Black Swan Wonderland


IV: Sloth

Halo Eleven: Kadota:

It didn’t take long for news of Walker’s arrest to spread through Ikebukuro. Some weren’t really surprised at all.

“Did he really try to kill someone?”

“I heard it was over a manga.”

“You think he will go to prison?”

Ran looked ready to break into a happy dance. He smirked at the text he received from Izaya on his phone.

“Well, what do you know?” Ran asked. “That crazy bastard is finally behind bars. About time!” His laughter filled up his room.

“Who cares?!” Kururi asked. “Stop messing with your phone and fuck me already!” The thug closed up her phone and closed on top. Ran smirked and moved down to her thighs. Kururi moaned. Aoba was fun in bed. So was Ran. In fact, he had a little more skill than her boyfriend did. Kururi started to wonder if their dad was just as good as bad. Hell, she thought about seducing their mom as well. She closed her eyes as she thought about a menage a trois with the parents. The sons could join in if they want.

Kadota frowned in the passenger seat. Bond was denied for this.

“You worried about Yumacchi?” Erika asked behind him. The leader rubbed his forehead.

“Yeah,” he said. But it wasn’t Walker he was worried about.

“Think he’s going to raise hell in jail?” Saburo asked. Kadota didn’t even want to think about that.

“What do we do now?” Erika asked.

“How is he doing, Erika?” Kadota asked. The otaku hesitated at first.

“Calm,” she said. “Everything he said sounded robotic.” Kadota and Saburo stared at her. Her face looked so pale. The expression on her face told them everything they needed to know. What was Walker planning?

Emily sat in class with tears in her eyes. The ringing in her right ear wouldn’t go away. More flashbacks filled her head.

She leaned against white padded walls. The smell of bleach and the bright lights made her head hurt. The effects of the latest drug started to take hold. Emily couldn’t stand up. Her chest heaved as she breathed heavily.

But she wasn’t alone.

The door creaked open. Her eyes rolled to the direction of the sound. She couldn’t see his face but she knew he was there. She could picture him smirking. Her heart sank with every footstep. He grabbed her by the cheeks. He was talking to her. She couldn’t understand what he was saying.

Then he licked her on the cheek. Not little licks either. It felt like he was attacking her face. The crazed look in his eyes made it that much worse. He would run his fingers through her hair. Sometimes, he would leave hickeys on her neck.

“Such a pretty little whore.”

Why couldn’t he just leave her alone? Each time he came by it only got worse. The drugs made her too weak to scream or fight back.

“No! Get away! Get away! Get away from me!”

“Akimoto! Akimoto!” Someone started shaking on in the arm. Emily was screaming so loud that two teachers ran to the classroom. One of the tadpole’s classmates grabbed her by the arm. Emily turned her head. She panted as she stared at a girl staring at her.

“Are you okay?” her classmate asked. Emily stared at her with wide eyes. She started to back away before she calmed down.

“I don’t feel so good,” Emily said in a low voice. She stood up and walked out of the classroom.

“Akimoto!” the teacher yelled after her. The tadpole was already out the door.

-Rampo Biotech-

Kitano called the group to another meeting.

“Everyone,” he said. “We have a rather unexpected development. Mam has tracked down two of the three archangels. They are going to activate one of them in the coming nights.” The interns looked around to each other.

“What?” they asked. Kitano put up his hand.

“Now, now, now,” he said. “This is one battle where it would be better to sit this one out. However, I believe it would play to our benefit. We should keep track of what they do. And brace ourselves for the aftermath.”

Junko raised her hand.

“Yes?” Kitano asked. The nurse lowered her hand.

“So carry on as usual?” she asked.

“Yes,” the therapist said. “But we will be advancing to part two of this round. That is all.” The group departed and went back to work.

Meanwhile downstairs, another sin made their way to Rampo Biotech. She walked up to the front desk. By now, the receptionist’s face looked so swollen. The rings under her eyes were black and red with bumps. She could barely see a thing.

“Hello?” the receptionist tried to ask. Her voice came out as jumbled up. Nothing came clear out of her swollen mouth. Someone else had to take over the morning shift. The woman stood silent.

“Hello?” the receptionist tried again. The woman on the other side of the desk touched her swollen forehead. The room stopped for five short seconds. A flash of black came over them. The woman lowered her fingers. She bowed her head and walked towards the elevator. The receptionist collapsed to the floor, trying to breathe.

Daichi and Osamu were about to wrap up for the day. They couldn’t leave yet until their guest arrived.

“So who’s next?” Osamu asked.

“Who knows?” Daichi asked. The older man gave him an odd look through his mask. A brick wall would carry a better conversation than him.

“Come on, man,” Osamu complained. “Give me something here.” Daichi looked up as the door buzzed.

“I’ve got it,” he said. The older man rolled his eyes.

“Of course you would get away as the door buzzes,” he muttered to himself.

“What was that?” Daichi asked. Osamu just shook his head. The younger man brushed him off and buzzed the button. He backed up as the doors slid open. Her head came up to his chest. She couldn’t have no more than eighteen years old. The black ninja outfit and her long black ponytail made her look that much younger. Through his mask, Daichi could see her cold blue eyes.

“So nice to meet you,” he said, bowing. The woman bowed back.

“Come inside?” Daichi asked. She followed him inside. Just looking at her gave Osamu chills. The woman held out her pale dainty wrist. Daichi and Osamu saw the heavy black wristwatch. The ticking was loud enough to swallow the silence. The petite drew out a note from the empty space.

“No notice for this. Too heavy.”

Daichi smiled behind his mask after reading the note. “No problem.” He walked over and pulled out the pill bottle. He twisted off the cap and dropped one capsule into her palm. The woman took her pill. A sharp pulse shot through her body. She went stiff with wide eyes. The watch clicked open and fell off. Daichi caught the token in the bag. The woman bowed.

“No, thank you,” the younger man said. The woman turned and left. Daichi gave her back a little salute.

“She creeps me out,” Osamu said after the doors slid shut.

“I don’t know, she’s alright,” Daichi said. The older man shook his head.

“She didn’t say a single word when she got here,” he said.

“Is that a problem?” his partner asked.

“I just don’t trust the silent types,” Osamu said. “You don’t know what they are thinking.” Daichi just shrugged and went back to work. The other man shuddered and finished up his batch of flowers.

Emily sat along in the nurse’s office. She had her skirt rolled up to her thighs. Nothing. The tadpole tried on both her thighs and her calves. Tears welled up in her eyes.

-Early March-

Emily sat on Shinra and Celty’s couch as she waited for her turn to be tested again. She didn’t pay any attention to the TV on in front of her. She sat between Mikado and Nami. Her mind floated back to a conversation her mother tried to have with her last night.

Lately, it had become hard to hide her true nature from her mother. She wouldn’t stop asking Emily so many questions. The poor tadpole found it harder to dodge or come up with new excuses to change the subject with.

“Why won’t you talk to me?” her mother asked. “What is going on with you?” Emily paused with her chopsticks in hand.

“What do you mean?” she asked in a low voice. She wouldn’t even look up at her mother. Why? Why couldn’t she take a hint? Her mother didn’t know how to stop bringing up that subject.

“You haven’t been talking to me since last winter,” she said. “You’re always in your room. I’ve heard you talking to some man every night.” That last part made Emily pause.

Oh no…

“What is going on with you?” her mother asked. The tadpole girl shook her head.

“Nothing is wrong,” she lied.

“Don’t lie to me,” she said. “I want to help you. Please talk to me!” Her mother reached out for her arm. Emily smacked away her hand.

“Don’t!” she screamed.

“Emily!” her mother shouted. He daughter drew back her arm, shaking her head.

“Emily, what’s wrong?” her mom asked. The tadpole didn’t answer. She got up from the table and ran away.

“Emily!” her mother shouted. The girl had already disappeared down the hall.

Remember last night’s dinner made Emily want to vomit. Her mother’s questions kept making things worse for her psyche. She didn’t know how much more she could take.

Almost unconsciously, Emily picked up her right hand and smacked herself on her right thigh. Nami and Mikado turned to look at her at the sound.

“What are you doing?” Nami asked. Emily had a sheepish look on her face.

“Oh, sorry,” she said. “It grounds me.”

“Grounds you?” Mikado asked. Emily nodded once.

“When I start to have bad thoughts about that place,” she said. “I will smack myself on the thigh or my calf.” The other two tadpoles could see the bright red handprint on her right thigh. It looked like it stung.

“And… how does that help?” she asked.

“The stinging sensation is enough to jolt me back into reality,” Emily said. “Afterwards, I take a breath and I feel better long enough just to get through.” She looked at both Mikado and Nami.

“What do you do to stay grounded?” the tadpole asked. This gave her siblings pause.

-Present Day-

It was gone. They stole it from me. They took what grounds me. Tears landed on her thighs. Emily raised her hand to her chest and smacked her right thigh. Nothing. She could feel her hand connect with the skin. But there was no pain. No matter how many times she tried, there was nothing.

The realization came days after Roc injected her with that drug. Her mom wouldn’t stop asking questions about what happened to her on that Sunday. Emily couldn’t deal with the endless line of questioning.

“Please stop!” she pleaded. “I don’t want to talk about it!”

“Emily!” her mother said. She reached out for the tadpole but she smacked away her hand.

“Just leave me alone!” the poor girl cried. Emily took off down the hall before her mother could speak. She slammed the door behind her. If she had to hear her mother ask any more questions, she thought she was going to go crazy. Why couldn’t her mother just leave her alone? Since when did she even start to care?

Emily fell face down onto the bed. She wished that she could just sink into the bed and disappear. Visions of that Sunday skipped around in her head. Emily felt like she was going to vomit. She raised her right hand and smacked his right thigh.

But then she froze.


Emily lifted her head and looked down at her thigh. She could feel her hand connect with her thigh. Where was the sting? Emily smacked herself on the thigh again. She heard the sound. She felt her hand against her thigh. But there was no pain. Emily smacked her thigh about five more times before it sank in. She tried with her calf and got the same results. The fear filled her eyes.

Oh no…

That was days ago. Emily still had her brothers and sisters around her but they couldn’t be with her all the time. She already knew that this was going to get worse.

Meanwhile, Emily’s phone silently rang in her bag hanging off the back of her chair. One missed call.

Kadota doesn’t like to be followed. Especially if they don’t talk. Kadota didn’t have to turn around to know that he was in this situation. How long had she been following him? He couldn’t seem to shake her off either. Who was this woman dressed like a ninja? She hasn’t made a single sound the whole time.

Annoyed, Kadota pulled out his phone and hit record.

“My name is Kadota Kyohei. There is a woman who’s been following me around for quite some time now. I don’t know who she is or what she wants from me. If anything happens to me, just know it was her.”

He turned off the recording. Kadota glanced behind him again. How was this petite quiet woman keeping him with him in these crowds? The man took a moment to glance around at a red light. Trying to lose her didn’t work. She was standing behind him right now. With that ninja outfit she had on, she didn’t look armed. Then again, she could easily be hiding a small knife on her person. Now how was he going to confront her? So far, Kadota had been taking different paths to try and shake her. Like hell he was going to let her see where he lived. Time to try and change tactics.

Kadota finally ended up at an alley behind a strip club. Sure enough, his stalker followed behind. He came to a dead end and paused.

“Why have you been following me around ever since I left work?” he asked. “Are you looking for a fight with the Dollars or something?” The man slowly turned around. The petite ninja woman stood staring at him. Something about her made him shudder. She stood there with no emotion on her face.

“Who are you?” Kadota asked. The woman raised up her right hand and drew it out. He put up his fists on instinct. Suddenly, he felt a slight pinch on the right side of his neck. Kadota felt along the sensation. The woman lowered her arm.

“What did you do?” he asked. She didn’t respond. A cold breeze blew past him. With one blink, the woman was gone. Kadota blinked and rubbed his eyes. His stalker was nowhere in sight. He didn’t know what the hell was going on.

Kadota pulled out his phone.

“Hey Saburo,” he said. “There was a strange woman who was following me around. She’s gone now but I don’t know how long. Can you come get me? Good, I will be near the 7-11. See you then.” Kadota hung up his phone. Something told him he’d be seeing that woman again really soon. The man shoved his hands into his pockets and began walking down the street.

Meanwhile, the powers from the totems on Kitano’s shrine started to take effect. Roc smirked to himself. It had been so long since he last encountered Emily. That encounter on Sunday awoken old memories and feelings inside of him.

“I have never really liked any of those tadpole freaks,” Roc confessed to Rumi. His fellow intern turned to him.

“Why is that?” she asked. He shrugged and shook his head.

“You wouldn’t understand,” Roc said. He and Emily had history together. She always looked so afraid of him. For some reason, it filled him with a sick sense of delight.

“What does that mean?” Rumi asked. Roc turned to her with a catlike smile on his face.

“Tell me something,” he said. “What do you think of those freaks?” She looked at him for a moment.

“The tadpoles?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Roc said. His fellow intern took a moment to think.

“Well,” Rumi began. “Chirin-kun is kind of cute.” Roc raised an eyebrow at her. Her cheeks turned bright red.

“He does have nice thighs,” she mumbled. Hearing those words made his blood burn. Why did they have to be beautiful? Especially Emily. Akimoto Emily. She looked like a little broken doll when he was working at Chou Mori. She had two modes—dazed and out of it or scared out of her mind. The staff didn’t really give a shit about their patients. The orderlies and the other staff members could what they wanted. Half of the cameras weren’t really working properly anyway.

Roc smiled to himself in present day. Rumi took a step back.

“Uh… are you feeling okay?” she asked. Her fellow intern turned her head. His smile made her shiver. She didn’t notice a dark shade covering his eyes.

“Yeah,” he said. “I’m fine. Never been better.” Roc rose to his feet. Rumi ran after as he started walking out of the room.

“Segawa, where are you going?” she asked. Roc paused at the door and looked over his shoulder. He had a smile that could only be made of nightmares.

“Oh, just stepping out to make a quick phone call,” he said. Rumi just stood blinking as he slipped out the door.

Roc stood in a blind spot from cameras in the hallway. He took a quick look around. When he was sure that the coast was clear, the intern pulled out his phone and made a quick call. As expected do to this being school hours, he was redirected to voice mail. Roc left a brief message and hung up. He snickered to himself and turned back to the lab.

Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop.

She’s back in the kitchen again. Her mother has to have dinner at six. Today, she was grilling some chicken in sweet sauce with rice. She turned and looked at the doorway. Her mother was asleep on the couch for now. The TV was on but at low volume.

She gritted her teeth.

Chop. Chop. Chop. Chop.

She lowered the knife on the cutting board. A look of fiery contempt filled her eyes.

She had the itch again.

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