Archive for March, 2009

玉将の四重奏 第一章

Posted in 玉将の四重奏 on 27.3.09 by jellayrei

Gyokusho Quartet 第一章: Coup de Grâce- The Blow of Mercy

On a dark winter night, A black BMW sped down a basically deserted highway being closely followed by a police car.  The passengers of the vehicle in question had just robbed a bank and were doing their best to get away from the pursuing officers. For this story– however–  we are not interested in the passengers of this shady vehicle, but rather the officers.

Behind the wheel of the police vehicle sat a good looking 17 year old man. He was of Asian decent, and looked more like he belonged on the stage of a rock concert rather than in a police car. His hair was dyed a dark brown but was black at the roots since it had been a while since he had gotten it dyed again. He sat upright, stiffly gripping the wheel as they followed the burglar’s getaway car.

It was unusual for anyone to actually be driving nowadays, since at the turn of the 27th century all cars were controlled by “code” rather than people. The roads of this time period were basically large information collecting grids that receive and process information from the cars and feeds it into computers. The computers process the information and sends it back out to the cars. The BMW had modified code tailored to escape car purposes. Consequently, the police car also had code designed to catch escape cars, though it wasn’t be put to use at this particular moment.

The other passenger in this vehicle was an Asian girl who was 16 years old, she had shoulder length black hair dark chocolate colored eyes. She sat in the patrol car looking bored, she had a calculus textbook open on her lap. Instead of wearing a police uniform she was wearing a form fitting black coat, which accentuated her excellent figure, and a skirt underneath. She looked up from her textbook.

“They’re so inconsiderate,” she said frowning in the direction of the escaping robbers, “don’t they realize that I have a test on Monday?” she held up a hand and looked at her nails ” And of course they’re total armatures too, no fun at all” the girl continued, still inspecting her nails “I mean look at their code, its complete predictable.” Apparently satisfied with the state of her nails she pointed at the BMW ” When that car gets behind that yellow car, its going to pass there on the left, then take a right there between the red car and white car…” she pointed off into the distance drawing complex weaving shapes with her index finger like the conductor of a world class orchestra.

Before she finished, the monitor on the dashboard flickered to life, and the police chief’s virtual secretary appeared on the screen.

“The chief wants to know if you would like assistance.”

“No, we’ll manage,” the girl said still not looking thrilled about the task at hand, she redirected her attention back to her fingernails “but send us a cage, and bring my bike too please.”

“Copy that,  sending motorbike: serial number SK-81930 and one C.A.G.E. unit to your location” the monitor replied as it flickered off.

“So how do you want to do this?” the male officer asked, glancing over at his partner who was now digging into her school bag.

Extricating a pair of motorcycle gloves from her bag she returned the glance waving the gloves. The gloves looked like a less bulky version of gauntlets worn by medieval knights.(and are sometimes referred to as gauntlets) Riders usually wore them for one, or a combination of, several reasons. The first of which is that they look really good, furthermore, they protect their hands from being destroyed by the elements. Lastly more highly skilled riders often put their hands on the ground to prevent from falling over on sharp turns. Needless to say this is an impossible task to do barehanded and are much more bearable if you have, for instance, a pair of titanium plated gloves to protect your hands. Conveniently, the tips of the gloves are very sharp, which is perfect for ripping through things, like the roof of a car for example.

With a sigh, the driver of the police car began pulling up to the driver side of the BMW.

“Chizuko, you sure you want to do it like this,” he asked, for all the world sounding like a middle school kid being pressured into having intercourse with a demanding girlfriend “it makes me nervous every time we do it like this.”

“Keiji please,” she replied, exasperated “we’ve already done this a million times.”

“I’m just worried about your safety is all,” Keiji muttered, “no need to get your panties all in a bunch…”

Keiji was prevented from completing the rest of the extended sexual metaphor when one of the robbers in the BMW pulled out a gun and fired two shots at the two officers. The bullets did not penetrate the patrol car since, unfortunately for the criminals, all police cars of this era were designed to resist most anything from bullets to minor explosions.

Chizuko didn’t even flinch as the bullets hit the glass, but instead she looked over and stuck her tongue out at the criminals.

“See,” she scoffed, “they’re completely new at this, I guess being amateurs they’d have to take a couple of shots, every new convict on the block thinks they’re Jason Statham. And they’re using gun powder weapons too, such barbarians” (Jason Statham has been dead for quiet some time but the Italian Job is still a super popular movie in most crime circles, there’s nothing like watching a perfect plan come together at criminal get-togethers.)

Another bullet hit the side of the police car is it pulled up along side the BMW. The driver of the BMW floored the petal bringing the vehicle to the fastest speed it could travel. Unfortunately for the two criminals they had no chance of outrunning their pursuers. Chizuko looked over, Keiji’s knuckles were white from gripping the wheel.

“Relax,” she said smiling sincerely for the first time “I’m not even worried so what do you have to be scared of?”

The gentle tone of her voice caused Keiji’s grip to slacken a little. Turning her attention back to the BMW she kicked open the door of the police car and, grabbing the top of the door frame she flipped onto the roof of her their pursuit vehicle. As she landed onto the roof the car door swung shut, which was just as well because that’s when the illegals in the adjacent car chose to fire another shot at the door.

Chizuko then leaped gracefully onto the roof of the BMW. She ripped into the top of the car tearing away big chunks of roof.Toiling like a surgeon, she took a brief moment to reflect on how she’d probably be fined for littering had she not become an officer. Chizuko was brought out of her ruminative moment when one of the criminals decided to put two rounds into the roof of the car. One of them missed completely the other one grazed her right cheek about half an inch under her right eye. The wound stung in the cold winter wind, and Chizuko decided that this probably was not the best place to be pondering what kinds of fines she would or would not incur given her change of career choice.  She plunged both of her hands through the top of the car and peeled the roof open like a banana, not that she knew that she had ever preformed such an action since she had never even seen the fruit before let alone eaten it. Between the 19th and 24th century, the polar ice caps had basically completely melted, this sent the whole northern hemisphere into an ice age and so basically the only place where you could get bananas anymore was Brazil, therefore the prices of bananas went through the roof. If the Japanese people of old thought eggplants were expensive little did they know…**

Now that the roof of the car was wide open Chizuko stuck her foot through and planted it on the back of the drivers head smashing his face into the steering wheel causing something to crunch. As she dropped into the car she looked over at the passenger side, the guy sitting there was trying to reload his weapon. Chizuko almost sighed at him, as she grabbed his face and slammed the back of his head against the window. As the guy’s body slumped against the wall of the car as she yanked up on the emergency break bringing the car to a screeching halt.

From inside the car Chizuko saw the C.A.G.E. unit pulling up next to the trashed BMW along with their patrol car. Most C.A.G.E.s looked like a black bread truck, however this one was a sort of sleek new design, or about as sleek as you can make a car used for transporting criminals.

As Chizuko stepped out of the car she saw the police Chief step out of the C.A.G.E. Chizuko grinned and waved at him energetically, the adrenaline produced from jumping from car to car had not quite worn off yet. Keiji also came out of the patrol car to greet the chief.

The Tokyo police chief was a good looking 20 something year old guy. He was a good 6 inches taller than Chizuko, and had the whole “rugged good looks” about him. His hair was kind of messy and unkempt, and he hadn’t shaved for a couple days so there was a slight hint of a beard on his chin. His name was Norio, which in Japanese means ‘man of law’, and he often joked that he was born to be a police man.

“Chief, this is a surprise!” Chizuko said still waving “and this cage too,” she continued pointing enthusiastically “it’s new right?” she finished, walking around the vehicle inspecting it.

“It looks good huh?” the chief inquired, scratching the back of his head “I was just gonna drive one of the old ones out here but the guys at the station were all like ‘we cant have our chief being seen in one of those beat up old things’ and hence insisted that I take this one, its brand new.” He laughed nervously as though he might accidentally crash it into a wall or something.

“Oh, impressive!” Chizuko said clapping her hands together “My bike is in the back, I take it”

“Yup,” the chief said opening the back of the car for her allowing her access to the inside.

“Hey did they up the current on the bars in here.” Chizuko asked.

“No,” the chief said “”if they increased it anymore from what it used to be that would make the shock lethal, remember, Chi, this is a vehicle for transporting criminals not shocking them to death.”

“Oh,” Chizuko said, sounding a little disappointing as she wheeled out a black and white motorcycle “right, you know criminals are a lot tougher than you give them credit for. Great seeing you chief, I better get going.”

“Hold up,” the chief said holding his hand up in a stop everything gesture, “Chizuko a new custom safe came in today, the new lock opening robot won’t even try to open it, do you think you can come in to the station today and crack it?”

The thought of the lock opening robot finally failing to open a safe put a grin on Chizuko’s face.

“Yes if its custom, the human touch is best no stupid robot could ever…” she said more to herself than to anyone “Whats the model number on the safe?”

“Um… HB-4175 I think.”

Chizuko looked up at the sky trying to remember how that particular safe worked.

“Is it urgent? ” she asked finally.

“No not particularly, why?” Norio said scratching the back of his head.

“That safe,” she said again mostly to herself “has 8000 numbers on the dial, and a 6 number combo,” she stared hard at the sky “which means 8000 choose 6 combinations and 720 possible orderings for most combination, yes of course the robot wouldn’t be able to open it and if it’s custom….” at this she looked back at the chief and addressed someone that wasn’t herself for the first time “and I have a calc test coming up that I really need to study for so can it wait?” she completed apologetically.

“That’s fine,” the chief said waving her apology aside. “You’re bleeding profusely by the way.” the chief said pointing at her cheek. This wasn’t completely true, she was bleeding pretty badly but the chief always made it sound worse than it actually was, since Chizuko was the type of girl who would just ignore any kind of wound until it killed her.

“You can’t trick me chief,” she said smiling and shaking her head “Well, catch you later then,”

“No seriously,” the chief said but she was already walking her bike back towards the patrol car.

The chief waved to her with a sigh, behind him a couple officers he brought along were cuffing the two still unconscious criminals and loading them onto the police car. As Chizuko walked back to the patrol car Keiji followed her, he reached the police car before she did and dug out a first aid kit from the back.

“When I was watching from the patrol car,” Keiji said looking a little shaken “you gave me quiet a scare. I thought they shot you in the head…”

Chizuko looked at him and shrugged.

“But I wasn’t so its okay right?”

Keiji pulled out a cotton swab and poured some alcohol on it, he tenderly dabbed the cotton ball on her cheek.

“Can’t we please figure out a different method for next time,” he pleaded, “I’m really worried about your safety!”

“Look I don’t need you to worry about me okay?” Chizuko said edgily “I can take care of myself fine thank you very much!”

“Alright!” Keiji said defensively, taken aback by her sudden outburst “I’m sorry, here let me finish patching you up.”

“No thanks,” Chizuko said grabbing her school bag from the police vehicle and slamming the car door shut “I’m fine, thank you.”

“Chi…” Keiji said, softly, “please let me clean you up.” But she wasn’t listening she had already started up her bike and was riding away.

“One of these days, she’s going to just bleed to death,” the chief walking up behind Keiji, “You guys haven’t been getting along very well lately have you?” Norio continued conversationally though he  looked a little troubled.

“No, not really,” Keiji said, looking down at the ground “it’s been pretty bad lately I guess.”

Norio nodded wisely “Well it could be nothing,” he said thoughtfully “maybe it’s just that time of month for her.” he chuckled punching Keiji lightly on the shoulder.

“I don’t think that’s it,” Keiji said allowing himself a grin. He didn’t find the chief’s remark particularly entertaining, but the chief hated when people were too serious around him.

“Well then Kei, I’ll see you some other time” the chief said walking back towards the C.A.G.E.

“Hey, chief!” Keiji called out before he could stop himself “Do you know what’s in the safe?”

“I might guess,” the chief said, looking thoughtful again, “but I don’t know for sure…” The chief paused and then laughed, “If I knew for sure I wouldn’t need her to open it,” he laughed again scratching the back of his head “Well, don’t get your hopes up, but it could be important for you.. well, don’t worry too much about it” the chief waved with his back turned to Keiji, “Well, I’ll see you later.”

The police chief climbed back into the C.A.G.E. followed by the two other officers he brought along. He backed the C.A.G.E. up and docked it with the BMW and towed it away along with the criminals that it had sheltered just a few minutes ago.

Keiji climbed back into the police vehicle, he sat there for a moment. He knew that he would have to get moving soon. Since the police chase was over, the code written for civilian vehicles would cause cars to start flowing back onto the highway. He sighed, it could be important, but then again it could be nothing, he thought about stopping by the safe room and taking a crack at the safe himself, but Chizuko had never taught him how to deal with that particular model safe, and if it would take her a while to open it then he had no chance of figuring it out. He decided to just follow the chief’s advice and not think too much about it. In any case now that Chizuko was all mad at him it would seem he would have to figure something out to maker her happy, he told himself that this was a much more pressing matter. That safe isn’t going anywhere fast, but good loyal partners were hard to come by, he reasoned to himself…

The first cars started to flow back onto the highway, Keiji started up the police car and started heading back towards the police station to drop off the vehicle wondering if he should stop by the grocery store and pick up a box of chocolates…

**In Japanese culture it is considered good luck to have a dream about Mt. Fuji, a hawk, and an eggplant as your first dream of the new year. This is because in the region which Mt. Fuji resides it is said that the three highest things in that area are: Mt. Fuji, a hawk, and the price of eggplant.

Authors Remarks

-Okay so I’ve toiled on this story for over a month, and I still have some peer reviews coming in so there might be a couple changes coming up still though probably nothing too major.

-I finally figured out what I want the plot to be thought I don’t know if it’s going to end up bieng kind of cliche. Originally I planned for this chapter to be mostly just character development since at that time I hadn’t really figured out what I wanted to do yet. Now that I have a tentative plan in mind, I dropped some hints towards the end of the chapter as to what the point might be…

-When my roommate read the very beginnings of my first draft he told me that I basically made Chiz to look like the biggest bitch in the whole universe, that was not my intention… as the way things are shaping up now, I think that she is probably going to end up being my favorite character. I sort of expect Keiji to be the most popular as of now but that’ll probably change later on. If you guys don’t like Chiz much, all I can say is sorry Chi, you’ll be popular later on [I hope], do your best!

-I think the way this is going to work is one more chapter of current time, and then I’m going to start telling the story from the begenning and lead up to this point…ish

-I love constructive criticism flaming ect, whatever comment, remark or gripe you might have about my story, I’d love to hear it!

-Things that happened in this section of the story are not set in stone, I might need to change it later to eliminate inconsistencies and what not… If that happens I’ll let you know.

-I don’t know if I had Chiz pull some physics defying stunts in this segment, I don’t think so though, drawing from my (limited) knowledge of physics I think that it is possible to jump from one roof to another… ripping through the roof of a car, however does  seem a little ridiculous – as my roommate also pointed out to me… But hey I bet I could totally do it too >.> And Chi is super fit, like Muchacho Maria or something

-I’m working on some drawings of these characters currently, and in theory will have them up sometime this month so that people can know what they look like in my mind.

-I don’t know if I made the relationship between Keiji and Chiz obvious, when my roommate [once again] read it, he basically laid out all the intro chapters I had planned =( so feedback from other people on this point would be great for me

-The names I chose actually mean stuff. Keiji  (敬二): Japanese name meaning “respectful second (son).” Norio  (法男): Japanese name meaning “man of law.” (I actually felt clever for finding this one) Chizuko, there are a couple ways of writing this name that I’ve found so far but I haven’t decided on which one I like best yet though I’m leaning towards 千鶴子 for certain reasons in which I’ll reveal in a later authors note 千鶴子, roughly translated means child of a thousand storks.

-I’m kind of afraid that I focused a little too much on Chiz, and the next chapter is pretty much all about her as well so… I dunno, I don’t want this story to turn out to be some sort of one sided fanfic type thing where I just glorify her life ect. because that would be kind of stupid… I’ll figure out how to remedy this problem………… after the next chapter……………..

-The whole eggplant thing was a feeble attempt to make me look more cultured than I actually am, as well as make a quick comment about global warming. Also I wanted to add some humor into the scene. I don’t know if I tried to cram too many things all into one segment.

-The title roughly translated to English, for you non Chinese/Japanese readers, is ‘The Quartet of the Jeweled General.’ 玉将 is the king piece on a shogi board on the challengers side [according to Wikipedia…] I chose this one instead of the Gold General for reasons that should in theory become clear sometime later on…

-That’s all for now, I plan on having the next chapter out hopefully by the middle of next month ish… I hope you all enjoyed this segment of the story.