Differing Paths...

Chapter One

The room was dark. At the front, before the lone fluorescent light, was Chief Inspector Miyama. "There have been several dissappearances, largely around museums and art galleries throughout Tokyo. A classic cat burglar, thoughthis suspect seems to have his own tricks.". Miyama paused to let what he was about to say sink in. "He... takes no prisoners. There have been a total of three killed, usually eyewitnesses, out of seven incidents. And... with what our forensic evidence team has deciphered as a wakizashi.". The numerous investigators in the room wore shocked expressions. One voice rang out, "Has there been any security footage or any surviving eyewitnesses?". "No,", Miyama replied, "the operations have been prepared perfectly, with any exceptions being wiped out.". Miyama's assisant, Shinji, whispered to him, "I think we need... the scrapbook.". Miyama's jaw dropped. They had never used anyone from the scrapbook this early into a case, but he had a point. This perpetrator had almost supernatural levels of foresight, prepared for anything thrown at them. This, along with the grace in their movements, made them impossible to find. Miyama called the meeting to a close, and he and Shinji retired to a room in the back. "So, which should we use?", he asked, knowing that had Shinji had someone in mind when he said to use someone from the scrapbook. Shinji looked over, and said, "I was thinking, we may need to call... him.". Miyama's face froze, merely thinking that a relatively minor case such as this would require the greatest they had, and if it would be an interesting enough case to warrant something like that. "Don't be so hasty in using our ace-in-the-hole, Shinji.", he said with a cold disposition. "I can agree that we need to call upon one of our specialists for this case, but we don't just have his speed-dial. But... I think I know the specialist for the job.". "Who?", Shinji asked. He was unaware of most of the other specialists, who hadn't achieved the same legendary status as who he was suggesting. "A loose-cannon. Her skill is matched only by her disregard for everything outside herself.". Miyama picked up the phone.

It was two A.M. in a fairly small apartment in a suburb of Tokyo. The walls mostly clean, with a few shelves spread throughout, a lone, uncovered matress in the corner of the room, a bathroom, and some cooking equipment in the hallway leading in, Two women, in their early twenties, lay draped over each other in the bed. They weren't lovers, though it would be easy to confuse them for such. They merely couldn't afford another bed, let alone the space to fit it. They were more than comfortable with this. They had known each other since grade school, and though they didn't seem like it, they trusted each other more than anyone. Drape-er was Tomo Takino, a specialist with a number of Japanese police organizations. Essentially, a mercenary detective to be brought in for especially difficult cases. The job entailed a few days of high-paid, incredibly high-stress work. She was given the job due to her short stint as a volunteer police officer, in which she managed to solve more than the rest of the small, single-area force she worked for combined. Between this and using her lunch breaks to become a deadeye shot, and her affinity towards low amounts of work, it was a natural fit. Drape-ee was Koyomi Mizuhara, out of college and working a new part-time deadend job every week while waiting for her now months-overdue official diploma. Suddenly, they were both awakened by Tomo's cell phone, playing a theme tune from a popular magical girl anime, as well as her phone could do it with its bleep-bloop speakers. Tomo nearly jumped out of bed. She didn't take the awakening well. "What the hell do you want?", she growled in a state of half-conciousness. "Hello, Tomo.", Miyama said. Tomo suddenly became awake, suddenly realizing what was happening, "What is it, Chief Miyama?". "We need your help in a case regarding a cat-burglar. We need you immediately.", he said, emphasizing the gruff undertone of his voice. "Yomi, I have to go...", she whispered. Koyomi rolled over, with a brief mutter of "Good luck.". She put on her headphones, blasting "God Save the Queen". She was off.

3:00 AM

Tomo finally arrived at the station. Miyama gave her a cup of tea, and they sat in his office. "So, some klepto gave you guys the slip.", she said, giving her trademark smirk. The hyperactivity had lowered from her teenage years, but the sarcasm and chaotic nature hadn't. Miyama could see in her eyes that she was a volatile resource, and that preperations for many an apology and many a public damage form were needed. But, that was what they needed. She was the most agile and skilled at combat, as well as the specialist with the most personal foresight on a scene. "If you want to phrase it that way, yes.", Miyama replied, "The next predicted attack is this Tuesday at the Opera City Art Gallery, where a limited renaissance piece will be shown. It's value is nearing priceless on the market, and it's loss would be a severe one for us all here.". He stared at her for a second or two. "Alright, I'll take.", Tomo said, aware that it was them needing her help and that she could quit at any time. "But,", Miyama had a mini-heart attack in that quarter-of-a-second, "I have two conditions. First, tell me about the suspect. Name, appearance, anything?". Miyama breathed a sigh of relief, and replied, "They are known for predicting security systems, guards, everything perfectly, and killing any eyewitnesses with a wakizashi. Yet, despite this flamboyant manner of killing, and taking no hostages, the suspect has never been seen.". Tomo stared Miyama down, knowing she was still on the upper hand, that Miyama was waiting desperately for a second condition. "My second condition is...", Miyama had another minor palpitation from the suspense, "...give me Patty and Liz.". "What?", he answered back, doing so at the same time as another sigh. "My guns. From the last case.". Her last case was as a police bodyguard for a political figure suspicious of assassination. For this, she was granted whatever weapons she wanted. Her choice: a pair of 12-bullet revolvers, one golden, one silver. It was extravagant, but if she could get whatever she wanted, why not? "You know, the revolvers. Since I may need to perform in a potentially-deadly situation this time.". She had a point. The man she guarded previously was a paranoid wreck, and there was no reason to protect him, other than to make him feel safe. She also got a taste of all of his food, a nice bonus, and a fat paycheck, so she couldn't complain. But she felt bad about her non-use of the guns. Miyama had the guns sitting in his display shelf, since he couldn't let such beautiful weapons go to waste. He brought them down, and gave the velvet case where they laid to her. Tomo's face lit up, and she jutted her hand out, nearly punching Miyama in the gut. He looked down and grabbed her hand firmly. They shook, and Tomo grinned mischieviously, saying as the shake broke, "Alright. Tuesday, rooftop of the Opera City Gallery, we catch a cat.".

Author's Note: This is merely the first chapter, this is just build-up, don't judge it right off the bat. Positive criticism is gladly accepted, and I really hope to do some more with this. Got the plot pretty much in mind, will be updating sporadically.

Thanks for reading.