Chapter 14:



“Were we in a park? Was it a sunny day?”

“Here I go!” the boy announced.

“Okay! I’ll be waiting for you at that swing, Masuyo!”

“Okay!” the boy exclaimed and then slid down the slide, laughing. He then ran to the swing where his “big brother” was waiting.

“In a playground? Was the weather just fine?”

“Just seat here.” the man indicated one of the seats of the swing, “I’ll push you.”

“Yes!” the boy sat on the indicated spot and held on the chains.

“Here… we… go!” the young man pushed the boy once… twice… he kept pushing him and the boy kept smiling… and then laughing… until he wasn’t anymore.

“Huh?” the boy looked behind, wondering why the swing stopped. “Big bro?!” he called, “Where are you?!” the boy searched with his eyes, but the man was nowhere to be seen.

“Look! It’s our treasure!” the shadow of a woman was holding a baby, she handed it to the man previously with Masuyo.

“That’s right!” he lifted the baby and smiled.

“Yes, and it was cold.”

Masuyo observed as his brother put the baby on top of the slide and it transformed itself into a little kid, covered by shadow.

“Here I go!” it announced with an ambiguous voice.

“Okay! I’ll be waiting for you!” the man shouted and smiled, making Masuyo turn his attention from the kid to him.

“Huh?” when Masuyo looked to the slide again the kid wasn’t there.

“Yaaaay!” the ambiguous voice came from beside Masuyo, from the swing beside his.

Masuyo looked to his side and saw the kid on the swing, being pushed by the young man, who noticed Masuyo and said: “Wow, look at what we have here!” he gave the shadow's seat a strong push and then went behind Masuyo’s swing, pushing it with all his might, not to amuse Masuyo, but to throw him away from it.

“Wait, but I’ve never seen this before.”

“Aaaah!” Masuyo screamed as he flew through the air. He screamed until he fell prone on something soft, a bed.

“Are you sure you aren’t going with us?” it was a gentle, female voice.

“That’s more like it.”

“I’m not feeling very well, mom…” Masuyo hid his face while saying that.

“But Masuyo, they have a child now, don’t you want to see it?” Masuyo’s mother stroked his hair, “It’s your new cousin!”

“I’m not feeling very well, mom.” the boy repeated.

“Are you sure?”


“Yes mom, everything is fine here…” it was a bland female voice.

“Huh?” Masuyo blinked once, but he only saw the blur of someone holding a phone.

“Oh, so he likes that?”

“What is this? Someone is stroking my hair?” “Mom…?” he murmured.

“Thank you, mom… bye.”

“Mom?” Masuyo blinked again, the blur was turning into a female figure.

“I’m not Mrs. Hirano, Masuyo.” Sute’s emotionless eyes looked at him from above.

“What…?” Masuyo looked around him, he was lying down in what was apparently Adda’s car.

“You fell asleep in the car on our way back to the A.M.A.. I didn’t want to wake you up so I asked Adda to let us stay here.” Sute explained.

“Who is stroking my hair…?”

“It’s me of course. Who else do you see here?”

“Hmm...?” Masuyo glanced at the girl, “Why are her eyes above me? How am I lying down?” he blinked again until he realized that he was using the girl’s lap as a pillow: “Oh, I’m sorry, Sute.” he quickly got up, sitting on the car’s seat and rubbing his eyes.

“Was it bad? Me, stroking your hair I mean.”

“Not really.” Masuyo confessed.

“So, it’s fine. Let’s go inside now.” she started to release her seat belt.


“We can’t stay in Adda’s car forever. Let’s go inside.” the girl repeated and opened her door.

“Oh, okay.” Masuyo did the same. He got out of the car and looked at where they were parked: in front of their A.M.A. unity, and it was already evening.

“Since it’s late we’ll leave the dive for tomorrow. Do you want to check on your uncle’s files now?” Sute asked beside him.

“I guess so.” Masuyo kept rubbing his eyes, he was still groggy.

“Hmm… maybe you should consider checking information about the ID chips.” she suggested, “Wasn’t you concerned if it could be removed without killing the person using it?”

“Yeah… but that Masanori guy said that it is impossible…” “Well, it wouldn’t hurt to check.” “Thanks anyway, Sute.”

“Okay then.” Sute bowed, “See you later.” and then headed to the A.M.A. property. She was apparently going to their restaurant.

After he lost sight of the girl, Masuyo walked towards the main building of the place, and there, he went to the file room, starting to search for useful information in Kisho’s files once again.

“Yeah… as always, nothing really useful.” Masuyo sighed while scrolling down his uncle’s archive, “Hmm, maybe I should check on what Sute said…”

The boy got up from the couch and went to a screen near him, where he could type what files he wanted to see. Masuyo looked at the display for a moment and then typed ID CHIP on it.

“Do you want to see all data on ‘ID CHIP’?” a robotic voice asked.

Masuyo pressed the “yes” button and then detached a Utablet beside the display from the wall, replacing it with the one he was using to see Kisho Nakai's files.

“Okay.” the boy said while returning to the couch and sitting on it, “What do we have here?” he started to scroll down the information the Utablet had regarding the ID chips.

Most of the information was regarding when it was invented, when it was put into use, its functionality, its improvements to everyday life, reports about its use, the feedback of the people regarding it...

“Aaah!” Masuyo sighed, it looked like nothing would help him until two things caught his eyes. The first was the confirmation of the device only being able to be removed if destroyed, according to A.M.A.s lead researchers, taking the user with it. And the second: “Although previously disclosed as a creation achieved by internal research within the government, the ID chips were in fact made with a partnership between A.M.A. and the FuturingTech laboratories, the former retaining most of the information regarding the ID chips creation and capabilities.” “Hmm… so this should mean that, if removing it is possible, only FuturingTech knows how to do it.” Masuyo started to ponder.

“BE BE.” the boy’s phone vibrated, making him quickly put his hands on his pockets and pick it to see a message from Sute:

“It’s late and we’ll have to dive tomorrow morning. Why don’t you come back to your apartment for today?” Masuyo read the message. “Looks like she’s tired of picking me up here, so she’s texting me instead?” the boy looked at the hour and realized that it was late indeed: “Yeah… today wasn’t completely worthless anyway, although I should have just eaten before coming here.” he brooded while rubbing his stomach.

Masuyo left the file room and headed to the A.M.A. restaurant for a quick snack, but something odd happened:

“Oh! I’m sorry Masuyo-kun!” one of the chefs from the kitchen talked to him when he asked for a pizza, “I was told you should go to your apartment now.”

“Great, now I’ll have to sleep with an empty stomach.” Masuyo thanked the chef and started to make his way to the third floor with a growling stomach.

The downcast Masuyo went up the stairs, he stayed with his head down until a few meters from his door, when a voice caught his attention: “You must be hungry now. Can you open the door for me?”

“Huh?” Masuyo stopped staring at the ground and looked at the girl in front of him. Without her usual hood, Sute had an apron and was holding something.

“It's for you to eat.” she indicated the bowl in her hands.

“Oh, okay.” the boy used his card to unlock the door for her.

“Thanks.” she stepped into the apartment, “I’m sorry for the intrusion.” and then went to the kitchen where she started to put their dinner: “D-Do you mind if I eat with you, Masuyo?” she stopped for a moment and asked.

“I don’t mind, but I thought that you’d have eaten by now.” he scratched his head, “Wait, were you waiting for me, to eat? You don’t have to do that.”

“N-No!” Sute exclaimed, “It’s just that it took some time to get the ingredients and cook…”

“Hmm... okay.”

“But you’re supposed to enjoy this.” she said while organizing the table.

“Huh?” Masuyo tilted his head and approached the meal. He was finally seeing it clearly: a Spring Chirashizushi, “How…?”

“Wait just a moment. I’ll get the beverage.” the girl sprinted out of the room, while Masuyo remained incredulous.

“Is it hot chocolate again?” Masuyo asked when the girl came back holding a thermos flask.

“Yes.” the girl nodded, “Do you think it’s weird?”

“Not at all!” Masuyo smiled, “Thanks for the food!”

“Did… you find anything?” Sute asked after a few minutes, “When you went to the files, I mean.”

"Well, she is the one that told me to check the ID chips... and she’s even feeding me, so I should at least answer her question honestly.” “Nothing related to Kisho, but your tip was interesting. Did you know that the ID chips were actually made by A.M.A. and FuturingTech?”

“No… I only knew about A.M.A.’s involvement. They are the research team within the government.” she sipped some of her hot chocolate.

“Well, they should know the way to remove a chip without killing who's using it.” Masuyo concluded.

“I see… so with this, we could get our hopes up.” Sute stared at Masuyo, “That he’s alive.” her face seemed to become a bit more cheerful.

“Why does she seem happier? Hmm...” Masuyo wondered for a moment. “Oh” “Yes… I almost forgot you were recruited by him as well.” Masuyo remarked, “Did you… know him well?”

“Maybe by going to that FuturingTech building you could find something about it.” Sute seemed to ignore him, “If you went to the laboratory part.”

“Huh? You mean that I should visit the place by myself?”


“What about talking to one of our superiors? Hisoka?”

“You could try it, but I don’t know if he can help… I don’t think he’s involved with that part of things.”

“Okay… what about Masanori?”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.” Sute sipped some more hot chocolate, “I don’t know if Masanori-san is that reliable…”

“Yeah, it didn’t look like he would tell me if he knew something...” “Hmm… you’re probably right…”

“That’s it.” Sute finished her drink and stood up, “I’ll just clean everything and go back to my apartment.”

“You can leave it all here if you want. I don’t mind.”

“Will you clean if I leave it here?”

“Probably not.”

“So I’ll do it.” she said and then started putting together what they used for dinner.

Masuyo looked at the girl gather everything, but his mind was more concerned about what he should do about those ID chips: “Maybe I should talk to Hisoka… if he doesn’t know I guess that I’ll have to go there…” he then stood up and sent a message to Hisoka, talking about what he had found at the file room and asking if he had more details on it. “Well, he’s probably sleeping now, so he should reply in the morning…”

“Good night, Masuyo.” Sute bowed to him before the door and then started to open it.

“Huh?” Masuyo took his eyes off of the screen and looked at Sute: “Wait just a moment.”

“What?” she turned to Masuyo.

“It’s just that I asked you something before, and you didn’t answer.”

“What is it? I was probably just spacing out at the time…”

“It was about Kisho Nakai, did you know him?”

“Oh, that?” Sute stared at the floor, “I didn’t know him very well. It was by chance that he recruited me…” she then looked at Masuyo’s eyes: “But as far as I know your uncle was an incredible person. He didn’t deserve to die, or disappear.”

“Yes… he was…” Masuyo gave a faint smile after yawning, “That was it. I’m sorry for stalling you here. Good night, Sute.”

“Good night, Masuyo.” the girl left the room.

Real Aire
Kerry Kamiya
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