An "Inu-Yasha" Alternate Universe Short Story
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Never watch "The Matrix Reloaded" and "Inuyasha the Movie 2: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass" back to back. Weird stuff happens. Like this. Free your mind, man!
Anyway, this is an interesting take on the "Inu-Yasha" story (I hope). See if you can figure out who is who...and yes, the title comes from the fantastic "Mona Lisa Overdrive" by Juno Reactor on the "Reloaded" soundtrack.
By the way, the Japanese drive like the British–on the opposite side of the road as we crazy Americans do. So if the directions seem a little messed up, there's a reason for that.–S28A
Narita International Airport, Japan
6 August 2008
2100 Hours (9:00 PM) Local
The customs agent stamped the passport and handed it back. "Here you are, Miss...Youkai?"
"That's right. Is there a problem, sir?"
The agent swallowed briefly, then shook his head. "Uh..no, not at all." He bowed respectfully. "Welcome back to Japan."
"Thank you." A nod of the head was her response to his bow–barely enough to be respectful. "It's good to be home." The woman walked off, picking up her briefcase as she did so. The customs man watched her go, admiring the swish of her hips. She wore a woman's business suit of white, nicely offset by two pink stripes down her flank and a provacatively slit skirt, her black hair caught up in a bun. Those red eyes, though...the agent shivered as he watched her meet a group of men in business suits. They must be contacts, or maybe cyberware, he thought. Not unusual among the weird kids that hung out in the Harujuku district of Tokyo, but definitely not something he was used to seeing among diplomats. He shrugged, pushed it out of his mind, and went on to the next person waiting in line.
He checked through three more people before his supervisor tapped him on the shoulder. "Urashima-san." The agent turned, and the supervisor thumbed behind him. "Chief Edogawa wants to see you. Now. I'll cover for you."
Uh oh. Hope I didn't screw up again, Urashima thought. He left the customs booth and rapidly walked over to where he saw Narita's Chief of Security, Shin Edogawa. Urashima braced and saluted. "Customs Agent Urashima, reporting as ordered, Chief."
Edogawa grunted. He looked to the woman beside him, and so did Urashima. Like the woman he had just passed through customs, she was dressed in a woman's suit as well, but less fashionable, clinging, and dark red; a beret of the same color was perched on her head, from under which her thick fall of black hair streamed. Her eyes were hidden behind mirrored sunglasses. She showed him a badge. "Inspector Otomeinu Higurashi, Interpol Section 9," the woman said by way of introduction. Before he could do more than nod, she had produced a small folder, opening it and thrusting it under his nose for inspection. "Have you seen this woman?"
Urashima looked down. "Miss Kagura Youkai? Why, yes, certainly. Just a few minutes ago." He glanced at Edogawa, feeling his stomach turn to ice with dread. "Was I supposed to stop her? Her passport went through without a hitch in the scanner."
"It would have," Higurashi mused, half to herself, half to the two men. "Where did she come from?"
"Kazakhstan," Urashima answered. "Part of the trade commission."
"They just arrived half an hour ago," Edogawa added.
"About ten, I think. Maybe a dozen," Urashima said.
"Did she declare anything?"
Urashima nodded. "A diplomatic pouch. It was under seal, so I didn't search it...regulations..." His voice trailed off as he noticed she had gone very pale.
"How big was it?" Higurashi asked in a half whisper.
"It was a briefcase. Fairly large." Urashima indicated the size with his hands. He looked back to Edogawa. "I...I didn't just mess up, did I?"
"No," Higurashi said before Edogawa could reply. "No way you could have known. Thank you." She quickly shook hands with a befuddled Urashima, then began half-jogging away. Edogawa had to hurry to catch up. "What is it?" he asked. "What's going on? Who is this Kagura Youkai?"
"A what?!" He grabbed a walkie-talkie from his coat. "I've got to seal off the terminal. With luck, we can catch her before she's out of here–"
"No, Chief!" Higurashi exclaimed. "Don't even think about it. Your security is good, but my team must handle this."
Edogawa's face reddened. "Inspector Higurashi, with respect, Narita has a special operations team specifically trained for antiterrorist activity. We can handle any emergency."
"Not this one, Chief. Not Kagura. Trust me."
He shook his head. "This is my jurisdiction, Inspector. Not yours. I'm not letting any terrorist loose in my airport." He raised the walkie-talkie to his lips, but before he could speak, Higurashi's hand closed around his and tightened with an iron grip. "What the hell do you–"
"Chief," Higurashi said quietly, "Kagura's carrying a briefcase nuke." His eyes widened in sudden terror, and she nodded. "You trap her in here, and she might just decide to detonate it. Her own life doesn't mean much to her."
"But how–the metal detectors and security posts–" The truth dawned on him. "Oh, shit. Diplomatic seal. It wouldn't be searched."
Higurashi nodded and let go. "Let my team handle this, Chief. It's our job."
"A damn briefcase nuke," Edogawa breathed, sweat beading on his forehead. "I never thought...have you done this sort of thing before?"
"Sometimes it seems like several lifetimes," she said cryptically. "Put your team on standby, Chief–just in case."
"Where are you going?"
"To do my job." With that, she began to run.
Otomeinu Higurashi manuevered around the crowds in the airport. Rather than push her way through the packed escalators, she bypassed them by sliding down the partition, elitciting a few screams and curses from the people on either side of her. She reached bottom and kept running; as she did so, she pulled a throat microphone from her suit pocket. It was sound-powered, which would allow her to keep her hands free. She already had an earpiece. "Sai," she said into it.
"Go, O," Sai said. His voice sounded tinny in the little earphone.
"It's worse than we thought. Kagura just got back from Kazakhstan, and it looks like she's got a suitcase nuclear bomb with her."
"Kami, O! We thought she was after a jewel shard–what does Naraku need with a damn suitcase nuke?"
"No idea," she puffed as she half-slid around a group of tourists, "but we'd better stop her before she gets to Tokyo with it. Bring the car around, fast!"
Otomeinu allowed herself a brief smile. Sai could be annoying, but he was reliable. "Kilala, are you listening?"
"Find Kagura. Do not engage. Understand? Don't attack."
On the roof of Narita, Kilala nodded. "Understood." She took two steps forward and then lifted off the ground, steam rising from where she had stood. Kilala preferred her natural cat form for flying normally, but her smaller, human form was less noticeable–black jumpsuits stood out against the rainy night sky much less than yellow fur. She allowed the cool wind to carry her slightly away from Terminal One of the sprawling airport, ears flicking as a Singapore Airlines A380 super-jumbo airliner climbed away from the runway a half mile behind her. Red eyes scanned the front of the terminal below, searching. Those eyes narrowed as she saw the figure she knew and hated too well: Kagura loved white, the color of mourning in Asia, and pink, that of cherry blossoms. "Have her," she growled into the throat mike. "Climbing into big tan car."
"Are there any others?" Otomeinu's voice sounded in her ear.
"Yes. Others." She hesitated for a moment, watching the men in the suits divide up, getting into two of the tan cars. "Two tan cars. Kagura in first one." The vehicles started and then pulled into traffic. "Moving." She spotted Otomeinu reaching the front door. "See you. Cars to your right."
Otomeinu shoved past an older woman, ignoring her protests to get through the entryway quicker. She stopped at the edge of the sidewalk, and looked up the road. The only two tan cars she saw were two SUVs, but they both carried government license plates. Naraku thought of everything, Otomeinu groused inwardly. Bastard. She sniffed the air. Underneath the sweetness of fresh rain and the poisonous stench of car emissions, was the cloying, sickly smell of a demon. She glanced upwards, into the sky, and thought she spotted Kilala hovering there, a crescent moon behind her. Thank the gods, it's not full.
The SUVs were well ahead now, in traffic. No chance of catching them on foot now. She touched the throat mike. "Kilala, stay with them. Track."
"Yes." The tiny pinpoints that was Kilala's fire moved away from the moon.
"Sai, where are you?" Otomeinu asked impatiently.
"Right here!" The shout came from her left. She watched in horror as a black SUV cut across two lanes of traffic to screech to a halt in front of her, splashing filthy water over her boots. "Agh!" Otomeinu screamed. "Dammit, Sai!" She stomped up to the side of the car. "Asshole! You ever hear of a turn signal? Gradually merging with traffic?!"
"He can't help it if he learned to drive from manga." The girl in the left, passenger seat grinned at Sai. She brushed hair the same color as Otomeinu's back from a heart-shaped face.
"Kiss my tail, Kagome." Sai leaned out of the window. "How many we talking here?"
"Figure on a dozen men. Or maybe demons–this is Naraku's bunch, after all. Plus Kagura."
"And her suitcase nuke. You know how to liven up a boring evening, Otomeinu." Kagome shook her head. "At least I dressed for the occasion." She looked down at her catsuit.
"Let's not wait around, O. Hop in." Sai leaned back to open the rear passenger door.
"No–we split up. We don't know which SUV has the nuke. You guys take the rear SUV–Kagura's mine."
"What the heck are you talking about? How're we going to split up?"
Otomeinu pointed. "I'll take that. Hand me Tetsusaiga."
"Rin, hand up the sword." It was placed in his hand, and he handed it out the window. "You're crazy, O! You can't take Kagura yourself!"
"Kilala can help me–she's tracking them." She took the sword from him and buckled it around her back. "The longer we stand here jawing, the further Kagura gets ahead. Kagome, notify Section 9 what we're doing–just in case. See you later." She waved at them over her shoulder as she ran off.
"You're not your father!" Sai called out after her, then scowled. "Though you sure as hell act like him sometimes..."
"Let's go, Sai," Kagome said. "She's right–we've not much time."
"Fine." Sai pulled out into traffic, using his turn signal this time.
Otomeinu watched them pull away briefly, then reached out and tapped the shoulder of a man unbuckling his helmet. When he turned, she showed him her badge. "Hi. Interpol. Police emergency. Need your bike."
"Yes. I'll bring it back without a scratch." She climbed on before he could protest, gunned the engine, and also pulled into traffic, narrowly avoiding a bus.
"Hey!" the motorcyclist yelled after her. "There's a helmet law, y'know!"
Kagura looked up from where she had idly been watching the rain come down. "What is it?"
"I think we have company, ma'am. Of the youkai variety." The driver adjusted his rear-view mirror. Kagura leaned forward and peered into it. Something was moving behind them in the night sky. She rolled down the window and stuck her head out. "Damn," she breathed, then turned to the driver. "It appears we have Section 9 on our tails. Floor it." She reached into a pocket and fished out a cell phone, rapidly dialing in a number. "Goshinki Two, this is One. We've got company. Move it." The man on the other end acknowledged, and she closed the phone as her driver began to weave through traffic. "Four hundred years, and still they try."
"Cars going faster," Otomeinu heard Kilala say. "Spotted me, I think."
"Stay with them, Kilala!" she yelled over the roar of the motorcycle and the hiss of tires on wet pavement. She was about a dozen cars behind Sai and the others as they cruised down the Shin-Kato access road, the other terminal and control tower going by on either side of the sunken roadway. "Sai, this is O–looks like they saw Kilala."
"I heard," he radioed back. "I see them. Looks like they're going–yeah, they're turning onto the Higashi-Kanto, going south." The Higashi-Kanto Expressway connected Narita with Tokyo, less than twenty minutes to the south.
"You still planning on taking Kagura? You're behind us."
"I'll catch up." Otomeinu tapped the brakes, as the traffic ahead slowed to take the access ramp onto the expressway. She cursed softly, knowing she would never be able to get ahead at this rate. She glanced ahead, and a dangerous, possibly even suicidal plan formed in her mind. She loved it.
Otomeinu pulled into the right lane, the road that went straight ahead into Narita town. It was mostly empty, and she sped up easily. She whipped past Sai's SUV, sparing them a quick wave, then was past. She passed under the overpass, the six lanes of the Higashi-Kanto, then roared through a stop light, slid the bike into a hard left turn, and went up the ramp, heading into oncoming traffic. Horns instantly set up a cacophony of honks and beeps, but she kept to the side, barely avoiding clipping side mirrors, then was past the crowded offramp and onto the expressway itself.
"Otomeinu heading the wrong way!" Kilala said in alarm. She put her arms to her side and left a thin trail of fire as she accelerated, trying to keep the motorcycle and its rider in sight.
"That crazy little bitch!" Sai shouted, as he got a glimpse of a silver motorcycle and a mane of black hair as it whipped past three lanes of northbound traffic to his right. Kagome's eyes were as big as plates as she gripped the instrument panel in front of her, shaking her head at the sight. "Gods, has she lost her mind?" she said, then spotted Kilala in the sky above. If possible, her eyes got larger and she gripped her throat mike in near panic. "Sweet kami, Kilala, LOOK OUT!"
Kilala tore her attention away from Otomeinu as thunder filled her ears. "EEK!" she mewed as she saw the source of the thunder–an engine three times her size. The engine was attached to a gigantic Boeing 777 that was climbing out of Narita. Kilala felt the inexorable pull of the huge turbofan and threw herself upward, somehow avoiding the vortex, then bumped across the wing and rolled down the flaps, promptly being blown nearly a mile away by the jet blast. She spun away, keening.
"Kilala, Kilala!" she heard Kagome yelling. "Are you okay?"
"Kilala okay," the catgirl sniffled, floating. Once she had gotten her bearings, she flew as fast as she could to the south, because now Otomeinu was alone.
"I swear there was something on the wing! It was right there a minute ago!"
The stewardess sighed. "Please understand, Mr. Shatner, it was just some condensation off the wings..."