Chapter 8:

Enter CIMEDE (Part III)

CIMEDE Chronicles

Mr. Uemichi waved his right hand, gesturing to the newly arrived girl to take a seat in the only open chair remaining, the one to my left.

Chikaoka took the seat to my left and spoke the same question again. “Director, what is he doing here?”

Why is that the first thing she says upon seeing me, what about a greeting like a hello or something… Well, it’s not like we’re really acquaintances or anything, but still… I cleared my throat. Since I’m such a polite, outstanding gentleman, I’ll take the initiative. And her name was what again?, oh yes! I raised my hand in greeting. “Hey Chika”

“Don’t call me that” she snapped back. “There’s Oka”.

There’s Oka? I don’t quite understand your language layout miss Chika... I didn’t think we were on a first name basis either, but I don’t particularly mind. I lowered my hand and spoke before raising it again in a second greeting. “Sorry, my bad. Hey Oka”

The red-haired girl sitting to my left seemed to be grinding her teeth, because I could hear them. “It’s Chika-oka! Chikaoka Oka, and don’t call me by my given name.”

Ahhhhhh that’s right… it was Chikaoka Oka… It definitely looks like I made a fool out of myself, then again, I do think Chika is a cute name… So, it was worth it. I apologized to the girl at my left and made a mental note to call her Chika sometimes.

“Well now that your very informal greeting is over, let’s get to business.”

The one who had spoken was Mr. Uemichi.

“Business? I don’t mean to sound rude, Director, but you never did answer my question.” Spoke Chikaoka.

“Well as you know, Miss Chikaoka, Mr. Saburi here is the thief that you had apprehended last night----”

I raised my hand up and spoke. “Actually, to be more precise, it was this morning…” I gave a wry smile.

Both my company, Mr. Uemichi and Chikaoka Oka gave me irritated gazes and went back to their exclusive conversation.

“Like I was saying before I was RUDELY interrupted, Mr. Saburi was suspected of stealing two artifacts from the Japanese Historical Museum of Worldwide Artifacts. After I had a little talk with him, I’ve come to the conclusion that he didn’t steal them.”

“Because he said so? And you’re going to take his word for it? Director, he’s a thief, a con man, that means he's a liar.”

Mr. Uemichi looked at me, then back to Chikaoka.

“As I was saying Miss Chikaoka, I do not think Mr. Saburi had stolen the missing artifacts from the museum, however, somebody definitely had taken them. I had made an arrangement with Mr. Saburi which allows him a sort of freedom, while he helps CIMEDE catch the real thief and recover the missing artifacts.”

“So, he’s kind of like a specialty consultant for us?”

“That’s a good use of words Miss Chikaoka. And now that you’ve caught on, this brings me to why I called you here.”

Chikaoka waited patiently for the director to continue, and his voice started up a second later.

“Since you were the one to initially catch Mr. Saburi, I have already decided to appoint you as his temporary handler.”

“Wait… But Director------”

“Miss Chikaoka, this is an official assignment. Do you understand?”

“Yes, I do, Director.”

“Good. I will be giving you a file on the details of your assignment. Before you begin, you can show Mr. Saburi around CIMEDE, and help him bring some of his living necessities here, if he so has any.”

“He’s staying here too!?”

“Is there a problem, Miss Chikaoka? I will assign him a dorm room with a fellow male student, and he will be staying here until you two wrap up this current operation. And possibly afterwards if he does well.”

“No problem here, Director.”

“Good. Then I will give you this to use if necessary.” Mr. Uemichi pulled something from his pants pocket and handed it to Chikaoka.

What he handed her was a matte black, disk shaped coin. Well at least it looked like a coin to me. The size resembled a five yen coin, but it was twice as thick. I honestly couldn’t say what it was for sure at first glance.

Chikaoka held the coin like object in-between her thumb and forefinger.

Was this a new type of currency? “Watch out yen, Mr. Uemichi is running the economy!” I interjected, without a reason.

The two other occupants of the room, the muscular man, and the teenage girl, both ignored my voice that begged for attention.

I dubiously gazed at the object that Chikaoka now held in her fingers. It’s a coin! I couldn’t erase the simple smile that I was forming. I patiently observed and smiled like an idiot due to the other parties lacking access to my thoughts. I watched the two that were exchanging gifts without me. Include me Damn it!

The teenage girl messed with the item in her hand for a bit, trying to figure out what she was holding, until she somehow cracked it through the side, breaking it apart. No, it didn’t break. The item that she held was the size of a five yen coin, but twice as thick. She peeled the sides of the coin apart. Alas, it opened up like a pocket watch, or a locket. It definitely wasn’t broken.

The red-haired teenage girl peered inside the two halves, wondering what was inside. “What’s this?” She asked.

“Let me see!” I said enthusiastically, as I tried to snatch the item away from her.

The red-haired girl was quick with her reflexes, as she quickly stretched her arm farther than I could reach from my seated position. I probably looked like a child reaching for something far from arm’s length. As I reached my left arm out, I almost tipped my chair onto her chair causing us both to collapse, but the sound of Mr. Uemichi clearing his throat made me sit straight ahead again.

“Mr. Saburi, remain seated, and keep your hands to yourself.” Spoke the intimidating man.

I avoided looking at him directly and hung my head dejectedly.

“Miss Chikaoka, the device that I gave you is your leash for Mr. Saburi. As you have discovered, the device can open and, on the inside, which you have probably already seen, lies a button. With the press of that button, a special frequency will be sent directly to Mr. Saburi’s cerebral choker, regardless of your range. The frequency will cause Mr. Saburi to lose control of his limbs and become paralyzed. In his paralyzed state, he will have zero mobility and will remain in that state until you deactivate the frequency by placing that device on the sensor that is on the back of his neck. Any Questions?”

The red-haired girl stared at the black coin, or frequency emitter, and almost smiled a bit. “No questions from me, Director.”

The director smiled at the two teenagers that were sitting in front of him. He pulled a yellow file from a desk compartment and handed it to Chikaoka. “Here are the case files. I expect an operation report, and a conclusion to this mess by the end of summer break and your return to school.”

Chikaoka almost raised her voice in a shout, but quickly calmed herself before a sound was uttered. “But Director, that’s only three days. How are we supposed to track down an unknown thief with unknown abilities in just three days?”

The director used his index and middle finger to point at me. “Use your thief, that’s why I got him.”

I decided to speak up. Secretly I knew that my friend and partner in crime, Fujiwara Isami, had the stolen items in his possession. If we can get the information we need from the Shard of Polaris to find Doc, then I can stage a plot to find and recover the stolen artifacts and deliver them to CIMEDE. This will be a win-win! “Three days is nothing. We’ll do it with ease”

Chikaoka gave me a dangerous glare. “Don’t get so full of yourself! You can’t guarantee that.”

I responded to Chikaoka with a confident, and almost cocky grin. “We got this Chika!” I gave her a wink to add a dramatic effect to the mood.

Chikaoka let out her own sly grin and held up a round black item. “What was that again?”

“R-R-Right Chikaoka…” I pushed out both my palms in caution and then gave her a wry smile.

I heard the sound of a pen tapping the table, and we both looked at Mr. Uemichi.

Mr. Uemichi spoke. “That’s all I have for now. I look forward to seeing how this strange team works out… You both are dismissed.”

I stood from my seat and faced the red-haired princess who ruled over me with a black coin of fear. I bowed like a performer on stage and moved my arm towards the door. “After you”

The princess acted more like a savage as she stuck up her chin and ignored me, walking towards the door.

What a bitch! I can’t wait to get out of this stupid Academy. I walked after the girl who was exiting the room and then stopped. I looked back at Mr. Uemichi, and spoke. “So uh, when do I move into the CIMEDE Dormitory?”

The muscular man sitting behind the engraved, wooden, executive desk spoke. “I will be finding an open room for you in the male dormitory today. You can expect to move in tonight.”

Well, I’m going to have to get some belongings from Doc’s place without revealing who I have been staying with, and where I’ve been staying. Now that I’m starting to think about it, CIMEDE didn’t know that I was enrolled in a school, and they don’t know that I’ve been staying with Doc, I would have expected some paperwork connecting me to Doc somewhere, but I guess the trail was a dead end. I had no Idea Doc has been keeping me out of the system.

I raised my hand in a parting gesture and walked out the door, still lost in thought. When I exited the room and entered the hallway, I saw Chikaoka talking to another female student. I decided that it would be a good idea to walk over and introduce myself, or have Chikaoka introduce me, so I walked towards the two girls.