I'm trying my hand at a dark side fic. Lets see how it turns out. Gets pretty OOC people.
I own nothing.
"blah" - normal speech
'blah' - thoughts
"BLAH" - shout/loud speech
The Secret Of Immortality
The rain trickled slowly down his swollen cheek. The boys glasses tilted to a degree so they reflected away the light, hiding his eyes. His slumped shoulders and dragging feet along with his favourite pants and new shirt ripped told of quite a battering. His slicked down hair forced the rain down around his eyes and nose, diving in at the corners of his mouth only to trickle down to his chin. He sighed as an indistinguishable tear slid down along with the water. Trudging along side the road, a passing car spared him no mercy as it drove through a large puddle, throwing what seemed like a deluge of water over his depressed form. It forced around behind his glasses, throwing them away and onto the pavement, shattering one lens and cracking the other. Instantly falling to his knees, he felt around for the important spectacles. Finally grasping them, he cut his finger on the broken side. Instantly holding his finger, he sucked on it. Rubbing his tongue over it, he felt the sides of the cut knit together at an accelerated rate, quickly covering the torn flesh. Removing his finger, he more carefully grabbed his glasses, and gently slid them over onto his nose. Dropping his hands, his head fell forward, letting the rain cover his already drenched back. More inconspicuous tears flowed down his cheeks, his eyes growing a little red. After sitting there for a few minutes he stood up, wiped his nose on his torn sleeve and began walking home. As he slipped down the street, a barely audible voice drifted across the road.
"It hurts. Oh, it hurts."
"IDIOT! Why must that dropkick disappear now of all times? Just when we need him to patch another hole in the roof. UGG! Why do I put up with him?"
Naru paced up and down the room, constantly looking up at the leaking roof and down the steps to the Hinata Inn. Growling, she squinted down the stairs again. Finally seeing what her eager eyes had been searching for, she stood in the door way, hands on hips, an angry expression contorting her beautiful face. Finally as Keitaro reached the entrance, the insults took the place of the rain.
"Where were you? IDIOT! Where were you? Now its been raining for almost 10 minutes and all that time you've been slacking off doing who knows what you should be here looking after the damn place honestly I don't know why we keep you! …Are you even listening to me? OI!"
She watched as the oblivious form of Keitaro began the assent of the stairs. Screaming again, her breath was cut short by an extreme cold that hit her dead on the side. Turning to the shock, she gasped. A pasty white image of Keitaro stood there. A dark black aura circled it. Its glasses had been broken, the fragments blown back into the swollen rotting eyes. Great cuts were engraved into his face, leaking a black fluid down into its completely destroyed shirt. It held its broken arm, the bone clearly sticking out of its elbow, hand twisted 180 degrees and rendered utterly useless. It gasped for breath as a large gash traced from its right shoulder right down to its left hip. Inside could be seen its black heart pumping the thick fluid around the veins and arteries, its lungs riddled with holes and indents. Looking back up into the things eyes, Naru nearly died there and then from fright as it opened its eyes. The deep black swirling vortexes of nothingness almost seemed to drag her soul from her very body, down into a place feared even by the devil. The hellish creature opened its lipless mouth and whispered a single sentence in an incredibly velvety, wet voice.
"Shut the fuck up bitch or I will devour you here and now."
Turning its head in a quick snapping motion, it took a step and seemed to slip into the dark light before flashing into the back of Keitaro. The light enveloped him briefly before being sucked into his ears.
Naru stood there rendered useless by the apparition. Just as Keitaro disappeared into his room, Motoko charged out of her room, sword drawn. Every nerve ablaze, she launched herself down the stairs landing hard on the ground. Looking up, she saw the shell shocked Naru standing there, almost as white as the sash the samurai wore. Jumping to her side, Motoko grabbed her shoulders, shaking the girl back into reality.
"NARU! NARU! What just happened? TELL ME!"
The girl just turned to her, eyes wide and unfocused.
"I…it was so cold. So…cold! Its voice…so, so cold…"
Barely finishing speaking, she slumped into Motokos' shoulder, unconscious. Motoko quickly lowered her to the ground, calling out to everyone in a loud voice. They all came running, and upon seeing their friend on the ground death white, the immediately jumped into action. As they pushed her into the recovery position, she began to convulse gently. Screams of panic and fear filled the house as Motoko tried her hardest to organise the group. Eventually she managed to get Shinobu to call emergency and settled everyone else. During the commotion, Keitaro looked around the corner at the top of the steps, eyes hidden again behind his spare glasses. As he turned, a dark after image briefly stayed staring down into the foyer. It turned its head and slipped back into Keitaro just as Motoko looked up and glared at the spot the darkling had just been.
Everyone was crowded around the bed as they watched on anxiously as Narus' heart continued to grow stronger. No one said anything as they feared it might interrupt the unconscious girls heartbeat and make it slow again. You can imagine their fright as a doctor walked in and whistled loudly. All of them whipped around and glared at him. He simply coughed and moved between them, checking Narus pulse in conjunction with the heart monitor. Turning he looked at her friends.
"Well, all of you can relax. She's going to be alright. Though, in the cat scans we found some strange results."
He pulled out some transparent sheets and held them up to the light.
"As you can see, this area is highlighted. This normally is only active when someone experiences extreme terror of an incredible degree. The fact that it was still active even after you brought her in suggests that whatever scared her nearly froze her heart. Who knows, as we speak she might be having the biggest nightmare of her life."
He shook his head and lightly stroked her arm. "Who could possibly understand what she may be going through now."
Looking around at the girls, he sent them an encouraging smile. "But that's just speculation. For now, I just recommend that you all try and be here for when she wakes up. I'll leave you to it then."
Turning he walked briskly out of the room and on to his next patient. Looking away from his retreating form, the girls turned back to Naru. Just realising something, Shinobu looked around.
"Where's Senpai? He's normally the first to come see any of us if we're injured. Especially if its…Naru-Senpai here."
The young girl turned away and blushed. Kitsune just smiled and ruffled her hair. Motoko on the other hand nodded and looked around too.
"Yes, that's true. Though he is a pervert he is always one of the first to come to the side of another. Everyone, wait here, I'll go look for him."
Turning, she made for the door. As she reached for the knob, she frowned. Stepping back, she watched for a second or so before it opened to reveal a timid Keitaro. Looking up, he saw Motoko and smiled weakly.
"Hey. I guess I found the right room. C-can I see her?"
Simply stepping back, she allowed him passage. Walking into the white room, he looked over at the bed and stood beside it. Leaning down, he whispered gently into Narus' ear. He looked up and smiled as he saw her eyelids flutter. Standing up, he gently pushed her shoulder, causing a groan from her. Hearing the positive sound, they all gathered around the bed. Slowly, Naru opened her eyes. Seeing Keitaro's face, she instantly lost all colour in her face. Sucking in a massive breath, she readied for an incredible scream.
"Calm down Naru."
Those three simple words instantly relaxed the girl and the colour quickly returned to her face. All the residents looked from Naru to Keitaro in confusion. Dropping the subject for the moment, they all turned back to the bedded girl.
"So how are you feeling Naru-Senpai?"
Naru sat up. "Actually I feel fine. Why am I here?"
Motoko widened her eyes. "Why? When I found you, you were completely petrified by something. You collapsed and then convulsed. That's why you're here. So from what you said you remember nothing of what happened?"
Frowning, Naru shook her head. "It feels like a bad dream. All I remember is the deathly cold. I think that may have been what put me out. I just can't remember what caused it…its right there! I just can't quite remember…Arrgh!"
Frustrated, Naru dropped her head into her hands. Keitaro saw this and gently put his arms around her. "Its ok. We're all here. Nothing can get you."
As if to prove that point wrong, the boy accidentally reached around her shoulders a bit far and grabbed her tit. Fuming, Naru looked up, eyes red.
Twisting is his grip all he managed before she hit him square in the chest was a feeble, "Wait! I didn't mean i…"
Though the punch sent him through the roof, leaving a nice hole, everyone let out a breath. It seemed like most things were almost back to normal.
Had they bothered to look though, they would have seen a dark black liquid on the ground, the drips materialising out of nothingness only to fall to the ground where the ronin stood. As the small puddle grew, so did the unnatural dark surrounding it, sucking the light out of everything within range, leaving it colourless and lifeless.
Back in the Hinata Inn, Shinobu was carrying the washing as usual to the line. Hearing a squeak and then a curse and finally a punch, she deduced that Keitaro had made another mistake. Sighing, she continued along the route until she heard a bone chilling scream. Dropping everything, she ran as fast as her young legs could carry her. She arrived a few seconds after everyone else at Narus door. Looking in, she could see Naru pined against the back wall in fear. Kitsune was there comforting her along with Su. Looking at where the terrified girls eyes were at, she gasped. A thick oozing black liquid was running out of nothingness, about Keitaro's head height sitting down. Motoko was there performing some sort of ceremony beyond the little girls knowledge. But what really scared her was what the puddle was doing. It seemed to be fighting Motokos chants, glowing a pale purple and throbbing up against an invisible barrier. The surrounding floor had been reduced to what could only be described as a dead colour. There was no substance in it, almost like the fluid had sucked the pigments from the floor, leaving it looking fragile and transparent. Motoko stood there sweating heavily, exhaustion from fighting the thing beginning to show. Eventually, the beginning less stream and puddle began to suck back into the point where the trickle touched the floor. Soon enough, it vanished into a point of infinity with a sickly plop.
At that, Motoko collapsed. Shinobu ran up to her, checking over her to make sure she was ok. Finally giving her the ok, she turned to Naru. Still she was against the wall corner wide eyed. Motoko slowly turned to face her and crawled over in front of her. Taking her hands, she spoke very slowly to her.
"Naru-Senpai. Before I can say anything about that fluid, tell me what made you scream. Was it the fright of its appearance?"
Her unfocused eyes slowly tuned themselves to Motokos. Shaking her head slowly, she struggled to find descriptive enough words.
"N…no. The fluid came later. I hit Keitaro because he manhandled me as usual. But then…then…"
She began to lose it, crying and clutching to the nearest person. Motoko gently held her cheeks and looked deep into her eyes.
"But what Naru?"
The fear almost dripped from her eyes. "I hit him and then…he flew away but right before he hit the ceiling was a face. It was the most horrible thing I had ever seen! It looked vaguely like Keitaro, but covered in deep, festering cuts all over its face and chest! It was smiling at me, though on its face was the imprint from my fist on the real Keitaro's face! Its grin was disgusting, all the teeth decayed and brown, some broken from where I supposably hit it! Holes were in its mouth everywhere and that thick liquid you saw dripping from them…it was so viscous. And then there were the eyes, those horrible black eyes! They were like a void into something deeper than hell…it felt like my soul was being sucked into them…"
She began to cry and whimper, cuddling into the concerned girls surrounding her. Motoko stood, looking at Kitsune and nodding once. The fox nodded back and continued to rub the terrorised girls hair while whispering comfortingly to her. Turning, Motoko strode out of the room. Shinobu looked from Naru and Kitsune to Motoko's retreating form. Turning to the door, she looked over her shoulder at the three girls in the corner one last time. Reaching the door, she turned and ran after Motoko.
"Um, Motoko-Senpai, what was that? The liquid and what Naru said? I had never seen that black stuff ever before! …Motoko?"
The tall girl had stopped walking and was looking straight ahead. Sighing she looked down at her. "I'm not sure Shinobu. But I think it may have been a demons blood. What she also said about what she saw leaves little doubt. But the fact that she said it looked like Keitaro…usually they just enter and possess people looking nothing like the poor soul they inhabit…but to have something like that to show itself so boldly, and gruesomely. Normally they take pride in their appearance, not wanting to 'lower' their form to something like ours. This is a completely new type of force I have never heard of. I will go and talk this over with my sister."
Striding out, she reached the steps in a matter of seconds. She disappeared down them, loosing no speed. That just left the little girl standing holding her hands up to her chest, her mind in a whirl. Keitaro, possessed? How could that be? He is always so caring, so selfless. If anything, it would have been Naru as the small girls first guess as to who was possessed. Standing there, she noticed just how empty the house was. It left her feeling very alone and vulnerable. Turning, she ran back to Narus room.
"Yes. Yes. Ok. See you soon sister."
Sighing in resignation, Motoko set down the phone. As much as she detested the idea, it was necessary that Tsuruko came to help over see this unusual phenomenon. As the samurai stood there, she looked over at the door, sensing something. It opened and revealed Keitaro walking in, no scratch or blood stain what so ever to say of Narus punch. He began to walk towards the stairs before a blade across his chest caused him to jump and eye up the metal thing very cautiously. Moving his eyes down the blade, he saw Motoko holding it, looking at him quite oddly. Very slowly, he raised his hands to the blade and tried pushing it down.
"N-now M-Motoko, is there really any need f-for this? I just got punished and I haven't even seen any of you yet. So, so maybe can we lower the sword and talk this over?"
He looked at her, fear evident in his eyes. Motoko frowned at that as she saw no indication that there was actually a demon in him. Sheathing her weapon, she pushed him roughly over to the couch, throwing him down on the cushions. Taking a seat opposite him, she looked deep into his eyes. They sat like that for some time. Eventually Keitaro really began to get creeped out by what was happening.
"-Cough- Ah, Motoko, if your done staring at me I'd like to get back to studying."
Motoko just stared at him some more.
"Do you feel normal Urashima?"
Keitaro sweat dropped. "Uh, yea, don't feel any worse than normal if that's what you mean."
"Haven't experienced any urges that includes your normal perversion just to a greater degree; to smash or to kill anything?"
More sweat drops. "Heh heh heh, ah, nooo can't say I have."
Glaring at the boy, Motoko stood up. "For your sake, you best not see Naru again for a while."
Leaving him wondering what the threat meant, Keitaro got up and walked to his room. On his way there, he heard a soft airy voice behind him. Turning, he just saw a light grey fog dissipating.
Turning back, he walked to his room, his form glowing a faint purple before fading from sight.
That night, Keitaro opened his eyes. They seemed to glow, no pupils present. He then smiled. A cruel smile. Standing, he walked over to the window. Opening it, he looked down around the surrounding area. He saw a house no less than several hundred meters away. Grinning he walked to the back of the room.
"Ten to one says I can jump that."
Taking a running leap, the blurred figure shot out of the window, sailing high over the town. Nearing the house, he extended his legs in preparation. He hit the roof with a tremendous amount of force, destroying it completely and pulling down several walls. Inside the now ruined house sat Keitaro, his legs broken and bruised. He laughed at the pain as the bones retracted into his legs, the holes sealing up in less than ten seconds. Standing, he cracked a shoulder. He heard the groaning of the people under the heavy walls. Taking a deep breath through his nose, he smelt the blood of the inhabitants. And the fear. Licking his lips, he began to search through the rubble.
Several minutes later, a multitude of ear piercing screams echoed across the quiet night.
The nest morning, Shinobu awoke early as usual. Stretching, she rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she got dressed. Walking quietly out her door and down the steps, she got a surprise as she saw Motoko standing at the T.V. watching intently. Walking up behind her, she looked at what the screen showed. Her eyes widened as she saw the demolished house along with the inhabitants. Partially listening to the reporter, she put together that some unknown object had flown into the roof, destroying it completely. Looking closer, she saw the feet of one of the casualties. Gasping, she covered her mouth as she saw the colour. It was that same horrible devoid white that the floor had changed to while that weird inky stuff had been on it.
"…It was as if the poor people had simply had their souls sucked out! As strange as it sounds, I can't really think of a better way of saying it. Their bodies are transparent and dehydrated, all the organs completely snap dried. But what really got the searchers were their eyes. Their eyes were completely black, hard and smooth, like small pebbles. Really quite disturbing. I'm sorr…"
Shinobu looked up at Motoko as she turned off the T.V.
"What does this mean?"
Motoko just looked at the fading picture. "It means something out there is harvesting people for some reason. And I have absolutely no idea why."
Sighing, she turned and focused on the underside of Keitaro's room. "I'm going to talk with out manager about this."
Minutes earlier Keitaro woke with a sigh of satisfaction. He remembered the best dream in a while. And surprisingly it didn't include Naru. Rolling onto his side, he thought of the feeling of flying over the city, a feeling of freedom and power. He actually remembered feeling strong enough to contend with Motoko! Looking down at his hands, he saw a weird golden substance on them. Shaking them, the goo simply spread out over his palms. Sniffing them, his mouth started watering. Pulling away, he licked his lips.
"Hmm, must be really hungry for Shinobu-chan's cooking this morning."
Standing, he walked into the washroom. Scrubbing away the honey like substance, he looked in the mirror. He frowned as he saw a rather large trickle of blood down the side of his mouth. Washing it away, he finished up everything and turned to walk out the door.
Motoko heard the taps finishing up. Adding an empty room and that together, she stalked down the hallway. Rounding the corner, she ran into Keitaro, completely knocking him off his feet. Glaring down at him, she unsheathed her sword.
"Urashima, you are possessed. You don't know it but I am convinced. Come with me and nothing shall happen to you."
'Like hell I am.'
The surprise thought suddenly jumped into the grounded boy. Normally he would never have even contemplated it but now that it was there, he liked it. He really liked it.
Standing up slowly, he grinned darkly at the kendo girl. "Catch me and you can take me wherever you please."
Winking at her slyly, he turned and took off down the hallway at an incredible speed. Motoko was left standing there gob smacked. Did that male actually pervert one of her ideas? Did he actually challenge her? Growling, she took off down after him.
Keitaro was sprinting along with ease he never new he had. Looking over one shoulder, he saw the enraged samurai charge around the corner. Grinning, he took a quick left.
"Catch this bitch."
Jumping up onto the window ledge, he launched up over the baths and landed in the far balcony. Turning, he saw her arrive at the window looking over at him in disbelief. Pulling an eyelid down and sticking his tongue out at her, he turned and started running again.
Motoko was at a loss. What had happened to him? This wasn't demon power. At least, not what she knew of. It was like he had taken a crash course in Ki control! The way he jumped, his agility, his speed, all was like if he had trained for years before hand! Jumping the gap, she ran after him. She watched as he moved around the corridors. His energy was so high she could almost see his outline though the walls! Rounding the corner, she saw him run into a blocked entrance. Frowning she ran after him. Surely of all people he would have known about that. Turning into the hall, she stopped abruptly as Keitaro stood there, hardly breathing at all even after all the exercise. Looking at him cautiously, she drew her sword.
"I yield! Guess I forgot this was a dead end."
Smiling his usual grin, Motoko couldn't help but think something was out. He worked here, he made the repairs, hell, he did everything! Even if he wasn't actually thinking of where he was going, the layout of the Inn should have been deeply engraved into his subconscious anyway. Pointing her weapon at his stomach, she motioned for him to move.
"To my room. MARCH!"
Laughing lightly, Keitaro walked along in front of her.
Reaching Motoko's room, Keitaro looked over at his oppressor.
"So what now?"
Shrugging, he sat, legs splayed, his weight back over his palms. Motoko sweat dropped at the antic but left it alone. Turning, she partially closed the door behind her.
"Oh, and Urashima. You will not leave the room. Understood?"
"Nope. On what grounds do you have for keeping me here?"
Motoko sighed. "Just stay here. Ok? Can you do that for me?"
Keitaro blinked a few times. Did she actually request an action of him, not normally forcing him around?
"Ok…I guess…just don't make it too long ok? I have chores to do."
Nodding she closed the door.
On the outside of the door, Motoko barred the door with a piece of wood, just to make sure he couldn't get out.
'Not like it would stop him in his current state.' She thought.
Walking briskly down the stairs, she ran into Su. The hyper active sugar bomb instantly squealed in delight and latched onto the girl. Motoko squirmed under the grip but continued along her way.
"Hey Motoko! What's you doing?"
Picking the girl up by her arms, she flipped her around in front of her. "Su, I am currently in the middle of something very important. Please go and play elsewhere for a while."
Pouting adorably, she dropped to the floor.
"But its so boring!"
Motoko couldn't help but smile at the girl. " I promise we'll play later ok?"
The mention of play and promise in the same sentence instantly had her in high hopes. Standing up, she laughed.
"I'll come back soon ok!"
She ran off making aeroplane sounds while weaving from one side of the hallway to the other. Motoko briefly watched her run away. Sighing in relief, she turned and made her way down to the front door. Glancing at the clock it said 10:30am. Opening the door, she walked out. Though normally completely random with her visits, when it came the possibility of possession and demons, Tsuruko was always extremely prompt. She stood for barely 30 seconds before her sisters form appeared at the bottom of the stairs. She watched as she gracefully ascended the stairs, every movement speaking of the power hidden underneath. Soon she reached the summit and looked back down them.
"Phew! Every time I climb them they always seem to get longer!" She turned back to Motoko. "So how have things been?"
Motoko shrugged. "As they should be. Except for the reason I called you here."
Tsuruko's normally happy face was quickly replaced with a face of business. "Indeed. Tell me of what has happened."
With that, Motoko led Tsuruko into the house, relating everything she could remember to her sister.
Keitaro sat in Motokos room. He'd been there for close to twenty minutes now. Sure he said that he'd stay there for her… Sighing he stood up. Walking to the door, he gave a pull to open it. The wood chuck locked in place as wanted. Pulling again at the door, Keitaro stood back wondering what to do.
"Awww Motoko! You know I have things to do. Why'd you do that?"
Stepping back, he pondered his situation.
'Its your dorm. You can do as you want. You OWN the place, not her.'
For the second time, a surprise thought jumped into his mind. Blinking a couple of times, he realised this little voice was right. He had no reason to stay here. Walking up to the door, he looked around it. Seeing no holes, he shrugged. His fist tingled slightly as he raised it.
A hand appeared through the solid door of Motokos room. It reached around until it found what it was searching for. Grabbing the wood, it flipped it away. Retracting back into the room, the unlocked door opened and Keitaro walked out rubbing his wrist. He closed the door and looked down at the smallish hole.
"Pfft, I usually put bigger holes in the roof and walls. It can wait."
Walking off, his form glowed a little brighter before fading.
Down in the lounge room, Motoko finished off her story of the strange occurrences.
"So sister, you see why I suspect Urashima."
Tsuruko nodded. "Yes…It is strange that it's now it decides to show its face. And that it hasn't made him do anything out of the ordinary, other than scare the life out of Naru. By the way, how is she?"
Motoko sighed, remembering the poor girl. "She slept with Kitsune for the night. She was still edgy this morning so Kitsune took her, Shinobu and Kaolla out to town for the day. It also helps with only the three of us being here."
Tsuruko smiled. "It will be good for them to get out. From what I know, Naru's quite the book worm."
Motoko just nodded. Before she could say anything, she looked up at her room. Turning to her sister, Tsuruko nodded. "I felt it too. Come on."
Unsheathing their swords, they slipped up the stairs.
Keitaro walked along, list in hand and wrote down anything he saw that needed attention.
"Narusegawa's room…hallway floors…windows…Oh, Motoko-chan's door…"
Slipping up behind the unaware ronin, the two sisters monitored his movements. Looking at each other, they jumped out, screaming a battle cry. Keitaro turned, hearing the loud shout. He echoed their cry, just more out of fear than anything. He watched them as they landed, knocking his feet out from under him in one swift movement. Before he could do anything, a rope was quickly wrapped around him. Lying on the ground, he flapped about a bit before looking up at his oppressors. Seeing Motokos' sister, he gasped.
"T-Tsuruko-san! Motoko-chan? What are you doing?"
Motoko reached down and lifted the boy by his collar before slinging him over her shoulder unceremoniously. They walked down into the lounge room and dropped him on a chair in the middle of the room. Both women then sat opposite him and looked at him. Keitaro just sat there wide eyed having absolutely no idea what was happening.
Tsuruko spoke first. "Keitaro-san. Do you know why you are here?"
He looked at the lady as if she was crazy. "Why am I here? You two are on about something possession and a-rather which means I'm your play toy. Am I right?"
Motoko glared at him. "You, Urashima, are possessed. We felt the signal at the same time coming from my room. I locked you in there and yet you got out with ease. Thus we are going to send your demon to hell."
Keitaro sighed. "For the last time I'm not possessed ok? Your just paranoid about that thing Naru saw along with the news. Now…now let me up, I have things to do."
Although extremely cautious about talking to TWO potentially violent samurais, he thought that the only way to get the point through that he wasn't a demon in disguise was to be very blunt. He looked at them both with pleading eyes, hoping to break through their emotional walls. After a few minutes, Tsuruko's eyes softened a little. She whispered something into Motoko's ear that caused her to growl a little. Standing, she dragged her older sister out of the room, leaving Keitaro sitting there wallowing in self pity.
In the kitchen, the two girls talked softly together.
"But Motoko, he shows no signs of being possessed. He hasn't even raised a word against us!"
Motoko shook her head. "No, I'm sure it's him giving off the unusual energy pulses. It seems from what has happened previously is that it only 'activates' when he is in need of something. Like when I was chasing him. Or when he was hit by Naru. Or needing to get out of my room. I say wait a bit to see what happens."
Tsuruko smiled. "Fine. We'll do what you suggest. Although if I am correct in my assumptions, you must marry Urashima."
Motoko gagged and gave her sister a look that suggested that she just smelt old fish.
Tsuruko just laughed. "I was kidding! Lighten up a little Motoko! Anyway, we might as well sit and wait to see what happens."
Sitting down, they rested against the cupboards and began to meditate.
Back in the room, Keitaro watched them leave. He hoped above hopes that Tsuruko could talk some sense into the mad samurai that lived in this place. As the minutes dragged by, he began to lose faith in them. He heard a door slam and assumed they had forgotten him and left him there. Sighing, he began to look around for the knot. It was a thickish rope, bound fairly tight but not uncomfortably so. Looking over his shoulder, he saw the knot sitting up on his shoulder blade. He tried gnawing at it but gave up quickly. After sitting for another ten minutes or so, he began to wriggle.
'Damn it, I have things to do.'
He wriggled a little more and the chair began to rock.
'They have no right to hold me here! How dare they! When I catch them I am giving them a piece of my mind!'
Slowly he began to struggle harder against the braces. The chair rocked more and Keitaro grunted.
Motoko and Tsuruko came out of their trances nearly at the same time. Looking at each other, they quietly acknowledged the raise in energy coming from Keitaro. Looking around the corner, they watched the back of him. They heard him grunting and the saw the chair rocking as he struggled. Tsuruko considered letting him out but quickly dismissed the thought as his power was climbing rapidly. They watched in amazement as they heard the rope begin to creak against the force pushing out against it. The chair hopped a few times as Keitaro struggled. As his energy continued to rise, snapping rope fibres sounded out. A dark aura began to circle him as his movements became more frantic. Finally in a deep grunt, Keitaro snapped clean through the sturdy rope. Standing, he ripped off what pieces still clung to him. Turning, he looked over where the girls were watching. They gasped when they saw his eyes. His pupils had faded slightly, the whites of his eyes now glowing eerily. Looking around briefly, he turned towards the stairs. As he took a step forward, a ghostly after image appeared where he had just moved from, mimicking him, but lacking a few seconds. What got the girls about this was what was wrong with it. It had deep rope burns on its legs and arms, its hands black from no circulation. They hung uselessly as it slowly sped up its movements, beginning to merge with Keitaro. As they crept out from their hiding space, the ghost quickly snapped its head around and glared at them.
The wet voice sent shivers down the girls spines as they rose to meet the apparition. As it walked towards them, the real Keitaro stopped briefly, frozen in time. He was then where the ghost was. No movement no nothing. It was the ghost walking towards them, then it was Keitaro. His eyes spoke of pain and suffering to come before they slowly faded to be replaced by a mild surprise. He stopped and looked at the two horrified women.
"Motoko! Tsuruko! I thought you two had left!"
The complete innocence of the question really scared the girls. Deepening their battle stance, Motoko spoke up.
"Do you not know what you just did? You ripped clean through a rope. It was a new one too."
Keitaro thought back a bit. "Yeah, I did didn't I. But I thought you two left?"
Tsuruko looked at him cautiously. "Keitaro, we just saw a most disturbing ghost of you. We are now going to get rid of it, no matter the cost."
Keitaro's eyes clouded over briefly. "Even if it means taking my life?"
Tsuruko didn't flinch. "We will try everything in our power to save you Keitaro. But if need be to secure a safe house hold, then yes."
The purple aura returned slowly to Keitaro's form. He raised his arms up away from his body, palms up turned. His gaze deepened as his power began to generate a strong wind. Dying down briefly, it then snapped into a blaze as his coat was blown out behind him. He glared at the two women before him.
"You two freaks. No one will take my life 'just because'. You cannot have it."
Though Motoko began to sweat against the frightening scene in front of her, Tsuruko held her ground.
"KEITARO URASHIMA! You will not move! We are going to save everyone that lives here weather or not you will be here to see it!"
Keitaro spat on the ground. "Bullshit, like I haven't heard that before. If you want me that bad, come and get me."
Looking up towards the roof, he began to levitate towards it. Generating a dark purple ball in his hand, he shot it at the roof. A loud explosion echoed out and he flew up though the dust and falling shrapnel. The air continued to circle through out the house unnaturally, a testament to his new power. Tsuruko didn't even bother looking at her sister, taking off and leaping off the rooms wall and through the hole in the roof.
Motoko stared after the retreating figures. How was it that Keitaro had become so powerful? Tsuruko looked well confident enough charging after him like that, but Motoko had her issues. Flying? Only the very best teachers in her home school could do that, if only for a few seconds. But to be able to fly like that and also generate a Ki blast with no weapon to channel to through… Shaking her head to rid the thoughts, she launched herself up through the roof.
Tsuruko stood staring opposite Keitaro. The boy now had red eyes and was positively glowing dark purple. He looked at her and smiled. She widened her eyes as she saw his teeth. Though keeping the general human form, they seemed like they had pointed slightly, meshing a little more than normal. While standing there, she saw Motoko pop up out of the roof to land beside her. Seeing Keitaro's teeth, she gasped softly.
"What is happening to him sister? This has never been recorded."
Tsuruko's face showed no emotion. "We take him like normal. It is a demon, so we fight it like one."
Crouching, the two girls jumped forward.
Keitaro watched them talk. Seeing them crouch, he relaxed.
'Strange, I should be terrified right now. Heh, Motokos even got her sister to punish me now. Too bad I feel just so damn good!'
They charged at him, swords aimed at his stomach. Waiting until the last second, he lent to the side, supporting his entire body weight on his left leg. The swords passed harmlessly over him by barely two inches. Dropping a hand, he flipped back several feet to land standing near the rail. Looking over at the women, he watched them attack again. Motoko jumped up, screaming out a Ki attack while Tsuruko came in for the close combat. Cart wheeling out of the charged winds way, he landed on his feet only to see a blade flying in for his face. Palming up, he punched the flat of the blade, throwing it over his head. The next thing was another sword thrusted forward into his gut. Slapping his palms together, he caught the blade and held on tightly. Twisting his torso, he flung both sword and sword holder away.
Motoko caught herself and landed gracefully. Moving cautiously towards her sister, she voiced her concerns. "He is incredible. I have never seen anyone catch a blade like that."
Tsuruko nodded. "It seems that we'll have to go in as a team. Ready?"
Motoko nodded. Jumping forward, they cried out as they charged. Nearing Keitaro, they raised their blades.
The two of them swung at Keitaro from both sides. Dropping, he landed on his hand and knees and scooted between their legs. He stood up behind them absolutely beaming. He laughed at his new found ability.
'Fantastic! I've always admired Motoko for her strength…now I'm actually stronger than not even her, but her sister! Lets see what else I can do.'
He turned to face them. Raising a palm, he focused in on the samurais. Straining, he fired off one black ball towards them. He watched them launch out of the way. Though easily missing it, Motoko's sword clipped the ball. Landing, she cried out, dropping her sword. It hit the ground with a thud, but continued to vibrate at an incredible rate for a few more seconds. Holding her hand, she lent down and picked up her now still weapon. Testing out her hand on it, she gripped it firmly and looked at Keitaro with murder in her eyes. Jumping forward, the two sisters began to mimic each others movements to the millimetre. Slicing in, they cut air where Keitaro's head once was. Spinning round, they began chopping, slicing and parrying attacks.
Keitaro watched the swords come in from all sides. Using his hands and fingers, he deflected all harm away from him via simple hits on the flats of the swords. Grinning, he saw openings that normally would never have been visible. He began to move his weight into attacking, reaching out with jabs and palms into open areas. They were all blocked, but only just. Finally knocking both blades away, he saw a blatant flaw in both their techniques. Thrusting forward, he caught both women with a solid punch to their chests. The force caused them to fly backwards in a high arc to crash into the far side of the grounds. Keitaro looked at his hands, opening and closing them. He giggled at how easily he had just beaten the two invincible sisters. Looking over at them, he saw them struggling to get up.
"H-he is unimaginable. To catch the both of us like that so soundly in the chest…"
Tsuruko looked angrily over at her sister. "What are you saying? Just because we take one blow you think it's over? Get up and focus!"
Nodding, she stood up and looked over at Keitaro. He was just ginning at them with those sharp teeth of his.
"What's the matter? Ha, you should have seen yourselves when you landed! Dam, now I know what I look like after taking a Naru punch or a slice courtesy of Motoko here."
Tsuruko looked over at her sister when he mentioned this. Motoko just stayed staring at Keitaro, a faint blush gracing her cheeks.
"Well, it's been fun but I really must go. Not sure where yet but don't worry, I'll come back."
Nodding his leave, he took one last sly glance at the warriors before turning and running at the edge of the roof. Jumping up onto the rail, he kicked off it with such a force that it snapped clean in two. Tsuruko lowered her sword as she watched the unique boy sail high over the city. Turning to her sister, she studied her.
"What was he saying about 'Naru punch and Motoko slice'?"
Motoko looked at her sister, her face emotionless. "Every time he commits a perverted act he gets his just reward."
Tsuruko frowned. "Hmmm…ok."
Turning back to the broken railing, Tsuruko closed her eyes. 'I really think I should get the opinion of someone less opposed to males.'
Opening her eyes, she watched Keitaro's form disappear down into the parklands on the far side of the town. A faint rumble sounded out as a puff of dirt drifted into the sky.
"Well, shall we follow him?"
Nodding, Motoko and her sister took a running leap from the building, launching high into the air in pursuit of the immortal man.
Keitaro left the large crater he had caused upon impact. The few people around all stared at him in a mix of fascination and disbelief. He just carried on his way completely oblivious to all stares. Walking along, he saw a small playground. Walking into it, he sat down on the swings. He began to swing, watching everything around him. He saw a few young kids playing over on the slides. Watching them, he saw one of them start to totter slightly on the top of the plate of the slide. Eventually she lost her balance and crashed to the ground, cutting her knee. She sat there for a few seconds before she realised she was hurting. Though she cried, he heard nothing. Keitaro just watched the small blood trickle run down her leg. Strangely though, it seemed that it was glowing a soft gold. Taking a deep breath through his nose, the sweet sent of it filled his sinuses. Closing his eyes, he thought back to the gold on his hands.
'Oh it was so sweet. Maybe I'll have a little more.'
Keitaro quickly opened his eyes. What the hell was that? These spontaneous thoughts were getting out of hand. It's just that the gold glow was so alluring…smacking himself around the face a few times, he concentrated on swinging.
Motoko and Tsuruko landed just over 10 feet away from Keitaro's impact zone. They quickly got up and began to search for him. Not being able to jump the gap in one go lost them precious time. Searching around for clues to his where-abouts, Motoko eventually found a footprint in mud that was Keitaro's. Walking along after it, she eventually came to the playground. Seeing Keitaro on the swings, she signalled her sister. Sneaking over, they looked at all the children in the park playing.
"There's no way we could apprehend him with all this kids around. We must remove them somehow."
Tsuruko nodded before frowning. Turning, she walked to where a group of people were sitting having lunch. After a few minutes, she came back and sat down. Turning to Motoko, she smiled.
Tsuruko grinned sneakily. "I simply told them a pedophile was loose in the area."
Motoko sweat dropped. Turning back to the playground, she saw, to her relief, all the parents were escorting their struggling children back to their homes.
"Good, now, we take him and hold him as normal?"
Tsuruko nodded. "Just this time, when you place down the holding chant, repeat it as fast as possible. It will strengthen its power."
Standing, they calmed their nerves before charging out of the bushes.
Keitaro was enjoying the feeling of the wind when before he knew it he was attacked. Barely dodging the first slice, he parried the second before dropping from the swing and vaulting away.
"What's wrong with you people? I wasn't even doing anything!"
The two sisters said nothing. Raising their swords, they held them out at arms length from their bodies. They began to murmur in an ancient language, each syllable faster than the last. The sky clouded over quickly as a strange wind blew through the grounds. Keitaro looked around as the wind began to circle around him. Staring back at the sisters, he scowled.
"This how you wanna play hey?"
Stepping forward, he found his shoes sticking to the ground. Kicking them off, he jumped forward and began to run towards the sisters. Nearing them, he raised a fist. Grunting, he put all his effort into his limb. Lashing out, the punch stopped dead against an invisible sparking wall. The energy bolts set out from contact wound their way up his arm, causing him to cry out in pain. Eventually the point of contact exploded and flung Keitaro back several feet. Hitting the ground, he felt himself being pushed against the sand. Something began to pull and twist his spirit, contorting it into a pain unknown. Finally screaming one last time, he fell unconscious. A bright light shown out from him as the two sisters came in for the finishing move.
The ghostly apparition stood on the back of Keitaro's unconscious body. Raising hate filled eyes, it held its arms above its head. Energy gathered above its palms as it began to sweat. Taking the opening, the two samurais quickly jumped forward and carved two clean slits through its stomach. Thrown backwards by the blow, it staggered a bit before standing up straight. It began laughing as the cuts healed over. Motoko looked on in horror as it began generating another dark ball. But then it began to lose its power. It stumbled forward holding its stomach. Looking at its hands, it looked up at the two sisters in confusion before collapsing onto the ground and fading into Keitaro's form.
Motoko looked on in confusion. Keitaro's aura quickly stopped glowing as deep red stains began to seep out over the sand. Walking up to him cautiously, she toed him onto his back. Gasping in surprise, she saw his white shirt literally dripping in blood. Cutting his shirt open in a swift movement, she saw two massive wounds that ran from his shoulders to his hips, crossing at the stomach.
"SISTER, COME QUICKLY!"
Tsuruko quickly surveyed the damage before pulling her top off. She unwound her chest bindings, completely at ease with letting her ample endowments show. Though Motoko briefly protested against her nakedness, she quickly understood what was happening. Holding the bindings against his wounds, she flicked Tsuruko her phone.
"Hello, emergency? Yes, we currently have a young man bleeding quite badly, possibly to death. Hai. The park at the end of Waters road. Yes. See you soon."
Pocketing the phone, she pulled her top back on.
"Motoko, I need your bindings too."
Tsuruko stared at her. "No buts. If we don't stem this bleeding, he will die. Besides, I'm the only one around."
Blushing, Motoko hesitantly lifted her top up. Unwrapping her bindings, she quickly handed them to her sister, blushing heavily.
Kneeling down, they both began to administer first-aid to the paling young man as the sirens blared in the distance.
In the hospital, everyone was gathered around Keitaro's bed. Naru was crying softly, Kitsune and Mutsumi talked quietly to each other, Shinobu just stood by his bed side and even Kaolla was quiet for a change. Motoko and Tsuruko stood at the back of the room, deep in conversation about the failed exorcism.
"Sister…how is it that he was hurt? We completed everything correctly, did we not?"
Tsuruko shook her head. "No, we must have over looked something. It is highly unusual that he ended up hurt like this though…we did not touch him."
Continuing on with the conversation, they did not notice Shinobu walk up to them.
"Uhh…excuse me…Tsuruko-Senpai? Can I talk with you?"
Looking down at the small girl she smiled. "Of course you may. Motoko-han, if you will please?"
Nodding, she left and sat down near the bed. Turning, Tsuruko motioned for Shinobu to leave. Just before closing the door, she remembered something.
"Shinobu-chan, is it ok if I get Kaolla to come too?"
The blond bombshell turned. Seeing Tsuruko motion for her, she jumped up and ran the short distance to her. Smiling, she led them out side and closed the door.
Out in the hallway, Tsuruko motioned for the chairs. Sitting down, she looked kindly at Shinobu.
"What was troubling you young one?"
Shinobu blushed and dropped her head, hiding her eyes behind her bangs.
"Well, it was just that…no don't worry its not important."
Tsuruko smiled at how meek she was. "No Shinobu. If you are willing to come and interrupt Motoko-han and myself then it must be important."
Squirming under Tsuruko's penetrating gaze, Shinobu sighed. "Well, I was just wondering what happened to Senpai. Not that I suspect you of anything! Its just that I have never even seen him with a bump before this. He always seemed so strong!"
Tsuruko dropped her gaze. "It's difficult to understand. I don't even fully comprehend it completely. It seemed that while we were fighting Keitaro's demon, its injuries were transferred to the real him. We attacked it across the stomach. But it stood up, healing over like our manager does. But then for some reason it lost its strength and collapsed back into Keitaro-kun. I'm sorry I can't tell you more."
Shinobu nodded. "Its ok."
Meanwhile, Kaolla was getting restless, fidgeting and squirming on her seat. "So what did you call us out here for Tsuruko?"
Leaning back Tsuruko closed her eyes. Opening them again, she smiled at them. "I would really like these answered. They may hit a tender spot with you so feel free to say no if you don't want to tell me."
Shinobu and Kaolla nodded.
Smiling, Tsuruko continued. "Well, I wanted to get the opinion of someone who watches from the side lines so to speak. I remember my sister telling me that she and Naru 'punish' Keitaro when ever he commits a perverted act. Can you explain that to me?"
Shinobu sighed sadly. "Well, its actually like this. Senpai in there is really nice. He's smart, funny and caring, its just he is very clumsy. He often has accidents that ends up with him touching us in awkward spots. Then either Motoko or Naru or both come in and blast him away. Though they send him crashing through the ceiling and flying far away, he never ever comes home with a scratch to show of it. He also gets home really fast too! Like within the minute of being hit so far away. It's incredible really! I just wish they would leave him alone for one day because he never EVER would try to take advantage of us. He has proven that so many times and yet they still continue to hit him. They are so mean and…"
Realising what she just said, Shinobu quickly stopped speaking and blushed heavily.
Tsuruko realised just how uncomfortable the poor girl was. Ruffling her hair, she smiled.
"It's ok Shinobu. Honesty is something rare these days."
She then turned to Kaolla. "What do you have to say about it?"
Su jumped up onto the chair and began to explain everything along with frantic arm movements.
"Every morning I see Keitaro I always jump down and give him his 'good morning' kick! But he never gets bruised by it. And then when Motoko or Narus hits him up into the stratosphere/ mesosphere, depending how bad they feel, he never gets hurt! And as Shinomu said he always gets home in record time. I swear I will find out how he does it!"
Nodding, Tsuruko sat back in thought. After a few minutes, she turned to Kaolla. "I have an idea. If you can build a machine that can look into Keitaro's soul, it would help me greatly. It may even tell you a thing or two about how he gets around so fast! What you say?"
The mad genius' eyes lit up at the challenge. Nodding, she turned and ran down the hallway, disappearing around the corner. Looking back down to Shinobu, Tsuruko smiled.
"I have a feeling our Senpai will be fine. Wanna go in and see?"
Nodding, the little girl smiled and walked in, holding the door open for her older partner.
"So respectful too…"
The positive comment just caused Shinobu to blush as Tsuruko laughed gently. Walking over to the bed, Tsuruko stood beside Naru. Placing a gentle hand on her shoulder, she comforted the stricken girl.
"Don't worry Naru. He will pull through. He always has in the past."
Nodding silently, she wiped the tears away. Looking back to the still figure, Naru noticed a flicker in his eye. Slowly he opened one then the other. Blinking a few times, he looked around at everyone.
"Huh? Where are we?"
Trying to move, an incredible pain scorched themselves up his nerves causing him to fall back in a shout of pain. Instantly the morphine kicked in and he relaxed. Looking around dopily, he smiled through the now dull pain.
The whole time, Naru's eyes just kept getting bigger and her smile imitating her eyes. In a gasp of joy, she launched herself towards him, determined on giving him a powerful hug.
Unfortunately for named man, Naru completely forgot about his injury thus resulting in a painful knee to his side. The power in which it came in was so much so that even all the pain relief drugs he had barely dulled the sensation at all.
A few days later found Keitaro in a wheelchair covered with a white blanket. Though he is healing fast, its nowhere near as fast as usual. Looking around he surveyed the room. Grunting, he noticed all the little things needing attention. Wheeling himself over to a barely noticeable crack, he traced it with his finger.
"Just my luck to get hurt now. So much needs to be done."
Sighing, he turned around and slowly worked his way over to the dining room. Reaching it, he wheeled over between Motoko and Naru. Eyeing up the scrumptious meal in front of him, he smiled his thanks at Shinobu before tucking in.
Digging in, everyone began to talk about the events of the past day. So it continued until Tsuruko put down her knife and fork. Looking over at Keitaro, she swallowed.
"So Keitaro-kun, do you remember anything that happened that led to you getting wounded so badly?"
Motoko coughed and nearly blew her half chewed piece of beef out her nose. What the hell did she think she was doing? Everyone else looked at him expectantly. Though too polite to ask (just yet) they had all been wondering how it had happened.
Swallowing, Keitaro looked around the group. "No actually. It was like a dream. A really long one! I dunno, but it was strange, like I was really strong! Almost as strong as Motoko here, though I know I will never be that strong."
Said girl stiffened slightly in remembrance of the powerful punch he hit both her and her sister with.
"What I do remember though was flying! It was weird, like I had been hit by Naru. Though I had actually jumped! Anyway, I landed somewhere and I was swinging, then I remember collapsing with the weirdest pain ever…it was like my soul was being split in two. Then I remember being in something sticky and warm, then I remember waking up to Naru's knee."
He smiled at Naru when the girl blushed, remembering the painful hit she inflicted on him.
"Interesting story there! You should write a book about all your dreams." teased Tsuruko.
Keitaro just laughed and rubbed the back of his head. Standing up, Tsuruko bowed to the tiny chef.
"Thankyou for a wonderful meal. If you would excuse me, I need to talk with my sister."
Standing, Motoko followed her sister out the door. Walking to Motoko's room, Tsuruko turned and locked the door behind them.
"He said it felt like his soul was being torn in two. What does that mean sister?"
Tsuruko shook her head. "I'm not sure. But I do have a theory. You said you and Naru punish him when need be. Yet he never shows a mark for it. When we attacked the demon, it healed up but Keitaro ended up with the injury. I have a hunch they are very closely related."
Motoko nodded. "When he broke free of the chair, the demon had deep rope burns all over its legs and arms where Keitaro should have. We should definitely look into this."
Tsuruko frowned. "This also means no more 'punishments'. Perhaps you attacking Keitaro stimulates the demon into action. Make sure you tell Naru-chan this too."
Blushing slightly, Motoko nodded.
Now a month has passed and Keitaro had completely healed. Walking from his room for the first time in a while, his wonderful sense of disaster took hold. Catching his toe on a non existent hole in the floor, he tripped over and landed on Shinobu while she carrying washing. His face ended up in her skirt while his hand on her developing chest. Seeing Naru and Motoko come running up, he quickly curled up in a ball and began apologising profusely. But taking him by complete surprise, they instead ignored him and helped a highly embarrassed Shinobu pick up the spilt garments. Sending her on her way, Naru left humming while Motoko looked down at Keitaro sternly.
"Please be more careful Urashima. You could hurt someone."
She left him sitting there completely dumbstruck, a slight drool string hanging from his mouth in amazement.
Eventually he came too and got up. Walking down the hallway, he wondered what just happened and why he wasn't currently over the pacific ocean. Passing Kaolla's room, strange noises echo out but he was just too preoccupied to notice. In the room, sparks were flying everywhere and loud crashes echoed out as a final piece of metal fell to the floor. Sitting up, Su wiped a grimy hand across an equally grimy forehead. Standing back, she surveyed her work. Sighing in satisfaction, she closed her eyes. One full month of nothing but work and it was finally completed. Opening her eyes again, she turned and ran out of the room as fast as she could to Tsuruko's. Knocking on the door, she barged in just as she and Motoko opened their eyes.
"What is it Su?"
The little brainiac started bouncing in excitement. "It's complete! It's complete! Quick, lets get Keitaros and try it out!"
Jumping forward, she grabbed Tsuruko's hand and began dragging her across the floor to the door. Standing up, Tsuruko laughed and ran out after the little blond. Motoko just sat there wondering what was going on. Standing, she calmly followed the two.
Inside Su's room, Motoko shut the door to hear the small girl wildly explaining how everything worked.
"He lies in here. We can strap him down if need be, I hope so! Anyway, we plug these onto his arms to regulate his heart rate and these to regulate his breathing. Those L.E.D.'s above scan his body for any abnormal energy frequencies while the multiple holes above pass a single light/ heat beam through his body, like an X-ray, to absorb paranormal energies and re-radiate it as a highly focused beam of synchronized single-wavelength radiation. That inturn is fed directly into the computer where it is read and then projected onto the bed beside him. There we will see the demon that lives in him!"
Left completely baffled at the explanation, Tsuruko could only hope that what Su said meant that they would find out what was in the managers body. Turning, she saw her sister standing there rather lost as to what was happening.
"Basically, myself and Su have come up with a way to see into Keitaro's soul. The being that lives in there will then be projected onto the table beside him, letting us see what it is. At least, that's what I think she said."
Laughing, Kaolla nodded. "Righty! Now for the test subject!"
Diving into her rooms corner, she pulled out what looked like a radar combined with a remote control. Keying in a few numbers, a little bleep appeared on the screen. She smiled.
"Come to me, KEITARO!"
The second she hit the button, a male scream echoed out before an overhead man hole opened up and Keitaro fell through. Landing with a resounding bump on the table, multiple straps fired up over his body and latched onto the other side. The poor man just flapped his hands while tears pored down his cheeks.
"Oh to whatever god I pissed off in a previous life, please forgive me!"
Grinning evilly, Su quickly ran round the stricken boy attaching what suction caps she needed. Pressing a button on the side of the bed, it moved into the Cat Scan like tube.
Gathering around the computer screen, all three girls looked on intently at what was happening. Su frowned a little before tapping a few buttons. Smiling, she heard the machine kick in and begin to purr. The sound of lights switching on and off reached their ears. Keitaro screamed again in horror as hundreds of little lights flickered on and penetrated him. A groan echoed out as the computer analysed the incredible amount of data. Finally after five minutes of solid noise, a hesitant light began to flicker on the table beside Keitaro. The flicker rate increased until a solid figure lay thrashing on the table. Everyone including Keitaro gasped at it. It had no bindings on it but lay captured in the same pose Keitaro had. It arched its back and groaned inhumanly.
Keitaro's eyes widened. "HOLY FUCK THAT THING'S IN ME?"
Su turned and looked at the computer screen. She gasped and pointed out certain frequencies on the three dimensional graph.
"Lookie! They are both reading identical energy pulse signals! There is no demon, that is Keitaro too!"
Tsuruko shut her eyes tight against the groaning and wheezing of the creature. Thinking back to all of her lessons and training in the arts, she began to piece together. Eventually, she opened her eyes and turned to the two girls.
"I have it! That is actually a Tormentor! I have been told of extremely rare cases where a human has suffered incredible amounts of physical abuse only to come out with nothing but a scratch! They usually are very angry people, aggressive and reclusive. Though they heal, the injury never fully recovers. The cause for their enhanced recovery is because of this thing that lives in them. It takes the abuse for them and gradually grows until the person becomes what that is! But in this case, I think Keitaro was too caring, too kind to everyone. He never let out any anger or abuse, he just bottled it up inside him. I'm guessing this thing has been growing in him for years now to become so strong! Dew to Keitaro's love for life, this thing has even developed a consciousness of its own. Only now has it become strong enough to break through Keitaro's will. I have never heard of such a thing taking such incredible damage, though that may have only proved to make it stronger. So I'm guessing what that is there is the manifestation of every little bit of hate and loathing to life our Keitaro has ever had. And after all the abuse it has taken from the beatings Keitaro has had to endure, I can't even hope to imagine just how powerful it is!"
Looking back down, the girls all looked at the creature in pure horror. Looking around it saw the three girls watching it in repulsion. Bearing its fangs it stared up at them. It then spoke.
"Everyone in this house will experience the torment of my life! Today, I will suck you down into depths below that even of hell!"
At that, Keitaro's back arched in pain. Looking up at them, his eyes pleaded with them vainly for them to help him. Opening his mouth in one final scream a dark purple aura enveloped him, blowing all of Kaolla's hard work away like dust. The girls had to shield their eyes against the painful light emitting from the man. His scream continued as it fractured into two separate voices, one an ear-piercing high and the other a deep bass. The screaming continued until the voices cracked with the stress of the noise. It then suddenly ended and everything became silent. Looking over at Keitaro, the girls fearfully looked at the table. What they saw stunned them.
Below lay the original Keitaro. If it wasn't for the feeble beeping of the heart monitor, he would have easily passed as dead. His face was a deathly pale, his arms and legs all limp and hanging uselessly over the table. Above him floated the Tormentor. Its swollen cheeks and bruised face was upturned as a thick black fluid coursed down its arms and legs from a multitude of deep festering wounds all over its body. Its shorts were ripped and its shirt was but a couple of threads lingering on its shoulders. Massive gashes on its chest showed its thick insides. Its lungs squelched as it breathed, odd bits of fluid jetting from its porous surface. Its heart was a tiny little thing beating incredibly slowly. From all the 'blood' oozing out from around the decaying arteries, it would have seemed more liquid was being pushed out of it than along into its body. Looking down at them, it snarled. Generating a giant Ki ball, it shot it down towards the group. Barely having enough time to raise their eyebrows, it hit them. The explosion flung their feeble bodies across the room, hitting the wall hard enough to leave massive cracks up and down it. They all slumped to the floor, bleeding and unconscious. Spitting some of its blood in their direction, it kicked Keitaro across the room. He hit the wall face first and slumped down alongside the girls. The Tormentor screamed in pain and pleasure as it felt its face fracture and its nose break. It healed up quickly, a dark black energy from the injury site flowing down into its black heart. Screaming again, it powered up and exploded out of the roof, taking off near the speed of sound towards the nearest city.
Hours later, Motoko groaned and opened her one unbruised eye. She tried moving but winced in pain. Slowly turning her head, she saw her sister lying face down on the floor with Su draped out over her back. Both girls had small trickles of blood, now drying, from the corners of their mouths. Keitaro looked fine, had fine been a cold pale glow and nothing but the whites of his eyes showing. Clutching at her side, Motoko gasped as she sat up painfully. Feeling her chest, she guessed a few ribs were broken. Hopefully not. Struggling over to the two still unconscious girls, she gently ran a hand over their bodies. Her sister, being incredibly fit and strong, had nothing but a few bruises and cuts along with a large bump on her head. Unfortunately for Su, the frail girl had suffered a large compound fracture of her thigh. The leg had twisted several degrees outward and now also had a second joint about a third the way down her thigh. Motoko prayed that she wouldn't wake up as the pain of it would have been unbearable. Very gently, she moved the small girl off her sister and onto the floor. Turning to her sister, she shook her shoulder. Tsuruko groaned slightly. Motoko pushed her again and finally Tsuruko opened a pained eye. Looking up at her sister, she blinked.
"My…you look terrible."
Motoko sweat dropped and probably would have face faulted hadn't she been in so much pain. Helping her sister sit up, they sat against the rooms wall and panted. Eventually Motoko motioned to Kaolla's leg.
"Sister, we must do something about that. If she wakes up with that I don't know what she'll do."
Tsuruko nodded. Standing, she winced. Limping over to a rack of bottles, she began reading labels. Eventually finding one to her liking, she pulled it down and hunted about a little more. Eventually finding a sterile syringe, she limped back over to Motoko. Slumping down beside her, she pushed the needle into the lid. Retracting the suction cup, a darkish fluid drained into it.
Motoko looked at it. "What is it?"
Tsuruko lifted one of Su's arms gently. "It's a powerful sedative. If I give her an adults amount, it should be ok considering her incredible metabolism. But it should also be enough to ensure that she won't wake up for hours."
With that she slipped the point under Su's skin and injected the amount. Even asleep, the sisters could see Kaolla relax into a deeper slumber. Standing, Tsuruko walked over and grabbed a mattress. Pulling it over, she motioned to Motoko. Lifting the sleeping girl gently onto the bed, they picked it up.
"Take her to your room. There we can make sure she's safe."
Nodding once, Motoko and her sister began making their painful way towards her room.
Limping side by side, the sisters made their way down the stairs and into the lounge room. Upon entering, they saw all the other girls gathered around the TV. Hobbling up behind them, they looked at it.
"…And so this thing continues! The death count is rising by the second! The air force have tried everything short of nuclear attacks but to no avail! The creature is just too agile, avoiding everything thrown at it! I have notes here saying it has no body heat, no nothing! It does not appear on the radar or any instrument they have. From what I have made out, it seems to attack through the eyes of the victim, sucking a goldish light from their eyes. It then somehow absorbs it into itself, leaving the poor person cold and lifeless. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid that…"
Tsuruko spoke up. "What is it. Have you seen it yet?"
Kitsune spoke up. "Nope. Just seen this black human shaped thing flying around in circles dripping this weird black stuff everywhere. It actually almost looked like that stuff you sent to purgatory, ay Motoko."
Motoko raised an eyebrow. "That was a containment cell I sent it too. But off that, how long has it been attacking?"
Turning back to the TV, Kitsune grunted. "'Bout two or three hours now. Hey, that's another thing. How come don't you know this? Usually you're all keyed into this supernatural shit…and what the hell happened to you two?"
Tsuruko sighed at her gruff language. "We…we were attending to Su. She has had an accident in my sisters room and broke her leg. We have managed to stem all the bleeding. I was just going to send Motoko down but then we felt the evil Ki. Shinobu, please dial the emergencies. Su will be unconscious for a while but I'm afraid myself and Motoko are going to have to go to the city to see this out. Naru, Kitsune, please go up and watch over her. As for our injuries…"
Just then a bloodcurdling scream echoed out from the TV. Instantly everyone sat back down, staring at the screen. The host lady was being held back by her hair while the black figure began moving in. Opening its mouth unnaturally wide, it began sucking violently. The presenter screamed again and tried clawing at her eyes as a bright gold light pulled out of them and into the things mouth. After a few seconds, she fell completely into its hold, no energy left in her. Swallowing, it screamed and dropped her, her eyes a deathly white. Turning, it looked at the camera. The girls gasped when they saw it. Even though it was covered in massive gashes, they could still make it out as Keitaro. Raising its arms, it flickered before vanishing. The terrified scream of the camera man sounded out as only what the girls could guess happened. They all sat there completely stunned by the horrific event that had just unfolded. Naru curled up into a ball and began crying, remembering the hideous face from her room. Shinobu began to pale and sway, showing signs of mass shock. Kitsune just stared at the empty space on the TV, her eyes completely open for a change. Everyone sat there for a bit until Shinobu began to falter. She sniffled a little before the tears began to fall. Soon she was crying heavily, just sitting on the floor. Kitsune blinked a little before scooping up the girl and pulling Naru in. She sat there stroking their hair, shock setting in. Tsuruko looked at the three and sighed.
"Motoko, I'm sorry but I think you'll have to stay behind on this one."
Opening her eyes wide, Motoko began to protest. "BUT SISTER! How could you handle the Tormentor by yourself? Last time it took the two of us to just pin it down!"
Tsuruko's eyes softened. "Look at them. They are in no state to be left alone. And think of Su. Who will care for her? Don't worry about me, these people need you more than me."
Opening her mouth, she paused and sighed. She knew her sister was right, no mater how much Motoko disliked the idea. Looking back up into her eyes, tears slipped down the younger girls cheeks. Taking Tsuruko up in a tight hug, she closed her eyes and smelt her sisters hair.
"Keep safe. I want to see you at the end of this."
Letting her go, Tsuruko smiled before turning and running out of the door. Turning sharply, she jumped off the side of stairs, shooting up into the sky and towards Keitaro's double.
Motoko sighed as she watched her go. Turning, she walked back over to the small group.
"Ok everyone. Come with me ok? We'll get you up to my room. We'll be safe there."
Nodding dumbly, Kitsune stood up and walked numbly towards the stairs. Taking Naru by the hand and hoisting Shinobu up onto her hip, she led them all into her room with the unconscious Su. Putting them all down, Motoko looked at the group.
"Now, I have to go call the ambulance so I'll be gone a little while. Ok?"
They just sat together, huddling into each other. Sighing Motoko left the room. Running as well as she could, she got to the phone. Calling the paramedics, she ran back up to Su's room. Opening the door, she walked over to Keitaro's pale body. Her eyes teared up a little as she though of all the times she and Naru had caused Keitaro to hate himself and the world, further feeding this monster within. She checked his breathing again, just to be sure. Gently pulling his arm over her shoulder, she grasped his waist and began dragging him towards her room. Pulling him inside, she turned back to the little group. Gently lying him down, she sat beside the others, pulling Keitaro's head onto her lap. She then wrapped her arms around the group, giving as much comfort as possible. Sighing again, she looked at the wall.
'Please be careful sister. I don't want to have to bury any more people.'
Tsuruko gingerly tiptoed through the silent streets. Hollow bodies lay either side of the road, their shrivelled soulless corpses flopping down bumps and nooks like they were boneless. A cold wind whistled down the street, flapping Tsuruko's hair around her face. The sky above churned eerily, as if knowing something completely corrupt had been released upon the world. The thick green clouds cast a strange light over the houses, the shadows dancing in the wind. As the samurai crept down the street, she heard something. Stepping over all the bodies, she looked around the side of a house to see the Tormentor standing there. A small twist of wind circled its body, leaves and other light objects flipping around it. A black cat sat beside it, cleaning itself. Mewing, it stood and walked over to Tsuruko. It rubbed its head against her before walking away slowly. Watching it leave, Tsuruko turned back to the clearing. Eyes widening, she saw nothing. She should have heard the whisper of the wind as it moved away, or sensed its movements. Cautiously moving out, she watched the area like a hawk for any sign what so ever of the creature. Reaching the centre of the clearing, she stopped. Instantly the back of her neck prickled and she ducked, barely missing the punch aimed for the back of her head. Rolling back, she flipped twice, landing nimbly on her toes. Looking over at the creature, she watched it lower back onto its hunches. Looking at her, it smiled evilly.
"Come with me Tsuruko-chan. Relax and let the feeling take you away to a place unknown of until now."
As it finished talking, Tsuruko felt a horrible twist of her heart as her breathing became shallow. Kneeling down, she gripped her chest as stronger pains began to slow her heart beat. The Tormentor walked up to her. Reaching down, it picked her up by the neck as she hung their in agony. Easily holding her an arms length out, it smiled. Opening its mouth, it began to suck. Through the pain, Tsuruko could feel a pull around her. Not physically, like wind blowing her arms, but spiritually, like her soul was being pulled from her body. The soul wind pulled and tugged at her soul as it desperately tried to hold onto its owner. But the strength of the Tormentor was just too much. Tsuruko felt her eyes begin to burn as her toes numbed. As the numbness spread, her eyes began to sting and burn. A warm but far sticker substance than blood slid down her cheeks. Soon the pain was just too great and opening her mouth, Tsuruko let forth a scream of utter agony. The numbness quickly moved up through her body. Her eyes felt like they popped, the pain was so great. Just before her last shred of consciousness left her, the Tormentor dropped her, flung forward with an incredible amount of force. She barely registered hitting the ground, gasping spiritually for every part of her soul that had been pulled from her. Soon the pain in her eyes disappeared and a beautiful warm feeling washed through her limbs, restoring them back to life. Easing open her eyes, she looked up to see her sister holding her gently, staring intently towards the place the thing had shot. Frowning, Tsuruko tried to make sense of what just happened, but gently slipped back into uncounciousness. Lifting her, Motoko pulled her sister up onto her shoulder. Supporting her, she took a run before jumping high into the sky.
Coming too, Tsuruko gingerly opened an eye. Looking around her, she saw she was in an abandoned house. Looking down, she saw her sister tending to some minor wounds. Sitting up, she coughed.
"Ah, Motoko-san, didn't I ask you to stay back with the girls?"
Faulting from the randomness of the question, Motoko quickly covered from it.
"It's ok. Kitsune-san has come out of her shock. She said she felt ok and was good to look after the others."
Tsuruko stared at her. "So? That does not excuse your disobeying my orders."
Motoko stared back. "Everything was under control! The ambulance arrived just as I left and everything was in order! Honestly I am capable of looking after myself and my friends!"
Tsuruko frowned. "That still does not justify you coming here. I told you to stay put."
Motoko growled. "Sister. Wake up! Did you not just realise that thing was sucking the life from you, or was it just another optical illusion? You need my help weather or not you like it."
Tsuruko looked angrily at Motoko and sighed. "So be it."
Leaning back, Motoko sighed inwardly at winning the fight. Normally her sister would have punished her for her disobedience had not a Tormentor been loose. Looking back at her, Motoko calmed herself.
"So what happened? I know nothing of what happened before I saw you being held out and sucked to death."
Tsuruko shuddered. "It was horrible. It said, more or less, 'give into the feeling'. I then experienced an incredible pain in my chest that caught my breath and slowed my heart rate. When it began to suck at me, I felt a supernatural wind blowing around me, sucking into its mouth. It felt like the wind was passing through me into my spirit, pulling it away from me. It exits from the eyes as a golden liquid. The pain is excruciating, your eyes feeling like they are about to explode. You feel your legs and arms loose feeling and the numbness spreads up your body into you head. I guess it would have been then that I lost my soul to the Tormentor had you not kicked it away."
Motoko's eyes widened as she heard the explanation. This creature was incredibly strong to be able to overpower her sister so easily. Helping her up, Motoko turned and looked at the door.
"I managed to get us out of there easily enough. But I have felt several more poor people loose their spirits to this thing in just the last few minutes you were out."
Tsuruko rubbed her eyes with her palms, ridding any lingering pain in them. Looking up at the door sorrowfully, she sighed.
"Let us hope we find a way to kill this thing before any more people are lost."
Motoko nodded in silent agreement. Unsheathing their swords, they walked to the door. Exiting the house, they saw the sky bubbling and churning, the deep green clouds moving at incredible speeds across the sky. Around it flew the Tormentor. Its echoing cries audible even all this distance away. Steeling themselves, both girls realised this battle could very well take their lives. Taking a run, they jumped up onto a fence and then launched off it, knocking it down. The two women sailed through the sky, closing in on the Tormentor. Landing heavily, they quickly rolled into the trees behind them. Looking at each other, tears graced their eyes.
Tsuruko spoke softly as they felt the tormentor touch down in the playground behind them. "Do not worry. Though we may die it, will be honourable and by the gods we shall bring it down with us!"
Motoko nodded at the short speech. Both women then took a few calming breaths before jumping out of the trees, screaming a battle cry and charging, swords drawn.
The Tormentor turned to their scream. It watched as they attacked, painfully slow. It slightly moved its head to the left avoiding a flying chop. It then lifted a leg as a blade sailed harmlessly under its foot. Falling back into an easy stance, it continued it simply step and dance its way through the attacks. It just smiled at the easy of it. Moving an arm, it flinched in surprise as a blade cut into his forearm. Jumping back, it looked at the cut. The slice was healing but just a moment ago they couldn't even touch it. Frowning it watched them come in for the attack.
Motoko continued to attack relentlessly. She focused her all into her sword but was constantly frustrated by the blade sliding through air. Taking a brief glance at her sister, she saw she was having as much success as Motoko. Watching its movements closely, she noticed it getting sloppy with its actions. Rolling quickly to one side, she followed with her blade scoring a deep slice into its arm. It hissed and jumped back a few meters. Looking at its arm, it watched it heal then glared at her. Jumping forward, it nearly managed to grab Motoko, except it had forgotten about Tsuruko. The older samurai jumped up, screaming with force as she cut the thing in half. It screeched, the top half falling to the ground, clawing around in pain as its bottom half twitched while the nerves went insane. Screaming a deluge of insults at Tsuruko, it crawled over to its bottom half. Seeing what it was about to do, the two sisters jumped forward, aiming to land each blade deep into its head. Turning, it quickly summoned up several dark Ki balls. Flinging its hands forward, the deadly spheres raced towards the girls. Aborting their attack, they vaulted over the balls. The energy simply changed direction, flying after the agile sisters.
Motoko turned, expecting to see the balls fly away. Instead, the dark Ki shot in towards her. Dropping down, the ball shot over her head. Stopping it flew back towards her. Reading her sword, Motoko cried out and charged her blade with Ki, slicing down. The ball split into two perfect half's before flying away into the trees. Dull explosions sounded out as a shock of wind hammered out of the trees, knocking down Motoko. Getting back up, more explosions sounded out, successfully knocking Motoko back down. Standing, she looked over to her sister, standing in the end result of a powerful attack. Dropping out of the stance she turned to look at the tormentor. Motoko did too, gasping when she saw it.
It had pulled its lower half together, its spine and a few a few of its internals reattaching. Everything else hung limply, practically squirting thick black liquid. The healing continued, sloppy sucking sounds emanating from the hole as more organs, if they could be called that, regenerated. Soon enough, the skin covered over the slice, save for the several deep lacerations present before it was attacked. Looking deep into the eyes of both girls it grinned.
"Care to try that again? Fuck I love the pain!"
Screaming, it launched forward. Backing up, the sisters prepared for the onslaught.
At the hospital, Kitsune sat with Shinobu and Naru. Tears slid down her cheeks as she thought of the horrific picture on the TV. Though over the initial shock of it, the sight of Keitaro completely rampant still scared her. Shinobu rested against her shoulder sleeping. Naru was a mess, just sitting, not moving to any touch. Eventually a nurse came and took her to a spare bed beside Keitaro. The poor girl just took to sitting on the bed edge, staring at the ghostly pale Keitaro in the bed beside her. Kitsune watched in through the door, pitting Naru and the desolate look in her eyes. Turning, she walked back to her chair. Taking to stroking Shinobu's soft hair, she looked up at the wall in the direction of the young warriors.
"Bring him back safely. Please. He is the only male not to use me."
Staggering back, Motoko and Tsuruko struggled to stay upright. Blood streamed down their faces and arms, hair tacky from the thick red substance. Their cloths were ripped, barely concealing their modesty. Grazes covered their bodies, odd burnt patches speckled across their chest and arms from where a dark Ki ball managed to hit them. Both girls breathed heavily while the Tormentor smiled as it advanced on them. Motoko grit her teeth, lashing out with another Secret Technique. It just bounced off the creature. Laughing it continued walking.
"Didn't you try that before? Let me help you understand. Ki attacks don't hurt me. My exterior is completely invulnerable to anything of the kind. Though I would have guessed you'd already have worked that out. Heh, looks like I was wrong."
Motoko supported herself on her sword. Panting, she looked over at her sister. Tsuruko just glared at the thing.
"What is happening? Last time we attacked it, it lost all its power after a few seconds!"
Tsuruko continued eyeing up the monster. "Possibly after it had been released, it had gathered enough negative energy for it to create a body of its own. Or maybe Kaolla's machine accidentally gave it a body. But enough on that. There must be a way we can get our Ki attacks to work. I have an idea. It said its external is impervious to Ki so I will attack it and open up a wound. Then fire a Ki attack at the open cut. Hopefully that should shake it up."
Motoko looked over at the Tormentor. "Ok. I just hope I have enough energy left."
"You are strong enough. Believe."
Summoning up her last residue of energy, she charged at the Tormentor. Laughing, it simply stood there. At the last minute it raised a hand, expecting Tsuruko to come in from the front as usual. Instead, she ducked around to its side. Flowing energy into her blade, she let out a shout as the blade sliced in deep. The Tormentor howled in pain as the sword buried deep into its side. Tsuruko then twisted it, wriggling the blade out, causing a large hole to open up in its side. It cried out in pain, dropping to its knees.
Motoko took the opening. Jumping forward, she focused.
"OUGI, RAINMEIKEN NINOTACHI!"
The incredible blast surged forward from the sword, careering towards the Tormentor. It screamed and held its arms up, vainly trying to block the attack. The attack hit, a bright gold explosion emanating from contact. The thing screamed as its arms began to rip up and dissolve. The cut on its side absorbed the attack, opening up wider and wider as more pure energy flowed into it. The Tormentor screamed again in pain and anguish, its skin and blood beginning to splatter around the area. Motoko and Tsuruko took cover, the vile remains of the Tormentor beginning to spray. It looked down at its hands, watching them dissolve into muscle and blood, then disintegrating into bone. It then curled up into a kneeling foetal position. The swirling energy slowly began to suck into it, the noise and wind decreasing with every second. Finally, everything fell silent. The sisters looked around from where they were hiding to look what had happened.
The Tormentor sat holding its hands, its body completely ripped to shreds, skin and blood dangling from nothing but bone. A dull glow sat in its chest, pulsating. The throb of it increased in speed until it looked like one solid light. Its chest then began to swell with the pressure contained within its ribcage. Growling, it began to claw at its chest, desperately trying to remove the internal bomb. Ripping into its flesh, it made a wild grab at its chest, grabbing bone and began to pull. The snapping of ribs sounded out as the stress of the Tormentor pulling on its bone became too much for them. Both girls paled and became nauseous as they watched the thing decapitate itself. Just as it broke the last rib, an incredibly bright light shone from its chest, mouth and any other hole that cared to grace its destroyed body. Throwing its head back, it let loose an inhuman scream as its body expanded. It soon became engulfed in the light as the shriek intensified. The voice continued to rise until it reached an unbearably high note. It then cut out as the last of the air left its lungs. In one final throb of the light, Motoko briefly saw the Tormentor looking at her. And its gaze was that of complete unadulterated hatred towards her and her sister. The light then returned and in a massive 'BOOM' it exploded.
The sisters quickly turned and cowered behind their forts but to no avail. The gross black excuse for blood completely soaked them, flesh and organs raining down all over the samurais. It continued for what seemed an age until it finally eased off. Hesitantly, Motoko opened her eyes. Looking around, she saw the area covered in the thick black substance. Jumping in surprise, a largish blob of something landed with a squish in front of her. Looking at it, she instantly realised what it was. Vomit rose in her throat but was unable to contain it. Kneeling, she heaved her guts up all over the ground in memory of the disgusting black brain. Finishing off, her body finally succumbed to the exhaustion. Not caring to move, she landed with a splat in her vomit as unconscious quickly moved in to replace her weary mind.
Little white lights floated in front of her eyes. Groaning, she realised she had woken up. Using a whole lot more energy than she expected, she opened her eyes. Blinking a few times, she looked around the room. Beside her lay her sister, hooked up to a whole lot of tubes and things. Wincing, she sat up with considerable effort. The room was completely white with a few chairs spotted across the back wall. Looking down at her arm, she saw the one intravenous needle feeding a whole lot of colourless liquid into her limb. Raising her other hand, she prodded her head, gasping slightly at the pain. Again she touched it, but lighter this time. She ran her hand across her forehead, finding many stitched cuts. Moving her hand back, she found more fixed cuts within her thick luxurious black hair. Looking over at her sister, she saw her looking over at her out of the corner of her eye.
"Hey there. How do you feel?"
Motoko smiled at her concern. "I feel fine sister. And you?"
Tsuruko shut her eye and relaxed back into the pillows. "I feel…nice."
The simple word summed up quite well how the girls felt about their victory over the Tormentor. Motoko sighed and looked over at the door. As if on que, the three able bodied girls of the Hinata resort walked in on them. Kitsune looked at them and smiled sadly.
"So my fine warriors. How do you feel?"
Tsuruko spoke up. "We feel as well as we can."
Kitsune nodded and sat down. Shinobu and Naru followed like zombies, not even acknowledging the two women. Motoko picked up on this and a feeling of dread washed over her.
Kitsune looked up and sniffed. "Well…it seems like Keitaro…"
She stopped and dropped her head. Tsuruko sat up at the unfinished sentence, also beginning to worry.
"What? Keitaro's what?"
Before Kitsune could answer, both of the other girls quickly stood and walked out of the room as fast as possible. Watching them leave Motoko looked back to Kitsune.
The fox began to cry softly. "Well…well while in hospital, we were all doing fine. Su was ok, Shinobu was sleeping and Naru was with Keitaro. But then…she screamed and we all ran into the room and just saw blood! The blood was everywhere! And poor Keitaro was covered in massive cuts! They kept opening up all over him and then he actually split in half! He…he was completely severed at the waist somehow…and the blood…so much blood…"
Kitsune broke down, crying into her hands. Motoko looked over at her sister in alarm.
"Could it have been?"
Tsuruko nodded back. "No doubt. Every hit that thing took went directly to him."
Grabbing at the tubes covering her, Motoko began to pull the needles out. Tsuruko opened her mouth to say something. Thinking better of it, she turned to her arm and began pulling the needles out as well. Finally removing all the sharp metal slivers, the sisters carefully stepped out. Their limbs all screamed murder at the premature movement but they paid it no heed. Walking over to Kitsune, Motoko touched her shoulder. A pair of blood shot eyes looked up at her.
"Don't worry. We'll try and fix him. You go and comfort the other two ok?"
Wiping her nose on her sleeve, she nodded. Smiling at the sad woman, Motoko turned and followed her sister out the door.
In the corridor, the sisters snuck around quietly. Moving around to the information desk, they casually walked up to the desk girl.
"Hello. Uh, we were looking for a friend. Name: Urashima, Keitaro. Could you tell us what room he would be in?"
The girl smiled and began tapping on the keyboard. Her happy smile slowly slid from her face as she read the diagnosis. Looking up at the women, she sighed.
"I am so sorry ladies, but it seems that Keitaro has passed on."
Nodding at the news, Tsuruko frowned. "Well, can you tell us where they go after being pronounced?"
Looking at Tsuruko oddly, she nodded. "Uh, yea their taken out back in a body bag. I know I cant really help you much but please let me know if you need anything."
Motoko nodded. "Thankyou. I will be sure to remember that."
Moving away from the desk, the sisters walked down a marked corridor.
"We must reach him. If only to pay our respects."
Tsuruko nodded. "Ok, it seems that this hallway leads to the back."
Sliding down the walkway, the sisters slipped through a few doors and around a few cameras before reaching the back room. Walking along the rows of beds the finally came to 'U'. Looking over the three bags there, they spotted 'Urashima'. Walking unsteadily up to it, Motoko reached out a hand. Turning, she looked at her sister.
"Are we sure about this?"
Tsuruko nodded. "You must be prepared for what ever is in that. So, on three?"
Motoko swallowed and nodded. Tsuruko held her hand and they grasped the zipped gently.
Tsuruko felt her sisters hand begin to shake. Or was it hers? It was hard to tell.
Motoko started sweating, tiny tears appearing in the corner of her eyes.
Pulling at the little metal piece, the zip came down smoothly.
Motoko's eyes widened at the sight. Keitaro lay there more or less mutilated. Deep scorching lacerations coursed his arms and legs, even deeper wounds dragging across his chest and stomach. His internal organs were all visible as his rib cage had been pulled in half from the sternum. His intestines and stomach had all fallen onto the bag from the bottom of his waist. His destroyed lower half lay completely separate from his upper half. Tears began to flow down Motoko's cheeks as she reached out with her hand. Tsuruko gently grasped it and pulled her sister into a hug. Deep wracking sobs began to sound out as Motoko cried into her sisters chest. Tsuruko looked down at the horrific site with tears sliding freely from her eyes. There they stood for over 10 minutes before the doors burst open revealing a doctor, a few nurses and the rest of the Hinata girls. Upon seeing the two grieving sisters, the doctor and nurses fell silent as the other three rushed past them and latched onto the two women standing there. Their cries began to haunt the room as the doctor stood there silently. A couple of the nurses began to weep quietly at the devastating sight.
As they stood there, Tsuruko quietly spoke up. "This man did not disserve this. He was one of the most honourable men ever to grace the country. May his soul be taken to a just worthy dwelling."
Falling silent, she looked back down at Keitaro. Frowning through the tears, she could almost trick herself into seeing the cuts healing. Turning her head on the side, she looked closer at the body. Moving from the group, she walked up to the table in confusion. Placing her hands on the side, she lent down, looking even closer at the massive wounds. Staring at one edge, she saw tiny skin partials moving together, meshing and healing. Motioning to the others, she turned back to the still boy. Looking at his body, she could see that over half his major lacerations had began to heal, most already a quarter of their original size. The doctor saw this and rushed to the bed side. Studying Keitaro, his eyes widened.
A few small cracks sounded out as Keitaros ribs began to pull themselves back into his chest. His crushed heart gave a few feeble throbs before growing to a steady rhythm. His gut began pulling itself back into its original cavity. Several small tendons whipped out from his waist and attached themselves to his lower half. They grew steadily in size before retracting, pulling his legs up to meet with his torso. The doctor fell back at this. He stared at the healing person in disbelief for a few seconds before looking up the nurses.
"What the hell are you doing? Get a camera out and record this!"
Taking a step back, one of the nurses nodded before running back down the hallway. Everyone else then crowded around the bed, watching with a sick fascination.
Watching on, Motoko whispered into her sisters ear. "What is happening? As sad as it was, the Tormentor was responsible for his immortality! He should be long gone."
Tsuruko just looked at Keitaro. "Perhaps he doesn't need one? Or maybe its one last stand for the Tormentor…it may be beginning life over again in him…honestly I have no idea."
Frowning in concern, Motoko continued to watch.
Keitaros legs then began to heal. The cuts began to sew up from either ends, meeting in the middle, leaving no scar or anything to show of the wound. A gasp alerted the group to Keitaro regaining the use of his lungs. Moving up around his head they all watched in excitement as his face healed over. Soon enough, not a mark was left as a healthy flush graced his cheeks. Naru gasped in anticipation as Keitaro began breathing normally. Eventually, everything healed over perfectly. The nurse with the recorder burst into the room just as with a final 'pop', Keitaro's body restored. Running up to his face, she stood with the group, camera high above her head. A silence then overcame the group as they waited for the remarkable boy to open his eyes. After a few seconds, his eyelids fluttered and then opened. Looking around the group he opened his mouth.
Taken aback at the comment, the doctor handed the boy his glasses. Putting them on, he looked around the group. Everyone broke out into incredible grins. Some of the nurses jumped up and hugged each other such was the ecstasy. Naru broke down and grabbed Keitaro in a bone crushing hug, easily putting Kaolla to shame. Motoko and Tsuruko stood back, over come with relief at the unexpected event. Kitsune and Shinobu were rejoicing, running around in circles of joy. While this went on, Keitaros face stayed blank. After a few minutes, Naru let go of him and looked at him in the eyes.
"Hey there. You had me so worried!"
Keitaro just looked back.
"Could you please let go? Your hurting me."
Instantly, the warmth of the room left. The group regathered around Keitaro as Naru began to tear up. Looking over at Motoko, his emotionless stare sent shivers up her spine.
"Please detach her. She is very strong."
Naru's eyes clouded over at the comment. Tears began to trickle down her face as an incredibly hurt look flowed into her eyes.
"FINE! You don't want me touching you? HAVE THIS!"
Lashing out, she punched him across the face. The magnitude of the hit caused a massive 'SNAP' to sound out as Keitaros head was thrown sideways. His glasses shattered, cutting his face sightly. He looked back up at her.
"Do that again and your evicted from the apartments."
A cold wind seemed to blow through the room as everyone froze at the icy comment. Naru looked at him, confusion evident in her eyes.
"What did you say?"
Keitaro looked up at her, eyes blank. "You hit me or any resident again and I will send you home. Clear?"
Naru just looked at him before turning and running out of the room in tears. Motoko watched her run. Turning back to Keitaro, she glared at him.
"Urashima! How dare you? She was concerned for your well being and you just tell her to get lost? That is filthy."
He turned his blank stare to her. "Do not question my decisions. They are final."
Looking over at the doctor, Keitaro swung his legs to the side of the bed. Standing up, his full glory showed. The girls all gasped, a few covering their eyes, a couple of the nurses looking on in interest.
"Could you grab me come clothes. It's cold."
The doctor stood stunned for a few seconds before nodding and running out the door. Keitaro watched him leave. He then turned to face the group. He saw them all looking at him strangely, but felt no shame.
Motoko covered her eyes partly, looking only at his face. "Could you please have the dignity to cover up? There are young girls in the room!"
She motioned to Shinobu who had passed out. Keitaro looked at her then back to Motoko. "I see no need. I will be getting clothing soon enough and if you are uncomfortable until then you can wait out side if you please."
Motoko blushed. What had happened to him? Motioning to the others, she ushered them out of the room. Sitting down outside, Tsuruko sat in deep thought. Motoko watched her a bit before interrupting.
"What has happened to him? Could it be the death?"
Tsuruko shook her head. "No. I think it could be once again be related back to the Tormentor. Think about it. Keitaro has lived with that thing for many many years. It was him as he was it. They shared everything so it is not impossible for them to share emotions. I think that the Keitaro in there has lost the ability to feel anything. As horrible as it sounds, I think that is the explanation."
Motoko turned and looked at the ground. How could have this happened? She knew how how, but why to Keitaro? He had always been such a caring, loving, forgiving person…hell, he was pretty much the definition of the word friend. And now…now he was just a hollow shell running off information gathered, processed and reacted to. Hearing the door open, she looked over at it resignedly. Keitaro walked out in a trench coat and a long pair of pants. Thick boots were laced all the way up his legs giving him a dominating look. Walking past the four girls, he began talking without stopping.
"Get up. We will go and collect Kaolla and then have take away as a way of easing the stress on Shinobu."
Watching him disappear around the corner, Motoko looked sadly at her sister.
"How could this happen? It's just not fair."
Tsuruko stood, rubbing Motoko's back comfortingly. "Things are rarely fair. Though this is considerably unkind. I suggest be as grateful as possible that he is alive and can care for you. Perhaps it may be possible to teach him emotions again."
Motoko sighed and stood up. Walking over to the other girls, she helped them up and guided them to their room. Changing out of their nightgowns, they then left the hospital, quickly checking out. Hurrying to catch up to Keitaro, Motoko felt around for Naru. She found her huddled in a corner of the hospital grounds. Leaving the group, she walked over to the girl. Pushing a few small shrubs out of the way, she saw her holding her knees, crying quietly. Sitting down beside her, she put her arms around the stricken girl.
"Shh. Don't cry. There is still a chance that we can re-teach him emotions. So come now, lets go home."
Naru sniffed and nodded. Standing, she rested her head on the taller girls shoulder.
"It's not fair. It should have happened to me."
Motoko hugged her.
"Don't solely blame yourself. I am just as accountable as you. Kitsune too. So chin up, we may be able to make this a second chance."
Naru just nodded and cuddled into the samurai. Silently, they walked out of the bushes and followed the retreating group.
A/N - Definitely the longest one shot I've written so far. It's taken…Ohhhh…bout a month or two to write. But I really like how this turned out! Hopefully you will like it too. So yeah, see you in the next story. Not usually my scene, so let me know if you liked it aiite?