Halo Nineteen: Kitano:
“If you had the chance to punish who hurt your daughter, would you take it?” Kitano asked. He sat across from a woman in her forties. She kept her eyes down in her lap. This question always came up during their sessions.
“W-W-Why?” she asked in a trembling voice.
“We’re just having a conversation,” he said. She glanced up at him quickly before looking down. It never felt like it to her.
“I don’t know what you want me to say,” the woman said.
“Just be honest,” Kitano said. His client shiver as she bit on her thumb.
“Yes,” she mumbled.
“Have you thought about what all her classmates did to her online?”
“Yes.” The woman’s tiny hands started to tremble. “All of those hurtful things they said online. They made it worse at school.” She fought back the urge to scream.
“Why didn’t I listen to her that day?!” the woman wailed. “If I hadn’t pushed her to go to school that day… If I had just stayed with her… If I had just…”
“It is not your fault. We’ve been over this.”
“Yes. Not all suicidal people give off the same warning signs.”
“I know.” The woman fidgeted with her hands before slamming down in her lap again. “It’s just… I feel so powerless. Some of them were laughing and joking at her funeral. They just pretended they were sad. It just made me so mad!” She took in a deep breath as the anger started to boil.
“I wanted to hurt them so badly then and there.”
“And how about now?”
The woman dropped her hands on her lap. Her eyes welled up with tears. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what to do!”
Kitano handed her a tissue. “Here. Go ahead and cry. Let it all out. Cry if you have to.” His patient broke down sobbing. Kitano took notes the whole time. This one would perfect but she just needed a little more work. She had the sorrow and rage but it wasn’t strong enough to how he wanted it.
-Tomoya and Shuichi-
The boys made their way towards Akihabara. Their target’s last known address was located around there. Shuichi looked at Tomoya’s back.
“What’s the action plan?” he asked. The other tadpole didn’t speak. Shuichi frowned. What was with this guy? He could never get this guy to talk. Tomoya always kept to himself in the base. Shuichi puffed up his cheeks.
“Come on, man,” he complained. “Say something!”
“I want to use him for something,” Tomoya said at last. Shuichi tilted his head.
“So you can talk,” he said.
“Shut up,” Tomoya said. The other tadpole put up his hands.
“Okay, okay,” Shuichi said. “Geez, you don’t have to be ugly about it. I just want to know what we’re doing. How are we going to take out this guy?” Tomoya stopped in his tracks. Shuichi lifted his head.
“Tomoya?” he asked.
“We won’t,” he said. “Not yet anyway.”
“Huh?” Shuichi asked. Suddenly, both men froze. That old chill ran up their spines.
“Another one?” Shuichi asked. “Where?” They looked around. Tomoya finally pointed across the street.
“There?” Shuichi asked. His companion nodded once. He and the other tadpole looked up at the apartment.
“There are two of them,” Shuichi said. He looked at Tomoya. “Do they come to us or do we come to them?” Tomoya didn’t answer. Both tadpoles kept looking up. Both sides stood waiting. Finally, the front door opened above them. A man in black came out and looked down. He didn’t look happy to see the two younger men on the street.
“What do you want from me?!” he shouted. Shuichi and Tomoya looked at each other.
“We’re on a quest for revenge,” Shuichi said without thinking. “You want to help us?” Tomoya looked over at him.
What are you doing?
He’s one of us. We’re going to need more of us to get our revenge.
You sure he’s willing to help?
Only one way to see.
The man above them frowned. “On them?”
“Yeah, we’re heading towards one right now. Want to come?”
The man didn’t answer at first. He kept looking over his shoulder behind him. Shuichi cocked his head.
“Your roommate can come with us,” he said.
“She isn’t coming,” the man said. “I will be right down.” The man disappeared back into the apartment. Shuichi turned to Tomoya.
“It’s happening!” he said. They waited for about ten minutes. The man in black joined them. Shuichi broke into a huge smile.
“Ready to go?” he asked.
“Whatever,” the man muttered. “Let’s get this over with.” The three men walked down their path to their revenge.
“What’s your name, by the way?” Shuichi asked.
“Haru,” their new companion muttered.
“I’m Shuichi and this is Tomoya,” the younger tadpole said. Tomoya just waved without turning his head. No other words followed. Shuichi looked between the two silent men.
“Why do I get stuck with the tough crowd?” he asked himself.
The information broker stared at him turned off computer screen. This week alone had been weird. It started with strange calls in the early hours in the morning. Around three in the morning, his phone would ring.
“Hello?” he would ask. There would a faint clicking noise on the other line before the phone went dead. Izaya looked at his phone. The number was blocked and would be disconnected when he tried to call back the number. This happened about five nights in a row.
It didn’t stop there.
The texts came in massive numbers. Sometimes up to sixty a day. Every single one looked corrupted with characters. Izaya would stare at the screen a confused look on his face.
“What the hell is this?” he asked.
“I’m home,” he heard Kururi from the doorway.
“Welcome back,” Izaya said without looking up. His sister found him in the kitchen.
“Did she text you again?” Kururi asked with disgust as she walked over to his table. A confused look came over her face as she looked over his shoulder at his phone.
“What the hell is all of that?” she asked. Izaya shrugged and shook his head. His fingers tapped the screen to delete each message.
“Have you been getting these texts?” he asked. Kururi pulled out her phone and looked at the screen.
“No,” she said.
“Hm,” Izaya said. He continued to delete texts from his phone. The information broker couldn’t help but to get a bad feeling about this. Tandeki or not, this target on his back could be the worst.
-December 17th, 2012-
He stood in the back corner as another tadpole sat behind the two-way mirror. It hurt to watch them like this. These patients didn’t deserve this. Most of them were just kids. Today, Yamato sat in the room with a strange mouth contraption. He glared at his captors. Two doctors strapped wires to his head.
He never handed the tadpoles. His job was to step in when things got worse. He knew this was wrong.
But he never did anything to stop it.
Fifty-seven-year-Oshiro-sensei walked up to his apartment door. Lecturing at the local college had lost its appeal. He thought about retiring many a day. But still, something in him wouldn’t let him do that. Right now, Oshiro-sensei didn’t want to think about work. He just wanted to go home, eat dinner, take a bath, and go to bed. The doctor had just taken out his key.
The edge of a cold blade touched his flesh. Oshiro-sensei froze as looked behind him. Tomoya gave him a death glare.
“Hello, Oshiro-sensei,” he said in a low growl. The doctor broke into a cold sweat.
“Tomoya?” he asked. The doctor turned to reach for his phone.
“Don’t you dare,” the tadpole hissed. “Unlock your door and go inside.” The poor doctor’s eyes darted around as he tried to think of how to get out of this.
“You will not get out of this,” Tomoya said. “Unlock the door and go inside. Don’t make me tell you again.” The old man shivered at first before he unlocked his apartment door. Tomoya pushed his hostage inside. To the doctor’s horror, Haru and Shuichi were already inside, waiting.
Kitano had just finished up his paperwork for the evening when he heard pounding on his office door. He didn’t even look up.
“Enter,” Kitano said. The doorknob struggled for three minutes before the door opened. The therapist looked up as he heard a thud on the carpet.