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Old 04-29-2017, 04:01 PM   #21
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"Ha! That's what I call a sucker punch!" The hearty chuckle of Ikeda Matsurou was far from the sneering giggle that Hiroshi would have normally uttered. But the joy was short lived, as the slumped body on the staircase was just another liability, and a reminder that they were doing something dangerous. But Hiroshi counted his stars for having Jiro there.

There had been a vivid change in Jiro's demeanor, from lackadaisical counterpart to trained killer with a mission. And just as soon as the moment had come, it had passed, as if Hiroshi had just glimpsed into a separate dimension for a few seconds before being snapped back to the strange world he lived in.

"Right, well, we'll do that next time, huh Tao?" Hiroshi knelt down to the slumped over man on the staircase and began to heave the thin, tall body up the stairs, with Jiro effortlessly pairing up with him to make the matter a quick piece of work. The pair pushed past the fourth floor and upwards towards the roof, knowing they needed to tuck the man somewhere where no one would find him. Hiroshi produced a handkerchief from his pocket and stuffed it perfunctorily into the unconscious man's mouth. At the door to the roof, the investigator pushed the door open and found an inconspicuous spot to set the man who was beginning to stir.

The sound of the man coming back to consciousness caused Matsurou and Jiro to share a glance. With a swift motion, Jiro reached his hand out again and walloped the man into a deeper sleep. Matsurou withheld a wince. With a flowing rhythm of seals, now that the man was lay upon the roof, a swirl of grass grew out from the roof and surrounded the man in a tight grip, which attached itself to a pole nearby.

Kusa Kusariei.

What followed was a string of quick decision making. Hiroshi snatched the man's badge off of his body, plucked another seed into his mouth, and formed morechakra and Ikeda Matsurou disappeared and was replaced by a tall, thin, blonde man, a man who went by the name of

"Gabenjigyou Kugaroma?! No wonder this guy was such a dick." Kugaroma looked down at himself and rolled his eyes before turning back to the rest of his unorthodox grouping. This was getting unnecessarily complicated unnecessarily quickly.

"Alright, let's get this over with." With that, Hiroshi changed his font color for the final time that night and began the march back down to the fourth floor, where the dead girl with the mark on her neck waited.
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Old 04-30-2017, 06:33 AM   #22
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Tao was getting used to following orders and he would be lying if he didn’t enjoy the fact that he was just for the trip. To be honest, he was kind of bored. There was not much to this mission compared to the other ones he had previously been involved in and it almost felt like he was back at the hospital doing work. That wasn’t to say that Tao wasn’t enjoying himself and he was in fact excited that he had Jiro. However, the strength of the man made him continue to wonder where he had come from.

To Tao Jiro was an enigmatic being of unknown power that could surprise both Hinku and himself at any moment. Following his teammates up to the roof Tao began to get anxious in fear of any other guards coming around or screwing with the whole mission. The whole thing seemed strange to him and Tao now wanted to just get this body. As the grass surrounded the captor Hinku popped another seed and within moments the young detective had taken the form of the newly captured EKD soldier.

”I have to get me those pills. Like seriously.”Tao stated to himself, nearly inaudible from the rest of the group. However, Jiro looked over in his direction seemingly hearing the young doctor.

”I agree, this is getting kind of ridiculous, lets finish this up and get out of here.” Tao stated patiently waiting for Hinku to continue his lead.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:50 AM   #23
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"Sorry, these are limited to Officers of KISEO. And good luck getting reassigned. Besides, I thought you medical nin got some special perks that us lowly beat cops would never get blessed with." Even if Kugaroma's tone of voice was innately rude, the sarcasm that left his mouth was purely Hiroshi's own, a trademark of his dickishness.

"Alright then." Kugaroma pushed the door to the fourth floor open after tapping his badge against a lock. He gripped the folders in his left hand and made it slowly down the hallway, passing a room filled with a medical assistant performing an autopsy, to another room that had to be some sort of office, until at long last, they reached what looked like a room with a wall of over-sized silver lockers - the ones Hiroshi knew bodies were kept in - and with a tap of his badge, Kugaroma welcomed his two compatriots into a room he figured he needed to pretend he knew well.

More than anything, he counted his stars at how deathly quiet the hallway had been, and how unoccupied and undisturbed they were, and how lucky it was that that medical assistant had had his back to the door. It was all as if it were going smoothly according to plan.

With a few empty lockers opened and shut, Kugaroma finally landed on one that housed a black bag, zipped up and the size of something smaller than a fully grown woman.

"Bingo." The mortician pulled out the body on the rolling shelf and unzipped the bag to reveal a frozen pale face, bruised at the temple and left chin. Her fiery red hair was brittle and limp around her face, a neglected rose bush on an unfortunately beautiful young girl. And attached, was a neck, marked strangely. "Looks like we found your dead damsel, Taka."

While Hiroshi was trying to play it cool and nonchalant, his stomach turned at the beaten body in rigor mortis. Kids weren't supposed to die so horribly. His mind flashed back to memories that still stung his back. His father's beatings were still marked like a map upon his back. Hiroshi wondered, looking at the dead girl, if he was perhaps lucky to have even made it this far. Why was he allowed to survive the things he had, while this girl.... Who knew what this girl had lived through.

"What are you doing in here, Kugaroma?"

An unfamiliar voice, and an unfamiliar face stared at the trio.

"And who are your friends? Are they here to take the girl?"

Gulp.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:56 AM   #24
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The conversation between Hinku and Tao was not the most appropriate and the way that Hinku stated his answer towards Tao had made him a little annoyed. Even though he was able to detect the sarcasm involved in the response, he still felt like he was being talked down to. However, there was a time and a place for everything and that battle of words would have to happen in a different arena. Right now they had to make sure they retrieved the body they were sent to get before it was too late and their cover was blown.

Heading down the stairs proved as easy as it was prior and it seemed like the whole building was missing. There were no sounds to be heard and it was awkward and eerie. Still Tao was worried that what he saw next would shatter him. There was no doubt in his mind that he would get emotional when he saw that dead girl. As Hinku began to open up the metal cabinets Tao’s heart dropped and a pit in his stomach grew larger with each failed attempt. Quickly looking over at Jiro, he was not surprised with the blank expression.

Finally, the sound of the metal table coming out of the locker had pushed Tao’s attention towards the dead body. It only took a moment and Tao knew that this was the girl that they were after. Walking over to the body Tao confirmed Hinku suspicion.

”Yea, that’s her. Lets go.” Tao stated as he was about to pick up the woman before a voice echoed through the chamber.

Suddenly Tao was worried they had been caught but as far as he was concerned the person that the voice belonged to had yet realized their intent. Hopefully, the team could play it cool and Tao quickly looked at the punch happy Jiro hoping that he wouldn’t attack.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:29 PM   #25
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"Hahaha! Yeah! These guys got here early, and no one was around to show them in." Kugaroma smiled, but the young wiry man in the doorway didn't seem to take the smile well.

"Alright... but why are you so happy?" It was clear that Kugaroma was not the joyous mortician-type character and Hiroshi's attempt at impersonating was still stuck in the chummy world of Ikeda Matsurou. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled with fear. But before he could try to respond, Jiro stepped towards the young man, who pulled his shoulders back and fixed his posture to better match Jiro's.

"Ah, sir, that's my fault. I believe I made an inappropriate joke at an inopportune time. It'd be impolite to repeat it in the presence of the dead." Jiro nodded solemnly but smiled that same contagiously unsettling grin. "I am Oporro, here to move this body to our lab for further tests. This is my assistant Happo."

With a handshake, Jiro bluffed two names, which Hiroshi thought he recognized as names from a popular detective drama. The young man took the hand and raised one eyebrow.

"Hateyama Jiro, nice to meet you...." Hiroshi wanted to giggle at the coincidence, but the unfamiliar Hateyama turned back to Kugaroma. "Hey, well you should get this over with soon. You know that boss doesn't like visitors on this floor, Kugaroma. You remember what he said when my girlfriend picked me up last week."

"Right, right, they just needed to check the conditions before the body moved. We're wrapping this up." With that, the bag was zipped closed and the trio pushed their way past the other Jiro, down the hall, to a rickety elevator, which took far too long to arrive on the fourth floor. Hiroshi thought he could hear all of their hearts beating out of their chests. As the doors closed, they all held their breath, and the elevator shuffled down towards ground level at a glacial pace.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:20 AM   #26
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With a sigh of relief Tao noticed that the new man was not the blonde man from the forest. It became obvious to Tao that if anyone that was in that forest during the capture of the children would have been able to recognize Tao and make it very difficult for the mission. However, there was luck on his side today and he allowed his teammates to talk for him. It seemed to be the thing and it almost made Tao a little more relaxed. He was in no condition to talk and lie with his current mental state and the sight of the girl made it all the more real.

As Hinku began to speak from his façade, Tao began to worry that the EKD agent had caught on. This was didn’t seem as easy to fool as the others and when he began to question his irrational personality it became all too real. Almost ready to fight Tao relaxed for a moment as Jiro began to walk towards the man.

Thoughts of what would happen next began to give Tao anxiety but with a surprising response Jiro lied and played it cool. Introducing not only himself differently but Tao as well had really surprised the young medic. He didn’t think of Jiro as a person that could make up a lie so fast and it impressed him.

Tao nodded towards the name accusation and smiled.

Keeping eye contact away from the new Jiro, Tao helped carry the body towards the elevator. Finally, when the elevator arrived and they were all in the safety of the small metal box Tao began to speak.

”I know I havn’t really done much this mission but I am also happy that this is the fact. To be honest I am very happy with the skill you have Hinku and if possible would like to show you my medical skills. That way you all don’t think I am useless.” Tao stated looking down and giving a smirk as if to get some sort of sympathy.

”Also, Jiro that was very impressive of you. I mean, being able to lie on the spot like that really surprised me. I think we make a really good team.” Tao finished off his blurb right before the elevator was about to hit the bottom floor.

They were almost out of the place.
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:39 PM   #27
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Hinku turned his sight towards Tao who was trying to belie the uncomfortable anxiety building in the elevator. He was gushing compliments and praying for chances to prove himself but the investigator was displeased. He didn't know why Tao was there, didn't trust his emotional nature, which was something foreign to Hiroshi. In being reminded that Tao had done nothing but follow and avoid action, even in the stairway, or in the examination room, where his medical guile could have helped them appear professional, Hiroshi found himself unimpressed, even as the elevator continued to sink slowly to ground level.

"Cut the chat, kid. No time to cry about being useless. Let's get out of here before we get found out. And what did I say about my name? Don't call me Hinku until we're gone. I'm"

"Kugaroma! There you are!" A man who Hinku didn't recognize had exclaimed as the elevators doors dinged open. "Thank god you're still here!"

It was fortunate that Kugaroma's disdainful look seemed commonplace in the precinct. Hiroshi's anxiety, at yet another obstacle on their way out the door, was making it hard for him to focus. He needed the three (four with the dead girl) of them to get out of there fast. Yet it seemed he would have to entertain the man, especially as he was beckoned towards the front desk, where a familiar young man was gaining his bearings and seemed to have regained the color in his face.

"Higoji nearly passed out a few minutes ago and he doesn't know what came over him. Can you check him out?" Hiroshi had scanned all the officer's badges as he walked by, trying to commit surnames to faces, so that he might be able to act as if he really knew these people.

Kugaroma spoke curtly, explaining he didn't have time, that he had to get this transport moving and as he looked the young officer whom he had made sick with his psychedelic manipulation, he raised an eyebrow. "He looks just fine to me."

And again, Jiro stepped up next to Hiroshi in his guise and announced his presence.

"I believe we can spare a minute, Gabenjigyou-san." Hiroshi praised the gods of knowledge for Jiro's apparently eidetic memory for names. He had nearly forgotten his disguise's family name in trying to remember the other officers. "My assistant, Happo, can take a look. He is trained in the medical arts."

With this, Hiroshi's muscles released tension and he stepped aside for Tao to step forward and look at officer Higoji, who was clearly feeling much better than when they had left him.

"Fine, take a look, Happo. We're going to get this body outside."

"Thanks, Kugaroma!"

Hiroshi nodded and walked his way towards the front door where they had come, helping Jiro with the body bag. Their escape was so close. All Tao had to do was give the man a simple pat on the butt to get himself back to normal, and with luck, they would be out and headed to Nankishi.

And just like that, Jiro and Hiroshi pushed the door open and walked the dead girl out the front door of the EKD hold up. He didn't know quite how he had gotten this far without getting caught, but he had a distinct, urgent need for a cigarette. Instead, he pulled another mentholated toothpick from his pocket and began chewing on it. He looked down at his black button up and whispered more prayers to the uncanny ability for police officers to avoid the simple details, that Kugaroma wasn't wearing the same outfit he had been when he had walked into the precinct that morning.

But Jiro was focused, moreso than Hiroshi, and ushered him and the girl across the street, to wait for Tao outside, away from the EKD doors. They needed to leave, before someone decided to smoke a cigarette on the roof and realize what they had done.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:00 AM   #28
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Soon enough after their arrival into the elevator Tao seemed to think like they were scott free. Hinku had given Tao a lesson in acceptance and before Tao could respond the doors opened and a voice echoed through the elevator, nearly scaring Tao in the process right before he was about to say sorry. The man seemed to look familiar to him and it hit him that it was the guy that he saw in the beginning of the infiltration. He was one of the people that was helping out the desk person that Hinku had infected with his psychedelic spores.

As the two of them spoke Jiro had given way and stated that Tao who would be know as Happo would be able to diagnose the issue that was happening. A big gulp came from Tao and he knew that this was his time to shine. He wasn’t the best liar and he surely wasn’t the best at remembering names but he knew he would be able to succeed in the obstacle that he now faced.

Higoji still seemed a little sick and the smell of throw up in the area had really gotten to Taos senses. The room itself was average size and besides the sick man and his escort there was one more person. This left Tao in the unfair advantage of three against one if something really went sour.

”Keep calm, keep calm”Tao stated in his head as he drew closer and closer to the sick man.

Kneeling down he inspected the injuries and despite knowing what was really wrong he pretended to try and figure it out.

”Hm, flushed face, shaky hands, vomit. These are all signs of food poisoning. I think there might be some bad food you got yourself into. Here ill fix it.” Tao stated as he pulled out some pills to stop the vomiting.

”Told you that chicken looked too pink.” One of the men laughed as Tao began to walk out the door.

”Hey, wait a second. Whats your name kid?” The man stated quickly before Tao could leave.

”T..Happo” Tao stuttered almost giving up his disguise.

Without another moment to waste Tao was out the door and rushed across the street.

”Lets get out of here.”

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Old 05-16-2017, 01:42 PM   #29
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Hiroshi would not calm down for hours. The trip to Nankishi, to the bazaar where the three of them met the strange man with the glass eye and colorful pants, had been quiet and focused, and the few times that one of them had said anything, it was often followed without a response by more silence. Hiroshi had since learned that he preferred the silence, as he often had. The silence of his childhood had been full of anxiety but had similarly been void of pain. He was the only one who had not said a single word on the trip to Nankishi, and had barely introduced himself to the man in the bazaar.

The familiarity of Jiro and the man kept him silent, and the simple transfer of body between bodies was both concise and charged, and it wasn't until, much later that night, after Hiroshi had passed the seed through his system, and his disguises were gone, forever, that he finally took a deep breath.

He hadn't eaten since before the restaurant, and had not found an appetite as the dead girl left his possession. Being around the Saints was unnerving, and even as he knew he would return to his desk at KISEO the next day, he knew he wouldn't be able to focus. His thoughts would be on what may come to be learned about Shinji from the body leaving the EKD's grasp. He wondered when what had happened would come to light, or if Ikeda Matsurou would face some difficult trial, as it would no doubt be his face that was remembered in Kichoushi.

For a long time, Hiroshi thought about the residuals left behind with his actions, but more than anything, he felt a wave of exhaustion cover him as soon as he took a seat on the edge of his neatly made bed. Pretending was something he had done well for all of his life, hiding his family life, and hiding his feelings from his comrades. But pretending to be another person, someone whose life he did not know, but who he imagined was and would be infinitely better than the one he had already lived was a different game, one that was always a move away from checkmate.

Officer Hinku hung his jian up on it's shelf and took off his clothes early in the morning, when his body had finally calmed down from the off-the-books assignment. He hadn't known how nervous he was until he looked at his meager apartment and found that he had cleaned everything, tidied up his books, made himself dinner - still sitting on a plate on his counter - cleaned his pots and pans, re-ironed his black shirt, and set out his clothes for the next morning, which would begin in a matter of hours.

And as he finally let himself lie down, he fell asleep before his eyes could close, and for the next three hours, he dreamed of running up and down stairs in a prison without doors, of standing in an elevator that never moved or opened it's doors, and woke up, sweating, to the ding of an elevator's door opening, to reveal his room, until at last he realized the sound had just been his alarm, and that his room was just his room, tidier than it had ever been before, and that he was awake again.

He washed his face and showered away the dream, knowing that he still felt as if the dream, and his assignment, had not ended. He asked himself, as he locked his apartment behind him, if this was what his life was now, a life of secrets and hidden duties and work that he knew to be illegal.

The law had served him well on most days, and as he walked into the offices of KISEO, he was pleasantly surprised at the comfort he found on his desk, at the files that were continuing to pile up, at the benign office work that he had to do. As he reclined in his chair, his Lieutenant strolling over to tell him about the files he wanted on his desk that evening, Hiroshi smiled, something which had become rare lately. He smiled because he was happy.

Happy that the next day felt, in all ways, like just another day.

[] Le Fin []
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