Halo Eleven: Nobuyuki:
-July 20th, 1991-
She lay in her cage on unresponsive. Kitano and his team didn’t know what to do with this woman. She didn’t die no matter how many times they tried to finish her off. Nothing seemed to kill her. She survived without food or water. Medication didn’t work. Needles brought when they touched her skin. But why wasn’t she moving? Etsuko stuck a small mirror underneath the nostrils of the caged-up patient.
“She’s still alive,” she said. Kitano sighed.
“Most unfortunate,” he said.
“So what do you want to do with her?” the doctor asked. “We can’t leave her like this. What if one of the staff members comes down in the basement and finds her like this? Everything we worked hard on could be exposed.”
“I know,” Kitano said. “I’m still working on that.” Even this one had him stumped. He and Etsuko looked up when they heard the door open. One of the orderlies was walking in with a large bag.
“Hello Maeda-san,” Etsuko said.
“Hi,” the young orderly said. “I’m just here recycling old scalpels from upstairs.”
“Busy day?” the doctor asked.
“Yes,” Maeda-san said. “There are new patients coming in again.” She was in so much of a hurry that she didn’t see the chord at her feet.
“Maeda-san look out!” Etsuko yelled.
“Huh?” the orderly asked. Her left foot got caught in the chord, causing the bag on her arm to rip and one of the scalpels to cut into her arm.
“Ow,” the orderly muttered. Drops of her blood hit the floor.
“Are you okay?” Kitano asked.
“Yes sir,” Maeda-san said. “I just cut my arm a little bit. I guess I wasn’t paying attention to this chord in front of me.” She looked down at the long orange chord she stood over.
“Were those scalpels cleaned?” he asked.
“I think so,” the orderly said. Etsuko dashed over to check out the young woman’s arm. Kitano was about to head over for a look himself when he heard low growling behind him. The therapist turned to see the caged woman trying to break out of the cage.
“Etsuko-sensei,” he said. “Look at this.”
“What?” the doctor asked. The woman in the cage started breathing heavily as she clawed at the ground. Her body twitched around as she made gagging noise. The orderly looked up with a confused look on her face.
“What’s going on?” she asked. Kitano walked over to the large cage as if in a trance. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a key.
“What are you doing?” Etsuko asked. Kitano unlocked the cage door without an answer. The woman raced toward the blood on the floor like a bullet. The orderly backed up as she heard the wild patient licking up the drops like a hungry beast. Kitano and Etsuko watched with curious looks on their faces.
“Sensei,” Etsuko whispered. Right away, Kitano began planning about what to do with the woman and the various bodies that would come with the next generation of the experiment.
Tatsuya didn’t know how to stop his sister’s pain, but he figured that he could try and take her mind off of it. He pulled out his phone.
“Hello?” Tatsuya asked. “I know it’s a bit early this year, but Chiharu really needs to see him again. I apologize in advance for this. You will come down for the weekend? Great! I’ll pick up at the station tomorrow. Again, thank you so much. Goodbye.” He breathed out as he hung up. The man looked down the hall. He still wasn’t finished.
Chiharu had just gotten up when the doorbell buzzed. A confused look came over her face. Who is coming over here so early?
“Chiharu!” Tatsuya yelled from the living room. “Nobuyuki and his mom are here!” The teenaged girl froze in her bed.
“What?!” she asked. Footsteps walked from the living room and stopped in front of her door. Tatsuya opened it and poked his head inside.
“Nobuyuki’s here,” he said. Chiharu narrowed her eyes.
“But it’s not August yet,” she said.
“I know,” her brother said. “I called them up yesterday.”
“I just figured you could use some cheering up this weekend. But hey, I can take them back to the train station if you want.”
“No!” Chiharu jumped out of bed and ran to her closet. Tatsuya smiled and shook his head.
“I thought so,” he said. The man turned and walked out of Chiharu’s room.
“Sorry to keep you waiting,” Tatsuya said as he made it back to the living room. A woman and a boy about eighteen years old sat on the couch. The woman pushed her brown hair behind her ear. The boy wore jeans and a brown t-shirt. Tatsuya took a seat in the chair across from them.
“Is Chiharu okay?” the boy asked. “We usually come down to visit you in August. Did something happen?” Tatsuya frowned and looked behind him. Then, leaned forward, motioning the boy and the woman to come closer. He had practiced how he would say this since last night. Best to just dive in with it.
“I don’t exactly know the details,” Tatsuya whispered. “But her doctor prescribed her some strange medicine and it’s made her sick. I had my friend look what was in this drug. She hasn’t seen anything like it. She said some of the chemicals were hard to come be and illegal in this country. I think Chiharu’s being poisoned.”
“Oh no,” the woman whispered. Tatsuya looked behind again.
“I’ve tried to get her to stop,” he said. “I think she’s still using it. She won’t tell me if she is or not.” Tatsuya looked down at his hands.
“Actually, I kind of called you down here for selfish reasons,” he said looking the boy in the eye.
“For what?” the boy asked.
“Well… Just talk to her. Chiharu listens to you the most. You don’t have to bring up her illness and addiction. Just let her know that you are here for her.” Tatsuya held his breath. The boy’s face didn’t change.
“I’ll see what I can do,” he said. Tatsuya bowed his head.
“Thank you,” he said. All three sat up when they heard footsteps enter the living room. Chiharu stood in the doorway dressed in a pink tank top, short brown skirt, and small white jacket. She had her shoulder-length brown hair back in pigtails. The boy stood up.
“Chiharu-san?” he asked. The girl quickly looked away.
“Nobuyuki,” she said. “It’s so nice to see you again…” Her cheeks started to turn pink.
“You look so pretty,” the woman said.
“Thanks, Ito-san,” Chiharu mumbled. Tatsuya clapped and rubbed his hands together.
“Okay, time for you two to go!” he said. His sister whipped her head again.
“What?” she asked. Tatsuya touched Chiharu and Nobuyuki on their backs.
“Come on,” he said. “Get going. You two have the nice afternoon out. We’ll see you again in the evening.”
“But…” Chiharu said.
“See you guys later,” Tatsuya said. “Bye now!” He shoved them out of the apartment, threw their shoes at them, and closed the door. Chiharu turned to a confused looking Nobuyuki.
“Uh… I guess we should get going,” he said. He took her by the arm and led her along the path. Chiharu frowned as she looked at her apartment.
Sota was riding along on his scooter. He hadn’t planned to do much that day. The tadpoles had agreed to keep a low profile as things were starting to get tense around Ikebukuro.
“It’s too dangerous for all of us,” Tetsu warned them last night. “They already know that we exist. I don’t want to think about what they can do to us when they find us.” Fine with Sota. He didn’t want to get involved with this in the first place. But, there are those who just have to push the tadpoles to stand out.
Sota passed by a group of girls walking out of a karaoke bar. One of them was going left and the other three headed right.
“See you tomorrow!” the girl going left said.
“Bye-bye!” one of her friends said. But, Sota heard something completely different from the girl going left as she passed by his scooter.
This will be my last day ever.
Sota stopped on his scooter. When he looked up, he saw the girl was in tears as she started running by. It didn’t take him long to figure out what she was planning. He waited for a few minutes before turning around and followed her on the down low.
Chiharu and Nobuyuki walked beside each in silence. This felt like last year. They had a nice take so far. He let her call of the shots.
“Where do you want to go next?” Chiharu asked.
“It’s up to you,” he said. She sighed and threw back her head.
“Why do you always put the plans on me?” she asked.
“Because I want you to be happy,” Nobuyuki said. “You are the type to be in control of everything. Even when we were kids, you led the way.”
“Is that a problem?”
“No. It’s what I like about you.”
“Aw, you’re so sweet. Ow.” Chiharu started rubbing her forehead.
“Are you okay?” Nobuyuki asked.
“Yes,” she said. “I’m fine. Really I am.” Chiharu noticed the worried look on her crush’s face. “What?”
“You’ve been saying that all day,” Nobuyuki said. “Are you coming down with something?” She looked in the eye and sighed.
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “I don’t know what’s going on with me.” Chiharu grabbed him by the hands.
“I’m scared,” she whispered. Nobuyuki pulled her into his arms.
“It’s going to be okay,” he said in a calm voice. Chiharu looked at him with tears in her eyes.
“I hope you are right,” she said. Nobuyuki looked up happened to look up behind Chiharu.
“Chiharu!” he shouted. The girl looked up to see a giant Kai-Ken running towards her. Before she could say a word it bit down hard on Chiharu’s right calf.
“Ow!” she screamed. “Get him off! Get him off!”
“Subaru!” a woman’s voice yelled. The young couple looked up to see a woman in her early twenties running across the street to them. Her messy ponytail bounced as she as she moved. Her grey t-shirt was covered in sweat. Her brown khakis looked like they could fall off at any time.
“Subaru! Stop that right now!” she yelled. The big dog let go of Chiharu’s leg. The young girl winced in pain.
“I am so sorry!” the woman said, bowing profusely. “My dog isn’t usually like this! Bad dog!” She smacked Subaru on the head. “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” Chiharu said through clenched teeth. “It hurts, but I’ll live.” The woman knelt down and looked at the bite mark.
“Ooo! That looks pretty nasty,” she said. “Here, let me treat it for you.”
“Oh, it’s okay,” Chiharu said. “We can just go to a doctor that we know.”
“No, I insist,” the woman said. “This won’t take too long.” She reached into her bag and pulled out a bottle filled with light brown liquid.
“Hold still, this will string,” the woman said. She gave the wound four quick sprays. Chiharu clenched her teeth.
“What is that?” she asked.
“Anti-bacteria spray,” the woman said. “It’s to kill all of the germs. You can’t be careful with animal bites.” She pulled out some bandages and wrapped up the wound.
“There!” the woman said. “Again, I am so sorry that my dog bit you!” She took another bow. Nobuyuki squeezed Chiharu’s hand as tightly as he could.
“Oh!” the woman said. “I have to get going! I’m sorry about my dog! Have a good day!” She turned and ran away. Chiharu and Nobuyuki stared at the strange woman and her dog as they hurried away. Why couldn’t they shake this uncomfortable feeling that came over?
Henshuubyou, Fukan’yo, and Kyoei floated around in the sky. The older of three lifted his head.
“Our brother is coming!” he said. “Our brother is coming!” The younger dragons looked up.
“When?” Henshuubyou asked.
“When?” Fukan’yo asked.
“I am not certain,” Kyoei confessed. “But I can feel him near. He’s trapped in the gate. We can still call out to him. Come to us, brother!”
“Come to us, brother! Come to us, brother!” the dragons chanted together. They floated faster through their beloved sky.
The woman with her dog made it in front of Russia Sushi. She pulled out her phone and smirked.
“It’s done, sensei,” she said.
“Very good,” Junko said on the other line. “You can come back to Rampo now.”
“Yes, sensei,” Yui said. She hung and counted backwards from twenty in her head.
Chiharu and Nobuyuki had just stepped out of the McDonald when Chiharu started to get dizzy. Her vision became started and blurry. The last thing she could remember was everything going black as Nobuyuki screamed her name.