagawa, me …. Or you. It sounds ridiculous because you’re the one who’s the most motivated to get Shinohara, but if you want people to believe so, that’s a great cover story that gets people to have their eyes off you.”

“Hahaha …” Tsushio chuckled and both shared the laugh. “Are you serious?” Tsushio said after the mistrustful laugh ended.

“If I was certain it’s you, I wouldn’t tell you. I’m just saying we all have the possibility of being a mole.” Said Takada composedly. “Someone has accessed into our clandestine archives, a lot of things in there were gone. I know that someone is you, Tsushio. But I don’t think you’re doing because you’re the mole. I think you’re on to something that the others don’t know.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“That kind of thing doesn’t look good, Tsushio. It can be taken as a treacherous act, by others, including the director. But I know better that you are not such a crook of a man. I got you covered, I made all the trails that give it away that it’s you – gone.”

Tsushio was surprised to hear. “I’ve always thought we dislike each other, Takada.” They were not certainly best friends in the past years, Tsushio gathered. It was odd to see Takada protecting him like that.

“I’m doing this because I want to find the mole as much as you do. And I know you stand a chance at doing that, so I’ll let you do whatever you’re onto.”

Tsushio nodded satisfyingly. “I’ll take note of that.” He finished the drink in his hand and tried to leave.

“Wait.” Said Takada with a serious tone. “Whatever you do from now on, be careful, Tsushio.”

“Understood.”




Day 28
1548 hours
Sategaya, Tokyo

In response of Hong Kong incident, the British Intelligence sent agents to form and lead a task force with the Academy City’s Agency to uncover the plot behind the foiled attack. Tougane and Fujiwara’s discovery in India has left the task force a trail to suspect Shinohara. Due to the Academy City’s attempt at throwing off the investigation as Shinohara was closely tied to the city, both parties: the task force and Tougane were forced to work as covertly as possible.

Shinohara became more suspicious and aware after the attack against his facility, he started to bury and relocate his operation of the biochemical weapon he secretly developed. Trails regarding the weapon itself have become cold. That left the man himself to go after, as far as it has been, Shinohara was pretty sure he was untouchable without any substantial evidence and as long as his plot remained unknown.

One of the British agents kept tracking on Shinohara as part of the investigation was exposed by Tougane to gain himself trust and reputation. Tougane earned his ticket to Shinohara’s party by gaining his attention and trust, however, he only scratched the surface. That party – the world of Shinohara’s dirty and dark business – had a private pact with a plan that jeopardized the Academy City, Tougane was endeavoring to get a glimpse of it, he had to earn more trust from Shinohara so he could get closer into the ring.  He was now under the employment of Shinohara who saw some qualities in and uses in him hence his background in intelligence service, he was given a work to proceed.

Tension within two entities arose as the task force and Shinohara and his associates became an apparent threat to each other. The opportunity to infiltrate Shinohara’s circle came in this moment when the both parties were at odd with each other, earning both an access to the circle and cripple it from inside to stall Shinohara’s movement; posing as a valuable ally to Shinohara’s side was a perfect cloak.

And by that meant, he had to flush out who Shinohara thought was a threat to him and create distrust among his own. Tougane planned to make Shinohara believed that he had a mole inside that linked to the task force, who would be perfect more than Shinohara’s contact or mole in his inside the Agency? A two-faced bastard that was too suspicious to be trusted was what Tougane would make that mole looked like, the kind of man Shinohara would not want by his side and would eliminate him. But first he needed to know who that mole was.

The task force became more careful than they were after they lost one of their men unexpectedly, they were not expecting a leak at that point. As they have yet to know how they were exposed, Tougane managed to monitor them. They earned themselves a new safe house in the suburb, an office townhouse in a mildly populated area. Tougane spotted their routine throughout each day, they did not seem to make much of a progress with either someone in his organization or the city restricting them. Nevertheless, they desperately tore down every nook and cranny to find a clue. A single piece of evidence would get them turned on like a drop of blood in the ocean to sharks. That was what Tougane going for.

“How can I be sure that you actually know that your intel is solid?” The Japanese was out of tune, for certain when spoken by an Englishman, but Tougane admired his attempt, despite sounding weird, it was audible and understandable unlike when a Japanese speaks English. He looked like a young cadet, tall and clean-looking, he stood out of place like a goose among ducks. He was a British agent from the task force, came from the safe house to the small café as a rendezvous when he heard that a woman working for Shinohara wanted to turn informant. They talked details over a lunch by the window seats.

The woman was young and beautiful, enough to distract his eyes from the documents she brought along and also enough to get him to sympathize her. “Isn’t the document enough?” She reached her hands for him as she stared glaringly into his eyes. She used physical action to compliment the act.

“A sanctuary and a considerable amount of cash in your new account … I think you’re going to have to do better than just a few old documents to prove that you have an access to that kind of highly-classified information. Give me the name of the mole now, I assure you I will comply to your demands.”

The woman loosed a hold from his hand and laid back on the chair, pouting in disappointment, her reaction was genuine unlike her cover.

Tougane watched the conversation between them from afar, across the road, second floor. The informant was a fraud, Tougane hired someone he knew that had the expertise and the look for this kind of job, he provided her with a cover story and some documents he was able to snatch from Shinohara, he sent a message to lure the agent to the person who would be his precious source, the one that the task force would do anything to get it.

Through the binocular in his hands and the earpieces to listen to the wire he planted on his ‘informant’, he heard everything from the beginning to now, from chewing to talking. Tougane noticed the woman ‘gestured’, she gently groped from her jaw line with two fingers, meaning she needed help with the situation, and from the context, he was supposed to feed her more information through the earpiece she too had.

“Tell him you know what happened to the missing agent. Be careful, this is our last straw.” Tougane had fed some already and that did not help. He did not have much in the beginning with. But if she was as good as he remembered her to be, she would make it with this one.

“You thought I’m just some mistress who sits through a desk job by the day and sleeps with her boss by the night, desperate, snatched these documents while the poor man was in his sleep …” She shrilly spoke with a hint of disappointment. “You don’t think I actually know, or you think I can be persuaded with your charming and charity act that I would give you information right away …”

“That’s not what I think …” The Englishman spoke calmly, even the look on his face was like he knew he was going to let the chance slip away.

She gathered the document she brought along and picked up her handbag, getting up and heading to leave. “Good luck with whatever you’re doing. With the mole inside your organization, you won’t get far.”

He grabbed her by the wrist before she could leave. “Wait a second.” He was provoked by how she put ‘mole’ in the sentence, as if it hit where his pride was, she might have noticed it that mentioning something linked to his failure it would hurt his pride.

She noticed the anger in him, she knew the man stepped into his own emotional boundary, just a push could send him deep down the hole he dug for himself. “As long as the mole is at large, it’ll jeopardize whatever you do. You haven’t found him, have you? Your missing co-worker, friend …” She referred to the agent Tougane exposed back at the party a week ago.

“What do you know about him?” The Englishman throatily spoke.

“Someone exposed him while he’s tailing Shinohara at the charity party a week ago. Shinohara probably had him cemented and thrown down the Tokyo bay. This wouldn’t be the last if the mole is still at large. This is as far as I can do. Good luck.” She motioned forward as if she was leaving.

The hand tightened around her wrist, she was nervous for a second if it was for the better or the worse.

“I’ll have what you want ready by tonight. But I need to confirm with my superior if he’s in. Can you wait? I’ll relay a message to him about the offer.”

“Good. Show up with everything we agreed on at my place, I don’t want to risk.” She handed him a piece of paper with her address on, winking once at him. “Maybe I’ll reconsider the deal, giving a complimentary in return for the help.” She teased him with what they both knew what it was. As he looked less tense and softened his hold on her wrist, she knew she got him.

She left the café and got on the car two block ahead. She entered the passenger seat and started to unbutton her shirt.

“We’re missing the foreplay here. You’re that hurry?”

“Just get your damn wire out of me, it’s uncomfortable as hell. Next time, couldn’t you just sit nearby, Tougane?” She complained as she pulled the wire strapped around her bra and the receiver out.

Tougane took the equipment and put it away, not without taking a liberty to admire a few things. “How was it?”

“He bought it.”

“You gave him the address?”

“Yes. What do you think I am? An idiot?”

“I’m just making sure.” Tougane bent to the backseat and pulled out a bag, filled with money. “Here it is, your compensation.

She took it from his hands, her initial expression was confusion rather than pleasure, “You know there’s a lot of way you can pay me. I don’t always want the money.”

He knew what she meant with that honeyed voice, she was fine as a friend, but trusting a fraud for something more was not what he dared to do.

“Sorry. Very busy lately with work, as you can see.” He rejected with a polite gesture from his hands.

“Nah, you’re busy dating housewives.” She shook her head like it was a dejavu for her.

“You know that’s not true.”

“Whatever, we both know you’ve got a complex for overcoming and surpassing someone or something. Something you already have wouldn’t just satisfy you.” She sighed with disappointment. “See you around, Tougane.”

The car door opened and closed, he has yet to bid farewell to her.




2010 hours
Rendezvous point within Edokawa, Tokyo

After heading back to the safe house and relayed the message to the main office, John Bland arrived at the given location from the informant he met during the day. He did not have the confirmation from his superior to grant what the informant had asked for the deal but he brought the matter into his own hand and made a deposit ahead, he came to the apartment downtown with a traveler bag filled unmarked cash as a proof. He was a little more than please to finally progress, and admittedly, he was a little excited about what she teased him during the day, but work comes first, so later he does.

Bland knocked the door twice and there was no answer.

Bland then became alerted, anxious, he drew his gun from the holster as he entered the room.

The room was clean, furnished minimally.

It was odd, he thought. He navigated himself further to the living room.

“Drop it.” He heard that coming from the blind spot of the corner he just passed. He turned to the source of sound and his eyes met with the end of the suppressor attached to the small subcompact pistol. Bland complied to the command and dropped his gun willingly.

The owner of that voice was tall, slender and athletic, a young looking Japanese man with clean pale face, wearing a beige trench coat over his suit, all tapered to his silhouette.

If he had to guess that man was a man of similar profession as he was.

“Who are you?” Bland asked the man.

“My name is Tougane, Tougane Masaru. I help people with problems too severe for peaceful means. I know who you are, Bland, SIS.”

It was shocking for Bland that he was known by this man, he knew he was screwed. Lying and denying he was not that man was certainly not going to work. Then he grew worried, both for the woman or if the woman was the one behind this. “What about her? Where is she?”

“You needn’t worry about her.”

And that, Bland knew he was led to a trap. He felt so stupid for letting his emotion clouded his judgment earlier. His co-worker, comrade, turned up dead during the investigation regarding the evidences after the event of Hong Kong incident. He felt compelled to relentlessly pursue for the truth before everything was too late. He understood it was dangerous when his friend died before knowing anything and leaving nothing behind.

“Have a seat first.” Tougane told Bland, his voice was emotionless.

Bland had a seat as he was told. In his mind, he could not pick apart whether to focus on getting out of this situation or figuring what was happening. He has been through several assignments, he followed procedures and got himself through with ease. But this was something he did not anticipate, he felt his pride was attacked and he felt terribly stupid for falling for something like this. He lost confidence as soon as he learnt this was a trap, he could not bring himself to trust his own capacity to do anything from now on. Any experience he had even as a young cadet felt like a useless waste.

“What do you want?” Bland asked.

Tougane took a seat for himself, he made sure he was comfy and confident as he had a gun ready to use in his hand. “You want to find the mole, don’t you?” He calmly spoke.

Yes, Bland thought. Even his main priority was to find any evidence regarding Shinohara’s possession of the biochemical weapon as reported, the discovery that there was a mole intercepting any movement the task force he was working on has gotten his attention, the longer it was at large, more of his comrades died as one did already. “What about it?” He did not answer directly, but the tone and the psychical movement were clearly a ‘yes’ to the question.

“I need you to answer a few things. Did you relay the message to the main office of the Agency?”

It was procedural that the message would go through the main office first before going up to the case officers. Bland sent the message to the main office about the source and her request, he confirmed the validity of the intel along the message. He nodded his head slowly towards Tougane.

"What did they reply?"

"They only said 'we read you'." It only meant that they received the message, neither it was a confirmation nor a decline. The decision was pending, but against the time he thought he did not have, he went ahead and now he regretted it.

Tougane nodded his head with acknowledgement, he seemed to understand what meant. It was clear that this was more than just a thug with a gun, Tougane knew what Bland would do beforehand.

"What do you want?" Bland persisted on with the question again after not getting any answer.

"The same thing as you want, the mole."

Bland did not understand the reply. Was he not supposed to be someone who worked against him? Why would he be looking for the mole? That did not make sense. "Unless... You are after Shinohara too." The man did not give any reply with words, but as Bland could feel, it was a 'yes'. He felt less worried, almost even calm if there were not a gun pointing at him. He thought the gun was for the end of him, but it looked like it was just to threaten him. Bland decided to play along.

"How long have you been serving?" Tougane spoke with an ease tone, unlike earlier.

"5 years in the RAF, 2 in the intelligence service." Bland answered right away, even though he doubted why he was asked with that question.

"Why did you sign up?"

Bland's answer was even cheesy in his own head. "For queen and country." He answered proudly. He could even recall how it felt at the moment he made the decision to put his skill to a good use to serve the country.
Tougane seemed to understand that.

"Two weeks ago, an unknown bio weapon surfaced and almost went off. You know that, right?"

"Yes."

"Then you understand how much of a threat it is to have that weapon in possession."

Bland understood so as he was first assigned to this task. He was more than determining to stop the plot.

"What if I tell you both you and I, even do everything we think we can, we can't stop the man behind this, Shinohara."

“What do you mean by that?”

“What have you achieved ever since Hong Kong? We know a name, we have a sample of the weapon but there’s nothing we can tie it to the man, we don’t know his plan even the slightest. We can’t stop him at this rate, taking him out won’t help us discover his scheme. The attack on his facility in India only stalled Shinohara, it doesn’t stop his plan. And with the resources he has, it doesn’t take long to continue his plan.”
Tougane knew too well, even as Bland himself did. It made him wonder who Tougane really was.

“Would do you everything to stop him?” Tougane said it decisively.

Bland knew what the weapon could do and what its potential was, even without true motive, he could imagine it was not for good. At this time, if the biochemical weapon were to be used, all hell would break loose.

So his answer was already in his mind, “Yes.” Bland answered.

Tougane looked satisfied but at the same time uncomfortable. He nodded and said, “The mole inside the Agency would intercept your message before it reached to the task force. Paranoid, the mole would then contact Shinohara that there was a leak from Shinohara’s side, Shinohara would send someone to tie up his loose end. If that goes accordingly with what I said, I will learn the identity of the mole. But ….”

His pause made Bland fretted. What the man was going to do make sense, he used Bland to send a message that would provoke and make the mole paranoid. But what next? Bland grew worried.

Tougane looked apologetic, “I have to kill you.”

A muffled crack came from the gun in Tougane’s hand.

Bland felt moist and warm on his chest.

Blood came pouring from where his heart was.

“Shinohara needs to know that the loose end is tied up on his side, that the agent who informed the office regarding the mole and his secretary whom he thought she defected from him are dead. The set up is in motion, you needn’t worry about anything. You’ve done everything you can to stop the man.”

Even it was intended or not, it was a consolation for Bland.  

He now understood what the man wanted, or rather, what he had to do.  He understood now he was a pawn that needed to die so the other chess pieces could advance.

That was spoken to him to help him go easier, knowing he would die for something.

When the sharp pain struck, what he thought was not about what he had done to stop Shinohara. He did not feel proud, he felt pathetic to die like this, it was not what he wanted but it was unavoidable.

His muscles flinched every time he felt pain and tried to breathe. The strength he used to struggle to breathe on was being devoured by the pain.

He regretted.

The gun cracked once again, suppressed, no one would hear the shot.

He felt nothing more.

Tougane looked at the dead body of a young man. He wondered at himself if why he would explain those things to Bland.

Was it because Bland was a young dedicative service man? Was it because they were the same kind of person? Was it to let him understand what the situation was about? Was it to comfort him?

The dead would not care, Tougane knew that. He just felt compelled that Bland deserved to know what he died for.

Tougane was not doing this for himself, he believed. As he made his mind, he unscrewed the suppressor from his Walther pistol and put them away. There was still a lot to be done before this ended, Tougane reaffirmed himself.




2213 hours
Shinohara’s estate in Chiba, Tokyo

“Do you need to verify the bodies?”

“Yeah, for the British agent. That wouldn’t be necessary for the secretary, I remember that treacherous face. Well done, Tougane.”

Both men stood behind the popped trunk of Tougane’s car parking in the dark driveway in Shinohara’s estate, Shinohara and Tougane were looking down on two dead bodies wrapped in shower curtain.

“My god … I’d say she couldn’t have done this if you didn’t give me the proof. She was a nice girl, diligent, smart … She died rather poorly, but that’s because of her poor and greedy choice.” Shinohara sounded too bright for someone who should feel the anger of a betrayal, maybe he was not angry at all but happy that the problem was gone. He still smiled as he pat over her cold head. “Anyone could betray anyone, given the right amount of price one would always do. Did you get the files she took with her?”

Tougane stole the files from Shinohara’s office, it was nothing useful to him but it looked part for something his secretary would take. Tougane ‘made’ her disappeared before anyone noticed and hired he ‘con-woman’ to impersonate as her to lure the British agent. Now with everything went as planned, he almost accomplished in finding the identity of the mole.

“Yes, sir. It’s in the front seat.” Said Tougane.

“The hole is patched, the ship is back to sailing. Don’t you agree, Taneda-kun?” Shinohara patted on Tougane’s shoulder as if he was a dog that catches the Frisbee, but certainly the master was pretty pleased.

“Certainly, sir.” Tougane gave a smile back.

“You don’t mind if my men will take this car and take care of the body? Is there anything you want to get from the car first?”

“No, sir. Just let him take it.”
“That’s very generous of you. To think about it, you should drive something better than a crappy sedan. Maybe a sport would do, don’t you think?”

“I think that’s too much for me, sir.”

“You should enjoy the reward, you did well and you earn it. You got rid of the leak in the ship, now I can run my operation as freely as before. And the bastard wouldn’t be too paranoid about his position being blown.”

Tougane looked at his new patronage and gave a shy laughter. He reckon ‘bastard’ meant the mole he was looking for.

“You free next week? I suppose we can go on a business trip.”

“Yes, sir. I’m free.”

“Remember what you said to me, you’re looking for an opportunity. It’s time. Now if I excuse myself, some idiots from Tokyo has an urgency to discuss with me over a dinner, lots of drink and a lap dance, I have to get dressed now. My frontal business is as important as the one I and Ironlass run. If you need anything you can tell my maid, stay around, rest for a bit, have a few drinks … I wouldn’t mind if you shag one of the maids that look pretty. Hahahaha.”

“I’m fine, sir. See you soon.”

“Very soon, Taneda-kun.”

Tougane had a few glasses of champagne in the guest room, even small, it looked extravagant like a palace. But admiring the beauty of his grand estate was not what kept Tougane around at his place. He was waiting for Shinohara to leave, judging from the baggage, Shinohara should be away for a day or two, more than plenty for Tougane to do what he had to.

Tougane bugged Shinohara’s phone in his office, it was likely where he discussed crucial businesses, Tougane was certain.

He waited long enough that it would be clear for him to get into Shinohara’s office. With the right equipment, four-digit lock could not stop him from entering the office. Even he was no stranger to intrusion, he felt slightly nervous but also a high to do it, he guessed it was what kept him in this business. He bypassed it and snuck in.

Something was strange, there was a faint cry from inside as he peeked the door open.

There was a woman in a racy nightgown inside.

It was Rie, Shinohara’s young wife, crying inside his office. She hysterically cried on his couch, the small coffee table had documents of sorts spread over it.

Tougane checked his office and the documents was before, there were papers about his illegal arm trades but that was not useful for Tougane in anyway. But for Rie, it could have been too revealing to know what her husband was actually up to behind his charity façade.

He walked in and slowly closed the door, when it shut locked, Rie sprung herself and looked shocked by his presence. She trembled on her legs.

“What … are you doing here?” Rie stuttered those words out. “You’re not … supposed to be here. I’ll tell my husband …”

“Is that a threat? I’m sure he’ll be as pissed to know that you intruded into his office too. What a coincidence. Like you, I wish to know about the man who pays me more, I presume.” Despite feeling slightly alarmed, Tougane appeared ice-cold and cocky. He took his eyes off her and went to pick up the tape from the recorder he planned along with the bug, picking it from the straps and put it away in his jacket’s pocket. He turned back and the woman did not move away a bit, she was still looking at him.

Rie looked scared, frightened. But she did not budge, her eyes were not on the door even when Tougane stepped away from it, she had an opportunity to run for the door if she wanted but she did not. She was not looking to run, she was not thinking of running.

Tougane guessed earlier. In her head, there was nowhere to go next or nothing to do next, she just froze there and succumbed to her feelings.

“So now you know?” Tougane spoke to her. He eyed on those papers laid in front of her briefly, there was more than enough to tell her what her husband actually did for a living.

“Yes ..” That was all she could force out as her tears flooding in, her empty eyes widened in those teary sockets.

If she had no idea before, she would be in denial. But this, it seemed she had a suspicion long ago, a doubt deep down in heart, what she just saw here, it was just a final to the coffin. She could not deny it anymore it was not what she hoped to be.

“So .. You’re going to shut your mouth and pretend like nothing happened, live with this monster as long as you can. Or you’re going to run away from him, pick your boy up and run as far as you can?” Said Tougane.
From tremble, she became shaken, her tears poured down on her cheeks. And yet, no answers from her.
That was when he knew neither of which she could do.

Tougane stacked up the papers she took from the cabinet and put it away, making it looked like it was never pried on before.

“You need to get out of here.” She was not responsive to his words.

Tougane opened the door and checked that there was no one in the hallway. He looked in the room again that everything did not look out of place and then he held her in his arm, escorting to her room.

She was stiff in every bit she moved, her body acted shrunken against everything, she held herself in as if she had gone into her cocoon. He softly put her by the end of the large bed, turned on the lamp on the nightstand and found a drink for her to relieve. He poured whiskey Shinohara kept in the cabinet in the glass and handed it to her, “This will help.”

She took the glass and bottomed it up violently.

“God, calm down for a bit.” Tougane worriedly said. “More?” He asked as he handed her another glass.

She nodded, and he went to pour another. She took the glass and drank it wholly. Her stiff body softened as the whiskey kicked in.

“Better?”

She nodded again, but looked away and made no eye contact, she was disconnected to the present. He did not want to trouble her anymore but he really needed to talk things over with her.

“Rie.” Tougane carefully held her by her shoulders and turned her to him. “You mustn’t tell him I was in his office.”

She only looked him blankly without any response.

Tougane shook her to gain her attention, “Do you understand?”

She was already tipsy even tears have not dried from her face. “Yeah, whatever. I don’t care anymore.”

“I’m serious. Can you give me your word?”

“Then what were you doing there in the first place? He talks of you well, he likes you. If he knows you are snooping around in his office .. ohhh- haha-” That was the driest and stuttering laughter he had heard. “What were you doing there, Mr Taneda?”

Either that was from an innocent curiosity or an outright doubt, it troubled him to answer right away. Right now, he had nothing to make sure she would not blow his cover. What did she want? He asked himself. If the fact she grew despise of her husband because what he did for a living which made him a terrible man, or even a monster in her eyes, she would want to leave, but when he asked her that earlier in the office, she acted there was no way she could not. What if he could grant her that, an exit from this ….

“You hate him?”

“I don’t want to, but I can’t help myself feeling disgust.”

“There seems to be something that keeping you from leaving him. Whatever that is, I promise I can help you, if leaving him is what you want.”

Rie was disinterest in whatever he had said earlier, but now she cared and paid attention. She let go of the glass in her hand and both hands on his cheek, she grabbed and shook as if she wanted to spill something out from inside him. “You’re not … lying…. Are you?”

“I may have lied many times. But this once, look me in the eyes and they will tell you if I’m lying or not.” Tougane looked straight in Rie’s eyes, his word was genuine even he was not sure if he could what he was about to promise her.

“My son … I would never see my son again if I leave him.” Sadness soaked in her reddish cheeks, he could feel the maternal care and fear from her.

“I’ll handle that.” Tougane told her.

“You can’t. He’s powerful …”

“You don’t know what I’m capable of.”

“Then who are you?”

Tougane knew there was no going back, if he said it, he would put his life on her hands. But if it could buy her trust and get her to do what he needed her to, he would tell her. “I work for the authority. I’m investigating his misconduct. Arm trades are just a surface, we believe there’s more into it.”

Her face did not look terrible than before, she was not more surprised than she already have been, “Ohh … Why am I not surprised?” Her facial corresponded to what she uttered. “I should have known ..”

“If I have enough evidences to bring him down along with his operation, he won’t be able to do anything to you. I need your help, I need you to keep this is just a secret between us. It will be a while I have what it needs to take him down. I need your promise that you won’t tell him, I can give you what you want.”

“Hahahah.” Rie laughed dryly, Tougane was not sure she would do that if she had not had whiskey earlier. She let go off his face and put her hand to hold on his. “Yes, absolutely.” Her soft touch calmed the nerves and complimented her intention of keeping her word.

“Thanks.” Tougane looked genuinely thankful.

Rie smiled as she looked at him, he could tell it was not out of happiness for certain, rather irony or mania. “So we’re climbing into the bed together now?”

“If you say so.”

A single drop of tear rolled down from her eye as she tilted her head, her smile widened and her laugh and cry mixed, pathetically and out of her mind. “Damsel in a distress, and you – knight in the shining armor to the rescue. I never seem to be able to do anything by myself. Hahahha-”

Tougane brought her into his embrace, he lightly put her head to softly rest on his shoulder. “It’s not your fault,” he stroked through her shiny black hair, “it’s just you’re unfortunate, life’s like this, it’s not your fault you run into bad people.”

“I felt so betrayed … Heartbroken … for investing love and care for him. I’d thought he’s a good man and deserved it …”

His hand went on to lightly groping on her back, to brush the unrest of off her, “You couldn’t have known that prior.” He gently stroke.

Silence fell between them, Tougane kept comforting her with warmth from his hand from the cold lonely night.

He could feel his shoulder was not wet with her tears anymore.

Tougane sighed as he got rid of anything that could become a problem. He tidied things up, he felt confident in the progress of his plan. Right now he would put her to sleep and have some rest himself.

He slowly loosened his hug and moved his hand off her. “Good night, Rie.” He told her as he turned away and was to leave.

“Wait.”

He felt her warm cheek on his neck, her arms wrapped around him.

“Satoshi, he said he would be away until tomorrow’s evening.” No more word came out of her lip as it touched teasingly all over his neck.

Tougane knew what kind of trouble that would bring to him. He would like to think that this was not out of desire but necessity, yet his mind was not straight as he hoped it to be, he tried to weight the reasoning in doing this but he could not lie to himself that was all. A spark in the flammable air was almost impossible to put out, it combusted and burst too quickly, once it was on, it was on and nothing could stop it.

“That gives us enough time to talk and see things through.”




Tougane felt the weight on him, not from her head which now rested on his bare chest, but the weight of his responsibility. He brought her into this, there would a risk for certain. He told himself again and again that he needed to be very careful. Even he would want to deny it, it was good not to spend a night alone. Lately, sleeping was troublesome, he found himself waking up too soon and feeling too odd, anxious and such. He had to comfort himself with a bottle of bourbon through the night. Stress? He thought. Work was indeed stressful lately, likely why it became a problem. Requesting for a prescription for drugs now did not seem good, even the he had the psychiatrist on his side, he would not be too sure if Lea would actually filed him ‘unfit for field’ and the whole undercover thing would be blown as the attention was brought on him. Little things could be managed, he thought. Being here at least gave him a dose of something to cope with. He got to relax, simply put.

They tugged tight under the same sheet, the sweat from their skin quickly dried in the cold night. The smoke from his cigarette he lent to her wallowed over the lusting scent. In the end, she could not resist it after giving up for her own good and kid. But she said this would be just one time thing to relieve herself and nothing more, so he lit it for her and let her smoke. He did not worry if the smell of the smoke would expose him, Shinohara himself smoked in this room often even his wife was with him, that was what she said. It seemed that eventually everyone seemed to drop something that was harming to their life at some point, he never has considered doing it himself even he knew well how dangerous it was. The feeling to stop was tingling, but he could not resist it.

They did not have time or mood to talk as they were at it, keeping their breathing up with the pace was already troublesome enough, let along chit chatting over it. Now that every raw desire has died down, they were no longer impulsive or too instinctive, they had time to think and to wonder.

“How did you meet him?” Tougane was the first to break the silence. He wondered it himself how a young woman in her 30s ended up with a man way older for her. Even he had a glimpse of the idea, he did not feel insulting towards it, he respected the decision that was made.

Those eyes were too close, they both looked curiously and innocently at the same time. “Do you really want to know?” Rie spoke.

“Yes, if it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable.”

She smoked and blew it out like a steam pipe. “Well,” she looked hesitant at first but she seemed to make her mind shortly after, “About 10 years ago, I used to work as a model, I met him when he came to visit the agency I worked with, one of the models that got killed in some bizarre murder was his ex-colleague, Satoshi came to the agency’s office to help out with her death …. Originally, I wanted to write for a living, I got an award in a competition …” Rie smiled as she spoke of it proudly but then it faded away, “But thinking of how much I had to endeavor to be able to write something is discouraging, I felt I couldn’t be able to make a living with that kind of thing, I was afraid the fact that I wrote something well was just a lucky shot. Even that what I wrote wasn’t interesting enough for people. People only like me just for my looks, not what I am. Knowing that truth, I decided to do something based of that. Young and beautiful, who wouldn’t like a girl like that? I made my money, trying to build my own life, from what I look, a gift that god gave me. And because of that gift, or was it a curse .. People I got involved were always a fraud, a fake, selfish .. Someone who I can’t trust, and one day I missed. I ended up with a little boy of my own, just two of us. I was afraid I would lose everything, having a child would take the job away from me but I can’t take his life with my own hands. I was just afraid for both of us to have a poor life. But then he came … Shinohara Satoshi, a charmer, a saint, everybody’s philanthropist, we got to know each other through a mutual acquaintance, needless to say he fell for what I looked but he was a nice guy, he understood or so he seemed, without the problems I had I’d fall for him anyway. The way he looked at me, like he was looking for someone he has been missing the whole life … Even he knew I was carrying a son that was not his, he welcomed us, he loved the boy like his own. I thought everything was perfect but then somehow it happened … I feel like I’m less and less of a person, everything around him to him is just an object, he has a vision or a desire for it to be what he wants it to be, he would be furious if it can’t be what he wants. From love and care, they have gone to patronage and favor, that’s how we got here. I almost left him once, but he reminded me what I owed him, I need him to be able to have this life, he needs me to fulfill his perfect image of a family, part of prosperity he longs. That’s how it feels a lot less like love these days, I keep acting good in front of him, maybe he knows how it actually is in my head, maybe he doesn’t and doesn’t care. I’m something that fulfill his life, something, not someone … That’s marriage to you, you understand marriage?”

“I think.”

“You’re married?”

“No, never. Haven’t got time to think of that.”

“You don’t have anyone?”

People in his life that were still alive, not too many, he could not think of much … Tsushio who offered him an opportunity to this life and, in a way, raised him and took care of him. Fujiwara who was his buddy in the service. And now, Lea, his psychologist whom he spent most of his time with in the past weeks. He could not think of anybody else, some other people even they called him friend, to him, they were just business associates. His family died long time ago, what seemed to be the second one perished in a battle he failed to win, what he had left was just himself. It felt painful to lose something important to him, too painful. It took a while to feel numb and heal, having himself clinging onto someone did not seem like a wise choice to him. Maybe it was better for himself to not have anyone, he figured.

“I don’t have anyone.”

“I’m sorry for that … What’s your story? How did you get here?”

It was not the first time he was asked with that, but the only time he told the truth or the most of it was when Lea asked him, with others, he either lied or omitted the most parts, even with his friend, Fujiwara.

“I grew in an odd environment, I’m capable of doing things, and the one that they find in it me and need is a capability to detach from feelings, they don’t trust a faint of heart to do their wet works, they don’t like it when little things screw up their work.”

She stretched out a hand to him, she caressed on his face, “Not feeling it at all and hiding it is different.”

Tougane felt her glance was trying to look into him, to inside, he was not comfortable that she tried to because being able to read him would render him vulnerable. He did not avert her eyes, he kept his cold and stared back, dismissing her notion. “What makes you said that?”

“You seem to care when I looked sad and desperate, isn’t that true? Isn’t that why you offered to help me? I thought you really meant it. You’re not just using me like any other people do?” Her voice sounded soft like she was begging him, pleading him to answer.

Tougane was afraid to answer that, whether for what he felt or what it actually was, he knew he was still using her in a way nevertheless how he actually felt was, and nothing made up for that.

“I have to go now.” He got off the sheet.

“Okay …” She sounded disappointed like when she appeared sad to him before. He was certain that she would get over a little thing like that, and therefore he did not to answer it. “You should hurry up and get dressed. Leave before anyone sees us.” She said flatly as she pulled the sheet back to cover her bare body.

“I know, I’m used to this.”

_________________
Explanation for my writing in case you are wondering:
Why it's kinda a mess ....



Maybe just one doesn't suffice, have a gif.






Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:51 pm

Chapter 13: Backstabbers:


Day 28
2143 hours
Tsushio’s office in The Agency’s headquarter;
Undisclosed location, Tokyo

“Shinohara, you have to do something about this, there’s a leak from your side and the British agent picked up. I disrupted the message but that’s not enough. You have to do something or else I will be blown!”

After the yell was played on the cassette recorder from the tape Tougane sent him - *click* - Tsushio pressed ‘pause’ and spoke “Are you still persisting that it wasn’t you? Pfft.” Tsushio then pressed ‘play’ button and the tape continue to roll again.

“Calm down, Takada. I’ll send my man to take care of it, both the leak from my end and the agent. You-”

Tsushio stopped the tape, there was more to it but the heart content was just right here. “I’m sure that’s your voice and he refers your name. Are you still going to deny it?”

“That’s not enough for evidence.”

“You came to me and acted like we’re on the same side, really …. You just tried to divert the heat from you, to make me think that’s it’s someone else you’re helping me out. Slimy …” Tsushio was to be among the first people to know that in this industry, business … No one can be trusted. Though, as much of a human as he was, Tsushio felt anger. “No one saw you enter here, and no one will see you leave here. There’s no arrest, this isn’t a trial. If you are the mole, I’ll have you fed to the vultures or some perverted cannibal. Unless you prove yourself useful, there’s no reason I have to keep you alive.” He continued.

Takada laughed pitifully at his own fate, his hands trembled beyond control, powerless he felt, he could not move a muscle from the chair with the invisible binding on him: his defeat. “So it has come to this … Your boy’s got talent.”

“I told you my division, my program, it’s not just a recreational activity in the afternoon as you thought.” Tsushio turned around, walked forward and faced both his palms on Takada’s knees, causing him to flinch. He grabbed and put strain on them. “Nice move by the way, trying to side with me so I would remove my suspicion from you, I should have said. But there’s no endgame for you. Tell me everything you are planning with Shinohara!” His intense eyes met Takada, even for a middle aged man in a pair of glasses, Takada could imagine what Tsushio would do to him if he did not comply.


“I don’t know what he’s up to, I only shared what the Agency and task force are up to with him. That’s all.”

“What about the bio weapon?”

“I don’t know, I just had it disappeared on its way from Hong Kong before it reached here. I don’t know what or why or anything about it beyond that ….”

“So you’re just a small fish, aren’t you little crook? Why are you siding with him? The director trusts you, he gave the position to run the main office, if that wasn’t his affection on your skill I wouldn’t what to call it. You would be running a lousy diplomatic job if it wasn’t for the director who took you in.”

Although Tsushio was forcing guilt on Takada, Takada displayed no sign of it, he was just sacred for himself and that was all he seemed to think.

“Answer me!”

“You have to choose side, Tsushio. There’s no way you can live as a neutral, eventually you are forced to choose one, and I chose my mine. The faster you choose, the higher you’ll be in the new food chain.”

“You chose wrong, Takada. You barely gave me enough to go with, I guess you’re out of use.” Tsushio was ready to press the phone to call the one outside the room, and then two men would come in and take Nakada away to nowhere where his fate was uncertain.

“Wait!” Takada panicked as Tsushio began to dial. “I know who the frontman for Shinohara is, if I give you his identity, will you let me go?”

“Yes.” Tsushio gave Takada his word, a grin came on his face as he knew he was making a progress.




Day 30
1032 hours
Hernandez’s office in The Agency’s headquarter;
Undisclosed location, Tokyo
“How are you doing?” Hernandez asked as his eyes were on the papers on his desk which he read and signed page after page.

Lea was sitting across Hernandez in his office. In no way from her discretion, she would not prefer to come to his office just to report a few things but she was contacted. Undeniably, she had to come. There was no moment she was not thinking of leaving as she turned the door, hanged her coat or sat down across him. Hernandez always acted too casual and friendly around her as if he did not pick up how she detested him even slightly, causing her to keep up her pouting face almost all the time. She could not know if that made him happy even more or not.

“Cut to the chase.” Nothing in face but displease, she did not bother to put up anything to cover it.

“Alright … For someone in the psychiatric field, you have very little of subtly in approach.” Hernandez shrugged his shoulders as he spoke.

“We’re not here to discuss about me.”

“Fine, how is he?” Hernandez rotate his chair sideway, facing away from her. He was annoyed but her displease. Hernandez did not ask that out of care, all he cared was how his scheme was progressing.

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!”
The scream of the boy came, painfully, as much as when she saw a lamb being knocked and ready to slaughter in the barn when she once stumbled on as a child.

Her eyes opened widely as it went on.

“Doctor Monroe, are you alright?” Lea heard Hernandez voice again, the lamb’s scream she just heard was now silent.

It came in the back of her mind and never really occurred in the reality.

“We’re progressing.” Lea gave an answer vague enough to avoid explaining the detail.

Ever since the last time she has gone into his mind, she no longer saw Tougane Masaru as a violent man, a glorified killer as she was told. All she saw was a lost boy, in pain, because of the things that happened to him. And in that pain he brew in, he tried to overcome it but the way he did was … His view and perspective of the world were tarnished and distorted by the bad people around him, leading him to believe he should become one alike them in order to survive. In the end, he was just a boy who wanted to be freed of pain and happy with life, but he changed so much that the definition of ‘happy’ for him was nowhere close to other people’s happiness, to him it was just satisfaction. He thought he knew was he was doing but he really had no idea.

“Does he start to grow on you?” Hernandez asked her, kiddingly.

“Excuse me?” Lea heard it well but she was just expressing her irritation to Hernandez’s nonsense, she accepted the task and the deal, she did not accept Hernandez to be someone acting like they were friends. “What are trying to say?”

“I’m just wondering, you two go to places together a lot lately, a lot for a patient and a psychologist. I just want to be sure that the thing between you two is an advantage to us, not a disadvantage.”  

How did he know? She felt disturbed, she could feel in his chest that it was tight and uncomfortable in the moment she had a thought of what Hernandez said. “You have your people tailing me?”

“It’s for your own good.”

“Nonsense. If you want what you asked me to do to be done, just keep your people and your hands of off me. It disgusts me.”

“This is not about what you like or not, but fine …. For your sake, I’ll give you privacy.”

“Thank you.” Said Lea, sarcastically. “I only keep myself close to him to hinder what you want me to do.”

“Okay ..” Then Hernandez laughed lightly but also delightedly.

“What is that laugh for?” Hernandez was amazingly annoying once he showed what he was and what he wanted, either she was overly dramatic or not, she could not find one bit in herself that said this man was not intentionally irritating.

His laugh lasted a little longer after she asked, Hernandez turned the seat back and looked at her again. “You keep saying that.”

“Saying what?” She was genuinely unaware of what he meant.

“You keep saying ‘what you want me to do’ or ‘what you asked me to do’ when in fact it was ‘what you agreed to do’. Have you once admitted to yourself that it was your decision that you agreed to do this? I didn’t force you even slightest. You keep saying in subtext that you’re noncommittal to this, that’s not going to work on me. It doesn’t take a psychologist or something of sort to see that you’re trying immensely to deny your involvement even you’re the one who’s carrying it out. If you’re going to be selfish and accept the deal, then just do it and don’t act to me like you’re not. Nobody’s saying anything if you are, you deserve it, it’s a business opportunity for you, a good one at that. Does it make you feel better in doing this? Denying?”
Clenching hands, her nails dug into her palms, she was roused by what he said. Not because it was irritating that he said it, but, as she just realized now, it had truth in it even she wanted to deny.

“That’s none of your business.”

“Sure, unless it interferes with our plan, then it is my business to be interested in.”

She was waiting for ‘that’s all for today’ but it has yet to come, Hernandez looked like he still had things to talk.

“Speaking of that, it got me curious. You really want to win the ongoing trial against the decease’s family? You already moved here, had a new start. You miss home somehow?”

Eventually, Hernandez always knew what button to push to press her down on the lower level. Lately she just pretended that the thing with the trial did not mean anything but just something she had to get it done. The patient, someone she knew and was intimate with, it was true she killed him, and in a sense to her it felt like she led things to the point where she was forced to, but killing him was not it was all about. She was filed for mistreating and misconduct on the patient – the man she had an affair with – she was alleged of causing his overall mental state to go downhill and do things dramatically drastic. Things have not been on her favor and it pained her to hear she was a witch from the deceased patient’s family, it did not matter to her if they truly were anger at her and relentless in his winning her in the court for the justice and retaliation in their sense or just the compensation from her. Losing in the trial would even more tarnish her reputation that it was already as she was involved with the case, at worst her license would be revoked. But that was not what she cared the most about it. She did not want to lose the trial not because she did not want to suffer her consequence, but if she did lose, it was like having a reminder that she was truly the cause of this terrible incident, that it was her fault, she needed to know it was not, she needed to believe, and that might not be enough, she needed to see that it was not her fault in the first place. So she could move on with her life without feeling anything dragging her down to the pit that felt like hell for her.

“Is that all for today?” She simply said it and meant it as it was.

“I’m sorry it has been a rough day, things I have said must have troubled you somehow. Allow me to make up for it, would you like to go on-”

The door shut behind her before she could hear the rest, she did not say anything but she already gave him the answer.

She rested herself on the nearest wall she could.

She felt conflicting in herself.

Did she really want to continue on this scheme, push a man to the point where he lost it and then she would be rewarded for a selfish prize? She questioned herself.

She still asked herself now, even that she wanted that prize so dearly and then after having it, she would feel she could move on with her life.




2139 hours
Dr Moreau’s office, Suburban of Tokyo

Both Lea and Tougane were in her office like they were every week, where the thing between them in this room was designated as psychiatrist-patient, not something else they were to each other outside this room.
They were at the very same seats they did in the past weeks, sitting across each other. Lea pressed the button and the recorder started to work. Although this whole thing was not to evaluate and improve the mental quality as it was lied as, she wanted to have something on record for authenticity, and it was also a way to get him to speak the truth as he understood those questions had to be answered and reviewed. She recorded sometimes, whenever the topic was appropriate and comfortable for him.

She stated her name and what she was, the date, the log number and the subject, who he was and such.

“I would like you to answer these questions I’m going to ask you, please take your time in answering each.”
Tougane looked normal as always, and by ‘normal’ meant he did not like the idea of being here at all, hence his prickly demeanor in the most subtly he could repressed.

“I perfectly understand.”

“Then, let’s begin.”

Lea drafted the questions beforehand, they were not standard from any assessment. It was something she came up from him as she could predict him in his line of work, the notions she perceived from him and all sort of things he has done that were addressed in the dossier.

She remembered those letters she wrote on the paper well, but she had no need in holding it her hand, her mental image was clear that she could memorize to each character.

Seeing the man ready, she read the first question from her mental image.

“How did you end up in this line of work?”

“I was recruited from military.”

“How did you find yourself in that kind of work?”

“I discovered I’m capable of doing that kind of work, physically and mentally.”

“How do you describe your work and your duty? What role do you play as?”

“My work revolves around neutralizing a hostile situation which requires a great deal of physicality and proper mentality to judge and take action in that situation, regardless of condition, any measure necessary will be taken. I qualify their standard, I’m what they are looking for in this job.”

“How do you keep your performance balanced and maintained in daily basis? From my understanding, your job touches upon threatening and stressful situations which should affect one’s psyche.”

“I don’t let personal feelings to overcome myself. I’m detached from whatever would compromise my duty.”

“That brings us to a relatable question. How do you remain emotionally detached in the line of work?”

“I just do. There’s nothing useful in being attached to emotion, especially in the line of work. It’s a weakness, the second you let it cloud your judgment, the damage afterward often comes a great cost.”  

“Knowing that you might have faced difficulties during the implantation stage, what draws you to the application of ‘the ‘mutagenic enhancement’ program? I’m sure you have made it passed that stage but what was it like at the time, may I ask you?”

“I have faced many scenarios I was certain at the time I would have died. In those situations, beyond the boundary of physicality even by a little could have turned the situation around, and I reached the limit in all those situations and failed. A little more of strength to lift the burying rubble crushing on me. A little more endurance to withstand the immense pain. A faster response time to react before something bad happened. A faster recovery time so I could resume to work before things went worse. I have trained and maxed my limits in those things, there’s nothing I can do anymore to go beyond that by ordinary measures. And in those times I have failed, I learnt failure came in a price too high and I found it hard to make up for, if it only requires being stronger even a little to prevent failure from occurring, then I must take my chance to become stronger. In one incident, I caused my comrade in the battlefield to be injured and paralyzed because he was busy helping me lifting the car that caused me to be stuck instead of complying to his CO to retreat. I knew if I had a little more power, he would not face that burden I caused him. Today’s enemies grow more vicious and violent, if I allowed any mistake to occur because I reached my ordinary capability, the price, as I said, would be to high. People depend on me, on men like me in this program. It is not that we want that power because of lust, it’s a responsibility we ought to keep. I believe it’s not just me who shares this notion.”

That was the last question she had written on the paper, but she still had a wonder …

“If you knew that power, from the ‘mutagenic enhancement’ of course, had a chance of having severe effects on you, that would disturb you … Would you still apply for the implantation, knowing that there’s a chance you would suffer those effects?” That was not on the paper she drafted. He would unlikely know what that meant, as far as he concerned, there was no harm from the enhancement and her question was hypothetical. But from her standpoint, she knew it was evident, even without her tampering and its disguise, one day it would affect him badly. She knew from him he had a desire for power and its exercise. He had a tendency of being addicted to the use of it, it gave him fulfillment. The cause he fought for was an excuse to keep going on, in reality, he knew he suited this life and wanted it because it was the only fulfillment he has ever come across. She just asked him if he knew it was bad or had a chance to turning out to be terrible, would he still choose it. She did not know what to do with the answer after this, and likely, she could guess what he would answer.

“Yes.” Said Tougane, without hesitation.

She looked at the determined and stern face, a man so sure of his judgment and action even knowing it was bad. How would she fix it?  

“Doctor?” Tougane called out. “You shouldn’t let the tape rolling if you’re out of questions.”

Apparently, she was adrift and had no idea that she did. She stopped the recorder.

Her job was not to fix and cure him. For how he was, even it was not easy to look for, there was at least vulnerability in him which was what she came to exploit to complete her task, and beyond that was not of her interest. All she had to do was to push him to the limit that would qualify as ‘mental instability, unfit for field duty’ which would fulfill her task in tarnishing the reliability of this ‘mutagenic program’, discontinuing its funding and abolishing it.

Even knowing that fully well, it did not feel as easy as before. She found lack of words to continue, she just sat there looking at him blankly.

Tougane already went ahead with taking off his jacket and rolling his sleeve up, readying for sedation as part of their treatment.

No jokes, apparently. Lea had a feeling he would say ‘I had no idea you are this attracted and charmed to me’ or something of this sort as she stared at him silently. He did not say anything at all. It was odd, she wondered what happened, she wondered why would she think of that.

She had a feeling she knew Tougane more as a person outside this room, but less as a subject when he was here.

Why would she care of that? Why would she care of him at all? He was not her actual patient, and if he was, she should not have cared anyway because it was just her job and she was not require to care sentimentally about her patients. She had those thoughts.

“Are you going to do it or not?” He asked.

“Let me get the drug first.”

The substance in the syringe was slowly pushed into his muscle, and not long he started to feel dizzy. In the darkness of his mind her words gave him direction.

‘ ….. go back to when you last saw your parents, to where they died, to where it all began. Take me to the source of your guilt, what you have repressed inside ….. Let me see and understand what that guilt is.’

And a few second gone by, Tougane was not here, at least his conscious and his mind was not.

He once said to her, when his parents died, it was what made him what he was today.

Was there any use in learning anything about it? What would it help that she went inside his mind and saw what happened? She doubted herself. To use that influence as her exploit would be the answer but that was not in her mind, she genuinely wanted to know.




A man and a woman were standing behind a cottage next to the woods, there were nobody but them around there, people have been gathered at the center of the village as Lea could see and hear the noise. The man and the woman looked familiar. His parents? She just remembered them from the photos she saw in his house. Looking at the villagers, they were Africans. So what were they doing here in the African rural? She wondered.

And the fact both of them did not look so happy at each other made her wondered even more. They looked they just had an argument, or were about to start one.

“You can’t bring them here and just ignore them. What is it so important that you have to bring our kids here and have them pose for publicity? You forced them to work in this heat, they are kids, they are going to get upset and cry. Right, doesn’t matter, because all you care is just work …” Said the mother.

“Don’t talk to me like that Miyuki! You know the publicity is important for the foundation. Right now the financial supporters are not paying us enough, we need more money, even we have to beg it from people who sympathize and believe in what we tell them we are doing through publicity, we need their donation. Just once we have our kids out here, pretending to work and help the community here, have pictures taken for columns wouldn’t hurt them. I won’t even bother bring them ever again.”

“That’s right, Professor Asada that people know is a generous humanitarian, a visionary, a great father who teaches his kids to be like him, everybody loves and respects you. But to us, to your children, you’re not what people believe you to be. When are you going to start to care about us? You never care for me but that’s fine, I’m grown up enough to understand, but your kids … They are just kids, they don’t understand why you’re doing this, they just want to happy like other kids, have a father like other kids, not just some guy who pays their bill. You have to take care them.”

“Take care? Isn’t that supposed to be your job? I don’t have time for this bullshit. I have work to do.” The father walked away.

“Don’t walk away from me, Josuke! I’m not finished!”

The mother clenched her hands angrily, her body was shaking. She suppressed her urge and brought out a orange pill bottle, she took the pills and braced herself like nothing had happened. Lea followed her as she walked away.

The muddy sensation as she stepped on the dirt distracted her from knowing where was heading, when she realized, she was standing by a convoy of three trucks on the only road out of the village.

‘Heian Foundation’ Said the marking on the side of those pick-up trucks.

So that was the foundation they were talking about, she thought.

“Load the samples on the trucks, Mr Asada wants to leave now. Hurry up people.” One of the worker with the foundation’s logo on his uniform shouted out to his colleagues. They carried the metal crates with very same marking and logo and loaded them on the trucks.

“Ojousama,” one of the worker opened the passenger door for her and gestured her to get in politely, “we are leaving now.” He bowed to her.

“Thanks.” She bowed and got herself in the car.

Lea saw him, the very same boy she saw time and time before. He was curling up on his seat, he looked disappointed and quiet, he did not speak anything even he saw her.

His parents got in the car in the front seats and then the convoy moved out.

They made it out of the jungle, to the plain where sunset shone golden on grasses. The pick-up trucks left trail of dust as they ran along the lone road through the vast plain. The only things running were not just the trucks.
The boy’s eyes were captivated on the antelope running fast along the truck far away. It ran fast as it could as a pack of hyenas were chasing it. Alas, it was not fast enough, one of hyenas leaped and buried its teeth into the back of the antelope’s leg, the pull was strong as when the antelope lost it balance and speed, its flesh was torn out by those sharp teeth. The antelope fell on the ground, lied helplessly. Its cry was drown out by the sound of the trucks moving. Its fate was not seen but evident, from the other side of the seat, she could not see but it seemed the boy still had his eyes tracked on until the truck drove far away.

“They’re not wrong you know.” The boy spoke, sadly in his tone.

“What do you mean?”

“Killing that poor animal, it’s a necessity. They need to eat. They are born that way. They don’t care what about anybody thinks. Like you, dad. This is a necessity, right?” The boy turned away from her and spoke to his father who drove the car.

“WOULD YOU STOP THAT!?” The father yelled. “Who cares about your musical band, Shuji? I said we had to come here, we come here. You don’t question me!”

“You don’t know what it means to me. I miss too many rehearsals, I’d get boot from band, dad. I asked you to let me go for once.” The boy sprung from his curling position and raised his voice.

“Is that why you messed up today? You’re supposed to pose as they instructed you. They say ‘smile’, you smile. You don’t get to fuck up and waste other people’s time. You care so much about that thing, your stupid school band? Next time you act like a little rebel, I’ll make you howl for your mother. It’s your fault, Miyuki.” The father then turned to the mother on the shotgun. “You indulge him too much, it spoils everything. His academic … Why can’t you be like your brother?”

“Stop it!” The mother said. “Ai, just tell your brother to be quiet for a second, will you?” The mother turned to her.

Lea was confused what she meant by that, but before she could do anything, the car slowed down. The truck leading the convoy seemed to slow down and stop.

Curious and confused, the mother spoke, “Why are they stopping?”

The driver and the passenger from the front truck opened the door and rushed out like if it was for their life.

“Something is not right.” The father spoke.

Then the explosion erupted from under the front truck, the force flipped the truck she was sitting, her head was pulled and slammed harsh, knocking her out.




Her blurry conscious slowly came back to the world upside down, the pain felt too real than she anticipated, even the warm red liquid bled from her forehead. Her eyes were blur as if she needed a pair of glasses for a few seconds. The burning stench from the engine caught on fire was kicking her nose, gunfire was loud in the background.

The front wind shield was cracking and had a bunch of holes on it, the red stain splattered and covered all over it.

Both of his parents hanged dreadfully from their seat still despite what was going on, which only had one meaning. They were dead.

She felt strongly alarmed, but she kept herself calm enough to handle the situation.

Where was him? She turned to where the boy had sat, now he was gone.

She had to get out the car first, she slowly opened it and then laid low on the floor.

She took a look around, the local child militias were loading the metal crates from the truck onto their own truck parking further away with their adult leader totting his gun around and ordering them. Lying on the floor not too far away was the boy unconscious on the ground.

“Christ …”

She ran to the boy and picked him up on her arms.

That was too impulsive, they spotted her now. Their gun raised and aimed for her, they yell something she did not understand, their face was nothing but hostility.

Her heart raced, fraught with fear as she stared down to those barrels. Her shaking legs slowly rose up and she stepped back.

“Don’t, don’t don’t …” She retreated with the body of the boy as the militias advanced. Before they closed in, she ran back. As she turned there seemed to be no direction for her to go, plains on the sides and only the long dirt road.

But the truck that followed the one which she rode and was crashed still looked intact, its unfortunate driver and passenger were gunned down not too far from the car after they tried to run.

She ran for it and put the boy and then herself in the car, she looked back and they ran like hell for her.

A shot was fired once and broke the glass on the driver’s door as she tried to get in, the bullet grazed her arm, and she flinched and fell down on the floor as pain struck.

She heard their leader yelled angrily, and the fire never came again but footsteps have yet to cease.

She tried to drag herself in the car but something held on her bloodied arm.

A young militia tried to pull her out of the car.

“No! NOOOO!” She bowled at him but he persistently kept pulling her out from her seat. She pulled the car door with other hand toward her violently, catching the young militia’s arm between the car frame and the door.

The young militia howled to the intolerable pain as his arm was crushed.

She gritted her teeth hard as she repeatedly pulling the door in again and again until she was free from the grab.

But it was not the young militia that let go off her, his arm still held onto hers after it was dully crushed and cut off.

She shifted the gear and stepped full on pedal, pulling the steer wheel sideway and heading off road.

The barrage of bullets roared again as they struck on the moving car.

One had hit the tire and she felt the bump. “Come on, come on!” She bellowed as she tried to steer the car steady. In just a minute she lost the control of the car eventually, but at least she went far enough to lose them.
Waiting on the horizon was jungle line.

She did not realize how exhausting it was until now that she stopped and took a moment to feel it, panting crazily. She felt that was not herself that did those things, she felt compelled to do and react even it was not her command from her mind as if she was told to do these things. She started to doubt whether that was her trying to break the immersion of reality of his mind which went according to what happened to him or she was still playing along … More and more, she felt being controlled. She was not sure what it was anymore.

But one thing was certain, it was telling her to get this boy as far as possible.




The night fell, and she kept running with the boy on her back deeper into the jungle.

“Jesus .. They’re fast.”

The searching lights flashed through the dark woods, the militia caught up with her fast after she lost the car. They swarmed up the perimeter too fast, she, having to carrying him, was slowed down too much. If the boy or she alone kept running, the militias would not be able to catch up.

She felt so exhausted that she did not she could keep moving on anymore, she dropped herself and the boy onto the ground and hid behind the tree from being caught in the searching lights. Unconscious, he looked like a baby in the cradle, unaware of the bad fate that occurred to him. In his sleep, he was safe from it. She did not want to wake him up to this reality and inform him of the fate waiting for him. But she had no choice. On her discretion or not, she already did it.

“Wake up!”

She shook him, “Come on, little guy.” She impulsively murmured, at the point where she felt she had little control with her words and actions. Everything started to feel ‘on-rail’.

The boy was dizzy and drowsy as he woke.

She was speechless, not knowing what to tell him first or at all. What should she do? She startled.

“Ane …Where’s dad … mom?” The boy asked.

The question she was afraid the most.

“They’re gone.” The words fell off her mouth, she did not know why she said but she also felt she could not lie about it.

That innocence and calmness in a daze he temporarily dwelled faded, they boy shivered in fear and despair as he learned his parents had passed. He broke down and wept.

“Come on, not now. I need you to stay strong.”

She too felt sad for him, she knew it would devastating if she were him. But nothing could be done now. She was still here for him.

It did not matter anymore which direction they would head, as long as they got away from the militias.

The boy's tears flooded endlessly, he succumbed to despair and ignore the present, behind those empty eyes, he was not here anymore. He gave up.

"Hey, hey!" She grabbed the boy and shook him, "I need you to be here, I need you to stay focused!"
As long as she was here, she would not let him give up. It was not like what Tougane was at all, he was tenacious and relentless. That man would not give up easily, would he?

The tears ceased, devastated and broken, yet not recovered, the boy looked at her.

"I want you to run as far as you can ahead. I can't carry you anymore ... I want you to just run and don't look back."

"What about you, ane?"

"You don't have to care about me, just run!"

"But I'm scared... I can’t go alone-"

"Just go!"

The boy was reluctant but he got on his feet and ran off to darkness ahead.

At least he would be safe with her staying on the back and distracting the pursuers.

She had no idea why she told him those things. She felt she would lie to him for the time being, not forcing him to face the harsh truth like this.

It did not matter, she felt relieved now that he got away.

Soon, this would be over.

She heard someone approaching. She scattered and found a chunk of rock. Staying behind the tree, she remained hidden from the approaching light.

As the short and slim figure behind the light walked nonchalantly passed her, she struck relentlessly. She kept hitting until she felt mushy in her hands.

She was ridding over a lifeless body, a boy, with what used to be his head splattered over hands.

Suddenly, she was swarmed by the lights. Behind those blinding came the horrified cries.

She leaped and ran before the flashing orange blast from their guns erupted.

She ran like hell, the lights kept chasing her as if they were the welcoming light of the afterworld.

Fatigue wore her down, she slowed down to the pursuing lights even she felt she exerted her strength to utmost.

A burning pain, she could felt it like a knife swung and cut across her stomach as she looked back at those lights, it did not feel numb even slightest. The pain took balance off her feet.

The lights caught with her eventually, her strength was washed away as she bathed in those lights.

Powerless, she fell to her knees.

It was burning hot on her stomach, she tried to use her hands that became old to ease that feeling, but her hands felt eerily moist and warm on contact. She looked down at it.

The bullet had grazed across her stomach when she was staring to that incoming demise as she tried to make a run for it. Ignorance was a bliss, she should have just kept running without wondering if the creeping death had caught up with her or not. Blood was not the only thing that spilled, her bowels too spilled inside out as the fleshes were cut. She used her hands to keep her guts from falling out.

It was beyond any recognizable remedy.

She looked up ahead and hoped to see that the boy has vanished into darkness and nowhere to be found. At least she could know for sure he was safe. And to know that he was safe, she would be calmed and ready. At least she had done enough to keep him safe. A fair trade, for her it was.

“No ….”

He should have run ahead. Why was he running to her now? Why was he running back to her? Her realization was eating her away. Even deep down she wished to see him again, but this was not how it should be.

“Ane!” He cried out as he rushed for her.

Her body pivoted on her knees and crashed headlong onto the dirt.

The pain slowly faded, she felt the ecstatic numb.

“I told you to run … Why are you coming back … Why are you ruining everything …”

The boy tried to hold her in his little arm. “I can’t leave you- At least if I was with you, I could do something.”

“This is not …. good. I told you ‘you don’t have to care about me’.”

“I’ll fight them, ane! There must be a way.”

“You’re too weak, we can’t fight them.” She did not know why she said that. It was as if something was influencing her. She did not want hurt him with that harsh reality. She wanted to at least let him know she was glad that he decided to come back. But she kept saying it. “We can’t make it together, we’re too slow and outnumbered. At least if I stalled them, you would have time to run away further. That’s the very least I could fight for you … Now it’s nothing. We’re too weak, we can’t fight them ….”

“No, no, no … Hang on!” The boy told her as she was resting in his arms. His teary face was so close but she felt so far from him that she could not even reach her hand to shed off those tears with her pathetic hand. “Please, help her! Take us with you, but just help us!” He turned away from her and yelled to the pursuers.

One of them walked up to him, that militia angrily lashed out, she did not what he was saying but she could tell how piss the man was. Rage mixed with disbelief on his face as if this was not supposed to happen, like that they would grab her and the boy, take them in with ease, not having to open fire after she attacked some of them.

She started to feel her head was slipping off his arm, the militias pulled the boy away from her. Her head fell off onto the dirt again and it felt cold on her cheek as she laid down on the side, she looked at the boy who struggled to free himself from their hold. He yelled ‘no’ frantically many times.

“Don’t do that!” He begged but no avail.

The boy struggled enough and he became free briefly. He started to swing his arms and hit the militias around him despite they were armed with guns.

“Don’t do that …” Her faint plea did not make it to him. Resistance would only get him hurt more. She realized the fate already, she just wanted the boy to accept it and let himself be taken, she did not want him to be hurt more than he had been already.

But it was not long that the boy could fend them off, he was struck by more men with more power, each blow delivered then the boy grunted in pain and fell down onto the ground as she did. They continued to kick him again in the belly after he fell down.

The boy proved to be trouble that they decided to lay hands or feet on him. But anyhow, there was no way the boy could put them down as he was outnumbered.

She looked at him helplessly, feeling pathetic for not being able to do anything.

The boy looked back at her with fear in his eyes, even coughing up in blood, he pled loudly “Don’t kill my sister!” He continued to suffer every kick at him until they grew tired and stop, by then he was brutally beaten that he could not utter anything.

Sister? She was confused. Why was the boy thinking that she was his sister? This was not real, she was certain or she thought she was. She thought she was just a tourist intruding into his mind, peaking into his head.

‘Ai-chan ….’ She remembered that name that was called out to her.

She had a glimpse of it now …. She thought she was herself this time. She was not here, she was just seeing it from his viewpoint and what he remembered. Every time then, she asked him to go back in time from his memory with a specific direction to lead her to the context she was looking for.

‘I want you to go deeper and deeper. I want you to think of when you were a child, how was it, what did you experience, I want you to go back in your childhood.’

She asked him that time and time, so he would lead her there and let her see what was there. That led her to see how his life was, and then it led her to witness his suffering at hands of the others.

But all of that did not help her to understand what was the beginning of it, she thought it all along that being hurt from other people made him lacking of empathy and led him to lay his hands on fellow humans without feeling anything. But to him as he told her, that was just a justification to allow him do it, not what caused him to do it. He told her it was a desire to be stronger, and in his sense of ‘strong’ it was violence he wielded. If he was strong, he would not be hurt, bad things would not happen to him. He told her that what took his parents from him was cruelty of human which sought what was necessary for their survival through violence. If they could seek to violence, so could he. But what was the notion made him think he must be strong to be resilient from anything, even through violence?

‘ ….. go back to when you last saw your parents, to where they died, to where it all began. Take me to the source of your guilt, what you have repressed inside ….. Let me see and understand what that guilt is.’

It was the last place she could look for. It was the beginning of his descend into darkness. What answer lied in the memory of his?

Bad things would happen to him if he was weak and it would keep happening if he was still weak, he understood it that way.

He would lose anything if he was weak, that was what she perceived from his words.

‘You’re too weak …’

Everything he had, his family, they died without anything he could to change that fate.

He was told he was too weak to do anything to change it.

She was dying in front of him, despite doing anything he could, it would not help her. He was too weak to retaliate even half of what the damage was delivered to him.

He knew his parents had died, he saw her dying in front of him, he tried to do anything to keep that from happening and he failed. All he could understand was that he was weak, so these things happened and could not be changed, he would suffer those fates.

She was the last straw, she was not herself all this time. It was through either the memory of him of his sister or through the perspective he thought of what his sister saw. She was seeing this moment as his sister. All this time she thought she was aware but she had no control of what to happen or not at all, she was not changing anything, she was just following what had happened.

Being that his sister was about to be taken from him, he understood if he did not want anything to be taken from him, he should stand up and do anything necessary to keep it.

His guilt was that he believed it was his fault for being weak so he lost everything.

Being weak which led to being hurt reminded him it was he who let these bad things happen to himself. He endured it as much as he thought he should.

And one day, he snapped.

That guilt drove him to do anything to prevent which he feared, even if he had to be violent.

Through violence, he achieved victory upon bloodshed, he could feel he was strong and he had the power to change things, to not let things he feared from happening to him.

That was the beginning of it all, the road he walked. He built his life upon that, and has gone too far from where and what he used to be. As he progressed, stake became higher and his measure was more drastic.

She was still here, laying on the dirt.

She only just realized now she had a gun pointed at her for how long she did not know.

The boy’s eyes were still on her.

The militia looked at her, he turned to the other and shook his head like ‘no’. Maybe it was because her condition was worse than it could allow her to be transported, or they just were not willing to help as when she became a liability.

She heard the gun cocked, she knew they would rid of her.

That was why he pled them not to kill her.

The boy’s eyes flooded with tears.

Those eyes looked at her like they were not going to see her again and that hurt so much on the inside.
Piercing and rampant burst, she never had to feel anything again. Only leaving those who breathed to suffer.




Lea woke up, either it was a second ago or eternity in limbo that she saw the last of his memory, it felt too long nevertheless.

Tougane was still unconscious, she always gave herself less of the sedative dose but enough to put her out of conscious for a while as he was. She cleaned up the equipment before he woke up as always.
So that was why, she thought. The last of love and care, even barely that his parents provided but his sister gave up her life for him, they were gone, and never had a chance to experience it again. The life after that day was never better, he was outcast and harmed more and more, leading him to fulfillment from the last thing he could have earn.

She had no words for her comprehension now, she did not have any explanation of what she was feeling or doing.

She sat by him, embraced him in her arms as close as she could, to where it was close to her heart. A pathetic attempt at compensating what he lost: someone who meant something to him. She hoped that the warmth could keep him alive and well in the cold loneliness.

She looked at him, unconscious, innocent of guilt and sins when he was bound in the waking world. He may convince himself he grew too far to left anything reminiscence of that young boy. But all she could see of him, was just a young boy who tried to cope with what happened to him when he was young, he was still doing it, he just did not know, he thought it was the only way because he was never given any other option. He became a man driven by guilt in the wrong into the path of hell.

She felt movement of his head on her chest as he was waking up. He looked sad and depressed as he came to his senses, but as he realized it was her face he was looking at. Tougane put on a smirk to cover up that feeling he had, as he always did ever since that day, trying to act like he was okay.

“I’ve never known you want me this much, Dr Moreau. Intimate physical contact while the patient is unaware should be considered a sexual harassment, don’t you know that?” He chuckled lightly, after playfully teasing her. At this point she did not know if it was even natural or not, if it was something he used to doing. “What are you going to do with me?”

“Right …” It was too late to pull herself away from feeling sympathetic for him, she was already doing it, she pitied him. She still wanted what she was promised if she agreed to hurt him even in a way, she could not deny herself she did not want that reward, that she did not have selfish agenda. If she succeeded, she would be freed from what she thought was her guilt.

She just knew it now, she, too, was driven by her own guilt into doing something terrible.

Half of her wanted to back off, the other did not.

“What are you going to do with me?” She repeated his question that he meant in the other way as her tender hand stroke on his face softly. She understood that question in her own unpleasant way and she had no answer for herself, or in reality, she had but it was painful to admit to that choice she was going to make or persisting to make. “What am I going to do with you, Tougane Masaru?”

_________________
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Why it's kinda a mess ....



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Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Re: [SS] Gespenst [Der Mann, der aus der Kälte kam - Final Part Done]

Post  Tougane Masaru on Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:58 pm

Chapter 14: Ground Zero:


Day 31
2310 hours
The Underground interrogation site in The Agency’s headquarter;
Undisclosed location, Tokyo
“I told you about everything I knew … NO, NO, NO!” The man who was tied to the chair which has fallen over pled as the wet towel was put over his face again, Mansfield and Fujiwara stood and watched from the corner of the room as the interrogator began to work on water-boarding the man.

The man they were interrogating was Shinohara’s front man, a directing manager to a phony company. Tsushio was the one who located the man and tipped off the task force.

A good dozen of seconds passed, the interrogator stopped the pouring the water down and removed the wet towel from the front man’s face.

“Okay, okay, I’ll talk …” The front man panted due to asphyxiation.

Mansfield stepped over to the front man who was lying down. “We know about things Shinohara does, but now why … Money isn’t his motivation as far as I know …. What is it?”

“He’s trading arms to fund some operation, I don’t know what it is ….”

The interrogator raised the water jug and the water dripped down over the front man’s face.

“PLEASE! I DON’T KNOW!” He panicked.

Mansfield shook his head and the interrogator backed off.

“I just know that it started about 7-8 years back … Shinohara began to prepare for something after a fallout between him and the Academy City …”

“What fallout?”

“The city shut one of his project down due to some political reason, it caused Shinohara’s resources to go wasted … Despite the fallout, Shinohara continued to work with the city because they still think he’s useful. But after that Shinohara started the arm trade, in which the city agreed and allowed, they secretly sell him the weapon so he could distribute them, it benefits both he and the city. Shinohara was no stranger to dark businesses, but this time, it’s different, he wasn’t ordered or forced, he did it on his own will …”

“That’s why …” Mansfield contemplated in deep thoughts. “Take him away to the holding cell. We’ll be needing him later on.” He said to the interrogator. Before he furiously exited the room to the hallway.

“What’s the matter?” Fujiwara came after as he noticed there was something emotional with Mansfield.

“What’s the matter?” Mansfield mockingly repeated. “I just learned the reason that bastard has been conducting an arms trade … And it’s a lot of HORSE SHIT!!!” He violently twisted and punched the wall besides him with rage. “Just because some political reason, that doesn’t give him the justification of doing this!!!”

“What’s the story? It seems personal to you.” Mansfield has lost two of his men already, Fujiwara understood it could be why he was on the edge, but things looked more in the way that it rooted deeper than just that.

“Come with me.” Mansfield said before heading up from this floor. Fujiwara followed closely and waited for him to calm down. Then Mansfield began talking, “There’s a terrorist cell who orchestrated a chemical attack about 6 years ago, the attack has taken the life of people I knew in the Riverhouse or from Hereford. We investigated into this and we found out Shinohara was the one who supplied the weapon to this terrorist cell, though there’s enough evidence to take him down, so he slipped from grasp.”

“Is that why you’re on this task force?” Asked Fujiwara.

“Partially, I hadn’t known at first, but after the discovery of the weapon in India, I knew.” Said Mansfield with a discouraged face. “That should be enough for us to take him down, but from the people on your side, your very agency, we need more than that, we need to know about his plan, we need to know about his network.”

“That’s true …”

“Don’t you see it?” Mansfield stopped abruptly and stepped closer to Fujiwara. “It’s just excuses, it’s known that the city doesn’t want us to touch Shinohara in the first place. They’re just prolonging the process, the longer it continues, more of my men will die. We lost two already as we’re working here, plus those whom I’ve lost 6 years ago, it’s 23 people now.”

Fujiwara could feel the same, ever since Tougane found the weapon in Hong Kong, the Agency and the city were not as supportive as they should be for the operation.

But he has never thought about something, something Mansfield was about to tell.

“There’s something wrong with your superior. He knows this too. Isn’t he the one to tell you that we can’t take down Shinohara before we have anything substantial?”

Fujiwara began to dwell on that notion. Yes, it was as Mansfield said. But this time, came to think of it, Fujiwara too felt there was something with it.

“MANSFIELD!” One of the British agents yelled as he was running towards them. He stopped right in front of Mansfield, looking overly perturbed, he hurriedly said, “They’re taking the front man away!”

“What!?”

They shared the same expression, Fujiwara and Mansfield rushed back along with that agent to the holding cell where the front man was being held.

Tsushio was there, watching his men taking the front man out of the holding cell.

“What the hell are you doing!?” Mansfield aguishly inquired.

“You’re done with him, aren’t you?” Tsushio dryly replied with hands in his trousers, acting insouciantly. “I was the one who informed you about the man, now that you’re done with, I need him for something else.”

“We still need him for a sting operation, we’ll turn him against Shinohara.” Mansfield tried to reason.

“No, you don’t.” Tsushio ignored the man’s anger and began to walk away.

Mansfield almost lashed at Tsushio, but Fujiwara held him back. “I’ll talk to him.” Fujiwara told Mansfield.

Fujiwara followed up with the departing Tsushio, “Erh, sir?”

“If you’ve come to tell to change my mind, I won’t, Fujiwara.” Tsushio coldly said.

“Why else do you need this man for? He’s vital to our investigation.”

“That’s none of your concern, Fujiwara.”

“But sir!”

That was then Tsushio stopped and he looked at Fujiwara with a murderous look that Fujiwara has never been treated with before. “Stay out of this, Fujiwara.” He said.

Fujiwara started to realize something, he spoke it without a second thought, or even a thought. “It’s about Tougane, isn’t it? I should have seen it coming …..”

“If yes, then what?”

“Sir, you can’t just-”

“Don’t tell me what to do, Fujiwara. The task force isn’t going to succeed, but what I’m going to do – will.”

“What you’re doing now is putting the task force at disadvantage, sir. I think you should know this better than anybody.”

“Then you just have to accept that ..” Tsushio ignorantly spoke.

“But!?” Fujiwara was struck with utter confusion and disappointment, never before he had come this far to see Tsushio treating him like this, and he doubted the same with Tougane. Of course, thought Fujiwara, Of course.

“You don’t have faith in us …”

“It’s not about faith … It’s about everything I have to do to pull the roots that Shinohara planned so deep in the Academy City off at once and never let it to grow under any condition. If you think to tell this to anyone of the task force, thinking of telling anything that will ruin my operation, I will have your parents cut up and made to a mat and sent it to you. You understand?”

“Sir, do I even matter to you?” Fujiwara heartbrokenly asked.

“Anything necessary, Fujiwara, I will do. I hope you understand that.”

Tsushio walked off with the front man the task force have spent their effort in getting him, leaving Fujiwara and Mansfield with nothing but desperation and disappointment.

“There’s definitely something wrong with him.” Fujiwara said.




Day 33
1649 hours, local time
Heian Foundation's Refugee Camp, Southern Border of Nigeria

What stayed behind the lock door with the psychiatrist should stay there, no matter what happened or was done there. Tougane focused his attention on why he flew miles away from his motherland. Shinohara wanted him to tackle along, presumably, to one of his facility or installment. Tougane grew confident as he knew his scheme started to work

He arrived in Lagos a couple hours ago and then rode away to the outskirt where the camp was via a convoy of jeeps and truck. Together with Shinohara and his people, in a tan linen suit, he looked like rich people, coming from civilization to save the poor, the great savior of the poor. But that civilization was decadent and as savage behind its façade.

Despite being in the heat, Tougane kept his brown knitted tie knotted tight to his white shirt collar. He did not want to look as relaxing as Shinohara who went ahead with open neck pale pink shirt with a beige suit, it looked too sleazy for him to pull off, he only went too far in clothing when the situation demanded.

The convoy stopped as it went through the layer of the vast and deep camp, to hand out commodities to camp settlers, refugees, poor people. Even Shinohara handed each piece to them by himself, he greeted and talked nicely with a smile on his face. To their eyes, in this cruel and unfortunate world, Shinohara Satoshi was a saint who came down from heaven and freed people from poverty and hardship. Shinohara branded himself through his endorsement of humanitarian acts publicly. This camp was part of his self propaganda. He worded it ‘a safe haven in the wretched world’.

Shinohara hugged the little poor boy who lined up for his turn of commodity crate. “Oh my goodness, let’s take a picture together,” he lifted the boy like his own son and took picture with him., he made sure every photo of him taken made him looked like a generous philanthropist. Tougane was caught in the frame as he stood behind, he himself did not participate, he had a feeling it was not necessary for him to lie by acting like he cared. Sure he lied many times, but lying himself to be a good person was not the thing he would buy it and the lie would only work when one believed it himself, therefore the others would believe it.

Shinohara reminded Tougane of his father. His father used to run a humanitarian foundation, go out and help people in villages of various places, a great doctor who cared for the poor and unfortunate like Shinohara pretended to be. But also alike, he had his own agenda like Shinohara, for him it was the donations which from the publicity that his father promoted. His father did almost the same thing as Shinohara and appeared as a saint, Tougane wished only that were true when he looked at his father’s true self behind his alter ego. It hurt to know that, but Tougane thought it was for better if he remembered his father in the way the other people did: a great and generous man who endeavored for the people.

“Well, that justifies our presence here. No silly question on our little activities here.” Said Shinohara as he got on the car, after being done with his publicity.

They drove deeper into the camp, no refugees around here and the atmosphere looked different, it was a military facility hindered by the refugee camp surrounding it. Personnel were moving weapons crates around, dubious-looking tents set up in the area, military contractors roamed this place like it was a military base. How could nobody know? He wondered. This place looked like its own state, rather than just a camp.

“When a continent descends into chaos, that’s when opportunities open up. Brits in China, Americans in South America, now we’re following suit.” Shinohara spoke as he guided Tougane through the camp. “We gather these seasoned gentlemen from around the world whose goal is to earn easy buck from fighting in battlefield without any political bullshit, they are trained to handle political incursion and insurgency. They provide us great convenience to handle minor problematic situations, assassination, fake terror plot or even a coup, to maximize our operational capacity in this region. We wouldn’t be able to sell the weapons we stock in here if it weren’t for the service of these gentlemen.”

“Where do these weapons come from? I imagine it’s not easy to acquire them at this quantity without getting someone’s attention.”Tougane remarked as he was swarmed by transporting crates labeled as agricultural tools, in truth they were for planting seeds of evil and chaos.

“True, these are from the Academy City. They come from the city and I distribute them as a middleman. Where do you think juntas of the third world, freedom fighters or military contractors get the weapon from? Political standpoints bind and restrict nations from selling weapons to them, which makes it a perfect opportunity for us to make profit. These weapons don’t have to be state of the art, just enough for today’s standard and they will sell. It’s true it’s not our war here in this region and the Academy City is neutral between both sides at conflict here, but if we can profit from it, why waste an opportunity?”

“Lots of them here, enough to create a war that floods more refugees than this camp can hold. You must make loads of money out of these ordnances. The greatest profit for you, more than any industry you own can ever give you.”

“Money?” Shinohara looked at Tougane with a look of ‘give me a break’ and laughed. “Money circulates the system of this operation. It’s what we earn but it is not what we mainly seek, Taneda-kun.”

“You turned a humanitarian camp into a military installation? A perfect cover, you have justification for being without suspicion to public eyes, nobody doubts your presence here. Your foundation is quite convenient, a terror cloaked in humanitarianism. I believe now you see everything as opportunity. But then, what do you get out of this if not money?”

“If that’s a compliment, I don’t think I deserve it.” Shinohara rejected. “The true purpose of this foundation has never changed, it’s only a façade ever since it was founded. It started out as a humanitarian campaign to promote positivity for public image of our country after the World War II, but in fact, it was to conduct medical researches and experiments. Today is almost the same, we use these facilities to establish relationship with the local governments and organizations involved in conflicts of this region, granting us privileges on their land and away from prying eyes, such like this little sovereignty we have. We use these camps and charity thing to mask our activities, stockpiling weapons and conducting experiments on these asylum seekers, nobody bats an eye because these people are nobody. This is business, not a charity. The Academy City doesn’t just get a channel to influence or exploit on these local governments and their resources from what they supply them through me, the charity act gives them a better image in the world stage. That’s why the city funds us and allows this to happen.”

More or less, his question was answered. Tougane still sensed that the whole truth was being held back, but he had a glimpse to whole picture.

“I thought those people who come after you are targeting you for illegal arm trade. What does it mean if the city is behind the trade itself?” Tougane knew it was not the reason and damn well he should because he was after the man for producing a biochemical weapon without permission from the state. But as Taneda, his cover, knew even less about this.

“Whilst the arm trade is in fact illegal, the city doesn’t bother about it and won’t do anything about it. Because we are the vein that feeds the city, they wouldn’t be able to conduct scientific experiments like they’re doing now without large amount of funding.”

“Then why are they coming after you? Both the Academy City’s Agency and the British authority?” Tougane asked. He knew it was the plan that revolved around the use of biochemical weapon was why, but what exactly was the plan? Tougane came along a way here to find out that answer.

Shinohara stared silently and looked nonchalant.

“Before we talk more Taneda-kun, you should slip into something more comfortable, it's going to be a long night." Shinohara told Tougane. He called one of his men to him, "Find something for him to wear, would you? This gentleman looks about your size, bring the clothes for him to change in that tent. He's gonna get himself a little dirty."

"Yes, sir." Said the man and he disappeared to do his task.

Tougane was dying to know, but persisting on seemed nowhere close in getting him to learn this answer. It was better to drop it for now, he believed if he continued to follow Shinohara, he would find out the answer eventually.

"You haven't told me why I am here, sir?" Tougane flew here without being told why, he had a few ideas that it had to do with Shinohara's business. But he did not exactly know how.

Shinohara looked at Tougane's stiff face and he laughed. "Don't worry, we'll get down to business soon. You said that you want an opportunity, didn't you? This is it. Get changed, we'll talk about it soon."

"Alright."

Tougane entered Shinohara’s private tent after he has changed. Shinohara went ahead in making himself ‘comfortable’, he ditched his suit jacket and wore a shooting vest, he was sitting comfortably there at the utility table, reading through papers laying around on the table, they were documents and schematics of weapons Tougane saw earlier.

"Comfortable? Miss the boots? You look right at home." Said Shinohara as he noticed a presence in his tent.

That remark was for Tougane, he slipped into an olive military fatigue and trousers, he looked like an infantry. To Shinohara, Tougane's cover was Taneda who left the military after a long life that was tied to it. The fact that Tougane looked confident and comfortable in the military clothing was why Shinohara remarked so.

"Boots are sandals to me. But I feel my time for wearing them is over. No, I don't miss it." He admitted that he was no stranger in military affairs, but he was done with it, at least Taneda was.

"Like I said, you are progressing, the said opportunity is coming."

"That's what this is about." Tougane was anxious to know.

"Lately, I suffer loss in my infrastructures and human resources, I need replacements. As you knew there was a leak from on our own last week. And my business front man was killed."

"You want me to replace him?"

"Yes."

"What makes you think I'm capable of running your business? I'm no businessman by nature."

"Business is all talk, you'll understand it very soon. The reason I'm putting you in my operation is that you have experiences with authorities, we've been attacked by them, the task force formed of British authority and Academy City's Agency. I need someone who knows enough to slip through their hands, we're running a tight shift here, I can't afford more losses. In order to recover my stalled operation, I need someone to divert the authority to other direction. And you, Taneda-kun, you’re not known to them."

All he had done was not for nothing, Tougane got to know that he was closer to succeeding. No matter what it was or how terrible it was, he had to do it, stopping now was not an option.

“What I want you to do now … The client from this local government is going to arrive at nightfall, you handle the demonstration of the weapons.” Shinohara stretched his arm out to Tougane, in his hand was a thick folder, something told Tougane that it was a book of death in a sense. “You ought to know what you sell.”




1923 hours
30 miles to the west of Heian Foundation's Refugee Camp, Southern Border of Nigeria

Sitting under the moonlight on the low hill were men of the darkness, from one party they brought death to whom opposed them, another party provided the first one the means to that death. On cheap folding utility chairs, they sat down and had a late night tea party. Men in suit were clients, spectators of war, spectators of the demonstration of the weapons they were buying, having never been in the battle themselves, they were carefully protected from the rampant noise of weapons with muffed headphones. They greeted and talked with the sellers which were Shinohara and his new business front man, Taneda Mori, like they were friends to each other, they talked like they were here just for social gathering, but they were bartering and buying tools of death.

Their words meant nothing, he could only hear his own voice in the void of this shimmering night.
All of them waited for the show to happen down below at a village-like set up, huts, vehicles, looking as authentic as a real one, with addition of military vehicles, heavy tanks and light tanks.
Gunfire started and resounded as Shinohara’s military contractors advanced in for atmosphere and theatrics as appetizer.

That was barely the beginning, Tougane knew it well. He looked for the first merchandise for demonstration out in the field below.

A contractor carrying a large missile launcher on his shoulder, he kneeled and aimed at the set-up target vehicle, a heavy tank.

“ATL 420 Thunder, portable fire-and-forget anti-tank missile launcher, recognize target by heat signature, with the effective range of 1,500 meters, with the ability to penetrate reactive armor.” Tougane proudly introduced the first merchandize for the show like he was a car salesman as he put an overly-confident and sinister smile on his face. “It’s made to guarantee than the piece of crap tank at the cost 6 million dollars will go up sky high as soon as the warhead lands on it.”

The launcher bawled as the rocket flew diagonally up in the air and struck down on the tank vertically like thunder struck, causing a thunderous explosion.

Another launcher fired again to repeat its firepower.

The assault helicopter’s rotor roared as it flew over their head and towards the target set up, a village with exploded vehicles as torches lighting up around it.

“Cluster munitions are regarded as ‘unacceptably inaccurate and unreliable weapons when used around civilians in populated areas’ as stated by activists. Its true meaning is in fact, ‘weapons with wide range of eradication and complete confirmation of any life form within the radius.” Tougane turned away from the client and gestured at the flying helicopter as it was about to begin a strafe run. “IRM 947, cluster munitions warhead, 12 cluster rounds in each warhead, 75 meters horizontal spread of the cluster prior to explosion. The damage? Beyond any recognition. Enemy compound will be turned quickly into their own grave.”

The propeller of first two missiles ignited and aggressively dove at the center of the set-up village before setting an explosion and a wall of fire that spanned widely to the side. Another two missiles followed and turned the whole set-up into a sea of flame.

Tougane witnessed the firepower that could wipe out lives in a few seconds, the burning stench he caught in the air was different, he was the one handing this measure of death out to anyone who had a need for it to wage war. He looked back at the spectators, they eye glared as the fire from firebombing reflected on their eyes, they knew full well what these weapons he presented could do and intended to use them to do exactly what they were built for.

Shinohara looked cold in his eyes as if this was nothing to him. Sure, lives were not lost today, but these weapons would used for certain after he sold them. He looked brutally cold as he stared into the burning death harbingers, those eyes he had were the ones that were capable of closing at night and slept like a child. He looked at it like an inevitable truth, like it was unavoidable in this world, if he had not sold these weapons, the other would and this bounded to happen nevertheless of his presence so he did it. He chose to profit over pilling corpses.

Tougane felt different, today he was threading deeper into enemy’s territory and he was on the other side that he used to be. Even he knew he was not a good person at heart, but he was reminded by the calling that he worked for the good side. But now, that calling became faint and faded, he started to wonder if he would soon become such a man like Shinohara.

A pat touched upon his shoulder and brought out of the void he slipped into in this darkness. Shinohara always did it to create a sense that he cherished what Tougane accomplished, or in reality which Tougane believed, his persona: Taneda.

“What do you want, Taneda-kun? What do you want out of this world?” Shinohara asked him as he stared out to the fire that has yet to cease burning.

“I never ask myself that.”

“Given your position, you will make money, you will be able to get anything that can be bought with money. But just money alone cannot change the world you live in, if you like the world as it is, then live with it and let it rot. If you don’t like it and you want to change it, you need power to do so. This is a step to power which you are contributing it.”

“What is that ‘power’ you are going for?”

“A fear that strikes deep into enemy’s heart for those who witness its capability, and death to those who suffer it. Like these weapons we have just sold. I’ll show you what it is.”




2103 hours
Heian Foundation's Refugee Camp, Southern Border of Nigeria

This large tent looked like as any dubious looking tent in this camp, its size fit about three elephants inside. But inside, it was a large incline elevator that went deep down underground. Tougane felt an odd cold-shiver as he descended down and stood under the flickering yellow siren light with the warning buzzer that the elevator was in use playing in the background. Something was down there, Shinohara had promised him. Tougane had a precise idea about what it was.

At the bottom, it was an underground lab like the one Tougane raided in India.

A bio lab.

Through a long white corridor, he doubted this place housed something that was clean as the place was furnished.

Shinohara led Tougane from elevator into his lab, “36 years ago, someone in this foundation discovered a virus strain that dwelled inside a rare ancient plant and ever since they have been working on it. The local tale from the tribe that lived close to this unique plant embraced it as part of their culture, their legend says those who prove worthy will be embraced by the power of god as they consume the flower of these plants during their ceremony, and thus use the power to protect their tribe.”

Tougane began to relate it to his knowledge that this was definitely the things that were flowing in his stream of blood. Though, not as powerful as ‘the legend’ made it to be. Yet, he did not get it why the virus fell into Shinohara’s hand. Maybe it was when Shinohara has taken a position within this foundation? Tougane speculated. The company and the project that experimented on him as part of ‘mutagenic enhancement program’ were very protective about everything regarding the virus, but Tsushio made sure they were credible, and that assured Tougane. If Shinohara wanted it, a man like him could steal a sample and reverse-engineer it, although he would need someone who had great knowledge of it to speed up the process so he could produce it as a weapon and ready to deploy in time.

“That power of god will give one enhancements in strength, endurance, senses, regeneration and a long lifespan. Those who are unworthy will be rejected and succumb the effect. Scientifically, it’s just about who are genetically compatible to the virus or not, if they are, their cells will be enhanced, if they are not, their cells become corrupt and terminated, resulting their death. In reality, small number of people are compatible to the virus, hence the high mortality rate in this tribe. Even low concentration level of virus and genetically modified, it’s still rare to find someone compatible. The virus is the key to cell manipulation, which is why researchers were drawn to it. But like anything, trying to get the best out of something is harder than getting the worst out instead. People fetched on its maximum potential, and many have failed, the rest achieve too little for what they pay. That gives me an idea, why not be practical and make a use of it as it is?” He stopped before a door as it automatically opened, “After you.” Shinohara motioned his hand.

It was dark on the inside with only dim light on the floor panel, Tougane stepped in first and Shinohara followed.

Something was eerie, there was a rapid and inconsistent beat, banging from behind of the front surface.

The door shut close and it was pitch black for a moment before the artificial light lit up.

He knew now what the cause of banging was, or rather were.

Separated by a thick glass pane, there were people crammed into the locked room tightly like livestock, those people who looked to be the refugees and asylum seekers.

They were banging the glass pane for help.

There was enough of a sign that there was no consent.

Frantically, they banged harder as they could see persons in front of them. Panic and horror in their face, Tougane saw them. They were calling for help, they knew the fate that awaited was going to be the end of them. But their scream did not even make it out of that room, unheard and unseen, nobody would look for them.

Men, women, kids … There was no discrimination in there, Shinohara did not even spare bother to spare them, it looked like they were just crammed and loaded here without selection.

Their look in their eyes were begging Tougane for help, but as his expression in the face remained unchanged and suppressed, the pleading became cursing him for being an accomplice to their ill fate.

“You wish to know what I was talking about, Taneda-kun?” Shinohara spoke up amidst the silent screams Tougane was staring at. “Blood will be on your hands once you answer ‘yes’.” He said that coldly.

It was clear those poor people were locked up on the other side of the room as test subjects, lab rats for the bio weapon Tougane has been searching for.

Tougane took a lot of lives to stand where he was, close to Shinohara and his plan. But he had to be closer to the point that he could dismantle and avert the plot, right now he was far from that. And as long as he had to go forward, no matter how many lives he had to take, he would do it without hesitation, Tougane was determined so.

“Yes, I want to know.”

Shinohara went to the panel aside the glass pane on the wall, he pressed a few buttons.

“Blood is on our hands and we’re alike, we both are the man who does what necessary to reach our goal. It feels like eternity for me that I walk this path. But for you, it’s just the beginning of your journey.” Shinohara calmly spoke for a man who was about to kill many lives at once.

Blue gas leaked through the sprinklers on the ceiling, the dark blue cloud consumed the room.

Tougane could not see through the blue mist. He braced for what was left behind after it devoured all those lives in there.

Shinohara pressed a button once more, and the blue cloud was ventilated from the room.

Strangely, all those people were still alive in there. Tougane had anticipated otherwise. They looked even more panic and crazed than before.

“Genetically programmed to a certain ethnic group, this weapon can be no harm at all.” Shinohara said boastfully of its property. “A strain of the virus can be produced to target a specific group based on their genetic, it takes the right one to produce the effect.” He poked on some button at the panel.

The demonic blue cloud returned and submerged the room.

And then the ventilation began again.

As the cloud began to disperse, people in there succumbed to the exposure as the blue cloud swarmed them, they fell down and writhed on the floor painfully over one another, they struggled to stay alive. Some of them banged on the glass pane for help desperately.

Tougane stared at their deformed face with blue pimples and decomposing bruises that looked like fleshes of a rotting corpse.

Within two minutes, there was completely no movement in that room, no sign of life.

“It corrupts them.” Shinohara stepped back from the panel, he walked up to Tougane, before the glass pane and laying dead bodies. “That’s what the virus does to them,” he waved his hands in the air once, he was tensed and wide-eyed as he stared into Tougane’s. “… like many viruses, as the virus makes contact with a cell's membrane, it inserts its genetic coding into the cell. The cell absorbs the viral genome into its own genetic make-up, which takes over the cell's functions. The cell begins to produce offspring of the original virus. The new viruses are then released from the host cell and infect the neighbouring cells, which starts the process all over again. What happened when the host is incompatible to the virus? It slowly breakdowns the cells and leads to the gradual breakdown of the host, causing necrosis and eventually, their death. A minute upon contact is beyond saving, after that it is just their desperate struggle without hope. The virus will only affect humans and not other life forms, during the duration it is programmed to stay alive. Once it reaches the time limit, it will die to prevent further contagion and limit the damage. It proves to be a useful ordnance once deployed in the field, no damage other environmental and structural damage. The effect should be accelerated, but this is already enough effective, don’t you think?”

The exit door automatically opened and Shinohara gestured Tougane to leave. He sighed unpleasantly once, “In front of corpses is not such a nice scene to have a talk, let’s walk back out.”

Tougane’s mind pondered to the picture of victims to that weapon as he trotted along the long corridor back to elevator. It was the first time he saw the weapon was activated in front of his eyes. At that moment when the blue cloud that carried the viruses was released into the room, stiffly frozen, he gazed at its power to take lives, he believed in the threat even more. What would Shinohara do with this weapon? He strained himself for a possibility of answer.

“What will you do with it?” Tougane innocently asked.

“To have the power, you must hold some sort of a big stick. This is the big stick, Taneda-kun. All of my infrastructures, facilities were used to dedicate for other purpose, but now, all resources I have, all funds I make, they devote to this thing. Even to gain that power, it calls for an investment. And not just throwing money at some face will bring you that power, if you can buy them with money, someone too can. If you show them fear and overwhelm them with it, they’ll follow unquestionably.” Shinohara answered with ease as he walked.

“So you say this weapon which has an ability to take out a lot of lives will bring power to you once you use it?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, Taneda-kun. It’s not about using it, though it involves doing that. They need to know what I can do and what I will do, they need to believe that I can and I will, once they do, they’ll know who to follow.”

They stopped for the elevator and got on.

Standing on the large and open incline elevator platform, Tougane still had that shiver he had when he descended here, now that he truly knew what waited for him down below.

The yellow flickering siren light reflected on Shinohara’s eyes which were cold, they looked to belong to devil and venomous creature like snakes. Shinohara was indeed either one of them.

He knew what the man was capable of and would do before he got here, he was not terrified then, but he was now.

It was not his plan Tougane was terrified of, not yet. As the yellow eyes of Shinohara looked back to him, they did not look at Tougane as the enemy, but an accomplice, a right hand man to his scheme. As Tougane looked back at them, he felt the stake running high, he knew it was only who got this far to learn this scheme, not anybody else, not the task force. Tougane did not trust the task force to succeed as they were overwhelmed by Academy City and Shinohara’s powerful friends in the right place’s bureaucracy as part of scheme, now he started to trust himself less. He was terrified that everything was on his hands, he was afraid to let the opportunity to stop this plot slip out of his hands, and that nobody would ever be able to stop Shinohara.

His overwhelming thought was interrupted by the very devil standing before him.

“You seem to have a disbelief in me, Taneda-kun.”

“Not at all, sir.”

“You have doubt in me, I can tell.”

“Not in you, but what you are about to do….”

Shinohara stopped and stayed still briefly as he stood on the ascending incline elevator. His eyes became thoughtful before he spoke.

“At the very end of the World War II, Japan was the only Axis state who kept fighting. The Soviet advanced from the north, the American advanced from the south, at this point and no doubt, Japan would definitely lose, either they surrendered or not. The tension would have died down but two decades passed, I learnt it did not, and if it did, it began again. On August 6 and 9, 1945, what do those dates mean?”

Tougane, at first, was not on the same groove as Shinohara’s, but he did understand and know the question. “The atomic bombings.” He answered.

“Exactly. The US decided to use the atomic bomb for the first and only time for warfare in history. And that has changed the world, the world we live in now, this cold war, was born out of that fear when those two bombs went off. Powerful nations sought for the power of destruction on that level, leaders and bureaucrats serving under them believe that they must topple of their enemies with the number of nuclear weapons as Mutually Assured Destruction suggests. It began on that day, Taneda. You may argue that it was the government of the Japan at the time who refused to surrender, but it was the US that had the options in their hand: to keep the war going on a little more or to obliterate them with the prowess and fear of the nuclear weapon. And they chose the latter. It was innocent civilians who were killed by those bombs, not the politicians and military officers who were responsible for their war. Do they care about the civilians when the bombs were dropped? To end the war before it caused more damage and losses, they say. But you know well, it was a political move. They could full on push the front line until they made it into the heart of the nation but they did not. The Soviet got Berlin already, the US would have fallen behind if they had not finished the job that quick. They had the justification to drop the bomb and take lives, and that was the only time such a weapon could be actually used. By dropping the nuclear bombs, they pushed the Soviet out and showed the prowess of the weapon at the same time, they showed the world who was wielding the biggest stick and what you would get if you messed with them. A catastrophic result of a belligerent and militaristic policy born on those two days and haunts the world afterward. But it proves one thing, that to achieve the result, a necessary measure is called for.”

Gears’ collision sound from hydraulics occurred as the elevator was engaged to its locks and reached the ground, it was loud. But in Tougane’s mind, it was loud like thunder, struck inside his head as he listened to Shinohara, the devil he danced with.

Shinohara walked ahead out of the elevator platform and the tent which was hiding it, and Tougane followed.
Under the moonlight, the yellow glare in his Shinohara’s eye were gone, it had depths and looked humane once again. The devil in him was gone and he looked most certainly a normal human, without a hint of his capability and intention exuding from him which were like his horns and tail.

But that was why one should be scared of the devil, he walked among us and nobody knew, and nobody would know what he would do.

Except for Tougane.

What would he do from now on?

Continue to dance with the devil?

_________________
Explanation for my writing in case you are wondering:
Why it's kinda a mess ....



Maybe just one doesn't suffice, have a gif.






Tougane Masaru
A Certain Problem Eliminator

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Join date : 2015-07-03

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