CHAPTER 7. "After Math and Equal Logs."
"Not bad, Yuki, Shinjuurou," Rie admired as she watched the police cruiser pull away, "not bad at all."
"That was hard core the way you read Izumi her rights like that!" Inga said, "Especially when you told her that she might get an attorney! Hahaha! That was the best part!"
"Honestly, that was a lot more effort than I was expecting her to put up," Shinjuurou sighed.
"Indeed," Kazamori agreed, "I was not expecting her to rant like that."
"Why'd you come here anyways?" Shinjuurou asked.
"It was An's idea," Alicia spoke up, making the girl blush slightly.
"I...I just wanted to be on the other side of that conversation," the Osada girl admitted.
"I don't think the irony was lost on her," Shinjuurou said as he put his hands in his pockets. "Not one bit."
"So what now?" Rie asked.
"Now?" Shinjuurou asked in return, "Now I think we all should go home and rest up... It's been a long week."
FIVE DAYS LATER...
"We are not naming it Kato," Kazamori said firmly.
"C'mon!" Inga whined as he held the Toaster Cat to his chest, "But it fits so nicely! KA from Cat and TO from Toaster!"
"If that's the kind of naming logic you want to use for the cat, then I'm not going to let you have a say in naming anything," Kazamori insisted. "Choose a real name."
"But Kato is a real name!" Inga insisted, then relented when she kept a firm glare aimed at him, "Alright then, what would YOU name it?"
"Caroline," Kazamori said simply.
"Okay, nice name, but it made me realize something."
"And what's that?"
"Is this toaster cat a boy or a girl toaster cat?"
Kazamori blinked, then replied, "I had not thought about that."
"Then the obvious answer is-!" Inga said dramatically as he held the cat up into the air, "We must find another Toaster cat and compare their bodies!"
"What if we find a toaster cat of the same gender?" Kazamori asked.
"Then we'll have to find another?" Inga shrugged. "But if our cat's a girl, we can call it Caroline, if it's a boy, we'll call it Kato!"
"That sounds like a decent compromise," Kazamori agreed.
And so they went off to find another toaster cat.
Alicia, having simply constructed a new R.A.I. chassis from existing parts to give herself a new identity as well as to simply not need to repair the damage done to her old body, bowed to Shinjuurou and Rie. "I don't think I can ever thank you enough for catching my uncle's killer." When she stood up, she had to brush the longer, black hair borrowed from Kazamori's old maintenance rack back over her shoulder.
"It was our pleasure to help out," Shinjuurou said, then glanced towards the house before them, and the man, Daigo Fukashima, waiting at the door. "Now go on, your new life awaits."
"And you're sure they don't mind that I'm using an R.A.I. body?" Alicia asked.
"No, Daigo and his family know you were a human originally," Shinjuurou said, "and besides, after the chaos of the last two weeks? I'm pretty sure nobody cares about that silly old 'data privacy whatchamacallit act' anymore anyways."
"And even if they did, the sudden upsurge in normal appliances coming to life has made the government rethink that law in the first place," Rie added. "I heard they're doing an update vote tonight."
"Once again," Alicia smiled, "thank you."
"Be sure to give us a call if something comes up," Shinjuurou said.
"I will!" And with that, Alicia turned towards her new home.
They turned back to the awaiting Taxi, and got in.
"To the airport, please," Shinjuurou directed.
"Got it," The driver accepted the directions.
"You think she'll be okay here?" Rie asked of Shinjuurou as the Taxi began to lurch forward.
"I've got a good feeling about them," Shinjuurou said, "I bet once the animation wave hits her, the R.A.I. parts will turn into organic pieces, and she'll have a living body again. That one kid of Fukashima's looks about her age, too..."
Rie laughed, "You're actively hoping for miracles now?"
"With you and Kazamori pregnant?" Shinjuurou asked, "We're going to need as many miracles as we can get for the next nine months."
"Speaking of," Rie began, "how do you think my dad will react when we tell him?"
"He'll probably try to kill me if he doesn't have cuffs on," Shinjuurou said, "so if he doesn't...maybe we should put it off?"
"Yeah...probably should just start off by telling him we're only just dating for the moment..." Rie shuddered a bit, "but then again, he might just deduce it on the spot."
"Only one way to find out," Shinjuurou remarked.
They waited in the airport terminal as one of the first flights into Japan after the chaos of the P Versus NP release had settled.
A surprising amount of people emerged from the connection hallway, and among the members of that crowd?
Kaishou, Rinroku, and an Air Marshal along side him.
"Ah, Rie, Shinjuurou," Rinroku greeted them with a smile, even as he dragged a suitcase behind him, "I'm glad to see you're both in one piece."
"Dad," Rie smiled at him, though made no move to hug him, "welcome back."
"You missed quite the mystery," Shinjuurou said.
"So I heard!" Rinroku laughed, "And saw too. That was quite the performance you gave up on that rooftop, Shinjuurou."
"If I'd known I was on TV like that, I would've downplayed it," Shinjuurou said flatly. "As it is, I've been getting a lot more case requests."
"Ah, the price of fame," Rinroku lamented, "I bet now you're starting to wish you remained 'defeated', hm?"
"Nah," Shinjuurou said, "I'd rather be famous and suffering from it than having Izumi out causing havoc along with that Aria-bot that's still at large."
"Fair point," Rinroku said. "I believe I'll have my hands full for the foreseeable future. Court hearings, public service sessions, and all without the comforts of home. I'm sorry it had to come to that, Rie," he said towards his daughter.
"Nah," who shrugged it off with her already mostly healed shoulders. "Don't worry about it, Dad, I was going to move out soon enough anyways."
"Move...out?" Rinroku blinked. "I don't remember you mentioning that before..."
"Shinjuurou offered me a bed at his place," Rie said happily, "as a birthday present."
Both detectives, and even the Air Marshal, got a bit of enjoyment from the look of surprise on the man's face.
"Oh...no," he realized suddenly, "I...I left on your birthday. Didn't I?"
"That you did," Rie nodded, placing her hands on her hips and grinning, "though I gotta say, dad, leaving on that trip was the best present you could've given me!"
"um...I don't quite understand?" Rinroku glanced between his daughter and the man whose life he'd once ruined.
"Lemme put it this way," Rie said with a savage grin, "you're going to have to figure this one out on your own." And with that, she turned on her heels and began to walk away, "C'mon, Shinjuurou! We've got wall paper to pick out!"
"Sounds like a plan to me," Shinjuurou smirked at Rinroku as he said that, "later, pops! Good luck at the trial!"
"What just happened?" Rinroku asked of the Air Marshal.
"I think you just met your future son-in-law," The Marshal replied.
The look of confusion on Rinroku's face was replaced by bemusement...and then shock as the words sunk in fully. "...Wait. Rie!" he shouted, "You don't mean to say...That that wall paper isn't for your room, is it?!"
His daughter stopped half-way across the terminal and spun on her heels to grin at him before shouting, "TRY TO FIGURE OUT IF IT'S A BOY OR A GIRL!"
"And now that's our cue to run," Shinjuurou said as Rinroku's shocked expression turned into fury.
"Yup!" Rie agreed. "That it is!"
And so they ran.
The Air Marshal too.
After all, he couldn't let the man under observation escape from custody before his trial, now could he?
"YUKI, SHINJUUROU!" Rinroku shouted as he chased after them, "I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!"
Or commit any murders.
That wouldn't be good for anyone.
But what happens next? That's another story my friends. Another story entirely.
"The Working Title Job" was an idea I've been toying around with for almost since the UN-GO series came out on DVD sometime last year. Initially, it was an idea for a series of one shot scenes about Rie and Shinjuurou, and Kazamori and Inga. It...it stayed in my head for a while, but ultimately, I never put "Pen To Paper" due to having other projects on hand, and not really having the experience to write those kinds of sequences that I had in mind.
Then came the idea of actually trying my hand at a murder mystery. I had these two scenes in my head from the start: A rooftop confrontation during a storm, and the initial crime scene: A tech analyst killed and strapped to a wall, being recorded and viewed on the internet by cameras that couldn't be seen. But, once again, I never put "Pen To Paper" and the idea stayed swirling around in my head. Then came the Sherlock Holmes story/tv series "Elementary", specifically the one featuring the equation "P Versus NP."
Suddenly, I had the inspiration to write the story, and the plot device to power it.
And then it spiraled so far out of those initial concepts that this story spawned itself pretty much on its own accord.
THE RISING SUN
Casting Izumi Koyama, the Prosecutor, as the one who ultimately caused all of this was from that initial scene on the rooftop. The original idea was that she was to have had her faith shaken from Hayami's betrayal, and that she decided to betray Rinroku, consulted the Analyst with setting up an 'unhackable website' and then murdered said analyst so that way the site couldn't be taken down legitimately by the police. But that idea was a bit shallow, especially upon reviewing the series itself. The Motive needed to change, and so came "The Rising Sun" as a group. Shinjuurou's figuring out her identity however, remained the same for the most part. The original idea was that she would have said something incriminating at the crime scene, and Shinjuurou would have remembered it. Circumstantial Evidence, however...I needed to have something to physically prove her identity and ties to the group. Hence the Year Book. Isana Koyama, Izumi's younger sister, was a last minute addition to the plot when I realized Izumi's connection to the Rising Sun was rather flimsy without it, as well as giving Izumi a driving force *TO* commit these traitorous actions.
Aranea Serket/Aria Kanzaki was the originally unnamed Tech Analyst. Her roll was expanded, and required an introduction before I could kill her off...thus, requiring a "First" murder to make the introduction necessary. Both names come from characters of other fictional stories- respectively from "Homestuck" and "Aria the Scarlet Ammo." Why? When it came time to introduce the tech, I pictured her as Aranea, especially given the recent events that Homestuck's Aranea had set into motion. But I needed an alternate identity for her in the yearbook, so, considering that Aranea's name was ALREADY a shout out, I went ahead and made Aranea's original identity Aria. It kept the "A" first name, as well as a sort of similar sounding name change. Killing Aranea off, however, was something I decided to do differently on the spur of the moment because of the TIMING of it all. There simply was NO WAY that Aranea's body could be gotten into those crates and HUNG over the city streets like that. And so I killed off an unfortunate Secretary whose death was never even reported to pull it off. She decided to upload her brain into the internet as a last ditch effort to escape using the same device Kenta used.
Kenta Otonoshi, the "First" victim but technically the second, was the guy who kicked off the entire plot. His name is a combination reference- "Kenta" from "Digimon Tamers", and "Otonoshi" from "Place to Place." Kenta was given a niece as a result of the IngaXKazamori plot, but as well as to make him more of a victim than the others. Kenta's roll, as far as he knew, was to write the P Versus NP Program, and call Rinroku's house to see if he was home or not- every single one of their plans began in that way. He just didn't know that he was going to be used as the "first" victim in Plan B. Poor guy. He brain scanned his niece to save her life, and would have done such to his sister-in-law had she not died while he was unavailable.
Mitsuku Asahina was Kenta's second in command. He was the one who decided to start with Kenta over Kenta's secretary, and he and Aranea were the ones to go with the 'limb splitting' idea. He...got a bit explosive happy after the high school was destroyed. Wanted to go out in a bang, and was the one who put the idea of blowing up Rinroku's house too. Ideally with him in it. But beggars can't be choosers. His name is a corruption of "Mikuru Asahina" from...well...If you don't know what she's from, then I really don't know what to say. He's inspired by a gender bend of the same character.
Shinjuurou Yuuki and Rie Kaishou... There's a considerable lack of fanfiction for them as a couple. I thought I'd remedy that. The idea of them being called off of a date to a crime scene? And the first date at that? It was too interesting to pass up. The idea of Rinroku being out of town giving them an excuse to go on a date also served as an interesting opportunity for the case that Izumi put together. There's not much else to say on them other than that I'm not sure if I had their voices down perfectly in this. I think I might have been channeling Kyon for Shinjuurou. They're pretty in synch as a detective team, and are pretty decent as a couple too. Their growing mutual dislike of Rinroku will serve as fuel for a growing love for years to come.
Inga and Kazamori... There's even less for them. I think they're interesting together, and seeing them go from 'friends' to 'something more' as a result of an experiment on Inga's powers? Kazamori becoming a real girl is an idea to see how her mind, being artificial, would react to being suddenly organic, along with the consequences of her R.A.I. tendencies to want to 'pleasure' their owners. The idea of Inga gaining new powers from Bettenou was an interesting one, but ultimately, it became too GREAT of a power, and needed to be disposed of. Disposing of it turns out to be a plot point as well- transmuting various house hold appliances into real life animals. I already have a sequel idea based off of their plot arc in this one because I couldn't fit it all into this story! Their naming argument for the Cat is proving that they're not as in-synch as they could be, as well as proving that they're not learning from their earlier mistakes. But saying more than that would be spoilers.
Mayoi Katawase is the new Police Chief after Hayami was arrested for the Bettenou Incident. Her name comes from the same Mayoi Katawase from "Place to Place," as does her whole character design and characteristic laugh (Hue Hue Hue). She's been promoted recently, and isn't too sure of herself. But she'd make as good of a detective as any in this story. With Izumi and Hayami both being traitors, I needed to come up with a character that could act as both of their replacements in future stories, and, also, someone who didn't turn out to be a bad guy in waiting. Katawase's going to have to learn to deal with all the mystical stuff that's been hidden in the background of the UN-GO world as well. She's got a lot ahead of her.
An Osada was included in this story simply for the purposes of delivering the ending Ironic Echo from episode 2 of the Anime, though her inclusion makes sense for her roll in the story as a safe-haven. She might have a more prevalent roll in stories to come, and or even join the Detectives on cases in the future!
R. Alicia. I. Otonoshi is Kenta's niece. She was brain scanned to save her life after a car accident. She's a human living in an R.A.I. body as a contrast to Kazamori. She was a Human becoming an R.A.I., and so would provide a way for Kazamori to reconcile the changes that resulted from the transformation. Alicia will probably continue to be that contrast for Kazamori in the future. In another contrast, she might even start a relationship of some kind with the elder of Fukashima's kids.
Daigo Fukashima is an Accountant for Steranko Security who has two sons. He's taken in Alicia as a favor to the deceased Kenta. There's not a lot to say about him.
"The Working Title Job" comes from Izumi's long time "Working for a Title" con, and the naming scheme comes from Leverage. Having Rinroku leave town for a government inquiry as to his actions in the series was a case of coincidence as to the Rising Sun's starting their plot. Inga's sudden loss of power was a game changer as well, and the Rising Sun's plot was destabilized due to it. How? I cannot say. In the end, even I don't truly understand how the original plot would have played out due to all of the circumstances that caused this story to become what it did.
The world's appliances coming to life is another factor that's screwing the plans up. The movie Inga and Kazamori watched planted the idea in their heads of machines coming to life, and also pushed things along. That the movie was a world wide hit already also allowed the idea of a machine to organic transformation possible world wide.
There's not a lot more to say here that wasn't already said in-story!
Thanks for reading!