Chapter 9:

Silent and Shattered

Mirror


It was that fateful Monday at last - the Monday in which Daisuke Aoki would meet his end. After much more surveillance and observation, the group decided on Monday, March 22nd for Daisuke’s execution. Putting every factor into consideration, unexpected guests were more likely to arrive be it Friday - the beginning of the weekend. Choosing Monday was a strategic choice, while they also wanted to complete the assignment sooner rather than later.
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“Target is heading southbound on the Metropolitan Expressway,” Junko prompts in a muffled voice from her helmet. The ripping uproar coming from the speed of her motorcycle tears through the thin, cold air as she drives straight through it. “Still no sign of movement in the backseat, just the driver in the car. Everything is looking good.”Bookmark here

Back at headquarters, a nodding Yuuto sits hunched over the computer setup as his headset is placed firmly on his head. “Good, good,” Yuuto attests, watching the camera footage intently as he switches views according to Junko’s speed. “Should be about two and a half minutes until you reach the apartment building. Jiro and Ren are already at the rendezvous, so head up there as soon as you reach the residence.”Bookmark here

“Understood,” A collected Junko states. Gripping the handle of her bike tighter within her clutch, she turns the black stick forward and accelerates even faster. The sharp wind pierces her body - sending strands of her hair backwards, and pushing her shirt against her torso. The overhead lights cast glimmers of light that ricochet off of her gleaming, black helmet. Bookmark here

Meanwhile, a tense duo consisting of Ren and Jiro await their Lieutenant as they prepare themselves for the completion of the three week long assignment. A humming Ren squats near the entryway to the roof they found themselves on. In his hands is a small, mechanical box with a red light blinking on its top. Having the object in both of his hands, Ren reaches his arms and places the box just in front of him: near the doorway, but just out of sight of any intruders.Bookmark here

“Alright,” Ren sighs as he stands to his height, “The motion detectors are all set up.” Jiro nods his head to Ren’s status update - keeping his intent gaze on the piece of artillery in front of him.Bookmark here

Jiro had settled against the small cement wall shortly after they arrived. As he shuffles his hand through the large, black duffle bag, his hands lay upon the suppressor he was searching for. Pulling the item out from its hiding spot, Jiro twists the cylindrical attachment onto the barrel of his gun. Once he is unable to twist anymore, Jiro lets go of the now elongated nozzle.Bookmark here

Jiro’s fingers find the brim of his worn cap, and they clasp the firm edge. Raising the hat off of his head, Jiro flips his shaggy hair back with a flick of his neck - jerking all of his front strands out of his face. After he flips the hat around, Jiro returns the cap back to its spot on his head, except now the brim is now towards the back of his head. In doing so, Jiro clears his face of any loose hairs that can obstruct his sight through the scope of his sniper rifle.Bookmark here

Hauling the weapon atop the cement railing in front of him, Jiro fixates his gun into a more proper position for him to work with. Adjusting the angle in which the barrel was pointed, Jiro slides his eyes to the targeted building in front of him. Counting up from the bottom floor, he finds the thirteenth floor where Daisuke lives. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary - except for one, major thing.Bookmark here

Shit!” Jiro whisper-shouts, loud enough for Ren to jog over in curiosity and worry. “What is it?” Ren pokes, bending down to match Jiro’s kneeling height, “What’s wrong?” Jiro snags his irritated line of sight off of the apartment building and shoves it onto the pondering Ren bending behind him. With a scowl lacing his features, Jiro spits out, “The lights are on. Someone's already inside of his apartment.”Bookmark here

Ren’s eyebrows raise as his lips part from one another in realization. Before he gets the chance to offer his concern, a loud beeping noise sounds from Ren’s pocket. Pulling out a phone-like gadget, he looks to the words flashing across its screen that read ‘Intruder Alert.’ The intruder is sounding off the alarms he had set up along the stairwell leading up to the roof, and the person seems to be quickly approaching. Bookmark here

“Someone’s coming!” Ren announces, his eyes growing large at the nearing individual. Jiro’s brows scrunch together, and his hand subconsciously and reflexively springs to the handgun positioned in his waistband. Bookmark here

His sight stays locked onto the doorway in front of him - waiting for the intruder to make their appearance. Ren’s calloused fingers clutch the screen tighter in anticipation, as the anxiety that swells up within his heart begins to fall in beads of sweat down his forehead. “They’re right there…” Ren whispers more to himself than he was alerting Jiro.Bookmark here

In an instant, the doorway is obtrusively swung open, and Jiro’s hands grip the outline of the gun still waiting in his waistband. Ren’s head snaps to his left, and a few strands of hair from his low bun fall from the rubber band that was supposed to keep them secure. The two men’s once intense glares turn soft, and are now filled with visible relief at the sight of their Lieutenant. Bookmark here

Junko jogs over to the two sweating men with a stern look on her face. Once she is within a reasonable distance, Junko slides on her hipside to quickly approach the low cement wall behind Jiro. Using the hard surface as support, Junko leans her back against the barrier and looks to the two men to her left. “Lights are on,” She alerts in a low tone, “Don’t miss.”Bookmark here

Jiro nods his head before throwing his gaze back to the apartment. Squinting his left eye, Jiro places his opened right eye onto the scope of the sniper and peers through the lens. Beside him, Ren hands Junko an extra set of binoculars as they peek over the ledge to survey alongside Jiro. “He went into the building just after I headed inside,” Junko announces, keeping her tight gaze onto the lit apartment, “He should be entering any second.”Bookmark here

The small, poking breeze brushes against the tense atmosphere that surrounds the roof of the building. Slow and deep breaths reverberate against Junko’s nostrils as the sound of her own heartbeat pounds against her eardrums. Bookmark here

Next to her, a rigid Jiro grasps his weapon in preparation for Junko’s command to execute Aoki. His slender finger levitates over the trigger and his arms hug the rifle to his person. A quietly anxious Ren squats to the right of Jiro, and his binoculars are glued to the front of his face.Bookmark here

After what seemed like an eternity, Daisuke Aoki enters his apartment, and closes the door behind him. “Target in sight,” Jiro announces, reflexively clasping the gun more stiffly in his hands. “Shoot on my command,” A serious Junko reminds, keeping her unwavering eye on Aoki below her.Bookmark here

Aoki takes off his dress shoes and slings them aside - stepping into his home after a day’s work. Briefcase in hand, Aoki moves towards the space between his kitchen and his living space. His eyes travel towards his kitchen, and a wide smile appears on his face after he sets his gaze on something particular. However, the object of his content was out of sight for the three officers. Daisuke begins moving his mouth - presumably conversing with the individual that had turned on the lights prior to Aoki’s entrance.Bookmark here

“Unaccounted civilian located in the kitchen,” Junko informs, noticing Aoki’s pointed gaze towards the kitchen as he converses with an unknown individual. “They’re gonna see him die tonight…” Ren says hesitantly, just above a whisper. Junko clenches the binoculars tighter at the notice, but decides to keep quiet in response.Bookmark here

Within the apartment, Aoki turns his back towards the individual as he makes his way to the living space. The scattered creaks in the hardwood floors tickle the soles of his feet before he walks upon the carpet on the living room floor. Setting his briefcase down, Daisuke begins to take off the beige blazer he is sporting. The tautness of his spine relaxes as he bends backwards slightly, and the kinks in his neck fall apart as he rolls his neck.Bookmark here

Wait…” Junko commands, reminding Jiro not to shoot just yet. Aoki throws the jacket over the backrest of the armchair he is eyeing. Then, he makes his way over to the front of the chair. Heaving one tired grunt, he falls into the comfort of the seat and relaxes into the cushions. Bookmark here


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Back at headquarters, Yuuto, Kagome, and Niko all watch the street in which the officers and Aoki were positioned. Given that Yuuto only had access to street camera footage, the best view he was able to acquire is footage of the traffic below them. A tense Yuuto clenches his fingers into taut fists that idle on top of his desk. His full lips draw inwards, followed by his dark eyebrows. A singular bead of sweat traces the contours of his right temple.Bookmark here

Behind him, a speechless Kagome and an anxious Niko stand with their eyes glued onto the many screens in front of them. Knowing the amount of action that is about to take place, an irritated Niko can not subside the frustration he feels due to his inability to watch the execution. Bookmark here

Voicing his annoyance, Niko whispers aloud, “We really couldn’t have gotten a better view for this?!” He questions irritatedly as he looks to Kagome - who shoots him a bothered and angry expression back.Bookmark here

“Would you shut up for once?!” Kagome shouts just above a whisper to the boy, “There obviously aren’t any other cameras for Yuuto to use, so keep your mouth shut and let him do his job!” Kagome’s arms cross exasperatedly as her eyebrows draw in anger. Niko scoffs at the attitude he is being shoveled, and matches her stance.Bookmark here

“Well excuse me for wanting a nice view of our friends completing this long ass assignment!” Niko remarks, leaning in to the older girl with a scowl on his face, “And the only person stopping Yuuto from doing his job is you and your stupid pink bubble gum that you’re chewing with your big, fat mouth. Why don’t you take your own advice and keep your trap shut!”Bookmark here

Kagome’s mouth falls open as she stares angrily at the headband-wearing boy in front of her. Placing all of her weight to her back foot, Kagome squints at Niko and scrutinizes his very being. “You better watch yourself, Niko,” She warns, her voice louder than it was before, “Or else I’ll-”Bookmark here

“Would you two cut the crap?!” Yuuto yells as he turns around sharply, “Every single time I let you watch with me, you end up arguing! Do I have to separate you two, like the children you’re acting?!” Kagome and Niko’s surprised features are evident to the annoyed Yuuto, and the bickering adults drop their petty stances. Shaking their heads simultaneously, Yuuto stabs one last glance before turning back around.Bookmark here

“Yuuto?” Junko asks over the earpiece, “What was that about?” Jiro and Ren both listen in, as they just heard the commotion alongside their Lieutenant. “Nothing, nothing,” Yuuto assures with a sigh, “Just focus on Aoki.” Junko nods as she brings the binoculars back to her eyes. Bookmark here

Aoki is still seated in his rather luxurious armchair, now with his head resting back with his eyes shut. “Junko,” Jiro presses, wanting to use this opportunity to shoot the target. “I have a clear shot, why aren’t you calling it?” Junko keeps her gaze forward, analyzing every last inch of her target. Scrunching her brows together, Junko tightly grips the rim of her binoculars. “Wait on my command, Jiro.” She asserts, making an impatient Jiro continue to wait.Bookmark here

After her remark, Aoki brings his head up from the back of the armchair. Sitting up, the man reaches forward towards the low table positioned in front of him. Stretching his palm and fingers, Daisuke’s hand clutches the remote to the television adjacent to his chair. Bookmark here

The cold plastic touches his skin as the remote rests in his hand. Dragging his squinted eyes across the buttons, he searches for the particular one that turns his television on. His eyebrows pounce up as he locates the power button. Gliding his wrinkly thumb across the surface of the remote, the pad of his finger hovers above the button.Bookmark here

Wait…Bookmark here

Jiro hovers his right fingers over the trigger of his sniper rifle in anticipation and preparation for Junko’s command. The tip of his eyebrows collect sweat that attempt to disrupt his line of sight by entering his squinted eyes, and his pursed lips wrinkled the chin below them. Bookmark here

Wait…Bookmark here

Extending his arm out and in front of him once again, Daisuke aims the tip of the remote towards the television. His left arm grasps the armrest of the chair, and his back levitates over the backrest behind him. The moment his thumb presses down, and the television turns on, Junko issues her command.Bookmark here

“Pull.”Bookmark here

At the word, Jiro’s fingers shoot back and pull the trigger of his weapon. Junko and Ren’s hands simultaneously and subconsciously grip their respective binoculars tighter at the muffled noise of the bullet leaving the sniper and piercing the air. The deadly cylinder twists in the wind, and soars across the space between Jiro and Daisuke with ease. Bookmark here

Across the street, the bullet touches the glass window beside Aoki. At the slight graze, the glass shatters around the intrusion, causing the noise to reverberate within the apartment. Shooting his head to the sudden clamor, Aoki stares straight at the bullet aimed for his own head.Bookmark here

At the last mere seconds of his life, Daisuke’s eyebrows raise and his mouth parts as he gapes at his impending doom in front of him. What is such a small, fragile piece of brass that could fit in the palm of your hand, brought the end of Daisuke Aoki - sitting on his armchair, turning on his television.Bookmark here

The bullet pierces his forehead, and the momentum from the bullet sends the man backwards. The second the bullet entered his head was the moment Aoki left this Earth. Instead of relaxing back into his seat to watch the news, Aoki falls back over the armrest as his eyes lose the sparkle they held just five minutes ago. Bookmark here

“Target acquired,” Junko declares as she watches Aoki hang over the armrest. Bringing her binoculars down, she grimaces at the sight below her. The unsettling feeling within her stomach arises, and the acidic burn of bile surfaces in her esophagus. Ren looks over to his Lieutenant, and he basks in the discomfort she holds in her expression. Bookmark here

Over the earpiece, Yuuto praises their work: “Great job, team,” He congratulates, “Now get the hell out of there.” At his invocation, Junko slips out of her daze, and is brought back to her reality atop of the building. Bookmark here

Standing to her full height, she looks to her friends beside her. “Jiro, pack up your artillery,” She commands, throwing the binoculars in the bag before bringing her gaze to the other boy, “Ren and I will start collecting the motion detectors. Meet us at the rendezvous point as soon as possible.”Bookmark here

Jiro nods before Junko and Ren run to the doorway, where the first motion detectors are waiting for them to recover. Looking back to his weapon, Jiro switches on the safety before hoisting the sniper off of the cement ledge and placing it inside of the black duffel bag. Before zipping the bag shut, he swiftly twists off the attachment on the barrel and shoves it in the bag.Bookmark here

Gripping the metallic zipper in his hands, Jiro pulls at the material and begins securing the contents inside of the bag. As he does so, curiosity gets the better of him as he peers over the ledge one last time - looking to the aftermath of the execution. Within the apartment, he watches as two blonde figures stand at the dead man’s side, holding his shoulders and crying for help.Bookmark here

The duffel bag zips shut, and Jiro stands to his feet. His eyes stay strained upon the sight below him, and he feasts upon the sickening sight within the apartment. One blonde girl cries hysterically, shaking the man’s shoulders as her screams could be heard even over the roaring traffic below Jiro. The blonde boy next to her is equally as traumatized: holding the sides of his head in his hands - staring down at the incapacitated man situated on the chair in front of him. Bookmark here

Blood was splattered behind Aoki’s dead corpse, and continues to flow onto the sleeves of the blonde girl’s shirt. Daisuke’s eyes begin to turn a milky white as the life once floating inside of him oozes out of the hole pierced on his forehead - just below the two obvious birthmarks at the top of his hairline. Bookmark here

Amidst his panic and fit of disturbed mania, the blonde boy looks to where the bullet came from. Despite the now cracked and shattered glass, he could still make out a figure standing atop of the building just across the street from the building he is in. The shadowy presence loomed over him in a domineering way, and the blonde boy felt the heavy gaze of the figure pouring onto him. An intense anger boils in the pit of his stomach as he stares down the dark silhouette a distance away from him.Bookmark here

Jiro, watching the boy’s every move, smirks before throwing the black duffel bag on top of his shoulder. “He probably knew what a piece of shit Aoki was,” Jiro reasons with himself, as he starts running towards the exit to meet his friends at their predetermined rendezvous. Ripping open the door, Jiro sprints through the doorway and takes off down the stairs. As his footsteps echo against the cold walls around him, he shrugs the black duffel bag higher onto his shoulder.Bookmark here

At Aoki’s apartment, Daisuke’s lifeless eyes hold a cold stare that lands on the blood-stained ceiling, and his limp neck falls backwards. “Dad!” The blonde girl cries out in a blood-curdling scream, “Daddy! Daddy, please!” Her hands still clutch the shoulders of her now deceased father, despite her attempts to coerce him back to consciousness. Bookmark here

As her screams reverberate against the city of Tokyo, the blonde boy still stands at the window - staring out at the roof of where the shooter once stood. He holds an intense and burning anger that gushes out of his entire body. Pulling his hands up from their limp position at his sides, the blonde boy curls his fingers into fists as he begins pounding on the glass window in front of him. Bookmark here

The cracks from the bullet hole begin to expand and conquer the window with each passing punch. “Dad, please stay with me!” The girl cries out over the loud banging from the window.Bookmark here

“Daddy, why?!”
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