Kazuya's story chapter 2: Occurrences
A.N: I didn't think it would take this long to write this chapter but I had lost my writing tool for a while and lot of my first draft. Hopefully I made this a little more readable while I try to define Kazuya's character a little better.
Disclaimer: I do not own SMT or Persona. Atlus and their respective mediums do.
Kazuya watched as cars attempted to steer clear of the police blockades. They not only blocked the way to Inogashira Park but also every major street leading out of Kichijoji.
"I must have slept through all of it..." Kazuya said as he walked onto the sidewalk. Kazuya remembered that his childhood friend and next door neighbor, Yuko, was talking about going out at school yesterday. Yuko was the same age as Kazuya. Both their fathers had been best friends in high school. Both of them were surprised when they moved in next to each other. They were both successful in their endeavors. Kazuya's father became a successful business man with an international technologies company and Yuko's father became a doctor with a private practice.
"I haven't talked to Nakahashi-san in a while..." Kazuya said while he walked to the Nakahashi residence. Kazuya walked into the residence with no problem because it doubled as a clinic, the upper part of the clinic was locked because that was where the Nakahashi's actually lived.
An older woman sat behind a tall desk, "oh Kujou-san, you don't have an appointment for a while now. Are you here to visit the doctor?"
Kazuya nodded, "yeah...is he busy?" he asked
"Oh no his next appointment isn't until later, you can go see him now." The woman pointed to a room.
Kazuya thanked the woman and walked into the room.
Nakahashi looked up from some paperwork, "Kazuya-kun, I haven't seen you since your last check up, what's up? How's your Mother?"
"We're both good, what about you?" Kazuya asked, smiling.
Nakahashi chuckled, "Yuko and I are fine. If you're looking for her she went out"
Kazuya's face flattened, "how did you know I came here to see Yuko?"
Nakahashi smiled, "no kid comes to their doctor just to talk." he said
Kazuya frowned, "I'm not that predictable am I Doc?"
The doctor chuckled, "no your father just has a big mouth" he said crossing his arms.
Kazuya blushed, "ah well, you can't believe hearsay and rumors right?" He said turning his face down.
The doctor laughed, "...if you do find Yuko could you tell her to come home, there's a lot of trouble going on and I don't want her out there."
"Alright Doc. I'll tell her." Kazuya bid his farewells and left the doctor's office.
Kazuya walked out of the clinic and looked around, the streets were mostly empty. It seemed anybody that was trying to leave either left or realized they were stuck. The arcade was only a few blocks away from his house. A real convenience of living in the suburbs, everything was close by the only problem was there wasn't much to choose from.
Kazuya's Comp beeped and displayed a map on his eye piece. "Hmm..." he stared at the map in wonderment. "So that's what it meant..." he said smiling as he walked in.
Kazuya took a few minutes to explore the shopping arcade and fill out the map. He found the Cafe with no problems as he'd have to go there pretty regularly.
The waitress, wearing her orange and white uniform, bowed and said "welcome...oh hi Kazuya-kun"
Kazuya made a smile appear, "oh hey..." Kazuya couldn't remember her name. "...gotta head to the bar and get my mom coffee." he said trying to advance the conversation quickly.
The waitress smiled, "well don't let me stop you...oh yeah that woman over there told me to look out for you." she said tilting her head toward a table where a woman in blue with her back turned was waiting. Kazuya didn't know who it was but on his way past the waitress a classmate of Kazuya's stopped him and said,
"Hey man I hear there is this crazy dude in the arcade, try to avoid the north end..."
Kazuya nodded, "I'm sure he'll be gone by the time I'm done here...there are police everywhere one of them must have got him..."
The man nodded as if thinking, "Yeah, I guess you're right. Well, see you in class man!"
"Yeah..." Kazuya walked away. He wasn't the most sociable person he knew. Most of the people that "know" him either know him because Yuko introduced him to them in an attempt to expand his list of friends or people that heard he could make video games work on school computers.
Kazuya gave the cafe a quick scan the cafe was filled with people from his school as well as the odd self-defense soldier. "Hmm..." was all Kazuya said before someone who was waving him down caught his eye.
Kazuya's eyes widened, "no way..." he said as he immediately recognized who it was. But what were the odds, a woman he dreamed about was looking for him. The teen walked over, his knees shaking the whole way. Kazuya stared at Yuriko, to him she was the most noticeable person in the room but he couldn't figure out why. Yuriko was dressed in a form fitting blue suit jacket with matching skirt; her dark hair was down and fell just past her shoulders.
Yuriko smiled, "we meet again, Kazuya-kun it feels like a dream running into you here."
Kazuya sat down and blinked, unsure how to respond, he had to think of something or he'd look like a fool. "Y-you sure we've met before..."
Yuriko had a devilish smirk as she said, "you don't remember...I'm hurt Kazuya-kun. Do you at least remember my name?"
Kazuya looked down at the table, he realized her suit jacket was open at the top slightly allow a view of Yuriko's cleavage which was very distracting for him. "Uh...it's Yuriko...right" Kazuya was sweating; he was already falling behind in the situation. Of course he remembered her name, the dream-like image of her body were still floating around his thoughts.
Yuriko giggled, "don't play coy I know you remember."
Kazuya's eyes twitched, he had no way to figure this lady out but she seemed to know about him.
Yuriko raised an eyebrow as she asked, "tell me Kazuya...do you believe in destiny?"
Kazuya remembered her words from the dream. "I-I uh...I guess I do."
"Then you believe in our destiny?" She leaned in closer to the table.
"I...uh...I don't know, I-I don't really know you that well Yuriko-san." Kazuya nervously said trying to think.
Yuriko smiled as she whispered, "I think you know me well enough..."
Kazuya couldn't stop himself from blushing, "..." He couldn't say anything after that. Just when Kazuya thought all hope was lost a man wearing a black tie suit with blond hair sat down next to Yuriko.
"Yuriko, you're scaring the boy." The blonde haired man said smoothly.
Yuriko's smile disappeared and nodded. "May I ask what you are doing here Cypher-sama?"
The man smiled, "I wanted a change in pace, something to spark my curiosity, and I found it" The man nodded and said, "My name is Louis Cypher. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Kazuya blinked, he'd never seen this man before. But there was something about him. "...who are you guys? Why do you want to talk to me? I'm just a high school student." He couldn't deny he was curious about the whole thing. The dream he had, the demon summoning program, and Yuriko, they were all connected somehow.
Louis leaned in, "what if I told you that this moment is one of the most important in your young life. What would you do?"
Kazuya blinked twice, looking down at the table. Yuriko didn't show it but she was curious to hear his answer.
Kazuya looked up at Louis, "I'd ask: what kind of life changing decision can a first-year make?"
Louis chuckled, "I'll put in a way you'd understand. Would you take a job in the cut-throat business world, where the strong rule and the weak are subjugated? Or would you rather take a job as a cop, become a cog in the machine for the law and order the government, keeping the status quo by keeping people safe."
Kazuya leaned against the table it was a loaded question hidden within an innocent statement. Each job had its own luster. The business world would be great for someone who was strong willed and ambitious, somebody with no ambition would be swallowed up whole, stuck a salary wage-slave and with the current recession that wasn't enough to raise a family. The police job was different, it was a steady paying job with a career path as plain as day. But being a cog, just another number didn't appeal to him too much.
"I don't know..." Kazuya thought about it some more and realized what he preferred. "I'd rather be a business man."
Louis smirked again, "that carries a considerable risk. Should you fall behind or lose your ambition you will fall and won't be able to get back up."
Kazuya relaxed a little as he remembered something, "but that's if you fall. Isn't life more about getting ahead rather than how much you fall?"
Louis looked surprised, "you're full of surprises Kazuya. You've renewed my interest in the impressionable so I'll give you some advice. There is always a third choice. Don't always take it, you might not be happy with the results" he said with a smile.
Louis turned to Yuriko and asked, "Parting words Yuriko? we must take our leave"
Yuriko smiled and said, "Remember our destiny Kazuya..." She got up and put money on the table. Louis gave a slight bow of his head, "we will meet again." Both Yuriko and Louis walked away.
Kazuya stared at the table in disbelief; saying that conversation was strange would be an understatement. How did those two know his name? What did it have to do with his crazy dream? And what about the Demon Summoning program he still had no idea what it did. The teen sighed getting up from the table and walking into the bar where his mom loves to get coffee from. The bartender raised an eyebrow.
"Welcome Kujou-san, you're here for your usual coffee beans right?" He said leaning one arm on the counter.
Kazuya nodded, "yeah my mom sent me to pick them up"
The bartender chuckled, "it's alright, I'll get it delivered and you'll just pay it when it gets there."
Kazuya smiled, that meant he didn't have to go home right away. "Alright! Thanks."
The bartender nodded, "I'll see you later"
Kazuya walked out the bar with a slight smile on his face when he spotted one of Yuko's friends, who was staring at her cup of tea as if something was troubling her. Kazuya realized that it probably wasn't the best time to say hi but as he attempted to stay out her line of sight she spotted him and gave him a weak wave. The teen really wanted to ignore her but the guilt started to set in, reluctantly he walked over and sat at the table.
"What's up Noriko-san? You look kinda down..." He said knowing he was opening up a can of sadness. Mimi Noriko was one of Yuko's best friends but also very sensitive. It didn't take much to make her burst into tears so she always looked 'kinda down'. Kazuya tended to avoid her because he somehow manages to cause her grief without ever actually doing anything.
Noriko was wearing her school uniform as if she didn't realize there wasn't school until it was too late. "Um...Kazuya you know that girl that was killed...she was one of our classmates..."
Kazuya's face went pale, he understood why she looked so out it; the dead girl could have easily been her.
"I...I'm scared...all I could think about is what if it were me lying on the ground covered in blood!" Tears started to well up in her eyes, "I feel like a terrible person..." Her voice was naturally quiet and when she said that it had almost been a whisper among the bustle of the cafe.
Kazuya figured she would say that because he was thinking it too. It was a scary thing realizing that someone that close was dead, it sends ones thoughts spiraling. Kazuya realized she was about to start crying, he didn't want to look like he was picking on the poor girl.
"Th-that doesn't make you a terrible person...your just scared that there might be a killer on the loose." Kazuya realized what he was say probably wasn't helping, "...with all the police around they are definitely gonna catch the guy." He finished with a fake smile.
Noriko looked at Kazuya, she didn't look like she was about to cry anymore but she still looked worried. Kazuya knew if Yuko found out he'd just left her best friend like this he'd never hear the end of it.
"Hey there's no way you'll be able to get to your house with the police blocking the way so I'll take you to Yuko's place" Kazuya offered almost regretting it.
Noriko nodded, downing the rest of her tea. "Yeah...I...Thanks Kazuya." She said quietly before rising from the table. "Oh I almost forgot! I need to grab something from the drug store for my mom. Is that okay?"
Kazuya rubbed his chin, "sure it's just around the corner" he said rising from the table.
The walk to the Drug store was awkward at best; Kazuya realized he wasn't the greatest at small talk especially with girls his age so the trip down some hallways was silent. Before they walked in Noriko turned to Kazuya, "hey...um...could you wait outside while I grab it? I'll only be a sec."
"Alright?" Kazuya said with a raised eyebrow. He stood there for a good minute staring at his Comp, something felt off. He opened the Summoning program and tried to navigate the odd user interface that appeared in his eye piece. The user interface took forever to transition to the next menu and the program made his Comp's fans whirl so hard it sounded like it was about to explode.
"Seriously, this thing is a resource hog and it's clunky" he started walking forward to fill out the rest of the map.
Just then he saw a man standing aggressively with a knife in his hand.
"What do you want? Don't come near me!" He pointed the knife at him.
Kazuya froze in place; he mentally kicked himself for running right into the crazy dude his classmate warned him about a while ago. "..." He opened his mouth to say something but nothing came out.
"Don't come any closer! I have a knife!" The man backed up into the wall "no! Nooooo! Hargh!" He wailed as something slashed the man's throat leaving a bloody gash as he crumpled to the floor.
Kazuya stopped breathing, his body was shaking as his eyes widened, "wha-what the..." His comp started to whirl again while his eye piece gathered information, but in his other eye he could see a shadow. The shadow became an outline and in the moment between breathes; the outline became a strange looking being. It was a midnight black creature with a bulbous stomach and a large mouth; its eyes were droopy but filled with a ravenous gaze.
"ME FOOD?'Umie FOOD!" The creature jumped toward Kazuya with its claws bearing toward his throat. Kazuya almost seemed to move on reflex and punched the creature but that didn't seem to stop it. The creature slashed Kazuya across the chest tearing through his t-shirt. Kazuya backed away into the wall.
"Argh...shit..." He looked at the cut and grabbed it. The cut wasn't deep but it was bleeding, a green aura started coming off his body. "What the hell is this...?" He whispered to himself as the creature backed away from him.
"UMIE STRONG!" he turned to run but there was Noriko with wide eyes and an open mouth. "Kazuya-kun...what happened are you..." She soon saw the creature as well. Noriko was about to scream when Kazuya said "Mimi! Get down!"
Instead of screaming Kazuya's command shocked her into ducking just as the creature tried to tear out her throat. The creature narrowly missed her.
Kazuya grabbed the knife from the dead man and the green aura that surrounded him sheathed the knife as well. "Stay away" Kazuya took a wild swipe at the creature as it tried to go after Noriko again.
The creature dodged easily but realized he was in for a fight he didn't want. Noriko kicked at the creature as she inched toward Kazuya. "K-ka-Kazuya!"
The creature growled menacingly and ran away. Kazuya stared at the ground for a moment before saying, "...I'm not crazy right...Mimi?"
Noriko was breathing heavily. She looked around, "...I...saw it...you're n-not crazy"
Kazuya stared at his hands then at Mimi who was still on the floor. "A-are you okay?" He bent down to give her a hand. "You're not hurt right?" Kazuya still looked shaken.
Mimi looked up and said, "No...I'm fine...but you're glowing." She accepted Kazuya's help. Kazuya winced in pain when Mimi's hand pressed against the gash.
Mimi looked afraid and then started to cry. "You're hurt Kazuya-kun...and I don't know what that was and I'm scared!" She was straining her whispery voice.
Kazuya strained, "Mimi...it's alright...let's just go" He gestured Mimi to follow him. Mimi followed him but a few steps in she stopped him,
"...Kazuya...um...can I go to your house instead...I...think I want to stay with you. We should look for Yuko after we put bandages on that cut" she said sniffling and wiping her eyes, she seemed shaken and a little embarrassed but Kazuya mind was too scrambled to notice.
"Alright...but I can't imagine what my mom will think...you can't tell her about what happened." Kazuya said stopping in the survival store hiding his wound by closing his jacket.
The shop owner smiled, "welcome. What can I help you with? Preparing for the coming apocalypse I imagine."
"y-you have no idea. I'll take these" Kazuya placed two sets of survival vest and leggings. He paid half his allowance for it and slipped one of them on and gave the other one to Mimi.
Mimi looked at it quizzically, "what's this for?" She asked looking at the now armored Kazuya.
"Armor...I don't want to take any chances..." Kazuya said gesturing toward the changing room. As Mimi went to change Kazuya began to think that what was in that strange email from Stephen. That creature that attacked them must have been a demon.
Mimi walked out of the changing room wearing the armor over her school uniform. "...um...let's go" like Kazuya's it was dark green with many pockets, it looked uncomfortable for her but it fit.
Kazuya then went into the blades shop "um...my friend here needs a knife for opening up stuff"
The shop owner pulled out a box cutter, "how about this?"
Kazuya rubbed his chin he pointed at an attack knife on the rack, "that one is legal right?"
The shop owner raised an eyebrow, "you sure? It's kinda big"
Mimi walked up next to Kazuya, "no...It's perfect" she said in her whispery tone.
Kazuya put the money down and took the knife with a thank you. After walking out the store Kazuya gave the knife to Mimi.
"Mimi-chan...This is for protection just in case another one of those things attacks us" Kazuya was still shaking from what happened; he was putting on a tough act so Mimi wouldn't freak out because if she freaked out he'd freak out harder.
Mimi took the knife with a shaky hand, "I've never...been in a fight before..." She said strapping the knife to her belt. "...you won't leave me alone will you?" She looked at Kazuya with fear.
Kazuya shook his head, "no...I won't." Mimi seemed to relax a bit after that, which made him relax. "It might be dangerous..." he finished, leading Mimi to the exit.
Mimi sighed, "I hope Yuko is okay..."