Chapter 10:

Blending In


A silky breeze sweeps across a crowd of people waiting in line by a bustling and lively street in the heart of Tokyo. Girls sporting eye-catching dresses, and men in casual dress wear stand beside each other as a calm murmur surrounds the encompassing mass of people. The vibrations from the music inside a distant nightclub reach the individuals waiting in line, and the bass reverberates within their chests. Bookmark here

One luxurious, black car turns onto the street where a nightclub called ‘NYNE’ awaited its arrival. Its sleek exterior catches a few glints of neon lights from some encircling overhead signs, as well as catching the eyes of many onlookers waiting in line. In the vehicle sits four Special Operations Task Force officers in appropriate party attire, accompanied by faraway looks coating their faces. Bookmark here

That Friday after Aoki’s execution, Junko gathered her fellow officers - along with her brother - to inform the group of their next assignment. As the selected officers sit in the car this Saturday night, they recall the assignment one last time within their thoughts. Bookmark here

Hideyoshi Baba,” Junko’s voice carries out within the officers’ minds - remembering the details of her past briefing, “A human trafficker finding business at this nightclub called NYNE. His whole schtick is picking up girls every Saturday night, drugging their drinks, and kidnapping them to sell their bodies to his feening customers.”Bookmark here

A seriously-presented Junko sits next in the passenger seat next to the driver, but her eyes stay trained forward instead of leering through the window to her left. Her hands lay in taut fists upon her exposed legs, with her knees respectfully touching to a close.Bookmark here

We are going to beat him at his own game,” A past Junko briefed proudly, sitting on the couch of the infamous apartment they all had come to love. Her surrounding friends listened closely to their Lieutenant, and an excited Kagome drew up an exhilarated smile on her face. “Kagome will use the poison she’s been working on, and drug the target at the club this Saturday. Jiro, Ren, and I will accompany her and be her support.”Bookmark here

Kagome sits next to the window, and she rests her forehead against the cold glass as the car begins to pull to a stop. The beating of her heart erratically pounds against her ribcage, and the uneven breaths spilling out of her mouth nearly get caught in her throat. Once the car settles in a parked position, Kagome subconsciously grips her handbag within her slender fingers. Inside of the bag holds the poison to be used to eliminate Hideyoshi.Bookmark here

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“Got ourselves a little scientist here, do we?” A teasing Yuuto poked at a lab-coat wearing Kagome in the kitchen after Junko’s briefing Friday night. Kagome looked up after having lost herself in the chemicals and liquids placed on the kitchen counter in front of her. She moved the clear, plastic goggles up and off of her eyes - removing the protection she once had. “I’m just double checking that this solution will work properly for Hideyoshi tomorrow night,” Kagome rebuked the approaching Yuuto.Bookmark here

As he placed his elbows on the other side of the counter, he dragged his vision over the various bottles and flasks of chemicals displayed in front of him. “What even is it going to do? Make him explode or something?”Bookmark here

“Oh you poor, poor computer nerd - isolated in a world filled with wires and buttons,” Kagome teased with a voice coated in mockery and play, “Allow me to introduce you to the amazing world of chemistry.”Bookmark here

Kagome brought her attention to a separate test tube situated away from the conglomeration of flasks in front of Yuuto. She grabbed the tube delicately within her hand, and brought it in front of her face as she turned back to the curious boy next to her.Bookmark here

“This fluid I created doesn’t instantly affect the target,” Kagome informed, as she slightly swirled the clear liquid around within the tube, “It needs to flow throughout the digestive system and enter the bladder. Once it combines with the urine, it will combust and enter the bloodstream. That process can take anywhere from five minutes on an empty stomach, to an hour on a full stomach.” Yuuto smirked, impressed, as he nodded his head to the information.Bookmark here

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Realizing the men to her right have already begun sliding out of the car, Kagome follows suit as she drags herself across the leather seats and into the brisk night air. Leaving her anxiety in the backseat of the vehicle, Kagome steps out with a newfound confidence and determination to fulfill her duties and complete the assignment alongside her fellow officers. With a serious Junko to her left, two stoic men to her right, and a whole crowd watching her every move, Kagome felt like the most badass woman alive.Bookmark here

Once the target finishes his mixed drink,” Junko’s briefing continues to ring out in the back of the officers’ minds as they collectively stare into the front doors of NYNE, “We’ll make our exit. Yuuto will keep watch over the target and confirm his execution. The less of a scene we make, the better.Bookmark here

Tugging the hem of her dress down a bit before hauling her bag’s strap higher upon her shoulder, Kagome heaves a light breath that flies into the smooth, night breeze. Jiro swings his sport jacket over his shoulder using his index finger, while placing his free hand within the warmth of his front pocket. Ren, to Jiro’s right, runs his hands through the strands of his freed hair - wearing his locs down, rather than tying them up into their usual low bun. Bookmark here

“Let’s do this,” A confident Kagome perks up, throwing her hands to her hips as she begins strutting fearlessly into the den that holds Hideyoshi Baba. The four, well-dressed officers confidently and professionally carry themselves to the gates of NYNE, holding serious expressions. All except for Kagome: a smirk laced onto her lipstick-coated lips, and a painted façade covers her truly anxious heart. Bookmark here

The group reaches the bouncer, who they assume is well aware of their assignment in this club. The large, brawny, bald man - covered in tattoos and dressy attire - glares down at the approaching officers with disdain, at first. But, once he perceives their serious and lethal aura, the bouncer’s demeanor falls into one of submission and slight trepidation. Bookmark here

Kagome pays the Herculean man no mind as she waltzes straight past him with conviction in her step. Following her walks Junko, who daringly stares straight into the man’s eyes - captivating him into a fearful state as she passes by him. Gulping down his fear, he watches an elegant Ren carry himself with a confident and determined gait. At the tail end falls Jiro, who shoves his blazer into the hard, wide chest of the bouncer - with little to no care in the world. Bookmark here

The bouncer turns his head to the officers’ retreating backsides. In the distance, the bartender also observes the newcomers from his own vantage point. Locking eyes with the bouncer, the both share a nod in realization and apprehension of their new guests. Bookmark here

“Alright, ladies and gents,” An apprehensive Yuuto begins, his voice carrying over the earpieces, “Hideyoshi Baba is currently on the dance floor surrounded by women. He’s wearing a black dress shirt, only half of the buttons are done up, and black jeans. His greasy, dark hair is slicked back, and he looks to be drinking straight whiskey.”Bookmark here

Junko and Kagome stick together - one arm looped through the other’s - while Jiro takes to the bar, and Ren stations himself by the DJ. Ren’s vantage point gives him a clear overview of the dance floor, and thus Junko and Kagome’s current position. Jiro’s location places him in a secure spot to quickly reach the two girls for support, as well as to swiftly apprehend Hideyoshi if things start to look ugly.Bookmark here

“Found him,” Junko affirms in a quiet whisper, one in which Yuuto is just able to pick up. Despite her right arm being laced through Kagome’s, Junko’s full attention gathers upon a tall, domineering, and obviously drunk man governing the dance floor. Bookmark here

Beads of sweat get tossed off of his sharp forehead as he swings his head along to the upbeat music. His right hand rises to his mouth and turns the crystal cup within his limp grasp upside down, and pours the alcohol straight into his stomach. All the while, his left hand finds solace upon a young woman’s hips beside him.Bookmark here

If looks could kill, Hideyoshi Baba would be dead on the floor he stands on. Junko’s fiery and hate-fueled stare rips through Baba’s entire being, and tears him apart from the inside out. Bookmark here

This foul, pathetic excuse for a human being must die here tonight - before any more innocent women fall victim to this predator’s hands. Pulling her friend along by the arm, Junko trudges over to the target as Kagome clutches her shoulder bag with her free hand.Bookmark here

Jiro and Ren take notice of the advance, as the two men both visibly stiffen at the decreasing distance between the human trafficker, and the two women they hold dearest. As passersby cross in front of Junko’s certified path towards Hideyoshi, her face begins to soften into one of pretend intoxication, and she allows a hint of vulnerability to leak through her appearance: all in an effort to gain Hideyoshi’s attention. Behind her, a staggering Kagome does the same. Bookmark here

With a lopsided smile entrancing her face, Junko sighs one last breath before she and Kagome finally walk upon Hideyoshi Baba. Who, in turn, has his eyes raking over the two approaching women, in a very brazen and open fashion. The action makes the insides of Junko’s stomach churn, but the discomfort does not surface upon her expression.Bookmark here

“Hey, big guy,” Junko manages to say through a façade of drunkenness, “What’re you doing looking this good, and not dancing with me?” The flirty remark makes Hideyoshi smirk, and he flagrantly steps towards the Lieutenant. Branching out his free hand - that was previously laid upon a different woman mere seconds ago - he grabs Junko’s white hair in his damp grasp.Bookmark here

“You’re a feisty one, aren’t you, sweetheart?” Hideyoshi asks as his words slip together, and his lips fall in a drunken and tired fashion. Junko smirks and takes the hand twirling her hair into her grasp. Knitting her own fingers through his, she drags Kagome over to the conversation. “I’m Junko, and this is Kagome,” Junko introduces herself and her fellow officer, “And we’re just looking for a good time tonight.”Bookmark here

“Hideyoshi Baba,” The man replies, throwing his eyes all over the two women in front of him, “You’ve come to the right place, pretty ladies.” Hideyoshi chuckles a deep, barking laugh as he squeezes Junko’s hand just a bit too tightly. Following his lead, Junko and Kagome both manage some fake, drunken laughs at his confident reply. “Let’s dance!” Kagome declares, jumping up in place while in her heels.Bookmark here

The electronic music blares its melodies throughout the entire club, and it pulsates so ferociously that remnants of the bass could be found pounding in the chests of all the club-goers. Bookmark here

With the mass amount of people and the closeness of all the dancers, the humidity and heat formed beads of sweat even on the non-active guests by the bar. Jiro, who was intently watching his two friends dance submissively, dragged his forearm across his exposed forehead.Bookmark here

His thick, shaggy black hair is slicked back for his appearance tonight. But, still, a few nosy strands manage to escape their predestined spots, and fall upon his forehead annoyingly. Due to his shirt sleeves being rolled up to the elbows, his forearms are painted in a coat of sweat from wiping at his persistent perspiration on his forehead. Bookmark here

Leaning his arms back onto the countertop behind him, Jiro stands guard as his eyes watch the two women attentively. The tapping of his dress shoe padding against the floor is muted from the violent dance music shouting down his eardrums. Bookmark here

Across the room, a hawk-like Ren positions himself right next to the DJ booth. His vision hovers over the interactions with a blatant intent of protecting the two females next to the drunken human trafficker. Bookmark here

From behind a screen, Yuuto’s expression conveys an obvious disgust as he watches Hideyoshi grab all over Kagome and Junko - since he was able to grab hold of the security cameras within the club. He almost lets a scoff escape his grimace as Kagome prances all around the criminal. Beside the technician, his taut fists lay next to either side of his keyboard, and the veins in his hands surface through his skin.Bookmark here

“Just drug the guy, then leave,” Yuuto mutters to himself through clenched teeth, “That’s the plan. Now get it over with.” Behind an impatient Yuuto lies a submissive Niko sitting on the couch. His relaxed demeanor expresses his disinterest in watching the mission, as his palms lay open-faced on his lap, and his head rests against the cushions of the seat. Bookmark here

However, the trio dances along for what has felt like ages. Junko looks to Kagome - attempting to gather her attention secretly. Kagome, who feels the burning and intensity of Junko’s gaze on her, looks to her friend. Junko speaks with her eyes, telling Kagome it is time to initiate the execution. Comprehending her Lieutenant, Kagome nods, and hesitantly brings her gaze back to Hideyoshi next to her.Bookmark here

Heaving one last breath of anxiousness, Kagome lets out a fake gasp to bring the man’s attention onto her. “Hideyoshi!” Kagome drawls, “Your drink is all finished! Let me go get you another one!” Kagome insists as he reaches for the empty glass cup in Hideyoshi’s slack grasp. Smirking at the girl, he approvingly hands over his glass. Kagome takes the cup in her hands and shoves a smile towards Hideyoshi, before skipping away towards the bar.Bookmark here

Pulling his haughty gaze off of a retreating Kagome, Baba throws his eyes onto the remaining Junko in front of him. He steps closer to her, and the inescapable and nauseating scent of whiskey is pushed down her nose and throat as he nears her face. “Your friend sure is a chipper one, ain’t she?” Hideyoshi whispers heavily into Junko’s ear, “That’s why I like you better. You’re an easy one to handle. You wouldn’t put up much of a fight, now would you?”Bookmark here

Placing his hands on Junko’s waist, Hideyoshi rubs his fingers up and down the curves of her spine - in what is supposed to be a seducing fashion. Instead, it made the victim’s toes curl in disgust, and the need to vomit surfaced within her stomach. Managing a weak smirk, Junko remarks, “I wouldn’t be too sure about that.”Bookmark here

At the bar, Kagome arrives with the glass cup in one hand, and the other gripping her bag close to her hip. Jiro clenches his teeth as he realizes Junko is all alone. Finding Ren with his eyes, he notices his fellow officer is already on standby for any suspicious interaction. Jiro, having felt some relief from the observation, looks back to Kagome as she approaches the bar.Bookmark here

He slides the pre ordered whiskey to her against the bartop as she opens up her shoulder bag. Pulling out a corked test tube, Kagome opens the container before pouring its contents into the new drink. “Make this quick,” Jiro demands in a whisper to Kagome - not keeping his eyes off of a stranded Junko in the middle of the dance floor.Bookmark here

Kagome glances up from her mixture, and surprisingly makes eye contact with a curious bartender - whose eyes are also trained upon the now poisoned glass of whiskey. Having realized he was caught looking in on her execution method, the bartender whistles as he walks away from the scene. The substance finishes pouring into the glass, and empties out the last of its transparent drops. Bookmark here

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Flashes of a young highschool Kagome resurface within her memory. Standing beside the lab table, as the man’s hands travel all over her back and front. Bookmark here

A frozen, long-haired Kagome unable to move with the weight of shock and fear tying her down to that cold, creaky school floor. Bookmark here

His wet lips brushing against her ear as the dreadful and manipulative words whisper off of them. Tears that threaten to fall out of her terrified eyes, but never find the confidence to do so.Bookmark here

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Placing the rubber stopper back into the tube’s hole, Kagome stores the empty canister into her pocket book before swirling the new mixed drink around in the glass. “It’ll be over before you know it,” She replies, then proceeds to flee to the dance floor - needing to reach Junko before anything happens.Bookmark here

After bumping into several people, and nearly tripping over her own heels, Kagome reaches Junko and Hideyoshi - who seem a lot closer than they did when she left them. “I’m back!” Kagome announces, making a surprised Hideyoshi back off of Junko, “Here’s your drink, Hideyoshi!”Bookmark here

Pitching a cheshire cat-like smile her way, Baba accepts the glass and takes it in his hand. “Thank you, my love,” He appreciates, raising his glass to Kagome before turning his attention back to Junko, “Would you care for the first sip, sweetheart?” Junko’s eyes open in fear, before quickly covering up the fall with a fake thankful smile.Bookmark here

“No, no,” She denies with a nervous chuckle, waving her hands back and forth, “I’m fine, thank you. Whiskey isn’t a good drink for me, anyways.”Bookmark here

“But I insist.”
“I’ve had far too much to drink already, I think I’m-”
“I’m offering you a free drink. Take a sip.”
“Hideyoshi, I really am-”Bookmark here

“She said she’s fine,” A serious Jiro appears behind the cornered Junko, “Why don’t you take that drink and shove it up your ass?” The remark makes a baffled Hideyoshi smirk, and his eyes travel this new competitor up and down thoroughly. “Why don’t you do it for me then, darling?” Hideyoshi reukes the protective Jiro tauntingly. Bookmark here

Jiro scoffs at the creepy comment, then takes a swig of his own glass of vodka. Breathing out a sigh of satisfaction once the cold liquid finishes traveling down his throat, Jiro eyes Hideyoshi up and down. “He’s probably too drunk as it is,” Jiro pokes at the criminal, “He doesn’t want to make a fool of himself any more than he already has by puking all over the joint."Bookmark here

Hideyoshi’s eyes squint in anger at the challenging new man. Not wanting to admit he is right, Baba looks down to his filled whiskey glass. Scoffing much like Jiro had a minute ago, Hideyoshi stres down Jiro as he tips the glass over, and pours all of its contents into his mouth.
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“Yes!” Yuuto cheers, as he watches from headquarters, relieved that the assignment is drawing to a close, “Now let’s assume Hideyoshi is working on an empty stomach. In that case, he’ll collapse in about five minutes. Get the hell out of there, ASAP!” Bookmark here

Hearing their technician report over their respective earpieces, the three officers look to each other in understanding. Once his drink is finished, Hideyoshi loosely grasps the cup in his fingertips, before purposefully allowing the glass to shatter all over the floor. The surrounding individuals take a few steps back at the inconvenience and scowl at the unnecessary act.Bookmark here

“There you are, babe!” An exasperated Ren calls out as he approaches his fellow officers, “I’ve been looking for you forever! Come on, let's get the hell out of here.” Taking Kagome by the arm, Ren drags the girl off of the dance floor and straight towards the exit. Jiro follows suit, grabbing onto Junko’s arm. “See you never, freak,” Jiro spits out before high-tailing it behind an already exiting Ren and Kagome. Bookmark here

The four officers exit the club together, as their mission falls to completion. Stepping outside into the dusk-filled chilly air, the friends take a much needed breath of fresh air, as their feet collide against the cement beneath them. Bookmark here

Unfortunately, before they leave the premises, they must await Yuuto’s confirmation of Hideyoshi’s execution via the security camera footage. Taking Hideyoshi's food consumption into consideration, it could take anywhere from five minutes on an empty stomach, to an hour on a full stomach. Bookmark here

“You okay?” Ren asks a visibly shaken Kagome - who, in turn, nods reassuringly. Jiro and Junko wait similarly, as their toes tap against the cement with their arms crossed. Bookmark here

Finally, a mere fifteen minutes later, screams are heard from inside the club. The officers look between each other as Yuuto’s voice sounds out in each of their ears: “Mission accomplished. Get the hell out of there.”Bookmark here

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