Chapter 12:

Phone Call

The Forbidden and the Gifted

[2:57 p.m., July 22nd 2044; Tokyo, Japan. Takuya kicks some lights on his way to his car, and as he drives off, throws a large object out of his car at some signage and glass in vandalization attempt which fails. From afar, Raphael and Denis watch, while Ryo mutters to himself, paying no attention to the damage being caused. The next scene begins with Takuya at home, later in the evening, looking through a list of papers]Bookmark here

Takuya: If I’m taken off of their records and all that tonight, let me see what I can find.Bookmark here

[He searches the pages, and finds one that piques his interest]Bookmark here

Takuya: Oh shit, what do we have here… [picks up the page]… who’s this? Albanian kid? Why the hell do we want to get him? Shit, let me input this into the laptop.Bookmark here

[He opens his laptop, logs onto the company’s website and pulls up information]Bookmark here

Takuya: For a company that’s this big, it’s a wonder they can’t kick me off today. I mean shit, Raph said they’d come after me if I started something, but frankly, I couldn’t give a damn.Bookmark here

[The image of a man pops up on the screen, appearing about 21 years of age. He has red bars all around his information]Bookmark here

Takuya: Weird. This guy looks like a normal kid. Hell, there’s no real red flags in this information, but there’s red flags all over his profile. The hell? Wait, he’s got information too… [pauses] Hold on, there’s a number here. Wait, before I call, let me get some more information.Bookmark here

[Takuya scours the page and finds some information about hit-dates, and comes to a realization]Bookmark here

Takuya: Ah shit, wouldn’t ya know it? They’re going after this don tonight in Albania. Wanna kill him, no matter the casualties on their front. But why? He’s got no record, nothing. The hell? Is he doing some shit on the side that they haven't listed? Impossible, right? Eh, who cares really - he seems fine enough, right? Let me call him then… Wilhelm, is it? Yeah. [He opens his phone and rings the number on his screen]Bookmark here

[The phone is answered]Bookmark here

Drift [over the phone]: Hello? Who’s this? A long distance caller?Bookmark here

Takuya: Wilhelm, I presume?Bookmark here

Drift [concerned]: Who the hell is this?Bookmark here

Takuya: The seventh as well? Must be a long list. Anywho, I got some information.Bookmark here

Drift: Woah, woah, woah there man. Hold on. Who are ya?Bookmark here

Takuya: Do you really care that much to know?Bookmark here

Drift: Well, no shit. You’re some random ass dude from God-knows where trying to tell me some shit. Of course, I want to know who you are.Bookmark here

Takuya: Well, alright, not like it’s gonna help you. I’m from Japan – Takuya, ex-special ops. Bookmark here

Drift: The hell does a special ops guy from across the god damn world want from me?Bookmark here

Takuya: Well, ya see. I’m ex-special ops. Quit on the bastards today.Bookmark here

Drift: Oh really, good for you. Congratulations. Why the hell should I care?Bookmark here

Takuya: Well, well buddy, you seem to be quite an asshole, don’t ya?Bookmark here

Drift: I don’t need your whole life story old man. If you wanna tell me something, then just set it to me straight. I don’t need no one beating around the bush.Bookmark here

Takuya: Alright, alright buddy. You want it straight? My guys from here are coming to kill ya tonight. It’s evening for me now, but I’m pretty sure it’s morning for ya. Bookmark here

Drift: Huh? Why the hell would your guys want me? Bookmark here

Takuya: Beats me. But you’re on their hitlist dumbass. Says they’re gonna hit your address tomorrow before the crack of dawn.Bookmark here

Drift: My house… is the address…Bookmark here

Takuya: I searched it up, looks like an older apartment near the outskirts of the capital? Off 5th street?Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah. What the hell…Bookmark here

Takuya: Any idea why they’re onto ya?Bookmark here

Drift: No clue man. I don’t think I’ve done anything too terrible, internationally at least.Bookmark here

Takuya: Well, you’ve done something that’s definitely fishy, I’ll give you that. [Pauses] And you had no idea that anyone was on your tail either eh?Bookmark here

Drift: Nope. It’s been quite calm around here for the past little bit. I do have two half-Japanese friends, but they're some of my closest friends and we go way back. I don’t think they'll sell me out.Bookmark here

Takuya: Yeah, probably not. Bookmark here

Takuya [Thinking]: Don’t think it’s his friend – these bastards, especially Ryo, are damn good at what they do. They’re probably working solo and tracked him down by themselves.Bookmark here

Drift [Clenches teeth]: Wait… I mean shit, is there any good reason that I should just up and believe you from your information?Bookmark here

Takuya: I don’t know man, you tell me. I’m giving you information about something that’s gonna happen, it’s up to you to decide if you wanna believe me or not.Bookmark here

Drift: Eh, but all of this, all out of the blue makes it even more suspicious to me.Bookmark here

Takuya: Listen man, frankly, I couldn’t care if you wanna believe me or not. I don’t have forever to go through people on this hitlist to call and get information across to, my access and all that is getting revoked tomorrow. Bookmark here

Drift: Revoked?Bookmark here

Takuya: Didn’t I tell you I quit on them? Bookmark here

Drift: Well yeah, but you could always be fibbing to get me to bite.Bookmark here

Takuya: If that’s what you want to think, that’s totally fine. But I won’t help you any further then. I’m only doing this out of spite towards these bastards. I could give less of a shit about you.Bookmark here

Drift: They backstab you?Bookmark here

Takuya: It’s a long story, but they fucked with a friend’s family who just died, which just doesn't sit right with me. So frankly, whether it’s you, or someone else, I just wanna screw with them and save someone on their hitlist, that’s it.Bookmark here

Drift: Then why pick me? First guy to pop up on your board?Bookmark here

Takuya: Nah, I searched through the papers, but you were the only one who came out clean throughout most of the papers. I couldn’t figure out why they wanted you that badly. Maybe ya did something that they don’t even wanna write down. Who knows? Bookmark here

Drift: Nah, that can’t be it.Bookmark here

Takuya: Still, you seemed normal enough for me to want to save. But I mean, I can see where your suspicions come from, and that’s fine, I guess. I’m not gonna waste too much time then, so I’ll be – Bookmark here

Drift: Wait.Bookmark here

Takuya: What now?Bookmark here

Drift: I know you could probably be lying your ass off now, but you seem to have a semi normal set of morals for a special-ops bastard. I could be getting duped to all hell now, but frankly, it’s a one in a million that someone calls me to try and save my life, so I’ll take your word on it and hope it doesn’t cost me. So, tell me, whad’ya think I need to do?Bookmark here

Takuya: Well, I’d say for starters, just go about your business as normal for the day. There’s no need to make yourself any more noticeable than need be. Bookmark here

Drift: Fair enough. [Pauses] Whad’ya think they’re going to do though?Bookmark here

Takuya: What’re you talking about?Bookmark here

Drift: Like, what’s their method? Can you tell me that at least?Bookmark here

Takuya: Well for the most part, it’s just a hitman or a couple of them at least.Bookmark here

Drift: They skilled?Bookmark here

Takuya: Well, they won’t be sending their most skilled man in… [he chokes on his words slightly] but most of the people these guys have are pretty damn good with guns and knives. You don’t want to get into it with them, that’s for sure. They aren’t just thugs; they’re actually trained and all that. Bookmark here

Drift: Ah, alright, alright. So, what do suggest for the evening?Bookmark here

Takuya: Well, since they’re gonna be coming to do this by like 9:00 or so in the night, I think you should just see if you can stay away from the area on your trip home. If all goes well, just call me back the next day and see if you could confirm if the shit happened or not. Bookmark here

Drift: I got those security cameras and all that littered around my place – they’re connected to my phone, so I should be able to see if shit actually goes down.Bookmark here

Takuya: Sounds good enough, just make sure that shit isn’t too obviously placed, or they’ll know the place is a decoy. If they can’t get you on that first night, they’re probably going to just keep looking around, but if they think the place is a decoy, they’ll stop camping around it as soon as possible and start looking for other leads. Using that place, you can probably buy an extra day or two, which should be enough for you to make your next moves. Bookmark here

Drift: Alright, I think they’re well placed. They’re small, so they shouldn’t be too noticeable, so yeah. I’ll tell my two friends as well, and we’ll get out of the area in the evening. Hopefully we don’t get tailed.Bookmark here

Takuya: Highly doubt they’d tail ya. They don’t know that I’m giving you this information, so if you don’t do anything out of the ordinary today, besides not showing up in the evening, you should be all good on that front. Bookmark here

Drift: Alright man, well, thanks for the info. I’ll let you know everything later, alright?Bookmark here

Takuya: Gotcha. Take care then.Bookmark here

[Takuya hangs up, and the scene shifts to Drift much later in the day with the time on the building behind him reading 7:57 p.m.]Bookmark here

Higuchi [To Drift]: Yo, drinks on you tonight right?Bookmark here

Electra: Yeah Wil, tonight’s your night, eh?Bookmark here

Drift [Looks behind them, before turning to them]: Listen guys.Bookmark here

Electra: Eh, what now?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Don’t tell me you blew the money that we just got mate…Bookmark here

Electra [To Higuchi]: He probably did, didn’t he?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Wouldn’t surprise me, that’s for sure.Bookmark here

Drift: Relax, relax, drinks are still on me for the night. But we can’t head back to the apartment tonight – you guys alright with that? Bookmark here

Higuchi: Eh? Why?Bookmark here

Electra: Oooo, he’s probably getting laid so he’s kicking us out, right?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Him? Getting laid? Ha. No way, right Wil?Bookmark here

Drift: No, you morons, no one’s getting laid today – and besides, I’ll get laid before you ever do, so zip it Higuchi.Bookmark here

Higuchi: You know that ain’t true.Bookmark here

Electra [Interrupts]: Anyway, anyway, why’re we getting kicked out? Don’t tell me you forgot to pay the damn rent now…Bookmark here

Higuchi: But it’s nearly the end of the month – wouldn’t they just kick us out next month?Bookmark here

Electra: I’d think so too, but I’m not in charge of rent, that’s Wil’s job anyway, so he’d know. So, Wil, why are we getting kicked out?Bookmark here

Drift: We’re not getting kicked out you meathead.Bookmark here

Electra: Huh? Didn’t you say we were?Bookmark here

Drift: No, I didn’t God-damn it. I said we shouldn’t go back for tonight – not forever.Bookmark here

Higuchi: You found a nicer place for us to stay?Bookmark here

Drift: No man. We’re gonna stay in a hotel for the night, I found a place, but you gotta put it under your name.Bookmark here

Higuchi: Eh? What for?Bookmark here

Drift: Just trust me on this, alright?Bookmark here

Electra [Looks towards Drift, then turns towards Higuchi]: Yeah, I’m good with it. Let’s do it.Bookmark here

Higuchi [Shrugs]: I mean shit, why not? You got money for it though, I’d presume?Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah, yeah, drinks and the bill’s gonna be on me.Bookmark here

Higuchi: Sweet.Bookmark here

Electra: How close is the place?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Just down the street, we should see it at the next intersection.Bookmark here

[They walk towards the next intersection and see a quaint hotel, which Drift points to. They enter, reserve a large room for the night under Electra’s name, before taking their key and walking up to the room, which is on the highest floor]Bookmark here

Higuchi [Opens the door]: Wow, this place is nice. How much?Bookmark here

Drift: 105 Euros? Give or take?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Steep, but it’s you paying, so I ain’t complaining.Bookmark here

Electra [walks toward the kitchen area]: Ayo! We got a complementary pack of beers back here!Bookmark here

Higuchi [Turns his head]: Actually? Which?Bookmark here

Electra: Bud lights – you up for one?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Sure, swing me one.Bookmark here

Electra: Wil, want one?Bookmark here

Drift: Maybe after… [pauses] Elec, you got your laptop?Bookmark here

Electra: Yeah, I do, you need it?Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah. Got the adaptor too?Bookmark here

Electra: Yeah. Both are in my bag back at the door. Why’d you need it? Bookmark here

Higuchi [To Drift]: Yeah man, we’re clear of anyone hearing us, why’re we even here? [Laughs] I mean shit, I’ll take a vacation, but I’d prefer to go out of the country, y’know? Bookmark here

Drift [Heads to the door to grab the laptop]: Oh yeah, I never got to explaining. It’ll all make sense when I pull out the laptop.Bookmark here

Electra [Confused]: Huh? There’s something on my laptop that’ll make us all understand? I ain’t following mate.Bookmark here

Drift [Grabs the laptop and turns it on]: Here, here. [He plugs in the adaptor cable to the phone and turns on the phone] Take a look.Bookmark here

[Higuchi looks from behind him, while Electra enters the room with two beers and places them on the tabletop, before joining Higuchi and Drift and looking at the screen. The screen flickers, before turning on and the view from a camera is seen on screen]Bookmark here

Higuchi: Ain’t this our place?Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah, it is.Bookmark here

Higuchi: So, we came here… to spy on our own place? Seems pretty pointless, don’t ya think? I thought it’d at least be work related if it wasn’t a vacation.Bookmark here

Drift: Wait a second.Bookmark here

[The computer’s clock hits 8:55, and as they look at the screen, they see their main door fidgeting]Bookmark here

Electra: Were we supposed to have someone today?Bookmark here

Higuchi: The fridge had some problems, so I called in a guy that I knew, but I thought that I’d told him to come in two days, not tonight.Bookmark here

Electra: Today’s the newspaper day, so maybe…Bookmark here

Drift [Looks at him]: Just shut up and look at the screen.Bookmark here

[Electra and Higuchi stare intently at the screen]Bookmark here

Drift [Thinking]: This better be what I thought it was, Jap.Bookmark here

[On the screen, the door is seen moving back and forth, before it opens. Three men in jet black attire and wearing ski masks enter the room]Bookmark here

Electra: HUH?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Don’t tell me you got in some shit with some bastards without us knowing Wil.Bookmark here

Electra [Looks at Drift]: Did ya?Bookmark here

Drift: Keep watching.Bookmark here

[They turn their heads to the screen again]Bookmark here

Higuchi [To Drift]: This thing got volume?Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah, lemme turn it up.Bookmark here

[He ups the volume on the laptop, and voices can be heard, albeit muffled]Bookmark here

Electra: Higuchi, those accents…Bookmark here

Higuchi: That’s Japanese for sure.Bookmark here

Electra: The hell?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Did you do something to provoke em?Bookmark here

Electra: Me? You’ve got the same amount of Japanese as I do chump, come on now. Bookmark here

Higuchi: But if I didn’t do shit, and you didn’t do shit, then what the fuck?Bookmark here

Electra: Well…Bookmark here

[On the screen, the three masked men are seen overturning furniture and vandalizing the property. On two of their backs are loaded artillery style rifles]Bookmark here

Higuchi: Woah, woah, where the hell did they get that type of shit from?Bookmark here

Electra: They probably have that stuff back there, I’d guess?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Well, but off the streets? You really think so?Bookmark here

Electra: Yea, probably not.Bookmark here

[They both stop talking and look directly at Drift, who hasn’t spoken]Bookmark here

Electra: Oi bastard! You know a thing or two about what’s going on here, don’t ya?Bookmark here

Drift: Well, I do know a thing or two about this, yeah.Bookmark here

Electra: Then what the hell is going on?Bookmark here

Drift: Well, you see. They are Japanese nationals, and they were after us.Bookmark here

Electra: Thanks for the update Sherlock. How’d you get this information and why the hell would you only tell us about this today? Why not warn us preemptively?Bookmark here

Drift: Well, fact of the matter is that I only got the call this morning.Bookmark here

Higuchi: Call? The hell are you talking about? Who the hell would willingly get into contact with any of us to protect us?Bookmark here

Drift: Not from anyone around here, but a guy from Japan. Bookmark here

Electra: Huh?Bookmark here

Drift: Not one of either of your relatives, that’s for sure, but a dude from special ops, as he proclaimed. Bookmark here

Electra: What the hell? A special op from the other side of the world calling us?Bookmark here

Drift: Don’t ask me. I was as surprised as you were. But he was the one who told me that there’d be a hit on us tonight.Bookmark here

Higuchi: What the hell? You think there’s a turf war out there?Bookmark here

Drift: Nah. He had quit his role earlier in the day, so he was calling whoever the hell he could find on the hitlist who didn’t look like they were a complete asshat – his words, not mine.Bookmark here

Higuchi: So, a Guardian Angel type in that case?Bookmark here

Electra: Well, I sure as hell would say so.Bookmark here

Higuchi [To Drift]: You didn’t know anything about this happening tonight, eh?Bookmark here

Drift: Not a clue. We’d probably all be dead if I didn’t listen to that guy. [Pauses] I was close to hanging up on him, to be fair. I mean dang, would you really trust some garbage like that?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Nope, ha. Sounds like a scam if I’ve ever heard of one.Bookmark here

Drift: Exactly. But what told me to keep listening – I don’t even know. But shit, I guess he was the real deal. Bookmark here

Electra: You got his number on your phone?Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah, he didn’t call encrypted.Bookmark here

Electra: Shit, alright. Bookmark here

[The three look at the cameras, and essentially see their house being ripped apart as the three masked men continue to look for them]Bookmark here

Drift: He said we should probably call him back later tonight to see what we could do for the future.Bookmark here

Higuchi: The future?Bookmark here

Drift: What he said is if those guys don’t get us tonight, they aren’t just gonna screw off and call the mission a failure. They’re trained at what they do, so they’ll stay for as long as need be to get the job done. Especially since we’re on a highly wanted red-list – well, at least I am; he didn’t mention you two.Bookmark here

Higuchi: The hell could you have done that would cause such uproar across the world?Bookmark here

Drift: Beats me. I haven’t even gone there once. You two have though, so I would’ve thought that this shit involves y’all. Guess not.Bookmark here

Electra [Looks at them both while drinking his beer]: Well, should we call him back now? We’ve pretty much confirmed that he’s the real deal.Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah, I’m good with it. I can call him up now if your good with it, Higuchi.Bookmark here

Higuchi: Sounds fair to me. Call him up.Bookmark here

[Drift unplugs the phone from the computer, ending the video of the house being ripped apart. He calls the long-distance number from his ‘recent’ tab. The phone rings twice on speaker, before being picked up by Takuya on the other end] Bookmark here

Takuya: Yo, what’s up. It’s early as shit – hell, the birds haven’t even come but what’re you up to? I assume you’re the same guy I called from Albania, am I right? Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah. You didn’t get anyone else?Bookmark here

Takuya: Called a couple others, but no one took my word. The rest of the people on the hitlist just seemed like asshats, so I didn’t even bother sparing them.Bookmark here

Drift: Fair enough, fair enough. Bookmark here

Takuya: So, anything happen? According to my world clock, it should be around 9 for you, no?Bookmark here

Drift: Yeah. The camera’s caught most of what happened.Bookmark here

Takuya: Ah I see, I see. You think they noticed?Bookmark here

Drift: Hell nah. They just ravaged through most of our place.Bookmark here

Takuya: Seems about right for a bunch of assassins, ahaha. Good thing you didn’t decide to fight them, eh?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Eh, we would’ve been able to take them, don’t ya think?Bookmark here

Electra: Hell nah! Did you see them?Bookmark here

Takuya [To Drift]: Seems as though you got company?Bookmark here

Drift: Haha, they’re just the guys I work with. They live with me – Higuchi and Electra.Bookmark here

Takuya: Oh… wait a sec, Higuchi? Japanese?Bookmark here

Higuchi [To Drift]: Yeah mate, half Japanese. Moved here when I was younger. Bookmark here

Takuya: Oh, okay. You weren’t on the list, so I guess it’s a coincidence that our people got involved with your friend, who isn’t even Japanese. Weird shit. Who’s the other?Bookmark here

Electra: Electra bossman. Bookmark here

Takuya: Ohh… that accent, you the other Japanese friend?Bookmark here

Electra: Yeah, I am. Bookmark here

Takuya: Changed your name? Bookmark here

Electra: Nope. Parents gave me Elec when I was younger cause we were going to move to Albania later on anyway. Easier to understand – I guess – in Europe. I came here later than Higuchi though, so I know some of my relatives back home at least.Bookmark here

Takuya: Interesting, interesting.Bookmark here

Drift [Interjects]: Anyway bud, what’s your plan here? Should we move out of the city for some time and try to come back later? Cross the border to Macedonia? Bookmark here

Takuya: Ooo, I don’t think you want to go to Macedonia.Bookmark here

Drift: Why not?Bookmark here

Higuchi [Looks at Drift]: You haven’t heard?Bookmark here

Drift: Heard what? Bookmark here

Higuchi: They’re big supporters of the creation of the Baltic Empire. They supply arms and all that in secret to them. They aren’t looking to get involved in it, but they’re looking at the fall of lots of countries like Latvia and all that. Probably not the ideal place to go to – at least here we don’t have any real threats to the country.Bookmark here

Takuya: It’s exactly like your friend said.Bookmark here

Drift: Then where else? Bookmark here

Takuya: There’s Montenegro.Bookmark here

Drift: Oh hell no.Bookmark here

Electra: Yeah, that’s a pass from me as well.Bookmark here

Takuya: Huh? Why?Bookmark here

Drift: You work for special ops and haven’t heard of the vine bastard? The dude with that gift, or whatever? The super strong guy?Bookmark here

Takuya: Huh? You talking about Dreadknight’s leader, Katarov? He’s from Kiev, is he not?Bookmark here

Drift: Hell no. Even I know who Katarov is. This guy was some bastard who murdered a bunch of people and we saw his ass. Could control vines or some shit – I know, sounds like some garbage from sci-fi, feel free to doubt me, but all three of us saw it. Bookmark here

Takuya: So, he’s still alive?Bookmark here

Electra: Nope, he’s dead.Bookmark here

Takuya: Then what’s the problem with Montenegro? Ain’t he dead?Bookmark here

Electra: He was from Montenegro. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to go live in a country that spawned a god-damn vine-splitter, even if the dude’s dead.Bookmark here

Takuya: Well, I mean, there’s other places in the E.U. but I don’t know how open those places would be to immigration and stuff, even if you all are in the Union. At least Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia are on good terms with Albania, from what I’ve read. Bookmark here

Higuchi: How about the U.K.? Or America?Bookmark here

Electra: Man, do you know how it expensive it is in both of those places, right? In both we won’t even get a fair trade for the Euro, now that the Dollar’s surpassed it by so much, and the Pound’s never gonna be less.Bookmark here

Higuchi: Then where the hell else?Bookmark here

Drift: Do we just stay put and move to the outskirts? We could keep business up that way too.Bookmark here

Higuchi: That doesn’t sound too bad.Bookmark here

Takuya: You could do that, but I’m telling you, they’ll come after y’all. That’s just who these bastards are. You may be able to outrun them, but if you stay in their hunting area, you’re gonna be toast. Bookmark here

Drift: Then where man?Bookmark here

Takuya: Hmmmmm… [Pauses, then comes to a realization] Wait. You two are Japanese, aren’t you? That means you have dual citizenship…Bookmark here

Higuchi: Woah, woah, woah, woah. Are you suggesting we come to Japan after all that shit about hunting grounds that you just spouted off?Bookmark here

Electra: Yeah man, I don’t know if that’s the smartest idea.Bookmark here

Takuya: Hear me out, hear me out.Bookmark here

Drift: Okay, what? We’re listening.Bookmark here

Takuya: I said to avoid their hunting grounds, didn’t I? You guys are wanted by the Japanese, but you’re wanted IN Albania. They dispatched what, three guys? As well as backup? The higher ups don’t care about you three, if I’m being quite honest – they put the hitlist out and forget about anyone, even the red-list guys. Only guy that they even remembered was Katarov.Bookmark here

Electra: You had a hit on Katarov?Bookmark here

Takuya: Yeah, but that’s not important to talk about. And frankly, I don’t want to talk about that shit. It’s the reason why I’m calling you lot right now. A lots happened – your main guy, Wil was it? – should know a hint of it.Bookmark here

[Drift nods his head to Higuchi and Electra]Bookmark here

Higuchi: But I’m still not following, why are we doing this exactly? Why would we move to Japan if it’s right under their noses?Bookmark here

Takuya: The people who were sent out to kill y’all aren’t gonna be back in Japan for a while. Hell, do you think they’re gonna come back to Japan with a failed mission? Do you think they can tell the higher ups that they’re coming back to search Japan because the Albanian national fled to god-damn Japan? They’d be disposed of on the spot, guarantee. Bookmark here

Higuchi: So, you think we’d be safe there?Bookmark here

Takuya: I can’t guarantee shit. But I doubt anyone would think that the damn pursued fled to the pursuer’s country. Bookmark here

Electra: But what about me and Higuchi, won’t they catch onto us being Japanese nationals?Bookmark here

Takuya: I went through the files, no one aside from Wil was mentioned from Albania on the hitlist. I doubt they know about y’all – sorry to rain on your parade.Bookmark here

Electra [Quietly, to Drift]: Y’know, my little cousin Naomi lives in Japan. Her family was always close with us, we could try and go there?Bookmark here

Drift [To Takuya]: I didn’t trust you first, and I’m gonna question you again, even though you saved my life. You aren’t talking out of your ass, are ya?Bookmark here

Takuya: There’s no real reason for me to talk out of my ass. If I was lying to get some dumbasses killed on a mission out of spite, I’d be the biggest moron in the world. Seeing some people on their hitlist survive is switching sides fully. I’m not an asshole, I may have worked as special ops, but I like to think I have a sense of justice and morality – my good friend taught me that, and I wouldn’t lie on his name.Bookmark here

Drift [To Electra and Higuchi]: You buying this Japan thing?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Not exactly, but I mean shit, we can’t just bunk at this hotel forever, and we can’t really move anywhere besides the neighboring countries – and we don’t want to go to any of them. We can’t afford America, England or those places, so I mean shit.Bookmark here

Electra: I may sound naïve, but I’m more inclined to believe this guy because he actually saved our lives. Whether he wants to betray us and lie on his friend’s name is up to him. We could always go on our own, but we could’ve easily died today and none of us would’ve saw it coming. [Looks at Higuchi] I mean shit, you yourself said he was a Guardian angel.Bookmark here

Higuchi: Fair point. I’m skeptical, but I guess it is our best bet.Bookmark here

Takuya: You guys made up your mind?Bookmark here

Drift: Sounds like they’re on board with this. And I’m just saying, if you’re plotting some bullshit beyond this, just know you’ll have the blood of three innocent guys on your hands.Bookmark here

Takuya: I ain’t plotting shit but believe what you want to believe.Bookmark here

Electra [To Takuya]: When should we leave here then? Bookmark here

Takuya: They’re probably gonna up the whole night today and tomorrow, so just lay low at the hotel or wherever you’re at tonight, alright? Try to leave in two days’ time maximum, in the afternoon. They’re jetlagged and working in the night, so that should be the ideal time to catch a flight out. Wil, make sure you’re listed as a visitor on one of these two’s entry, so that they don’t flag you down or whatever on entry with immigration or all that. Try and make your entry into the country as normal as possible, because that should be when you’re most vulnerable.Bookmark here

Drift: Will do, will do. [Pauses] This should be our last conversation ever then. If we survive, we’ll forever be grateful for what you did. Bookmark here

Takuya: I’ll hope that I’ll be able to see y’all someday if our paths ever align, but if not, hopefully you have a good rest of your life wherever you end up in Japan. You guys can get tickets though, right?Bookmark here

Electra: Yeah, don’t stress that. [Pauses] By the way, can you search any more information on us right now, like where they may be at, or any live updates?Bookmark here

Takuya: If I was still employed, I probably could. But I got disconnected last night. Sorry mate.Bookmark here

Electra: No worries, no worries. [Pauses] Well, thanks again for everything mister special ops!Bookmark here

Takuya: No worries. Take care of yourselves and have a safe next couple of days.Bookmark here

[The scene cuts back to 2047, with Drift reacquainting with Takuya]Bookmark here

Shin [Looks at Drift]: You morons didn’t believe him for a second! Ha! Tak you were such a sketchy piece of shit!Bookmark here

Naomi [Giggles]: Elec, you really didn’t trust him!Bookmark here

Electra: Well, I mean naturally! It’s a Japanese guy, telling us that Japanese special forces were out to get an Albanian guy, and then is telling us to come to Japan! I mean, we didn’t have a better choice, but still! It still sounds like such a ridiculous proposition!Bookmark here

Takuya: Well yeah, now that I think about it. Couldn’t think of anything better though, haha. And I mean hey, the fact that we can all stand here and laugh about it means everything’s turned out pretty fine I’d say.Bookmark here

Shin: Ah it has, it has.Bookmark here

Takuya [Looks at Drift]: So, I take it, you’re behind a lot of this, eh?Bookmark here

Drift: Well, Shin wanted to start it, I just happened to be at Naomi’s place when he brought it up to her and Electra. Bookmark here

Takuya: So you were some shithead in Albania, weren’t ya?Bookmark here

Drift: I mean, I wouldn’t have told you that back there, but yeah, us three were, haha. Don’t know why that’d attract Japanese special ops, but we had our fair share of bullshit.Bookmark here

Takuya: Then why was your record clean! Hell, why were the other two [looks at Higuchi and Electra] not even on the records? Bookmark here

Drift: Haha, beats me. A lot of our shit didn’t have valid evidence, I presume. We were thugs, but we were pretty good at what we did, you know?Bookmark here

Higuchi [From behind]: I’d say we did a pretty good job out there.Bookmark here

Electra: Hell, that’s why we’ve started off so strong with East Block here too, am I right?Bookmark here

Higuchi: Shin’s a pretty good leader I’d say.Bookmark here

Yuki: You’re giving Shin all the credit?Bookmark here

Higuchi [Looks at Yuki and laughs]: You too, miss Yuki. We wouldn’t be here without you, that’s for sure. Bookmark here

Takuya [Looks at them all, then chuckles]: Oh man, I should’ve just let you idiots die in Albania if I knew you’d lead these dipshits into this type of life.Bookmark here

Shin: Oh, boo-hoo old fart.Bookmark here

Takuya: Oh Shin, how would you mother feel? She left you to bring in money overseas thinking you’d never follow in your brother’s footsteps and here you are. God damn it.Bookmark here

Shin: Well, I think I’m successful. If this gang wasn’t running everything, then yeah, I’d say I’d have disappointed mom, but I think I’ve done pretty good. Bookmark here

Takuya [Shakes his head]: Whatever man.Bookmark here

Drift [Looks at Takuya]: Wait, wait, wait. I’m just putting two and two together… are you the friend of Ichigo that Shin’s told us so much about?Bookmark here

Takuya: Yeah. He had died a couple days before I called you lot. I quit on the shitheads I worked with because they weren’t willing to respect his death and give money to his family like any normal human beings would do. That’s why Shin’s mom had to go overseas, and why the special ops group disintegrated after Ichigo died and I decided to fuck off.Bookmark here

Electra: Man, that’s wild.Bookmark here

Naomi: Who would’ve that there’d be this much overlap in all of our lives?Bookmark here

Takuya [Looks at Naomi, then pats her on the head]: Who would’ve thought your cousin was a gang leader in Albania, eh Naomi?Bookmark here

Naomi: Naomi didn’t know all that either until now! It’s not my fault!Bookmark here

Takuya [Chuckles]: I know, I know, haha.Bookmark here

[The group laughs heartily together, before Takuya looks at Shin]Bookmark here

Takuya: So, Shin, what’s your real reason to be calling me out here? You got something up your sleeve you damn devil?Bookmark here

Yuki: Sadist, not devil!Bookmark here

Takuya: Same difference, haha.Bookmark here

Shin [Looks at Takuya]: Old geezer, I know you’re a god damn old fart, but I think you’re pretty good at what you do. You could be of use to us, don’t ya think?Bookmark here

Takuya [Laughs]: What’s this? The younger brother of my best friend – who was my junior – is asking me to work under him? [Chuckles] I never thought I’d never see the day man, but I guess life comes full cycle.Bookmark here

Yuki [Looks at him seriously]: It’s probably better than just working odd jobs and searching out all these online forums, isn’t it?Bookmark here

Takuya [Laughs]: Yeah, you can tell me that much. There’s not much to debate here, I’m in for this shit Shin. Let’s do this. You want me as an informant, don’t ya?Bookmark here

Shin: Yeah, that’s about all that you’d be good for anyway, right?Bookmark here

Takuya: I guess so, haha.Bookmark here

Shin [As the group laughs away, he leans towards Takuya]: We’re killing Katarov, alright?Bookmark here

Takuya: Hell yeah man. I’ll do all that I can, you damn weasel. Kill that bastard. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.