Together In The Dark

Chapter 2

"Now let's look at his contacts so we can tell the family about their son's unfortunate circumstance," smile a kidnapper as he looked over to the two unconscious, blindfolded, and bound men. "Ahh, here we go. Home. Oh how sweet he lives on his own, but he still thinks of his parents' house as home."

"Oi, rich people," sighed the man with a broken nose.

"Oh come now, many people think like that. You're just mad that he walloped you and made a pretty mess of your face," smirked the other man.

"I have a date soon!" A third man came into the room.

"Did you get rid of the van," asked the first man.

"Dumped it into the harbor," answered the man who just came in. "So show time?"

"Yup, if they ever want to see their precious son again they are going to have to convince the Prime Minister and the Diet to pass the legislation," stated the first man as he started dialing the number onto a burner phone.

"I don't know where my son is, nor would I try and kidnap him! He is my son," screamed Onodera Yuki, Ritsu's mother.

"How the hell can you ask something that," yelled Onodera Hatake.

"Sir, we are just trying to determine that you and your wife had nothing to do with this and that there was no inadvertent way the kidnappers could have gotten any information from you," answered a detective.

"Why the hell would we want to kidnap our own son? Hatake this all your fault! You should have never let him leave the company!"

"My fault, why is it my fault. He is perfectly capable of deciding where he wants to work!"

"You should have promoted him or offered him more money!"

"We were already giving him the top authors to work with, per your request! Ritsu has his pride! He wants to make his own way in the world with his own two hands and not have to rely on anyone! If he can't do that, then any accomplishment he does have will be meaningless to him!"

"Mr. and Mrs. Onodera sama, please remain focused. What exactly did the kidnappers say to you when they called earlier," asked the detective.

"I took the call," answered Onodera Yuki. "They said that 'we have your son and his body guard. If you ever want to see him again you will not contact the police and you'll follow our instructions exactly. We'll call you at one thirty with further instructions.'" She then turned to her husband. "At least you made sure he had some protection with that guard."

"Aaah, I never hired a guard for him."

"What? Then who were they referring to," asked Yuki.

"Obviously a friend or someone Onodera knew that he was with at the time of the kidnapping," answered the detective. "We can assume that because the kidnappers referred to this person as a body guard, that this person is tall because private security firms have a height requirement so that excludes most women. So this guy has to be a man. We'll talk with your son's coworkers and see if they knew if he was meeting up with anyone. For now we are going to wire your phone, so when the kidnappers call again we'll be able to listen in and try to track them."

"What can we do," asked Hatake.

"For now, you just need to sit tight and start thinking of all the people in your son's life that he knows. Who are his friends, acquaintances, or enemies," replied the detective. "Call me if you think of anything important." He then handed Hatake his card.

"Detective Sakurai Shuusei," read Hatake. Detective Sakurai nodded before turning on his heel to head to Marukawa Publishing.

"Hey, Takano san it's twelve o'clock and you still haven't called us or come into work so where the hell are you we need you," Hatori said into the phone before slamming it down. "Any word from Onodera," he asked Kisa, who was leaving a message on Onodera's phone.

"No, it just keeps going straight to voice mail," Kisa answered. "What about Takano san?"

"It's the same," Hatori sighed. "Miroku!"

"Yes, Hatori san," asked the temp.

"I need you to call Onodera's authors and make sure they are still on track. Seen as how Onodera is not here, you get to play editor while Kisa san, Mino san, and I will take Takano's. If you find yourself at a lost, talk to Kisa." Miroku nodded and took Onodera's seat.

"This is really unlike either of them though," Kisa said.

"I know, I know, but they both better have one hell of an excuse," Hatori breathed. "Ahh, Isaka san, what can the men of Emerald do for you today? Who's your friend?"

"Hatori san, Kisa san, Mino san, you," Isaka san said looking at Miroku, "I'd like you to meet detective Sakurai from the Tokyo Police Department."

"Detective," Hatori inquired.

"Police Department," Mino said with an ever so small frown.

"Yes, I just need to ask you some questions about your coworker Onodera Ritsu," Detective Sakurai responded.

"Why, has something happened to him? Is that why he isn't here now," asked Kisa san.

"I just need to ask you all a few questions. Is there somewhere more private we all can discuss this," Detective Sakurai asked Isaka san.

"You can use the conference room." With that Isaka turned around and started leading the way to the conference room.

"And you're sure that there isn't anyone that Onodera does not get along with," Detective Sakurai asked again.

"Yes," Kisa sighed exasperatedly. "He pretty much just lives for work. I mean the only other person who may have more insight about him, besides his family, is Takano san. But he isn't here. He hasn't called or anything either, which is unlike him. Seriously, what happened to Ricchan?"

"Takano san and Onodera san are close?" Detective Sakurai looked at the four men.

"Yah, there best pals. I think they even live in the same apartment building or something. Takano was going to try and catch up with Onodera last night when they headed off home," Mino replied.

Detective Sakurai turned to Isaka san at this, "Can you get me Takano san's home address?" Isaka nodded. Sakurai then turned back to the seated men; he noticed that the youngest one, Miroku, had been remarkably quiet during the questioning. He wouldn't even look at Sakurai, something was definitely up with him. "Thank you for your time, please call me if you can think of anything else." Sakurai put his card on the table.

"Why do we have to think about this? You still haven't told us what's going on," Hatori cut in. "Is… was Onodera murdered?"

"At this time I cannot answer that," Sakurai replied before exiting the conference room.

"Yah, I'm on my way to Onodera san's apartment now," Sakurai said into his cell phone as he drove.

"Well I managed to find two security cameras along the street I think Onodera san and the other possibly missing man would have taken. I went through them and I found Onodera san. Through this ATM camera I saw that Onodera was walking along when another man caught up with him. I think this man must have been Takano san. They walked together and out of range of the ATM camera. A minute later, a van without any license plates drove past. I picked Onodera san up again at a convenience store and he was still with Takano san. The black van drove past the store three times before Onodera or Takano san left. I tried to get a visual on the driver but no luck."

"Luka, you are worth your weight in gold. What did you really find, your holding back on me," Sakurai said with a wry smile.

"Ten minutes after the convenience store drive by, I managed to find the van running a red light. I was able to track it all the way to the docking district before losing it. But here's your real gift. The stop light camera got a picture of the driver. I ran his face and got a hit off of Interpol. His name is Damon Wes, an American citizen who works for Bell Industries, a private government contractor."

"What would an American want with the son of a publishing house?"

"I don't know, but it's almost one thirty so you better look at the apartment later and get back here for the ransom call."

"Will do," Sakurai said as he turned the car in the direction of the Onodera mansion.

"Do you understand what to do," Sergeant Homiura Saya said to Onodera Hatake as Sakurai entered the room. Hatake nodded his head. He was seated next to the phone with his hands rubbing his knees.

"They said they'd call at one thirty, why haven't they called yet," he asked nervously.

"It's one thirty-one, try to calm down," Homiura said gently just as the phone started ringing.

Hatake took a deep breath before picking up the phone. All the police officers put on head phones so they could listen in on the conversation. Onodera Yuki sat next to her husband hands folded and eyes closed, clearly praying. "He…hello," Hatake said into the phone.

"Listen closely. If you ever want to see your son again, you have to get the Prime Minister to agree to pass the Minkan Gunji Legislation in the Diet."

"The Minkan Gunji Legislation? How the hell am I supposed to do that? Look if you want money I'll pay! Whatever it costs, please just don't hurt my son."

"You'll use your connections if you want him back alive, good…"

"WAIT! Please let me speak to him! Let me just make sure he's okay." Hatake's voice nearly broke at this as he waited for the reply.

"You're pushing it," came the steely voice. Hatake nearly stopped breathing at this. When suddenly…


"Ritsu? Oh thank god, Ritsu, are you okay?"

"I'm fine dad. Me and Takano san are both fine. We have been given food and water. We are okay." Hatake looked at Yuki at these statements. Before Ritsu could leave the embassy in England when he went to school there, he had to take a hostage situation class. In the class the students had been taught a very basic code. 'Given food and water,' meant the assailants were armed and dangerous. The number of words in the following sentence was the number of assailants around.

"Listen, Ritsu, we are going to get you home. You understand?"

"I'm sure he does," came the steely voice again. "Get the Prime Minister to agree to the terms and he will live."

"It… it's going to take some time."

There was a pause on the other end of the phone. "Are you talking to the police?"

"Wh… what n…no of… c…course not," Hatake stuttered.

"Ha, you're lying to me, I said no cops! Do you know what I do when people lie to me?" BANG! The deafening sound of a gunshot was heard followed by cries of pain and yelling. Hatake, Yuki, and all the police stood there stunned. "Next time you disobey me, I'll shoot him, somewhere much more important!" With that the line went dead.

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