Chapter 8:

Project: Invade

Project: Overthrow

The promised night had come, a night where cloudy skies covered the moon, darkening Tokyo more than usual. A thin crease of moonlight could be occasionally glimpsed through gaps between the clouds.

It was in such a tranquil night that a series of explosions rocked throughout the facility hidden amongst the ruins of a town.

Numerous dark figures could be seen flitting through the ruins and approaching the facility littered by burning trucks and turrets.

Just before anyone in the facility managed to communicate for reinforcements, electromagnetic pulse bombs exploded throughout the facility and jammed any long range signals from transmitting far.

Even when faced with such a surprise attack, the forces inside the facility responded with stiff resistance that stopped the invaders in their tracks.

Amidst this flurry of activity, not much attention was given to an approaching truck that had its tire punctured by an explosion and crashed into the cargo section of the facility. Only a few guards were sent out to check the wreckage and stop the fire from spreading.

As soon as a guard opened the door of the cargo container on the truck, a huge cloud of smoke rushed out and prevented the guards from seeing anything. Before the guard could reorient himself, a hand clamped his mouth shut and dragged him into the cargo container. Daiki, Masumi and Kurai rushed outside and took down the rest of the guards before they could shout and warn the others.

“Bingus! Did you have to use explosives to blow up the tire?! You could’ve just controlled the truck remotely!” Masumi said with gritted teeth.

[Relax! I exploded it perfectly at the right time and angle, didn’t I? Besides, a perfectly intact truck deciding to crash itself could raise suspicions.]

“We can talk about this later. Daiki, how much longer will it take you to hack in and shut down the power?”

“Almost done. There!”

As soon as Daiki finished speaking, the whole facility was plunged into a sea of darkness.

“...Impressive.” Kurai said reluctantly.

“Great job, Daiki!” Masumi cheered. “We’ll proceed as planned from now. When we reach the control room, Kurai and Bingus will prevent them from restarting the power generators and try to stall for time as long as possible. Daiki and I will try to get the shareholder before the battle outside stops. We can’t afford to face so many of them head on.”

The crew made its way deeper into the facility and took down any guards they could without raising any alarms. They had to make some detours and avoid large groups of guards that they couldn’t swiftly take down.

Inside the control room, a group of guards were frantically trying to do something.

“How much longer?! Damn it, why did the software have to crash at this time?!”

“What the hell are those nerds in the Software Department even doing if they leave such a shoddy bug in such a critical software!”

A few minutes ago, the central computer suddenly went haywire and forcefully shut down the main power generators. Afterwards, all that could be seen on the screen was a blue screen with a smiley face. The guards were frantically trying to restart the central computer and restore power.

But before they could do so, the door to the control room flung toward the face of a guard and knocked him unconscious.

“Kurai! Try to be quiet, will you?! Agghhh! You guys are driving me crazy!”

“Relax, Masumi. We took down everyone around the control room. Even if we threw a party down here, it wouldn’t be noticed outside.”

The shocked guards recovered from their state of stupor and shouted.

“Intruders! Quick ta–Guahhh!”

A punch from Kurai’s fist knocked him out before he could finish what he was saying.

“Now if you bastards could sleep for a bit, I would be so grateful.” Kurai said with a grin.

After the guards were taken out, they set up claymores and remote controlled bombs around the area and turned the control room into a small fortress.

The vent in the control room was the only place on the surface that was connected to the main facility underneath. There was a frown on Daiki’s face as he analyzed the information on Igniter.

“As expected, the facility underneath has emergency backup generators. The security around the master control room is way too tough for me to hack into remotely. I’ll hack some isolated control rooms in sections we need to go to and some more random sections to not give away our objective.”

“Is there any information about the people who run this place? Is this one of Haven’s subsidiaries as we suspected?” To Masumi’s question, Daiki replied with a frown of concern.

“Yes and no. It seems to be run by someone pretty high up in the Heaven hierarchy but there’s no traces of any exchange with Haven in the communication log. Haven might not be fully involved in this.”

“That’s welcoming news. It's much easier to capture someone who’s working on his own.”

“Indeed. So, Masumi, go ahead and climb up the vent first. I’ll defend against any attacks from the back.”

“Uhm, no. You don’t deserve such a ‘view’. You can go first.”

People wearing white lab coats could be seen hurriedly running down the hallway. Due to the attack on the surface facility. They were told to copy all the research data into data storages inside vaults and erase them to prevent the enemy force from getting them.

Just right above them were Daiki and Masumi in the vents.

“Are we there yet?”


“You’ve said that seven times now…”

“And we were almost there each time. We tried going there from all sides but I think that no vents go to that place. We’ll have to jump down here.”

“Here? Are you sure none of those researchers will come if we do? This doesn’t feel like the safest option-”


Daiki kicked down on the hatch and landed on top of a security guard thereby knocking him out. Simultaneously, Masumi jumped down and caught the edge of the vent. She swiftly swung herself into the direction of the two other security guards and kicked each of their faces.

“You drunk psycho, did I not tell you to wait?!” Masumi opened the door to the room inside and saw a figure tinkering with a terminal. Transforming her left arm and right leg with nano-bits, Masumi immobilized the figure before elbowing them unconscious.

- -

On the outside of the surface facility, a bulky gunner with two heavy machine guns was wreaking havoc on the raiding party. Night seemed to have no effect on her as each of her bullets made its way toward an enemy.

She was like a wolf in a sheep’s pen as numerous raiders had their bodies turned into swiss cheese as soon as they met her. Underneath the occasional eerie moonlight, she seemed like a grim reaper that was harvesting a life every second.

“Ahhhh! Could there possibly be any sight more beautiful than this?! Such exquisite decorations on so many canvases! I can finally decorate to my heart's content!”

She exclaimed out loud with an euphoric expression. But her moment was interrupted by a command from her earpiece.

[Intruders have been detected in the core areas. Immediately go and eliminate them.]

“Tsk! Just as I was enjoying myself. There should be good quality canvases if they made it that far. I’m going to savor this!’

- -

Daiki turned the doorknob into the database room. Surprisingly, the door was not locked and easily opened. He had not expected to so easily gain access to where essentially all the data in the facility is stored. Suppressing his doubts, Daiki and Masumi enter the room and notice a veritable library of database servers. Tall servers were lined up in rows and the temperature was cool to prevent overheating.

As they make their way to the other side of the room they notice a wall full of monitors showing security footage of everywhere throughout the facility. A large number of them were showing static screens because of the security cams that either didn’t run on batteries or were hacked by Daiki. There was also a chair facing the monitors. They vaguely noticed a short figure sitting on the chair. The figure was not moving at all and seemed to be as still as a rock.

As they got closer, they realized that the figure was a bound up person with a sack over their head. Masumi tried to remove the sack but quickly retracted her hand as she felt a wet liquid. It was blood. The sack was damp and reddened with blood. Whoever the bound up person was, their face was badly beaten up and bloodied.

“Daiki, I have a bad feeling about this. Let’s go to the main control room and get the hell out of here as soon as we find what we’re looking for. We shouldn’t waste any more time looking for the person controlling this place. ”

“I concur. Let me just find the way to the main control room by searching through these databases.”

“Wait, what? I thought you knew the way to the central control room?!”

“Would we be moving around like headless flies if that were the case? This place is not like the bar we previously raided. It has some serious security protocols. Not only that, there’s only a one-way communication channel from the main control room to the auxiliary control rooms. Whoever built this place really doesn’t trust their subordinates.”

Various information started to be displayed on the monitors as Daiki sifted through the whole database. He paused when he came to a particular piece of information.

“Huh? Candidate No. 2106…delivered to Bishop… failed to acclimatize to nano implant…disposed of after exhausting experimental value…”

A picture of a young girl was on the monitor. She looked pale and sickly. She was holding a letter board and facing the camera with dead eyes like in a mugshot. The letter board read “Candidate No. 2106. Experimental group #C3”. The girl in the picture sported striking facial similarities to Masumi who was standing right next to Daiki. Daiki wouldn’t have doubted at all if someone told him that the girl in the picture was a younger version of Masumi.

Masumi stood there, shell shocked at the sight of the picture. She had her eyes glued to the monitor and said to Daiki:

“D-Daiki, go through all the related information please. I’ll fully explain everything later. Please...”

Daiki kept silent and solemnly brought out all the related information to the monitor.

There was a map with areas labeled harvesting grounds. Information about the number of subjects acquired, organization of harvesting teams and a list of numbers and where each of these numbers were delivered to. Masumi stared fixedly at a particular row on the list that said

“Candidate No. 2107. Successfully acclimatized to 76 nano implants. Failed in acclimatization of neural nano implant. Pending orders for candidates with similar qualities.”

Masumi closed her eyes and seemed to be in an extremely agitated state. But she gradually calmed down and said to Daiki with a solemn expression.

“You copied them right?”

“Yes, I’ve got that covered.”

Masumi nodded with a grateful smile.

“I’ll tell you all about it later. For now, we need to do what we came here to do.”

Before Daiki could reply, they were interrupted by someone else.

“Hey! Are you serious?!”

Shocked, they both instantly turned around towards the door and saw a bulky figure coming out of the row of database servers. Each of her hands sported a heavy machine gun that was supposed to be held by two hands.

“Is it really just you guys….? Damn it, I thought there was an army of canvases. If I knew this, I would've just sent any random guard.” She sighed and mumbled in an exasperated tone.

Daiki and Masumi stared puzzlingly at the gunner at the use of the word ‘canvas’ to refer to them.

“You see, people are the best canvases in the world. Each stroke of my paint would blossom a blooming red flower. I am Saika, a member of the Haven Special Forces. Won’t you guys do me a favor and be obedient little canvases for me to paint on?”

Daiki answered with mock politeness.

“Sorry, but we don’t have any intentions of squabbling with a deranged person.”

An abnormally wide grin stretched across her teeth, her eyes popping outward like rubber balls. “What a shame… Or not! Feisty canvases are even more to my taste! HAHAHAHAHA!”

Saika laughed like a madman while raising both her arms with the heavy machine guns. A torrent of bullets were let loose towards Daiki’s and Masumi’s direction.

Daiki ducked while Masumi jumped into the air with her leg prepared to kick the laughing lunatic.


- -

Bingus was keeping in contact with Daiki and Masumi. But the connection was abruptly cut without any warning.

“Kurai, we just lost contact with them. Could they be in danger?.”

Kurai punched the temple of one of the guards and knocked his face into the ground. He was only one of many guards who were trying to stop Kurai from destroying the backup generators.

He was tasked with disconnecting these backup power cells and doing guerilla warfare to sow confusion and distract the enemies from realizing that the underground facility had been breached.

“Don’t overthink it. It’s highly likely that those two lovebirds either went too deep or they entered a room with complete electromagnetic isolation.”

“If those two are lovebirds, humanity is doomed.” Kurai chuckled but he instantly changed his expression and threatened the guard he just decimated.

“We can do this the easy way or the hard way. The easy way will be way more healthy for both—my fist and your face. Now tell me, where are the other backup generators located?”

- -

Masumi put more force into her leg against Saika’s guns, shattering one of them with her armored leg and knocking away the second gun.

After landing on the floor, she waited not another second before dashing behind Saika, sweeping her to the ground and planting her metallic leg on the gunner’s throat.

“Anyone! Decorate anyone but myself!”

But just as Saika was about to lose consciousness, the door to the room was pushed open by someone.

Startled by the presence of a third party, Masumi unconsciously relaxed her knee for a split second. But a split second was all that was needed to flip the entire situation.

Grasping the opportunity, Saika rolled and kicked Masumi in the chest while Masumi was trying to regain her balance. Daiki caught Masumi before she collided head first against the wall.

Realizing her inability to subdue Daiki and Masumi, Saika rushed out and held the person who just entered, claiming them hostage by their neck.

Just as Masumi drew her pistol, Saika held the hostage as a shield. The hostage was a little girl wearing torn up clothes and had a terrified expression on her face.

Masumi was stopped before she could pull the trigger of her pistol. Looking at the eyes of such a young girl, she couldn’t get herself to take the risk.

“Drop the gun if you don’t want this little girl to become a fountain of red!”

Now with a grin on her face, Saika put the knife on her belt against the throat of the little girl. She gradually increased the pressure as she saw Masumi standing completely still.

“Drop it! NOW!”

Masumi dropped the gun in her hands with a conflicted expression.

“You too! Drop it right this instant!”

Daiki stopped his hand that was sneakily trying to shoot at Saika’s face that was not covered by the hostage. He slowly started to loosen his grip on the gun.

“I can’t incapacitate her so quickly! I can’t think of any way! Not unless… I went back to that state…” The high pressure of the situation pushed Daiki’s mind to its limits. Suddenly, Daiki could feel the haphazard thoughts in his mind starting to become organized and he calmed down from his restless state.

Before the gun completely left his hand, Daiki’s eyes started glowing blue.

Seeing the anomaly, Saika started to push the knife even deeper into the little girl’s throat.

“Don’t try anything fu–!”


There was an explosion of sparks behind Saika. The database servers discharged electricity as the voltage suddenly overflowed.

Now in overdrive, Daiki had instantly hacked into the control panel. He rapidly increased the voltage supplied to the servers which caused the discharge of electricity.

Saika tensed up as all her nerves became numb from being electrocuted. She lost control of her knife as she dropped it. Daiki sprinted towards Saika to grasp this opportunity. But before he reached Saika, Saika managed to recover and held up the little girl in front of him. He tried to crush her neck in rage.

Masumi had a panicked expression on her face as she realized that Daiki was still a distance away from reaching Saika.

Saika looked at the eyes of Daiki which was glowing eerily in complete calm. He could see no expressions in Daiki’s face.

As the little girl was about to have her neck crushed, Daiki suddenly shot at her. The bullet penetrated through her arm and punctured Saika’s lung.

The little girl and Saika fell down in opposite directions from the force of the impact. Before Saika could get back on his feet, Daiki pounced with inhuman speed and pierced Saika’s eyes with his fingers; her right eye with his thumb and the other eye with the rest of the fingers. His fingers then dug into the frontal lobes in Saika’s brain, Daiki not showing a hint of restraint as her screams intensified. Balling up his hand into a fist, he proceeded to smash her face with immense force, ending her life there and then.

“She won’t stop bleeding! Daiki, are you fucking shitting me?!”

As he snapped out of overdrive, Daiki realized what he had just done. He hurriedly went to the injured little girl and stopped the bleeding with a bandage.

“D-Did I just…” Staring at the scene, Daiki held onto his head as sweat poured down rapidly.

“Can you tell me why you are here?” Masumi asked the girl.

“I-I’m an outlander who managed to escape from the cell while the scientists were distracted trying to move us d-deeper into the facility. S-So I s-snuck out because one of the scientists d-didn’t lock me up properly. There’s even m-more people who are being t-taken downstairs. They do so many horrible experiments on us...”

“You’re gonna be ok now. Trust me. Just hide for a while and we will take you to safety.”

After wrapping the girl’s wounds, Masumi instructed the little girl inside a closet in the room.

“Daiki. Are you okay?”

Daiki nodded and resumed searching the database for a clue about the master control room, trying to be efficient with time despite what had just happened. He finally found a well hidden command to open a trap door that was in the room that led to the master control room.


He heard the sound of gears turning as the wall with the monitors in front of him moved aside and a dimly lit staircase downstairs was revealed. He then let go of the controls before turning to Masumi.

“I’m sorry. I’ll be... more cautious. Let’s head to the lower level and finish what we came for. I know you have so many questions, so I’ll be sure to explain when we’re out of this.”

Masumi’s eyes narrowed, but she eventually walked towards the stairs, waving her hand for him to follow along.