(Kim Possible, Shego, and associated character property of Disney. Guest-appearing characters such as Hell-boy are property of their original creators. All are used without permission for non-profit motives. Please do not sue me. Kasy Ann and Sheki Go are my creations, and may be freely used for non-profit reasons as long as I get mentioned.)
( '"'text'"' indicates something said in Japanese.)
"Well, here we are." said Ron. "At the secret Yamanouchi school."
Ron, Monique, and Yori looked up at the vast mountain trail that led up to the school.
"Give or take a couple of dozen miles." admitted Ron.
"Long way!" squeaked Rufus. The naked mole rat had gained sufficient control of his cybernetic-augmented legs to once more stand comfortable on Ron's shoulder.
"You said it, Rufus." said Monique, looking up at the daunting path.
"Do not worry, Monique-san." said Yori. "You will not have to walk up all that way."
"Sure." said Ron. "I'd be glad to carry you, if you need it."
"Actually, Stoppable-san," said Yori. "I thought Monique might wish to use the rail cart."
Yori pressed on what appeared to be a boulder. The boulder slid back, revealing it was actually a disguised doorway. Behind the boulder was a long tunnel lit by electric lights with rail road track on the incline. A small train, consisting of an automated electric 'engine', a car with several seats, and several cargo 'cars', was at the foot of the tunnel.
"It is how we get supplies up to Yamanouchi when we do not have enough students to carry them." explained Yori.
"And I'm just getting told about this NOW?" said Ron. "How come we never used it?"
"It was our honor to walk." explained Yori. "But Monique is still recovering from the hospital. Perhaps it would be best if we all rode it together."
"Hey, if you two can make it, I can make it." said Monique.
Ron shook his head. "Well I, for one, can't make it. At least, not if a train ride is available."
"Yeah, train!" squeaked Rufus happily, as Ron took his seat on one of the padded seats.
"Oh, Ron and your American sense of humor." said Yori, taking a seat by Ron. Monique took a seat on the other side, so that Ron was sandwitched between them.
The boulder slid back into position as the cargo train began it's assent up the long, underground tunnel.
) - (
Near the foot of the mountain, there was a small boulder which had been etched by the passing on wind and water. If you were the type of person who saw shapes in clouds and stars, you might say it looked a little bit like a hooded, robed figure kneeling on the ground, hunched tightly over. Actually, make that more like a lot like a hooded figure… especially as the figure stood up, slowly.
The heavy hood was pulled too far forward to show any facial figures, but the robe fabric, now loose, outlined a graceful, feminine figure. The figure shook itself, rock dust falling from the robe and hood to change the fabric to a dark, reptillian green. The figure reached up, holding something in her cupped hands, and slowly opened the long, graceful fingers. Released, a small chameleon lizard looked up at the woman holding it, still held in one palm. It blinked, then slithered up the woman's arm to perch on her shoulder. "We have seen all we need to see here." she softly to the lizard. "We shall go."
) - (
Nakasumi cracked his knuckles, smiling happily. It was the time of day he loved best; late at night, with most of the workers gone home. He could imagine he was the only one in the toy factory, and in the peace and solitude he could create. Even at his advanced age, he prided himself on being the inspiration for each toy his company created. He carefully position a sheet of white paper on his desk and picked up a pencil, ready to produce the plans for a new, wonderful toy.
The moment Nakasumi set the pencil tip to paper, however, he heard a loud 'clunk' sound. Nakasumi lifted the pencil tip and stared at it in confusion, then placed the pencil tip back against the paper. Again, there was the 'clunk' sound. He sat the pencil down on the desk. '"'Come out.'"' he said in Japanese. '"'I have no time for games, only toys.'"'.
From the shadows emerged a young woman, dressed in a black body suit. Strapped to her right ankle was a knife in an ankle sheeth, and she was holding a heavy wooden night stick. She swung the nightstick idly against a pillar, producing the 'clunk' sound once again.
'"'Who are you?'"' Nakasumi demanded, even as he pressed a hidden button on his desk. '"'My guards will be here soon.'"'
'"'Are they skilled in hand to hand combat? In the use of weapons?'"' the woman asked softly.
'"'Of course!'"' snapped Nakasumi.
'"'Then this will be all the easier.'"' said the woman. '"'There are some who call me Kyou Zou. You may call me… Death.'"'
The door to Nakasumi's private office burst open, allowing a squad of seven guards, all in body armor and carrying stun batons, to rush in. In shape, the batons were similar to the night stick the woman carried… but they were much more high tech. Instead of wood, they were metal… and could deliver an electrical charge heavy enough to knock even a sumo-ninja unconscious. The woman… Kyou Zou… simply smiled and inhaled deeply through her nose, as if savoring the sweet scent of a rose.
The guards charged. Nakasumi watched in amazement as, one by one, she defeated the guards. No matter what move a guard tried, it seemed as if Kyou Zou knew exactly what was coming and the perfect way to counter. She seemed to effortlessly disarm all the guards, then swung her weapon into the back of the guards skulls, not seeming to care if she delivered unconciousness or, more like, death. Once satisfied the guards were no longer active, she dropped the wooden club and bent, easily pulling the knife from its sheeth. Holding the knife high, ready to stab downward, she moved to the desk.
Nakasumi swallowed. His pencil moved back and forth over the paper, rapidly, as Kyou Zou slowly stalked toward him. Both she and Nakasumi knew those had been the only guards in the building. While the police and more guards had been summoned, it would take time for them to arrive… more time then Nakasumi now had.
'"'You will die now, old man.'"' Kyou Zou said softly.
'"'Why?'"' asked Nakasumi. He finished his sketch and set his pencil down.
'"'As warning to those who have what I want'"' said Kyou Zou. '"'To make them come look for me.'"'.
Before Nakasumi could say anything else, the woman moved. She shifted her grip on the knife, her left hand grabbing the white hair on Nakasumi's head and pulling it back. The knife edge sliced inelegantly across Nakasumi's throat, leaving a large, jagged gash that caused blood to splash over Nakasumi's body and the woman's arm.
Kyou stepped back, wiping the knife blade clean on Nakasumi's coat and waited for him to die. Once sure he was, she carefully picked up the paper. Given that it was only a sketch, it was a remarkable likeness of Kyou Zou. In one detail only was it flawed… it showed the knife that had taken Nakasumi's life resting in Kyou's left hand instead of her right.
Kyou placed the drawing back on Nakasumi's desk. Using the tip of her blade and Nakasumi's own blood, she carefully drew a Japanese character on the wooden floor. When she completed drawing the ideogram, she drove the knife hard into the center of the symbol, and then left.
) - (
'"'Thank you, Officer Chan.'"' said Yori. The police officer she was talking to bowed and left.
Yori had been called in by the Japanese police force to investigate the strange murder that had taken place in the main Nakasumi factory. She had brought Ron and Monique with her to help. While the school rarely had anything to do with crime fighting on a local scale, they were called in when it looked as if one of the participants had been a ninja or other skilled fighter. Having defeated seven guards using just a sword and a shock baton, the woman who had killed Nakasumi must be considers highly skilled indeed.
"Aw, man!" said Ron. "Not Nakasumi! He rocked!"
"Look, I get it the cops call you in to help with CSI, but what are we two here for?" demanded Monique. "Murder Scene Examination 101 is NOT on my list of thing I want to do."
"A ninja's duties take her many places." said Yori. "And there is a sign that whoever did this is after Ron-san and Rufus-san as well. Look!'.
Yori pointed at the floor, where the blood-drawn symbol and knife were still present.
"Of course!" said Ron. "The cryptic symbol with the H and the box on a pole thingee and the underline…"
"It is a kanji symbol, Ron-san, for 'Lotus'." explained Yori.
"And some flower is supposed to mean Ron and Rufus?" demanded Monique. "That MNS whatsoever! Makes No Sense!"
"The symbol Lotus, and the knife. Lotus BLADE." explained Yori.
"So somewhat wants your magic sword." says Monique. "What does that have to do with Ron and Rufus?"
"With the death of Noir, Ronald-san and Rufus-san are the only two who can weild the Lotus Blade and use its full powers." explained Yori.
"At least we won't have trouble knowing what she looks like." said Ron. "Not only did Nakasumi leave this bon-diggity drawing, we get security videotape."
"Yes." said Yori. "It is a pity that there is video only, and no audio… the police officer said that the woman apparently spoke with Nakasumi before killing him, but we have no idea what she said."