Chapter 3:

Case 3 - Missing Piece

The Dejected Detective

Please! Spare me! I can still be of use to the family!” The man was battered and bruised, all around him, the dead bodies of his family, pale and lifeless. The blood soaked into the floor. “You swore an oath to protect our leader, and to show respect to your higher-ups when you joined our family. Planning the death of its head and attacking me when I merely came to right your wrong? I’d say that’s a rather big breach of that oath” Akagawa smirked, his eyes blotted red like a demonic fire, turning everything to ash. The man could only cry out for help, but it was too late. The phone rang as the blood flowed. “Yeah?” Akagawa answered sharply, he had just destroyed a rival family’s base. “The meeting is adjourned, Ren. Takehaya will take the twisted magic spell” the voice from the phone was the boss. “Right, and the WWO plans?” he asked. “In the works. That’s why I called. Your friend has been in touch about setting this up. The conditions you agreed on are steep for us” the boss had sounded irritated, but Akagawa knew he was the only one who did not have to fear his master. “No risk no reward. Besides, we do this and the tides change in our favour. Info on the vault’s layout and help getting access from the inside, for a thrown out murder case? Seems like a no brainer to me”. The boss was quiet. “For now we’ll go along with it. But next time you plan something, whether it's for the good of the family or not, run it by me. Trust is a difficult thing to earn once it's lost.” the air cleared. “Understood,” Akagawa said respectfully, “If you are done with the flies, make your way back to base, we need to discuss our order of attack” The boss disconnected the call and Akagawa put his phone back in his pocket. He held a blood-covered business card, and stared at the WWO logo on it for a few moments, cracking a terrifying smirk “Soon… you will feel our wrath”Bookmark here

The door flung open, slamming a thug between the handle and the wall. His friends stood up at the startling sound only to see the incoming high heel. Ryusaki cartwheeled in and landed on one of the thugs. Before the other could retaliate, she took his feet from under him with a wicked leg sweep which she elegantly transformed into a backflip, landing effortlessly. Her fan covered her face once again and she adjusted the strand of hair that had come out of place “my my, this place really could do with a splash of colour… oh so drab, please allow me to bring this wilted flower back to life!” She exclaimed, fanning herself down quicker as she got more distressed. “You must be crazy comin’ in here alone lady! Do you have any idea what you just walked into?!” The thug activated the talisman in his hand, his nails grew and became sharp like tiny daggers. Ryusaki sighed loudly and slammed her fan closed. She was covered in a purple haze that enveloped her figure. “My my, this will not do. I must teach you proper etiquette when speaking to a lady of my standards. Come, brute! It won’t just be my beauty that will have you starstruck”. The thug darted towards the agent, swinging his talons wildly. Centimetres away from her face, she disappeared. He quickly looked back, it was too late, she smashed her elbow just below his skull, quickly moved her leg behind his and followed the momentum of her twist, catching him in the face with her arm. As he rolled back she leapt up, striking a brutal knee strike to his forehead. Seemingly knocking him unconscious. She relaxed her form and her magic dissipated. As she began to walk away, the thug, who had been playing possum, pounced. Only to feel the roundhouse kick strike his jaw and send him flying away. “Classless moves like that will not reach me. Now then, that should be this floor clear. All of this squabbling is making my skin dry… I must ask Ms Ayame where she got that lovely moisturiser when I return”. As she was walking to the next floor, a hidden device caught the light and shone, it was a cameraBookmark here

Okazaki watched on at his monitors, linked up to cameras following his agents, Ayame stood beside him. “Did you tell them about the cameras?” Ayame questioned, “Of course not. As much as I dislike the idea, they’re all suspects. Yet we can’t figure out which one it is until we have more info. If it is one of the agents, they’ll slip up at some point.” The captain assured. The two continued to watch the cameras, shifting between which agents to focus on.Bookmark here

Eiichiro was snacking between punches, Ryusaki had gone to the next floor and was cartwheeling around, laughing like a pompous moron. Prisma found happiness in his new game, human pinwheel; which was essentially just controlling the metal parts of their clothing so that the person would spin in mid air until they became queasy and played show and tell with their last meal. The viewers took the opportunity to rest their eyes… totally not to avoid copying the act. Murata spotted a thug in the shadows ready to strike at his metallic, voiceless friend and zapped him. The bright light didn't do Okazaki’s migraine any favours. He clicked “next screen” faster than Minagawa’s flash step. The next camera had a birds eye view, some beaten down thugs had been placed perfectly to make a star shape… with Hattori in the centre posing in his “genius” form… “I get the feeling he knows we are watching” Ayame pointed out, she looked a little uncomfortable with the sheer amount of weird on screen. “How does an idiot like him have a higher IQ than me?” the captain growled as he grinded his teeth and pressed the next button forcefully, almost destroying it completely. Bookmark here

The next screen appeared, Kagari had fire in his eyes, fueled on by his mission. He jumped out of the car and scowled at the building he was about to enter. This kid… I’ve needed someone like him to get the job done, Okazaki thought. It was a miracle, all that paperwork would disappear, his arrest rate would skyrocket and he would take over from the old man as the district chief… even his migraine started to ease, a single tear was forming. And then the camera panned down to Minagawa who was still snoring in the backseat and Okazaki slammed his head into the table, realised what he just did, and without moving, screamed out in agony.Bookmark here

Kagari reacted to a sound he heard, “did you hear something just now senpai?”. Minagawa yawned and stretched “Must be your imagination. This the so called Izumi base?” He asked as he sat up. Kagari nodded, took a deep breath and prepared himself, he took a step forward, like he was crossing an impassable barrier “let’s catch some bad guys, Senpai!” All the air he had taken with the last breath shot his words out like a cannon. “Me too?” Kagari’s next step was already in motion, but his senpai’s words made him stumble “eh? You aren’t coming?” Kagari responded, confused at his elder’s lack of drive. “Well, I thought you were just so motivated that you might not need me… you’re a really strong agent, almost like a superhero. I’d just get in your way!” Minagawa resembled a kid in that moment, his ulterior motives so apparent he may as well be wearing a sign that said “I don’t wanna” above his head. “There’s no way he falls for this. Kid knows how much of a slacker Minagawa is.” Okazaki’s voice leaked through the floating camera. “Sure! I’ll go get those villains!” Kagari responded cheerfully. The camera lens broke. “Go show them the power of the mighty Kagari Shōyo! I’ll be in here sleeping 'til you get back” Minagawa’s grin grew wider and wider. The camera got in closer, “GET TO WORK!!!” Okazaki’s voice was heard clearly by the drowsy detective. He turned around immediately but saw nothing and began to shudder.Bookmark here

Okazaki was bright red, steam coming from his head and his teeth made a piercing noise as he grinded them together. Kagari had noticed his partner’s shiver, “hm? You okay, senpai?” Minagawa looked dumbfoundedly at his partner. “You didn’t hear that? It was like I was getting chewed out… again! Ah this is creepy, how am I supposed to sleep? What if something’s watching me?!” The experienced agent fidgeted around, fearing for his life. Without his beloved rest, who would he truly be? He would cease to exist… he thought, as though it was a world ending scenario. “Well, maybe you should join me? Two’s company as they say” he suggested, tilting his head and smiling like a puppy. Minagawa was stuck between a rock and a hard place! A horrible conundrum faced him, work… or, well, work! … “ehhhhh?” He responded.Bookmark here

Danzo had found his way back to his beloved compound. The construction site aesthetic, still in the process of building a stupidly tall and lavish sky tower. It was an idea he had while he was still young, he could take up an office that had already been built, putting on a front that it was a legitimate construction firm. When the tower was built they moved onto the next skyline-reaching monument to nothing. He hadn’t factored in the constant drilling, hammering and the power failures. Despite all of that he loved the place. Each loose brick and bags of sand made him feel at peace. The smell of wet concrete filled his nostrils, this was home. Yet he was here for something other than the mediocre morning coffee and his ritual of watching the world pass by from his comfy chair. His door, still broken, swayed with the wind. For now, a concealment talisman would do for now, he assumed. As the talisman went up in flames and the chant had been completed, a dark curtain like mist covered the entrance, his eyes darted around the room as doubt hit his mind. He searched around the room and when nothing was out of the ordinary he seemed to relax. The seat he had loved to laze on all day was missing a wheel, another talisman patched it up sufficiently. He took to his seat tentatively, worrying if the spell would hold, it did. The drawer on his left was locked away from the world, and the key was not so easily located. He had hoped that the difficulty of finding the key would provide a decent red herring to the real scoop. He kicked the underside of his desk, hard… and a part dropped down. It was a hidden drawer, and inside? Maps, phones, documents and photos, photos of his father, Takehaya Ieyasu. The phones were more valuable, there were around twenty of them, some acted as prepaid feints in case he was interrupted by a nosy police officer who got a little too close for comfort. Some however, namely three, were as valuable as diamonds. Should a random henchman find these, they’d have enough on Danzo to crush him. One was to connect only to the Mori clan members, well, the former Mori clan. These days it only had his uncle’s name. It was old tech, something given to him from his father that he could never throw away, or use out of fear that it would die on him. Bookmark here

The second connected to his closest advisors in the Takehaya compound, and those away. This was his failsafe, should someone like the Shade appear. He could raise the alarm for every henchman in the vicinity to protect their leader.Bookmark here

The third, was a phone he was given many years ago, given to him by a strange man at his father’s funeral. He had hoped to throw it away but for some reason it stayed in his desk drawer, calling his name with an eerie voice. He had avoided looking at it for years, yet it was only recently that it’s screen let out light. And now, it was the second time for him to make that call. He dialled clumsily, he was worrying that he may have missed a bug or a secret camera spell, watching him, waiting for him to slip up. It began to ring and he held it up to his ear.Bookmark here

Okazaki’s phone rang, as did Kagari’s, Hattori’s, Eiichiro’s, Ryusaki’s and Saigusa’s. They all picked up. Bookmark here

“…Meet at the docks at midnight.” Danzo’s voice drowned out all other noise in the darkness. Bookmark here

All of the phones turned off, one after the other.Bookmark here

Reo continued on with his work like nothing happened. Ryusaki had defeated her enemies in the vicinity and was using one of the thugs as a footrest while taking her call and sipping on her afternoon tea she had brought with her. Hattori hung up loudly, annoying the other passengers on the train. Saigusa was questioned about it by the others in the vault, “another creep asking for my three sizes…” she answered angrily, she pouted and swore to figure out how to block numbers. Bookmark here

Okazaki walked back into the surveillance room, “rather surprising to see you sneak away for a phone call… was it that important?” Ayame asked, she hadn’t taken her eyes off of the cameras. “Something like that.” He returned to his seat and replaced the dry cooling strip for a fresh one. “My old lady, wanted to know if I was going to be home tonight” he put his phone into his back pocket. Ayame sat on her boss’ desk beside him “I wonder how she would feel about the two of us being alone together” she giggled. “Yeah right, she’d be happy, she probably would have asked you to spy on me. Besides, the divorce papers were signed a week ago. Any worry she has for me now is whether I’ll pay the legal fees” he sighed. Ayame leaned in close. “Well, that’s not such a bad thing is it, boss…” she walked away.Bookmark here

Danzo merely stared at the phone, before throwing it back into the secret compartment and kicking the drawer closed. He grabbed a set of talismans and walked out of the office, undoing the concealment spell from before. The door swayed open. Bookmark here

As for the update on Hattori… he realised too late he got on the wrong train. However he continued to pose, awkwardly. Bookmark here

Meanwhile, Team Oxymoron had finally entered the base like it was a haunted house. Kagari took the lead, not worried in the slightest… and Minagawa was hiding behind his Kouhai, jumping at each sound. “I knew this was going to be a bad idea. That damn old man knew he was sending me to a ghost house! Next time I get the chance I’m stealing his pain relief.” Minagawa said with a stifled voice as his eyes glanced from side to side, and occasionally behind. “No need to worry, senpai. I will keep all the bad guys away fro-“ as he was finishing his pep talk he noticed movement behind his terrified colleague and moved before it could take another step forward. He flashed by Minagawa, holding a burning talisman and chanting at a rapid pace. The ghost-like figure tried to run but it was caught by golden chains, coming from the ground. Kagari smashed his shoulder into its abdomen and used his arms to pull its legs high, your textbook double leg sweep. It was evident he had been in the police force, so he turned it around and cuffed it. This was no ghost, it was an Izumi henchman. Kagari smiled when he looked at Minagawa. “see Senpai? Nothing to fear!” What the young detective didn’t notice was the glowing red eyes, six in total right behind him, glowing in the distance, glaring at the terrified agent trying not to scream. Minagawa lifted his arm slowly, shaking, and pointed behind Kagari. Bookmark here

Prisma and Jin were facing a similar scenario, goons here, there and everywhere. But Jin did not scare so easily. He jumped across the room, using his magic to propel him forward like a rail gun. Prisma pulled any metal off the walls and floor to launch at his foes, silently swinging his arm to strike them down with the hardware. Jin shot out lighting from his palm that launched the henchmen reeling from the impact. “Let’s get out of here! This guy’s got unlimited power!” One of them howled as he got back up and made a break for the exit. But unlucky for them, the metal door was Prisma’s domain and the silent soldier dropped down wash tubs on their heads, they were seeing stars in the middle of the day! And then? Out cold. Bookmark here

They room was clear and they checked for any evidence. “Anything?” Murata asked loudly as he examined the filing cabinet. He got slightly irritated that he got no answer, but then remembered who he was teaming with and turned to see Prisma with a notebook with the words “Nothing” written down, taking up the entire page. Murata nodded and continued digging. He sighed loudly “If only they stored this all on a pc, the two of us’d have the deets in no time. Old tech sucks” he complained, but he noticed Prisma jotting something down vigorously, “oh? You got something?”. The notebook came up again with the word bathroom written down, once again taking a full page. Bookmark here

Prisma had gone to refresh himself in the little warlock’s room. Murata continued to dig to no avail. “Events list… wow, nothing at all, good to know Minagawa keeps his diary here.” He threw the small notebook behind and kept looking, “Costs report? …400 packs of light talismans?! Ever heard of windows?! Wonder how much evil estate agents earn for each broken down hell hole they sell…” his mind conjured a scene of two henchmen and their agent, “hmmm, it’s good, but I think we like the dilapidated factory more” the imaginary criminal announced. He moved onto the desk nearby, and noticed something odd. As his hand scanned the side of the desk, there was a patch that seemed to be ever so slightly raised. He picked at it with his nails until it started to come away from the wood, revealing a hidden compartment. Inside, a bundle of papers. Murata grabbed them and started to read through them. “This is… this is it!” This was the information the WWO was looking for, but it’s contents was a harbinger of what was to come. Bookmark here

Hisashi was relaxing, sat back in his chair, eyes closed, and thinking about the past and the future. His mind cast back to when he first received his ceremonial haori. From there he moved to the recent problems with the WWO and the work the B.M.M had begun to try to counter it. The door did not open, yet Akagawa entered. He stood facing his boss, who did not seem to notice, and dropped to his knees, bowing. “It is good to see you well, sir.” Akagawa respectfully kept his position until told otherwise. Hisashi waved his arm to allow his Sgt at arms to stand. “What of the Tai family?” He asked, “taken care of, down to the last man.”Bookmark here

“Good. Planning to dethrone me… they should be made an example of” the boss showed his irritation. Akagawa stood and chuckled to himself quietly. “Morons thought they could make such a plan without any of us hearing about it. And then when they are faced with the consequences they beg for their worthless lives.” Akagawa was amused by this. “What’s done is done.” Hisashi opened his eyes and sat up slowly. “I need you to keep an eye on Takehaya, I will have Soichiro watch Mori. Currently, the order are targeting the newer bases we have used. They most likely won’t find much, but there are two dossiers that could be troublesome if found” he explained. “The first is in the Fuma family’s former base”. Bookmark here

The plaque on the desk Murata checked read Fuma. The documents were reports on the different families associated with the Izumi, and their attaché “it’s reports on our members, their magics and their roles in our family” Hisashi continued. “The other piece of info was with Soichiro, but he reported this missing a few weeks ago.” Akagawa glared through the window, looking past everything “our location. The exact position of this HQ”. “That is correct” the boss answered.Bookmark here

The docks, this was a popular spot for couples back in the day. The sun rising from the sea, with its light cascading across the waves created an almost golden ocean, its beauty was a sight to behold. However, after a while it became a hotspot for exchanges and meetings between criminal organisations. Danzo had loved this spot, he remembered days he spent with his father, watching faraway vessels sail across the vast blue, wishing that one day the two of them could be a part of that journey. Now, he only noticed the bad things, the smell of the air, the way his skin felt tacky after being there for too long, the memories he had seen in between the tears and the blood. This place, though bittersweet, was precious to Danzo. His mind wandered across the last twelve months, the cold war between the WWO and the Izumi, and the sudden appearance of Akagawa. Usually the boss’ pet was only let off the leash to sniff around the enemy, so why the sudden interest in the last remaining Takehaya? One of the two surviving Mori members? The only thoughts he had were not pleasant, he shook them off before they made him more worried. Footsteps took his attention, and he looked up at the source. “I shouldn’t have to tell you what would happen if you were followed.” Danzo spoke quietly and calmly. “Naturally” it responded. The figure was masked by the moonlight. Danzo sighed, and opened his bag beside him. He pulled out a large envelope and handed it to his mysterious friend “give this to your bosses, and make sure my name stays out of it. If this falls into the wrong hands I dare not think of what Akagawa would do if he found out.” Danzo instructed. “When this is all over, he’ll be one of two things. A prisoner… or a corpse.”Bookmark here

Minagawa and Kagari had cleared out most, if not all but one room at this point, with the latter doing nothing but complaining and shaking. One room remained. “Senpai! I think you should open this one!” Kagari announced. But the double doors mocked him and his fear, the ornaments mangling it into a set of eyes and a curled, twisted grin. Minagawa was frothing at the mouth. “I dunno, sir Kagari, you’ve really shown your skill opening all the other ones… maybe you should finish the job?” Minagawa desperately suggested. Kagari smiled brightly “oh no, can’t have me steal anymore of the limelight! Go ahead senpai, show me how a true agent takes down a threat!”. There’s no way someone this innocent actually exists, right? He’s mocking me! These thoughts crossed Minagawa’s mind but he was too busy trying not to run away that they went unnoticed. But, the experienced agent knew that there was no way out of this one, and reluctantly stepped forward. His arm reached the handle and a wave of terror hit him hard. It was like a fog seeped through the door, a miasma of misery that consumed him and his fear. He pulled it open slowly at first, it creaked quietly. But like a bandage, it’s always better to do it quickly, he thought. With all of his courage, with all of his might, he swung the doors open wide! …weirdly the room was bright. Unlike the rest of the base that was hidden down a flight of stairs and were pitch black because of it, this room was, well, normal? But, there he stood. One figure in the light, Minagawa was taken aback and his terrified stare became an angered glare. “So this is where you were”. In that room, stood “Sosuke!”. Bookmark here

As the pair glared at the former agent… the cameras continued to roll, with a shirt thrown haphazardly thrown over the monitor.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.