Caged Wonderland

Yukio

Halo Sixteen: Yukio:

Kai and Azazeal stood in front of Ikebukuro West Gate Park Fountain.

“This is taking too long,” Kai complained. “Why isn’t she here yet?”

“The end times will come like a thief in the night,” Azazeal said. “You have to at least give them credit for coming this far.”

“Yeah, but still. Can’t we just nudge this game along a little bit?” the other demon asked.

“How do you mean?” his companion asked. Kai pointed up to a tree nearby.

“We can start with taking out that little nuisance!” he shouted. The demon held up his hand, palm up. He took a breath and threw the light at the doll. The little porcelain toy dressed in red silk exploded into little pieces. Kai breathed out.

“That makes me feel so much better,” he said. Kai’s eyes rolled back into his head as he felt the energy out the area flow through him.

“It’s near!” he shouted. “I can feel it!”

“Let us see what happens next,” Azazeal said. He too could feel the energy run through his body.


-Mari-

Mari sat at her possessed laptop tying away with a bored look on her face. Yoemon-sensei looked at her with a curious look.

“What’s the matter, Mari-san?” he asked. The intern gave the screen a frosty look.

“Who are you?” she typed.

“I am Yoemon-sensei,” the man on the screen said. “Or rather, I was him. He uploaded his consciousness into this program.” Mari narrowed her eyes as she frowned.

“Such a thing is not possible,” she typed.

“And what makes you say that?” he asked. Mari made a face.

“Don’t you ever turn off?” she typed. The professor snickered and shook his head.

“No,” he said. Mari’s heart jumped into her throat when she read the response.

“You can’t be serious…” She had to type and delete this several times before hitting enter. His next response was enough to make her stomach drop.

“I am.”

Mari froze at the response on the screen. Yoemon-sensei appeared to be typing a response back to him. She swallowed down her vomit.

“I need a moment,” the intern typed. Mari got up and walked away from her laptop. She walked all the way outside of her apartment. Once she was sure that she was alone, the intern pulled out her phone.

“It’s starting to get out of hand,” Mari said. “He won’t turn off. He’s taken over my laptop. I don’t know how to kill his consciousness in the system.”

“I’m surprised that you stopped avoiding my calls,” Izaya said on the other line.

“I’ve been busy,” she lied. “Please… help me! I’m starting to fear the worst.”

“Alright,” the information broker said, sighing. “Meet me out at Starbucks.”

“Thank you,” Mari said. “I will there in twenty minutes.” She hung up and took a breath. Maybe she could try and stop this before things could get worse. The intern turned and walked back into her apartment.

She still had control of her phone for the time being.


-Yuzuru and Kai-

Yuzuru had just left Rampo Biotech and was about to head home for the day. When was the last time she read a good book? The Tandeki Group had been so busy lately. Some of the interns had taken to sleeping in some of the sleeping quarters on the upper floors.

Yuzuru always went home to her apartment. She didn’t have much on her mind right now. Just dinner, a bath, a nice book, and going to bed. Yuzuru straightened up the bag on shoulder as she headed to the street. She walked past a man in a black hoodie and jeans with long blue hair. He leaned against a brick wall, smirking to himself.

“Good evening,” he said. Yuzuru paused just as she was about to cross the street. She turned just as the man walked over to her.

“Yo,” he said waving.

“I’m sorry, but do I know you?” she asked.

“No,” the man said. “Where are my manners? My name is Kai. And you are?” She had that same stoic face that she always had.

“Marusa Yuzuru,” she said. Kai narrowed his eyes.

“You look familiar,” he said. “Have I seen you from somewhere?”

“I don’t think so,” she said.

“Yes, I have,” Kai said. “I’ve seen you with those other women around the city. You carry a weird crystal around with you that floats, don’t you?” Yuzuru eyed him.

“Who are you?” she asked.

“Just a friend,” he said. “A friend on your side. I want the same thing you do.”

“And that is?” Yuzuru asked. The streets looked just as crowded as they normally do around this hour. Nobody seemed to buy any attention to them. They just looked like two people talking to each other. Kai hadn’t done anything to try and harm her. They were just talking.

“To bring the apocalypse,” he said. “I am on your side. I am Team Tandeki!”

“Heh?” Yuzuru asked.

“But never mind,” Kai said. “I want to help you win this game. In fact, I want to you show you something I found after destroying a few dolls.”

“And what would that be?” she asked. Kai took hold of her arm.

“Come along and see,” he whispered in her ear. The demon pulled her along with him before she could say another word.


-Yukio, Mikado, and Madoka-

Around seven in the evening, Madoka met up with Mikado near the park.

“How is she doing?” the older tadpole asked. Mikado shook his head.

“Not good,” he said. “They changed her.”

“What do you mean?” Madoka asked. “Is your friend like us now?” Mikado shook his head.

“I can’t explain it,” he said. “She smelt like a decaying corpse.”

“A decaying corpse?” Madoka asked.

“She hasn’t been in school in days,” Mikado added. “Hashimoto-san says that she can’t eat human food anymore, but she complains that her stomach is in pain.”

“And you’re sure that it’s them?” she asked.

“Yes, I know it is,” he said.

“Why would they do that to her?” Madoka asked.

“I don’t know, but I don’t like it,” Mikado said. But then, they froze.

“Did you hear that?” Madoka asked.

“Yeah,” he said. The tadpoles turned to see a group of thugs walking towards them. One… Two… Three… Four… Five, no six men made their way towards them.

“What should we do?” Madoka whispered. Mikado held out his arm.

“Stay calm,” he said. The thugs circled the tadpoles.

“Well, well, well,” one them with a lip ring and spiked hair said, stepping forward. “What do we have here?”

“Please, we don’t want any trouble,” Mikado said. The thugs had eyes of hungry hyenas. One of them had a Louisville Slugger on his shoulder. It didn’t help that Mikado could see their inner demons on their shoulders. They didn’t look too happy to see them either.

They look like those tadpole freaks everyone was talking about.

How much can we get for them?

Will they bleed if we hit them?

Let’s just bear them and see.

Mikado looked over at Madoka. Unease rolled around them and they debated the best courses of action.

Where can we run?

I don’t know. I’m still looking. Madoka’s eyes darted around, calculating the best solution possible. The thug with the lip ring laughed.

“Trouble’s already found you, little tadpoles!” he shouted. It was then Mikado noticed the red rings around his irises.

“He’s possessed!” he shouted. Madoka whipped her head around.

“What?!” she asked. The tadpoles noticed the rest of the thugs had red rings around the irises as well.

“Oh shit!” Madoka said. Mikado stayed close to his tadpole sister. Suddenly, a sharp chill ran up their spines.

“Another one?” Madoka asked. She and Mikado looked out inches away. A young man in his later twenties stood staring at the other two tadpoles. His messy black hair made his skin look so pale in the darkness. His gray hoodie was open, revealing his black t-shirt. The young man observed the scene in front of him.

“Am I interrupting anything?” he asked. Are you guys okay? Madoka and Mikado quickly shook their heads. The thug with the lip ring glared at him.

“And who the fuck are you?!” he asked. The third tadpole put up his hands.

“Nobody,” he said. “I am just nobody.”

“Bullshit!” the thug yelled. “You’re one of them, aren’t you?” The young man put up his hands and shook his head.

“You got me!” he said. “But, I have to ask you something.”

“What?” the possessed man asked. The young man’s eyes seemed to turn dark.

“What is it you desire most?” he asked. The possessed gangster looked dazed with a smile on his face.

“To go to Todai,” he said. One of his lackies broke down laughing.

“Like their going to let in someone who spray paints walls and vandalizes abandoned buildings,” another thug said. The leader’s face turned bright red.

“Shut up!” he yelled. The thug ran forward and threw the first punch.

“Asshole!” the thug yelled back. He threw back the punch. It didn’t take long for a fight to break out. The young man ran over and grabbed Mikado and Madoka by the hands.

“Let’s go!” he said. All three tadpoles vanished into thin air.

They appeared in an alley behind the Sunshine60 Building. Madoka and Mikado stared at their savior with puzzled looks on their faces.

“Everyone okay?” he asked.

“Yes,” Madoka said.

“Who are you?” Mikado asked. The young man pushed his hair out of his eyes.

“Judging from what I felt earlier, you two are tadpoles as well, yes?” he asked.

“Yes… but who are you?” Mikado said.

“Ah, where are my manners?” their savior asked. “Miwa Yukio. As you saw with my powers, I make people reveal their deepest desires. And what about you? What can do you?” Madoka and Mikado debated on answering at first. It was nice to meet another tadpole like them but they didn’t fully know his motives just yet. He could try and kill them out of insanity and rage like Satoshi.

“Ryugamine Mikado and I see people’s inner demons,” Mikado said at last.

“Kurosawa Madoka and I can see things from a long distance,” Madoka said. Yukio looked at the pair closely. He pointed at Mikado.

“You, I don’t remember,” he said. “But, you I think I have seen at that god-awful place.” He directed that statement at Madoka. She gave him a confused look.

“I don’t think so…” she said. “But then again, all of memories of that place haven’t come back yet.” All three tadpoles shuddered at the mere thought of Chou Mori.

“Anyway, have either you two seen this beautiful lady?” Yukio asked. He pulled out a picture of a woman with long bright red hair. Her smile looked so painful. Mikado and Madoka took a look.

“No,” they said.

“Darn it,” Yukio said. “I know that she’s here in this district. Maybe Saori was right.”

“Who’s Saori?” Mikado asked.

“She’s another one of us,” Yukio said.

“Who is she?” Madoka asked. “The woman in the picture? Is she your sister or something?” The older male tadpole gave her a small smile.

“She’s a very special friend of mine,” he said.


-The Past-

The three of them used to be so happy. Yukio was in love with both his girlfriend and her sister. He flirted around with them both, but the girlfriend was the one who made the first move. Her sister was a little hurt but was happy for them. The three of them were still together. They even dreamed of their futures together. The sister would find another boy and fall in love. The twins would marry their men and live next-door to each other. Their children would play together. They out the rest of their lives together.

One car accident on the way to the beach would uproot everything. Only Yukio, his girlfriend, her sister, and their friend survived the wreck. The friend ended up in a hospital in the city. Yukio and the twins ended up in Hell on earth.

Now, he’s trying to find the sister to reconnect with her through the misery pulling them deeper into the Wasteland.


-Junko, Aya, and Etsuko-

Junko spent the whole week smiling. Aya sneered at her.

“What are you grinning for?” she asked in one of the laboratories in Rampo Biotech. The nurse turned to her with a big grin on her face.

“I awoke F,” she said. “The Angel Project is well on it’s way.” The psychiatrist wrinkled her nose. Etsuko sat towards back making formulas and ignoring them.

“You’re lying,” Aya said. The nurse chuckled.

“Don’t be mad because you aren’t making any progress on your end,” she said. “What do you do again?” Aya glared at her while putting hands on her hips.

“I am the one who keeps this project together, you know?” she asked.

“Could’ve fooled me,” Junko said under her breath.

“What did you say?!” Aya snapped.

“Enough!” Etsuko snapped. The other two women looked up. The doctor turned her chair to face them.

“We don’t have time for your petty fights,” she said. “We are making really good progress for a change. Just stay focused on what you need to do. Understood?” Aya and Junko went quiet. The doctor turned to the nurse.

“You sure you have revived F?” she asked.

“Of course I did!” Junko said. “The drug took beautifully. She’s already starting to feel the symptoms of the reverting process. It’s only a matter of time before she gives in and starts to feed.” Aya snorted and turned her head away.

“Okay,” Etsuko said. She returned to her work. Junko felt like she was flying away with a huge grin on her face. Aya wanted to choke her out in that moment.


-The Sixth Gate-

Kai led the ladies to the big red Love statue in the square. He turned to his audience, grinning.

“Well, here it is,” he said. “I found your sixth gate.” Hecate and Lucy didn’t look impressed.

“What do you think?” Hecate asked Yuzuru. She held up her crystal as it floated in the air. The nightcomer incepted the crystal as it defied gravity.

“You aren’t trying to gyp us, are you?” Lucy asked. Kai raised his eyebrow.

“And why would I do that when I want the apocalypse to come as much as you do?” he asked. “Man, your mother trained you well in not trusting anyone.” Lucy growled as she stormed towards him. Hecate held out her arm. The younger sister whipped her head around.

“Enough,” Hecate said. “There is a faster way to do this.” She held out her hand and closed her eyes. A quick jolt ran through her body.

“This is a gate,” she said, opening her eyes.

“See?” Kai asked.

“Can you please be quiet?” Hecate asked. Kai put up his hands.

“Fine,” he said. “I’m done here anyway. Have fun, ladies.” Kai jumped up and vanished into thin air.

“Who was that?” Yui whispered to Yuzuru. Her fellow intern shook her head.

“Who cares? Let’s just get this over with,” Lucy said. Hecate already walked up to the sculpture.

“Hey, wait for me!” her sister yelled. Lucy ran to the other side. Both women touched the letters at the same time and closed their eyes. An intense amount of power where into the sculpture, making it glow bright red. Suddenly, the ground shook intensely. So hard that it could be confused with an earthquake. Hecate lowered her hand and smiled.

“One more gate to go,” Lucy said. The nightcomers vanished when the ground stopped. Yui and Yuzuru headed back to Rampo Biotech.


-Satoru-

It had been weeks and he turned up nothing. Satoru flopped back onto the hotel bed. He tried to chase out the negative thoughts from his head.

No, she’s not dead. Quit thinking like that. You will find her! You just have to keep looking! Thing is, that’s kind of hard to do when you have no leads.

That was until he got a text from a blocked number.

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