Kei looks at the building. Ten floors high. Front and back entrances. Though how many people were in the building he didn't know. Kei's disgruntled face looks back at Nick.
Kei: How long?
Nick: Two hours.
Kei: Damn it. So that's what Yui was calling about.
Nick: What do you mean Yui called you?
Kei: Yui is in that building Nick.
Nick: Wait, your sister? Why is she here?
Nick: Look, I got about twenty people locked up in there and I haven't heard a thing from the people who took the hostages.
Kei: I don't give a damn.
Nick: Dang it Kei, I don't have time for this. This is my responsibility. I have to make sure everyone gets out safely. I can't have you putting any of those people in danger because of your lone wolf tactics.
Kei: Then try and stop me Nick. I'm getting Yui out of there whether your job is on the line or not.
Nick: Damn it Kei I don't have time for your grandstanding.
???: Same as ever?
That voice struck a bell. Kei looked over to see two people he was very familiar with. One a beastkin, one a human.
Kei: Oh hell.
Miwa: Nice to see you too Kei.
Nick: Miss Miwa, Miss Makoto. Glad you could make it.
Miwa: Whatever we can do to help.
Makoto nods in agreement with Miwa.
Nick: Allow me to give you the rundown on our current situation. About an hour ago, three people took ten people hostage. We’ve evacuated everyone else out of the building. They’re demanding at least one million platinum dollars for the safe return of those people.
Kei: Those damn idiots. I’ll make them pay for ever taking Yui in the first place.
Nick: Calm down Kei. We can’t act hastily in this situation.
Kei: Look Nick, I don’t give a damn what they asked for, I’m going in whether you try to stop me or not.
Kei looks over at Makoto.
Kei: Yeah, Yui. What’s it to you?
Miwa: Kei, mind explaining who exactly she is?
Kei growls before answering.
Kei: She’s my younger sister.
Makoto: A sibling...well then, there’s no stopping him.
Kei: Damn right.
Miwa: However, I must agree with Nick. Its too dangerous for you to go alone.
Nick: We can’t compromise the others in there.
Miwa: That’s why Makoto will be accompanying him.
Nick said it with a stunned face. He couldn't believe Miwa was even going to allow him to enter the building at all considering what was happening.
Makoto: That’s right. Its reckless to go in alone, even if you think you can handle it, it never hurts to have backup.
Kei: I don’t need backup. I wasn’t asking for anyone’s help, and I don’t need it.
Miwa: Then you aren’t going anywhere.
Kei growls again.
Kei: As long as she doesn’t get in my way.
Miwa: Nick, is this alright?
Nick: If you feel like its the best course of action, then so be it. Here, take these at least so we can communicate with the two of you.
Nick retrieves two ear buds from a nearby police case.
Nick: It’ll get hairy fast, we’ll guide you best as we can from out here.
Kei grabs the ear bud and places it in his ear. Makoto does the same as well.
Miwa: Do your best in there, Makoto.
Makoto: Will do.
Nick: Back door, move.
Kei and Makoto nod and do so. Within moments, they’re right next to the back door entrance.
Miwa (speaking into both their ears): Alright guys, first step, you’ll have to get into the back door without alerting them.
Kei: That’s too much of a pain. We should just bust it down.
Makoto: No need to do that, I happen to be an expert at picking locks.
Kei: Why am I not surprised?
Makoto quietly picks the lock on the back door, and it opens without a noise.
Makoto: And perfect, doors taken care of.
Miwa (speaking into both their ears): First floor shouldn’t be too highly guarded, as should be expected. Sounds like a lot of noise is coming from later floors. Be careful as you advance up the steps.
Kei and Makoto quietly move into the building and locate the stairs. They begin ascending each step. Before they could get past the third floor, sounds of footsteps coming down the stairs could be heard.
Kei: Fine, if we’re not going to be seen, we need to get out of the stairwell.
Kei and Makoto duck into the third floor. Thankfully, no one around at the moment.
Kei: Damn, I hate this.
Makoto remains quiet as she waits with Kei. Before long the man in the stairwell descends past them, and far enough away to where they can walk back into the stairwell and continue ascending floors. It isn’t long before they reach the sixth floor, and again another guard enters from the top floor. The two duck into the sixth floor to once again escape notice, this time however, they are not so lucky as two guards stand on the other side of the doorway. Kei cracks his knuckles.
Kei: Well now, at least I can take some anger out on some of you guys.
Kei and Makoto leap on to the floor. Kei takes on the right guard while Makoto takes on the left guard. Kei quickly uses his fist to hit him in the gut and then throws a knee into it as well to force the guard to keel over. He then proceeds to throw all his anger into his right leg and knock the guard clean out.
Miwa: Makoto, I know Kei can’t help himself from the sounds of it, but we need one of them alive to know what’s going on!
Makoto nimbly dodged any blows the left guard throws toward her, before she lands behind them and places them into a hold.
Makoto: Got it.
Guard: Ungh. You won’t stop the boss!
Makoto: Probably should start talking
Guard: What’ll you’ll do if I don’t?
Kei: Let me count the ways.
Kei says it with such an evil look that the guard begins to panic.
Guard: I’m n-not afraid of the two of you!
Kei: See that’s the first mistake. You should be.
Kei: Talk, before I use your head to clean the windows.
Guard: All the hostages are on the tenth floor!
Guard: We got paid for this! We’re not even part of this beastkin gang!
Kei: What did you just say?
Guard: Its a beastkin gang! They wanted money! They said we’d be paid handsomely if we helped ‘em!
Kei: Tch. Should’ve known. What’s the name of this gang?
Guard: They call themselves ‘The Hound Dogs’.
Kei: Damn. These dumb idiots again.
Kei: They’re a group of mutts. Only care about money. Couldn’t care less about who they hurt. All the same, I’ve met their boss. Knocked him out before I met Alexandria. So I know he couldn’t be behind all this by himself. Right?
The guard gulps again.
Guard: That’s all I know! Honest!
Kei: Tch. Pathetic. How about I throw you out the window?
Makoto: If its all he knows then we don’t need to throw him out the window…
With that, Makoto lets go and the guard goes running off in fear for his life. Kei growls.
Kei: I don’t care if he doesn’t know what two plus two is, they laid a hand on Yui and each one of them is going to pay for it.
Makoto: I understand how you feel but letting your anger blind you is what could get us into trouble. Lets just focus on getting her back.
Kei growls before heading back toward the stairwell door. He wasn’t happy with the situation. Makoto follows closely behind. Before they could go in, a voice pops over the intercom.
???: Paging Mr. Kei, paging Mr. Kei.
???: A young lady would like to see you on the tenth floor.
Kei: Damn, you were behind this too?!
Michel: Oh yes, I am. See, ‘fido’, its no fun for me if you aren’t having fun too.
Kei: You son of a-
Michel: Now now, you have a lady present with you. Can’t be cursing up a storm.
Michel: Yes, I know all about your presence here Makoto Nanaya.
Makoto: somehow it doesn’t surprise me…
Michel: You two really are idiots. ‘fido’ and let’s see, what’s a good nickname for the squirrel? Oh, I know! How about ‘rat’?
Makoto: Real creative one aren’t you.
Michel: So glad you noticed Miss ‘rat’.
Makoto simply sighs.
Michel: See, there’s cameras all around the building, I can see what you’re doing right now.
Kei: Good, that means you’ll get to watch floor by floor as I kick the rest of your damn guards out.
Michel: Oh see, I can’t have you doing that.
Twenty guards descend upon them.
Michel: I still have a little surprise that I need to finish up, so you’re just going to have to wait for a little bit. Have fun!
The intercom goes out.
Kei: Damn it.
Makoto: Looks like we’ve got company. Lets finish this quick.
Kei jumps into the group of guards and begins taking them out one by one. He uses a flurry of punches to incapacitate one as another tries to jump on him. He grabs his arm and throws him into the ground. Makoto too, was having her fun share of knocking out guards. Each movement made it difficult for the guards to follow, and just when it seems they had her, she’d appear above them and knock them out. A few minutes pass by before all twenty guards are groaning on the ground. Most knocked out, a few still writhe in pain after the smackdown that was laid upon them by the duo.
Kei: I feel better.
Kei states sarcastically.
Kei: Let’s go.
The two hurry to the stairwell, only to find another one blocking their path in the stairwell. He tries to hit Kei, but he ducks under and uppercuts him. He picks up the stunned guard and throws him over Makoto. He lands behind her, but doesn’t fall down the stairs. The two rush up quickly to find another guard stationed at the eighth floor. Wasting no time Makoto drives her fist into the guard’s chest knocking him back into the wall with great force. The two continue up the stairs to the ninth floor, only to find no guard there, and continue to the tenth. No guard stands there, but as they open the door, two bulldog beastkin stand there.
???: Nice to see you again mutt.
Kei: Rick and Mike, the boss and right-hand of the Hound Dogs. Nice to see you two again too. See the last time I beat you two up it was nothing personal. This time, I’m going to enjoy throwing you through that door behind you.
Rick charges at Makoto, while Mike charges at Kei. Kei flips him easily, just like before.
Kei: See, you two are really bad at what you do. Have you ever considered being stunt dogs?
Mike gets back up only to have to Kei punch him in the gut and knock the wind out of him. Kei crunches Mike’s neck in between his elbow and knee at the same time. Kei then hurls him into the corner, knocking him out cold.
Kei: Not the door, and not down a flight of stairs like I want, but it’ll do.
Makoto meets Rick’s charge, in blinding sequence she appears to make doubles of herself as she leaps over him and aims a powerful bunch right at his skull from above, knocking him to the floor with a thud. She lands behind him and readies once more with a classic grin. Despite his staggering, he regains his footing and attempts to grab Makoto.
Makoto: Nice try
Makoto easily evades the sloppy attempt and throws a flurry of punches in rapid pace at him to send him sliding across the ground, Makoto finishing with her tail bobbing. The two beastkin knocked out. They look around for Michel, but don’t spot him.
Kei: Where is that son of a-
???: Looking for me?
In the corner of a room, there was a tape recorder.
Michel: This message is here to greet you. See, while you were going up, I was going down. This was all just a fun little game for me to watch you squirm. And I even got the chance to see the legendary ‘rat’ in action. Bravo! I hope your pet human outside is waiting for you miss ‘rat’?
Michel: Come now, miss ‘rat’. Do you have nothing to say for yourself? I mean, what a disgrace. A human tamed by a beastkin. She must be very ‘special’ to you. I bet she obeys everything you tell her to do like the obedient dog she is.
Makoto: Shut your mouth.
Michel: Then again, even humans have ‘urges’ they need to satisfy, eh?
Michel: But enough about miss ‘rat’ and miss ‘dog’ and their sexual preferences. I’m sure the two of you are going to enjoy the ‘gift’ I’ve left you. Yui was kind enough to hold it for me. Tick. Tock.
Michel’s laugh fills up the rest of the tape. Kei stops the tape and opens the door into the conference room. Makoto and Kei both enter to find Yui sitting in the corner. A bomb strapped to her chest. Kei is stunned.
Makoto: A Bomb…?!
Miwa: What?! What did you just say?!
Kei growls. He quickly goes to Yui and looks at the timer.
Kei: Not enough time to get her down the steps.
Yui was frozen in fear. Even if she did make it down the steps, the bomb would go off long before the bomb squad would ever get close.
Makoto: What do we do? We have to figure something out before it detonates…!
Kei takes a good look at the bomb and notices one significant flaw with the way Michel had set it up. It wasn’t tamper resistant. They could easily move it around before it went off. The only issue was that it was firmly attached to the shirt Yui wore.
Kei: Yui, you’re going to have to do everything I tell you, okay?
Kei: Miwa get the bomb squad ready. The bomb is about to come down from the window.
Kei: Take your shirt off.
Yui nods, and despite some hesitation, she does so. She gives the shirt to Kei and covers herself. Kei hurries to the window and throws the bomb down and out the window. It reaches the bomb squad with about thirty seconds left. Kei watches from the window as the bomb squad frantically works to disable it. With only a few seconds left on the clock, the bomb squad disables the bomb and gives Nick the thumbs up signal.
Miwa: Makoto, status report, how is everyone?
Makoto: We’re good up here…
Miwa nods to Nick.
Nick: Alright! Take the building!
A police force of about a hundred men, beastkin and human alike, rush the building and begin rounding up each guard and each stray person. Up on the tenth floor, Kei and Yui embrace. Yui can do nothing but cry.
Kei: Its alright, I got you. You’re okay now.
Makoto: Phew...talk about a close call.
A couple of minutes later. The four of them, Makoto, Miwa, Yui, and Kei stand on solid ground outside the police barricade. A police jacket, zipped up, now covers Yui.
Miwa: Nothing hurts I hope? No injuries?
Yui shakes her head.
Miwa: That’s wonderful news.
Nick: Miss Miwa, we have a few men over here who need your help.
Miwa: Ah, coming, coming.
Miwa walks over to Nick to continues using her healing powers.
Yui: Is she always like that?
She asks as she looks at Makoto.
Makoto: Yep, Miwa always tries to help people.
Yui: I can see why Shigure likes her then.
Makoto: Yeah I remember her.
Yui: You really should send her an invite or something, she doesn’t like coming over uninvited.
Makoto: I’ll remember that.
Yui: Can I go home now? Because I really just need to go find some place to lie down.
Makoto: Of course you can. After a traumatic experience like that, I don’t blame you.
Kei and Yui turn around, and before they leave Kei utters two words.
Kei: Thank you.
With that, they begin to walk off. Miwa soon rejoins Makoto over where she stands.
Miwa: You okay?
Makoto: Yep, I’m good.
Miwa plants a kiss on Makoto’s cheek.
Miwa: Hey, don’t let him get to you okay? You are my one and only squirrel girl.
She says it with a big smile.
Makoto: I know that, I’ve been with you long enough to know it.
She returns with a grin.
Miwa: That guy is Kei’s battle, not ours. We have the biggest fight of our lives we prepare for each day. Parenting.
Makoto gives off a laugh.
Makoto: Yep, we certainly do. I’m sure Kei will be just fine.
Miwa: Right. And when we get home, we’ll make sure Izumi and little Akane are good, and we’ll have ourselves some fun. What do you say?
Makoto: Sounds good to me.