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Trunks turned his head around, just in time to see Dormant tossing him a set of keys. The youth caught them with one hand and brought them down, realizing they were car keys. So he would be driving.
Which made sense. The Erasa woman was striding confidently next to Dormant as they made their way across the apartment complex's parking lot. That caught Trunks' attention. For someone who was at the mercy of her captors, she didn't seem all that perturbed. Had hanging around Detective Satan made her prefer to be a prisoner? A scary thought, but very unlikely.
Reaching the car, Trunks unlocked it with the clicker and then stood to a side. He watched as Dormant and Erasa reached for the back passenger door, the dark-haired man opening it. The blonde woman calmly climbed in and slid to the other side of the seat, Dormant sitting down in the backseat as well and slamming the door shut. It was only then that Trunks opened the driver's door and sat down in the seat. Once the door was closed, he started up the car and began driving. It didn't matter where they were going at this point and if Dormant would tell him where to go if he felt like it.
Glancing to the rearview mirror, the lavender-haired youth saw his passengers seemingly relaxed in their seats. Again, it alarmed him how comfortable Erasa appeared. It didn't sit all that well in his stomach, not one bit. Yet, Dormant was just as relaxed, not even holding a weapon to her.
"Where's your headquarters?" the dark-haired man asked, looking to the blonde. His tone wasn't as threatening or demanding as it was in Satan's apartment, but it still carried a serious vibe.
Finally, Erasa changed her demeanor to a more weary one. Not that she was worried about either of them, but she was betraying her own comrades at this point. Perhaps she was thinking about the consequences she would face if this little conversation got out. Trunks held back a snort. It was a bit late for second thoughts.
"It's a small real estate firm on South Lavaca and Sugarland Lane," she relented in a resigned tone. "Royal and Rayne Real Estate."
"Which city?" Trunks questioned.
"This one, Blue Star," was her answer.
Trunks wasn't familiar with the area, but fortunately his partner seemed to know of it. "Small place," Dormant commented. "I'm assuming you have a very large basement."
Erasa nodded her head. "The firm is the front. Underground is the real offices. It stretches out for three blocks all around and two stories deep."
"Nothing like Tactical Securities, but there is a small force."
"What other agents?"
"Aside from Pirate and Wildcat?" At Dormant's nod, the blonde said, "There's Janus, but she mostly does undercover work. I heard she had been on assignment recently, so there's no telling if she'll even be in. Devil has been AWOL last I heard."
Had Trunks not had his eye on the rearview mirror at that moment, he would have missed Dormant perking his head at that. Whoever Devil was, he—no wait, it was she wasn't it? All of the assassins in this group were women—she held some interest for the dark-haired man.
"And other than me," Erasa continued unimpeded, "there's Serpent. I don't know what her status is though."
Dormant seemed to be considering all of this. "What are Janus and Serpent's capabilities?" he then asked.
Erasa rolled her eyes at this. "As I said, Janus is an undercover specialist and—"
"How do they fight," Dormant interrupted with a growl. He was clearly warning this woman as his words were less of a question and more of a statement.
The blonde immediately recognized his tone as her eyes widened immediately. Her eyes shot down, seeming to stare at the dark-haired man's stomach before slowly returning to his face. "B-both have some hand-to-hand combat training and weapon training. I don't know how good either of them are, but they aren't used like Pirate and Wildcat were."
Trunks was beginning to figure out just what Erasa meant. "So they were sent in to get close to their targets and then kill them," he summarized.
Seeing her nod her head through the mirror, the lavender-haired youth saw his comrade calm down as well. This was good news in Trunks' opinion. A bunch of guards and a couple of mid-level agents would be nothing against Dormant's skills. It seemed this rescue operation was leaning in their favor.
"That just leaves Father," Dormant then said, confusing the young man. Who the heck was "Father"?
At the mentioning of that name, Erasa looked surprised. "How do you know about—?"
"Not your concern. Just tell me about him."
The blonde remained astonished for several moments before she answered the dark-haired youth. "I really don't know. Honest. I've never seen him fight or use a gun. He just tells us where to go and who to kill. That's all I've ever seen him do."
A silence fell over the car then. For Trunks, it was uncomfortable. He hadn't expected the interrogation to end just like that. Surely Dormant had some more questions while they had such a willing source. And yet, the dark-haired man seemed to be content with what they had been told. After a while, Trunks coughed none too subtly.
That got his partner's attention, and Trunks stared at him through the rearview mirror. When he saw Dormant meeting his gaze through the glass, the lavender-haired youth jerked his head towards Erasa, an urgent look on his face. Fortunately, the man got his meaning.
"What have you heard of a little girl being held there?" Dormant questioned as he looked to Erasa again.
"Little girl?" Erasa repeated with some confusion. Then realization hit her. "Oh, I think Father is keeping her somewhere in the complex. I haven't had any contact with her since I was sent out to… I mean, I was on assignment and haven't been back for awhile."
"Any clue as to where she would be kept?"
The blonde woman shrugged her shoulders. "Probably close to Father's office. He doesn't take people he doesn't consider important, and when he does, he keeps them close by."
Dormant nodded. "Got anything else, Sword?"
Trunks shook his head. "I can't think of anything else."
"Then I think we're done with you, Rubber."
Erasa nodded her head. "If you'll just let me out here—"
Trunks jerked his head around to stare at his passengers incredulously. "Who said we're letting you go?" he demanded before looking back to the road. As much as he wanted to stare the blonde down, he did have to drive, and he wasn't about to get in a wreck just for the sake of fulfilling an urge.
Erasa tilted her head back haughtly. "I told you everything you wanted to know. I cooperated just like I said I would. You have to let me go."
"Just to let you go and tell your boss we're coming?" Trunks retorted. "Yeah, not gonna happen, lady."
"That's a good point," Dormant agreed.
Suddenly, Erasa stiffened, a face betraying the fear she was beginning to feel. It was then that Trunks realized just why the blonde had been so relaxed this whole time. She figured they would ask her their questions and let her go. Dumb broad.
"But… I kept my… you have to…" she stammered out as her eyes flickered from Trunks to Dormant.
The dark-haired man seized control then. "Your boss has been trying to kill both of us for the last several days. That makes him our enemy and by association so do you."
"But I told you the truth! I… I gave you everything! You can't do this!"
At this point, Trunks began to slow the car down due to a red light. The moment they came to a stop, Dormant's head twitched. "Damn, the cops," he hissed.
Instantly, Trunks jerked his head to his right, just to see some blue SUV, no cop in sight. Erasa had done the same, though she had a more hopeful look on her face. Before she could realize what Trunks had, Dorman suddenly lashed out a hand, fingers stiffened straight and pressed together, the thumb curled into the palm, and landed a solid chop to the side of the blonde's head. Immediately, she sagged in her seat, clearly unconscious.
Trunks just stared at Erasa's slumped formed. "What was that for?"
Dormant merely answered, "Green light." Confused, Trunks turned his head back to the windshield and saw the red light had changed to green. Pressing on the accelerator, they moved forward with the traffic once more.
At this point, the dark-haired man chose to answer Trunks' question. "She's harmless now. We won't have to kill her as long as we hit her agency now."
"You're not going to kill her?!" the lavender-haired youth exclaimed. "You can't be serious!"
"Why should I kill her?"
"Because she's trying to kill us! This is a kill-or-be-killed world, Dormant! I thought you would know that."
Dormant raised an eyebrow at that. "So by that logic I should have killed you at that house in suburbia." Trunks hesitated at that. Letting out a sigh, the dark-haired man continued to say, "Killing may be your answer for everything, but it's not mine. I didn't choose to become an assassin, I was dragged into it. But I can choose who I kill and who I don't." He then gestured to the blonde. "She's harmless now. By the time she wakes up, it'll be too late for her to warn anyone of what we're about to do."
"And what makes you think she's not gonna try to kill one of us later on?" Trunks shot back.
"What about her makes you think she can? She doesn't possess any of the fighting skills that the Tactical Securities agents had, or even the assassins you have faced recently. She's probably just for small jobs and logistics."
Trunks sneered. "Showing mercy. I never would've believed it if I hadn't seen it."
"Okay then, say I kill her. That would stop her from causing trouble down the road, that's true, but what about her friends? Family? They might want revenge and come after me." Dormant directed a look at Trunks that made him wince. "At least this way I stand a chance at breaking this cycle of violence. While Erasa can definitely come after me again, there's also a chance she won't. If she chooses to do that, then that makes this choice all worth it."
"You better be right then," the young man grumbled. "Because I don't want to go on, get my sister, then on the way out get shot by this bitch."
"We'll dump her off somewhere before we go," Dormant assured him. "You won't have to worry about getting shot."
Royal and Rayne Real Estate was a small building sandwiched between a flower shop and a deli. It was very unassuming in appearance, giving the idea that it was just a normal office. Its front had two large, dark-tinted windows that sandwiched a little door. In dull yellow paint, the name of the firm was proudly displayed on the glass of the left window, along with the office's address in smaller font.
Across the street, Trunks and Dormant stared at the building. Erasa was no longer with them, a distant memory at this point. For Trunks, he could practically smell his kid sister, locked somewhere in the underground complex below.
"Are you ready?" Dormant asked calmly beside him.
The lavender-haired youth tightened his grip on the handgun in his lap. "Yeah, I am."
"Once we're inside, we'll take down and restrain everyone in the upper office," Dormant said. "It shouldn't be too difficult finding our way to the underground levels. Once there, we'll split up. I'll cause a distraction, drawing all the attention to me. You'll be looking for your sister, and make sure to keep quiet. If you have to kill, make as little noise as possible. We don't want them dividing their forces to get to you."
Trunks nodded his head. "Then what?"
"Once you find your sister, get out any way you can. Don't wait for me either."
So this would be where they would part ways. The youth could live with that. "Thanks," he said. Turning his head, he looked at the dark-haired man and added, "For everything."
Dormant kept a level gaze with him. "Just stay out of trouble, understand? You have someone you have to look out for and she doesn't deserve to get dragged into our world. You get out and stay out."
Trunks didn't like the lecture, but he nodded his head in confirmation. Anything to get Bra out. Grabbing the door handle, he responded with, "Let's go."
Opening the door, the young man climbed out of the car, sticking his gun into the waistband of his pants. No need to hide it as he'd be pulling it out soon. Behind him, Dormant was shutting the car door, the sound of his footsteps moving around the front of the car to join the lavender-haired youth on the other side. Seeing no oncoming traffic, Trunks crossed the street with his partner, reaching the sidewalk in front of the real estate firm in no time at all. Dormant pulled ahead then to open the office's door, a bell ringing as the door hit it, and stepped inside, Trunks following him a second later.
The room they entered was a wide open one. To the right was a sitting area with several chairs and a table with magazines piled on it. To the left were makeshift cubicles, tall wooden bookcases acting as dividers between them. Wooden desks with a couple of chairs were in each space, two on the left side of the room, and one to the right, though that was was blocked by a bookcase. There wasn't anyone at the desks to the left, but the sound of shuffling papers informed them that there was someone at the desk to the right. Walking forward, they made their way to see who was at that desk.
Coming to a stop, Trunks looked at a middle-aged, black-haired woman. She was looking over some papers on her desk and hadn't bothered looking up at them. She was dressed smartly, looking the part of a real estate agent. "I'll be with you in a second," she said in a warm, motherly tone.
It was then that Trunks noticed Dormant stiffened beside him. Turning his head, he saw the dark-haired man staring at the woman, eyes wide and mouth opened slightly. He was completely stunned. Quickly, the lavender-haired youth looked to the real estate agent, just in time for her to look up.
"How can I help…" she trailed off as she saw to the two of them. Like Dormant, her eyes widened at the sight of them, but she was definitely more focused on Trunks' partner. "You…" she whispered softly.
Neither of the other two made a move, which made Trunks all the more antsy. He didn't know what was going on, but he was going to make sure this stand-off didn't ruin his plans. Whipping out his gun, he pointed it right at the woman and harshly ordered, "Don't make a move."
That broke Dormant and the woman's shocks, the woman snapping her head to Trunks. Striding towards her, the young man demanded, "Hands on the desk, slowly. You make a wrong move and I'll blow your head off."
Cautiously, the woman held her hands were they were before pressing them down on the desk. Her dark eyes were staring into Trunks' blue ones, but then she glanced over at Dormant, who was eerily stone-faced.
And then, "It was you, wasn't it," Dormant stated. "You were the one that told 17 where I was." His hands began to ball into fists, anger leaking into his voice. "Why would you do that?"
The woman put on a brave face. "I didn't know you," she said simply. "You showed up at my doorstep claiming to be my son. I didn't believe you; how could I?"
Trunks turned his head to give his partner a curious look. This was his mother? Well, this just got really awkward.
"So 17 told you to keep your eyes on me until he got Sword here to kill me." Dormant looked pissed then. "I should have known better." He closed his eyes then, tilting his head up towards the ceiling in what looked like an effort to calm himself down. Dormant's mother wisely stayed quiet as well as Trunks. When he opened his eyes again, he was looking back at the dark-haired woman. "So you must be Janus."
Janus slowly nodded her head. "I am."
"Mind telling me why you married my father?" He didn't wait for her to answer as he continued, "No, you don't have to. Your boss, 17, Father, whoever, ordered you to seduce him, get close, and take him out. Or at least, that's how the orders started. Maybe he changed his mind later and decided that it would be better to keep an eye on a rival agent. That sound about right?"
Janus remained silent. If Trunks wasn't mistaken, he would see her eyes beginning to water.
"At least tell me this," the dark-haired man asked, "Did you even love him?"
Some life erupted within the woman. "Of course I did," she snapped angrily. "How dare you—"
"Don't," Dormant demanded, one of his arms shooting up, his palm pointed right at Janus. A golden glow emerged from his palm and fingers, effectively silencing the dark-haired woman. "Lie to me," he finished in a deathly tone.
Janus slowly shook her head, her face still showing her defiance. Tears were falling down her face. "I loved Goku very much," she said, her voice choked up with emotion. "No matter what you believe about me, that will never change."
"How about Goten? Did he matter to you?"
A sniffle, and then, "Yes."
Trunks had to give the woman props, she would not be intimidated.
"Where were you then when he was blown up outside our motel room?" Dormant questioned. "Where were you when that maniac kidnapped me? Where were you when my father began experimenting on me with an experimental training program? Answer me that."
"I thought you were dead," she answered, regaining some of her composure. "That's what Goku told me what happened. Why wouldn't I have believed him? I was devastated, just like I was when he died, when Goten died." She paused to swallow a lump in her throat. "I still am."
The lavender-haired youth noticed the glow on Dormant's hand began to fade until it was gone. The young man then lowered his hand, but continued to scowl at the woman. "Get up."
When she didn't, Dormant growled before repeating, "Get. Up."
Trunks jerked the barrel of his gun up and down a couple times to indicate that the woman should do as she was told. Calmly, Janus stood up, receiving her next instructions a moment later. "Come to me."
Janus swallowed again. "I'm sorry," she said before she moved around her desk, stepping by Trunks. Watching her, the lavender-haired youth glanced to Dormant before returning his attention to the woman. Although he didn't want to do this, it needed to be done. Quickly, he stepped behind the dark-haired woman and slammed the butt of his gun against the back of her head. She let out a cry before she dropped to the floor in a heap unconscious.
"What was that for?" Dormant asked emotionlessly.
Trunks looked up to him and replied, "You said there was nothing wrong with showing mercy, that I needed to get out of this business because of my little sister. Just consider this practice."
Dormant just stared at him, his eyes boring holes into him before he nodded his head in acceptance. "Fine then." The dark-haired man turned his head to the left, looking towards a small hallway. From where Trunks stood, he could see a couple doors, one of which was marked as a restroom. The two of them walked towards the hall and it was there that the lavender-haired youth noticed the other door had a rather sophisticated keypad next to it.
"I take it this is our way in," he stated.
Dormant nodded his head again. "It is. From here on out, there's no turning back."
Damn straight there wasn't. Trunks tightened his grip on his gun. "Then let's get started."
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