Chapter 13:

A poker hand, a spade in a heart ( 2/2 )

Chaos' Game

     Half an hour later, both were heading to the VIP lodge where inspector Idonosoko was waiting. Outwardly, officer Luxian approached Koff pretending that a valued customer was eager to confront a skilled opponent during a private game.

     As they stopped in front of a door, two pairs of eyes were scrutinizing the scene from upstairs.

“I would almost pity him.”

“Have you at least ever pitied someone?”

     Well-off round a dinner table above the grand room, Woodle and Reisig enjoyed luxury deserts at the floor reserved for special guests and notable winners. Both wore elegant suits.

     Before answering Reisig, the Players's leader observed him for a long time.

“Of course, I have. Long ago.”

     An elusive smile spread across his face. Though before the oldster could ask for any details, the leader placed a small device on the middle of the table. A hologram appeared vertically, displaying the interior of the VIP lodge.

     At the moment they passed the door, Luxian locked it from inside. She walked along with Koff towards a huge red sofa where had sat the inspector. The latter shifted his head to stare at Koff who abruptly froze, Luxian a few steps behind him.

“See what we've got here. If it is not one of our famous Players.”

“What the hell-”

“I advise you to act wisely. A whole unit of policemen will enter the casino at my signal.”

     A laugh. That's the answer that obtained the man wearing glasses. An irrepressible laugh.

     Kiseki frowned at this unexpected reaction.

“And there you spoiled your effect. What a shame! You've acted pretty well so far.” Luxian added, unsettling even more the police inspector.

“Sorry, sorry! I couldn't hold back anymore.”

“Luxian, what's going on?”

     At these words, Mei Mei Luxian made a few steps towards Kiseki Idonosoko. A spark enlivening her gaze, a mischievous grin upon her face.

“Ara ara… Feeling lost, inspector? Would you need a kiss to comfort you?”

     And seizing something in her bag, she slowly raised it to her face until covering it with a grey mask half-overlayed with diamond shapes, an awkward smile carved on it.

     Raising awareness of the situation, the inspector's heart skipped a beat as he realized that Mei Mei Luxian was no one else but Ling Zhen.

“Nonsense…. That can't be….”

     At each of his words, his face kept on losing composure. He placed a hand against his head. The time spent with her was nothing but smoke and mirrors. All the things she said were mere lies. Mei Mei Luxian never existed.


“I wouldn't change places with you, man. But that's the price to pay for being on our way.”

     As Kiseki didn't even glance at Koff, the latter approached him.

“Oi, Idonosoko! Don't tell me you'll already about to collapse? She did barely begin to make a nightmare out of your life. You are deceiving…”

“Koff is right. Things are only getting started. Now, you will order to your subalterns to join you so that you can arrest Koff. And… While they'll be there, they will realize your betrayal.”

     These words got the effect of a cold bucket of water thrown upon his face. His eyes filling with rage, he scowled at Ling Zhen.

“To what extent are you mad? I would rather go to hell than obey you.”

     Though at the same moment he realized a puzzling fact. Why his colleagues didn't already react? What they heard through micros should had alerted them. Frantically, he grabbed the back of his jacket. The micro was still there.

“Listen to me. This is a trap! We've been fooled!”

“Useless, Kiseki. Our leader already blurred the transmission.” the golden-eyed lady commented.

     Before he could add anything else, a voice rose from the receptor, emitting a message to all the police micros. The voice was Kiseki's.

“Call to the squad. Join us now into the building. The suspect is under control. We are by the gambling tables area. I repeat, join us now.”

     The inspector remained voiceless. He couldn't figure out what had just happened. Though a voice already answered to his call through the micros.

“At your command!”

     The culprit was Woodle who simply collected fragments of inspector Idonosoko's voice to generate the wished message and diffuse it. A child's play for him.

“You have narrowly trained dogs. It will be even more amusing to see them barking at you soon.” Ling put a finger on her lips at this thought, slowly cuddling it. “How does it feel, being about to lose everything? Do you feel fear? Bitterness? Anger? … Or maybe a mix of all of these emotions?”

     Taking her time, she headed to the table, helping herself a glass of champagne. A crazy number of bubbles fizzled, bursting endlessly. She took pleasure beholding that.

“Human life is ridiculously weak. Among all the living beings, it's the only one that can be torn apart otherwise than physically.”

     Meanwhile she was tormenting Idonosoko, his subalterns irrupted in the casino heading straight to the gambling tables. Many customers frowned noticing them, wondering what was going on. But there was no trace of Idonosoko nor Luxian.

     Witnessing the scene, Woodle just pressed something on his screen and the next moment all the dealers weirdly stood up.

“I can't join the inspector… Wait, what's going on with these androids?” a policeman wondered.

     Out of a sudden, all the androids slowly turned their heads on the police squad. Most of them began to assault the policemen, taking whatever was in their way to throw it on them, while some overturned the gaming tables.

     Panic was absolute.

     People ran in any direction, policemen struggled to avoid the projections because of the disorder. The situation escaped their control and the androids managed to engage infighting. Their strength was dreadful compared to the policemen's, fortunately they were incapable to predict humans' moves nor to make elaborate attacks.

     Echoes of these confrontations reached the VIP lodge.

“It's not accurate.”

     Kiseki stood up in an unhurried pace, a vague look on his face.

“What?” the young woman raised an eyebrow.

“I say that's not accurate. I've already lost everything… I've already ….. LOST EVERYTHING!!!!”

     He howled out loud reaching a state of madness. At the same moment what looked alike a rotten-blood cloud appeared round inspector Idonosoko. A swarm of crimson feathers had materialized around him, flying in all directions as arrows.

     Taken aback by this sudden attack, Koff withdrew as fast as he could but some feathers drove into his arms extended in protection. Woodle's right-hand couldn't as well escape all the feathers, some scratching her cheek, others her elbow. It was a complete mess.

     However, it seemed to be to her very satisfaction as beholding that unexpected loss of control, Ling displayed a devilish smile.

     Taking out of her pocket a deck of cards, she drew one of club and hurled it on the inspector. At the moment it struck him, he suddenly got electrocuted. It made him scream, his eyes wide opened while the feathers trembled and got slower. Indeed, mere game cards became dangerous weapons in between Ling's hands because of her supernatural ability, Poker Hand.

Haru Yumera