Mika sighed. Another long day at the office. She refused to look at the clock, knowing she would be disappointed. After the whole Ozunu fiasco, working in an office seemed trivial. There were still clans out there but now that people actually took them seriously they had other people investigating them. Apparently she wasn't big enough even though she helped expose and put down a whole clan. Her mind wandered restlessly as she shuffled and reshuffled the contents of her desk. 'Fuck this' she thought 'I have to get out of this place!' She got up from her desk and walked over to Maslow's office.

The door was slightly ajar but she knocked anyway. Maslow looked up from his computer screen with a concerned look. "Yes, Mika?" "Um, I'm uh going to go on break. Do you want me to bring you something back?" Mika asked hoping he wouldn't question her. Maslow sighed. "Is something the matter?" Damn. "No, nothing is the matter. I mean, I just need some fresh air." Maslow looked at her like she was sick and needed help. She hated that but she couldn't really blame him after how aloof she's been acting lately. "I'll tell you what Mika, why don't you take the rest of the day off. I'll cover you. I can see you have a lot on your mind." Ordinarily she would argue but she was mentally exhausted. She was happy for an excuse to escape. "Thanks Maslow. I appreciate it." She said wearily. Maslow nodded curtly. "Get some rest, Mika."

Mika opened the door to her apartment and quickly flipped on the light switch. The dark made her jumpy. A couple of months ago she wouldn't have been startled by the dark. Hell a couple of months ago I actually enjoyed my job. She settled her purse on the counter and picked up her mail off the floor. She found herself wondering about Raizo, something she seemed to do a lot lately. She absentmindedly stroked the scar over her left breast and thought about the last time she saw him.

Mika woke up in the hospital parched and slightly disoriented. The stiff, scratchy, linen sheets not doing much for the cold stark room. Her chest throbbed painfully and she remembered why she was here. Out of the corner of her eye she saw something move out of the corner of her eye. Her heart began beating quicker making the EKG beep wildly. "Who's there?" she tried to yell but only a strangled rough sounding voice only a few decibels above a whisper. "Shhh, It's fine. It's me." It was Raizo. He sauntered over to the bed and sat down beside her. "Raizo, thank God. How long have you been here?" He brushed a few stray hairs from her now sweaty forehead before he spoke. "Awhile. I came to check on you." He moved his hand from her forehead to the side of her neck cradling it. "How are you feeling?" "Great, a little woozy from the medicine and my throat is dry but I suppose it could always be worse." Raizo nodded and grabbed a cup from the nightstand. "Drink this." She did as she was told. Raizo watched as she drank greedily from the cup before grabbing it from her hand. "Get some rest." She started to argue but her body was already betraying her as she fell in a deep slumber. When she awoke the next morning he was gone.

Mika took a walk. She had been out of the hospital for a month and a half now. She had tried looking for Raizo but she had given up. That man wouldn't be found unless he wanted to be. Even by a so-called "glorified librarian". Ever since that night she had met him, it had been difficult trying to settle back into a normal life. She was considering taking off a week. Maybe a vacation will help smooth things out a little. She needed time to put her life back in order. She stopped. Something didn't feel right. She had an eerie feeling that someone was following her. She looked around trying to draw as little attention to herself as possible. If someone was following her maybe its best to let them think she didn't notice. She didn't notice anyone out of the ordinary. A woman with her children. A happy couple. A bum on the street. Even with the streetlights It was too dark to see clear faces across the street. She stuck her hand in her coat pocket and placed it on the cool metal of the gun she had kept for safe measure and she picked up her pace. She hated guns but that's the only way she felt safe nowadays. Why did she decide to take a walk alone at night anyway?

Across the street a mysterious man watched her carefully and noticed her change in pace. He made a phone call, "She's the one."

Mika knew someone was following her but she just didn't know who. She decided to take a detour. She wasn't going to lead anyone to her home. She was now half walking and half running without any clear since of direction. Her head was swimming. Where could she go? She rounded a corner. Suddenly her apprehension over took it her. She pulled out her gun and looked wildly around. Suddenly her whole world went black.


"Ugh, my head" Mika groaned. She closed her eyes trying to steady her head and clear her blurred vision. "Ms. Coretti. I see you are awake." Mika looked up to see a tall thin man in a suit. When her eyes finally did steady she saw the man was around 40ish with greying hair and glasses. She struggled to stand up but quickly found out that she was bound to a chair bolted to the floor. "Sorry about that." He said with a smirk. Mika glared at him. She looked around. She was in a small, cold white cell that resembled a hospital except there was no hospital equipment. There was two chairs and a cold metal table. Where am I a mental institution?

The tall man sat down across from her. Mika was afraid but she was furious as well. Right now she was more furious than afraid. 'Maybe hanging around with ninjas will do that to a person' she thought. "Ms. Coretti I have a few questions to ask you. Would you like a glass of water?" Mika glared making her anger apparent. "I doubt you brought me all the way down here to ask me for a glass of water." The man shifted. "Erm. Right then. To the point. How did you find out about the assassins?" "Ninjas dot com" she answered sarcastically. The man looked irritated. "How did you find out about these assassins? He repeated. "They have remained hidden for years and then you, a random secretary with a badge, finds out about them and helps bring down a whole clan. This is no coincidence. Someone had to have tipped you off." Mika sat silently. He was right of course but it was none of his business. She didn't disclose her sources. Mika also figured that since she had information that this man wanted he wouldn't kill her. The man looked at her and leaned closer. "Where's Raizo." How did he know about Raizo? "Your guess is as good as mine. I haven't seen him since the Ozunu were disbanded." She wouldn't mention the hospital visit. Also none of his business. "What do you know about the remaining 8 clans?" Mika sighed before answering. "If you know so much about me then you would also know I was taken off of those cases. They assigned other people. More capable people." She said the last part bitterly. "What do you care? And why do yo have me chained up here?" The man looked her over. "I'll have the guards bring you some food." He stood up and gave her another once over before turning and leaving. Mika was now left alone to gather her thoughts.


The next morning Maslow noticed Mika wasn't in her office. That's strange she's normally here early. Maslow asked the new temp secretary if he had seen her. "She hasn't clock in. She didn't call in sick either" Maslow thought that was strange. Mika had near perfect attendance only missing a week when she had the flu last year and the 3 weeks she spent in the hospital after she was stabbed in the chest a few months ago. She did seem odd yesterday. A little distracted but that was probably stress. Maslow called the house. 'Hey, It's Mika. I'm not here right now but if you leave your name and number after the beep then I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Beep!'He tried calling her cell phone. No answer. Something was wrong.

Raizo looked up wearily at Mika's apartment. He thought it was time to pay her a visit. She was at work, he knew, but he could wait. Mika was the closest he's ever gotten to anyone since Kiriko. He thought back to that night at the hospital. She was happy to see him. Not too many people are happy to see him. Not too many people care about him. She cared. She was happy to see him. He didn't let too many people in but Mika was special. Her heart was special. She genuinely cared for him and in a span of a few days he felt more connected to her than he had felt in a long, long time. Yes. Mika was definitely special. He decided to wait for her inside. When he got to her apartment he noticed the place was completely ransacked. Papers everywhere. All of the drawers were pulled out. Someone was looking for something.

Maslow was now in full panic mode. He called Mika four hours ago and she didn't return his calls. This was very unlike her. He was about to call again when the secretary came in announcing a visitor. "Send him in." Maslow put his head in his hands defeated. A soft knock at the door told him the visitor was there. "Raizo?"