Halo Twenty-Six: Widow:
Everyone had been out looking for hours. Celty rode around on Shooter, looking around for Seiji in the streets. Saburo drove the Van Gang around with their eyes peeled for the missing teenager. Madoka stood on the roof of her new apartment, looking for him. Mikado and his friends were looking for Seiji with Mika too. Even Shingen and Michiko pulled Shinra into the search party. He would be playing a vital role after all. Shingen sat down in old book in front of his son.
“What is this for?” Shinra asked.
“You’re going to need it when we find Seiji,” his father said.
“Huh?” the young doctor asked. Michiko stepped out from behind Shingen.
“Michiko-chan?” Shinra asked. The young girl flinched when she heard “chan” attached to her name.
“We believe that Seiji-kun is possessed,” she said.
“How can you be so sure?” the younger doctor asked.
“We’ve seen it before,” his father said. “Seiji is exhibiting all of the signs from what Mika has told us.”
“So… why are you handing me this?” Shinra asked with the book in his hand.
“We’re going to need you to do the exorcism with us,” Shingen said.
“What?! But I’m an underground doctor! I don’t do exorcisms!” his son shouted.
“Well, you do now! Let’s go!” his father shouted. He grabbed Shinra by the arm before his son had a chance to argue. Michiko ran after him.
“Do you see him yet?” Masaomi asked.
“Not yet,” Anri said. She pulled Mika into her arms to calm her down. Mikado glanced behind him over at Chiharu. She had her eyes down as she held her trembling arm. It was her idea to come out with them. Chiharu called up Mikado with desperation in her voice.
“Can I call you back?” Mikado asked. “We’re looking for Seiji right now. He’s gone missing.”
“Let me help,” Chiharu pleaded.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he said.
“Please!” she pleaded. “I’m about to lose my mind here! If I have to hear that crazy bitch nurse one more time, I will go crazy. The pain has been getting much worse. Let me come and help you. It will give me something to do!” Mikado sighed and rubbed his forehead.
“Fine,” he said. “But I will not let you out of my sight, okay?”
“I understand,” Chiharu said.
“You doing okay?” Masaomi asked in present day. Chiharu shook her head. Mikado had this sinking feeling that something beside their Seiji problem was about to unfold.
Kurosawa-san, do you see him yet?
I’m still looking. There is so much ground to cover in this city, you know?
Yes, of course.
How about you?
Nothing on our end either.
I see. I will keep looking.
“Harima-san, do you know of any places where Seiji would go without you?” Mikado asked. Mika took a moment to think.
“There is one place that he briefly mentioned a couple days ago,” she said. “I didn’t know why he would even bring it up in the first place.”
“Do you know where that is?” Anri asked.
“Yes, yes,” her friend said. “I looked it up last night. I saved the map on my phone.” Mika pulled out her phone and pulled up the map. The other teenagers gathered around for a look.
“Isn’t that the place near Sunshine 60?” Masaomi asked.
“Yes,” Mika said. “I know a faster way to get there.” She had to lead the way. Mikado spent a message through the Dollars’ message board to follow suite on the way.
Izaya looked out the window of Kitano’s office. He already read the message on the Dollars’ message board. Something like this had happened before, but the information broker couldn’t quite track it down in his memories. Behind him, Kitano cleared his throat. Izaya turned his head.
“You wanted to see me?” he asked.
“Aw yes,” Kitano said. “There is something I always wanted to ask you.”
“Oh? What would that be?” Izaya asked. The therapist had no emotion on his face.
“I’m curious about something,” he said. “I couldn’t understand why you would be interested in our little game. You have said many times before the you love humans.” Izaya started to speak, but Kitano held up his hand.
“Don’t speak. I am still talking,” he said. “I feel that our goals don’t line up. But yet, here you are day after day. In the beginning, it didn’t make sense to us. So, I did some thinking.”
“And?” the information broker asked. Kitano delivered the next thought in a stoic tone.
“I think you are spying on us,” he said. Izaya gave him a slightly puzzled look.
“Hm? Why would you have that idea about me?” he asked.
“Oh come on, Orihara-san, please don’t insult my intelligence,” the therapist said. “You know how much I hate that.” He had a quick sharp glare in his eyes before returning to the stoic mask on his face. Both men stared each other down for a moment.
“You can drop the pretense,” Kitano said. “We already know that you are spying on us. The question is, who.” He narrowed his eyes behind his glasses.
“Now, knowing you, you won’t tell me who you are working for,” the therapist said. “So, I decided to try a different tactic.” Kitano rested his hands until his chin.
“How about telling me who it is not,” he said. “I am going to ask you who it isn’t and you will tell me if I right or not.”
“How will you know if I’m even telling the truth?” Izaya asked.
“Because you aren’t that stupid to lie in the first place,” the therapist said. “Now, tell me who you are not working for. Do you work for Vozrozhdeniye?”
“No,” the information broker said.
“The Yellow Scarves?”
“Are they even from this time period?” Kitano noticed the shocked and confused look on Izaya’s face. The therapist raised his eyebrow as the information broker tried to compose to himself.
“Do you want to hear my little theory?” he asked. Izaya didn’t speak. Kitano chuckled.
“Of course you do,” he said. “I think you are working for someone not from Ikebukuro. I also think that they aren’t from this period. I also think that they are from the future. On top of that, I think I have known them from the past.” The therapist looked him in the eye.
“How am I doing so far?” he asked. Izaya didn’t need to answer him in words. Kitano had the answers that he needed just by the information broker struggling to keep his composure. The therapist picked up his cup and finished his tea.
“Just as I thought,” Kitano said. Izaya stood staring at him as he started to panic inside.
Elsewhere, Harley wandered around the junk yard. She had grown to love her new vessel. This gangster woman felt like her own skin if she was born with it. She commanded respect from her gang. The boys were willing to do anything for her.
But, Harley’s not on vacation in the Living World here. She’s got work to do.
She walked around a pile of old tech trash. Harley frowned to herself. Come on. Give me something here. Where is it? Harley finally found an old broken phone in the tech trash.
“Ha found one!” she said. Harley picked up the black old phone and blew off the dust. She dialed the number 444-999-1313666 on the cracked keypad. The demon woman held the phone to her ear.
“Hello?” Harley asked. “Boss, it’s me. Yeah, I made it. I’m in the body of a gangster woman. She was dying, so it’s okay. What is the next thing I need to do?” She listened for a few seconds and nodded.
“I understand,” Harley said. “I will keep you posted. Goodbye.” She hung up and tossed the broken phone back into the pile of old tech junk. Harley then disappeared into thin air.
Celty, Shinra, Shingen, and Michiko made it to the Sunshine 60 building. Shingen climbed out of Shooter’s side car.
“Here?” he asked.
“Yes,” Michiko said as she stepped out of the sidecar as well.
“So where would he be?” Shinra asked.
“Hang on,” Michiko said. She touched her forehead. Low buzzing filled her ears. The young girl ignored the screaming she heard from the building. Another voice came into her head.
“You will never make me leave.”
“There!” Michiko shouted as she pointed to the top of the building.
[All the way up there?] Celty typed.
“Yes,” the young girl said. “We don’t have much time. He’s about to fully take over.”
“He? You mean the demon?” Shinra asked.
“Yes,” Michiko said.
[Let’s go!] Celty typed. The party headed straight into the building. They found Seiji standing near the edge of the building with his arms out.
“Welcome to my little party,” he said. Michiko drew out a fuda and slowly walked closer.
“Is Seiji-kun still in there?” she asked. The possessed boy gave her a twisted smile.
“What are you talking about?” he asked. “Seiji’s right here, little girl.”
“You are not him,” Michiko said, shaking her head. “Who are you?” The possessed boy threw up his hands.
“You got me!” he said. “He’s still here, but not for long!”
“How did you come to take control?”
Seiji tried not to laugh. “He just let me in.” He looked up at the night sky.
“I was looking around for a fresh vessel to inhabit. I wasn’t having too much luck. Then, I found this boy wandering around the city in shock. He just looked so numb just walking around there.” He moved his hands around in a dramatic fashion as he spoke.
“This boy just simply let me in,” the demon went on.
“Seiji would never do that,” Shinra said. The possessed boy all but laughed.
“You would be surprised,” he said. “Grief creates the perfect opening for demons like me.” The boy’s lips curved into a devilish smirk.
“His little girlfriend gave me the key to the perfect conditions,” he added. “She should’ve just kept quiet about his dead sister.”
“Wait… Namie is dead?” Shinra asked.
“Yes,” the possessed boy said. “Her soul rests in hell!” He broke down laughing before he froze.
“What the… What the fuck did you do?!” the demon asked. Michiko smirked.
“Got you,” she said. Seiji looked down to see Celty’s shadows holding him in place. The possessed boy gave the dullahan a cold glare.
“You!” he barked. Shingen, Michiko, and Shinra circled the boy. They pulled out their books.
“Do not lose focus,” the young girl said. She dove right in on the chanting. Shingen followed behind. Shinra shrugged and joined in. Celty held the possessed boy within the circle. Seiji started howling out.
“Seiji-kun!” a girl’s voice cried. The possessed boy opened one eye and saw Mika with the other teenagers running up the stairs. He smirked as he saw Mikado follow behind Masaomi. His eyes turned to Michiko and the crew.
“If you drive me out, you will regret it,” he warned. Michiko glared at the possessed boy. Celty took note of his tone and knew that something wasn’t right. She started looking around for any traps.
“Seiji-kun!” Mika shouted.
“Get back!” Michiko yelled. “You must not interfere under any circumstances!” Anri had to hold Mika back and calm her down. Shinra and Shingen kept the chanting going stop as Michiko joined back in.
“You think this is a game?” the demon asked. “I’m serious! You will be making a terrible mistake.” Celty didn’t loosen her grip as she tried to look for where the trap was. Something told her that this set up was too easy. Way too easy.
Something isn’t right here.
That’s when she saw it. But she had no mouth to warn Michiko, Shinra, and Shingen in time. Seiji had a twisted smirk on his face. Michiko smacked him on the chest with her fuda. The demon left Seiji’s body through his mouth. Kadota and the Van Gang came up just in time to hear Anri yell, “Mikado-kun, look out!” Another demon, an amanojaku, sailed towards the tadpole boy with a knife aimed at his chest.
“You’re pretty vulnerable with the dullahan, aren’t you tadpole boy?” he asked. Michiko cursed herself. The exorcised demon laughed in the air.
“Didn’t I tell you?” he asked. Mikado and the others didn’t have the time to react. Kadota tried to push the tadpole boy out of the way.
The knife caught Kadota by his arm as he pushed Mikado down. A rivulet of blood pooled on the ground.
“Dotachin!” Erika shouted. She, Walker, and Saburo crowded around their leader. The two demons disappeared into the sky. Kadota turned and looked at his arm. The knife still stood in the wound.
“You okay, man?” Saburo asked.
“I’m fine, but it hurts in my arm,” Kadota said. Walker pulled out the knife.
“Ow!” the boss hissed through clinched. He climbed off of Mikado.
“You okay?” Kadota asked.
“Uh… yeah…” the young man said. His attention was directed elsewhere when he noticed the hungry look on Chiharu’s face.
No. Don’t do it. Fight it, Hashimoto-san. You are much stronger than this.
Junko smirked at the screen.
“One,” she said. The thin yellow line spiked high on the white dotted lines of the chart. Junko turned in her chair, laughing and clapping her hands.
“It’s done!” she said. “See? Told you!” Junko stuck out her tongue at Aya. The therapist rolled her eyes.
“Whatever,” she muttered.
“Good. Now get out of my office. Go on, shoo!”
Junko smiled to herself as Aya turned and walked out of the basement. It was then she noticed that it had suddenly become quiet. The nurse and interns looked up to see the angels all sitting quietly as they looked up at the ceiling of their cages.
“What happened?” Yui asked. “What’s going on?” Junko broke into a huge smile.
“This, my child, is the beginning of the new phase in the Angel Project!” she said with her arms out. Her laughter drowned out the silence.
The sight of that red fluid hitting the ground was all it took. Chiharu lifted her head with wide eyes. She started breathing heavily as she swallowed back her drool. Mikado happened to look up and notice that glazed over look in his eyes. He started pleading in his mind that she wouldn’t break.
No. Don’t do it. Fight it, Hashimoto-san. You are much stronger than this.
Sadly, his pleading did not reach her as her breathing grew heavier. Chiharu bolted straight for the blood.
“Chiharu, no!” Masaomi shouted. She landed on her hands and knees and started lapping up the blood on the ground. Chiharu looked like a wild animal lost in her frenzy. Her crazed eyes were blinded with the hunger. The shouting and the shock from the count couldn’t reach her. All that mattered to her was the blood. Her tongue tried to get lap up every single drop.
When she was done, Chiharu sat back on the ground, leaning up against the wall of the building. She looked like a junkie who just satisfied her cravings.
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