With Josh in the lead, the gang follows him to the scene of the crime where his parents were killed.
Josh: I don’t think the perp is stupid enough to come there after all these years.
Nick: I’d agree.
Kei: The hit man, maybe not. Kana, maybe so.
Josh: Who do you think she is? Batman?
Kei: No, but I agree with Rin.
Rin: Dissatisfaction over with how the police looked over the crime scene.
Nick: The police weren’t looking specifically looking for a professional hit, its likely something, anything, could’ve been missed.
Josh: Maybe. But I think she already knows who is her enemy.
Nick: Perhaps, perhaps not. How do we know she isn’t following us? We are talking about Kana here, she doesn’t have the same information we do.
Nick begins to comb through the area, looking for any clues. It seemed as though there was nothing left, until Nick makes a discovery. He puts on a glove and reaches into a drain.
Kei: (sarcastically) That looks like fun.
Nick pulls out a rusted ring.
Rin: A ring?
Nick brings it to the group.
Nick: This ring’s rust makes it sound like its been here quite a long time.
Nick: What were your parent’s names, Josh?
Josh: Telios and Haruka.
Nick: Then you’ll be interested in this ring. Its tough to make out, but it look likes the name ‘Telios’ is on the ring.
Josh takes the ring and examines it.
Josh: Indeed. My father’s ring. That proves my theory that this wasn’t a mugging.
Nick: You certainly have a point. If it was a mugging, this ring wouldn’t still be here after all these years. This was indeed simply, a professional hit.
Rin: So now that we’ve confirmed that, we need a clue as to who we’re after then.
Josh: I guess.
Nick: What we need now are suspects. Josh, who had an interest in your mom and dad’s plans? Even more so if they should fail?
Josh: Maybe those who were interested in destroying that project.
Nick: And who was that, and did you meet these people at all?
Josh: I don’t know.
Kei: Nick, maybe you would know?
Nick: This case was before me. I don’t know where to go with this either.
Rin: So we’re stuck again…
Josh: Yeah, I think so too.
Rin: (Sighing) So what do we do now?
Josh: I don’t know. But if Kana has found the lead...
Nick: But then where would she have headed?
Kana: Perhaps you already know the answer..
Kana appears on the nearby building’s rooftop.
Nick: Kana, we’re on the same side, we’re going after the people who killed your parents.
Kana: You can’t help me.
Rin: What do you mean we can’t help you?
Kana: They’re mine alone. Stay out of this.
Nick: Kana, if you do this alone, the police will arrest you for murder! We understand that this was a professional hit!
Kei: At least let us have a crack at ‘em.
Nick: (To Kei) Not helping...
Kana: Did anyone tell you have a big mouth? (Pulls out her kunai) Maybe I should make it even bigger. Ear to ear.
Nick: You act like we’re against you. But we’re not. If you help us, we’ll stop them. I promise.
Kana: I don’t need meddling idiots to get in my way. Stay out of this.
Shigure: Kana, please, let us help you!
Kana: I don’t need your help.
Saori: Then how about I just come with you?
Kana: I have to do this alone.
Josh: Kana, don’t be so stubborn. I want to avenge them too…
Kana: No, Joel, it’s only my business.
Nick: Look Kana, at least give us a hint of where to go. What do we need to do to help you?
Kana throws a kunai with a note attached to it to the ground.
Kana: See you later. (Walks away)
Rin walks over and picks up the kunai. She removes the note and hands it to Josh.
Rin: Perhaps you should read it.
Josh: “The Branch”. What is she trying to say to us?
Rin: The Branch? What about them? Is someone part of the Branch responsible?
Josh: Maybe. I don’t know. But that could be a clue.
Kei: Is she saying the whole Branch is responsible?
Rin: Couldn’t be.
Josh: But maybe it’s true. Then she wants to destroy the Branch from inside.
Kei: Well, I guess I admire her that much, less work for me.
Rin: Its incredibly dangerous. If word got around that she was a traitor, they’ll kill her without hesitation.
Josh: Then we have to keep our mouths shut.
Kei: I have to agree with Rin, its safer if we get her out as soon as possible.
Josh: But she doesn’t want us to. She obviously has a plan.
Nick: Then what do we do? She’s not going to like us either way, so we might as well follow her.
Josh: Sounds like a plan.
The gang follows after her, trying to figure out Rin’s plan for the branch.
Josh: So what do you have in mind?
Nick: Well, tag her with a tracer perhaps?
Josh: She’s too smart for that.
Nick: Do you have an idea?
Josh: Perhaps she will leave us some sort of clue.
Rin: Like what, exactly? Where she’s hiding? Where the people she’s chasing are?
Josh: Her plan of actions… she wants us to be pawns in her game.
Nick: She’s leading us?
Josh: I guess.
Rin: I have a better idea, follow me.
The gang soon ends up at an old house, abandoned by time. The place was boarded up.
Kei: The heck is this place?
Rin: The hideout I used when I was part of the branch.
Nick: You lived in there?
Rin walks up to the house and kicks the door in. The others simply follow behind her. The gang start walking to the basement of the house, the entrance to the basement was a locked door at the bottom of the stairs. Rin pulls out a key and unlocks the door. As they walk in, the place was lit by small lights.
Rin: Kana, I know you’re here.
Kana: Maybe… maybe.
She sits on the chair with her legs on the desk.
Kana: So you’ve come here looking for me?
Rin: Enough of this, Kana. We need to talk.
The gang quietly enters and shuts the door on their way in.
Rin: We understand that your parents were killed because of a professional hit. Are you trying to say the people that had them killed were part of the branch?
Kana: Yes. They ordered the hit.
Nick: Who? Who ordered the hit? Who within the branch ordered the hit?
Kana: All of them are responsible.
Kei: You’re saying the NOL as a whole was responsible?
Kana: You get it. The project was top secret.
Kei: Still. The NOL has fallen, and while I can understand your resentment, for now it would be safer if you exit the Branch and let us deal with it. Your family worries about you.
Kana: I don’t feel satisfied enough. I want to destroy them personally, with my own hands.
Rin: (Sighs) If you let that anger and hatred eat at you, you will be nothing but an empty shell of a person. You’ll be unable to feel anymore if you crave for nothing but revenge.
Kana: I don’t care about it. Every last one of them deserves punishment.
Kei: And what point does that serve if you joined the group? Are you trying to say you deserve punishment? That you deserve to be part of the group that killed your parents as some sort of mercenary ploy to kill them all from the inside? All you’re doing is letting your hatred get the best of you, and I’ve seen it happen plenty times before, its never pretty.
Kana: Save your speeches for somebody else, it’s too late for me. They will fall by my hand.
Rin: Why are you doing this to yourself? What will happen when the Branch doesn’t exist anymore? What will you do with your life? You want to have an empty goal like that? To just walk around and have nothing left with your life? Don’t give me that crap. Putting on a tough face and talking tough is stupid.
Kana: Huh… and you are telling me that? I already know it. And I do have some plans after I am done with them. Don’t worry, I still have something to live for.
Kei: Then go do it.
Kana: Right now I have to deal with them.
Kei: No, you don’t. You talk like you do, but honestly you need to step away and take a rest. You need a chance to go home, rest your body, and give yourself a chance to relax. I’m not saying that you won’t have a hand in destroying them, but currently, they’re not focused on people who are betraying them. Just look at Rin. She escaped the branch intact. Leave the branch, take a breather, no one will think any less of you.
Kana: (Frowns) I have to keep up this masquerade. If they find out I betrayed them, my plan will be ruined. Don’t you understand?
Nick: Then spell it out for us. What is your plan?
Kana: To gather them in one place and destroy them.
Kei: That is a fool’s dream.
Kana: I have to try. But I can also track them down, one by one.
Rin: Kana, I know you’re higher up in the branch then I was, but I can tell you one thing. Of all the people that are in the branch. No one has even seen them. No one knows who they are. No information exists. What you’re trying to do would be impossible.
Kei: And if all the information I have gathered on the branch is true, they wouldn’t just come out of hiding for anything. Finding them will be an immense pain.
Kana contemplates for a moment, then lets off a sigh closes her eyes.
Kana: Okay. Maybe I do need a break.
Kei: I can tell you this much. When we do go after those top five, I’m going to need all the help I can get, and you’ll be one of the first people I’ll contact.
Kana: Good. And I can share one bit of information with you. Joel, have you told them about the ‘cloud’?
Josh: I have.
Kana: ‘Amassing Clouds’.
Kei: That still doesn’t say much about the project.
Rin: Are we talking seithr? What are we talking about?
Kana: The Murakumos.
Kei’s ears perk up on hearing the word.
Kei: Your parents were part of the murakumo project?
Kei: This could get complicated real fast.
Rin: With all the harm the murakumo project created, the possibilities are endless over who could’ve killed their parents.
Kana: Those bastards… they know for sure.
Nick: Maybe not.
The gang turns to Nick.
Kei: The hell are you talking about?
Nick: I remember organizing records on this. There was talk at some point of putting bodyguards around their parents, but they were denied. The then police general was fired after the assassination.
Rin: And what did he do after that?
Nick: He joined the NOL.
Kei: And you think he had something to do with it?
Nick: Its odd circumstances for sure. It wasn’t as if there wasn’t reason to protect them. And he wasn’t exactly broken up over his firing either. Prior to my joining and even when I was younger, the talk of a corrupt police force had weeded its way into public conversation. That talk has faded since his firing, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he had something to do with it.
Kei: You think the former police commander took out the hit?
Nick: The former police commander hated murakumos. He knew of Noel and visibly despised her for who she was. He believed that they’re nothing but pieces of trash. I can tell you one thing, none of the police force would be sad to see him go down.
Kana: Oh, racist sonuva--
Nick: I think we should head back to the police station, we can gather the information there.
Kei: Hold on, Nick. Got a few more questions.
Nick: (Nods) Go ahead.
Kei: Who was the one who fired him?
Nick: HJ. He cleaned up the police organization when he took it over.
Rin: And this person, what his name?
Nick: He was known then as Commander Hate. Simply because he cared more about his hatred than anything. He lost himself in that hatred. Simply caring more of eliminating things he hated rather than caring about things he didn’t.
Josh: What a wonderful guy.
Shigure: Its sad.
Nick: His actual name was Kira Kotagawa. If we can track him down, then we can find out for sure from his files, and himself, if that hit on your parents came from him.
Kana: Want me to get him alive… or piece by piece?
Nick: Easy now. We kill him without proof, we lose all credibility.
Kana: Just kidding. But he deserves a good interrogation.
Rin: I think Nick is just covering his own ass.
Nick: You bet I am. Not going to let my promotion as detective go down the drain.
Kei: (Thinking) Yeah, because that’s such a big deal.
Nick: All the same, we prove he’s the one. We can take him down with police approval.
Kana: Sounds good to me.
Kei: (sarcastically) Back to the police station...woo.