Archive for October, 2010

玉将の四重奏 第三章

Posted in 玉将の四重奏 on 12.10.10 by jellayrei

玉将の四重奏 第三章:

Keiji lay there in his bed listening to the sound of the raindrops on the roof. Keiji had been a police officer for almost 4  years, however even after he joined the police force he still led a pretty simple, drama-free life. But that all that had been changing slowly in the last 5 or so months…

~Roughly 5 Months Ago~

Usually the the school days started pretty calmly, however today the room was buzzing with excitement. Keiji was sitting at his desk next to the window staring blankly outside. Holding his head up with one hand he twirled his pen in the other. It was snowing even though it was only September, the northern hemisphere was freezing nearly all the time. The reason there was so much commotion this morning was because there were rumors that a new student would be joining their class. Transfers mid semester were rare now-a-days, but Keiji wasn’t feeling too interested, rumors were just rumors after all and they rarely found their way into reality. Keiji’s mind was occupied with more important things.

Japan was filled with crime in this day and age. If it was a crime, then it had happened in Japan at one point or another. For the last decade there had also been an unusual criminal group stealing from banks all over the country. Bank robberies were not uncommon, but this group was unique. They had been robbing banks for quite some time, yet no one has ever come close to catching them. They did everything by hand, the way it was done in the olden days, no machines were used in the safe opening, no weaponry used in disabling guards, and no special devices used to disarm locks. Truly an incredible feat. But perhaps most interesting of all was that no matter where they struck, there was always a substantial amount of money that was left behind. It was almost as if they only took what they needed leaving the rest behind for another day.

However yesterday for the first time in this groups history, they had been caught in the act. At this thought Keiji shook his head maybe  caught in the act was a little too generous of a description for what had happened late last night; unwittingly stumbled upon the strange group of thieves might be a more accurate description. Apparently yesterday they had broken into a high security vault in a bank in Tokyo so their safe breaker could get some “practice.”  When the authorities came to inspect the scene of the crime, nearly every safe in the building had been opened, but the best part was nothing inside the safes had been touched.

Keiji, who was patrolling the nearby area happened to be driving by as the group was walking out the front door of the bank. The group had been impressively small given the type of work they managed to accomplish, just two males and two females. When the group saw Keiji’s patrol car one girl stood on her tiptoes to whisper something into the ear of the tallest male ,who appeared to be the leader of the group,he nodded and made a signal to the other two members. Then before Keiji could blink twice the 4 of them converged onto the police car like vultures on a freshly abandoned kill. Before he knew it the youngest looking girl was sitting on the hood of his patrol car. One of the males had apparently gotten onto the roof and the other was leaning his back against the passenger side door of the patrol car. The other girl was standing outside the driver side door. She knocked on the window. Absolutely petrified Keiji obediently rolled down the window, without a word the girl dropped an envelope onto his lap and the four of them vanished into the darkness.

Inside the envelope was a letter of challenge made with letters cut out of magazines. It was very cliché, Keiji thought setting down his pen and holding up the letter to read for the hundredth time since his encounter last night. It read:

Dear Officer,

You have been cordially invited to participate in this months special challenge which will take place September 31st at 11:45Pm. On said date and time our humble group will be targeting Bank of Japan on 125th St. and Shinjuku Ave. You will be allowed to bring a team of 4 officers (including yourself.) If you abide by our rules then we can guarantee the safety of any officers involved. This is a unique opportunity for you to capture our group and become famous. We hope you will partake in this special event. Thanks for keeping our streets safe!

Yours Truly,

Mysterious Group

P.s. if you feel so inclined to bring weapons, for the safety of our members we ask that they be non-lethal stun weapons, thank you for your cooperation.

Apparently the group had a sense of humor, Keiji thought staring at the letter. As Keiji was pondering this, the homeroom teacher entered the room and everyone in the class scurried to their seats. Truth be told classes now a days could have easily been taught by robots, but occasionally some of the nicer schools still used the human touch.

“Hello everyone, starting from today this is your new classmate,” the homeroom teacher said, her arm on the new students shoulder “I hope you will all help to take good care of her.”
Keiji, staring out the window again, heard the heads of his classmates turning to look at the new arival. So the rumors were true, but Keiji was still too pre-occupied with his lucky encounter with the strange band of theives to pay much attention.

“Would you like to introduce yourself to the class?” the homeroom teacher asked gently nudging the girl forward slightly.

“Um, hello…” the student said. Her voice caught Keiji’s attention, though she only spoke a single word her voice had a musical quality. She sounded pretty, out of the corner of his eye Keiji noticed that even some of the more delinquent students were suddenly sitting up a little straighter than usual. For the first time Keiji turned his head to look at the new comer. She was indeed a beautiful girl, slender yet muscular and well developed too. Her eyes were large and innocent and she met the gaze of everyone who looked her way. However when Keiji took a more careful look at her emotionless face he suspected that this girl had suffered many hardships.

“Sorry I’m not very good in social settings,” the girl said, though her voice might have implied that she was feeling a little pressured it didn’t show on her face, in fact in all the time Keiji was watching her, her expression had hardly changed at all.”Er… please take good care of me!” she concluded.

“Your name!” the homeroom teacher whispered to her nudging her again.

“Oh! Um…” the girl sounded like she was at a loss for words but again if she was confused or lost it didn’t show on her face, “I’m number 2500274135.”

At this a great commotion sweapt the room, even the teacher seemed a little taken aback for a moment though in all fairness to her she recovered relatively quickly from the shock. If #2500274135 found the reaction of her new classmates strange it didn’t show, her expression remained almost completely static. Keiji nodded to himself, the number explained a lot about this girl, why she was so strange, so alien, so expressionless. She was an orphan. When put into an orphanage, each individual had a number and corresponding bar-code tattooed onto their skin, this made it easier for the orphanage to keep track of the orphans and file paperwork when one died, which was not an uncommon occurance.

There were a lot of orphans out in Japan. The Japanese government, in order to try to preserve a “more Asian population” offered large subsidies on children if both parents were at least half “Asian.” In all honesty they probably would have preferred it if both parents were half Japanese but over the last several hundred years there had been so much cultural mixing that it was almost impossible to find a person who was genetically half any nationality. Under these government subsidies the first child was practically payed for, and the second child was more than payed for. However as a result many families had two children and then ended up abandoning one or both of them living the rest of their lives off of government money. Given the effort required to change current laws the government tried to combat this problem by using “Baby Certificates” which were documents distributed at birth that allowed a person to have a child. This meant that each family could have up to two children and if they wanted more they would have to buy another certificate from someone who didn’t want children, and these were generally expensive since the number of baby certificates were limited and heavily controlled by the government. And the trading of these certificates obviously required a long legal process in order to prevent parents from just taking these certificates from their own children. This however turned out to have little effect on the number of children being orphaned. Now there were as many orphans as ever and the orphanages were all filled to the brim with children. Lack of resources combined with the high stress of running an orphanage made these places miserable for everyone who lived there. Especially the orphans. It was no secret that orphans were treated poorly, they were often abused, and beaten. Drug companies frequently used them to test new medical products. The average orphan lived to be 7 or 8, the strong willed ones might live to be 11 or 12, and the unlucky ones lived for as long as 15 years. The lucky ones, like this girl here, were the ones who manage to run away from the orphanage. But even the ones that got away led fairly difficult lives. Many of the female escapees ended up selling their bodies just to get by.

Considering this Keiji scrutinized the girl carefully for the first time. She was a very stunning girl, however her general lack of emotion suggested that her trade might lay elsewhere. There was also a sort of physical hardness about her. Even from afar Keiji could tell that her arms and legs were extremely toned. The girl could probably pass as a statue in an art museum somewhere if she wanted to, Keiji thought to himself. Though her limbs weren’t thick or bulky they appeared to be very strong, her skin was also very smooth it was almost as if she was sculpted as marble or some other very hard stone.

“I don’t think a number will work very well for a name,” the teacher said smiling nervously towards the class, “its kind of impersonal, er…”

A girl named Yume raised her hand and the teacher nodded at her. She was the class representative and most everyone loved her because of her helpful personality, however there were times when she made suggestions that were socially a little awkward. As her name implied she was also very beautiful. This new girl, however, in Keiji’s opinion this new girl could give Yume a run for her money.

“Maybe we can name her?” Yume suggested enthusiastically.

“Yume, darling,” the teacher said sighing a little bit “this is a girl we’re talking about here, not a class pet……”

“Um… actually….. I think I would like that” #2500274135 said earnestly.

“Oh this girl is absolutely adorable,” Yume exclaimed, practically skipping up to the front of the room “does anyone have any suggestions?”

“How about Asuka?” one guy towards the back of the room said. Yume wrote the suggestion up on the board.

“How about Fuji,” suggested a tall girl in the front row.

“We already have two Fuji’s in this class, both a male and a female one,” Keiji said looking around the room, “apparently they’re both playing hookie today. But in any case we don’t want to make things unnecessarily complicated.”

“You come up with a name then,” the tall girl said looking offended.

A couple more names were thrown around the room. Finally the names Asuka, Akiko, Yukiko, Haruka, and Kaiyo were listed on the board.#2500274135  didn’t seem to especially prefer any one over another and so the name discussion had reached an end and an awkward silence had settled into the room.

“How about putting it up to a vote then” #2500274135  suggested brightly, “that’s what we do at work when we can’t decide on something.”

Ah, Keiji thought, this girl definitely wasn’t a prostitute then, he highly doubted that anything in that craft was ever put up to a vote. Keiji looked at the list of names wondering which one he should vote for. He wasn’t too fond of Asuka. Akiko and Yukiko seemed like okay names but they seemed kind of situational. Haruka would have been a cute enough name for the new girl, and Kaiyo wasn’t too bad either….

He looked at the girls face and imagined calling her by each name, but they didn’t seem to quite fit. He tried it again, Haruka, Kaiyo, Haruka again. It seemed the rest of the class was having an equally hard time deciding. Apparently Yume had opted to pass on voting and chose instead to play with #2500274135 ‘s hair. #2500274135 didn’t seem to especially mind.

“Hey Prez, 2500…753 whatever it was…” Keiji said raising his hand. Yume had finished putting #2500274135 ‘s hair into a ponytail, and the two girls turned to look at him.

“Yes?” Yume said raising an eyebrow.

“Does Chizuko sound like an okay name?” He asked.

For the first time since the #2500274135  entered the room she smiled.