Last chapter was meant to be a oneshot, but I felt it was necessary to clarify a few things which I couldn't really do in the last chapter. As much as I like the series and as much as I love the character, I am of opinion that John Kramer is quite insane, as are his methods. A method someone as damaged and vulnerable as Lucy was at that point can be very susceptible to. This continuation is meant to show the depths of madness such a person can fall into. If anything this continuation is possibly even more twisted than the first chapter.
And what does it say about me that I actually really enjoyed writing this? :) Oh, well, now it's back to fun light-hearted Stopani stories. Also fun to write. :)
"It must never be personal"
---John Kramer, Saw V
"Hello director Kakuzawa. I want to play a game," spoke the electronically altered female voice. "For decades, you have subjected others to countless atrocities in the name of your own vaunted delusions. Today, you find yourself not at controls, but at the receiving end. In front of you is the key to your bonds, tied to the instrument of suffering you so value. The question is, can you do to yourself what you have done to so many others?"
Kakuzawa looked beyond the barrel of the cannon and noticed the top-loader was filled with five or six steel balls, and the top one had a long chain with a key and a hook at the very end.
"To your right you find the button that will allow you to fire the device. Act quickly though, for in sixty seconds, the locking mechanism to your bonds will permanently close, and I will leave you here to rot. Make your choice."
Kakuzawa looked to his right while frantically keeping an eye on the ticking clock. He stared in the barrel of the gun and kept his one unbound hand on the button. This shouldn't be too bad. he'd seen countless Diclonius take this kind of abuse, and they were little girls. He, on the other hand, was a man. And a strong one at that.
Full of confidence, he pressed the button. The air-powered cannon moved according to a pre-programmed path and fired the first ball. And after the first ball slammed squarely into his stomach, all his confidence was gone. He had expected it to hurt, certainly. He just never expected it to hurt THIS much.
He coughed heavily and felt like throwing up. He had to stay with the program, however, as the clock was still sticking. He grit his teeth and pressed the button again.
Moments later, the cannon had followed its programmed path and a ball rammed into his knee. He growled in pain as this ball had hit him harder than the last one. He grimaced as he knee started to throb. But this was no time to give into mere pain.
The third ball landed squarely on his bound left wrist, accompanied by a sickening crack and more blinding pain. He bit his lip hard enough to draw blood and by the time he was ready to fire the fourth, the anticipation caused him to start hyperventilating.
The fourth ball slammed straight into his forehead. His head snapped back and for a moment it was as if all time had ceased. After an audible crack, blood started gushing down from an apparent wound, blurring his vision. But through the red haze, he could see he had only ten second left on the clock. Kakuzawa was actually reluctant to press the button for the last time, but realized that whomever was behind this certainly meant business. After some hesitation pressed the fifth button.
Mercifully, the ball passed right past his head. But mercy didn't last. The hook at the end of the chain caught the railing on the rig and the ball's momentum caused it to wrap around the rig and his neck. His eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets at the ball swung around the rig several times, crushing the chain into his larynx.
Time was not on his side, and with his free hand, he weakly grabbed the key and unlocked the rig. He immediately fell to the filthy ground, landing on his broken wrist and yelping out in pain.
He coughed and cradled his aching wrist, his mind already running the machinations on how to exact his revenge for this insult. He was annoying to find that the metal collar which fit loosely around his neck had not come off, unlike the other restraints. He tugged on it, but as it turned out, the solid collar would never fit over his head.
He was startled, however, when the same female voice sounded from the screen now above him.
"Congratulations, you have passed your first test. Your final test is yet come. The time has come to let go of the delusion of grandeur you have created for yourself, and has condemned to many others to pain and torture. I implore you, fight your bombastic instincts and realize that humility is now in order. Know that the best way to find salvation can sometimes be to simply walk away or hold on to your madness and pay the ultimate price."
The sound of a heavy metal door opening resounded throughout the room, and a figure stepped through. kakuzawa, more than a little angered by the ordeal he had just been put through, rose to his feet in defiance.
The figure moved with the grace of a lady, her features hidden underneath a black and red cloak. She stopped in the middle of the room, some four meters away from him. Females were not something he feared, and the only reason why he hadn't rushed towards her yet was because he couldn't see from his position if she was carrying some sort of concealed weapon underneath her cloak.
She moved to remove the hood, and Kakuzawa noticed some rather nasty looking burn-scars on her right arm and hand. Anger turned to shock when the female tossed the hood back, revealing long hair of a dark pink hue and two horns jutting out of her locks.
"Impossible," Kakuzawa gasped while the female looked upon him with detached interest.
"Greetings," the Diclonius known as Lucy said without showing any tone of emotion in her voice. "Usually I don't have a tete-a-tete with my subjects, but seeing our personal history I felt obligated to do so in this case."
"Lucy!" he shouted, but his shocked surprise soon made way to a sadistic grin. His pain forgotten, he stood up and grinned. "Do you realize how long I've been looking for you? But now I've found you, I've finally found you! My plan may yet succeed!"
Lucy seemed unimpressed by his revelation. "I find it more accurate to say that I was the one found you."
"Speak Japanese," Kakuzawa all but demanded.
"I will speak whatever language I please," Lucy replied in slightly accented English. "Realize that you have no power here, director. When I learned you would be here in this country, I felt it was an opportunity I could not ignore."
Lucy took a moment to step towards the rig Kakuzawa had been trapped in mere moments ago. "Did you like it?" she asked. "I've tried to recreate the experience as accurately as possible. I have one regret though. I had really wanted to make one of those helmets like the one I was forced to wear for so long, but time was a factor. I didn't receive the materials in time to make a proper one for you. I hope you will forgive the oversight."
The elderly man chuckled wickedly. "Oh, Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. Know that I will never relent until I have you back in my grasp. Know that I will do anything in power to bring you back to me."
Lucy shook her head, as if pitying the old man in front of her. "You haven't learned anything, have you? You don't even know where you are, you have just went through a rather painful test and yet you strut around as if you're the one in control. But I was expecting this bravado. Human behaviour is fascinating, you see? If you're good at anticipating the human mind, you leave next to nothing to chance. That's what John used to say."
The director regarded Lucy as he stepped towards her, being very careful to stay out of range of her vectors. Lucy didn't move a muscle and allowed the man to study her carefully.
"You have changed, Lucy. You seem calmer, more serene. Less... aggressive."
Lucy nodded ever so slightly, without looking Kakuzawa in the eyes, always looking straight ahead. "I had an excellent teacher. Self-control is a virtue, he said. You, on the other hand, director... You haven't changed at all. Even though your power is a fraction of what it once was and your facilities are in shambles, you still cling to your delusions of grandeur."
"Greatness has its setbacks," he grinned. "It's all a matter of dedication. And I for one shall never let a setback distract me from my greatest goal to make the Diclonius the new master race, with me as its ruler and god-king! But I, of course, would never expect a wanton killer such as yourself to understand the road to greatness."
Lucy shook her head. "I haven't killed anyone since that day on the bridge," she said resolutely.
Now it was Kakuzawa's turn to laugh. "My, my, is that what you tell yourself when you look in the mirror. How long have you been committing these murders? Five years? Four? How many is it, Lucy? Or do you call yourself 'Jigsaw' now?"
"I help people appreciate what they have!" Lucy said with an edge of anger in her voice. "A wise man taught me that it sometimes takes extreme measures to bring about such an appreciation, a love for life. Believe me, it a lesson I learned the hard way," she said, briefly rubbing her scarred forearm. "But I've helped more people with his method than you ever have with your despicable research, director Kakuzawa! Unlike you, I do work to make this world a better place… one person at the time."
"I was right," Kakuzawa chuckled. "You have changed. You've become even more insane than you already were! I wonder what your little boyfriend would say if he could see you now, hm?"
"Kouta?" Lucy suddenly seemed far away, a dreamy look crossing her features. "Ah, yes, Kouta. I think… No, I know. I know, he would be proud of what I've done. And of who I've become. Through my work, I redeemed myself in my own eyes, director. That is a powerful feeling."
"You truly believe that, don't you?" Kakuzawa shook his head. "Poor deluded Lucy. You do know he's married now, don't you? Yes, I've been keeping tabs on them. He married that girl, what was her name… Yuka, I believe. She's pregnant, you know? You've lost him, Lucy. You've lost everything now."
Lucy seemed lost in thought for a moment, until a genuine smile crossed her features. "Good," she whispered. "Good. I hope he'll be very happy and I think he will be a wonderful father. Of course, you expected me to fly into a fit of jealous rage or collapse in a puddle of lovestruck despair, didn't you?"
Kakuzawa was visibly disappointed that Lucy hadn't responded the way he had expected her to. In fact, it was very hard to latch on to any sort of emotion from her. Years back he would often visit Lucy before an experiment and he would always taunt her for the entire duration. Back then, he had so loved the control he had over Lucy. He had known exactly how to push her buttons, often leaving her as she flew in a fit of rage or had sunk in a corner sobbing out of sheer hopelessness. But today, it was Lucy who was in full control. And he did not like that one bit.
But he had one card left to play, which he gleefully did. "Your friends. For years I kept them alive in the hopes that they would lure a sad and lonely Lucy back to Japan. But I see I no longer have need of them. I will have them eliminated and will send their little heads to your doorstep. Then you'll pay for what you've done to me today."
Still no reaction. Lucy just stood there, still as a statue. And it annoyed Kakuzawa to no end. Bristling in anger, he stepped towards her, just stopping short of being in range of her vectors.
"Do not step where angels fear to tread. Walk away," Lucy whispered softly. It only served to make Kakuzawa even more angry. And he had finally had enough.
He rushed up to her, grabbed her by the shoulders and looked her deeply in the eye. "We can still make it happen, Lucy. We can still bring about the master race. You and me. King and Queen. We are Diclonius, Lucy! Humans are nothing more than fodder! Useless fodder!"
Lucy shook her head and offered the tiniest hint of a smile. "You just had to step up to me to gloat, hm?" she said. kakuzawa suddenly found an invisible force slamming him in the gut and pushing him backward. The wind was knocked out of him momentarily, and when he covered, he noticed the collar around his neck was beeping and a little red light on the front of the collar was blinking with regular intervals.
Lucy took a moment to wipe the sides of her cloak where Kakuzawa had just held her, as if to remove unseen filth. When she was done, she produced a small taperecorder from the inside pocket. "You just broke the rules," Lucy said without emotion, clicked the play button and tossed the recorder to Kakuzawa, which he deftly caught.
"If you are hearing this," spoke the electronically distorted voice of Lucy. "Then you have stepped into my vector range, thereby activating the timer of the proximity-sensitive explosive located in your collar. You were warned to walk away, but your arrogance would not permit you to let go of your delusions. You have failed your final test."
As the beeping steadily increased Kakuzawa started to tug on the collar, in a futile attempt to remove it.
"Do not rush in where angels fear to tread. Walk away."
In anger, he actually punched the collar. "Lucy!" he hissed. "You won't kill me, you promised him! You promised the boy!"
"Me?" Lucy seemed genuinely surprised and even somewhat dismayed by the accusation. "I would never break my promise to Kouta. I didn't kill you at all. In fact, I gave you an honest chance to survive. I would have simply let you walk out of here, director. All you had to do was to walk right past me to the door, but you couldn't resist trying to recruit me one more time. You are the one and only architect of your own demise, director."
"Self-control is a virtue."
The beeping increased even more, as did Kakuzawa's frustration. He desperately tried to pull the collar over his head, breaking the skin around his chin and ears. "How dare you? Who are you to do this to me?!"
Lucy seemed to look right through him as she considered his predicament. "John always told me I should never let the work become personal to me. Hoffman said the same just moments ago. But I must admit, it is rather nice to know that quite a few Diclonius in Japan will sleep a little easier with you gone. And your subordinates will never find you, director. Nobody knows where you are."
"You were warned!"
"Tell me how to stop it! TELL ME!" Kakuzawa shouted and actually tried to stand up to rush Lucy. But when he got close to her, he found himself slammed back against the wall by the grace of Lucy's vectors and slid down to the floor. "My dream can't end like this! I will not allow it!"
Lucy looked at the pathetic wretch of a man in front of her and took a few steps back without taking his eyes of him. "So many people are so ungrateful to be alive. But not you," Lucy said softly. "Not anymore."
"Human behaviour is fascinating, you see? If you're good at anticipating the human mind, you leave next to nothing to chance."
"LUCY!" Kakuzawa roared in anger and desperation as the beeping had become almost constant now. "Take this off me! LUCY! LUCY! LU..."
Using her vectors, Lucy shielded herself from the splatters of blood, bone and gore spread neatly about the room due to the explosion. When the dust settled, she looked upon the corpse of Kakuzawa, now neatly missing his head and parts of his upper torso, once and forever ending his ultimate dream of global genocide.
She noticed a small shard of bone had landed on the shoulder of her cloak. She nonchalantly flicked it off with her fingers and started to turn around headed towards the door.
And finally, at the door, she turned to look at Kakuzawa's corpse one more time. Finally, she allowed the slightest hint of a satisfied smirk to creep onto her delicate features before whispering two last words to him:
I stand by my earlier statement that this is sort of a happy ending for Lucy, but it's still frightening to think that of the two persons in the room, it was actually Kakuzawa who was the most sane. :)