Chapter 3:

New Body, New Rules, New Problems...

The Ginger Death

While sitting next to a window in the main room Haji looks out at the weather as he thinks "It's been a month since that car accident and I've fully recovered but Yasuo isn't letting me out yet."Bookmark here

As Haji sits there Mittens sits on the nearby fence staring daggers at him like he's just waiting for a chance to go after Haji before jumping away when he hears something as Haji thinks "There's also that guy to worry about, and if he weren't bad enough there's Yasuo's brother Ichiro to worry about too."Bookmark here

"Ichiro hasn't said a word to me since then but he's still suspicious that I'm some kind of feline con artist or something, his censored cop instincts are too sharp for his own good." Haji thinks as he gets up and heads to the room where Yasuo is and looks at him and 5 other people working on something in the office section of the house as he thinks "If that weren't bad enough, I need to figure out a way to get Yasuo without these people interfering or catching on."Bookmark here

Haji walks away without entering as he thinks "Trying to interact with anyone in there right now would just cause me more trouble than it'd be worth right now."Bookmark here

Moments after Haji walks away one of the assistants says "Wasn't that the boss's cat that was just at the door?"Bookmark here

"I saw him too!" Another replies excitedly before another ecstatically announces "Isn't he the cutest cat you've ever seen?"Bookmark here

As Haji walks to the kitchen he ignores all the talking about him in the office as he thinks "Getting called "Cute" is a nightmare I have to bare now that I'm a cat but that doesn't mean I like it any more."Bookmark here

As he walks into the Kitchen he looks to one side and sees his dry food sitting there as he thinks "I was always more a white rice and miso soup kind of guy before I was executed but now I like Chicken and Tuna more than anything as far as what they put in cat food."Bookmark here

Haji looks toward the sink as he thinks "I've investigated my options as far as causing a leak and it won't work, I can't cause the damage necessary, nor can I access the things that would do the job."Bookmark here

"I do have a few ideas that might work if I can get certain things but they'd be risky, maybe if I could convince a rat I could get my way but that'll require a rat." Haji thinks as he turns away heading back down the hall until he reaches the entryway and thinks "What I need more than anything right now to advance my plans is access to the outside world."Bookmark here

"It was certainly a challenge getting a proper look at this house’s mailing address but I managed it nonetheless." Haji thinks remembering the mailing address before remembering something from his human life as he thinks "If I remember correctly one of the apartments I bought under an alias the police didn't find when I was human is in the area, if I can get there and manage to do some tweaks to the settings on the computer I might be able to use it."Bookmark here

"If I can just use that place I can access my network of safe houses, resource caches, my Cayman Islands Account and my list of contacts." Haji thinks as he sits there going through his mental records of what he still had hidden before thinking "The only problem is I need to get out of this place before I can find a way in there."Bookmark here

As Haji sits there looking at the door the doorbell suddenly rings and Yasuo shouts "Coming!" to the person on the other side of the door as Haji thinks "I guessed right, he's ordering in again, if I can sneak out while he's dealing with the delivery I can get out and maybe secure the right to come and go as I please!"Bookmark here

As he hears Yasuo approach Haji hides from view as best he can and waits for Yasuo to come open the door.Bookmark here

As Yasuo opens the door Haji makes his move and once outside watches Yasuo pay for the delivered food before saying "Nya!" at him causing Yasuo to look down and see him outside before Yasuo says "Haji got out!?"Bookmark here

After Haji runs off Yasuo stands there stunned before saying "Guess I'll open a window for him to come back when he gets hungry."Bookmark here

After managing to escape the house Haji finds his way to the main street as he thinks "Now that I'm out of that place I just need to find some landmarks and get my bearings so I can find my way to the safehouse and hopefully use it."Bookmark here

After taking note of where the train station is he checks for any recognizable stores before heading in a specific direction thinking "If my memories are still good it should be this way!"Bookmark here

After getting his bearings Haji heads for where his memory says the Safehouse should be based on the things around him as he thinks "Assuming my estate attorney has kept things as I instructed the places caretaker should have it in good condition or at the very least clean."Bookmark here

After several minutes of running Haji comes up to an old apartment building and sights a middle aged man headed for the apartment that should be his as he thinks "Great timing! If my eyes aren't as bad as I've believed recently then that's the caretaker heading for my Safehouse."Bookmark here

"I need to get over there fast or I'll miss my chance to sneak in!" Haji thinks as he runs over and gets into position to run in when the caretaker comes out of the apartment as he thinks "If I'm right this is the day when he does the dusting, hopefully he'll air the place out while he's at it and I won't need to wait for him to open the door again."Bookmark here

Haji waits patiently for the caretaker to open the door again and come out before running in as the caretaker closes the door behind him as Haji thinks "And I'm in!"Bookmark here

Haji looks around the one room apartment and sees that the window is open like he hoped but gets a cold, solid steel reminder that the window is first floor and has bars on it as he thinks "Damn, that'll make getting out of here a bit tricky."Bookmark here

After noting that the window is open and the bars are a slight issue he thinks "The Censored windows having Censored Bars is inconvenient but if memory serves there's a computer in here, nothing powerful but it has email."Bookmark here

"If I remember correctly I had it in the corner with the keyboard and trackball on a fixed spot not a retractable table." Haji thinks as he looks around the room for it before seeing it and running over and hitting the on button for the tower before getting up to the controls as the computer boots up and thinks "If memory serves I used THAT password for my Safehouse computers in Tokyo."Bookmark here

After the computer boots up he immediately types the password as best he can with paws and hits enter and manages to do it right before immediately using the trackball to open up the settings and altering the Icon and Text Sizes to maximum and dialling up the red spectrum of the monitor before bringing up the on screen keyboard as he thinks "I may never have used a Pineapple OS before but I do know my way around an Aperture OS, thanks to that I can us it even in this situation."Bookmark here

"Guess I'll contact the block head." Haji thinks before opening up the email system and logging in under one of his aliases and finding his contacts alias in his contact list before typing "Hey rocks for brains! It's Hideo, don't buy the nonsense on the news, I still have a pulse and that gamers days of having one are numbered. That aside Isi, I need you to message Kenji and have him fit my safehouses with Cat Flaps, don't ask, just do it. I'll have my banker wire you the usual and Kenji can send the bill to the usual place, payment on completion."Bookmark here

After finishing his message he signs it Hideo and hits send before sending a message to his banker in the Cayman Islands and signing off and turning off the computer but suddenly gets a feeling like someone has it in for him before hearing the snarling behind him and looks around to see Mittens has snuck in and is about to pounce on him as he thinks "WHAT THE CENSORED!!!???"Bookmark here

No sooner than Haji sees him Mittens pounces toward him as Haji desperately tries to jump out of the way but Mittens bites him in the tail and manages to stop him getting away causing Haji to scream in pain before thinking "CENSORED!!! CENSORED THAT HURTS!!!"Bookmark here

"A TAIL FOR A TAIL YOU CENSORED!!!" Haji thinks as he lands on Mittens back and bites him right at the base of the tail as hard as he can causing Mittens to freak and scream in pain letting Haji's tail go before Haji turns around and sinks his claws into his face and bites him in the ear thinking "You want to fight dirty!!!? Two can play at that game, Mittens!!"Bookmark here

Mittens jumps off the table knocking over the trackball before hitting against the internet router on the way down and standing on the floor hissing at Haji but is surprised to see Haji squeezing out the window and realises there's the sound of the door opening behind him as he sees the caretaker coming to investigate what's happening while saying "What in the world is going on in here!?"Bookmark here

The caretaker sees Mittens sitting there stunned to see him before Mittens runs out the door, freaked out that he got caught as Haji makes his escape quietly.Bookmark here

After several minutes of running Haji stops to take a look at his tail and finds a minor but extremely painful bite mark near the end of his tail as he thinks "Mittens you Censored!! What kind of savage freak bites someone in the tail when you first meet them!?"Bookmark here

"I mean, I may have eaten his dinner but it was him and his owners fault not using a smart cat flap, does he not realise how excessive this was!?" Haji thinks as he looks around to make sure Mittens isn't around before deciding to try to find his way home thinking "Getting home without Mittens finding me again is going to be tricky, I'm gonna have to kill that Censored fuzzball soon, very soon..."Bookmark here

The moment Haji looks out the alley he sees Mittens trying to track his scent with his ear bleeding from a fair sized hole in it as he drags his tail along the ground and thinks "Still looking for me even after I made you look that much worse than me? You've got Censored's!"Bookmark here

After looking for a way to avoid Mittens he notices Ichiro up the street about to get into his car as he thinks "This situation is by no means ideal but he's a cop, and that psycho calico will likely try to follow me home if I'm not careful, if I can just get him to give me a ride then that'll be enough."Bookmark here

As Mittens seems to be closing in on him Haji watches Ichiro unlock his car and starts running to the car as fast as he can as he thinks "This is my chance!"Bookmark here

As Ichiro opens the door Haji jumps in and runs over to the passenger side seat and avoids drawing attention until Ichiro sits in his seat and closes the door before saying "Nya!"Bookmark here

"What the!?" Ichiro says as he looks to his right and sees Haji sitting there calmly with his tail’s injury on display before saying "You...? Why are you in my car and why are you bleeding on the upholstery?"Bookmark here

No sooner than Ichiro finishes asking his question Mittens jumps on the front of the car and starts hissing and spitting while staring daggers at Haji as Ichiro looks at him in surprise before noticing his injuries and saying "Wait, did that cat pick a fight with you?"Bookmark here

Ichiro reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone and calls a number and once someone answers says "Yamashita, I need you to wrap it up in there and come get a cat off of my car."Bookmark here

"Because the Censored Cat is on my hood hissing and spitting at my brother's cat that randomly jumped in my car to escape it!" He answers the person on the phone a moment later before saying "Just get the beast off my car then get a taxi to a vet with it, I have to take care of my brother's cat and let him know what's happened, got that!?"Bookmark here

"I'm not abrasive! You're dense!" Ichiro says to the person on the other end of the phone before saying "Just finish asking about the sightings of that serial killer in the area!! We know he was seen here so he was either stalking someone or up to something here! Either way we need to know what!"Bookmark here

After that he hangs up and looks at Haji like he's trying to spot any abnormal responses in him to what just happened dialling Yasuo's number and the moment he answers says "Yasuo, your cat jumped into my car after being attacked by another cat, I'll take him to the vet you said you took him to before, meet me there."Bookmark here

Once he finishes his call Ichiro hangs up the phone and puts it away as he looks at Haji and says "I don't know what's going on here or what to make of you but I know an assault victim when I see one."Bookmark here

"He knows Mittens was the aggressor!?" This cop is better than I realised, I really need to watch myself with this guy." Haji thinks as Ichiro looks at Mittens wounds and says "Looks like you gave as good as you got, he looks more bloody but his wounds look consistent with a counter attack."Bookmark here

"For a cat, you know how to fight." Ichiro says to Haji with one eye on him as Haji puts on a poker face as he thinks "As if I'll fall for such obvious bait, stupid human cop."Bookmark here

"Still, this guy's clearly not fooled by my feline body, I need to keep from giving him any evidence or falling for his attempts to trip me up." Haji thinks as he licks the wounded part of his tail before thinking "That said, you'd think tripping up a quadruped wouldn't work since I have four legs now."Bookmark here

"More importantly I need to find my way to another Safe House this week and email rocks for brains that the one here might be burned." Haji thinks as he tries to keep up his poker face so Ichiro doesn't catch on.Bookmark here

While Ichiro is still trying to figure out Haji suddenly Mittens is grabbed by the newly arrived Yamashita before Yamashita says "Sorry for the wait sir, I'll take care of this guy and have a patrol car give me a ride back to the station."Bookmark here

Ichiro nods as he starts the car before saying "I don't know if I'm just working too much or my instincts are right but either way you're my brother’s cat so I'll help you for his sake despite my suspicions."Bookmark here

As Ichiro pulls out of his parking space Haji looks at him calmly before settling into the seat thinking "This guy, he's clearly suspicious but his honour and his ethics are among his greatest strengths and his deepest curses, if they weren't he'd toss me out a window and drive on."Bookmark here

After several minutes Ichiro pulls up next to the vet office and turns off the engine before picking up Haji and saying "We'll get you patched up soon enough, once we do, you'll head home with Yasuo quietly and I won't tell him about the other cat."Bookmark here

"As if it'd matter much if you said anything, cat's fight all the time, true Yasuo not letting me out would be a pain but I'd find a way out when I wanted out." Haji thinks as he pretends to not be paying any attention.Bookmark here

After the vet patches up Haji Yasuo arrives before running up to Ichiro and grabs him by his collar and demanding answers says "You…, Explain what happened to my little Haji and make it good or else I swear you'll wish this was a hospital..."Bookmark here

The vet rushes over, worried by Yasuo's temper and misunderstanding saying "Sir, please calm down! Your cat's injury appears to have been inflicted by another cat, the wound was minor so he'll be fine."Bookmark here

"That appears to be right, he ran up to my car and jumped in before I could even see him, I called you after informing my rookie of the situation." Ichiro replies freeing himself from Yasuo's hand on his collar before stepping back and saying "I can't say where I was or why when it happened but suffice to say I wasn't far from your house when he showed up."Bookmark here

"Your cat is amazingly calm even in situations like this, we barely had any fuss when treating him." The vet says as he walks over to his computer and pushes a few buttons and says "I'm prescribing him some pain medication and antibiotics but do not be concerned, these are just to be sure he doesn't get an infection or have any impedance to his day to day life."Bookmark here

"What kind of rabid animal would do this to a gentle creature like my little Haji?" Yasuo mutters with a look of anger trying to figure out who could have attacked Haji before saying "I'm sorry for the violence Ichiro, when I heard Haji was hurt and you were involved your animosity toward him made me forget who I was suspecting."Bookmark here

"Damn you Mittens, thanks to you I'm in this mess!!" Haji thinks as he watches the whole thing unfold before his eyes before thinking "I may not yet know how but I will kill you Mittens you Censored..."Bookmark here

A week after the incident Haji looks at the backdoor of the house with a seriously expecting look as he thinks "Well, this was rather unexpected after what happened."Bookmark here

As Haji remembers what happened when he got home the week before he remembers Yasuo looking seriously yet sceptically at Ichiro as he says "Are you saying that my little Haji will keep trying to get out if I don't let him out whenever he wants!?"Bookmark here

"Of course, he's like most cats, he wants to be able to go out, exercise and have fun, why else would he want to escape if you weren't letting him out?" Ichiro replies calmly as he looks at Haji standing there looking at them and says "He's obviously used to the outdoors and wants his space, I've also noticed he seems to be a very independent creature, if you don't let him out he'll just keep escaping."Bookmark here

"That was a week ago and now this is happening." Haji thinks as he stops remembering what happened while looking at the backdoor as a man instals a new cat-flap specifically for Haji to use.Bookmark here

As Haji looks on as the man tests the flaps functionality Haji thinks "Augh... now I'm partially indebted to that cop for unwittingly helping me..."Bookmark here

After the man finishes installing the flap Haji heads out of it and makes his way to a different safe house than the one Mittens ambushed him in as he thinks "I wonder if rocks for brains got my email and had those flaps installed already."Bookmark here

Upon arriving Haji finds the safe house has a newly installed cat flap and jumps in thinking "Good! That moron actually did as I asked."Bookmark here

After entering Haji finds the computer and quickly edits the settings as he thinks "This is much easier the second time, now to check my emails."Bookmark here

After opening his emails Haji checks the inbox and finds a message from his allies titled "You're Alive? And why Cat Flaps?"Bookmark here

Upon opening it he finds a message that says "Surprise fluff ball, I'm not as stupid as you think, I've seen your new orange body on the motion activated, wireless enabled webcam in the room."Bookmark here

Haji suddenly looks around behind him and sees the camera up in the corner and thinks "You Censored!!"Bookmark here

After seeing the camera he opens up an instant messenger app and finds his friend's alias before sending him a message that reads "Oh, Ha, Ha, Ha, so what if I'm a cat now? You've likely jinxed yourself and will end up a rat in your next life, moron!"Bookmark here

After he hits send his ally suddenly comes online before he sends back a reply saying "You're probably right, either way you look ridiculous in that form! Lol!"Bookmark here

Haji glares at the screen before replying "We can trade jokes and barbs later, the safe house I emailed you from before is burned, the cops were poking around the area and I got ambushed there by another cat."Bookmark here

"What!? How!? You got that place via a proxy!?" Haji's Ally replies clearly shocked and surprised by what Haji said before haji quickly replies "It's complicated but I found out on luck, I was actually in the area for some other business when I saw the listing and decided to take a closer look, they may find a witness to that if I'm unlucky."Bookmark here

"You're unlucky enough to look like that so who knows." Haji's ally replies humorously before saying "And what's this about another cat getting the jump on you?"Bookmark here

"I was writing the email to you in the comfort of my safe house when that Censored slipped in through the window!" Haji replies with a really pissed off look as he continues "The Censored managed to hide his presence better than me when I was human!!"Bookmark here

"If he could get the drop on you this feline punk must be some kind of Ninja!" Haji's friend replies with a Ninja Emoji and Shuriken Emoji.Bookmark here

Haji sends him the details of his vets office and says "Have you know who hack into this place and get the details of my chip and have it programmed into my cat flaps so I'm the only cat able to get into any of my safe houses, I don't want to be ambushed again."Bookmark here

"Gotcha, can't have anymore Ninja Attacks in the safe houses now can we?" Haji's ally replies before saying "I'll also work on having him put together some alterations for the computers so they'll be easier for you to use with that new body."Bookmark here

"I'm going to log off and head home now, if I stay out much longer the fool I'm living with might get worried and send his cop brother looking for me." Haji states in his message informing him of the situation before saying "Thanks for fixing things so I can have an easier time but don't go telling everyone about my situation or I'll kill you..."Bookmark here

"Did you say the guy you're living with has a brother that's a cop!?" Haji's ally replies with a string of shocked face Emoji's before Haji makes a dis-pleasured face as he replies "Yes and he's the detective who was behind finding most of the stuff they used at the trial. The Censored, he's been trying to figure me out since he first saw my new body."Bookmark here

"Good luck, hopefully you get in touch sooner than this time." Haji's ally replies before Haji replies "I'll get back in touch more regularly."Bookmark here

After finishing his business he shuts down the computer and looks at the flap but gets the feeling that there's danger as he thinks "That Censored punk Mittens must be out there..."Bookmark here

Haji looks to the camera and gestures that his attacker might be outside and after a moment he hears the sound of the caretaker chasing off Mittens before sneaking out while both are distracted and heads back home to find Yasuo waiting for him before Yasuo says "Good boy Haji coming home safe and sound after your first day using the cat flap without getting into a fight again!"Bookmark here

"Augh... Censored... Not what I wanted to be waiting for me when I got home..." Haji thinks as he runs out of the kitchen looking for a spot in the house to hide.Bookmark here

To Be ContinuedBookmark here

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