Halo Ten: Blackout:
On Saturday, Ikebukuro experienced a two-day black out. Only three places had power: Russia Sushi, the Awakusu’s main headquarters, and Rampo Biotech. The electric company sent the text that they would try and fix everything before Monday. Meanwhile, more things started to unravel and come to light.
Madoka stared at her phone. “Your grandma is lying to you.” What did that mean? What was grandma lying about?
“Madoka-chan, can you help me find the matches?” her grandma asked down the hall. Madoka quickly put away her phone.
“Uh… sure!” she said. Madoka was leaving her room when her phone buzzed.
“Hm?” she asked. The tadpole pulled out her phone and looked at the screen. She received another text. The night was blocked like last time. Against her better judgement, Madoka opened the message.
“Ask your grandma about your grandpa.”
She narrowed her eyes at the screen. Why couldn’t she get rid of that sinking feeling in her stomach?
“Madoka-chan?” her grandma asked.
“Oh! I’m coming!” the young woman shouted. She dashed out of her room with her phone in her hand. Madoka found the matches in the kitchen and took them to her grandmother in the living room.
“Thank you, darling,” the old lady said. Madoka watched as she struck a match.
“How did grandpa get sick again?” she asked. The old woman froze.
“Why do you ask, dear?” she asked. Madoka rubbed the back of her head.
“I don’t know,” she said. “I just figured I could go and visit him sometime. I just miss having him around the apartment, you know?”
“Oh…” the old lady said in the candle light. “He just got really ill after you came home.” She nervously laughed as she spoke. I did this for her. She doesn’t need to know the truth. I have to keep it that way. She doesn’t need to go through that again.
“What are you talking about?” Madoka asked. Her grandmother gave her a confused look.
“What are you talking about, dear?” she asked. “I didn’t say anything.” Madoka backed away.
“Did you hurt grandpa in any way?” she asked.
“You know, I wouldn’t,” the old lady said. Madoka started trembling.
“Please don’t lie to me,” she said.
The old lady dropped her shoulders. “He was going to tell you everything. I couldn’t let you live that nightmare again. So I had to make him a little sick.”
“I wasn’t trying to kill him. I just wanted to make him not able to talk.”
Madoka leapt up to her feet. All words she wanted to say vanished from her mouth. She turned and ran to her room.
“Madoka-chan!” her grandmother yelled. The tadpole slammed the door shut behind her.
Tom and Vorona sat in Russia Sushi. Neither one could speak about what happened to Shizuo. They couldn’t take the bull head off of his head. He had lost the ability to speak in human speech. Vorona could feel her heart breaking in her chest. How could the strongest man that she had known been so broken like this? Tom took a smoke of his cigarette.
“We can’t tell Kasuka about this,” he muttered. “He couldn’t handle it.”
“No,” Vorona said.
“Tom, Vorona!” Simon said as he came from the kitchen. “Where’s Shizuo today?” Tom and Vorona had grim looks on their faces.
“He’s sick today,” the debt collector lied.
“Aw, no good,” Simon said. “If he sick, then he should eat sushi! It’s good for him.”
“I don’t that would help,” Tom muttered. As of right now, they had to put Shizuo in a secure place.
Chiharu groaned and rubbed her head. The pain kept getting worse. The smell of blood drove her crazy. Sometimes, she couldn’t even walk straight. Her doctor tried to ease her off the medication. This might what could be called withdrawals. Only, this felt worse. How could those explain all of these memories she started to have?
She couldn’t place where some of these took place. Chiharu had gotten used to seeing the bars in these visions. But why was she kneeling before Mikado? He had his hand over her head. Another was her being strapped down to a bed in a darkened room. She could hear voices above her head. They didn’t come out in clear Japanese, however. A man in a white coat turned with a needle filled with red liquid in his hand. He muttered something under his breath the needle sank into her arm.
Chiharu let out a pain-filled scream in the dark.
“What?! What is it? What is wrong?!” Tatsuya asked. His sister lifted her head. Her body broke down, trembling. Tatsuya grabbed her by the hair and pulled her head upwards.
“Are you using again?” he asked.
“What?” Chiharu asked.
“Don’t lie to me,” Tatsuya said. “Are you using again?”
“Do not lie to me. I can tell that you have been using again.”
“Get off me!” Chiharu slapped his arm away and grabbed her head. The voices started up again. Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! She looked up at her brother with vacant eyes.
“I don’t feel so good,” Chiharu said in a child-like voice.
“Chiharu?” Tatsuya asked. The young girl got up and wandered down the dark hall to her room. Her brother tilted his head.
Do not be afraid of the dark.
A woman with long red hair lit a candle on the old bar next the back doors of her basement apartment. When she was a child, she had a fear of the dark. Her twin sister would try and comfort her during power outages like this. Her sister would hold her and whisper in her ear.
“It’s okay,” her sister would say. “We will be fine. Do not be afraid of the dark. Shhh.” The younger twin rested her head against her chest.
Today, the woman closed her eyes and took a breath. She opened her eyes when she heard her phone buzzing. She dropped her shoulders and sighed. The woman walked over and looked at the screen. Miwa Yukio was calling again. She rolled her eyes and rejected the call. Why wouldn’t he leave her alone?
Michiko wandered around the nearly empty streets. It didn’t take long for her to notice someone following her. She moved her arms behind her head.
“I know you’re here,” the girl said. Michiko turned to see Lucy walking out of the bush. The girl smirked as she noticed the frustrated look on the nightcomer’s face.
“What?” Lucy asked.
“You can’t find them, can you?” Michiko asked. The nightcomer gritted her teeth.
“Where did you hide them?!” she asked. The little girl tapped the side of her nose.
“I’m not telling,” she said. Lucy could see fire before calming down.
“Oh, we’ll find that gate,” she said. “And they will take that precious boy of yours too. What’s his name again? Masaomi?”
“You better not,” Michiko hissed. Lucy put up her hands.
“Easy there, I am not the one to get mad at,” she said. “You can’t start what has begun, you know?”
“It won’t stop me from trying,” the young girl muttered. The nightcomer shrugged.
“Suit yourself,” she said. “Good luck with that.” Lucy jumped up and vanished into thin air. Michiko clicked her tongue as she pulled out her phone.
“Tiresias, we have to hurry,” she said. “Any progress yet?”
“I am still searching,” the blind woman said on the other line. Michiko bit her lower lip and paced around.
“Oh no…” she muttered. “This is bad. This is bad.”
“Calm down,” Tiresias said. “We will find the rest of the Light Gates.” Michiko bit on her fingers. Tandeki had never gotten this far before. If this kept up, the apocalypse could be coming sooner than feared.
Risa had just finished lighting the candles around the apartment. Her last stop was Riku’s room.
“Pretty scary, isn’t it?” she asked. “But, don’t worry. They are working to get the power back. You won’t have to sit in the hot darkness for long.” Riku sat behind her on her bed. Her eyes looked vacant as ever. She had her mouth open as if ready to say something. Risa turned around as soon as she heard noises.
“Shhh,” the lawyer whispered as she pulled her sister into her arms. “It’s going to be okay. I’m still here. I won’t leave you.” She kissed her sister on the forehead. Riku took about five minutes to calm down.
“There,” Risa said. “I will stay with you until the power comes back on, okay?” Riku’s eyes moved towards her sister.
Outside, Azazael had his eyes on Riku. He had to wait for the moment when Risa was away from her. For now, he would just keep watch. There was a certain old man that he had to visit in Shinjuku when the power came on.
Junko looked at an early bottle of Biddy Early. Her plan was working, but now she hit a little snag. Tatsuya was catching on about Shizumu-sensei poisoning his younger sister. The nurse still needed Chiharu for the Angel Project. Looked like it was time to change tactics.
Lucky for her, Mikado was helping to speed up the process without his knowledge. But still, Chiharu needed a bigger dose. Junko turned when he heard a knock on her door.
“Come in!” she said. Yui poked her head inside. The nurse glanced behind her.
“Yeah?” she asked. The intern walked in and lowered her head.
“Can you give me something to do?” she asked. Junko raised her eyebrow.
“Why?” she asked. Yui walked into the basement office, frowning.
“We can’t find the last two gates. My apartment has no internet because there is no power. I only came in today because I am bored,” she complained. “Please help me out!” Junko took a moment to think about it.
“Do you mind paperwork?” she asked.
“I’ll do it!” Yui was quick to say.
“Okay… And I would like to pick your brain for something.”
The intern gave her a curious look. “What for?”
Junko stood up. “How do you poison someone without getting close to them?”
“Hm… I have a couple of ideas,” Yui said.
“Good, let’s write them down and we’re going to look over the notes together,” the nurse said. Her intern broke into huge smile.
“Sweet,” she said. Yui walked over next to Junko and pulled up a chair.
The power was restored to Ikebukuro by morning. Everything went back to normal. However, the damage was already seeping in.