Wow, I finally got around to rewriting this story. Amazing... With the original version I had tried something new and didn't like it, plus had no idea where the story was going and found it sort of went everywhere when I reread it.
I have no idea where this version is going, either, but so far my notes seem to make sense. xD This story is similar in many ways to the last version, but it's more wordier and thorough, I guess?
Hopefully those who read the last version will enjoy this new one. And, like my other stuff, this will most likely be slow in updating. :(
by Disco Ant
The final bell of the day rang, the students happily gathering their books and papers, placing them into their backpacks before leaving class.
The hallways were filled with various conversations, students making plans for the weekend, the last one they had before finals week.
Pushing her way past the crowds was a girl who looked too young to be among the other college kids. "Toshiko," she called out, squeezing through the traffic and waving to her friend as she ran towards her.
"Ayame," Toshiko smiled, stopping and waiting for her friend to join her.
The two girls looked alike, both with small curved figures and straight black hair that stopped just past their shoulders. Ayame, though, was seven inches shorter than her friend and preferred to wear more colorful and feminine clothing.
"We're going to that club tonight, right?" Ayame asked when she finally caught up to Toshiko.
Toshiko gave her a confused look. "No... Didn't you get my text? I have to go to the station so I can work on my paper."
Ayame whined and slumped her shoulders.
Toshiko grinned. "There's always tomorrow night," she consoled her.
"Why do you have to go to the station anyway?" Ayame pouted. "They never let you bring anyone inside."
Toshiko shrugged. "My dad asked his Captain and he said it was okay. Besides, it's not like anything interesting goes on there. It's mainly just a bunch of creepy guys staring at me and asking if I need anything."
"Yeah," Ayame sighed.
"Look, Ayame," Toshiko said as she turned and stepped in front of her friend. "If I want to get into that law school I need to do this paper. It isn't like I want to leave you or anything. I have to do this. And it has to be good or else they won't even read the whole thing and I'll never be considered for acceptance."
"Can't your dad help with that?" Ayame muttered as she glared at Toshiko.
Toshiko brought her head back, staring offended at Ayame. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing," Ayame glared. "Have fun with your paper," she said, irritated, before stomping off.
"Ayame," Toshiko said in disappointment, deciding not to do anything as her friend got lost in the crowd.
She shook her head and sighed, turning and walking down the hall towards the side door, the closest exit to get to her car.
"Hey, Toshiko," the officer at the front desk said when she entered, flashing her a big smile.
"Hey," she said, forcing herself to somewhat smile at the man. "Officer Sato," she quickly said, not wanting to show disrespect to the son of her father's Captain.
"You've been coming here an awful lot," Officer Sato said as he handed her the sign in sheet.
"Yeah, well, finals are next week and I have to have my paper in by Wednesday at the latest."
"Ah. What's the paper about?"
She signed her name and wrote in the time before sliding the paper back to the officer. "Captain Abe," she said.
"Hey, really?" Officer Sato said in excitement. "Did you know he's my great great great great great Uncle?"
"No," Toshiko said slowly and with a forced laugh. "That's... that's interesting. I bet you have a lot of stories, then, huh?"
Officer Sato laughed. "Not really. I never knew him."
She gave him an unsure look, the man speaking as if he would have ever had the possibility of knowing a man who died over two hundred years ago. "Well, that's too bad," she said sincerely before quickly rushing off and through the door to the main office.
The office was a large and open space, two stories high and three thousand square feet. The room contained all of the desks for the officers working there as well as a partitioned area for bookshelves, file cabinets and computers.
As she walked towards the computer area she got numerous shouts of "Hello" and "Hey, Toshiko" and even one request for her to call someone if she didn't have plans. She kept her head down, not wanting to see who it was wanting to go out with her.
'Lucky for him my dad isn't here,' she thought, knowing that if he were the officer would find himself on the floor with his face being beaten in.
"Kind of wish he was here..." she said under her breath as she found an open computer and sat down, placing her backpack on the floor beside her.
Captain Sato had told her that her dad was over in Europe, close on the trail of Lupin and ready to arrest him and drag him back to Japan where he could be put on trial for his crimes.
Toshiko was smarter than that, though. She knew her dad would never catch Lupin, but that he would never stop trying to do so. Because of this she hated Lupin. She felt that if the man had any compassion for others that he would let himself be arrested so her dad could at least take life easy for once.
One of her earliest memories was of her dad talking about a thief named Lupin the Third. The excitement she saw on her dad's face as he spoke about arresting him made her happy. That happiness faded as the years went by, though, as her dad got older, yet still continued after the thief who was just entering the prime of his life.
But now? Now it was just ridiculous.
Her dad could care less about his age or his health. And Lupin was still many years younger and had skilled partners who would do anything for him. Her dad kept going, though, every failure making him just that much more obsessed with the case.
"And less aware his family even exists," she mumbled angrily as she stared at the computer screen.
She glanced over, noticing she was being stared at by the officer sitting two computers down. She forced a smile and quickly looked back at the screen.
To make herself look busy she pulled out her laptop and started a new document, typing random things while waiting for the room to clear.
'I guess he is still aware,' she thought with a sigh, staring blankly at her laptop while continually pressing the 'a' key over and over mindlessly.
He still called her when he could, which wasn't often, but at least he made time for it. And although their conversations mainly consisted of awkward questions and silence, Toshiko enjoyed them.
It was during one of those calls that she had the opportunity to ask if she could have access to the archives on Captain Abe, lying about how she was doing her final report on him and could really use the information so she could get a passing grade.
Her dad was more than happy to ask Captain Sato, who was more than happy to allow her to look into the archived files.
She knew it was wrong, but she knew she'd never get a passing grade and impress the professors at the law school with a paper about a guy who was only famous for having the police station named after him.
She glanced over as the officer besides her left, leaving her alone in the area. And with the shift ending it left her in an almost empty police station. "Finally," she sighed, digging in her backpack and pulling out a firewire cable and a small device.
She connected the device into her laptop, connecting one end of the cable to the other end of the device and connecting the other end of the cable into the back of the computer she was using. Taking a quick glance around her she turned on the device.
"Come on," she muttered impatiently, the small screen that popped up on her laptop quickly scanning through various codes. She smiled when one of the codes stopped, the words "Access Denied" replaced by "Access Granted" before the window closed.
Every file from the main Tokyo Police Station was open to her, but she was only interested in one: the file on the gang known as the Forty Sevens.
The gang still existed, although now with a larger network of smaller gangs, each with their own name and unique way of dealing with their enemies.
It was the gang that her grandfather had gone after. And Toshiko believed it was also the gang that had killed him.
Her father never pursued the cause of death, though. Nobody did. Everyone assumed it was the Forty Sevens and, fearing for their lives, everyone forgot the incident had ever happened.
Toshiko couldn't handle it, though, ever since she found the small worn diary of the man she never knew tucked away in a box she had found in the small attic of her parent's house.
She read it cover to cover while sitting in the small dusty space, the flashlight gripped in her sweating hand as the world around her faded, replaced with the world her grandfather had lived in.
He had begun his pursuit after his partner and best friend was killed off duty, quickly figuring out it was this new gang that had just popped up in Tokyo.
The Forty Seven gang had begun in China, but quickly spread to Vietnam and the Koreas, taking over neighborhoods, towns and villages. They protected those who gave them shelter, but killed those who looked at them the wrong way. When they came to Japan it was no different.
Her grandfather's partner had been killed because, as a witness stated, he had refused to give a member of the gang a cigarette. When he left the bar the man and two others quickly surrounded and knifed him to death. When his body was discovered everything was on him except for his cigarettes.
Her grandfather only wanted justice, ignoring those around him who told him to let it go, to forget what had happened and who they believed had done it. In his diary he had written that he couldn't forget, and that as long as the sad faces of his friend's wife and children were still etched in his memory he would seek justice for the man's meaningless death.
And so, for her final paper, Toshiko was going to prove that the Forty Sevens were behind her grandfather's murder. She didn't care about the consequences, even though she knew it was something she should care about. She only wanted to, as her grandfather had written, seek justice for a meaningless death.
"How are you doing in here?"
Toshiko gasped as she turned towards the voice. "Officer Sato," she said with a nervous laugh, quickly closing her laptop and turning off the screen in front of her, hoping he didn't notice the small window showing that files were being transferred.
"Did I startle you? I'm sorry."
"No, no, it's okay. I was just... I was just finishing up here." She forced a smile, trying to act natural and not doing a very good job at it.
"Oh. Well..." Officer Sato looked down nervously. "My shift is just ending and I was, uh... I was just wondering if... Do you want to go grab something to eat?" he forced out of his mouth.
Toshiko glanced at the black screen, wondering how much longer she had until the set of files would be finished transferring. "Sure," she said happily, hoping this time her act wasn't too obvious. "Let me just get my stuff together and get ready. I'll meet you out by your car."
Officer Sato smiled, unable to believe she accepted his offer. "Sure. I'll meet you outside, then." He pointed with his thumb behind his shoulder and stood there for a second before realizing that he had to clock out. Giving her a sheepish grin he quickly left.
"Oh god," she groaned, telling herself it was just one meal and that she could leave early saying she was tired from school. Satisfied with that plan she turned the screen back on, seeing the transfer was complete.
"Three more folders to go," she said, the complete archive on the Forty Sevens having been twelve folders, the previous eight she had gotten almost having enough information for her to prove her case.
She unplugged the cable and shut the computer down, tossing all of her items in her backpack and leaving the area.
Her dinner with Officer Sato wasn't as awful as she thought it'd be. It was still awkward and uneventful and, just as she guessed, he acted like an idiot.
'Ugh, why do guys do that around girls they like?' she wondered as Officer Sato stuttered and stumbled through some boring story from his days at the academy.
As he told his story she smiled politely and forced herself to laugh at the points he laughed at, figuring it was something she was expected to do even though she found nothing funny about what she was trying hard not to pay attention to.
He was mid-sentance when she yawned. "Oh! I'm so sorry!" He quickly stood, not knowing really what to do. "I'm keeping you awake!" He acted as though he were panicked, like he had broken some dinner "date" rule that was obviously not supposed to be broken.
"It's fine," Toshiko said politely. "I just had a long day at school."
"Well, let me drive you home, then," he offered.
She stared at him with a confused glare. "I... I drove myself here, remember?" she said slowly.
"Oh," he said, feeling as though he had completely failed and his face showing it, as well.
"I had a good time," she lied with a smile. "Thank you for dinner." Her words were followed by an awkward hug.
Officer Sato smiled dreamily as he inhaled the smell of her hair, caught up in the moment and wrapping his arms around her.
She grunted as he squeezed her in almost a bear hug.
Officer Sato didn't notice, floating on a cloud as he let go and stepped away from her, staring at her with a loving smile.
"Yeah..." Toshiko smiled nervously. "Um, thanks again, I guess." She stared at him for a couple of seconds before turning and walking off.
"At least I got dinner out of it," she said as she stepped inside of her car. "I guess he isn't that bad of a guy, but... yeesh, what is with him?"
She thought about his behavior and had a good laugh as she got closer to her school, the building her dorm was in sitting right beside it.
She parked her car in the underground garage and took the elevator up to the fourth floor. The place was oddly quiet, making her wonder what time it really was.
She dug through her pocket for her phone and stared at it as she walked, seeing that it was almost midnight.
"How can that be?" she wondered, getting to her room and moving her hand forward to place the key in the lock when the door swung open slightly.
She looked up at the open door, the lights in the room on. "Ayame?" she asked, her friend being her roommate. "Are you...?"
She stepped inside and gasped, the room a complete mess as drawers and bookshelves were emptied onto the floor.
"Oh no," she said as she begun to panic, seeing the bloodstains on the floor and the bullet holes in the wall. "Oh no," she cried, turning to run out of the room.
She was almost to the door when she was grabbed from behind. Fighting with the person, she was able to get herself freed. She turned her head, getting a quick glimpse of a man in dark clothing before she was grabbed again and shoved into the wall.
The man cupped the back of her head in his hand and pushed forward violently, slamming her into the door jamb and knocking her out.
He let go and watched as her body fell to the floor. Standing over her, he glared down as the blood trickled from the gash in her forehead.
He reached into his pocket and grabbed his phone, calling a number. "It's done," he said. "Where do I take her?"
Getting what he needed he pocketed the phone. He stepped forward, bending down and picking her up, carrying her out the door and to the elevator.