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[?] A Certain Masked Man

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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Aleister Crowley on Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:45 pm

August 31st 15:00

"You know him?" Aiho kept her weapon trained on the occupants of the room, casting a quick glance at her fellow Anti Skill officer. Though their targets were mere teenagers, she was acutely aware that they were potentially dealing with a dangerous killer, one who could have the capability of murdering them both with a thought.

Tsuzuri nodded an affirmative. Though her face was set in a stern, concentrated frown she still managed to look timid somehow. Perhaps it was the fact that she looked so small standing beside the taller woman. Or maybe it was the way she flinched when Oda moved to show them the paper.

"Don't move!" The two Anti Skill repeated in unison, Tsuzuri's softer lost beneath Aiho's deeper, more commanding bark.

"Look I know this looks bad, but we don't have time to argue here. You can punish me or anything later, but you need to go there in case the killer shows up!"

"Oda-san..." Tsuzuri was the first to break the silence, lowering her weapon. Aiho glowered a little in concern but kept her sidearm raised. "I want to trust you." Tsuzuri took a tentative step towards the boy. "But you have to understand how this looks. We have to take you into custody..." She seemed apologetic as she reached for the zip cuffs at her waist. "You too, I'm afraid." She looked over to Kita, making sure not to move suddenly or in a way that might appear aggressive. The tense situation didn't need escalating any further. "Please. We can sort all this out at the station." She pleaded. If his words had any truth to them then they would figure it out when the pair were safely in custody.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Kita Tsukiko on Sat Nov 11, 2017 5:04 pm

Before it seems like Oda could reply in any meaningful manner, she first heard the door behind them crash open before seeing Oda try to get her out of the way. She would've replied had she not heard the intruders should "Don't move, we're Anti-skill!" When she finally turned to the door, what she saw wasn't people. She just saw two guns trained on the both of them, which cause her heart to stop for a second. She couldn't speak, being a little intimidated with two guns being pointed at them, but she listened, picking up several key points. Oda was replying, bringing up the paper, after which one of them lowered their gun and replied, talking about bringing them in, and saying "I want to trust you. But, you have to understand how this looks." When the Anti-Skill girl started to approach, Kita felt anger begin to overcome her fear and she took a small step forward.

"Look. If anyone is going to get arrested, arrest me. I followed him here against his will and took part in an investigation that had nothing to do with me. But, he shouldn't need to go anywhere. I know him and despite how any of this looks, I know he didn't do anything. He shouldn't have to suffer for something that he hasn't done, especially when he has been trying to track the actual person responsible. So please, just let him walk out of here and just take me in." She spoke as if she actually knew anything regarding his relationship to the killer, when really she had no idea. Maybe he was the killer and she was trying to help a murderer. But, she had a strong feeling that he wasn't, and she didn't want him to get into even more trouble for her stupidity.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Oda Taichi on Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:30 pm

There wasn't much Oda can do other than standing there blinking at the outburst coming from Kita. But despite her attempts to defend him, there wasn't much he and she can do about this other than surrender. This didn't mean he was giving up; it just means that the next step had to be taken by Anti-Skill and not him.

But the fact they were pointing guns at them also helped him surrender without much of a fight. He was blind to that fact when they first arrived since he wanted them to act on the information they found. But now that the adrenaline had faded staring down the barrel of a gun was very unnerving that Oda was starting to sweat.

"I don't think we have any choice, Kita, thank you though." Oda said who put his hands together as preparing himself to be cuffed. "If you can't trust me fair enough, but if bringing me to the station will get you guys to act on this information sooner then later then it will be worth it." Oda said standing there waiting to be arrested.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:04 pm

In response to his flippant comment, she only let an annoyed sigh escape her lips, that was all.

No offensive gestures, no indication of a change or anything. She had shrugged it off completely, bragging further about her absolute superiority in the situation. What was she thinking? What was she intending to do? It wasn’t as tough she was trying to keep it a mystery, she just didn’t consider him worthy enough to find out. In a sense his entire presence never occurred worthwhile to her to begin with.

«Faster.»

A verbal whiplash. Not even worthwhile for proper sentences to be uttered. Mugino would only speak up as he slowly began to move away from her, urging him to further accelerate his steps. Not for the sake of chasing him, though, but simply because she wished for him to move. Yet did she communicate any of that?

As he moved, she would move as well. If he would take a normal step, she’d take a slow one in the time he would do two. If he would run, she would walk casually.

«Just go on. Oh, and try to not stick out as much as you did before. It’s just insulting to be seen with such low an amateur.»

The queen would order around her servant. Queen? Servant? When had that relationship been born to begin with? One sentence ago she hadn’t even bothered giving proper talk and now this. Her whims were those of a tyrant, from zero to one and back by a moment’s passing. Yet unfortunately, she made it seem as though he had no other choice. No, it didn’t only seem that way, that her razor sharp gaze and whip like tongue would underline quite well.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Damion Koyoko on Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:46 am

The girl only sighed as if annoyed, while the tension on Koyoko's side never seemed to disappear. It was the reaction of a dear in headlights, fearful for it's life, while the driver waits annoyingly for the dear to move, honking their horn with their patience wearing thin. He certainly didn't want to get run over. As he'd take cautious steps away, the figure before him only uttered one word.

«Faster.»

"...Excuse me?" It was not a threat, it wasn't necessarily a command, just a statement of someone with authority, which only confused the boy even more. No matter how much he stared back, he couldn't figure her out. If she was here to steal the package, she would've made some sort of threat, and if she was with the authorities, there was no reason for her to even talk at this point.

«Just go on. Oh, and try to not stick out as much as you did before. It’s just insulting to be seen with such low an amateur.»

'...Insulting...Amateur?' As if mistaking something, his preconceived thoughts seemed to click to a possible answer. 'She's...not my boss is she? Of course, I never talked to them in person but they didn't seem like someone to go out of their way to tail one of their couriers. OH! Maybe she is one of the more experienced ones, and is being paid to ensure the package is delivered with or without me...I..guess that makes sense.'

Damion Koyoko sighed in somewhat false relief, not seeming all too cautious at this point as he wiped his face. "..A rude one, aren't you? This isn't exactly my preferred line of work, I barely just started." The boy huffed as he turned on his heels and began to move with a slight jog. "Well, whatever you say, Boss. Just don't get us caught, yeah? I've never seen a courier wear something so casual while at work, but since I didn't see you, I'll assume you know what you're doing."

It was obvious he had mistaken her for someone else. He wasn't just an amateur, but completely foolish to let his guard down around her. Whether she'd correct him or not was up to her own train of thought. For the time being, the boy seemed completely voluntary to the demands of the Brunette. While Mugino was more casual with her pace and stepping, the amateur would look rather ridiculous with his rather cautious stature as he would cross streets, move between alleyways, and periodically check his phone when in a concealed area, making sure to avoid cameras.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Aleister Crowley on Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:01 pm

"Look. If anyone is going to get arrested, arrest me. I followed him here against his will and took part in an investigation that had nothing to do with me. But, he shouldn't need to go anywhere. I know him and despite how any of this looks, I know he didn't do anything. He shouldn't have to suffer for something that he hasn't done, especially when he has been trying to track the actual person responsible. So please, just let him walk out of here and just take me in."


"We can't do that. He's a suspect in a murder investigation." Aiho stated, answering the girl. "And what's more, he's been interfering in Anti Skill investigations!" She could see the twisted look of guilt and concern mingling in Tsuzuri's features. Knew that her partner would be blaming herself for this. "If neither of you are involved, and you truly do mean what you're saying then you'll come with us without further argument. This can all still be straightened out."

"If you're telling the truth then you've got nothing to be afraid of, right?" Tsuzuri added quietly, managing her best attempt at a reassuring smile despite the obvious turmoil written across her face.  

"I don't think we have any choice, Kita, thank you though. If you can't trust me fair enough, but if bringing me to the station will get you guys to act on this information sooner then later then it will be worth it."

Tsuzuri secured his wrists behind his back.

"We-" She looked uncertain, casting a glance back to Aiho before stepping away to meet Taichi's eyes. "We'll look into it." She gave a firm, decisive nod. "Trust us, we'll do everything in our power to catch the killer and bring them to justice. So you don't have to worry."
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:42 pm

Realistically spoken the fact that Damion Koyoko was still alive could only be considered a miracle born from an over extensive amount of fortune. Yet it was a kind of fortune that would only linger in this most unfortunate of situations.

Again his flippant commentary would hit rock bottom upon arriving at her entirely shut ears. Mugino Shizuri was not the kind of person to enjoy jokes, especially not once the person making them was of such low calibre. But wasting one’s time on replying to such an imbecile was an even worse loss, so instead of giving anything at first, she would simply move on, urging him to do the very same.

However, just as she was, she couldn’t resist it, clicking her tongue.

«Tch, do I look like a goon? Low level shits like you probably have no idea, but the least obvious get-ups usually work best on this kind of jobs. Movies simply tend to over romanticise the idea of putting on gear when going out for a sneak, but that’s utter bullshit. Only dimwits would believe this to be efficient.»

Rounding up her annoyed commentary with a roll of her eyes, visible or not for the boy, she would continue down the alleyway. The paths were narrow, quite long and light would hardly reach them. It seemed the patrol cars were growing scarcer the farther they got among those shadows, yet when arriving at the first interruption of the gloomy path, the edge of a road to be crossed, the buildings’ safety seemed to be lost for a moment. With how empty the streets were at those times, the two of them would stand in plain view of anything from east to west, a scenery quite similar to crossing a desert.
At one such road she would take her time even more than at the others.

«Even if you’re caught by someone eventually, it’s not that difficult to shut them up before they can cause trouble.»

She’d turn to him, her voice lowering to a sinister cold paired with over extensive indifference. An aspect making the implication all the more gruesome, a trigger to the imagination. With the circumstances and her behaviour on top, didn’t it feel like an invitation to come and see?
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Damion Koyoko on Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:04 am

The alleyways were a courier's best friend. Although due do recent events, surveillance cameras were added to a lot of academy city's blind spots, there was still plenty of ways to get around them, albeit just a bit more difficult. It's when one was forced to cross a wide street or cross an intersection, does it get a bit more difficult. There were typically two to three cameras at each road way, and one typically has to wait till they face away, or if merely try to find a blind spot to go around. His employers always supplied a map for the best routes, and they are updated if anything changes.

«Tch, do I look like a goon? Low level shits like you probably have no idea, but the least obvious get-ups usually work best on this kind of jobs. Movies simply tend to over romanticise the idea of putting on gear when going out for a sneak, but that’s utter bullshit. Only dimwits would believe this to be efficient.»

The goon didn't want to criticize the supposed veteran for her thinking. Movies tend to exaggerate and romanticise lives of not just spies and infiltrators, but even criminals, villains, and dark war topics. Just because someone saw The Matrix for instance, doesn't mean someone can learn to narrowly dodge bullets, warp reality to their will, and treat everything like it was a computer simulation of every day life. Despite Koyoko's thinking not being wrong, that his outfit makes him stand out less since it suits the absence of light, there was a point to sticking out entirely, as Anti-skill are trying to find people who aren't trying to stick out, and won't hone in on something obvious as often.

She certainly has the attitude of a goon though... While not entirely accurate, the brunette certainly knew how to create an intimidating atmosphere around herself. Upon crossing the road quickly to avoid much attention, he waited for the girl to catch up, but ominously enough, she just casually walked across.

«Even if you’re caught by someone eventually, it’s not that difficult to shut them up before they can cause trouble.»

The boy's blood ran cold, as an icey gaze pierced through his vision, and the woman continued to walk confidently toward him. There was no sign of deception, no sign of humor or amusement in those eyes. It was as if her expression was telling him 'It's not that hard to do'. And that expression can hardly be mistaken for anything other than the silencing of a witness who has heard or seen too much. A slightly concerned look can be seen in the boys eyes, before turning away, refusing to meet her own.

"W...Well...That's not how I do things.." Koyoko muttered as he quickly made his way down the alley, quicker than his usual pace. He wasn't sure if he just wanted to get this job over with at this point, or merely wanted to create distance. Was this a 'veteran' to this type of work? He always assumed things were rather sketchy and shady, and of course whatever he was doing was somewhere illegal considering what time it is. Koyoko even heard rumors that couriers get killed doing this line of work. Even so, did that mean that he was also expected to hurt people? All for whatever was in his bag? The night just felt colder form that point.

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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Kita Tsukiko on Fri Dec 01, 2017 4:56 pm

Kita's heart sank as her words basically fell on deaf ears. Even Oda's thanks didn't change the fact that the both of them were about to get arrested, and it was potentially her fault. Sighing in defeat, she took a step back and put her hands together, waiting to be cuffed. She looked at the two Anti-Skill agents before looking at Oda, watching as one agent secured his wrists behind his back. 

"We- We'll look into it. Trust us, we'll do everything in our power to catch the killer and bring him to justice. So you don't have to worry." The agent looked Oda and gave a short nod. Despite her attempts to comfort the two, Kita just stood there before simply replying: "Let's just get this over with..."
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:25 pm

«Like I care.»

Displeased by the boy’s response her eyelids would sway away the past conversation. She was annoyed but settled on shrugging it away, simply crossing the street for the sake of following along.

At this point there was nothing for her to worry about, nothing to even consider a serious problem. They were bound to travel to the destination with as little conversation going on as there was. The sole thing to linger between them was her overly cold and quite threatening, not to say sharply biting demeanour. Taking into account the angles from which to look at her, the sole impression coming to mind was that of a troublemaker. Not the good kind. Not even the bad kind. The worst.

But that was Mugino Shizuri for you. She didn’t care about norms, rules, protocols or even logical conclusions. The very fact that she was having herself led around by the thug instead of aiming for the success of her mission, quite well proved that. In the end she’d solely follow her own whims.

Eventually the area changed. With District 15 having been long since left behind them, everything in their surroundings would have slowly lost its urban flair once crossing the border to District 17. What were department stores, cafes, street shops and personal entertainment facilities, like arcades quickly, turned into warehouses, cranes or container yards, after only the few steps that it took to cross from one to another.

Immediately noticing said change, the lips that had been shut for the past numerous minutes of intimidating silence would open yet again.

«How far?»

Naturally with even more intimidating air being released, did she assume he’d immediately know what she meant and how to reply to it, casually dropping the implication of a serious problem if he didn’t by utilising the pressure of her gaze and a miniscule change in her body language.


Last edited by Mugino Shizuri on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Damion Koyoko on Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:37 pm

The constant silence was arguably worse than without the woman talking. Under the blanket of darkness half the time, where most of the only light sources came from windows and lights, or the passing of a patrol vehicle that had narrowly pissed the two as they continued to their destination. The GPS on his phone was quite helpful in regards to the progress they were making. At least he got a sense of when this job would be over and this weird brunette would stop staring into the back of his head.

<<How Far?>>

The silence was destroyed, and for obvious reason, the boy didn't hesitate to check his phone again, despite having looked at it three minutes ago. The fear slowly gripping around his throat had him forget their progress and had to look at the bright screen once again. He didn't want to look back. He didn't want to face her. This was a person who may very well have killed someone before, or even multiple people. How carelessly she walked, how unconcerned she was. Anyone who crossed her path in unfortunate circumstances would just need to disappear for her, so she didn't need to hide.

"We're just a handful of blocks away. Won't even take ten minutes at this point." The boy put in a conscious effort to maintain a calm demeanor as best he could. Though he may already seem weak to her, showing anymore weakness may anger her more at the fact that she was with an 'amateur'. "After that, you won't have to deal with me anymore."

'This is by far the worst job I've ever gotten from the atmosphere alone. But it's almost over..and I won't have to be around her anymore. Hopefully anyway...Maybe I shouldn't take anymore of these jobs.' Koyoko sighed as they began to approach the drop point on schedule.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Aleister Crowley on Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:37 am

Tsuzuri bit her lip, feeling the accusation in Kita's words as she led them both towards the door. Thankfully none of the other residents emerged to observe the pair being led away and the streets outside were quiet as Aiho and Tsuzuri loaded Oda and Kita into the car.

***

23:00 District 2, Anti Skill HQ

Yomikawa Aiho sat across the table from Oda Taichi, her legs crossed as she tapped her foot impatiently. In the room across the hallway the scene was mirrored with Tessou Tsuzuri and Kita Tsukiko, the other 'suspect'. The majority of the day had been spent filling out paperwork and repeating questions in various different ways with the intent of teasing out any glimmer of falsehood from their stories.

As far as Aiho was concerned, the pair hadn't given any reason to disbelieve them. And if they were lying then they were good enough at covering their tracks that no amount of questioning was going to trip them up. They had interrogated the pair enough to conclude that they didn't know anything. Or at least to be confident that they weren't involved in the murder itself.

It had all been an enormous waste of time.

Only...

They had found evidence pointing towards District 17. It wasn't much, but it was better than nothing. All that remained was to wait for the report from the officers dispatched to the scene.

***

23:00 District 17 Warehouses

The silence only grew more oppressive as they grew closer to the appointed location. The occasional sound of traffic faded and even the background hum of electrical streetlights became conspicuous for its absence. It was a kind of silence that one rarely came across in Academy City. And it was eerie for just that reason.

The chosen warehouse looked inconspicuous enough. A corrugated metal shell approximately two storeys tall with a strip of windows above the gaping maw of a metal shutter. But unlike those surrounding it, this metal shutter was open.

Their mutual destination. Though both were there for separate reasons.

Perhaps Koyoko has been expecting a liaison to meet him in that place. Or some new instructions to arrive on his cell phone. He would be disappointed. There was no recipient. No clear drop off point. All that greeted them was emptiness.

Emptiness and more silence. Stacks of huge metal shipping containers and crates were piled high forming narrow corridors around the clearing that opened about the mouth of the warehouse.

When at last the deafening stillness had become unbearable enough that one of them opened their mouth to speak there was a high pitched zipping whine as a wire snapped out towards Koyoko's bag, lashing around it in tight coils before drawing tight and yanking the satchel up towards the stack of crates that filled the unoccupied warehouse.

The two 'couriers' eyes would follow the taut metal cable up towards the far end of the warehouse's crate filled interior. There, in the dim light of the halogen strips stood a vaguely shapeless, rake-thin figure with a pale white face. It's eyes were black and empty like a shark's and a long, red gash was drawn across it in a sinister, unflinching smile. An outstretched hand gripped the taut cable.

The Masked Man had appeared before them at last.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Damion Koyoko on Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:50 pm

Upon arriving to a seemingly empty warehouse, the GPS chimed, showing that they have arrived at their destination. It wasn't exactly a common drop point, but it wasn't unexpected either. Typically there was either another courier to do the swap, or there were more instructions, as to lower the risk to whoever is receiving the package, and the business as a whole.

However, as Koyoko looked around and they waited for a few minutes, nothing seemed to happen. No one was here, there was no new messages, and there was no indication to leave the package here. The instructions specifically said to come here, not what to do with the bag, and his employers were always specific.

"This...Is odd. Usually I get either instructions by now, or someone comes to meet me..Maybe we should give it few more minutes?" The vibe was quite concerning, as he was never told what to do should there be no instructions on what to do with the package. So would that mean the delinquent would have to hold on to it or throw it away? He didn't exactly want to keep something in his house, especially considering the potential legality of the business itself is in question. "Neh, Boss. Has this ever-"

Before Koyoko could question the supposed veteran, the zipping of wire can be heard from the distance, and as the esper turned around, the bag wrapped around his arms began to get tugged harshly toward the crates, one of the straps coming off one arm, and from surprise and instinct, protectively wrapped his arm around the other strap. "What the hell?!" Looking up toward the slight reflection of the wire, he followed it to it's origin points. The crates, and a figure standing on it. Was he the pick up courier? Keeping his grip on the bag, he glared up.

"Hey asshole! What's the big id-....ea.." A white face, unseeable eyes, and a wide sadistic grin. A mask shined through what little light was in the room, and gleamed down toward the to. A mask. A man with a mask, gripping the wire in a clenched fist, his thumb leading along it. The boy's eyes widened as despite believing most of the rumors were fake, seeing the person now, changed everything. His whole body screamed the same feelings he felt when first seeing the woman behind him. Danger. "You..got to be kidding me..." Why him? Why now?! Not only was the serial killer real, he's standing right in front of him, and obviously plans to take the package, and potentially silence everyone in here. All he could do in that moment was prepare himself, as air began to flow around his body.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sat Dec 16, 2017 10:32 pm

Into darkness. It wasn’t a transition as spectacular as some movies would make it out be, nor was it any miraculously long journey towards outer space. All it was, was the walk towards and into a warehouse in an abandoned corner of a lifeless district at night time.

While the courier boy, amateurish as he was, would ask questions about the indeed odd silence of the terrain, the battle hardened senpai’s take on everything would be far removed from any of that. Neither darkness nor silence would affect her. Leaving her entirely cold, just like anything, they would linger around her, embracing her, their daughter who had once again returned to greet them.

However just the greeting between world and inhabitant concluded, this very world’s hospitality would take the stage. A zipping sound, hardly noticeable, an invisible string and suddenly a flying bag being pulled into the heart of all darkness. It happened so rashly, so quickly, in such an unforeseen way, it may have been startling. Yet not to her.

«Finally showing our face, aren’t we~?»

There was an amused ring to her voice, a testament to arrogance.

Arrogance so outrageous, it may have been an insult to this very scene. Was it rooted in insanity or stupidity? The girl would smile like a monster herself, as her eyes would meet those hidden behind that maniac’s smiling mask. Two smiles. Two glances. Two predators.

«I’m disappointed. Really now. I tagged along with that wuzz hoping I would cross paths with the guy that ended those two in the underpass the other night. Now there he is? Yet where is the coldblooded precision? Where’s the quick gruesome end? All I see is a coward, making his move like a little bitch on an even smaller bitch. So. Lame.»

She was taunting him like a bully their kouhai victim.

«You know what. I’ll give you a chance. Come here. Try your best shot. Then I’ll show you what it means to steal my prey, you clown.»

The air was conquered by a burning fire. It was none that was visible. None that could burn physical sense. It was a dark fire. A sharp one. A terrifying one. Killing intent in its purest form. That woman was insane. She was crazy. She was beyond saving.

Before her stood the Masked Man. The antagonist to all of recent time’s most shocking horror tales, yet instead of being cornered by dread, instead of running away as long as she would be able to, she would challenge him. No, this was no mere challenge, she was looking down upon him. To her, most obviously, that one of a kind monster was nothing. To her he was someone she would stomp in a mere seconds for she was the strongest.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Aleister Crowley on Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:56 am

District 2, Anti Skill HQ

Time was running short, Aiho realised. For the past hour, she had been habitually checking the clock on the wall, the watch on her wrist and even counting the metronome-like drumming of her fingertips against the brushed metal table.

They could only hold the pair for so long without charging them with an offense, and that deadline was looming ever closer. More troubling was the fact that the end of that time limit just happened to coincide with whatever 'event' was about to occur at district 17.

In the identical room across the hallway, Tsuzuri was also anxiously watching the minutes trickle by. Though unlike her partner, she was less composed about it. Worry and indecision underlined every movement she made.

Because both Yomikawa Aiho and Tessou Tsuzuri recognized the expression on the faces of the teenagers in front of them.

Determination maybe? Zeal? Or a sincere stubbornness that only the young could possess.

Either way, there was no doubt in either of their minds that once free, the pair would waste no time hurrying towards the warehouse. For better or for worse, these two wouldn't be deterred by warnings or threats of punishment.

Aiho had nothing left to lose. She would try a different tact.

"We'll have to release you soon." She stated bluntly. Honesty was the only tool left she could use. "When we do, what will you do?" Her steely gaze levelled on the boy sat opposite her. "Tell me honestly."

As though synchronised in some unspoken agreement, Tsuzuri also chose that moment to speak up.

"It seems to me you're telling the truth." She said, her brow furrowed slightly in a troubled look that wouldn't have been out of place on a concerned parent. "But there's one thing I don't understand. Unlike that Oda-san, you're not linked to this crime. You've nothing to lose by turning away, nothing at stake." She struggled to straighten out her fingers that had been clenched into fists in her lap. "So why put yourself at risk like this? I'm telling you now, whoever is behind these murders is an extremely dangerous individual..."

***

23:00 District 17 Warehouses


The wire ensnaring Koyoko's bag continued to reel closer as the masked killer stood firm atop the crates. The way he stood, rigid and composed gave no indication that he had understood or even heard Mugino's words. The black-clad figure seemed singularly focused on the bag and his tug of war with the young courier. But perhaps Mugino's eyes would catch the subtle, veiled movements of his other hand towards his chest.

The masked man moved with such abruptness that it was jarring. In an instant he hopped backwards, dropping behind the cover of the metal crates that he had used as a vantage point. And in that same movement, the hand that had slipped into the lining of his coat snapped out with a whistle. Something dark shimmered towards Mugino. A blackened steel dagger, long, thin and viciously sharp.

Koyoko's bag lurched toward the crates, still attached to the would-be thief and now propelled by the entirety of his bodyweight.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:39 pm

Mugino Shizuri’s eyes were quick to pick up the tiniest of changes in her enemy’s movements, even as the light was as dim as it was. She was a professional after all, and long range combat was her field.

Given the distance between her and her adversary it was only natural to expect a strike of some sort. The standard would be gunfire, yet for this very character a more stylish and gruesome weapon would prevail.

As he increased the distance and tossed the projectile, she seemingly reflexively lifted her hand in a manner that was boasting with ease and simplicity, while in truth being the result of perfect calculations, assessments and assumptions. Right the moment the knife would arrive home, expected to pierce through the soft flesh and frail bones of her palm, a mass of green light would welcome it, consuming it whole that very instance. It wasn’t crushed, it wasn’t deflected, the knife was entirely erased from this world, turned to dust or even less than that.

However, who would she be if she simply left it at that?

«Cheap tricks and running like a chicken? What a fucking coward you are.»

The next instance the light assumed a new shape, shooting outwards as a beam, easily piercing the metal containers the shadow figure had just disappeared behind, melting through them like a heated knife through a block of butter, continuing even further than the walls behind. And treating it just like a knife of unending sharpness, she would use the beam to execute a perfectly long slash through all those boxes and all that was behind, tearing that masked man’s cover and even the building itself apart like a samurai's katana their enemy.

«This is how you cut properly, you lame-ass ninja.»

If that man was a monster from tales of the world of the young, she was one from the world of adults. While she was hardly as infamous as him, her status would still ring in the night. One was the Masked Man, a monster much like those from horror movies and spooky stories, the other the #4 Level 5 Meltdowner, a monster much like those from the newspapers and TV reports.

Now which one was worse? Over exaggerated fantasy or grim reality?
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Damion Koyoko on Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:42 am

The young courier kept a firm grip on the bag, and yet despite having both hands on his backpack, and the thief using merely one arm to hold it, he was struggling to keep it. In fact, he can feel his feet periodically slide toward the masked man in the struggle. This sort of strength wasn't unheard of, but certainly uncommon, especially when he was a holding on to a thin yet durable shimmer line.

Realising that the package would not so easily be taken away, and the brunette seeming impatient despite the situation, Koyoko gasped as he felt himself lurch forward with the bag, the thief using gravity and his body weight to counter his resistance. It was enough to even get the boy off his feet for a mere moment. "UWAH! Oh you bastar-" The amateur wasn't so useless as to merely let this happen, as he momentarily let go with one of his hands and brought his hand up. Even if that wire can last against such weighted stress, it will surely cave to his air blade.

«Cheap tricks and running like a chicken? What a fucking coward you are.»

But before the necessary molecules could gather for a mere instant, something enveloped half his vision. A florescent for a mere moment, lit up the entire warehouse in a tremendous light, the heat coming off it burned more than being close to a large bonfire. He didn't see it the first time with the dagger, being preoccupied and distracted. With that beam, however instant, he could feel a tremendous burning sensation through the thread of his clothing, before the crate that the line was using as the balance, melted and exploded in a tremendous fire ball, throwing the boy away from a shock wave. Thin metal shards would find their way to pierce his clothing and leave cuts along his body.

"GAAAAH!" The delinquent cried out in both pain in terror for a brief moment, before rolling on the ground several feet away from what used to be a perfectly normal container, the brunette, walking toward him and more specifically the masked man that was surely just as close.

«This is how you cut properly, you lame-ass ninja.»

It was as if time had froze for a mere moment as the pain on his body felt numb in comparison to the sheer trembling sensation he felt. This girl. This woman that had followed him, mocked him, and walked with gracious, yet intimidating confidence, was not merely a courier. In fact, she never said anything about being anything such now that he thought about it. That single beam, that moment, she displayed how powerful she was. 'N-no...That's not is...she is power.' In that moment, he recalled her words from earlier in their walk. Casually talking about how easy it is to just get rid of people. It scared him then, but he didn't realise this was what she was capable of.

'Not only that, did she just call me prey?..Or did she intend to take the package as well..Would that mean she intended to kill me for it after dealing with that guy? And his Mask...It fits the description of the 'serial killer' everyone was talking about...!'

There were no heroes in this warehouse, no saviors, not even the package that was still in his grasp can be considered the one thing he can rely on. Rather it was the sole reason all of this was happening. He considered dropping it, running away, but even though her eyes were looking for the thief, it was obvious this woman did not intend for him to leave alive. He isn't just a mere courier, he is a witness.

The boy gripped the backpack tightly, as he was in between a Sharp Rock and a Hard place that shoots what he can only describe as lasers from thin air. In the midst of the confusion he could only kneel there, both in awe, fear, and confusion. Staring toward the brunette, he felt saying anything just slightly wrong would bring instant incineration. "Such power...Just who are-..." He couldn't even bring himself to ask, as her mere presence made him choke.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Kita Tsukiko on Sat Jan 13, 2018 6:47 pm

Kita sat at the table, the two Anti-Skill officers across from her and Oda. For what seemed like an eternity, but what was probably about an hour, the two of them answered question after question, attempting to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. What was important to her right now was that the two of them got out quickly without any charges, but at the rate things were going Kita became less and less hopeful, as the two went from checking their watch to the clock and back, as if they were just trying to kill as much time as physically possible. 

However, one of the two spoke up, breaking the endless loop of question after question with a simple, yet hopeful statement: "We'll have to release you soon." As she refocused after this statement, it was followed up immediately with "When we do, what will you do? Tell me honestly." The other officer spoke up, following up with a few questions which seemed to be directed at her. "It seems to me you're telling the truth. But there's one thing I don't understand. Unlike that Oda-san, you're not linked to this crime. You've nothing to lose by turning away, nothing at stake. So why put yourself at risk like this? I'm telling you now, whoever is behind these murders is an extremely dangerous individual."

Kita looked at Oda for a little bit, thinking about her answer carefully, as this could make or break their chances of getting out cleanly. Looking down for a while, she thought carefully before deciding to abandon any kind of "clean exit" and just go for straight honesty. It is what they wanted after all and trying to make it sound pretty could cause trouble. So, she took a deep breath and replied.

"If you wanna know the truth, it's because moments like these are honestly one of my favorite. I study for classes, perform for people when I can, and just generally go about my days in a somewhat similar manner. But living like that is not really living. I've always sought to learn and experience everything, even things that most others would turn away from in fear of the risks or consequences. But, I dive in because I believe in one very simple thing: the risks I take and the gambles I make are what give life its value. So, you speak of this man as a threat, which I understand he very well is. But, to me, all I hear is talk of opportunity to potentially learn more about the world. About people. About the things that lurk within us. Learning about these things gives me strength and that alone is enough."
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Aleister Crowley on Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:15 am

"If you wanna know the truth, it's because moments like these are honestly one of my favorite. I study for classes, perform for people when I can, and just generally go about my days in a somewhat similar manner. But living like that is not really living. I've always sought to learn and experience everything, even things that most others would turn away from in fear of the risks or consequences. But, I dive in because I believe in one very simple thing: the risks I take and the gambles I make are what give life its value. So, you speak of this man as a threat, which I understand he very well is. But, to me, all I hear is talk of opportunity to potentially learn more about the world. About people. About the things that lurk within us. Learning about these things gives me strength and that alone is enough."

"And that's worth losing your life over?" Tsuzuri couldn't understand that reasoning. She could accept that the girl spoke from her heart. Respect it even, in some strange way, but she could never understand it. As an anti skill officer Tessou Tsuzuri had come to terms with the idea of potentially giving her life to protect law and order. But risking one's life where there was no need was not heroism or duty. In her eyes it was foolishness.

"Yo-" She started but the quiet chime of her watch stopped her thoughts in their tracks. Frowning, she stood up, balling her fists again and placing the knuckles against the tabletop as though it might stop her from lashing out in frustration. The usually timid looking woman was reaching her limit. "It's been eight hours. You know what that means?" She asked. "It means you're free to go. We can't hold either of you any longer." She could feel her fingernails burying into her palms as she squeezed her fists tight.

***

Mugino's beam of light carved through the metal containers as easily as a sword passing through the paper walls of Shoji. But unlike the path of a blade, the containers did not part around the beams. Instead, anything in their path was annihilated as if it had never existed in the first place. They toppled haphazardly about the warehouse, their edges glowing red with the heat of the Level 5's lasers. For a moment there was silence as the dust settled and the extent of the destruction became apparent. But only a moment.

Another knife came whistling from the shadows as the masked figure tumbled through the air between the ruined containers. His mask, half-glimpsed through the shimmering heat haze of the melted containers, mocked Mugino with its fixed smile and dead eyed stare. Just as quickly as it had appeared, the masked apparition was gone, ducking behind the fresh cover that Mugino's hasty attack had created.

Another near silent thwip of a blade cutting the air, this time it came from behind. How had he gotten behind her? It seemed inconceivable that someone could move that fast. Unless... was that his ability? Some kind of teleportation or high speed movement? Shw would catch sight of the white mask darting through the shadows at the corner of her vision.

In the confusion the satchel and its owner had been forgotten, the severed end of the steel cable falling away as Mugino's beam passed cleanly through it.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:37 pm

A bottle of water rolled onto the battlefield near the forgotten “deliveryman”. It would've likely gone unnoticed or at most been thought of as the collateral damage of the fight that was going on between the two seemingly deadly forces, had it not been for two facts.

Firstly was that not only one water bottle was rolling its way between the two, but rather five, which was quite an odd number of simultaneously arriving bottles. And secondly was that these bottles weren't empty. No, they were in fact boiling and ready to burst at any moment under the intense heat of the liquid within them.

Only barely enough time was left for anyone to question the source of these odd items that had entered the fight, and certainly not enough to avoid them bursting into a large cloud of smoke.

It was during that split second before the steam that emanated from the now melted bottles would evaporate that a figure jumped into that newly formed cloud, grabbing a tight hold of the now forgotten boy and his supposed delivery. The figure was hooded and likely difficult to make out any other detail than it being female both this late at night and with the surrouding steam, but it certainly didn't hinder its ability to quickly throw the satchel's strap over its head without dislocating the hoodie much.

“Move your ass. Fast.” She whispered to the white-haired boy from underneath the bizarrely large hoodie, only giving the boy scarce time to react before forcing him to break in a run into the alleyway she had appeared from.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:18 am

Surprised, yet not startled, Mugino would hurriedly, yet not sluggishly, evade the incoming blade by a slight tilt of her upper body. Of course following up the attack by beams of her own, pressuring the Masked Man even further.

Yet just that would never suffice, she knew. Just like before he’d keep dodging, never halting his feet a single instance. Aiming was pointless. Shooting just a farce. Prediction impossible. He would move, move, move. But that wouldn’t stop her, either.

The more she fired, the more areas she’d obliterate entirely. If he was keen on his movement, she’d simply have to erase the space for him to dodge into. After all the more she’d hit, the more the blazing hell that currently was this warehouse, would spread.

However, that mindset of this being an easy confrontation was exactly where her mistake lay. A whistle, too low for the loudness of the current scene came her way from an entirely impossible angle. Just for a moment her breath was caught in her lungs, had her trained ears nearly allowed for it to slip past her. Again she would dodge, just with a moment’s lateness. A moment too late. A fraction even. As her left upper arm was cut, she would feel a lasting burning sensation. The blade had only scathed the surface, yet gone in by a dozen of millimetres, causing a bleeding. Painful, yes. But a worth sacrifice.

She would…

Suddenly a new shift occurred. Five tubes entered the game, rolling across the floor. Water bottles? A ploy to confuse her? The clearer she looked, the more she would nrealised the state of things. The water was boiling. Could it be?

Before she could even pull away her body or reflexively evaporate the newly incoming threat, said threat already kicked into action. The bottles burst, creating a wall of steam easily covering the entirety of the area. She was out blind.

That bastard, had he pulled another one on her?!

«You think playing magician like that is all it takes to make a big show!? Fucking coward, I’ll show you some real tricks!»

There was no hesitation, she’d make her recover immediately after. Another beam shot out, accompanied by two more, going up instead of left or right. There was no target she could make out, so instead she’d make it so that every place was targeted evenly. Slicing through the roof and upper levels, she would cut it all apart, causing the entire thing to crash. Crashing down and crushing all that was down below.

«Dodge this!»

And while the threat prevailed, she alone would shield herself using either her ability’s convenience or the quickness of her legs to evade piece for piece of the rubble and molten structure, ready for more to come. There was no telling what he was capable of. Teleporting? Chemistry? Pyrokinesis even? Whatever wildcard he was, she’d make sure to pick it apart.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Damion Koyoko on Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:11 am

Koyoko felt motionless as he held the bag in his hands defensively. If anything happened to it, even if he had no idea what was inside, the fact that people like this were after it, painted a target on his back not just them, but from those who entrusted him with delivery it. It might as well have been his own fast beating heart he was carrying at this point. Unfortunately, knowing this was not enough to break the fear that wrapped around him in chains, binding him into a paralyzed state.

He wouldn't notice or hear the several plastic containers, gently rolling on the concrete ground as the caps sizzled as it can barely contain the steam inside any longer. Looking down from the explosions and glistening knives being tossed, Koyoko barely realized just what was happening around him.

"W-what-GAH!?!"

Like makeshift smoke grenades, the steam filled up his portion of the room entirely, whatever boiling water remained splashed all around, a good portion landing on his clothes, which were thick enough to keep the water from seriously burning him, but a big splash landed on his arm and even his sweatshirt couldn't protect him much as it soaked through. He hissed in pain loudly, the skin under his right sleeve seething in pain, as he backed away from the steam, and incidentally the crazy girl and the serial killer.

'Th-this is bad, a third party is getting involved I got to-'

Incidentally, these exact reactions was what someone was expecting as the said third party that probably snuck the bottles onto the field, was suddenly standing right next to him before he realised it. Even if he did use his air displacement sense, the steam was making it hard to make out where people were even with that.

"Move your ass. Fast."

Barely able to tell who they were, other than they were feminine and wearing a awkwardly large hoodie. Koyoko barely kept himself from attacking the girl outright from the sheer adrenaline rush he was experiencing. Feeling a hand grasp at his arm, fortunately his left, he was suddenly rushed away in the opposite direction of the fighting.

Not until they were out of the steam and out into the alleyway of the warehouse, did he realize the package was on her shoulder. When did she take it? When he burned his arm and dropped it? She was surprisingly agile and fast. Was she one of the runners? The contact they were supposed to meet? It was possible, but he was far more skeptical considering he already mistook the other girl as an ally. Then again, if she was just after the package, there was no reason for him to be tagged along, unless it was some foolish sense of morality.

So many questions, very little time if any. He wasn't going to argue about running, so he had at least enough time and energy to ask at least one thing.

"W-where are we going?!" Koyoko wanted to know what was going on, who everyone was, why things turned out like this, what was in the package, and just what kind of job is he doing. But now wasn't the time to ask such questions, as his immediate concern was where this mysterious hooded girl was taking him.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Hujisaka Natsumi on Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:31 pm

As the reasonably confused boy called out to her, probably attempting to figure out her identity as well, the girl swiftly ran from one alleyway to another; taking advantage of a rather complex network to avoid both the likely patrolling Anti-Skill forces and the two weirdos that they had barely ran away from.

Why run into potentially damning alleyways rather than straight to the authorities? Because it was an inherently naïve idea to expect them to believe the scene that was going on, and most importantly because even if they did believe these two teenagers, she was well-convinced that they could do fuck all against these likely proper psychopaths.

However, there was no such thing as a plan that would have them escape unscathed either way, and she soon came to realise this. Looking back on the path they had just ran through, she clicked her tongue.

“I was thinking "anywhere where those madmen aren't".” She finally answered, deciding to change strategies rather than continually run through alleyways where they'd eventually be cornered. She jumped out onto what she hoped would be a fairly deserted street as she used her free hand to ensure the bag was still there and to prevent it from being surprise-lifted from over her head.

“In hindsight that's probably asking for a little too much, though... Oh well. As long as we're steering clear of Beaming Woman for now.”

Her guard wasn't down, though her pace was very visibly lessened as if accepting that a fight would break out regardless. It had been reduced to mere walking across that street so that she could focus on any surprise element appearing.

“Let me guess, carrier boy; you've got no clue of what it is you almost got killed over.” The need to run has disappeared, and therefore she'd let go of her iron grip on the boy as she spoke in a very displeased tone while nodding towards the bag. It became clear that she would not even bother to cover up the unspoken message that if he didn't, then that fact made him absolutely useless since all she did from there on was adjust the hoodie enough to not hinder her while remaining somewhat unrecognisable; a clear sign that she wasn't expecting anything close to a worthwhile answer from him.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Aleister Crowley on Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:31 am

Somewhere in the darkness, the masked figure swooped through the labyrinthine corridors between steel containers, ducking and weaving, ever at the edges of Mugino's vision. And as the blade scored past her arm, drawing her attention in one direction that scarecrow-like figure would draw in closer from the other side, moving like a noose tightening slowly around her neck. Another dagger poised in its hand, the assassin prepared to close the distance, diving from the shadows to deliver a single fatal blow.

The sudden appearance of the clear cylindrical container stopped him in his tracks and he turned to glance at the bottle a fraction of a second before the liquid inside erupted into a cloud of vapour. The masked killer threw up his arms, defending against the spray of boiling water that quickly filled the room with plumes of steam.

Immediately the masked man's attention turned from the obstacle in front of him to his primary objective. There was no advantage to be gained from announcing one's presence in such a way if a surprise attack was the objective. The only reason such a thing would be necessary is to cover a retreat.

He was poised to give chase when...

«Dodge this!»

The ceiling began to collapse, carved into chunks of jagged steel by Mugino's lasers. The supports vanished and the roof of the warehouse crumbled inwards.

CRASH! BOOM! THUD!

The dust started to settle over the ruins of the former warehouse. Piles of rubble and twisted metal littered the square floorspace of the building like a demolition site. The walls had been vaporised in odd configurations, smooth edged peaks jutting from the ground and sending harsh shadows knifing across the neighbouring buildings.

There was no sign of life. In the wake of such utter destruction, surely the masked man had been killed. Crushed by falling beams, split and torn under the shards of metal roof, buried beneath the assorted debris or maybe simply annihilated by the terrifying power of that girl's ability.

That would have been the natural assumption, had it not been for the flicker of a white grinning face atop the neighbouring warehouse as the masked man turned to regard Mugino from his new vantage point before sprinting off along the ridged rooftop. That momentary glance seemed to mock her. As if to say;

"You're not worth my time."

His true objective, the package and its contents, was on the move once again, and he could not allow himself to be distracted by anything, even an adversary as deadly as the Level 5 Meltdowner.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

Post  Mugino Shizuri on Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:49 pm

Stepping forth from the rubble of the collapsed building, Mugino remained entirely unscathed, ignoring some slight stains that had assembled all over her clothing. In doing so her face was entirely free of any concern as usual. Neither the collapse nor the rain of heavy concrete and steel had done anything to bother her, no matter how rushed the nature of the attack.

Yet, she was expecting the result to turn towards the opposite for another one.

An expectation that was turned over brutally, the moment her glances crossed with those of the white mask. Standing atop a building, as unscathed and unbothered as her, he would turn right the very next moment, mocking her as he went off unbothered by the time he’d wasted on her.

However that would only be the beginning.

«You dare to…? THIS ISN’T OVER YET YOU MONGREL!!»

With her temper as explosive as it was, this amount of disrespect would only trigger one exact result, immediately transitioning into four beams coming to chase him from various directions, slicing through building roof tops from various angles for dozens of metres, wreaking havoc beyond any imagination.

He had done it.

He had crossed a line none would ever dare to cross.

What had initially been the idea to punish some bat shit for stealing her prey had grown into the desire for tearing into his flesh and ripping out his organs barehanded. She would chase that masked bastard down and ruin him in ways no gore movie had ever dared to depict.

But how exactly?

After half a minute of continuously slicing apart buildings like a madwoman, her mind finally awoke from the tantrum. And as it did, she would make sure to adapt to the situation. What was he after? The parcel. Had a he retrieved it? Unknown. Could the boy have it? Likely. Where was he? Crushed by rubble? Or had he made it out there somehow? When had she last seen him? By the time the smoke screen had appeared.

She thought, pondered, recompiled the collection of incidents and situations, then made a 180° shift, only to arrive back at the base condition.

What if that smoke screen hadn’t been the work of the ninja knock off? What if the boy had done it himself? No, he had been lacking the professionalism to time it that well. Someone else must have interfered.

Some time into making her thoughts race, she commenced a sprint of her own, pursuing the trail of her own destruction and that of her sly target.

Quickly she’d pull her phone from her skirt’s pocket, just the moment it started vibrating, answer the call and immediately blow through the usual wave of angry complaints about the recklessness of her actions, opened up by the all too typical «it’s always the same with you»-routine, with the littlest care in the world.

«That courier rat. Track him down. He’s got the package. Someone’s with him. And make it quick

ITEM’s speciality was hunting targets. While most of the time their reliance would weigh heavily on Takitsubo’s AIM stalker, even without her there was some promising proficiency. Given enough space to unfold, the underling organisation could perform just as well. Security cameras and satellites continuously monitoring the city for safety reasons certainly would come to her advantage. Now given the currently overly deserted state of the post curfew streets and the lack of professional experience presented by that boy, the conditions would align to their advantage.

It would take time for them to, yes, but it wasn’t like she, a professional chaser, wasn’t engaged into the chase herself.
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Re: [?] A Certain Masked Man

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