Caged Wonderland


Halo Twenty-Five: Tandeki:

What purpose do the angels serve? Ever since 1991, these creatures have been living in cages in different basements. In the beginning, Kitano and Etsuko didn’t know what to do with F. They spent years feeding and studying her. But then, she just died in 1996. By then, they had thirty angels in cages in Chou Mori. They had enough to continue their research. Etsuko fed F’s body to the other angels. Such a shame to lose that first angel, though.

Until now.


Junko walked around the various cages. She stopped at D’s cage. The pitiful-looking creature gave her a blank stare with its light pink eyes. The nurse smirked and shook her head.

“Hello, D,” she cooed. “How are you tonight?” The angel made a screeching noise as it stared at her. He sounded like he had swallowed a whistle. D looked like he hadn’t seen the light in years.

“Heh,” Junko said.

“Why are you doing this to us?” a small voice croaked. The nurse turned around. Z leaned against her cage, ready to cry.

“Oh?” the nurse asked. Z sniffled.

“You’re always picking on him!” she complained. “Why can’t you just leave him alone?” Yui and Naoki sat in the back corner, watching. Junko all but laughed as she walked over to the cage.

“Why you ask?” she asked. “Why you ask?” Z slowly nodded. Yui tried not to laugh. Junko flipped back her long black hair.

“Okay then,” she said. “First of all, you are more evolved and he is now.” Junko smirked as she looked deep into Z’s eyes.

“You should not exist, you know?” she asked. “You were all just an accident.” The nurse turned to her two interns.

“You know something,” she said. “I’m in a generous mood tonight. I know you all had some burning questions for me. Go ahead. Ask away.” The interns blinked at first.

“Okay…” Naoki said. “What do we do with them after… Well, you know…” Junko smirked.

“I haven’t decided yet,” she said. “I might just let them run free in the end.” The nurse saw the worried looks on her interns’ faces.

“Aw don’t worry,” she said. “We won’t be here to witness any of it.” That did little to ease them.

“Right,” Junko said. “Anything else?”

“Uh… yeah,” Yui said. “Why exactly do they not die?”

“That I cannot answer,” the nurse said. “I was just given the raw ingredients of the tadpole drug Raijin to work with. This was before they corrected the problems. I just played around with it to make it more stable.”

Junko leaned forward, smirking. “In fact, I worked on it to the point that the test subject will just need one injection for it to take effect.”

“What about F?” Naoki asked.

“Ah yes, her,” the nurse said. “F is a very special case. She has been human for seventeen years. I had to revert her back to being an angel. Her transformation is just about complete.” Suddenly, her intercom crackled on. Junko rolled her eyes and pressed the button.

“Want do you want?” she asked.

“I am here to check on your progress,” Aya said on the other line. Junko groaned.

“Come in,” she said.

“I don’t want to,” the therapist said.

“We go through this every time. Of course they are going to stink! They are angels after all.”

“That’s the problem.”

Junko rolled her eyes. “Just get in here already.”

“Fine,” Aya said. The nurse turned to her interns as if to ask, “Can you believe this shit?” Yui and Naoki said nothing. They just shuffled back to tending to the angels. The nurse sat back, smirking. She pushed the doors open. Junko counted down the to the footsteps down the down the door. Beep. Click. Slide. Junko smiled and waved.

“Yo,” she said. Aya took a step back and covered her nose.

“How can you stand to be in here?” she asked. “It smells like something died in here.” The nurse shrugged.

“It’s my job,” she said. “I don’t complain.”

“My eyes are burning!” Aya wailed. “Can you at least get some air freshener or something?”

“That won’t help, sensei,” Yui said. “We’ve tried.”

“Seriously?!” the therapist complained. Junko waved her off.

“Yeah, yeah,” she said. “What do you want? Speak, woman!” Aya coughed for a moment.

“Your progress on F?” she asked.

“Ah yes,” Junko said. “I am just about to complete have her reverted back. In fact…” The nurse turned to her computer and moved the mouse. Her screen awoke to a black chart with red, yellow, white, and green wavy lines.

“And what is that?” Aya asked.

“F’s stat,” Junko said. “Right now, everything is calm with a side of panic.” She smiled and shook her head.

“My, my, my,” the nurse said. “She’s fighting so hard. It’s not good on her body. She’s so desperate to try and stay human. She must know by now that she can’t go back anymore.” Aya frowned as she rolled her eyes.

“Get to the point!” she barked. “When will it be done?” Junko grinned.

“Tonight,” she said.

“And how can you be so sure of that?” Aya asked. The nurse moved her mouse over the screen.

“See this?” she asked.

“What is it?” Aya asked.

“It’s the angel DNA in F’s body,” Junko said, holding the cursor over the small wavy yellow line. “When that spikes, the process will be complete.”

“And you are sure it will happen tonight?” the therapist asked as she wrinkled her nose. Junko broke into a huge grin.

“Yep!” she said. Aya frowned and rolled her eyes.

“Whatever,” she mumbled.


Mikado awoke to tapping on his window. He sat up and looked outside. A woman with golden eyes and long wavy lilac hair was looking inside. She pointed at the locks of the window to get in. Confused, Mikado crawled over and opened the window. Looking at her gold eyes behind her glasses only gave him one name to call her from his recovering memories.

“Cheri?” he asked. Her lips curved into a foxlike smirk.

“So good that you remember me,” she said. The madam tried not to snicker. “Congratulations on popping your cherry at last.” Mikado’s face turned bright red.

“It’s not like that!” he hissed, flailing his arms about. “I wasn’t in the right state of mind when it happened.”

“If you say so,” Cheri said.

“Really, that’s what it was,” the tadpole said. He shivered as he held his hand. “I just feel so dirty thinking about it. I took advantage of her.” Cheri rubbed his back.

“I don’t think you did,” she said. Mikado shook his head.

“Is that all you came here for?” he asked. Cheri drew back her hand and sat up straight.

“I have come here to warn you,” she said. “There are stronger demons coming to kill you and the other tadpoles.”

“Yes,” Mikado said.

“Tandeki is also close to finding the seventh gate,” Cheri added. “You will also want to check on your little angel friend too. She’s getting pretty hungry.” The tadpole gave her a strange look.

“What do you know about Hashimoto-san?” he asked. Cheri flipped back her long lilac hair.

“She doesn’t have much time,” she said. “There is a trap being set for you both—tonight.” Mikado was about to speak when his phone rang.

“Excuse me,” he said. The tadpole picked up his phone.

“Hello?” Mikado asked.

“Seiji’s gone missing!” Mika shouted on the other line. “He’s not answering his phone and I don’t know where he is!”

“What?” the tadpole asked.

“I was making dinner and then Seiji just walked out door,” she explained. “I don’t know where he is. He’s not answering his phone or texts. I’ve called everyone we know and we can’t find him.” Mikado stood up.

“I’ll be right there,” he said. The tadpole hung up his phone.

“Anri, Masaomi!” Mikado shouted. “Get up! We’ve got a problem!” His friends woke up from slumber.

“What is it?” Masaomi asked. “Are you having another break down again?”

“Seiji’s gone missing,” Mikado said. “Mika can’t find him and he’s not answering his phone.” His friends got up and got dressed.

“Be careful out there!” Cheri shouted as the trio headed out the door. Mikado waved her off. The madam disappeared as the door swung closed.

-Counting Down-

Junko smiled to herself as she looked at her computer screen.

“Five… Four..” she said. She sounded like a happy child waiting to open her presents on Christmas. The nurse smiled the whole time.

“Really? You’re going to do this?” Aya asked.

“Three… Two…” Junko said, counting down with her fingers. The therapist rolled her eyes. The nurse smirked at the screen.

“One,” she said.

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