He Who Strikes First Wins
Chisuzu was already in the Kanto region when it started happening. She was sitting just outside a café, sipping her now lukewarm coffee as she leveled up against someone five levels above her in a MMORPG called ‘The First Strike’. Level didn’t matter to her as much as their gear did and even then, she still had strategy over them.
The broadcast happened as she was collecting her experience points. There was power in news announcements and it showed as the usual buzz around her hushed almost instantly. Many quit moving entirely as they stared at the large screen.
‘Lind L. Taylor. L?’ Her confusion followed over the words as she listened to his words. It was undeniably something L would say…and yet, she somehow doubted he would show his face so easily.
She had them on a pedestal, having been following their work since before the BB murder case, keeping up only through the hacking skills she had picked up in her youth.
Her eyes widened when he started clutching his chest and moaning before he stopped moving and was carted off by suits. Nobody else had even been there with him.
And then the L came up and her shock morphed into a proud little grin.
She could hardly contain her glee when he continued to inform Kira that he knew he was in the Kanto region.
As soon as the message had ended, the sound started again, an endless whirr of life. The girl found it both fascinating and overbearing.
It was time to go home.
With her head down, eyes pensive, and laptop secured in her shoulder bag, she took the next bus home. Her body itched in a way she couldn’t scratch until she made it into her house and closed the door, yanking her braided brunette wig from her head but leaving her contacts in for now. Her head was newly surrounded by a frizzy white cloud of hair as she kicked off her shoes, feeling less tense now that she was home.
The meows that greeted her return was true music. It was likely that anyone else would label her a ‘crazy cat lady’ with how many felines came and went from her residence. With how society was, this was not a view she would blame them for.
“I’m home, everyone.” She sighed, a purr of her own almost slipping as she took a moment to just recline on her couch and let them all rush to push their furry heads against her arms affectionately while others did that nearly demanding weaving between her legs.
After soaking up the love of her housemates, she turned on her laptop. Chisuzu was already well informed about this new case and hacked the files to view all the updated information. They were suspecting that it was a student.
‘If this was true, then they’ll begin suspecting students of the police investigating first.’ Going through it all, this guy just needed a name and a face.
She had known they killed criminals, but to strike out at a possible threat to their goal…it was like they were a kid. All of this would be proven if they started trying to make the authorities think otherwise.
“I’m going to need a favor.” She mutter, scratching behind a mackerel tabby’s ear.
‘I might even be able to meet L soon.’ She considered with a smile as she idly changed into a yukata. Chisuzu had left a little signature like she usually did when she accessed his stuff just for that purpose.
She needed sleep now, though, as she had recently finished up a medium intensity case in another area. It had been rather exhausting and all she really wanted to do now was sleep.
Later on, there was this incessant buzzing and the sleeping woman stirred and yawned. When she moved she peered over at her laptop; the source. It hadn’t been stepped on by one of her cats since most of them were sleeping, making the room look like a cat haven.
With another yawn, she pushed the remainder of the closet door open and rolled from her perch on its top shelf to the ground, landing carefully as to not crush any of the resting felines. Chisuzu tiptoed around them as if they were all furry little mines, touching one only to lift her and set her down on her lap like an old style movie villain.
She was getting a call.
‘No.’ She frowned groggily, leaning back one the couch and shutting her eyes once more. As if it had heard her, there was a force acceptance of the call, the sound stopping.
“Bast.” Her eyes popped open and dropped to the device. There was an L on the screen that she stared at for a while before realizing it really was him. It had to be with the way his voice distorted and how he had managed to get into her laptop in the first place.
“Good evening.” Was it? She checked around at her clock and, sure enough, it was only ten in the evening. She had slept for four hours.
“So it is. Good evening.” Talk about a nice little catnap.
“Did I wake you?” The question was unnaturally normal, but considerate.
“Yes, but it’s alright. I needed to get up anyways.” She had fallen asleep with her contact lenses in.
Not worrying that he might see her through her camera (the lens had paper taped over it), she began to meticulously pluck them off her eyes and place them into their protective case.
“You’ve been bored lately. You usually have a major case going on, but your last one must not have been all that stimulating. Just a day after solving it, you already searched police data files for an update on my investigation.”
Nodding absentmindedly at
his words, she adjusted her yukata and proceeded to pet the snoozing creature
in her lap. Now that he's finally contacted her, would it be to invite her to
accompany him on the case?
"How have you been liking Tokyo?" She asked with honest curiosity as she picked up her hair brush and began carefully running it through her hair. It only seemed like him to move here as he worked on the case.
"It has been fine, thank you." They responded after a pause.
"Really? Good. For many it is too densely populated."
"I see. Do you agree with what you've read of the Kira case?" Of course they would divert back to the case.
“Do you have anything to add?”
“Not at the moment. Check back with me later and I might have more.” She murmured and the logo dissipated.
Chisuzu had fallen asleep again before her head hit the back cushion of the couch.
The To-Oh Entrance Ceremony
Neither had told the other about their plan to be there. Chisuzu wanted to meet the main suspect, a man she felt to be Kira, Light Yagami.
She had seen all the footage from Ray Penber’s untimely demise and learned of Naomi Misora’s as well. Penber had been tailing Light and his wife had gone looking for answers and fallen into Kira’s trap. Donning brunette hair, brown color contacts, an equally less obvious outfit, she went down to the main base and asked about Naomi. If Naomi had been targeted it was likely to have been because she had found a lead that was a threat to Kira’s goal. L had gone off and hooked up surveillance cameras and wire taps in the suspected houses and Chisuzu had taken it upon herself to ask around at the police station on the off chance she had arrived at the same time Kira had.
Even when she had found the people who had worked the day Misora had gone missing and confirmed her being there the same time as Light Yagami, it had only served to increase her suspicion of him.
Her regular reports thus far had come up empty handed and although it was frustrating, she was not discouraged.
It was too early for that.
There was also no way in Hell she was going to participate in the exams themselves with so many people around, so she went in during the ceremony, knowing Light would be there.
However, the other man had stolen the show. He was odd, quirky even, if the way he held the paper he read from attested to anything. His name had been the real kicker.
‘Hideki Ryuga?’ She smirked.’ Sounds like something L would do.’ Then she found herself gawking at the man. Was it possible that he was so desperate for Light to be Kira that he would show up here of all places, and give away who he was?
It was either a rare coincidence or a ploy to stay safe while around the enemy in public. She was on the second floor and as close to the center row as possible, eyes trained on the contrasting duo. Her back ached just looking at the man who might be L, slouched almost harshly. Didn’t that hurt?
His voice, however, was dulcet. She squinted and could have sworn she’d seen his mouth move to call attention to Light. In that moment the eyes of a hawk would have done wonders and blocking out the sounds in the room would do little for her perception. It even looked as though Light had some sort of shadow on him.
‘Is my vision day worsening?’ She was already red-green colorblind with the addition of hyperopia, but it was hard for her to catch small movements. If someone moved slowly enough, it would be hard for her to notice if they had moved at all. Generally, her vision was restricted to yellows, blues, and browns.
Chisuzu took her time leaving the second floor of seats but then rushed down the steps and outside. The only thing she had brought with her was a small purse, that she tugged open to reach for some peppermint candy.
Her hands shook and she kind of wanted to do something that would help to rid her of her excessive glee. If he really was L and told Light, then this guy just took a big hit. It was great in short term viewing, but now Light had seen L’s face.
Speaking of, she heard his voice and shifted slowly to watch him leave in money on wheels after saying a polite farewell to Light. Something was off again and Chisuzu was uncertain if she should be afraid or not. That shadowy figure was still there and it made her uneasy, but she didn’t know what it was. Holding back a gasp, her mind reeled at the thought off that shadow being all she could see of the Shinigami Kira had mentioned in his suicide note codes while playing around with some victims.
L would not believe her if she announced this to him, but felt almost inclined to make contact with the suspect herself for the chance to see the shock and suspicion spark up on his usually polite and passive face. This Yagami Light was too much the perfect child for her taste. The lack of a nearby vendor with apples made her choice for her and she strolled away before she collected any unwanted attention.
Chisuzu beamed again for another reason: L had been there in person. Pale skin from a lack of sunlight, black spiky and unruly hair, and seemingly ridiculous quirks. It had to be L.
She just couldn’t fathom any other possibility.
Once home, she smiled down at her purring housemates, one had even hopped on the back of the couch to touch noses with her. Cats rarely did that since it usually put them at risk, but allowing it regardless was the highest form of feline trust.
Deciding not to change this time, she just removed her shoes and got comfortable in the living room. Now using two computers. One for gaming and the other for communicating with L.
‘The First Strike’ had a major strategy element to it, especially if one was in a team. Teams were too risky, unpredictable, and hard to manage when the characters weren’t NPC characters and the NPC characters were either harmless town folk, or realm mega bosses.
Here she was more morally rigid with herself than she was in real life. Here she could not simply cheat her way through more with her codes and it kept her mind sharp.
Chisuzu Harumi did not require cheating in order to win against many of these other users. As long as she had the preemptive strike and made the first move as the title implied she do, she could usually strategize a win out of anyone up to seven levels above her.
“Bast.” It was a soft greeting but it nearly made her character fall out or the tree she was climbing. She sent a look to her other laptop; lips almost imperceptibly pursed and eyes narrowed.
“Was that really a good idea? I know he’s probably at home feeling furious and frustrated right now…but to show your face. Even with a false name.”
“So you were there.” It sounded more like he was confirming a speculation than asking.
“Oh, yes, but I kept to the sidelines.” Unlike someone…she kept that part to herself. She knew what he had done….same thing her game encouraged people did.
L had made the first strike.
Thinking back to just a few hours ago, she remembered the shadowy figure that hovered around Light.
“I do not think you acted wrongly. I am simply surprised you made such a bold move, in public, no less. This is something that will prove to have possibly stronger pros and cons than if you had simply stayed where you are.” Why was she so upset? She hardly ever got like this, let alone over another’s actions.
“Would you be opposed to meeting me at the tennis courts in a few days?” Her gaze fell on her character, standing rather precariously on her tree branch only to fall to her plethora of active and napping cats.
Should she tell him what she saw whenever she looked at Light?
“Bast?” Chisuzu snapped her head back to the screen he hid behind and removed her wig, taking comfort in the feeling of her real hair against her face.
“Yes, I will be there. If we happen to lock gazes I will blink and look away.”
L disconnected their call and Chisuzu took that as his confirmation to her suggestion.
Now left alone aside from her furry critters, she turned her head to some sitting atop her couch.
“Sounds like I have a date. Whatever will I wear?”