A silver-haired young man sat silently in the dark and
stared intently at his computer screen. He scanned through the document sent to
him a few minutes ago. Another night, another assignment, another notch up for
his reputation. Eyes trailing off the last sentence, he lifted his fingers and
typed back a reply:
Mission perceived, verification required.
The other side answered almost immediately:
Mission Code 25yqz
Mortal Target: Chief Researcher of Project
Object target: Headquarters of experimenting
laboratories, Priority = IT department and research database
Orders: Death of mortal target is fundamental.
Destroy entire laboratory. All evidences and outcomes, written or computerized,
of any experiments, ongoing, terminated or concluded, are to be eliminated.
Assassin is not to digest ANY KIND OF INFORMATION from the laboratory. Assassin
not to be captured. Eliminate witnesses. Assignment to be completed in 16 hours
Initial verification acknowledged. Final
The words flashed again:
Final verification for mission acquired from
client and accounting personnel of authority. Official consent granted. Proceed
with mission immediately.
Mikagami closed the window and logged out of his
account. Shutting down his laptop, he sighed. Another one… when can I end
this type of life? He smiled cynically. He knew the answer. Always. Even
before he began working in that profession. Meguri had given him due warning.
The answer had been, was and would always be 'never'.
Relief of work meant relief of life.
He stripped off the spandex and tanktop he was
wearing. The night was not cold (he was rarely cold anyway) but he was used to
dressing presentably. Not that anyone who saw him that night would live long
enough to laugh at him. He pulled on a black shirt and long pants of the similar
color. His suit was too inappropriate in this sort of circumstances. He pulled
on black leather gloves.
Grabbing his leather jacket, he reached into the
pockets and pulled out a bunch of keys. He inserted one of them into a drawer
and removed a 0.4 caliber semi-matte black Uzi along with several magazines. It
was one of his favorites, with a ten round capacity. Reaching deeper, he pulled
out a silencer and screwed it on. That was the portable weapon done. He slipped
it into his jacket's pocket. It was not that he was too self-confident,
carrying only one weapon, but more on the side that he knew for a fact he would
only need one.
Compound radius 200 metres… allowance 100
metres… he went over to the opposite side of his room. There were long
slabs of white finish wood on the walls, from ceiling to floor, with
diamond-shaped mirrors in the middle of each of them. Beautiful interior
Mikagami bent down and pressed a place in the
side wall. What should have been solid cement shifted backwards like a button.
The white woods sprung wide open. It was a shallow chamber inside, around 5 feet
in depth, and accessible with any of the 'doors'. Mikagami went into one
corner and picked out a black briefcase among several others.
He checked the label. Then studied the map of the
laboratory that he had printed out. Center of building… the computer labs…
He threw on his jacket and made sure he had
sufficient ammunition before grabbing the briefcase and departing the house.
Another night… another night to dye red…
* * *
He pulled the trigger twice. The two guards were
down without a sound. Whipping out a few darts, Mikagami cut the wires attached
to the three security cameras cleanly. He was impartial to his darts in
missions, especially when dealing with surveillance cameras with detectable
wires. They made no noise.
The place was surprisingly empty of guards. He
had absolutely no trouble slipping in through a side door, with the correct code
to release the lock. The patrolling guards were sparsely spread and it was easy
to be missed by them. He was glad he did not opt for the underground sewers mode
of entrance. The guards outside could live for a while more. They would all be
gone at the end of the assignment.
He returned to his present dead-on-the-floor
sentries. A quick search of their bodies got him the keys needed for the
technical control room. He ventured down the corridor, disposing of more
cameras. No more guards came to greet him, and the journey to the elevator was
He missed the lift and opted for the stairs. Up
two levels, he pushed open the door leading out, and cautiously stepped into the
white hallway. On his way to the end of the passage, he disabled three more
cameras. At the end, as he expected, was the creamy colored door with the sign
'Technical Room. Do not enter'. He wondered if the one who put the sign up
really thought that the sign would generate energy and build a barrier to
prevent people from entering. Like a stupid piece of plastic would stop ANYONE…
He chucked the idea of silent entering aside and
kicked open the door. It seemed like he did not need the keys anymore. The three
men in uniform turned to look at him in surprise. There were three short flashes
of orange and they dropped onto the ground, lifeless. Blood slapped Mikagami on
the face. There were no more noises. All was quiet.
He stood silently in the doorway, eyes dark.
Then, calmly, he lowered his Uzi and walked into
the room, stepping over the corpses. The floor had been painted red. Not only
the floor. The blood was everywhere. Mikagami bit his lip. Must have hit the
He stopped in front of a panel of switches and
put down his briefcase. From the information sent to him, all the electricity
running to the electrical locks were controlled by the room he was in. From the
schedule he managed to nab from an hour of hacking, all the doors leading out of
the facility should all be closed after 2300. It had been 2250 when he entered
the place; he had approximately taken 20 minutes to reach the control room.
He studied the board of switches for a while,
Like a chessman pondering over which of the opponent's piece he should
take. Mikagami thought, then frowned. The sentence sounded like he was a
sadistic God, deciding who to live and die. His shoulder sagged in resignation.
But then again, he should have gotten used to the idea of total massacre
already. The corner of his mouth quirked. He had been killing for how many years
There was a row of lighted blue buttons at the
top of the panel. He tapped each of them, and the lights disappeared. He had cut
off the electricity running to the exit doors. Which meant they would all remain
shut. As a second thought, he tapped another button labeled 'Base. Vent duct
3. Elect w'. He would need a way to get out.
What should I do with the room…? Can't
have someone stumbling in and causing a commotion… He decided to leave it
as it was. He had left the two dead sentries downstairs anyway, and not many
were likely to stumble into the Technical Control Room. What he was concerned
about was the possibility of someone reactivating the doors. That would blow up
his whole plan.
He hesitated before opening a nearby cabinet
labeled 'Tools'. Digging inside, he managed to obtain a crowbar and a few
wire cutters. With those in hand, he glared at the panel. Then, he dug the
curved end of the crowbar into the edge of the wood and began prying the lid
out. It was five minutes of struggling before he managed to get it loose. Once
done, Mikagami dropped the bulky toolbar and picked up the many different sizes
of wire cutter. The buttons on the lid had colorful wires connecting them to
beyond the panel. Mikagami began snipping.
Not only did he cut the wires, he removed a big
piece of each, so there would be no hopes of re-connecting the wires in a short
time. He only destroyed the blue buttons. The others had to be working, or else
sooner or later, someone would suspect something was amiss. All it took was one.
When the mechanism was beyond repair, Mikagami
threw down the wire cutters and forced the lid of the panel back. Satisfied with
his handiwork, he wiped the soles of his shoes with a random piece of cloth,
cleaning off the blood. Then, he picked up his briefcase and strode out of the
room, like a lawyer who had just crushed his adversary in court.
The 'lawyer' calmly wiped the dried spray of
blood off his face. And continued on his way. Cool and proud.
She hid in the shadows, waiting for a chance to
get at the doors again. They were locked, for some strange reasons. Not that
they have not been, most of the time, but usually the correct codes would
release the locks and open the doors. And she was in the middle of investigating
(admittedly, hitting and jamming all available buttons) when those blasted
guards came along.
She impaled the silhouettes near her with
eye-daggers. They lingered longer than usual. When they finally moved off, she
came out of her hiding place behind a pillar and went over to the metal doors
again. They looked as solid as before.
If it had not been for the 'unknown existence'
part of the order, she would have blown her way through everything. But as it
was, the door still stood smugly in front of her and she was STILL on the wrong
side of it.
Footsteps sounded. She could only slink back to
behind the trusty pillar.
The target's room was not far away from the
control room. It was on the same level, just a few steps away. Mikagami did not
come across any unnecessary conflict on his way there. The staff working there
was all in their respective quarters; it was already late. He was a little
surprised though. The place had too little guards, considering that it was a top
secret government project. He had not met more than ten. Those he saw before
being seen were avoided. So far, that tactic was working.
The woman who just came round the corner stared
at him blankly. Then at the gun in his hands.
Damn his stupid thoughts.
She opened her mouth to scream. Before she could
make any noise though, Mikagami dropped his briefcase and placed his gloved hand
over her mouth. He gave the back of her neck a sharp knock and she fell to the
ground unconscious. Unfeelingly, he shot her in the back of her head and picked
up his luggage. Leaving an unmoving body in his wake, he moved on.
Moved on… Mikagami mused. Yes, he moved
on. He always did. His life had been too fucked up for him not to. Every mission
passed by like a whirl and blended into the simple equation of life = kill,
paid, eat, kill. Like the maid he had just murdered. There were no feelings
involved, not even shame at his own brutality.
Later, maybe, if he had the time, he would just
go into a church and sit there. Listen to the silence. The silence had always
been the thing that brought out the worst nightmares. And while he was sitting
there, if he felt like it, he would just release the barrier and let guilt eat
at him. Not that much was left anyway. He had gotten so used to ending lives
that guilt was not an issue anymore. It was only this dull and irritating voice
at the back of his mind.
Later. Everything later. Now, he just had to
kill. He would worry about everything else later.
He came to a turn in the corridors. The map of
the whole place was already etched in his mind. After this turn would be the
personal quarters of the head researcher. He, named Mr. Gouch, was an important
man there, Mikagami had learnt. He commanded the whole facility and reported to
the masterminds of the project. The whole scheme was a secret activity by the
government, researching a new kind of weapon. That was all he had been told.
Assassins were there to kill, nothing more. He did not know or bother to find
out what the weapon was, what it could do, or what it was going to be used for.
Whatever. The whole thing was going to hell
tonight, when he blew up the place.
Mikagami briefly wondered whether he should take
a peep at the contents of their work. After all, it would not hurt. The Company
had sure warned him against that, and he knew the consequences would be another
assassin on his tail. But, hell, you can steal, you can rob, just don't get
His mind went back to the mental map of the
place. There would be at least two guards protecting the place against
infiltrators, common sense spoke. He took out a small mirror from his pocket and
crouched down. Slanting the mirror sideways, he could just make out four pairs
of legs wearing black boots, lined against the wall, two on each side of the
door. Mikagami could not see whether there were any more lined on the opposite
wall. The mirror only remained in use for two seconds. He could not risk the
reflected ray being seen. With the picture and position of the guards in his
head, Mikagami kept the mirror and straightened from his crouching position.
The guards were definitely armed, but Mikagami
did not know to what extent. The passage was straight with no obstacles to hide
behind. If he made a bold entrance, the guards were sure to create noise, and
that would alert the man inside the room. He had to be dead, no exceptions.
Mikagami had to make sure he was dead, and that was why he was taking the
trouble of personally visiting him instead of just blowing up the whole damned
place. (And of course, he still had the database to erase…) Not that the
target would not be dead if the building goes kaboom…
Mikagami put down the briefcase in his hands
carefully. It touched the ground without a sound. He then quietly went back to
the start of the corridor he was in. Deliberately, he stepped on the ground with
enough force just to produce the normal amount of noise. So he fished out a
random piece of paper from his jacket's pocket (it happened to be the printed
out map) and briskly walked up to the turn in the passage, then into full sight
of the sentries.
One frowned and went up to him. "Hey, are
you new here? You are not supposed to enter this part of the building without
Mikagami held out the piece of paper. "I'm
from the Communications department. An anonymous person has just faxed a map of
this facility over along with a note short warning that one of the Mr. Gouch's
guards is a spy from another country. The spy is said to have been sent here to
steal the secret of our studies and kill Mr Gouch and several other of his more
intimate associates. My department manager has sent me to deliver this urgent
piece of news to Mr. Gouch, to determine what immediate actions we must take.
Can you open this door for me? It's an emergency."
The guard who approached Mikagami shrugged back
at his companions. They nodded at him. He took the map from Mikagami. "Hmm…
it looks real enough. Show me the note."
Mikagami calmly answered, "It's is still
in my manager's hands. He and a few others are trying to obtain clues and
tracing the facsimile. It is confidential and the news is not to be spread
around just as yet. But the possibility that the warning is genuine is very
high." He eyed them suspiciously, with the ease from years of practice.
"And… the possibility that one of you is the mentioned spy is also very
The guard quirked an eyebrow and tossed the map
back to him. "Shut up, kid. Don't speak when you don't know what you
are talking about. Why do they let such a young big mouth work here, I don't
Mikagami gave the man a contemptuous look.
"Maybe it's because I have the brains you are so unfortunate as to not
He could see the man grinding his teeth. Mikagami
regarded the situation with amusement. Just for the sake of entertainment, he
added, "I overheard some of the senior operatives saying that the spy's
name starts with X. Quite an unusual letter to begin a name with, huh?" His
eyes deliberately flashed to the man's nametag. And he raised an eyebrow.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that YOU are the spy. " Then he
The guy did not look like he could take any more.
His comrades were frowning at his back. Suspicion was brewing. Mikagami hid a
cold smile. He loved to pretend. Unfortunately, his acting skills were so well
trained that he did not know his real self anymore. Pretend to be Tokiya
Mikagami of Hokage for too long, and that soft personality welded over a
long-term fire to become part of him, the original Tokiya Mikagami, Operator
Metallica of the Company. Well, maybe not that original. He had sudden flash
backs of his childhood sometimes - the first Mikagami ever. The Tokiya
Mikagami of… the Mikagami family. The Tokiya of Mifuyu.
He ground his teeth and brought his concentration
back to the present. There, his smug look had not even faltered when he was
straying off to other thoughts. Sometimes, he hated himself. Freak.
The guard wordlessly slid a card into a slot in
the door and pushed it open. "Go in and knock at the second door. Mr. Gouch
will open it for you if he feels like it."
Mikagami gave the man an insolent challenging
look before stepping into the carpeted passageway. It was quite dark. Mikagami
dropped the active facial expression and went back into his impassive look. He
wondered at the abilities of the guards. They did not even search his body. All
the better for them. If they did attempt, then, well, too bad for them, they
would gave forfeited their 30 minutes' of life. He would have shot them on the
He approached the door and knocked. There was a
scuffle of paper, then heavy footsteps. The door swung open, and a tall and
foreboding man stood there. He saw Mikagami and frowned. Before he could say
anything, Mikagami asked, "Are you Mr. Gouch?"
"Yeah, and what the hell are you doing
here?" he demanded. "No one is supposed to enter my quarters without
my explicit permission."
"Someone wants this research to end very
badly. They have sent an assassin here to end your life, and destroy all
evidences of this place's existence. All your efforts have to be
flushed," Mikagami replied with all the peace in the world.
"What are you tal-"
Two bullets rammed their ways through thick skull
into Mr. Gouch's brain.
Mikagami lowered his gun and watched as he fell
back onto the ground. The blood flowed out steadily. He calmly removed the empty
magazine from his Uzi and slotted in a new one. Then he dropped it back into his
pocket and looked around. There should be nothing that he needed here… all the
necessary information had been hacked out of their database.
He turned to leave, shutting the door softly. The
assignments were always too easy.
He knocked on the outer door. After a few seconds
and a muffled curse from outside, the door opened. The
man-with-name-starting-with-'X' glared at him as he stepped out.
Mikagami went back the way he came without a
word. As he rounded the corner, he bent down and picked up his briefcase. The
next target was the information technology lab. He was to send a virus through
their entire system to corrupt, if not destroy, all the existing files. Like he
said, there would be no evidence that this project had ever existed. Kill and
He went back to the elevator and took the stairs
beside down to the basement. After a few minutes in the identical corridors, he
came to a formidable metal door, alike to those in banks, fortifying the deposit
boxes. There was a panel with a lot of buttons by its side. Mikagami went over
and studied the buttons. He had the codes to access the place, but he wondered
if they had changed it in the six-hour interval between his hacking and the
He keyed in the long chain of code. There was a
short 'beep' then the door slid open slowly. The place was rather small,
with not over 50 computers. Most of the staff were not present, and only a
handful were left. Mikagami dropped the gun into his pocket and walked in
boldly. Not even one of them looked up. He went over to a station far away from
the workers on shift.
On the memo board behind the computer, on the
wall, there was a picture of a woman with a dazzling smile, hugging a child of
not more than seven. The boy bore a striking resemblance to the woman, and it
was of no doubt that they were mother and son. The operator of this station
is the father then… Mikagami reflected, looking at the photograph. Such a
happy family… and it would be he who would shatter the innocence of the child.
It would be because he that the child grew up without fatherly love.
Mikagami's face hardened. He was committing yet
another sin. That he knew very well. But why should he care? Someone had
murdered Mifuyu in cold blood, in front of his eyes. He had gone
through what the boy was about to go through in the near future. And maybe, one
day, that naïve, smiling child in the picture would be after his life, out for
blood, for revenge. On Operator Metallica.
Blood begets blood, revenge begets revenge. But
Mikagami did not care, because when he had finished what he lived to do, he
could die. In whose hands, it did not matter.
But there would be no one to avenge him. The
chain would simply end there.
A shadow fell across his face. Neechan…
He booted the computer and waited for it to finish loading. He had brought along
the diskettes containing the self-created virus. It would erase every file
within the Intranet and also rub out all the files in the computers where any of
the files had been sent to. Back-up copies would all be destroyed and there
would be no ways to salvage the whole project.
But as he slotted in the first diskette, he
decided to just take a look at the contents of the project. It was not often
that he got curious, and when he did, he always sated the gnawing sensation.
Randomly, Mikagami picked up a file named 'Stage 14' and opened it.
His blood ran cold.
Shit… these guys are researching… he
shut the file quickly without reading much and released the virus. There would
be no need for that type of results and records to exist. The world was better
off without them. And… it was no longer a professional matter, Mikagami grimly
decided. It was personal.
Who would not want these reports to exist…?
Are there more of… it can't be… there's only me. Whatever. These must be
The virus was successfully uploaded. A window
popped out and figures and symbols began to flash and scroll. That lasted for
ten seconds before error messages popped out and the whole screen blanked out.
Murmurs of surprise came from the workers at their respective stations. Mikagami
ignored them and grabbed his briefcase. Now that he got the basic idea of the
research's contents, he could not wait to atomize the whole place.
The latches popped open. Adorned in colorful
wires with a black body was one very very deadly bomb.
She glared the door poisonously. It was braver
than all of the Uruha and Hokage combined - it did not wither. She had been
trying her eye laser on the same spot for the past minute. Finally, she sighed
and backed away. Seeing the coast was clear, she retreated into the surrounding
forest to conceive a plan in safety. She needed to get in…
The room was in chaos when Mikagami left, walking
out of the door gracefully. It closed behind him, shutting out all the sounds of
arguing. They had not yet reached a conclusion of whether to report immediately
or await further developments. Mikagami snorted. Were they waiting for the virus
to clean itself up?
He had left the incriminating briefcase and its
contents behind, the former tucked under a table, while the latter in a drawer.
He recalled the number of movies he had seen, out of boredom, and wondered why
the hell all criminals stick their bombs onto walls or lay them out for everyone
to see and admire.
It was twenty minutes to detonation.
He made his way down to the basement. Now that
all cameras were rendered useless, he could go anywhere without care. Actually,
he wondered whether the security guards in the control had actually seen him
slipping in. There was not too much commotion, if they had.
The room in the basement was dark, with big fans
whirling and blowing hot air all around. His sight adjusted to the unaccustomed
darkness, scanning the big room for any signs of potent danger. It was all
quiet, except for the whirling of the fans and quiet humming of machinery. It
was where all the basis of the luxuries in the building was kept. The air was
greasy and humid, courtesy of the heat generated from the machines.
Mikagami went over to a big vent in a corner,
with a big sign above saying 'Ventilation duct 3. Danger. High Voltage'. It
was not the type of small airing shaft seen in air-conditioned offices. It was
easily half of Mikagami's height, and thrice as wide as him. Stretching over
the gaping mouth was mesh wires, charged with strong voltage.
Mikagami yanked the whole net of wires off
forcefully. He had already turned off the electricity in the control room. The
inside of the ventilation shaft was dark and foreboding. He threw the wire mesh
aside, ducked his head, and crawled in.
She was about to make another attempt at the door
when a loud clamor inside the building caught her attention. She froze at the
edge of the trees. There was a sudden blast of flames and noise and the whole
building blew apart. Heat surged in her direction, and something burning hit her
body. She nearly yowled out in pain, and jumped away from the flying object at
once. Pieces of the once standing facility were flying everywhere. The explosion
had not reached where she was, but the forest was near enough to be hit by the
random debris sailing through air.
Common sense told her to hide deep into the
forest. The hypnotizing fires and utter destruction beckoned to her. She stood
Mikagami stood at the edge of the trees, staring
at the death that was burning. He smiled bitterly, wondering when he had started
on terrorist work. He was an assassin, prostituting his skills, supposed to work
in the dark, silently. And there he was, making a big bang out of everything.
Just so no witnesses were left.
He still held his gaze of the fire impassively.
It was almost like a scandal to God and His creations. The more the holocaust
and sin you feed, the more beautiful the fruits that were born. He saw in it not
the demon nor the beast, but the innate beauty that lived.
It was amusing that his element should be the
water. Water puts out fire. Water puts out the destruction and the fatal beauty.
Does it mean he was the purifying factor? It was ironic. He turned and retreated
into the forest.
His sharp senses, for once, missed that lone
shadow that stood dumbly, staring at the flames, on the other side of the
The brilliance of the fire emphasized on the red
covering him. Emphasized on the blood in his hands.
* * *
At home, sitting at his own computer, Mikagami
typed out the report for his previous mission.
Mission code 25yqz.
Mortal Target: Deceased
Object Target: Inactive
Report: Entire database wiped out by virus.
Building blown up. No surviving witnesses. Too little guards present. An
in-depth check of the project is recommended in circumstance of mischance.
A reply came back immediately.
Confirm report, Operator Metallica.
Mikagami's mind flashed back to the contents of
the project. He was half tempted to ask about it, but by relating that he had
knowledge of the forbidden, he would have at the same time signed and sealed his
Yawning, Mikagami shut down the computer. In his
mind, the picture of the lady and her son was still fresh. The son was now an
* * *
In another person's bedroom, a young woman was
also facing the computer, cursing as she typed.
Mission Code 25yqx(2)
Report: Goddammit! I was blasted hell out of that
ass of a building by that damned assassin! No one told me he was going to blow
that place up! I'd wreck up YOUR HQ if you tell me to escort that kind of
The reply came back as…
Report, Operator Tempest.
An 'x' grew on the girl's forehead.
Subject Metallica unharmed although escort almost
DIED. Guards disposed and path was cleared for subject. I demand a raise of
Confirm report, Operator Tempest.
The girl growled softly.
Report confirmed and don't goddammit ask me
She shut down the computer before she could
receive anything else and plopped into bed, planning to be dead till the next
morning. The collapsing building was still burning in her head.
* * *
Sensei glared at his pupil in distaste. HE was
sleeping again and NO ONE dared to wake him up. Several pupils giggled at the
teacher's expression. He flashed the almighty
intending to intimidate. They giggled more. He could do nothing to Tokiya
Mikagami. Every time he was scolded, it always ended up the scolder being
Luckily for both parties, the bell rang at that
moment and everyone filed out for break without any consent from the teacher. A
few girls remained to drool at Mikagami's sleeping look. Their peace was not
long-lived, for Recca and Company stalked in at that moment, creating major
havoc. Mikagami's eyelids opened, showing not a single trace of sleepiness and
he stood up. Inwardly, he groaned. Darn… they're earlier than usual.
He had been escaping them by slipping out of
class early. It was only recently that they had started bugging him in break.
Sighing heavily, he resigned to his fate. One consolation was that Yanagi was
there as well, smiling nervously at the edge of the group.
The teacher was yelling at the group to get out
but stopped immediately when Domon gave him a menacing glare. Size does matter
sometimes. Yanagi immediately apologized furiously.
Laughing merrily, the group dragged Mikagami
away, much to the girls' dismay.
* * *
At the rooftop…
"Hey, cheer up, Mikagami! The sky is still
intact and showing no sign of crashing down!" Recca said as he worked his
way through a packet of bread his hime had bought.
"Yeah Fuuko, you too. It's not like I am
going to ditch you any moment, right? There's no need to pull a long face,"
Domon laughed as he patted the girl on the back. A second later, he yowled in
pain at the many kunai stuck in his arm.
"Not enough sleep…" Fuuko and
Mikagami drawled in unison.
The two stared at each other in surprise but
Mikagami shrugged it off. Fuuko though, was a lot more persistent. Energy
charging back, she hissed to Mikagami in a stage whisper, "What did you do,
huh? C'mon, tell!"
Mikagami feigned oblivion to her question and
concentrated instead on his canned coffee. Fuuko's eyes gleamed wickedly as she
thought of some evil idea to bring their teammate back to life. "Say, guys,
what do you say if we spent our day at Mi-chan's house today? He place seem to
be the only one we haven't wrecked yet, so it ain't fair!"
Recca agreed at once and high-fived Fuuko. Yanagi
beamed at the idea, very curious to what was in Mikagami-sempai's house. Fuuko
immediately gagged Domon when he attempted to comment, one that would probably
spoil their attempt at utter destruction.
The suggestion caused severe protests from the
unfortunate Mikagami, but as usual, were buried under the overpowering
determination of the team to 'visit' the Hyomon Ken master's house.
* * *
Mikagami looked green all the way home, tagged by
the bunch of perpetually energetic people. They had collected Kaoru from his
school on the way. The chattering stopped when they reached a large elegant
house. Mikagami turned greener but he took out a key and unlocked the gate. The
garden beyond was green and neat, followed by a white-painted house of
"Erm… this your place, Mikagami?"
Recca asked nervously.
"Yeah," the iceman replied coldly.
"Got a problem there?"
"Whee! How did you get such a big house?
That's twice the size of mine!" Fuuko whistled as she looked at it in
"My parents left it to me." Mikagami
plucked out his key from the keyhole and went over to the left gatepost. He
punched in a lot of numbers on the keypad planted in the concrete.
"But Mikagami-sempai, didn't you tell me at
the mirror house that you and your sister lived poorly after your parents passed
away?" Yanagi asked innocently.
"I found out later that they had this house.
After my sister died, that is."
Nobody questioned anymore. The badly concealed
bitterness in their friend's voice had effectively sealed in any questions.
Trooping up the drive, they entered the house and
began unauthorized exploring. Mikagami stayed behind in the hall, sat down, and
counted down the seconds to their departure. He squeezed his eyes shut the sound
of breaking glass emitted from the next room. Loud chatter rang in the normally
sullen place. He sighed and rubbed his forehead.
It was after more than fifteen minutes when,
faintly, a beeping sounded in his bedroom upstairs. Alert immediately, he stood
up and ascended the stairs. He slipped into his room silently not wanting to
attract any of the wreckers' attention. Fuuko and Domon were a few rooms away,
in his library. Strange place for the two to be in.
He went over to his computer and deactivated the
screensaver. The beeping stopped. Logging on to his personal online folder he
created, he opened the new file there and read the contents.
Mission Code PurgeManiac
Mortal Target: Assassin Code Maniac
Location: Currently unknown
Orders: Eliminate Operator Maniac. Subject is
full-fledged assassin, does not specialize in terrorism from file records. Rank
Two in Company. Subject aborted mission three weeks before and absconded.
Location currently unknown. Suspected to have approximately 3 subordinates
accompanying in his flight, taking the minimum. Objective for assassination not
to be disclosed. No queries with regards to mentioned objective would be
acknowledged. Operator Tempest would partner you for this mission. You are to
assist her in ways you see fit, employing your experience. Both assassins not to
be captured. Leave no traces of activities. We believe that she may expose her
full potential through this mission. Mission is not to be rejected. Orders will
Commission percentage: 40% (US$ 1,200,000)
Partner Code: Operator Tempest
Mikagami cursed in exasperation. He did not NEED
a partner! They only knew how to screw up.
At that moment, Fuuko burst in and exclaimed in
delight, "Hey, Mi-chan! I didn't know you kept… !!!"
Mikagami minimized the window hurriedly. He
turned round to face a stunned Fuuko with her mouth gaping. She strode over to
the computer hurriedly. Mikagami attempted to push her away and frowned.
"Don't touch my computer. It's too delicate for barbarians like
She did not argue, much to Mikagami's
frustrations. Silently, she shoved him away with greater force, eyes not leaving
the screen for once. She maximized the window. And stared. Mikagami stood aside
and let her read through the whole file of his mission. Finally, she tore her
eyes away from the screen.
"You're, you're Metallica… ?" Fuuko
Mikagami rolled his eyes to heavens with the ease
of years of experience. "Haven't you seen an online game before? Or is
Internet so futuristic for you?"
"Don't bluff me, Mikagami," Fuuko said,
suddenly quiet. She looked away into a corner. "So you work for them…"
"Work for who?" Mikagami added a hint
of puzzlement to his voice, though his blood ran cold.
Fuuko snorted, then buried her face in her hands.
"Why, Mikagami, why? How can you work for them…? You, the Mikagami I know…
You of all people…"
Mikagami let his deceptive front fall. "You
know them?" his eyes narrowed.
From the useless author…
Flame me, hang me, kill me. I know I've made a mess outta this idea. But at
least this is better than the first edition, right? It's definitely obsolete
now; I'm so ashamed of my first draft. This second edition is much more
believable, and I think the 'edition' is very suitably used. It's a total
For those few pages that have this fic on, please update the version, or else
just delete the whole story away. I refuse to let the first version be any more
widely read and jeered at.
As for why Mikagami would want to use guns when he had Ensui, I guess it
would be him not wanting his sister's property and family heirloom to be
stained with blood. In this Alternate Reality fic, Mikagami has been trained
from 10 onwards to become the perfect assassin, and not just with regards to
abilities. He is more deeply bonded to his profession than that. Will further
explain in future chapters.
The Darker Side is an original piece of work copyrighted to saturn de wicked™.
Characters in this fan fiction are adapted from Flame of Recca without
permission from its creator and are copyrighted to their respective owners.
© 2001 saturn de wicked™