Chapter 16:

Between

One Thousand Mornings: Chapter 2: Rebirth


     Standing in front of Kouto’s belongings, the ominous photograph gripped in one hand and the compiled documents in the other, Kawamura and Saori let their thoughts ring aloud. If it’s answers that we want, then this is how we’ll get it. Yuki Nakamura, Reiko Honshou, Kouto Fujioka, Murano Akazawa, Chiasa Nakamura. What does any of this tie into?” Kawamura rubbed his fingers through his beard as he failed to come up with a conclusion. “Other than Quantum Ten?” Saori remarked. “That shady ass tech company is plagued by bad karma.” Unimpressed, Kawamura jabbed, “you’re not saying anything I didn’t already know.”Bookmark here

          “Yea, but have you really considered it in this investigation?”Bookmark here

          “I don’t see what you’re getting at…”Bookmark here

          “That corporation was suffering both internally and externally when an information leak claimed that they were developing experimental weapons with unapproved human trials. And years later, there hasn’t been a word about what that ‘experiment’ even was. Documents made public, facilities purchased by other companies, and yet not one piece of paper proving it?”Bookmark here

          “It was probably a hoax.”Bookmark here

          “Or maybe just a well-kept secret. Something that this ‘Organization’ is possibly after.”Bookmark here

          “And who would know this; quote, unquote, secret?”Bookmark here

          “I would say the brother, but he’s dead. Which leaves Chiasa, and her mother.”Bookmark here

          “I’m not buying it.”Bookmark here

          “Why not…?”Bookmark here

          “Why would Chiasa’s father tell a teenage girl something so confidential?”Bookmark here

          “Maybe he didn’t. But what if this group of people that are after them, believe that he did. It would make sense.”Bookmark here

           “It makes no sense at all.”Bookmark here

          “You’re being an asshole!”Bookmark here

          “None of this explains why Reiko would have to die for them to get that information.”Bookmark here

          “Well, maybe there’s just more for us to find out, that’s all.”Bookmark here

          “And how do you propose we do that? The same way you did back in my office?”Bookmark here

          “In my experience, the easiest way to handle someone that doesn’t like to paint a full picture is to just directly ask the questions that you want answers for. It leaves that person less room to play around with,”Bookmark here

          “And what experience is that exactly?” Bookmark here

     Without the energy to balk back at the detective any further, Saori sighed as she began strolling down a line of items, scanning over them in hopes that something would strike her fancy.Bookmark here

“… Something else on your mind, agent?” Kawamura followed.Bookmark here

“The VP,” she stated with a gasp to her voice. “Yeah well,” Kawamura tagged, “he’s a sleeping vegetable now after leaping from that window. Only the gods could tell what’s hidden in his head at this point.”Bookmark here

     Kawamura paced around at a loss for options. “Everything feels too connected and disconnected at the same time… I know I’m missing something.” HE flipped open a file and began skimming through multiple sheets of paper. Saori leaned over a stack of books before settling her sights on one particularly rough looking one titled “Rin-ne”. Bookmark here

     “I didn’t notice this one before,” she exposed as she lifted the book from the pile. “Maybe at some point something triggered Kouto to become the way he was,” Kawamura exasperatingly vented off at the other end of the room as he craned his neck backwards and basked in the rays of the artificial light from above, “but in the end it seems like he just chased after shadows.” Shafting his head from left to right, he continued, “Everything of mild interest starts and ends with that pinboard in the corner over there.”Bookmark here

     Partially muting his tired monologue, Saori gestured for the detective to indulge her for a moment. “Have you taken a look at this?” Approaching her as she gazed down into the book, Kawamura found himself struggling to surpass his befuddlement. As they traded glances, Kawamura took it upon himself to flip through the book’s pages in search of whatever it was that had Saori so worked up. “Every page is blank…” giving Saori a doubletake, “yeah, I guess that’s pretty unusual.”Bookmark here

     Unenthused Saori flipped the book back to the previous page and strongly drew the detective’s attention to the perimeter of the paper. “There’s glue here that’s old and discolored.” Peering back up at him, “Why would there be glue along the edge of the pages.”Bookmark here

     Kawamura then slipped the book from her hand and carefully ran his fingers along the page’s border. Elegantly sifting his hand across, he found a small portion near the corner in which the page had begun to split in two. Carefully pushing his finger in between and slowly pulling the sheets apart, the two of them were met with an astonishing find.Bookmark here

     Back upstairs an officer approached Lee who was steady chalking away at incident reports. The officer called out to him and mentioned that he’d been looking everywhere for him, and that he thought that he was supposed to be monitoring Murano Akazawa; to which Lee replied, “She isn’t going anywhere so I figured I’d do something more useful.” The officer looked around the room before ominously leaning in close towards the detective. “So - did she spill why she did it?” Lee placed his pen down as he too pulled in tightly towards the officer. “I’m sure this isn’t what you came here for, am I right?” The officer’s face turned sour before pulling away from the detective in disappointment. “The Chief wants to see you. He said to come to him immediately.”Bookmark here

     Lee made his way over to the interrogation hall where the Chief immediately began hawking at Lee for not answering his phone. “I must’ve left it on a desk somewhere,” Lee informed him. “Well, we shouldn’t have to waste time hunting down our own detectives, considering that we don’t know how much of it we have left,” chanted the Chief. “Hai!” Lee confirmed as the two men stepped into an adjacent room. Met by a woman dressed in a white jacket, dark grey blazer, and black shirt, she introduced herself as Detective Hankyou. “Well, this doesn’t feel familiar at all,” toyed Lee towards an unenthusiastic Chief. Bookmark here

     “Do you recognize that man over there,” asked the Chief, referring to a young man sitting on the opposite side of a two-way mirror. Lee then took a step closer as he observed him carefully. Bookmark here

     At the same time, Detective Hankyou made her way over to the interrogation room and approached the individual. She stepped towards him and immediately could taste the unease within the air. “Good evening,” Hankyou greeted to the fairly young man, possibly in his mid-twenties. The man then looked up at the detective with a solemn glare. Bookmark here

     “So…?” the Chief reiterated. “Yea,” mentioned Lee in a quiet tone, “he works at the drugstore in Fuchu.” Lee then turned towards the Chief with curiosity crawling over his face and asked, “What is he doing here?”Bookmark here

     “…You should watch and listen, detective.”Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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