One Thousand Mornings: Chapter 2: Rebirth
An interview played in the background as footsteps could be heard pacing to and fro. “The government is withholding secrets from us, dangerous secrets that could be at the center of these recent attacks on our nation,” a voice could be heard claiming. “They’re afraid to tell the truth …”
The television set clipped off as the few remaining officers navigated their way towards a conference room. Filing in one by one, they all directed themselves to their seats in the overstuffed space. At the front of the room, the Chief was flanked by two other men to his left, and another man and woman to his right. All dressed in a white collared shirt overlaid with a black suit jacket; save for one woman who wore a black suit, and a jacket as staunch white as snow. Notably missing from the room were both detectives, Kawamura and Lee.
Small chatter rattled amongst the group while the Chief stood still. As the noise began to dissipate, the room lights slowly dimmed, and a beam of light shot itself from up above, plastering a white light onto the wall just behind the Chief and the other four individuals. Their shadow casted against the wall, significantly expanding their presence within the room. All the officers were now silent and focused straight ahead. The four individuals then took a seat behind a long table that stretched across the width of the front of the room, leaving the Chief the only one left standing. As an image projected onto the wall, the Chief began to speak.
· At around 5:30pm, Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrived on the scene at Kawasaki Station following reports of a woman who committed suicide by leaping in front of an oncoming train. She died instantly. The victim’s name was Ms. Naomi Honshou.
· Five minutes after Ms. Honshou had committed suicide, Detective Lee and Interpol Agent Saori discovered Reiko Honshou’s; the daughter and only child of Ms. Naomi Honshou, remains packed carefully in a box left sitting in the living room of their home. The body was cut in to 24 pieces, with its muscle carefully sliced away. The body was then drained of all its blood, giving the assumption that the procedure was done by a highly skilled medical professional. The only trace of evidence to the culprit was a note taped to the bottom of the box which read, “Courtesy of The Organization”.
· By 6pm, Murano Akazawa appeared in front of Reiko Honshou’s home, kneeling in the middle of the road with her hands held behind her head. According to her statement, she was the person responsible for transporting Reiko’s body. She is currently being held for interrogation.
· Prior to this, at approximately 5:20pm, Tokyo Police Headquarters was attacked by what is currently being investigated as a possible terrorist attack. 6 officers have suffered injuries following what is believed to be the use of some form of electronic weapon. Two of which are in critical condition. The effects of the device are consistent with that of Neuro-Weapons.
“There is currently no clear connection between the incident involving the Honshou family, and the attack on the Police force as of yet,” The Police Chief firmly stated to a room filled with distressed officers, detectives, and other members of the force. “But hear my words clearly, for we will pry through tooth and nail, walk through lightening and fire, and trek through a typhoon if we have to in order to catch these bastards! Not a single officer in this room will sleep until we have answers. Do I make myself clear?”
“Hai!” The room of officers forcibly chanted in unison.
“Then what are you all waiting for?” the Chief followed. “You have your orders, get going!”
As the room scrambled on the one woman donned in her white coat stood up and faced the chief. Gathering his documents, he briefly glanced up at her. “I’ll give him one last chance,” he stated before exiting the room. Leaving the woman behind as her expression grew impatient.
Pacing his steps as he navigated through the inner maze of the Police Precinct, Kawamura narrowed his focus down to one thing… an answer.
“Detective!” the Chief called out from behind. As Kawamura stopped walking, he could hear the Chief’s footsteps pressing closer and closer. Kawamura turned his head ever so slightly only to catch a glimpse of the Chief standing over his shoulders.
“People are calling for me to take you off this case.
“Too many lives lost on your watch. Not to mention you were gone for two years.”
The Chief crept himself up beside Kawamura while looking straight ahead. “Tell me why I should trust that you won’t just walk off like you did before?”
Kawamura pressed his thumb against his wedding ring as he rolled his eyes towards the Chief. Although he was looking in his direction, he saw straight past him, focused more on his own thoughts. The two stood there for a moment without a single word. “Maybe you should just stay quiet; better that then you ticking me off,” the chief remarked as he steadily began walking forward ahead of the detective. However, Kawamura wasn’t so willing to relinquish the last word.
“If it’s someone that can take a case and go through all the checkmarks then fine, find whoever you want. But if you want this case solved, then I’m the only person you’ve got.” Kawamura stood facing the Chief’s back with his expression rigid. The Chief nearly slowed for a second before saying, “You’re getting ahead of yourself, detective. We’re no longer just answering a missing person report anymore. You do understand that don’t you?” The Chief then continued at his original pace while adding, “Don’t let me regret letting you into this room.”
Kawamura twisted his mouth slightly as he watched the Chief walk off ahead of him, only to then follow suit.
He stepped into a dark room, save for the light passing through the two-way mirror that stretched across the entirety of the wall to his left. Already present in the room were Detective Lee and Agent Saori. They all peered through the glass into the adjacent room, where Murano Akazawa sat; hands chained to a metal table in confinement. The time was now 7pm.
“How did we miss this?” asked an unenthusiastic Lee. “We didn’t,” responded Kawamura, “there weren’t any leads.” Saori looked upon the two men as they swept up the loose grains of their scattered thoughts. “So, instead you followed behind Chiasa with a circus crowd?” she ironically queried. Silent, Kawamura simply glanced upon her with indifference. Standing to the side, the Chief held his arms crossed and his posture stiff as a board. A perturbed feeling of quietness tiptoed its way into the atmosphere. Reiko’s death and the recent attack on the precinct became a pool of quicksand, rapidly sinking the investigation into unimaginable depths. They were barely holding their chins above the surface at this point. With a false sense of conviction, Kawamura stated, “Let’s get this started,” before exiting the room. Lee sat quietly and watched him from a distance.
Sitting across from Akazawa, the table separating the two felt like a vast expanse of space. A sort of vacuum, or a void absent of thoughts. In front of Akazawa, Kawamura felt the same lack of direction that he’d felt the first day he interrogated Chiasa. The question mark that brandished their characters were nearly identical to one another. Their personalities put him on edge.
He placed a pile of photographs of Reiko’s mutilated body out on the table in front of him. The images were putrid, and grotesque. Showing every detail front and center.
“You carried a box with an entire body in it. . . all by yourself?”
He stared at her, trying to read her posture, but she simply kept her head pointed downwards the entire time. Her expression was empty. No fear, no nervousness, no guilt, no anxiety. The whole time she kept running her fingers across the chains of her handcuffs without a flinch.
“You handed yourself in. You didn’t even try to get away with it.
“What I want to ask you is, why?”
Kawamura bobbed his head slowly from side to side as he monitored Akazawa. Wondering when she would open her mouth. With a calm voice, she finally indulged him. “You must feel hopeless. . .
Letting the conversation breathe for a moment, Kawamura took his time with a response. “You didn’t answer my question?”
Akazawa remained unfazed. Casually gliding over his statements in favor of her own dialogue.
“The harder you look, the less likely you are to find what it is that you’re looking for. Eventually you’ll end up turning that magnifying glass of yours—onto yourself.”
Kawamura made a malign gesture towards her.
“What are you afraid of, Akazawa? You came this far, just tell me what this is all about!”
In a heightened tone, Akazawa pushed back. “Whatever answer you’re expecting to get from me, I don’t have it!”
Kawamura slowly pulled himself backwards while eyeing Akazawa up and down. He slipped another photograph on top of the table. A snapshot of the words Courtesy of the Organization. “Akazawa, what do you know about this ‘Organization’? Do they have Yuki Nakamura? And are they the ones responsible for Reiko?”
Akazawa took a short peek down at the paper, then refocused herself upon Kawamura. “You’re asking the wrong person that question.”
“Then tell me where to find these fuckers, and I’ll ask them myself.”
“Good luck with that!”
“Is that supposed to mean something?”
“Timing, detective! You’re not in tune with the timing.”
Still holding his composure, Kawamura stood up from his chair. “. . .We’re done here.”
Stepping towards the doorway, he left Akazawa with one last statement, “You’ll tell me what I want to know eventually,” to which Akazawa then replied, “Be careful what you wish for.”