Shikaeshi, Part 1
I don't own Weiss, Koyasu Takehito-sama and a few others do.
"We are pleased to announce the arrival of Lufthansa flight LH710 from Frankfurt at Gate 2-D95." The message was repeated in Japanese and then the announcer switched to German, effortlessly gliding over the guttural language as if it was her native tongue. Manx took a final drink from her martini glass and rose, leaving a few yen notes under her glass for the bartender. He caught her eye as she left and she winked, smiling slyly as he blushed. She had been waiting in the airport bar for at least an hour and the attractive young man had proven to be a fun diversion.
As she made her way through the throngs of people, towards the customs desk, her mind clicked from pleasure to business, her eyes searching for the person she was supposed to meet. Three flights had arrived at the same time and the customs agents had their hands full, checking passports and searching bags, their faces expressionless as the people grumbled and tapped their feet in irritation. Annoyance was the same in any language.
Manx fished a picture out of her coat pocket, studying the face of the young woman she was supposed to meet. Her name, she had been told, was inconsequential. The dour middle aged man from Kritiker had instructed Manx to refer to the woman as Korat. Another cat name, Manx had thought with amusement, and not the prettiest one either. All the nice cat names must be taken.
Her eyes flickered from the picture to the people in the crowds, studying all the young women who passed by. After a while, her head began to ache, a sharp pain right behind her eyes from the strain of staring. She rubbed her eyes and continued looking, hoping the woman would show up soon. And then her gaze landed on the woman who must be Korat.
Ebony hair was twisted into a loose chignon, wisps framing a heart shaped face. Sunglasses blocked a view of her eyes and her full mouth was pursed in annoyance. Her slim body was clothed in a long black jacket, jeans and a black turtleneck. She was carrying a large shoulder bag and dragging two suitcases behind her. The hem of what was probably a shirt hung out of one of the cases, protesting to its recent violation by the customs officials. Manx walked swiftly towards her, making sure the woman saw her coming.
"Korat?" Manx asked, extending her hand to take one of the bags. The woman nodded and gave the red head one of the large suitcases.
"I haven't heard that name for a while." The woman said, swinging the smaller bag back over her shoulder. Manx smiled and waved her in the direction of the shuttles that ran every ten minutes to all the parking areas.
They waited in silence for the shuttle to arrive, and didn't speak again until they were seated in the shuttle car, speeding along like a bullet through dark tunnels. Manx cleared her throat and spoke up.
"We found you an apartment, it's in a building near Azabu Juban St., around the Australian and Italian Embassies."
"In Minato-ku, right?"
Manx nodded. "Right. Morimoto was rather insistent that we find you an apartment around there."
Korat smiled and stretched, pulling her arms behind her head with a relieved sigh. "So, Morimoto is in charge now, huh? Estet really did wipe out our people down here."
"Do you know Morimoto?" Manx asked, curiously.
Korat laughed. "Unfortunately. He trained with…" Her smile faded and she looked over at Manx with a slight frown. She pushed up her sunglasses, revealing almond shaped green eyes, shot with flecks of gold. But her eyes weren't angry, like Manx had feared, rather they were sad looking. "You were Taka…Persia's secretary, weren't you?" She asked.
Manx nodded and cast her eyes downward, suddenly fascinated with a button on her sleeve. The pain of his death hadn't diminished over the past year, and each mention of his name tore open her wounds again.
"I was sorry to hear that he died." Korat said, leaning back against the glass window of the shuttle. Her companion remained silent.
The shuttle came to a smooth stop and the doors opened with a chime. Manx rose and grabbed the handle of the heavy suitcase. "This is our stop."
The small sports car sped through the expressway, heading into Tokyo. Korat stared out the window at the city. "It's only been about three or four years since I left…but the city seems different somehow…" Her voice trailed off. Suddenly, she changed gears and addressed Manx. "So, did Morimoto tell you why he summoned me back to Japan?" She asked.
Manx gestured to a small portfolio stuck in between the passenger seat and console. "That's what he told me to give you."
She grabbed the envelope and inspected its contents, a frown creasing her forehead.
Manx threw her a curious glance. "What?"
Korat flipped a few more pages, reading quickly. "This says that there have been attacks on Kritiker members all over Japan…starting in Kobe and then spreading all the way to Yokohama.
Manx nodded. "Strangely enough, no one was killed, whoever is doing this apparently was only interested in information. They've managed to steal files and computer disks containing a lot of sensitive information."
Korat muttered an oath and stuffed all the pages, save one, back into the envelope. "Yeah, but that's not what bothers me." She said, staring at the single sheet of paper.
"Well?" Manx asked.
Korat sighed and waved the paper. "This says that I am to work with a group called Weiss. I don't recognize three of the names, but I do know one. And I don't think Fujimiya Ran will be very happy to see me. It would be best if he didn't."
***Notes, Explanations, Etc.***
Well, I tried to do some research into modern Japan. The airport Korat arrives at is Narita Airport. It's about 60km from central Tokyo, that's about 37 miles or so. I don't remember why I chose Narita, but I had a powerfully good reason at the time. I started writing this back in January, so I don't quite remember all of my reasoning. I can tell you one thing, it's strangely FUN to look at real estate listings for Tokyo. The apartment building Korat lives in actually exists. It seems very nice. I would live there. :) I did find the link again, if you want to see, just for fun. I liked Type A best.
Oh, and a small note on korats. The CFA (Cat Fancier's Association) says that a korat is a short haired, silver-blue cat with luminous green eyes, a heart shaped face and is native to Thailand, where it is considered good luck because of its silver coloring. I've seen pictures and it is a very cute cat. I want one! :)