Disclaimer: I don't Inuyasha. I'm just borrowing him for my diabolical plans. Rumiko gets him back when I'm done...

Author's Notes: New Story. No stick please.

Zero G


The Prey

Wednesday was always a pretty slow weekday for "Curl up and Dye" hair and beauty salon, especially towards the evening. That was normally when Kagome had her shift, and as usual, there were only a few clients and all of them were in the back having dye jobs and Tibetan body masks. Kagome was manning the front desk, but with so little business she had already begun to pass the time trying to perfect a little something she'd been working on over the past few months…

"Acetyl-hepatpeptide-3… two grams… and…" she paused to press her pen again her lips in thought. "Sodium PCA… with DMAE… three grams…"

The television was droning on in the background, set to the music channel. Some subliminal messaging little pop band was on, and the lyrics were already grating on her nerves.

"-I wanna be like everyone else, don't wanna stand out, don't want to scream and shout-"

Kagome ground her teeth slightly.

"-Wanna stay in school and do my best, because the future's resting on my crest-"

Kagome's fist hit the remote control beside her notebook and the channel immediately switched over. There was only so much brainwashing she could take. Not that any of the other channels were much better.

"-The government announced today that-"

Kagome hit the remote again.

"-Bumble Bimblebee is coming to town-"


"-and plans to bring in new legislations regarding weekend uniforms for the general public with-"


"-vacuum cleaners attached to the back-"


"-this gives extra comfort for-"

"-albino rhinoceroses-"

"I give up!" Kagome hit the power button and the television blinked off in a second. She sighed as she ran a hand through her hair and looked back down at her notes. She needed to keep focused rather than worrying about what new crazy laws the government had brought in to keep the country just one big conforming army.

The formula she was working on was no ordinary formula, but one for an anti-wrinkle cream. Her grandmother had started the research over fifty years ago, but the woman had died before perfecting the equations. Kagome had taken it upon herself to try to complete the product and hopefully market it one day in the salon with the name her grandmother had chosen.


Anti-wrinkle, scar concealer, cellulite cream and stretch mark treatment all in one. It would be the perfect product… if it wasn't for the fact that some of the active ingredients gave off a rather unpleasant smell. That needed to be sorted without adding a scent strong enough to kill off the active chemicals…

"Aloe Vera, maybe?" Kagome suggested to herself as she scribbled down the idea. Or perhaps I should try vanilla…

"Kagome," Yuka, her friend and the daughter of the salon's owner, suddenly appeared at the bottom of the stairs behind the desk. "Mama says that we have to go to my great uncle's funeral tomorrow so we're closing early to do the books. You can go home if you want. We have everything covered."

"Really?" Kagome set down her pen and blinked at her friend. "Sorry about your uncle."

Yuka shrugged with a lopsided grin. "Not that I knew the old fart. He was a horrible man apparently, and the only reason we're going is to pick up the inheritance. Funerals suck… they're so boring."

Kagome smiled. "Then I'll take off. Maybe I'll have a chance to get some shopping done before the eight o'clock curfew?"

"Yeah, good luck with that." Yuka turned and scurried back up the stairs. "See you on Friday!"

"See ya!" Kagome called back as she grabbed her bag from under the desk and began loading her notepad and various other scraps of scribbles into it.

It was a long walk back to the Higurashi shrine, so Kagome was glad for her long, thick cardigan to guard against the cool air. She planned to do a little shopping on the way… but one glance at her watch told her that she only had half an hour to spare, and Kagome didn't fancy staying out after curfew. It was a crime of the under-eighteens that was punishable by one month in a juvenile delinquency facility.

Kagome hugged herself briskly as she walked along the empty street, eyes flicking from shop window to shop window. Most of them were closed by now, so Kagome was forced to keep walking. In fact, the whole street was devoid of all life and vehicles… apart from that motorbike…

Kagome slowed as she drew alongside the bike, the cogs beginning to turn in her head as she tried to remember where she'd seen it before. Then she noticed the bold fire symbol on the front of the body and it clicked. I know where you're from… she thought in excitement as she reached out and skimmed her fingers across the smooth panel. If the bike was here, then where was its owner?

"Kagome Higurashi?"

Kagome turned slowly to face the inquirer. A young man with platinum blonde hair and a rough, but attractive kind of face. Kagome saw his jacket and the helmet under his arm and recognised him in an instant, even though she'd never laid eyes on him in her life. "You…" Had he been waiting in that alley all along?

"I seem to recall that you owe me a favour." he said as he moved towards her. "I think it's about time that I was repaid."

Kagome frowned uncertainly as she moved away from the bike a few steps. He set his helmet down on the seat carefully before turning to face her. He seemed to be waiting for something, but Kagome wasn't sure what to say. "Repay you?" she echoed. "What would you like? I mean… I don't have any money or… surely I don't really need to repay you. I know I said that I was indebted but I didn't really mean it. What on earth do I have that you would want?"

He shrugged as he reached into his jacket and produced something which looked similar to a rock. "Let's just start with your life, shall we?"

Kagome's blood ran cold and her legs froze in place. Her mind registered the make-shift weapon, joined it with what he'd just spoken, and told her that she was in danger. But her brain was faster than her body, which had yet to even move let alone run away. She remained staring at the heavy, blunt object and tried to decide if it was even a good idea to run at all.

Then he smiled and took a step towards her. Kagome's adrenaline kicked into full gear and instantly she turned to flee – but too late – he caught hold of her sleeve.

"Let go!" she screamed, praying that if she shouted loud enough, someone would hear her and come to her aid. "Stop it!"

"Calm down, you're making this difficult." She heard him say as he jerked her back towards him with one deft tug.

Kagome glanced back in time to see him raise the rock above his head. The next moment, a light flashed behind her eyes and a searing pain shot through her head as her body suddenly went numb. She felt him let go of her sleeve, but she only managed to stagger a few unsteady steps before she fell forward onto her hands and knees. Her vision was wobbling and black spots were dancing… and already she knew that she was going to be beaten to death, dropped in that dumpster in the alley, and found on Thursday morning by an unlucky hobo.

Nonetheless, she crawled on aimlessly, listening to the instinct that told her to keep running.

Someone grabbed the back of her throat, and in that moment Kagome gave up and surrendered to the black void that was closing in on her consciousness. She'd rather die now than live through more pain.

Her last coherent thought was a vow…

If there was such a thing as the afterlife, she would never move on to the next world until she'd exacted her revenge on this man.

Then she was gone.

Next update: Chapter One: 72 hours earlier.