RIN – I

Of the night, I dreamed of red and flowers, flowers that bled and writhed with agony when I hit them; their dark blood pooled on ground made of pale yellow grasses that whispered and murmured anxiously in a stale wind. The grass was like a sea; it rippled and shifted, rose and fell, with every breath of air. With blood burning on my cheeks and the cold metal of my pistol freezing my hands, I stumbled through that ocean, struggling towards a farm house; the grasses clung to my legs, tried to hold me back, but I persisted, I refused to give into their will, and in the end I reached it, a house of rough wood and an interior of modest size and minimal decoration, the house of small-folk. I didn't notice much, nothing really, except the vase; a beautiful object, I think. A body of milky white skin, with streaks of red and gold winding around the soft curves, and flowers blooming around the lips and the base.

Then the vase was on the floor, shattered, and all red.

There was a boy screaming and crying, a boy with hair like molten red-gold and eyes made of the clear blue sky. He was younger them me. He looked like a girl. His face was all red.

He reached out, screaming.

Then I'd wake up, and the world was a lot like I'd dreamed it, smeared with red and pulsing with pain.

/

My room at Hatsune Inc. was rather spacious. It was a huge square, smooth and silver. The walls were made of metal, heated so it was comfortably warm to touch, and the floor was wrapped in a carpet soft as velvet and white as snow. My ridiculously large bed was located in the fair left corner, sat beside the changing wall – I called it that because when I ran my hand over it, the surface rippled like water and then all I needed to do was say the word and then I was walking through a forest, or swimming in the ocean, or dancing in a flock of fluttering snow flakes – and its sheets were as white and as soft as the carpet. Several pillows of white and grey sat side by side at the bed's head.

The right wall wasn't change wall, but it wasn't what it seemed, either. When I tapped my knuckles against the hard, warm surface, it let out a whine and jolted forward, slide inward, and revealed to me several rows of modern clothing – the clothing of the rich. Soft silks dyed with vivid colours, blended together in swirls or streaks or patches; dresses of frills and lace and more silk; skin-fitting jeans with butterflies and flowers creeping across the fabric in lines of thread; shirts so black they were darker then shadows; skirts interwoven with neon thread that shone like beads of stolen stars.

Then there was myclothes. My traditional, Japanese-themed clothes – kimonos of red and black and blue and white silks. My favourite was a kimono far too short to be considered decent, a breathtaking piece of material dyed blood-red and thinly lined with pale pink fur on the inside. The obi was large and heavy, dark brown and held in place by an extravagant bow and a delicate metal flower. Then there was my flower hair pin – again, the flower was red – and my bow, white and precious to me.

I did up my hair – shoulder-length and dark gold – and wriggled into my kimono and fetched my black pistol from my bedside table. I was almost ready. Just one more thing...

The bandage was thin, but wrapping and re-wrapping it around my head, over my ear and through my hair made it thicker. It was white, too, like the fluffy carpet, but this bandage was older and was lightly tinged in yellow, or maybe that was just as the shadows thrown by the golden locks I carefully combed over them, hiding them and the gaping black abyss that once held my right eye from view. But nothing could hide the jagged scar that curled across my nose and split down my cheek.

I observed myself in the cupboard's mirror for a moment longer, tucking away loose strands and adjusting my obi and fiddling with my hair clip. Then I picked up the pistol and held it against my cheek and lets its curious icy warmth sweep through me, a warmth I could trust, I warmth I could fight with.

Then I was ready for the day.

I wonder what the mission will be today.

The rest of Hatsune Inc. was the same as my room – smooth, white, and high on technology. While I was dripping with fierce red, the others were white on white. The people who drifted past me wore clothes of white, plastic-thread material. Their white shoes clapped hollowly off the smooth metals floors. Their white hair sat stiff on their shoulders. They didn't dare meet my gaze as I marched past, all red and golden and bright. They were frightened of me. I was one of them, the ones they could never touch, the ones who wore colours and carried weapons openly, a crime punishable by death if it was them yielding the pistol.

The Master's room was guarded by two huge men clad in black. They were all muscle; arms thick as tree trunks and bulging beneath the skin-tight clothing, gnarled noses and beady eyes. I knew instantly they were clones. They were worth even less then the feeble whites and used solely for physical labour, like planting and harvesting fields of wheat and guarding the head of Hatsune Inc.

They knew who I was because of my colours and stepped aside. Behind them was nothing but a white wall, but I knew better. I brushed my knuckles against the surface – smooth and unnervingly soft – and it rippled like water and melted away, sucked up by the ground, and revealed to me a small room of wood and candle light. It was all an illusion, though, like my forest walks or ocean swims. One switch of a button, and the floor beneath my feet would no longer be creaking wooden planks, but silent silver metal.

"Milady." The clone on my left boomed out. A huge voice, befitting of his huge build. "Red Rose as arrived."

"Enter, darling red," My master purred and I strolled inside. Instantly, the wall burst from the ground and solidified behind me. To the clones, the wall would be flat and white; to me, it looked like wood painted a creamy colour, turned honey-gold by the candles. They were wax candles, thick and stunted, and there were many, resting upon book shelves and wooden desks and upturned boxes. The room was very small; my master's desk was only a few meters away, and she too was there, seated in a revolving chair that didn't suit the primitive setting.

She was wearing white, too, but her turquoise tie and high heels screamed out her high status. She wore a short, tight-fitting skirt of dark black, and a white shirt and white doctors coat, so long it would've dragged behind her as she walked. Her legs were gripped by fish-net stockings and her impossibly long turquoise hair was strung back by a square-shaped hair pin, parting and flowing down her back in separate spears of colour. Her glasses were rectangular and narrow and the frame was tainted lightly with turquoise.

Lady Hatsune Miku, director and founder of the Hatsune Inc., looked away from her paperwork when I entered and smiled her sickly sweet smile.

"Hello, little dove." She purred. She spun around to face me and slid her fingers together and rested them on her lap. "Its lovely to see you. Its been to long."

"Its been three days."

"Far too long, my sweet. Come to me. Come let me see you."

I did as commanded, as a trained dove does. I stood before her and allowed her hands to grope my body; flutter across my curves, squeeze my breasts, massage my thighs. My only resistance was when she made to take my pistol from me, and for a moment my fingers were unyielding; my pistol was my life, my offense and defense, my only friend. But then those beautiful blue-green eyes found mine and I released my grip and bit down on my tongue as her fingers wormed it from my grasp.

She sat it on the table.

Her hands left my body, then, and went into her coats many pockets, searching. They emerged with a syringe filled with a cloudy, purple-red liquid and the sight of it sent my heart hammering.

"Your arm," She said, but I'd already held it forward and you could see the holes and scars from the past, where she'd plunged the needle's point into my skin and flooded my veins with the curious liquid. My medicine.

It kept me sane, that stuff did. Without it, for as long as I could remember, I'd been mentally unstable, screaming and clawing at my skin, trying to dig out my eyes, tearing at my hair, sobbing uncontrollably. Vaguely, I could recall spiders moving beneath my skin, stabbing and biting me with fangs, and daggers ripping through my flesh. Or so it had felt. I knew none of that had truly happened, but without the liquid my mind spiralled out of control.

Too much of it, though, could kill me, so master held onto it. She measured the dosage carefully before splitting my skin and my veins and infected it with the medicine.

When she saw my eagerness, some amusement touched her smile.(She smiled whether she was amused or not. It was an expression of happiness, disgust and subtle threat). She pressed the needle through my skin, somewhere in my wrist, and pushed the liquid into me. The pain was large, but it was nothing compared to the sweet relief that washed through me once the medicine was inside. All my anxieties and terrors and angers vanished when it met my bloodstream. It made me sigh aloud.

"Enjoying yourself?" She chuckled.

"Yes..." I felt no shame in admitting it. "Thank you, master."

"You needn't be," She said that, but if I didn't thank her she'd hit me. "All I want is to keep you healthy, my dear. Now," She turned back to the table and lifted a sheet of paper from the pile. She handed me the paper.

A man in his mid-thirties stared back at me. He was rather youthful looking and bore a sweet expression. His eyes were chocolate brown and warm and framed in oval glasses. His hair was the same colour, short and mildly messy in a way that was almost cute. The picture only showed the tops of his shoulders and his face but you could see a blue tie fastened around his neck and the classy black suit of a business man. Beside the picture was lines of information that I could not read. It was all written in Crytonian, a tongue which I could neither speak nor read, save for a few stray characters. I recognised the word for 'mountain', but that was it.

"The man you see there is Hiyama Kiyoteru," Master informed me.(Yama was the word I could read, the Crytonian word for 'mountain'. Weird.) "He's thirty-five years old, reasonably healthy though his eye sight as been weak since birth. His parents died when he was young, so he was raised by his grandfather. He died recently. He has a young foster daughter named Kaai Yuki. She's loosely related to him through some great-great grandmother no-one knew existed. Her father died before she was born, and her mother during childbirth, so Hiyama has been looking after her since she was a baby."

I was silent as she spoke.

"Hiyama is a teacher at her elementary school, she a top student in his class." She was holding a sheet of paper, I saw. When she shifted her weight, I caught a glance of a round face and huge brown eyes and soft brown hair strung back in pony-tails. The face of an innocent little girl. I pitied her. "They're very close."

"Which one do you want me to kill?" I asked bluntly, for that was my job. I was the Red Rose, the flower that bled with her enemies, that screamed with laughter as they died, the raven of death wrapped in red silk. I was the one they all feared, even the other colours, with their guns and their swords. I was the one Justice despised, the one the government secretly admired, just as they secretly worshipped and obeyed Lady Hatsune Miku. I'd been killing since I was fourteen and, soon, I would turn twenty. Six solid years of slaughter. Quite the record.

She laughed.

"Why must you be so blunt, little dove? I thought you would enjoy learning about your targets."

"I don't care about his past, master. He sounds boring anyway."

"Very well, have it your way. Hiyama Kiyoteru isn't just a teacher. A few years back, he had the misfortune of being involved in some dark, mafia-related incidents." She glanced down at Kaai Yuki. "In order to protect his precious daughter, he ran to me. You remember what I told you, little dove? In this word, there are thee major powers – there is the wrenched Justice, a cult, basically, though no-one outside seems to understand that; the English mafia from across the Wandering Sea and us, Hatsune Industries, masters of technology and the creation of advanced weaponry. The government is helpless in these matters...though they have little power, anyway, those puppet politicians. Who else was he to run to? The Justice would've killed him, the English the same. I was his only option.

"He borrowed money from me in order to pay off the mafia and they let him be. They may be ruthless savages, but they keep their word, I'll give them that. They haven't touched him since. But he failed to take my impatience into account. I warned him if he didn't pay me back, I'd make him pay. He didn't believe me. We had a private meeting, so I could better explain his situation. And let's just say..." Her pale lips twisted into a grimace. "...he said the wrong thing. Now he must pay."

"You want me to kill his daughter." It wasn't a question, but a statement.

She nodded. "Yes. Kaai Yuki is his price. But she isn't his daughter, just his look-alike niece."

"They're of middle class, right?"

"Barely. Their technology is old. They drive cars with wheels, little dove." I'd never even heard of such a thing. "They live on the edge of the Second Wing, right against the Wall." Hatsune Inc. was at the front of the First Wing. She was royalty amongst royalty. "An image of their house is on the bottom of Kaai Yuki's sheet." She handed it to me and I took it. That damnable innocent face dared back at me, a sweet little smile on her lips. She was so young...oh well. "Your mission is to assassinate her and be back in time for supper."

I nodded. "I understand."

She tapped my nose with a long slender finger; her finger nails were long, too, and sharp, like claws, painted turquoise. Just like the rest of her. "Good little dove."

I said nothing. I'd learned it was better to just let her talk She enjoyed my attitude and my sarcasm, but only when it was wanted, otherwise I was just another annoying experiment she had to put up with.

...Yeah. My life is mildly depressing, aye?

Good thing I enjoy it.

I left.

/

In the city of Voca, there was four major sections: First Wing, Second Wing, Third Wing and Outer Wing. Each was separated by a massive wall of solid metal of different sorts; the First Wing's wall was one of gold, with silver and bronze strips merging together to create vast mosaics of metal. It was a stunning sight to behold; goddesses with white wings spread open in flight, hands upraised towards God and glorious golden hair spilling down their backs in waves and ringlets; men with horns jutting from their temples and the lower body of a house and spears held in hand; then more modern pictures, detailing building of glistening metals and sleek silver hovercrafts and the bloody World War V.

Within the First Wing, life was a luxury, made soft and easy with silks and laces and mind boggling technology. The further out from the center you traveled, however, the harder life became, until you reached the Wall and passed over into the Second Wing. Their technology was noticeably dated, their wall no where near as extravagant or otherworldly. It was one made entirely of copper and steel. Steel letting coated the wall, written with a swift, curvy hand to detail the many laws of Voca. There were some images, a god here or there, a tranquil scene of vines and trees and meadows, but they were badly done for the most part and faded from time.

I was dropped off at Hiyama Kiyoteru's house in the dead of night by my master's personal hovercraft. It was cloaked in a shield of invisibility and was silent as the grave, so the only sounds was the soft murmuring of leaves, the far-off clamour of some children playing and one of those land-cars back firing, much to the owner's apparent horror.

I leapt from the craft and landed noiselessly in Hiyama's garden. It wasn't very large, but it was pretty, I'll give him that. I knew nothing of flowers, but I recognised the roses – they were famous throughout the First Wing, and it was my code name, for god's sake – some red, others white, a few sunny yellow. They all looked dull and dangerous in the watery, half-hearted light of night.

I looked up at Hiyama's house.

It was very small, a brick-structure, square in shape and no larger then my room, really. The roof was tiled, though I couldn't tell the colour without proper light. There was two windows framed in white wood; the glass was foggy and my vision was marred by the tattered, cream-coloured curtains. There was a tiny deck of wood out the front, and it was that I climbed up onto. I glanced briefly over my shoulder and though I couldn't see it, I knew the craft was zooming away, fast as lightning, shooting over houses and people and land-cars without ever being seen.

It reminded me of myself, somehow.

The door was easy to open. The technology was bad and as a result the security was too. The door was one of rough brown wood, the type with circles of pale browns and muddy-yellows, and the lock was one for a key but seemed to accept the sharp point of my hair pin just as gladly. It let out a soft click of sound when it opened, but apart from that the world was quite.

Inside, it was dark, as one might expect. The walls and floors all looked grey or black, so I couldn't tell the colouring. The door opened up into a narrow hall way that led off into a larger room that seemed to be a mixture of the kitchen and the living room, while, to my left, it jeered off down another hall. I crept down it as quietly as humanly possible and found it ended quite abruptly, but there'd been just enough time to squeeze in another room.

One room. It was possible Hiyama Kiyoteru was in there as well, tossing and turning in his sleep with little Kaai Yuki snuggled up beside him. I imagined her smiling softly as she slept, her little chest rising and falling, a rabbit doll hanging loosely from the hook of her elbow. She wore a pink dress and her hair was still done up in pony-tails...

Stop it, I told myself sternly. Getting all guilty wasn't going to help me none. I'd forget about it all anyway, once I'd pulled the trigger and the bullet was flying.

Gently, I twisted the handle – gently, but quickly, too, because I'd learned from experience that if you moved it slowly, it squeaked and whined. It was cool and felt like plastic. The door opened with a faint squeak of protest, but was otherwise quite, and I found myself standing in a small room bathed in shadows...save for a single candle burning on a bed-side table. The bed was big enough for a grown man, so Kaai Yuki looked even smaller as she slept, warm yellow-orange light causing her flushed cheeks to glow eerily.

She didn't look like she had in my mind. She wasn't smiling. Her head tilted to one side and her mouth slightly parted. Her hair was loose and fell about her shoulders in hazel tangles made dark orange by the firelight. She wore a blue shirt too large for a little body, or maybe it was a dress, but I couldn't tell because the white sheets were pulled right up to her shoulders. She held onto a penguin doll rather then a rabbit. Its huge black eyes seemed to stare at me, and then at the gun strapped to my thigh.

I walked forward.

I pulled out my gun.

I pointed it at her head.

And the stupid girl woke up.

It happened so quickly I didn't have time to pull the trigger, and it was only later I realised she hadn't been asleep at all. She'd been waiting for her father to come home and had stayed up for him. She'd heard the door creak open and thought she'd surprise him when he came into the room.

So when she jolted up, she squealed "Daddy!" and grinned a huge bright grin...and then she realised I wasn't her father, that she didn't even know me, and she'd almost leapt into the barrel of a shot gun.

She cringed away. Fear and confusion swept across her features. For some stupid reason, she grabbed her penguin and hugged him to her chest, as though he could protect her from my life-snatching bullets.

"You're not my daddy," She whispered shakily. Pointing out the obvious.

"No, I'm not." Why was I playing along with her? I should've shot her the second she moved.

"W-why are you here?" She asked. Her voice was high-pitched and tiny with fear. "Where's my daddy? What did you do to daddy?" Her voice grew a little stronger, though. More confident as fear for her father overcame her fear for herself. It shocked me, sometimes. How brave children were.

"I haven't touched her daddy." I promised, and that seemed to please her because her expression softened a little. Stupid, stupid girl.

She glanced at the gun. Black, but red here and there because of the flame. She shrunk away, remembering her own terror. She said nothing.

"I'm really sorry, Yuki." I said.

Still, she said nothing.

"I have to do this. I've been ordered to. I don't have a choice."

Silence.

Stupid silence.

There's been too much of it tonight.

If only the door had banged open and the sound had screamed through the house. Kaai Yuki would've known I wasn't her father, then. She might've hid. Someone might've heard and come to her aid. But no, everything had to be so bloody quite.

Now she was going to die.

She was crying – more silence, though. She didn't even sniff or whimper. In her head, she was probably past blubbering and crying, though the tears had appeared only a few moments ago. She was clutching her penguin so desperately her knuckles shone white. She was trembling.

"Yuki, close your eyes." I said.

She did.

I pressed the cold muzzle against her forehead.

I pulled the trigger, and the silence exploded.


First fic, so please be nice.

This is based on the song Karakuri Burst, sung by Kagamine Rin/Len. The song didn't say much about the world they lived in other then it was corrupted, so I improvised. This made-up world is set in the future, sometime after World War Five, where humans are divided through technology and their worth is judged through wealth and status. Yeah..I know there's probably a thousand versions of this, but please put up with me xD

I apologize for any mistakes. I read through it a couple of times, but I probably missed something.

I will love you forever if you review. Seriously.

- raven_by_night

[ EDIT ] Fixed up all the slanted writing.