This is just a little Hikaru no Go AU piece I've been toying with. It's not much right now. I have a vague plot for the entire story, complete with ending, but I have to get around to putting it on paper. Let me know what you think of it.
This fiction is of a mature nature. It contains graphic violence. Read at your discretion.
Disclaimer: Hikaru no Go was created by Hotta and Obata and distributed by Viz, Shogakuen and Shonen Jump.
This is a fictional story. Any resemblance to actual people, places or events is purely accidental.
Some additional notes – This takes place in Japan, thus, Japanese names, places and currency. For an idea on how much money is changing hands, the current exchange rate is 118 yen per USD. It’s easiest to approximate at 100 yen per dollar, so 10,000 yen would be about 100 USD.
Project Zombie (Working Title): Part One
Friday, August 5, 2005
The candles were still burning brightly, casting an eerie glow over the room. The warm scent of adrenaline lingered in the hall in direct contrast to the cold chill creeping through the still-open door. The surprise crackled and fizzled away leaving stunned eyes awkward and uncertain.
The boy stood in the crushing silence, watching the rain fall frantically on the pavement.
It took several minutes for reality to come crashing into his world.
Touya Akira was alive.
From the personal medical journal of Kadoe Saseo, M.D.
October 30th, 2005
The dead, once deceased, are meant to stay that way. There has always been much speculation about the nature of the soul and whether or not it even exists. But one thing has always been clear: the dead no longer physically inhabit this world. The idea of ghosts, being a phenomenon that cannot be either proven or discredited, still entails the dead having no physical form. Once the body has stopped functioning, whether it is empty or a soul takes leave of it, it begins to decay.
From these facts, one would conclude that bringing the dead back to life is something best left to horror films and nightmares.
The human body, however, can be preserved. It is a process that has been experimented with in many cultures, the Egyptian mummy being one of the most famous of those documented. Despite this, science has chosen to leave the dead as they are, and many think this is a wise choice. It was decided that science does not exist for the purpose of playing God. Thus, it has been proclaimed unethical to attempt to change the fate of those who have been declared dead. But there are always those who are willing to explore what science is not.
And sometimes, they succeed.
This was the objective of my superior, Doctor Tsukui. I regret now my part in the research. I should have reported him immediately and refused any sort of affiliation with what we jokingly called Project Zombie. But instead, we set out to do the impossible – bring someone back from the dead and discover once and for all just what lay in wait for those who die.
Of all the people we could have chosen, Touya Akira was the one Doctor Tsukui insisted on. I know now that there were ulterior motives for his choice, but at the time, I was blissfully unaware of who or what Touya Akira really was.
The methods used will not be replicated here. It is something that I hope will never be repeated, and as I am sure I will not live much longer, there soon won’t be anyone left to tell about it other than Touya Akira himself, and I somehow doubt he knows all the details. He was dead for most of the procedure, after all.
He’ll be coming for me soon, I know, as I am the last remaining member of Project Zombie. I can only hope that God will have mercy on my soul, if I do indeed have one.
The nature of God and the soul was a question we never did get an answer to.
Monday, August 1, 2005
The heart monitor beeped slower than usual, but it was increasing in frequency as the boy began to slip into consciousness. The sterile smell of what he recognized as a laboratory stung his nostrils as he tried to breathe; his lungs slow to expand. He fought to take in air, sitting up suddenly, gasping through a mouth that felt much too dry.
Blue eyes darted around the darkened room, taking in the pristine tile and glass dividers between him and the office portion of the lab. His hand rose to his naked chest, his fingers finding the wound over his heart. It hadn’t fully healed.
Noise alerted him to someone approaching; soft laughter and hushed voices coupled with footsteps that echoed loudly through the hallway.
“I don’t know why we have to stay through the night. He shouldn’t wake for another few months.”
“Yeah, but hey, it’s better pay working at night. I might actually scrape enough for my rent AND my bills this month.” A girl laughed and two boys joined in.
The boy clutched at the thin sheet covering his lower half and tied it hastily around his waist. Without a second thought he pulled the IV from his arm and the wires monitoring him, throwing them angrily to the side. The heart monitor flat-lined and the soft steps turned frantic.
Three young researchers entered the office and looked to the lone table behind the glass. It was empty.
“What happened? Where did he go?”
“This is the only exit! He has to be here somewhere!”
“He’s probably just scared. He can’t possibly know what’s happened,” the female of the group said softly. “Come out, Akira. It’ll be okay.”
Their eyes scanned the room, looking for anything out of the ordinary. As one of the boys stepped forward into the darkness of the room, something connected firmly with the side of his neck, dropping him to the floor.
“Eiji! Oh god, Hitoshi, he’s bleeding!” Naoko dropped to her knees, shaking the fallen boy. Her eyes widened as it took in the remains of a broken vial sticking grotesquely from Eiji’s neck.
She backed away quickly, stumbling to her feet. Swift movement caught her eye, and before she even had time to speak, the loud crack that had been Hitoshi’s neck assaulted her. She tried to run but a bloody hand grabbed her arm, and she dropped to the ground, shrinking back against the wall.
The boy that she had seen day in and day out for the last two years was ominous; his blue eyes clouded with anger.
“Please don’t kill me! I’m just a researcher!”
“And I’m just an assassin,” he whispered before he ripped her throat out.
He washed the blood from his hands quickly in the sink before stripping the boy whose neck he had broken and dressing in his clothes. He checked the bodies and pocketed the 11,000 yen and a half empty train ticket book with tickets for the Touhoku Shinkansen line Fukushima station to the Tokyo station.
He looked down the hallway. It was empty, and he walked down it cautiously but with an air of confidence he hoped would stop anyone from asking any questions if they did see him. He wasn’t sure where exactly he was, but if the ticket book was any hint, he was either in Fukushima or Tokyo. Wherever he was, he needed to get as far away as possible.
The hallway came to an end at a T, and down the left hallway was an emergency exit. He headed towards it, staying alert to make sure he wasn’t being followed. His fingers almost automatically pulled the correct wires to keep the fire alarm from wailing and he slipped into the cold stairwell, closing the heavy door silently behind him.
Unlike the lab and the hallways, the stairwell had windows. He looked out into the dark, noting the moon and the lack of cars below. It was probably well after midnight. He didn’t have nearly enough money to catch a night train, so he’d have to wait until the morning. Though any waiting was inconvenient, if he was in Fukushima he could use the ticket book and save what little yen he had.
The stairwell exited into a small side alley, and he began walking at a brisk pace through the sparsely populated city. He couldn’t remember spending much time in Fukushima, but he had taken the train here once on a job, so he continued to walk until he came to a familiar area.
He stopped at a small bar with some generally unfavorable looking people outside. They snickered at him as he approached, making comments about his long hair, but he ignored them, walking straight into the bar and through to the back exit. It looked like just the kind of place he might find what he was looking for, and sure enough, as he exited the noisy club he noticed a slim man leaning against the brick with a small case at his side. He was alone, and his eyes lingered on the young assassin as he took a long drag of his cigarette.
“I need a gun,” the boy started without hesitation.
“Well, aren’t we hasty?” the man replied, pushing himself off the wall and picking up the chrome briefcase. “You a cop?”
“Do I look like a cop?” he replied coolly.
“You never can tell, these days. You’re just a kid. You couldn’t possibly be a day over twenty-five. What would you possibly need a gun for?”
He ignored the question, advancing on the man. “Do you have a gun for me or don’t you?”
“Slow down, hot shot. Do you have the cash?”
“So you do, then?”
He paused to take a drag off his cigarette. “I might.”
“Good,” he said, grabbing the man by the arm and smashing his head into the brick with a speed and strength that almost wasn’t human. The man slid down the wall, brain matter littering the asphalt below. “By the way,” he said, retrieving a handgun and a handful of bullets from the case, “smoking is bad for you.”
He tucked the gun into the overly large blazer, stole 150,000 yen from the man, stepped on the smoldering cherry and left.
Once he was back out on the street, he examined the gun he had acquired. It was cheap and it wouldn’t be reliable from long range, but it would have to do. He had picked up fifteen bullets. He could make do with that. He’d figure out where to get a better one soon.
As soon as he figured out just who he was and what had happened to him, that is.
He knew he was an assassin, and a damned good one at that. However, it was really the only thing he knew. The scabbed over hole in his chest ate at him, as did the fact that he could remember numerous jobs he had done as an assassin but he couldn’t even remember his own name. The girl had called him ‘Akira’, and it sounded familiar. It would have to do for the time being. Then there was that strange feeling that he was supposed to be dead.
The answers were somewhere, and he had a feeling that he’d find them in Tokyo.
At the moment, he was more concerned with finding suitable attire. The large, dingy brown suit and white pinstripe button-up stood out, as did the overly large shoes. He scanned the storefronts as he walked until he came to a designer clothing store. It had long since closed, but the vending machines cast a dim glow onto the sidewalk.
Scanning the selections, he found the proper ones and dropped a total of 75,000 yen into the machine. Black suit pants, a black blazer, a white button-up, plain white boxers, black matte shoes and thick black socks fell neatly into the open slot. As he retrieved his items, his eyes caught the vending machine on his right, and on a whim, he paid the 5,000 yen for the thin black leather gloves.
He stepped into the alley and changed, discarding the too large clothes and slipping into his new attire. The clothes were pleasantly snug, and as he stepped out of the shadows, his leather clad hands straightened his collar. He cocked his head to the side, cracking his neck loudly.
He was ready to go to Tokyo.
Tuesday, August 2, 2005
“He escaped?” Ogata Seiji’s face was calm, but the man standing before him still shook in his presence.
“Doctor Tsukui, I appreciate what you have done for me. Really, I do. You have put in two years of research and have succeeded in doing the impossible.” Ogata removed his glasses and cleaned them on his shirt; his eyes glinting in the dimly lit office. “However, I can’t help but think that you did not take me seriously when I told you to keep him firmly secured.”
The grey-haired man trembled harder. “I took you very seriously, sir. We just never expected him to wake so quickly. I wouldn’t have thought it possible. It’s extraordinary.”
“Touya Akira is an extraordinary individual, Doctor. I thought I had made that clear.” He replaced his glasses and laced his hands on the desk.
Tsukui swallowed. “You did.”
“Then I must ask, why is Touya Akira missing?”
“It had only been two days since we succeeded in stabilizing his vital signs…”
“That isn’t what I asked you, Doctor.” The words were carefully controlled, but Tsukui jumped as if slapped. “Have a cigarette, Doctor Tsukui. You look like you need one.” The doctor took one without question; slight tremors running through his fingers as he used Ogata’s lighter.
Ogata took the lighter back, lighting his own cigarette. For a few moments, there was only the sound of the exhalation of breath. The smoke drifted languidly to the ceiling; the smoke making the doctor appear even paler than before.
Tsukui didn’t dare to speak.
“You can go now, if you want.” Ogata said between drags.
The man’s eyes widened. “Go, sir?”
“If you’re wondering if I will reprimand you for this, you’re mistaken. Once Touya Akira realizes what has happened, I’m quite sure he will do it for me.”
Doctor Tsukui gasped. “You couldn’t possibly mean…” His eyes darted to the man sitting in the chair to his right and back to Ogata again.
“Oh yes. I’d hide, if I were you. Not that it will do you much good, I’m afraid.” Ogata smirked. “He is the best, after all.”
The man fled from the office as if speed would give him an advantage; his half-smoked cigarette falling to the tile floor.
Ogata’s laugh was soft, floating down the hall after the man.
“You’re just going to let him go?” Ochi Kousuke said incredulously, retrieving the cigarette as if it offended him and snuffing it out in the ashtray.
Ogata watched his antics with amusement. He watched the grey smoke make its way upwards for a moment before he flicked his ash, disturbing the flow. “Relax. He won’t get far.”
“How much do you think he’ll remember?”
“Not much at first. After such a long inactive period, it’s likely he’ll have a slight case of amnesia.”
“How can you be so sure he’ll remember anything at all?”
“Have some faith, Ochi. You know very well what he is capable of. Something will trigger his memory, and when it does, it will be a bloodbath.” Ogata laughed again.
Ochi made a face. “That’s a disturbing thought.”
“He was the only one who made it that far. Once he’s exacted his revenge, I’ll finally be able to resume testing. I want to know why he failed to avoid assassination. There’s no way the other boy was that good of an assassin.”
Ochi pushed his glasses further up his nose. “No, I should think not.”
“Though I have to say, I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on him as a subject.”
“I can’t see why.”
“Talent, Ochi. The project can only go so far without talent. The many failures have proven that much.”
Ochi snorted. “If you want to call it talent. I call it a lucky shot.”
Ogata clucked disapprovingly. “You shouldn’t be so narrow-minded.”
“Well then, let’s sit back and wait, shall we? Touya Akira won’t disappoint, I’m sure.”
“If he’s even still sane. Didn’t he rip out that female researcher’s throat? He couldn’t possibly be stable.”
“He doesn’t have to be stable. He just has to kill. That’s what he was trained to do.” Ogata smiled viciously, crushing his cigarette into the ashtray.