Halo Fifteen: Michiko:
"So who exactly is Chirin?" Mikado asked after watching another video file with experiment with said patient. "I keep seeing videos of this doctor, some nurses, and a couple of orderlies injecting him with needles. Funny thing, his face is always covered up in these videos. Why would that be?" Mikado looked at his notes and the ones he copied from Chiharu last night.
People You Should Never Leave Noriko-chan with:
The third name on Chiharu's list made Mikado stop and read it again.
"Excuse me," he said. "But who exactly is Kitano? Does he have something to do with Chirin? In fact, you talk like that doctor in the video." Mikado froze as he did the math in his head. "Wait, are you-?"
The caller said something in a soft voice.
"What did you say?" Mikado asked. He felt sudden sharp headache as more images filled his mind. He saw visions as if he was looking from Chirin's point of view. One orderly caressed his cheek with her dark red nails, licking her lips. Another one whispered something faint in his ear that made his blood run cold. Not only could see Mikado see things from Chirin's vision, but he began to feel the abuse that he suffered at the hands of that doctor and his associates. He felt his eyes being held open with wires as a needle went into the left eye. Another needle went into his tongue. A third needle went into his arm. Mikado panted as he smelt that overpowering wave of bleach. He fell over on the floor. The attack lessened when the caller on the other line asked about is well-being. Mikado cleared his throat.
"Yeah, I'm okay now," he said in a choked up voice. The founder of the Dollars sat back up. "Now, what were they talking about again?"
"We had a deal!" a man dressed in a sharp suit yelled at the man in his kimono on the morning after the auction. The older man puffed his pipe.
"I know," he said.
"So why didn't you hand Sliver Dreamer over to me?"
"Ono-san outbid you."
The other man, Takahashi, slammed his hands on the desk. "But I put in a higher bid after him!"
"The voting was already cut off." Red Bunny's owner dumped his pipe in the ashtray. "Look, you played the game and you lost. That's how it goes in this club."
"But we had a deal!" Takahashi snapped. "I paid you over 6141875000 yen up front before that night!"
"And I am grateful for that," the old man said. "But rules are rules."
Takahashi's face turned bright red. "Watanabe, you tricked me!"
"No, I followed tradition. I can't break the rules if someone bids higher than you at the last minute." Watanabe put up his hand as his old friend opened his mouth to speak. "However, you still have the chance to have a rematch of the auction. Do you still have a gold card?"
Takahashi puffed up his cheeks. "Yes."
"Let me see it."
His old friend reached into his wallet and pulled out his bright gold card. Watanabe looked at the card's expiration date and smiled.
"You're in luck, dear Nobu," he said. "You've barely used this card." He handed it back to the man on the other side of the desk. "It looks like you can invoke a rematch." Takahashi looked like he would fly through the ceiling.
"Thank you, Hibiki!" he said, bowing. Watanabe shrugged his shoulders.
"Hey, I don't enjoy this Ono guy owning Shirley as much as the others in the club."
"Where the hell did he even come from?"
"I have no idea, but I promise you this: he's not staying long. Red Bunny does not need any more troublemakers like that annoying cocktail waitress."
"What did you do with her?"
"Oh, I had some friends deal with her. We will be fine as soon as we get our goddess back."
"Ah, Hiroi Michiko," Izaya said as he stared down the thirteen-year-old girl across the table. He called her to his apartment hours earlier. His "friends" at Tandeki had no idea this meeting was taking place, but he doubted that they would care anyway. Izaya could do as he pleased as long as he didn't interfere with the group's plans. Michiko frowned.
"Cut the crap," she hissed. "What the hell do you want with me?"
"I just want to talk," the information broker said.
"You're working for Tandeki, aren't you?"
Izaya chuckled. "Let's just say that they and I have become good friends."
Michiko snorted. "I should've known." She happened to notice how Izaya was staring at her like a hungry cat about to pounce upon a small bird. "What?"
"It's funny," Izaya said. "According to my information, Hiroi Michiko is supposed to be thirty-seven years old. Why is that you look thirteen years old?"
"Well, if you knew my history with Tandeki you would know the reason why," Michiko said in a low voice.
"Of course, but does he know why?" Izaya smiled when he noticed the girl glaring daggers at him. "Figured that he wouldn't." Michiko clenched her fists in her lap. She and Izaya have played this game before. Michiko could even predict the next lines coming.
"Spare me your bullshit," she said. "Spit it out already. Your voice makes me want to grind my teeth."
"Aw, you don't have to be so mean, Michiko-san," Izaya said.
"Whatever," the girl said across the table. She lost count of how many times they did this stupid dance.
Junko sat in her office playing with a board game on her desk. In the center, she had five pieces—a bride cake topper, a mini cherub, a blue game piece, red piece, and a yellow piece—in a circle. The nurse ran her finger on the tops of their heads.
"The little darlings are catching on faster than we expected this time," she said to herself. Junko pushed the five pieces away. "Break them up, they will walk through hell and heaven to get back together." She pushed the pieces back together.
"Keep them together, they will ruin everything." Junko trapped the pieces in a glass tube. "For now, the best route is to trap them in a glass bubble and cut them off from everyone dear to them." The nurse tapped the glass and smiled.
"Yes, this is perfect." Junko frowned as another crossed her mind. She pushed another blue piece towards the glass tube. "We have another pest trying to get into the bubble." The nurse pushed more blue pieces behind the free one.
"This will not do." Junko knocked down the blue pieces on the board. She looked at the rest of the pieces surrounding the ones trapped in the glass tube. "Know your pieces for our projects!" Her cell phone rang.
"Hello?" Junko asked. She sat up in her chair. "I understand! I'll be there in an hour!" The nurse stood up. She took last look at board before covering it up and leaving her office.
Mikado plugged in another memory card and clicked on another video file. He already saw four videos on the first memory card. So far, Chirin was the star of these videos. Mikado never got to see the patient's face. Chirin's head was either covered with a sheet or the camera was shot from his point of view. Why were the hospital staff so desperate to conceal his identity? Who was this mysterious Chirin and why were they so obsessed with him? The founder of the Dollars had to watch videos to find the answers.
Again, the video was shot from Chirin's point of view. This time, a curvy female orderly walked into the room. Her lipstick matched her deep crimson nails. Her lips curved into a smile when she laid eyes on the patient.
"Well, good morning!" she said in her perfect English. The orderly walked over to the bed. "So you must be little Chirin-kun." She lifted the sheet and took a peek down his pants.
"Oooo, you don't seem so little," the orderly said. "You know; I have seen bigger around here. You're on the average side, but that's fine with me." She giggled as she climbed on top of the unbound patient. However, the orderly paused when she heard the door open. The doctor's protégé stood in the doorway with a disapproving look on her face. Her naughty colleague tried to look all sweet and innocent.
"I was just... you know, checking up on him," she said.
"Get out!" the protégé shouted as she pointed to the hallway.
"Okay, okay," the orderly said. She climbed off of Chirin and walked past her colleague with a goofy smile on her face. The doctor's protégé sighed and shook her head.
"Slut," she muttered under her breath. "I swear this place needs better security."
For once, Chirin and Mikado were happy to see the protégé for a change. Sadly, both doubted that happiness would last long as she took out the chart and began running over his stats for another damned experiment done on the patient. In a sense, Mikado began to sympathize with Chirin lying helpless in his bed.
Poor guy, he thought. Still, the founder of the Dollars couldn't look away.
Meanwhile, Masaomi came across a strangely titled e-mail. Hm? What do you fear the most? The leader of the Yellow Scarves opened the e-mail. Masaomi read a list that made his heart sink.
Don't forget about Saki-chan
Tell her that you love every day
She is your girlfriend
Don't forget about Saki-chan
You love her.
Don't let your heart die
Saki-chan is the one you love
Keep yourself together
Don't let them take Saki-chan away from you
Please don't forget about Saki-chan
As Masaomi read each line, he felt it string in his heart. He remembered the picture of his girlfriend on his cell phone acting weird. The image distortion had become more frequent lately. Over the past three weeks, strange memories of seeing Saki's body lying cold in a morgue filled his head. Because her parents couldn't be reached, the leader of the Yellow Scarves had to claim it. Masaomi pressed his hand against his forehead. That can't be right! She can't be dead. Saki-chan's still alive. Saki-chan's still alive! He grabbed his phone and called up his girlfriend once again.
"Saki's phone, I can't pick up right now. Please leave a message," her voicemail said. Masaomi felt like getting stabbed in the chest. For the past few days, Saki hadn't picked up the phone. He looked so pale as he hung up. Despite trying to convince himself that his girlfriend might be too busy to pick up the phone, Masaomi couldn't escape this foreboding that he felt creeping up behind him. Please be okay, Saki-chan.
"You are aware they will kill you, right?" Michiko asked. "Once you are all used up, they will depose of you. I bet they won't even let you into the inner circle." Izaya chuckled.
"Yes, yes," he said. "I already know."
"Then why do you stay with them."
"Isn't it obvious?"
Michiko narrowed her eyes. "No…"
Izaya sat back with a smile on his face. "I just want to see what happens next."
She sneered. "Then you are just as foolish as I thought."
"And what about you?"
Michiko raised an eyebrow. "Excuse me?"
"Why are you so obsessed with him?" Izaya asked. "He's not going to love you like you do. Why do you even bother? Your love is what's going to drive him straight to us after his lover dies." Michiko gritted her teeth.
"What exactly are you trying to say?" she asked.
"You know what I am saying. They will reach out to him or one of his friends. But of course, you already knew that, didn't you?" Izaya noticed the building rage in the young girl's eyes. He put up his hands, shrugging.
"I thought so," he said. The information broker got up to leave. He had just reached the door when he dodged as a knife hit the door frame. Izaya turned to see Michiko panting.
"If you dig him into our hell, I swear I will hunt you down!" she said.
"Aw," Izaya cooed. He turned around and patted her on the head. "Why are you getting so mad? We haven't done anything to them, yet." Izaya drew back his hand before she turned her head to bite his wrist.
"Good night," he said. Michiko gritted her teeth as she let out a muzzled scream. Bastard! Asshole! Asshole!
Tonight, the phone rang in Watanabe's office.
"Hello?" he asked. "Ah yes, it is about time for a new supply of flowers. Thank you so much. Goodbye." Watanabe caressed Shirley's picture on his desk. Don't worry, dearest. Papa, will get you back.