The Ginger Death
A week after the failed attempt to kill Yasuo, Haji sits on a table in the living room in front of the TV pretending to be interested in a TV show about antiques as he thinks "Augh, I know Kuromotoma warned me that I need to lay low after the Cops found my Fur at that Restaurant but I'd rather be watching that series about a Zombie Cop than this..."
Suddenly on the screen appears a broom said to have belonged to the Witch of the Black Forest and as Haji looks at it he can't help but sneer as he thinks "That thing is obviously a fake, Kuromotoma told me her Great, Great Grandmother burned that broom to ash along with the family home when the Cross Cultists came looking for them."
While Haji casually watches the TV he completely ignores Ichiro sitting in a nearby building watching him through a telescope trying to see what he does as he thinks "This may be on my own time but if I'm right then this cat is actually behind the Judges death and the Attempt on my Brother."
"I don't know what that cat's up to but why is he watching TV!?" Ichiro thinks confused by the way Haji just sits on the table watching the TV like there's nothing else going on in the world as Ichiro continues "Yasuo said that he caught that cat Watching that Zombie series but I didn't believe any more than him that a cat would seriously watch TV let alone a show about Zombies, just what is this cat?"
"After hearing about him watching a Zombie show from my brother, seeing him watch this show just seems unnatural..." Ichiro thinks as he looks at the show on the TV and sees an antique WWII Pistol with Captions that say it once belonged to Field Marshal Rommel's Radio Operator to which Ichiro thinks "Blatant Fraud, there's no way such an item would ever show up on such a sketchy show, and that just proves how contrived this whole thing has to be, but why put on this show for me?"
As Ichiro turns the telescope back to Haji he sees him get up and start walking toward the door as he thinks "Where is he going?"
Ichiro watches Haji walk over to a nearby plate with treats on it before he begins eating them as Ichiro watches thinking "Is he seriously just acting like some kind of house wife reborn as a cat just to fool me?"
"Watch all you want Off Duty Cop." Haji thinks as he enjoys the taste of his treats and turns his eye back in Ichiro's direction as he continues "Thanks to Kuromotoma I know you're there and what you're up to, be as much of an off duty voyeur as you want, you'll get no evidence against me this time."
Kuromoto walks up behind Ichiro with a displeased look and says "Are you seriously going to spend the next three days here watching a cat with your saved Paid Time Off?"
"I told the Inspector I wouldn't let him tell me not to follow the evidence wherever it leads but he's still my superior so I need to use a loop hole." Ichiro replies as he watches Haji stop eating and take a few sips of water before returning to watching TV before continuing "It's a gamble as I only have another five days of Paid Time Off left from what I had saved up, he hasn't slipped up the last nine days, but he'll slip up eventually they always do."
Kuromoto sighs at the sheer tenacity Ichiro is displaying realising there's no changing his mind as she says "Fine but I will only humour you as long as our PTO holds out, the moment it runs out I head back to work."
"Fine, I never told you to join me for this stake out." Ichiro replies calmly as he keeps watching Haji like an obsessed stalker.
"You know as well as I do that a stake out requires two people in order to take shifts or it would never work." Kuromoto says calmly as she walks toward a nearby seat and sits down and picks up a chocolate covered stick off of a plate and raises it to her lips but before taking a bite says "Besides, you're lucky to even have me here taking your investigation of a cat with any degree of seriousness."
"Just what are you getting at?" Ichiro asks pointedly, not taking his eye off of Haji.
"We've been here nine days and have followed that cat wherever he goes yet he's not done a thing unusual for a cat." Kuromoto replies waving the partly chocolate on a stick before finishing it and saying "Chasing and Eating Mice, catching and eating birds and even stealing a small fish from the fish monger, the only criminal act under human law would be stealing the fish."
"I'll admit that the whole watching TV thing is a bit on the strange side but not exactly suspicious." Kuromoto says as she picks up another chocolate coated stick and takes a bite out of it before saying "You do realise that you can search online for if cats watch TV or not and it says clearly that some cats do watch such things but generally shows about animals, so your brothers cat could just be a weirdo even by cat standards."
"Weirdo cat or very good actor, it's too soon to say for sure." Ichiro replies with displeasure as he watches Haji start giving himself a tongue bath before saying "This just seems to contrived to be natural behaviour, it's like he's trying to establish an alibi for something."
Just as Ichiro says that Kuromoto's phone rings which she quickly answers before saying "Officer Kuromoto here, yes, understood, I'll pass the message along right now and tell him he needs to come in."
"Who was that?" Ichiro asks curiously as he watches Haji clean behind his ears casually like no one's watching.
"I just got word from the Inspector, our time off has been cancelled, somehow the Prosecutor from the serial killer wrapped his car around a telephone pole and a snake was found in the car." Kuromoto replies calmly yet seriously before standing up and grabbing her jacket and saying "We're expected to arrive at the station in an hour so the stake out is over."
"I suspect we're being surveilled by the Serial Killer or his accomplices." Ichiro whispers to Kuromoto with a cautious tone in his voice before saying "I don't know for sure but I suspected they had ears on us when we were in the vacant apartment."
"You really are convinced this cat has some connection to the serial killer aren't you..." Kuromoto replies with a look like she's seriously starting to question his sanity as she thinks "Wow, his cop instincts are sharper than I thought, he's Really got you in his cross hairs Haji and I'm not sure I can keep him off you for long."
After they exit the building Ichiro looks up at a nearby building and sights a helicopter drone with a camera parked nearby watching them before saying "Thought so, that thing is watching us!"
"You really think that thing belongs to the serial killer's accomplice and not the local peeping tom?" Kuromoto asks with a curious tone seriously wondering if he'll believe her before saying "I'll just call it in and report a suspicious drone, if it's really hear for us then it'll clear out of the area but if not they'll find the owner."
As Kuromoto calmly walks to their car ignoring the drone Ichiro pretends to not know it’s there but mentally glaring at it in his mind while getting into the car as the drone just sits there ignoring them.
As Ichiro starts the car Kuromoto pulls out her phone and reports the drone to police dispatch while thinking “I hope Ichiro missed my little signal.”
Meanwhile Yukio re-watch's the video from the drone thinking “She said ‘here’ outloud but her lips said ‘hear’, was she sending me a secret signal so that cop wouldn’t figure out she was alerting me to her plan?”
Yukio casually sits back in his seat and sips some tea before thinking “Even if she hadn’t done that I was planning to have the drone trace back to someone local anyway.”
“Even if they figure out that it’s not owned by a local, between the doctored data and the hacking of local wifi they’ll sooner trace it back to the MSS than me.” He thinks sitting comfortably in his chair at one of his safe houses around the city far from the drone he’s controlling via an app and WiFi.
As soon as the drone is somewhere safe Yukio opens up an app on his phone before saying “You hear me Haji?”
“I do, is the voyeur cop gone?” Haji’s minds voice replies via the computer speakers as an image of Haji appears on the apps screen along with an online indicator.
“Yep, the ‘dumn Censored’ as you’d call him has left his little hiding spot.” Yukio replies before looking at the app icon on his computer with a name that reads “Animal Communication” before Yukio says “This app is probably some of my best work but I’d have never managed it without Kuromotoma’s help.”
“Right, it’s sure convenient to be able to finally talk to you properly again.” Haji replies via the app with a note of relief and displeasure at having been unable to speak for so long before saying “Kuromotoma’s power is certainly helpful even in this modern era if you help her figure out a work around for her limitations.”
“Your right, her ‘Magic’ is something I still don’t fully understand the science behind but I know enough to make this work.” Yukio casually replies as he leans back slightly and takes a sip of tea before saying “I doubt I’ll ever fully understand it but this human will influencing a freaky energy and causing all kinds of phenomena to happen in response actually does make some sense from a physics standpoint.”
“Augh, stop with the science and magic talk already, you know that stuff is just voodoo to me!” Haji replies in an annoyed tone before saying “More importantly is Rocks for Brains on task as planned?”
“Sure we can stop talking about the guts of that fun little gadget we installed in your new chip if you want.” Yukio replies cheerfully as he takes a sip of tea before pulling up a message on his computer and hitting the share button and choosing the Animal Communication App as the means to share it before saying “He actually got it done without issue, the cold snake was a perfect touch since it’s a bit chilly and that fool turned on his cars heater.”
“Hahaha! I told him he’d meet his end due to one of his own venomous kind!” Haji replies clearly pleased by the news of the Prosecutor who saw to it he was convicted, wrecking his car due to the sudden appearance of a snake before saying “Fun fact that now applies to me in this scenario, cat’s eat snakes like him!”
“You really hated that guy.” Yukio replies with a look like he sympathises with Haji but also has something sneaky on his mind before replying “We both know you wanted to kill that guy even before your trial because you have a big crush on Kuromotoma and he prosecuted her mother at her witch trial.”
Suddenly a violent hiss blasts through the speakers before Haji shouts “I TOLD YOU NEVER TO SPEAK OF THAT OR I’D KILL YOU!!!”
Yukio stares blankly at the screen for a moment before remembering he shouldn’t have brought that up even as a joke before saying “Sorry, I forgot you’re sensitive about that subject.”
“As fun as chatting with you freely again is what’s the plan to deal with this pain in the Censored Voyeur Cop?” Haji asks with a serious tone as he changes the subject to something more important.
“Ah, not a fan of being watched by a Cop even if you are just doing regular cat behaviours for show.” Yukio replies as his expression shifts from one of someone enjoying some casual fun to deadly serious before he continues “The plan to deal with him is to convince him you’re just an ordinary cat so he’ll decide to investigate someone else.”
“I plan to frame one of these fools for the murders of most of the other fools on this list.” Yukio pulls up a list of people and their positions in the group that Kuromotoma wants dead as well as their positions in their day/cover jobs and shares it with Haji and says “I’ll also have it seem like they planned to frame another person on the list for it and arrange it so your problem cop gets the collar with Kuromotoma aiding him.”
“You’re as thorough and devious as ever Yukio, I only wish your sister had your level of brains and compatible values with yours.” Haji replies with an impressed yet regretful tone before he says “If your sister had been the type to work with you rather than get in your way then I might have gotten to keep her.”
“She was a black hearted, entitled, irredeemable foolish child in a woman's body beyond saving without a brain transplant.” Yukio replies with a displeased look as he remembers his Sisters nature and why he included her in the list of people he wanted Haji to kill before saying “I may be black hearted and the type to starve a country so I can overthrow its rulers but I always act with rationality never whimsy.”
“I know, you said the same thing when I asked if it would be ok if I kept her alive.” Haji says remembering how Yukio said basically the same thing years before when he had Haji finish off his family by killing his half sister before saying “Even if she was rotten she had a body to kill for and you know as well as I do why I wanted to keep her.”
“Though it would have likely turned sour after a month or two and she’d have died anyway.” Haji laments before switching away from that and saying “Getting back to current business, if I remember right then several of our current targets were on the Jury at Kuromotoma’s Mothers Witch Trial and you even included the defence attorney.”
“You noticed!” Yukio replies as he looks over the list and continues “I put them in there because it gets the suspicion off us and suggests countless other suspects, I also may be a sociopath but I know how to show appreciation and know the value of the act even if it is just pragmatic.”
“CENSORED!!” Haji suddenly shouts equal parts angry and freaked out before saying “You Censored Censored!! I’ll Censored kill you this Censored time!!”
Yukio looks at the monitor confused as he replies “Either I’ve upset you again or there’s something I’m missing here.”
“Shut up Yukio!” Haji replies in an annoyed tone before saying “I’ve got more pressing issues than your misunderstandings!!”
Yukio looks at the computer screen with deadly seriousness as he brings up a devilry capable drone control app and activates one near Haji as he says “I’ve got a drone headed your way, give me the short version.”
“The mutt I told you I dropped a flower pot on has tracked me down and cornered me!” Haji replies in a clearly agitated tone with a slight feline beneath his words before saying “That Censored has me stuck on some AC unit!”
“Got it, stay safe just a little bit and I’ll get him!” Yukio replies with a look of anger and blood lust as he pilots the drone while looking through the camera to see where he’s going.
“I trust you but this AC unit is rusty and even with these severely long sighted eyes of mine I can tell the anchor screws aren’t fit for purpose!” Haji replies clearly concerned as to how long the AC Unit will hold even under his relatively light weight as he says “This thing is very creaky and I can smell fresh concrete dust, it will probably give if I move around or the mutt grabs the unsecured cable!”
“Just who owns that AC unit you’re sitting on!?” Yukio replies with an extremely displeased note in his voice before saying “After this, what say you we put the person who is responsible for that disaster of an AC unit on our list!?”
“Put the Censored at the top!!” Haji replies with a seriously angry tone just as he comes into view of the drone’s Camera revealing just how precarious his situation actually is.
Yukio’s hand squeezes at his trackballs frame hard enough for Haji to hear it over the Microphone as he sees Haji cornered atop a rusty AC Unit barely holding on to the wall as he thinks “This Mutt is gonna pay for trying to kill my friend for a second time…”
Suddenly as Yukio pushes a button on the Drones control app it deploys something that looks a lot like a gun before lining Akira’s head up in the crosshairs of the drone with the look of a man savouring the moments before a murder.
“You may want to stay very still, Haji!” Yukio states as the Drone gets closer to the ground level as Haji lowers his stance and hugs the AC Unit.
Once the drone is about a distance that could be argued as drop-off height Yukio left clicks like he was playing a First Person Shooter and suddenly the drone fires a small paintball round which hits Akira just above right between his eyes and sprays a strong smelling attacker marking paint over his face.
Akira writhes from the shock and displeasure of the paintball and the smell of the paint before pulling himself together and deciding to go after what just attacked him and charges right toward it, his teeth at the ready to bite.
The drone flies up and away from him before taking aim at him and hitting him three more times with Paintballs once in the back of the neck just above his shoulders, once on the left hip just before his left hind leg and one time on the right side of the base of his tail dying him in several places.
Realising he’s helpless before the drone, Akira runs off not wanting to be further struck with paintballs and having to put up with a further stink of the paint.
As soon as Akira flees Yukio has the drone drop off a small package in the alley in a spot where it would be hard to spot before flying away.
“You can get down safely now Haji.” Yukio states as he flies the drone away from the scene.
Just before the AC Unit finally falls off the wall and falls to the ground below Haji jumps off of the AC Unit landing safely before anything bad can happen.
“I swear, the censored who let that death trap get like that will pay along with that censored mutt!!” Haji replies to Yukio as he walks back to his house before remembering seeing the drone drop the package and curiously asks Yukio “Call it feline Curiosity but I saw your drone drop something, was that deliberate and what was it?”
“Ahahaha, that’s simple Haji!” Yukio cheerfully replies clearly having calmed down from his earlier rage at how his friend was threatened before saying “I had that drone fitted with that package as part of one of my hobbies, you know, that GPS Coordinate Treasure Hunting Game Hobby of mine.”
“You rich boys and your money pit hobbies.” Haji replies with a slightly joking tone in his voice before saying “I take it that also covers up this incident well enough no one will question the drone and will allow for dealing with Akira?”
“Yep, I’ve used it to cover that too, he won’t be a problem anymore.” Yukio replies cheerfully as he thinks “I have no clue what kind of person names their dog something so bland but it doesn’t matter anymore.”
“I’ll head back home, my favourite show starts soon.” Haji states calmly with a note of anticipation before Yukio replies “Have fun, I hear this week's episode will be extra tense and bloody.”
Meanwhile at the Police Station after taking care of his responsibilities regarding the latest victim Ichiro looks at his computer awaiting word from the tech department regarding the drone he reported but suddenly hears Kuromoto say “Watched Pots don’t boil, no need to sulk while waiting for emails.”
“I don’t know which is worse at this point, spending my time off on that stake out or being here at work when I could be in Okinawa.” Kuromoto gripes at Ichiro while she works at her computer.
“I’m not sulking, I just don’t like the timing of this, it’s almost like it was arranged to draw us away.” Ichiro answers as he pulls up a picture of the wrecked car of the latest victim along with a picture of the snake and says “If I had to guess, I’d say they placed the snake in the car while it was cold enough to not resist then let the cars foot heater awaken it.”
“Certainly a clever way to do it.” Kuromoto answers as she pulls up an internet tab with the details on the exact species of snake used before saying “If they managed to put it somewhere out of sight that it could escape from and be reached by the heat it would be like it just appeared out of nowhere, if that happened while I was driving I could see myself panicking.”
“Well, young Aodaisho would look a lot like a Mamushi, most people would probably not know the difference.” Ichiro replies as he brings up a picture of a Japanese Mamushi Snake and compares it to the Japanese Aodaisho Snake (Rat Snake) before saying “Unless you know your snakes just about anyone would freak out with an Aodaisho slithering around their feet.”
“Worst of all, a cat carrying a live or dead snake wouldn’t be that unordinary since they eat snakes.” Kuromoto replies as she stands up and picks up a mug on her desk and looks at Ichiro before saying “I’m gonna get myself some more tea, you want anything?”
“I’ll take a coffee if there’s a fresh pot, otherwise I’ll just have some tea as well.” Ichiro replies as he hands her his mug from his desk.
After taking the Mug from Ichiro, Kuromoto walks away in the direction of the kitchen without saying anything else.
“Cat’s actually eat snakes, who would have thought.” Ichiro thinks while waiting for Kuromoto to return with their drinks suddenly he notices a marker on his email system indicating that there is an unread message.
As he clicks on the icon for his emails Ichiro thinks “I guess Kuromoto was right about spending all day watching for an email.”
After opening his Email Client, Ichiro notices that the new email is from the Tech Department and includes the Subject Heading “Unidentified Drone Report” leading him to open it as he thinks “If this pans out it might be a lead on the culprit of these murders, be they the original serial killer or a copy cat.”
While looking over the report Ichiro notices a section that reads “The drone is a commercial model of unknown origin, possibly connected to sightings of a drone coming to the defence of a cat” before suddenly Hanabara says “Some drone defended some cat from some mutt, since when do we investigate animal abuse?”
“We don’t, I reported a suspicious drone and the drone attack apparently happened in the same area today.” Ichiro replies with a clear note of disdain and contempt for Hanabara who he sees as a human shaped cancer before saying “I caught sight of a camera equipped drone while investigating something on my own time, I believed it may belong to a peeping tom but I may have stumbled on something more complex.”
“Well, whatever, I’m not getting paid to investigate people who use drones to shoot paint at dogs.” Hanabara states as he walks away seemingly not caring about the situation with the drone.
No sooner than Hanabara turns around and begins walking, he collides with Kuromoto and spills roasted green tea over himself and shouts “HOT!!!”
“Watch where you’re going you stupid woman!!” Hanabara shouts as he glares at Kuromoto, clearly enraged by the accident.
“You’re the one who turned around and walked right into me you myopic oaf!!” Kuromoto shouts back, also covered in Roasted Green Tea before continuing “You turned around and started walking without looking and yet you blame me for your blunder!!?”
“What are you gonna do about my dry cleaning bill and me and Tanisuzu’s Tea!!?” Kuromoto shouts as she puts down the now empty mugs and continues “This was the last of my favourite brand of tea, it’s expensive, I can only buy one pack a month and this was the last of it, what are you going to do about that!!?”
“You expect me to pay you for your blunder!!?” Hanabara shouts before suddenly Inspector Suzuhana’s voice behind him states “Pay the woman for her dry cleaning and tea or suffer the consequences.”
“But inspector…!” Hanabara tries to reply but before he can say anything more the Inspector glares at him and sternly states “Either pay her or she can bring me the receipts and I’ll have the higher ups deducted it from your pay.”
Hanabara doesn’t argue the point any further and just takes out his wallet and looks at Kuromoto and asks “How much…?”
Kuromoto looks at him calmly and states an amount calmly before saying “Inspector, permission to quickly return home and change clothes.”
“Granted, but just this once.” The inspector replies calmly before saying “Be back within one hour.”
As Hanabara walks away Kuromoto turns off her computer while using her left eye to stealthily glance at Ichiro’s computer and thinks “Yukio you moron, you’ve potentially outed yourself and Shimawa!”
Suzuhana stealthily looks over Ichiro’s shoulder and notices the email and thinks “I need to have someone from the organisation get a copy of that email.”
As Inspector Suzuhara walks away he thinks “This drone user may be a connection to the Witch who works with that serial killer, hopefully we get to him first.”
To Be Continued