1x1 Sirens to Escape Millennium

Again, Kiryu appeared a bit perplexed when the "weirdo" was brought up by Mary, though it didn't look like he was going to ask any further about that. Almost like he internally answered his own silent question. Aside from that, Date saw that with how things were going along, it would do more good than bad to fill her in on what was the big problems in this city.

❝ Yeah, and I'd imagine it'll be involving this whole city if we let this be. Recently, the leading organization in underground crime here, the Tojo Clan, reported that 10 billion yen was missing one day, and then the next day, the chairman of the Tojo was mysteriously murdered with no trace of the killer responsible. From there, all sorts of yakuza and the like are scrambling for the location of the missing 10 billion yen with the promise that whoever finds it first could become the next chairman of the clan... Then there's the case of a serial killer making rounds at the same time, happening to take down a particular branch of yakuza that could've had leads on the missing funds on their own. Then there's the mysterious attacks that are aimed towards... women, unfortunately, and that they're found to be unconscious during the night. No signs of any belongings being stolen or physical harm, and surely this should sound familiar to your situation. ❞ Date went to explain the rundown of the situation to the best of his ability to Mary, hoping to catch her up. In hindsight, this was a highly dangerous of a situation to be at this magnitude already.

❝ That's all public knowledge. What we know personally on the matter, we got the lead on who could've stolen the 10 billion yen, and... ❞ The investigator continued with his explanation, trailing off to look over at Haruka, the young girl still fast asleep.

❝ Her mother's nowhere to be found, so we're keeping her safe. Haruka's mother may know what's going on, but Haruka herself doesn't... ❞ Kiryu spoke in a troubled tone of voice, a hint of regret laced in his words. The thought of involuntarily dragging a child into what could erupt into a citywide gang war was terrible enough, especially on top of the fact that a nighttime serial killer was on the loose alongside the mysterious unconscious attacks.

@Yun Lee
"...Jeez." Mary pinched the bridge of her nose, letting all this sink in. So, this place was like Yakuza Central, huh? And there were at most three people causing complete chaos. Man, and to think she thought her school was crazy...this place made Hyakkou look like a goddamn academy of science!

"It already sounds like the entire city is involved, honestly," she said. As nice as finding that 10 billion sounded, though, she was more interested in what directly involved her. "Do you guys know anything about what happens to those women? As in, have they said anything more about the situation?"

@Gummi Bunnies
❝ It's always been like this. But not this bad. ❞ Kiryu briefly adds onto Mary's first comment, implying that Kamurocho has always been this active with the yakuza and other street threats. Just not exactly... to this extent.

❝ Well, there hasn't been anything conclusive so far. The other women that were attacked and left unconscious don't appear to be physically harmed, but... how do I put this? ❞ Date let her question marinate in his head for a few seconds, trying to fish out whatever information he happened to get out of the ongoing investigations. It was almost like he was unsure at the moment if he should share this detail with Mary, who happened to be one of those unconscious attack victims.

❝ It... happens that you're the only one to recover from your unconsciousness. All the other victims are in stable condition at the hospital, but for some reason that even doctors can't find out why, no one else has been able to wake up. Almost like a strong coma. ❞ He finally brings himself after the momentary uncertainty to uncover this bombshell of news over to Mary, figuring that it was only fair that she was aware of the situation that she's being involved in.

Before he could go on with his explanation, Reina reenters the bar room with a first aid kit, giving a "sorry for taking so long" comment over to Date and going to work to treat his gunshot wound. The tense conversation seemed to boil down to an end, considering along with Reina treating Date's injuries, someone else woke up from their nap.

❝ M... Mister. Can we look for my mom yet? ❞ The young girl, Haruka, asks with a slight yawn. It was hard to tell if she didn't notice that Date was badly injured or if she was used to seeing people being hurt like this. Though, she continued to say something, and it caught Kiryu's attention. ❝ If it helps... I think I last saw my mom at the Millennium Tower... ❞

@Yun Lee
The Hell...? She was the only person to wake up? Jeez... Why didn't they bother keeping her in for more testing then? Well...besides the fact that she kind of stormed out of the hospital of her own volition. Whatever! It was better than being in a coma in some shit show city like this one. Who knew what they did to unconscious girls in a place like this...

"So, No harm, but in a coma...talk about weird." Now she really wanted to meet this Nishikiyama guy. If he knew something about this whole thing, then she could get some answers! And then..what, exactly? Go back to school and make a triumphant return, naturally! And man, if Kirari didn't already have it coming...

Hold on. What did that girl say? Play it cool, Mary, play it cool... "The Millennium Tower? What's that?"

@Gummi Bunnies
❝ H-huh? Miss, you... don't know about the Millennium Tower? The biggest building in the city? ❞ Haruka tilted her head in confusion, not really aware of the fact that Mary wasn't exactly a local around these parts.

❝ Can't say that I've been there myself, now that I think about it. ❞ Kiryu briefly comments. Despite knowing a better scope of what was going on with this city, he wasn't too familiar with the Millennium Tower that Haruka mentioned. More like he didn't know what the building looked like but he knew that it was gravely important and related to the incidents so far.

❝ I know my way there to the tower! Um... my mom did set up her bar there, and she showed me how to get there. We can check if my mom is there! ❞ The young girl keeps up a persistent front, making it clear that she wanted to go to the Millennium Tower to find her mother.

❝ Well, I'm not sure if letting Haruka go on her own is... a great idea. ❞ Date points out the obvious.

❝ And you're not in the best of conditions to go outside, Date. ❞ Reina further adds to the conversation due to his own injuries from earlier, and then continuing, ❝ Though, Kiryu can accompany Haruka there, and maybe Mary too. ❞

@Yun Lee
"Well, if I knew what it was, I wouldn't be asking, would I?" Mary smiled at Haruka and sounded as if she was teasing lightly, but in truth it was just a way to sneakily get some snark out. God, could she never get a straight answer around here? Ugh...the only way to know what the Millennium Tower was (besides being the biggest, apparently) was to go herself.

And hey! Maybe this was her chance to do that. "Y-Yeah! I'll go." She could just branch off and look for this Nishikiyama guy herself, right? "I mean, in case I wind up stuck in this city for a while, I may as well get a feel for where everything is, y'know?"

@Gummi Bunnies
❝ Alright! Then let's head out already! ❞ Haruka cheered with clear excitement that they were finally walking around after being holed up at this bar for some time. With the young girl running ahead all of a sudden, Kiryu sighed and took that as the signal to start going after her before something else happened. But with Mary, the moment she would be going after them as well, everything appeared to have blacked out at random for her.

It wasn't like she passed out or anything, but rather more that her own self-awareness was tuned out entirely. Almost like she was briefly put in an "out-of-body" experience. And it came with the same painful feeling that erupts whenever she tried to leave this city earlier, but except this time she couldn't express that repressed feeling to show pain. Not when she somehow couldn't get a bearing of where she was.

That was until her senses immediately came back to reality, and all due to Kiryu grabbing her wrist.

❝ Mary, was it? I know you're curious and all, but going ahead isn't safe. ❞ The older man points out. So it turned out that she was following them despite not knowing what she was doing for that short period of time, but it sounded more like her dazed state was making her go straight for the Millennium Tower no questions asked.


❝ Okay, I'm done tying my shoes. The lace was getting undone a bit. ❞ Haruka announces happily, shaking her foot a bit to make sure that she tied her shoe tightly. ❝ And um... miss? Are you feeling okay? You were super quiet on our way here. ❞

@Yun Lee
What the fuck?! What the fuck!!! Mary had to do everything in her power to keep calm right now, which was hard, even for a seasoned gambler like herself. That...that was freaky! Even more than freaky...that was fucking terrifying! Why was she headed to the Tower like that? It was like she was hypnotized or something! What did that attacker DO to her?!

Damn it...why did this kid need to ask so many questions, huh? Well, time to play it off like it was nothing at all...ugh, what a pain!


"Who, me? Oh, I'm fine!" Mary smiled as if nothing was wrong. "In a huge and dangerous city like this one, it's better to keep quiet and focus on getting where we need to go, especially since I don't know the place!" Hopefully that was enough to get them off her back...telling them she had blacked out on the way there was not the best.

"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go find your mom!" And let's find a way to get away from this merry band of misfits so I can talk to this Nishikiyama!

@Gummi Bunnies
For a moment, Kiryu remained silent, as if having a few doubts on Mary's words. Before anything else, however, Haruka took those statements with acknowledgement and stepped ahead a bit.

❝ Right! We don't have much free time on our hands! ❞ The young girl nodded and pointed out that they didn't have much time to work with to check this place out. At least for now, Haruka's hasty beckoning for the rest to follow made Kiryu put aside his doubts, the older man not letting Haruka wander off alone into what felt like unfamiliar territory. There was no telling what else seemed to be brewing at this towering skyscraper, located at the heart of this eventful city.


The lobby floor was expansive with it's interior design, leaving a ton of open space for all the elevators and escalators that seemed to be everywhere in this lobby area. It wasn't too far off the reality of a newcomer getting easily lost here without any local help. While Haruka seemed to be familiar with this place, Kiryu appeared perplexed by how different this tower was compared to everywhere else in Kamurocho.

Near the other end of this lobby floor, there was an informational front desk and an attendant presently working. Without much warning, Haruka instead walked over to an escalator that would lead to the lower lobby floor, most notably ignoring the fact that they could ask the attendant about Haruka's mother.

❝ Hey wait a minute... ❞ Kiryu says to her in order to get her attention, but remembers that Haruka must know about this tower's layout if she was brought here by her mother in the past. Though, he'd rather follow Haruka at this rate, already catching on that the young girl had the habit of being persistent on what she wanted to do and that following her lead saved more trouble than to convince her to do something else. ❝ Mary, we should keep up with Haruka... she might know her way through this building, but I rather not leave her alone while she looks for her mother. ❞

@Yun Lee
Damn it...she was so close! That attendant looked like he could be her ticket to Nishikiyama, but of course, that was too easy. But she had to maintain images for now, so..."R-Right! Leaving her alone when some creep is already out attacking women...that's horrible!" Nodding at what Kiryu said, Mary would follow suit, letting Haruka take the lead. "Let's hope no one is hiding out here..."

@Gummi Bunnies
Proceeding inside the elevator from that point, Haruka didn't waste time to press the buttons to go to the specific floor in this building. However, it wasn't the conventional "press one button and done" type of process. She pressed three specific floor buttons in a specific order, which earned a rather confused look from Kiryu.

❝ My mom only liked letting her regulars come to her bar, so there's a passcode to input in this elevator to get there. ❞ The young girl explained to the best of her ability. It was a little strange and complicated to get to a bar, but there wasn't any room to argue or question that for now. Once the elevator got to its destination, they were greeted with this bar that Haruka's mother apparently owned.


While they originally came here in search of Haruka's mother, the bar itself was oddly empty from first glance, but that didn't stop Haruka from going ahead again. Not knowing if they were really the only ones present, Kiryu went after Haruka to check over the bar's counter for anything. And as if it had the worst timing, Mary's senses went away and out of her control once again. This time, it felt like it went by quicker than expected.

By the time Mary would regain control of herself again, she found herself standing in front of a hidden safe door, having pushed a bookcase to the side and somehow unlocking the door using the keypad when she shouldn't have known the door's keypad code.

❝ Did you find something! ❞ Haruka called over from the other side of the bar, having heard the safe door open.

@Yun Lee
As she returned to normal, Mary gasped, taking a step back as she realized what it was she had just done. Okay, this had gone from weird to downright fucking scary. How had she done all that?! It wasn't like she was possessed or anything, was she? No way! Demons weren't real!





...okay so they might be real. But come on! This was...this was unreal! And to make matters worse, the others had heard all this. Okay, now was the time to make a decision. To tell them what she found or not...if they didn't know what this room was, then maybe it had nothing to do with Haruka's mom? So it's not like they needed to know about this. Plus, maybe this was how to meet Nishikiyama?

"No, nothing yet! I'll keep you posted if I do, though!" Bluffing as if playing a card game, Mary called back to Haruka before entering the safe room before her. This could be a very bad idea, but hey. It wasn't like she had many options right now.

@Gummi Bunnies
❝ Alright! We're still loo- ❞ Haruka began to say before the safe door abruptly closed behind Mary without warning, effectively separating her from Kiryu and Haruka. To make matters worse, gunshots could be heard on the other side of the safe door, as if... something about this was set up against them.

But there wasn't much to be done, the door couldn't be opened from where Mary was, and someone was already waiting here for her.


❝ ... what happened to meeting at the front lobby? I had to lug myself all the way over to this spot to run into you here, you know? ❞ The young woman complained, and for a moment, taking a good look at Mary. She had short brown hair and silver glasses, which had a deep contrast to her green eyes. Her outfit seemed to be a mix of an office worker and school uniform, and she wore a necklace with a golden key tied to it.

❝ So much for being Nishikiyama's secretary... ❞ She sighed, readjusting her glasses. ❝ Judging from how you were able to crack the code to this secret entrance... maaaybe you're too deep into this whole mess on top of being the only attack victim to recover consciousness. Extremely interesting... ❞



❝ Hahaha, sorry for rambling so much. I have to stop playing detective, it's not my job after all! No doubt you're Mary Saotome. I'm Yuiko Nise, Nishikiyama's trusty secretary! We can still make this work, the whole "getting you over to meet with my boss" thing. Don't worry so much, we'll figure this all out somehow. ❞ Yuiko smiled and awkwardly held her hand out for a handshake. Weird that she made a whole 180 in her mood, going from annoyed to cheery. It's pretty obvious that she's an eccentric secretary for sure.

❝ What am I saying? It's a bit much to ask for you to be at ease when there's... fighting going on from the other side of this door. It's kinda expected when yakuza families are always fighting for territory. Given I know that much, since mister Nishikiyama is also yakuza, especially being the patriarch of his own yakuza family. But he's genuinely working to get this whole thing sorted out, the random coma attacks in Kamurocho. So if you mind following after me, I got this whole secret route thing memorized in my head! ❞ Somewhat rambling again, the secretary motions for Mary to follow.

@Yun Lee
Suddenly Mary was regretting her decision to leave this group behind. She couldn't help but feel a little bad for the two of them behind the door getting attacked like that, especially when they hadn't really done anything to her other than get on her nerves. Maybe they'd get out of this with a few scratches? Stranger things have happened.

Including meeting this new weirdo. Ugh, great. "Look, it's not MY fault that I can't do anything normally anymore! Half the time it's like my body decides to move on its own." Still, she sighed and shook Yuiko's hand (awkwardly on her part as well), not wanting her sharp tongue to push away the one person who could get her to the guy with answers about what was going on. "Yeah, let's...get going." Yuiko was right, it was impossible to feel at ease right now. As Mary followed the eccentric secretary further along, her entire body felt heavy with the weight of just...everything. Never thought she'd be missing Yumeko's brand of lively insanity, and yet there they were.

@Gummi Bunnies

❝ Your body... decided to move on it's own? ❞ Yuiko repeats those words with a curious look on her face. It didn't take long for her to pick up her chipper mood again, enthusiastic about leading the way. Hallway after hallway. Staircase after staircase. It seemed like a complicated route just to reach one office, and with that, the perfect recipe for a disturbingly long walk.

Speeding up her pace, the secretary reached the top of the (hopefully) last staircase, stopping altogether and turning around on her heel to face Mary, who was following her the whole time.

❝ If you don't mind me asking, miss Mary, in a hypothetical sense... ❞ She pauses for a moment, as if trying to fetch this question out from the depths of her mind.


❝ By the time this is all resolved and wrapped up with a neat little bow on top... it's easy to say that you'll return to your old life, for better or for worse. But say you didn't need to let yourself get reeled back into your appropriate place, that you can take control of what future lies before you...how far are you willing to go to change that? Yuiko smiled up until the point the question she wanted to ask came around, a blank stare directed towards Mary partially obscured by her glasses. Almost like she were staring straight into her soul or something.

@Yun Lee

Stopping on the staircase just a few steps below the eccentric secretary, Mary pursed her lips. Really? All this trouble, and now she wanted to get philosophical? What a pain...but that question was one that got Mary thinking. She had an answer for Yuiko, and did consider whether it was worth admitting...but the way she stared at her made it clear she shouldn't try anything funny.

"Back in my own life," Mary started, a serious look on her face, "I didn't have much control over anything. My family...isn't rich, and the only reason I got accepted into my school was due to a scholarship. Even then, the school itself, and the people in it..." She put her hand into her pocket, gripping the hairpin inside. Tsuzura... "If you're not the one in charge, people aren't people to you. They're things, animals you observe. I wanted to stop it, and thought I had, but..." She closed her eyes, remembering her final moments in the school. "I'm not ready yet. So, to answer that question, to get complete control...I've done a lot already. I'll do whatever it takes to take Kirari Momobami down."

@Gummi Bunnies
A chilling silence stagnated between the two after the answer had been made. It was hard to tell how Yuiko was looking at her, especially with those glasses happening to glare up due to the lighting of the staircase chamber. Before the silence would become too overwhelming, however...


❝ I have absolutely no idea who you're talking about, but you totally answered that the same way I would. That's like... we're peas in the same pod or something! ❞ The secretary gleamed happily, finally continuing to walk. For the most part, she sounded like she asked that question out of pure boredom. Either way, she didn't take long to stop again, this time in front of an office door.

❝ Alrighty, so this is my boss's office right ahead. I don't think he's busy busy at the moment, so I'll just let ourselves in. ❞ Yuiko explained, moving this along quickly since she could tell that Mary needed to get this word in with Nishikiyama ASAP. So, she didn't even knock, she abruptly swung the door open without warning.

❝ SHE'S HERE, MISTER NISHIKIYAMA~! ❞ She exclaimed loudly without much care in the world. Just enough to the point where Mary could feel a headache incoming. As for the secretary's boss in question, Nishikiyama looked visibly annoyed at first, but looked up from his paperwork to see the visitor in question.


❝ ... good work, Nise-san. Just don't... be so loud next time. ❞ His tired tone of voice only made Yuiko laugh a bit, giving the notion that this kind of banter was normal. Though, she was able to tell that this next part was to be between him and Mary only.

❝ Okaaay! I'll just go now since I've done my part. ❞ Yuiko nodded and quickly ushered herself out of the room, the door being shut slowly and quietly so it didn't make any noise at all. Just as she was out of the office room, the looming headache finally faded away from Mary. And so, that only left one thing in the agenda...

❝ Mary Saotome, right? I take it that you have... a good handful of questions to ask. Go ahead. ❞

@Yun Lee
"Understatement of the century," Mary grumbled, crossing her arms. So, this was Nishikiyama, huh? Sure didn't look all that special, but whatever. "Okay, let's start off with the obvious. Why did I get jumped in the first five minutes of being here? How come I'm the only girl to wake up from a coma? And how come my body's been moving on its own to grt to you?"

@Gummi Bunnies

❝ Right... ❞ The yakuza patriarch trailed off, appearing perplexed for a few moments. It wasn't long until he made eye contact with Mary after glancing to his side in silence.

❝ From what my associates were able to gather since these incidents have been taking place in Kamurocho, the short answer is that the mastermind behind this planted a virus into you. Now, to explain the long answer to you, it must be odd chance that you were targeted. You were someone new to the city, meaning no connections to account for. Along with how previous victims targeted were all women, you were practically a perfect victim to target. Relayed intel from the hospitals that the comatose women are stationed at, a similar strain of the virus is present and no doubt you have it. Now, why you were able to wake up despite the virus, I can't explain that. Judging from your statement of... your body moving on its own, I reckon it has the same traits as if you were a sleeper agent... And as for why it was specifically taking you straight to me, I can't explain that either. ❞ Nishikiyama explained all that he could, going through a folder he brought out that had various information related to Mary's strange case as well as the comatose women.

❝ Just to be sure... ❞ He says while opening a desk drawer, and then abruptly aims a pistol right at Mary. It didn't seem like he was fully trained on her, his eyes notably darting to his left side once again. It was dead silence from him, as if he were waiting for something to happen, his finger rested firmly on the trigger.

@Yun Lee
A virus? A sleeper agent? Mary scoffed. "Well, I've never heard of viruses that make people know safe codes...and I literally just arrived here! So how would this mastermind even know I-!!!"

Mary cut off with a squeak as a gun was suddenly pointed at her. Raising her hands in the air she took a step back, ready to bolt if need be. "W-What the Hell is this?! Be sure of WHAT?! Put th-that thing away!!"

@Gummi Bunnies