Halo Twelve: Tandeki:
Across the street, Yui watched as the EMT’s loaded Neko’s sheeted body into the silent ambulance. A woman with her boyfriend was still traumatized after seeing the boy hit the pavement in a splatter of blood. The police were asking the witnesses questions as part of a routine. Meanwhile, Yui pulled out her phone.
“We’ve got only one left,” she said.
“Delightful!” Junko said. “I will let the others know. You can go home now.”
“Thank you,” her intern said. Yui hung up and walked away. One fraction of Ikebukuro was almost wiped out. Its founder was the only target left.
-Junko, Aya, and Etsuko-
“That leaves the Yellow Scarves, the Dollars, Saika’s Army, Nebula, the Awakusu, and the Toramaru,” Junko said as ran her finger along the glass tube holding the five trapped pieces- a red piece, a yellow piece, a mini-bride cake topper, a mini-cherub cake topper, and a blue piece.
“Have you started on your assignment to revert F yet?” Etsuko asked.
“Yeah, yeah,” the nurse muttered. “I’m on it. But how do we take out the Yellow Scarves and everyone else I listed?”
“One step at a time here,” the doctor said. “We can’t do anything too rash. We’ll attract attention. We’ve already got Nebula on our backs.” Junko rolled her eyes.
“Them again?” she asked. “Why can’t they just fuck off?”
“Because they are the Greek army,” Etsuko said. The nurse turned to her with a puzzled look on her face.
“Again with the Greek mythology analogies?” she asked.
“I find it rather fitting myself.”
“Okay, so who are the Trojans?”
“We are. And Kishitani’s son is the horse.”
“And who is Helen?”
Etsuko took a moment to think about it. “That is a good question.”
“Who cares?” Aya asked. “How do we get rid of everyone else?” Etsuko pulled out her tablet.
“I think next up, we should do away with the Yellow Scarves,” she said.
“And how do we do that?” Junko asked. “You can’t use her again; they will catch on to what we’re doing.”
“I already thought of that,” the doctor said. “And I will use her sister for this job.” The other two women gave her odd looks.
“Speaking of which, when is she coming here?” Junko asked. Etsuko broke into a little smile as she pulled out her notes on the current Tadpole Experiment.
“Oh,” she said. “She will be in the city by midnight. I’ll have to ask when her brothers and sister are coming.” Etsuko took her finger and pulled up another file. “Now, we must begin part two of this round.” Junko perked up her head with a cat-like smile.
“Oh?” she asked. “What are you suggesting?”
“Do you know what’s coming up soon?” the doctor asked. Aya did a quick count in her head.
“Valentine’s Day?” she asked. It didn’t take her long to figure out where this was headed. “What do have planned on that day?”
“First, I will cut Chirin’s final tie with the Blue Squares,” Etsuko said. “Then we need to find the gate and open it.” Junko smirked as held up her phone.
“I think I can help you with part of the second part,” she said. The other two ladies came around and looked at her screen. Junko blew up the map with her fingers.
“I had some free today at the academy today,” she said. “If we are right, we’re looking for spots with high energy. I narrowed that concentration down to this city.” With a little work with her fingers, three dots appeared on the screen. Junko grinned at her stunned coworkers.
“No need to think me,” she said. “Just some little tracks I picked up from the Dollars chatroom. What’s the next item on the agenda?”
Yayoi dragged Rumi along, giggling. Yuka followed behind with her arms behind her head.
“Don’t you think this is too earlier?” she asked.
“Of course not!” Yayoi shouted. “She’s got to meet him sometime.” Rumi looked around confused. Yayoi wouldn’t tell her why she called her out in the middle of the night.
“We need your help with some paperwork,” Yayoi lied.
“But why, Shiga-senpai?” Rumi said. “Why would you need me out there? I’ve only started really working on the project!”
“It doesn’t matter,” the older intern insisted. “Just get down here!” Her tone insisted that she didn’t have a choice. So now, the promiscuous intern was dragging to the elevator and pushing the open button. Yuka followed the two women behind. Yayoi looked the slender-built woman up and down with an eyebrow raised.
“I don’t know why you’re here,” she said. The med student snorted.
“I don’t trust you,” she said. Yayoi moved her off as the doors closed and the cab rode up to the eighth floor. Once they stepped off of the elevator, she looked around in the hallway. Only two security camera were rolling and watching anymore coming in and out of the different rooms.
“All clear,” Yayoi whispered. “Follow me!” The three women dashed into a conference room. The promiscuous intern pulled out her key card and swiped it through the lock. The red light flashed green. She opened the door and led her co-workers inside. Yayoi sat Rumi down in a stuffy red chair and grabbed onto Yuka’s arm.
“You come with me,” she said. The black-haired intern led the med student into the projection room.
“This doesn’t look like paperwork!” Rumi shouted.
“Uh… It’s visual paperwork!” Yayoi was quick to lie. Yuka raised an eyebrow, frowning.
“Visual paperwork?” she asked.
“Okay, what are you really up to?”
Yayoi turned to her with a naughty smile on her face. “Introducing her to Chirin-kun. I went over this on the phone already.”
“You sure this is okay?”
“It’s fine. We’re just sitting her down to watch a couple of films. We’re not actually going to look at the physical files. I even went ahead and found the right footage to show.” She turned back to the microphone.
“Can you hear me? Can you hear me?” Yayoi asked. Rumi looked around outside.
“Yes?” she asked.
“Good,” the older intern said. “This is Chirin-kun.” She smiled as she turned on the projector. The new intern turned her head towards the pulled down the screen.
[Session Number Thirty-Five]
Mikado/Chirin sat, chained up in a wooden chair. His blue eyes looked empty. He made soft noises and he breathed. Footsteps in the film were so loud that Rumi looked towards the closed door.
[“Eyes on the screen!” Yayoi said over the microphone. “I want you to get a good look at our darling little angel.” Rumi snapped her attention back to the screen.]
On the screen, Kitano pulled out his tape recorder. “This session number thirty-five with Patient Chirin.” He walked over to the catatonic boy. He patted him on the head before pulling out a syringe of light purple fluid.
“Today, I will inject him with one dose of the drug, Nio,” the doctor-turned-psychiatrist said. “My partner, Asato-sensei, developed this back in 1995. Chirin’s body has proven strong enough to proceed with the Tadpole Project.” He turned and took Mikado/Chirin by the arm. The camera got a closer look of the needle going into the patient’s arm. It backed up when Kitano emptied the syringe.
“Completed,” he said. “We will wait for twelve hours before proceeding with the next dose.” Kitano walked out of the room. The footage fast forward to twelve hours later. Kitano returned and checked Mikado/Chirin’s pulse.
“Patient is still alive,” psychiatrist said. “I can now proceed with the second dose.” Five doses later, Mikado/Chirin was still alive and in a catatonic state. The session ended with the patient being taken back to his room.
Yayoi and Yuka walked out of the projection room with hungry looks in their eyes. Rumi turned to them, panting. Yayoi’s deep red lips curved into a smirk.
“Well?” she asked. Rumi’s eyes widened as she panted.
“When do I get to meet him?” she asked. Yuka patted the newbie intern on her head.
“Soon, my dear,” she said. “Really soon.” Rumi looked down at her hands with red cheeks. She wasn’t sure if she was imagining it or not, but her heart began beating in a sped up rhythm. Yayoi looked over at Yuka.
“Still think it was too early?” she asked. Yuka slowly shook her head as her mind went back to that footage they had watched seconds earlier. Yayoi leaned in close to her ear.
“I told you,” she said whispered. She and Yuka smirked at the same time.
-Daichi and Osamu-
The boys were tending their flowers in the lab with gas masks on. Osamu paused and looked up at his younger partner.
“I heard that we might need another player to strengthen the game,” he spoke up. “Is that true?”
“Yes,” Daichi said, not looking from the blooming white blossoms.
“Who do you think it will be?” the older man asked. Daichi stopped and took a minute to think.
“The little busty one would be a good choice,” he said. Osamu shook his head.
“Nah, I think blondie’s a better choice,” he said. “Though, we might have to kill his girlfriend again for a little nudge.” Daichi shifted his mask.
“How much do you want to bet?” he asked.
“Excuse me?” Osamu asked.
“How much do you want to bet on we end up using for the game?”
Osamu tilted his head. “How much?”
Daichi pondered this. “I’ll buy you dinner.”
“Well… what do you want?”
“Steakhouse dinner and sake.”
“If you want to…”
Daichi smiled behind his gas mask. “Alright, then it’s settled. Loser has to pay 5,000¥ and buy a steakhouse dinner and sake.”
“You’re on.” Osamu and Daichi shook on it before resuming their work for Red Rabbit’s order.
-Izaya and Mari-
“Mari-chan!” Izaya said as he popped up next to Mari’s desk. She leapt in her chair, gasping.
“Don’t do that!” she shouted. The information broker grinned.
“I am taking you out to dinner tomorrow night.”
“I told you, I have to work.”
“So? Take the day shift tomorrow.”
Mari sat back and sighed. “We can’t keep doing this.”
“Why? We’re both adults and I didn’t force you into a sexual relationship with me.” Izaya paused as he noticed her blushing. “Your face looks so red.”
“Don’t be saying such things out loud!” Mari snapped. Izaya shrugged innocently.
“Everyone around here knows about us,” he said. She pressed her hand to her forehead.
“What do you want, Izaya?” she asked. He reached over and took hold of her hand.
“Spend Valentine’s with me,” the information broker said. He didn’t need to push any further. She would give in and end up in his bed. He had come close enough to be in her bed. If he could push and gain her trust, Izaya would be getting in the direction that he needed to go. Mari lowered her eyes to her computer screen.
Outside in the hall, Aya watched them from the door. She sneered as she looked at Izaya’s face.
“You can enjoy her all you want,” she muttered to herself. “You won’t be living long anyway. Aya reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone. One quick text later and another part of the game was set into motion.
Kitano sat at his desk with a blank notepad in front of him. So far, everything in this round and the experiment were going great. Chirin had already came in contact with four tadpoles. Still, it wasn’t enough for him.
The first line of defense around Chirin and his friends were down, but that still left the others. The Yellow Scarves were next. However, there was something bigger coming tomorrow. The Woman in Red would be getting her heart back tomorrow. Her heart was the main source of her power. It took so long to locate and without it, their game had to restart so many times in the past. This time, the advantage was theirs. But then, there’s Nebula.
Yes, those guys. Only they knew the whole plot of the game. They too remembered everything that had been happening up to this point. This time Shingen had recruited his son to have them have the advantage in this round.
Kitano leaned back in his chair. They would have to think smarter, not harder with that organization. Going up against Nebula for them was like playing chess with a pro. Right now, both sides were waiting for the other to blink. Kitano and Etsuko knew about the little spies from Nebula spying on their beloved tadpoles. Knowing them, it wouldn’t be long before they got their hands on one of them and used them to trap Tandeki. Two pawns stood in front of each other in the game. Nebula already moved their first knight on the board. Kitano looked at the pieces that he should move on his turn.
Meanwhile, there was another issue that needed to be planned out for the long run.
Kitano picked up his pen and drew three dots as if to form a square. “Let’s see… There’s Makoto-san, Michiko-san, and Hya-chan as our players in our game.” The psychiatrist narrowed his eyes at the paper.
“Who’s going to be player number four?” he asked.
Two young women and two young man sat in the darkened conference room. A young lady with glasses took out her tablet.
“Asato-sensei just sent me Nakahara-sensei’s coordinates to find the gate in this city,” she said as she pulled up the map. She showed it off to the other three.
“Okay,” one of the men said. “So which one is it?”
“It doesn’t say yet,” she replied. “Our best guess is that it would have to be the Tokyo Hands Building.” The intern with the dark hair and glasses looked up. “Is anyone clear on what we need to do next?”
“We find the gate,” the other girl said. “And unlock it, right?”
“Find it, yes,” the dark-haired girl said. “But we ourselves can’t unlock it.”
“What do you mean?” the other young man asked. The intern with glasses rose to her feet.
“It has to be opened by a horseman,” she said. “Tomorrow, Yui-san, Anna-san, Roc-san, Mei-san, Akihito-san, and I will locate the gate.” One of the male interns, Akihito, looked up at her with a puzzled look on his face.
“Wait, why am I going to work tomorrow?” he asked. “Can’t I have a day off, Yuzuru-san?” Yuzuru gave him a sharp look.
“Is there a problem?” she asked. Her cold tune made him gulp.
“Yes ma’am,” he muttered. Yuzuru pushed up her glasses.
“Good,” she said. The intern used her finger to slide away the map. “Any other questions?”
“How will we get rid of the Yellow Scarves?” the other female intern asked.
“They haven’t said anything yet,” the dark-haired intern replied.
Etsuko managed to get away to the basement. She stood in the corner and pulled out her cell phone.
“Hello?” she asked. “I just got your call. Are you on your way right now? Good. You remember how to get to Rampo Biotech, right? Good, I’ll be waiting outside for you.” The doctor hung up and headed back to the elevator.
A young woman in black arrived in Ikebukuro at about midnight. She definitely stood out in the crowded street. She had her long black hair tied into two pigtails by black skull ribbons. The young lady held a black parasol above her head while wearing black sunglasses. Her puffy short black dress made swish noises as she walked. The dress collar around her neck and black heeled boots completed her look. She didn’t pay any attention at any stares passersby gave her.
On her walk down the street, she bumped into a middle-aged man. He turned as she walked by.
“Excuse you!” he shouted. “Watch where you’re going, bitch!” The loli goth girl walked away without a word. When the salaryman started to walk away on his path, he suddenly had a heart attack and collapsed on the sidewalk. The young woman in black smirked to herself as the people rushed over to the dead man’s side.
She whistled “O Death” as she arrived at Rampo Biotech. Etsuko stood inches away from her with a small smile on her face.
“You’ve made it,” she said. “Welcome back.” The girl removed her sunglasses and smiled like a little angel.