Days Without Sun

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Decisions

Korovin watched as Usami left the incubator, Jadir in tow. His steely eyes intently watched Usami's every movement for clues as the author headed off down the hall. It had been years since he'd experienced such excitement: it was thrilling.

Then all of a sudden his monitor went blank.

"What the fuck is this?" Korovin bellowed. He rapidly typed at the keys, changing over to a roaming feed, starting with of all the cameras in the area where Usami had stood when he suddenly disappeared, but there was no visual. The cameras around the site showed nothing, the man had just turned a corner and was hidden from view. And none of the cameras in the most direct proximity were showing anything but static.

"God damn it, Usami!" The Doc's furious spittle flecked the screen of his laptop. "Who the fuck do you think you're messing with? You arrogant prick!"

Tossing the laptop next to the foot of Misaki's limp form, Korovin stood. He looked down on the unconscious boy and his hand immediately found the remote. His fingers shook as he fought to restrain himself from depressing the button right there.

It would serve you right, Usami, you stupid cunt, for pulling such a stunt.

While he didn't know how he had managed it, Korovin had no doubt that Usami had somehow disrupted the video feed. It took every ounce of control he had not to kill Takahashi.

No, don't be a fool! Korovin chided himself as he sought to regain his composure. You want Usami to watch you kill his dear little rabbit hole. Don't You?

At this moment there was nothing more he wanted in all the world.

Korovin jumped up off of the bed and headed to the door. He knew he had precious few minutes to get to Usami and his own little traitorous fuck toy, Jadir.

When he found them he was going to make them both pay dearly.

Akihiko was stunned by Jadir's words.

Where this boy was getting his courage from, he had no idea, but he had never met anyone like this scarred angel. "You're right, Jadir. We need to get moving."

Akihiko looked down, away from the haunted eyes that were locked on him so intensely.

"But I'm afraid I don't have a plan. I never really expected to make it this far." This was the most difficult confession he had ever made in his life, but given all he had put the youth through, Akihiko felt he owed Jadir complete honesty.

"I think you should tell me how to get to the playroom. I could leave you here to free the other boys. Since all the doors seem to be unlocked at the moment, maybe you could all get out. Or lock yourselves in.

"There are others who should be coming to help too."

Thinking about the endless hours before Santo Justino and his troops would arrive, Akihiko realized that between Korovin, the guards and the dogs, and the terrible physical conditions he'd noted of the youths in the beds, that either of these options was likely to be an exercise in futility. Still, at this point, they seemed to offer the only sliver of hope in this whole fucked up scenario.

Jadir seemed to know this as well. He shook his head; his voice was quiet. "Korovin will kill Takahashi without hesitation if you show up alone. I have to go with you."

Akihiko shook his head too and started to protest when Jadir held up his damaged hand. The author fell silent as he watched the youth reach this into the pocket of the jacket he wore. It was the one that had not held the camera disrupter, so Akihiko had not ventured his hand into it.

Jadir pulled from this pocket a scalpel and a roll of medical tape. He had grabbed these and secreted them away while pretending to pick up the scattered items from the tray he'd upset.

Akihiko's eyes widened. He felt even more humbled before Jadir now, knowing after what he'd just threatened to do to the youth, that if the boy had wanted to, Jadir could have easily slit his throat as he carried him.

"I have a plan." Jadir's tone was solemn. In a few clipped sentences, he spelled it out.

"Too risky." Akihiko was stunned by the suggestion.

"We have no choice."

Akihiko regarded Jadir with something akin to awe. He saw not only did Jadir believe this, but that despite his obvious trembling, he was fully committed. A sudden idea popped into the author's creative mind.

"Okay, Jadir, we'll do it but with one slight alteration."

Jadir nodded without even questioning what that might be. He handed Usami the scalpel and the tape before slipping out of the jacket. Standing before Akihiko naked, Jadir lifted the stump of his arm so that the scalpel could be taped to the scarred flesh of its underside.

Above ground, Santo Justino had just made it to the door of the bunker. He'd so far evaded both dogs and guards, but his heart was pounding madly in his chest, nonetheless. He stood in the shadows, scoping the scene out. His sharp eyes saw the camera and the tampered-with key pad.

He wondered how Usami had managed to do all this without setting off a hundred alarms: this part of the estate should be buzzing with guards by now.

Then his thoughts jumped to the small bit of information Alvarez had communicated to him about Korovin.

Maybe someone didn't want a big ruckus caused by Usami's intrusion. Maybe someone purposely made it easy for the man to get in.

Santo Justino considered the unmapped mazeways that lay beneath this seemingly benign building. Korovin was the kind of man who obviously loved tormenting his prey. He could keep Usami chasing his own tail in a place like that for hours.

Damn it!

Santo Justino cursed Usami and the man's impetuous nature again. Then his mind was suddenly drawn to Aikawa Eri. He wondered if all Japanese were so pig-headed.

Eri should have well reached the drive at the front of the mansion by now. Santo Justino breathed a prayer to The Virgin under his breath for her. Then he took his own action. Despite his desire to go back for Aikawa, he bolted forward and reaching the door set his hand on the knob.

Most of his break-in gear was at his office but he still had his means.

If the door was locked, then there was no way, alarms or not, that he'd be able to get in without drawing attention to himself. But maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing. He knew his presence would cause a distraction out here on the grounds, and while it might put Eri in more danger, it might also cause a distraction that would draw Korovin's men away from her.

I hope to fuck my guys and that international squad get here pronto.

even if the Calvary did show, Santo Justino knew there was little chance of any of them getting out of this clusterfuck unscathed at this point.

Fuck it! Standing around here isn't doing jack shit to help anyone!

Drawing a deep breath, he went for the knob. Rather than relief, he felt an ominous sensation of dread fill his low belly when the knob turned easily and no sound filled the dark night around him but the hum of insects, undisturbed in their nightly symphony by the quiet swish of the door as it swung open.

Santo Justino stepped in onto the tiled landing and looked down the narrow staircase before him. He took a few deep focusing breaths and tried to put all thoughts, except finding and immobilizing Korovin out of his mind. The detective quickly crossed himself, re-adjusted his grip on his gun, and carefully began his descent.

Aikawa felt her stomach clench as the car headed up the drive. She'd started it up and turned the headlights on as soon as she'd seen Augusto disappear amongst the trees lining the cobbled road that led to the mansion.

Her heart was thundering in her chest and her bladder felt uncomfortably full as she drew the vehicle into the well-lit circular drive that marked the entrance to Korovin's palatial dwelling. These sensations only increased when she saw that her approach had obviously been observed and there were now three armed men standing, waiting, hands on their automatic weapons at the head of the driveway.

"Usami-sensei, if we make it out of this alive, I swear to my ancestors, I am going to kill you!" Aikawa hissed under her breath.

She drew herself up in her seat, squaring her shoulders. She'd decided what she was going to do the moment she'd seen the gate opened wide enough to pull the car through. Aikawa reached over, more out of habit than conscious thought, and grabbed her purse off the floor, settling the strap over her shoulder as soon as she'd released her seatbelt.

The editor pulled right up to the guards, trembling the whole way, knowing that they could choose to open fire at any time.

The men were tense, but the moment they'd seen the driver was female, though the barrels of their rifles hadn't lowered, they made no move to fire. Instead, they just watched Aikawa's approach with a hawk's intensity.

Aikawa thanked the gods today that she'd been born female: being independently minded and ambitious in the rigid society she lived in had more often in her life had caused her to curse them. Aikawa drew a deep breath. She hadn't gotten to where she was in life without having learned to use wiles she sometimes found demeaning… this was one of those times.

She opened the door and emerged slowly, stepping away from the car and out in plain sight of the guards. Her expression was one of wide-eyed innocence and confusion. She stepped towards the men as though seeing machine guns was something she encountered every day.

When one of the men barked out "Halt!" to her and raised his weapon higher, Aikawa lifted her hands up in a practiced gesture of shock, designed to draw eyes to her breasts. She made sure to heave them a bit, though her heart was pounding so hard and her breath so compressed, she hardly needed to exaggerate her hitching chest.

"Please," Aikawa gasped out in Japanese in her best helpless female anime voice. "I must see Villinski-sensei. I have a plastic surgery emergency! Can't you see it?"

The men's expressions shifted from stern to confused at Aikawa's bird-like cadence.

Sensing their hesitation, she took a stumbling step forward, revealing more than a little of her slender supple leg as her skirt lifted in process. She began in her most damsely way, switching off from Japanese: "So sorry… do you speak English? I don't know Portuguese…" Aikawa had no difficulty keeping her voice breathy as she lilted her words at the men.

"How did you get in here! This is a private estate! No trespassers!" The stickler of the group shouted at her in English, waving his weapon menacingly.

Aikawa's gaydar, honed after years of working at Marukawa, blipped. She suddenly feared her strategy was going to fail. She pulled out her last trick.

Her eyes filled with tears and she began to wail pitifully. Though it injured her pride to resort to such a low tactic, she was not un-used to acting emotional. After all, she'd pretended to be a raging basket case for years as a means of managing Usami-sensei.

"But the gate was open when I drove in... I have his card, too! Maria Medieta sent me! Don't you understand? I am having a plastic surgery emergency! I have a party in a few weeks and I can't go with these eyes!"

If it was not her antics, it was the name of the Garopaba's police chief's notorious wife that finally caused the three men to all lower their guns. A furious conversation broke out amongst the trio in Portuguese. Aikawa was hard pressed not to smile at her success. At least until one of the men nodded to his comrades, slipped the strap on his assault rife, slinging it over his shoulder, and stepped up to her, seizing her roughly by the arm.

"The Doctor is busy, but I'll take you inside to wait," the guard said stiffly, his English far more heavily accented than his comrade's. He ignored Aikawa's yelp when his grip became painful as he maneuvered her towards the Mansion's large double doors.

Glancing over her shoulder she saw the other two men cautiously approaching the car. Aikawa hoped that Augusto had not left anything suspicious in it. This, however, was about to become the least of her worries.

Just before they reached the mansion's main entrance, the man escorting her turned sharply, dragging Aikawa with him.

Her already accelerated heart began racing as she soon realized he was pulling her down to a shadowy walk around to the side of the building.

"Where are you taking me?" she gasped out, pulling back. Up ahead she saw a dark shed off the graveled walkway, almost hidden in a cluster of trees.

The guard's voice was cold. "We have a separate entrance for unexpected guests." The man shifted his gaze from the path to Aikawa. He tightened his grip on her arm further and offered her a disturbing leer.

"But before we go in, to make sure you pose no threat to my employer, Dr. Villinski, I'm going to need to conduct a thorough 'search' of you."

Misaki came to as a harsh cough wracked his chest.

His head ached so much he could hardly get his eyes to open and his throat was on fire. After the coughing fit passed, he lay there gasping, He tried to draw his stiff arms down to his throat, but was bolted to full consciousness when the IV needle in the back of his hand brushed the edge of the cuff shackling his arms overhead.

An electric pain shot all the way down his arm to the elbow.

Misaki's eyes popped open and his situation was revealed to him. With it returned the moments just before Korovin had choked him.


His second thought was of Korovin and wild eyes scanned the room, still fierce but not quite as frantic when he realized it seemed empty. The Doc had apparently left him alone.

Despite being further weakened by his most recent abuse, Misaki rattled his arms in the cuffs.

Korovin had never chained him before. He rarely chained any of his toys; he by far preferred to force his captives to submit without physical restraints. He loved to talk about it as his prizes giving themselves to him freely, though that was never the case.

The cuffs were just another subtle psychological torture device, reminding his prisoners each time they saw them, or heard them jangle as the Doc rattled the bed with his rampages, that these could be used at any time. None of his playthings held any illusions about what would happen to them if he was ever forced to employ them.

The pain of the IV needle in his hand stopped Misaki from struggling further. In his stirred state Korovin had not fastened the steel loops tightly, but they were tight enough. It would take much more than he currently possessed to even begin to try and pull out of them.

Misaki lay back against the soiled sheets, exhausted. An icy bolt of fear pierced him when he suddenly realized that Korovin must have gone after Usagi-san and Jadir.

Tears filled his eyes at the hopelessness of the whole situation. His broken legs twisted in frustration. Misaki looked down when he felt something bump up against the side of one of his casts. He saw the laptop his captor had left behind.

The screen had gone dark, but Misaki saw that the power light was still on.

Despite the excruciating pain it caused, he maneuvered one of his cast limbs over and managed to put enough pressure on the keyboard mouse to revive the laptop. The screen lit up instantly, the last program still running.

Misaki blinked away tears when he saw Usagi-san again. Akihiko was moving down a long hall at a breakneck pace; Jadir carried along piggyback. A sudden hope filled Misaki's tortured chest that Usagi-san might be able to at least save Jadir.

Then the program, still set to random, picked up another camera.

An anguished keen filled the playroom. Emanating from damaged Misaki's throat the noise sounded unhuman, like the dying cry of a spear-savaged animal as he saw Korovin too, raging down another corridor he recognized.

The two men were on a collision course and impact was imminent.

So here's my newest is a Birthday present for my sweet cyber uke The Black Flamingo 101! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my beautiful Black Bird!...

I cannot thank you enough for being such a delightful cyber uke... you make your seme very happy. And yes, flattery works wonders, as does such enthusiastic reviews.

Things are really coming to a boil it seems.

Thanks to all you readers who have been waiting so patiently for an update for this fic. I hope that you will drop me a line now that we're back on track. I am already starting the next chapter.

And Thanks to all of you new readers and those re-readers who took the time to review during the re-upload. Your comments and enthusiasm really spurred me on.

Barettachante, Thank you so much, Koi, for your kind words and thoughts. I love having you as a reader and always smile when I see your name on a review. And no, while this story did not result in my absence, I think it was clearly indicative of the dark space I was in at the time that required my hiatus. And all of that was rough.

Jackattack456, I want you to have a life my dear reader, so I guess I better work on getting this story finished. Heh! Thank you for taking such an interest in my work. I am flattered that you feel it merits rereading!

Rosaikibu, you little devil... so nice to hear from you again!

Alcuzey, is it peverse of me that I was actually pleased to make someone cry in Disney World? You think they have good rides? Well hang on for this one, because it's not over yet.

Gothpandaotaku, Thank you so much for such a rave review! I am glad you liked the re-upload and am honored that you esteem this story so highly. Hope I can keep it up to your expectations.

SilentStare, I hear your plea dear reader. And with out giving you a spoiler, let me just say that I tried to kill Jadir off once and as you can see, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. But having you petition for an OC means a huge amount to me. Thank you!

Taniz Yami, Thank you for the review and we're rounding the corner into the home stretch.

Ashley Tangerine, glad you are so happy. Know what makes me happy?... Your reviews. I want Moarr too!

Seriously, thanks all for hanging in here with me!