HJ, after briefing with Matt and Orie’s group was busy writing down on his clip-board a small list. Presumably of names, for what purpose is unknown. After a moment he sets the clipboard down. Drinking his mug of coffee he hears a knock at his door.
HJ: It’s open.
???: You’re staying up late tonight…
HJ: I’m aware. I thought I’d get a good night’s rest for once. Sadly fate has other plans. Sorry if I’m worrying you with this.
Bullet: No I understand. You were always the type of person to devote yourself to something.
HJ: Yeah. I’m definitely sure Matt is too. Turns out he got involved in this mess by pure coincidence. All the way in the tiny city of Mizuha.
Bullet: It is Matt we’re talking about.
HJ: True, but from what Orie told me. He found the blueprints lying in an alley. I told them to get some rest. I bet from the looks of it they managed to win a heated battle with the government. I heard that whatever this plan is, the MOR managed to approve it. At least that's what the files Orie sent me were saying.
Meanwhile, Matt was still awake after resting for a while, it was late, and he was outside, practicing his attacks, pretending that he was fighting someone, and quickly attempts to mimic Ventus' combo from the battle with Hono, However, he only manages to stay airborne for three of the kicks.
HJ soon stands up from his desk, rolling his neck he made his way to Bullet.
HJ: And to be honest. I think this is perfect for him. He’s been on his own for two and a half years now. I’m sure this will both help him get to wield his azure, and sort of help with teamwork building too.
Bullet: To be honest, Matt is a lot like his father. He gets into a lot of tough situations by mistake. Still in these last two and a half years, he has grown up some. Caliber and him both have.
HJ: Yeah. You’re right. They grow up so fast, ya know? But I am sure he’s done well either way. I’m hoping he can finish this. But I’m doubting that just 6 people against an entire government will be fair enough. I guess it’s time I tried evening the board.
Matt quickly tried doing the attack again, this time managing to stay up for two more kicks. Landing he breathes heavily, soon met with a hand to his shoulder from Ventus.
HJ smiles as he soon grabs the paper he was writing on.
HJ: I was writing a list of people when you decided to check in. I felt he could use some old acquaintances. As well as one of ours.
Bullet: Oh? I hope you weren’t expecting to drag Miwa and Makoto into this.
HJ: ...To be honest I’m not gonna bother them. Neither am I gonna bother Hitomi. She’s an observer now. And to be honest I’m unsure if she knows about this, same with Rachel. But I was referring to one of our allies back when we had to deal with Kaizema and Relius.
Bullet: I doubt Miwa and Makoto have any interest in getting back on the battlefield. And I also doubt Hitomi is going to be bothered. And how do you plan on contacting some of these allies?
HJ: I have my ways, Bullet. But with who I’m referring to I may need help from Hitomi, if you get my idea. *thinking* I guess she doesn’t remember Masanori after a while… I wouldn’t be surprised.
Bullet: Playing with fire are we? Either way, I imagine some of them would be willing to help, I don’t know for everyone on that list however. Masanori for one hasn’t been seen since he helped Hitomi. He’s trained even during the time his son was born and even then doesn’t visit much.
Matt and Ventus were now standing against each other, Ventus not taking a stance, as if acting as a training dummy for Matt.
HJ: Well, I’ll be sure to convince him. But for now I need to make a call to Ame, it’s late but I’m sure he’s still awake at this time. You need anything to drink?
Bullet: Don’t worry, I can always fix myself something.
HJ: All right. Well let’s get him on the line then.
HJ soon starts typing on a keyboard, as if setting up a communication transmission.
HJ: It’s kinda fun being a leader, not just of the police but this operation too. I know it isn’t like being an observer, but.
Bullet: Don’t let it go to your head HJ.
HJ: I know. *chuckles*
Matt and Ventus were trading blows, Ventus' giving off a weak gust of wind as Matt's were both normal, as well as amplified by shokubai's ability. As well as his azure. Ventus was able to notice the punch behind his blows, but kept his focus.
As the line is initiated, it’s Aiko that picks up on the other end. Aiko had definitely grown in the time away. She was taller, more mature, and looked much like Kiyoko when she was younger, except Aiko seemed more frugal with how she dressed.
Aiko: Oh! Mr. HJ, how are you?
HJ: Just fine, Aiko. How’ve you been these past 2 years?
Aiko: I’m just fine. School’s no fun. Ame and I just finished a training session, and you caught us as we got back. Is there anything we can do for you? Can Caliber not make it for her monthly visit this month or something?
HJ: Good, I’m just in time then. I actually wanted to speak to Ame. And Caliber’s plans haven’t changed. Besides, I actually wanted to talk to him about Matt… I’m sure you both are aware about his personal regimen right now.
Aiko: (Nods) Okay, I’ll grab him.
Aiko moves out of the screen as she goes to retrieve Ame.
Ventus quickly used his chance to do the same kick attack he had used on Hono. Matt studied his movements, seeing as each kick rose him upward slightly, countering the axe kick by a dodge step, leading into a counter in the form of a pointblank electricity spark.
Bullet: She looks just like her sister, except for the snow fox part. Wouldn’t surprise me if she grows into a fine woman.
HJ: Agreed. I’m sure that she’ll find someone nice someday too.
Bullet: Oh? (snickers) You mean you don’t know?
HJ: Don’t know what? (confused look) Are you hiding something from your husband again?
Bullet: I figured you’d have caught on since the two of you are alike. But it seems like your son has quite the crush on her.
HJ: Ah, right. I did have that feeling, but I had reasonable doubts. *sips his coffee* You think Ame would let it slide though? You know how protective he is of his family… And… considering he still can scare the living skeleton out of Matt.
Bullet: I think Ame is the perfect gateway for Matt. Ame is pretty imposing to him, and until Matt can stand up to Ame without fear, I think Ame is simply toughening him up. Besides when you met me, I wasn’t exactly a pushover either. (Winking)
Matt was now fighting Ventus, blow for blow the two matched with punches and kicks respectively. Soon Matt saw an opening, using his chance he began to try again.
HJ: Yeah. I can get behind that idea. *rolls his neck* Though I’ll be honest you were quite tough in your own battles. Though I’ll admit you didn’t need to set me on fire after what happened with that “rich” guy who tried to turn Miwa into that...thing that you told me about. Something like the murakumo, right?
Bullet: We can talk about it later.
Ame steps into the frame and sits. Despite two and a half years having passed, Ame still looked exactly the same.
Bullet: Hello Ame, hope you’re well.
Ame: I’m fine. Trying to get Aiko through her training, as I’m sure I’ve detailed to you while you’ve been here.
Bullet: Any luck with getting the outbursts under control?
Ame: None as of yet, seems as though she’s still struggling controlling in times where she’s not awake or too much to handle at once. But she’s only a teenager.
Bullet: Wonderful, and how’s your daughter?
Ame: (Smiles) She’s sleeping like a baby. Hope you enjoyed visiting for her second birthday.
Bullet: I did. Listen, Ame, HJ has a proposition for you.
Ame focuses a serious gaze at HJ upon hearing this.
Ame: I’m listening.
HJ: Well you already know about Matt being essentially ‘gone’ for the past 2 and a half years. Turns out, he decided to take his last leg of it in Mizuha, the 22nd city. And just by his coincidence. And to my luck, he found out about the Nox Nyctores Revival Project. Orie is my officer on that case and she has him helping her out, as well as her friend Flamme and her group of mercenaries. I decided that more help would be needed and got a list, I felt like you could help him out.
Ame: (Sighs) That boy is a lot like you HJ. He gets himself into tough situations and then he’s stuck sorting them out.
Bullet: To be fair, that was how HJ was too when he was younger.
HJ: … Okay two on one isn’t fair!
HJ sighs as he crosses his arms, an unamused glare given to the both of them.
Bullet: Calm down HJ, I’m just playing.
Ame: (Sighs) First off, I’m guessing you were contacting me to be a part of this whole thing. Who were the other people you planned on contacting?
HJ: Among others, I was planning on contacting Caliber and her group, as well as perhaps some of the others from during Neikan’s little stint as a snake troll.
Ame leans in, listening intently to HJ's words.
Ame: And these people are?
HJ: Michio, Alexandira, Xavier, and Cassandra. *reading the list* Anything wrong with that?
Ame: (Sighs) Alexandria has been on an ‘apology’ tour of sorts, doing a lot of humanitarian missions with Michio in order to ease the weight off her soul for what she’s done.
HJ: I think Caliber told me that the month before after she met Alexandria during her stay in Yabiko for said tour.
Ame: She checks in every now and again, but you may struggle with that one. You’re better off contacting Hitomi and having her relay the news. As for Xavier and Cassandra, they’ve both gone into hiding for respective reasons. For Xavier, he’s probably gone back to training with Bang and Platinum. Cassandra, well, she probably went on her own to find herself when Neikan broke her heart. She’s trying to find herself. Finding those two will be incredibly difficult.
HJ: Well the latter, yes. But the former won’t be a problem if I can talk with Bang… Platinum’s been taking a liking to using her new catapult to fling me away.
Ame: As for joining on this project, I accept.
Aiko: (Behind him, offscreen) I’m coming too!
HJ: …! Aiko, this is dangerous… You’d have to deal with the MOR, and the original nox nyctores…! I don’t want you getting hurt.
Aiko: Will you stop treating me like I’m a little kid? I’m seventeen now! I can take care of myself just fine! I’ve got control of my powers...mostly...and if Matt needs help then I’m going to come!
Bullet: She’s got a fair point, HJ. She’s not that little kid that we watched grow up anymore.
HJ: I’m more worried about the occasional pelt-hunter. Though I heard many of them either faded into obscurity, got killed by their targets, or… in my personal preference, got jailed.
HJ let's off a small laugh after he says the third fate of said pelt-hunters.
Ame: We are less worried about that currently. Due to new laws being put in place, skinning beastkin for the furs is now illegal. That said, there are plenty of people out there who would want to have a go at her for any number of reasons. As I’m sure Bullet can account for a few.
Bullet: I don’t mind punching a drunk man’s lights out.
Aiko: So will you please just let me go? Ame will be there to be my bodyguard and this would be great in the field training!
HJ: Heh. I guess so, but I don’t want you thinking this is like the last time you took up battling. Though we may have new enemies of interest, it’s still the MOR. We may run into that Relius wannabe again.
Aiko: Then all the more reason for me to go!
Ame clears his throat to get Aiko's attention.
Aiko calmly backs off.
Ame: HJ, I will bring Aiko with me and be her personal bodyguard. Aiko is a strong enough woman, much like your wife, and very rarely will she ever get an experience like this. Bullet can account for Aiko’s training and her maturity.
Bullet: I can. Aiko can hold her own in a fight, though she is rough around the edges, and she’s become a fine young woman.
HJ: Heh, well thanks. Both of you, head out as soon as you can.
Ame: Understood. Cutting transmission.
He transmission cuts off.
Bullet: Ame was never one for goodbyes, was he?
???: Not really, no.
HJ: ...did someone pick up the transmission!?
Matt was soon on the ground, after being countered from behind by Tokatsu, he felt it was a good challenge to take the two on at once. Feeling it right to take out the stronger Tokatsu first before attempting to continue fighting Ventus.
The screen changes to show Hitomi had intercepted the transmission after Ame had hung up.
Hitomi: Its not nice to talk about people when they’re not there.
Hitomi was lightly poking fun at her name being tossed around.
HJ: … *sighs* I’ll be honest I assume you somehow observed the conversation, and I’ll be honest it’s...actually quite great to hear from you again.
Hitomi: Well, I’m touched HJ. But when you mention my husband and my child, you had to know I would have a vested interest in this.
HJ: Fair enough. *thinking* I guess her powers have grown… *to Hitomi* Anyways, anything to share with us?
Hitomi: For one, I can tell you that Cassandra is here.
HJ: That’s convenient. Though I barely know her well enough aside what I was told. So enlighten me later.
Hitomi: Rachel pulled Cassandra aside after a month of her moping, she has been testing her powers with Valkenhayn. Rachel would also like me to inform you that as of current, she has no intention of sending Valkenhayn anywhere.
HJ: To be honest I would’ve liked seeing him again, last time I saw him… Well more like the only time if I recall was back in Kagutsuchi when me and Mizunu found the lynchpin in the abandoned NOL facility. *to himself* I actually liked that little adventure. *sighs* But yeah, I honestly am not one to bother Rachel considering her duties as observer.
Hitomi: As for the others, I will be able to relay the message. Bang, Platinum, and Xavier are not in a place where communication can reach them. My husband doesn’t like dealing with technology, while my child uses it frequently. So I will pass along the information to head to Mizuha and meet with Matt. Or find a way to meet up with them.
HJ: I know Michio is busy with Alexandria, and I assume Masanori’s been training for a while now. Thanks though, just when you bring the message to Bang, make sure you don’t expressly say I’m the one who sent it. Because Platinum still wants to try and kill me. Her catapult isn’t helping.
Hitomi: I always say Bullet sends the message when it comes to them. I think I can tear Michio and Alexandria away from what they’re doing, same with Masanori. I also have a message to send to you.
HJ: We’re all ears, Hitomi.
Hitomi: I’ll tell you this much, as he wished to remain anonymous, but had a vested interest in what Alexandria was doing. He wishes to apologize for what she did during that time, but stressed that like any other person, she is accountable for her own actions. He promised me that she seems to be back on the right path.
HJ: Good to hear… *thinking* I get the feeling it sounds like someone familiar, but I’m not gonna bother stressing it. *to Hitomi* I appreciate the message, as well as your help.
Hitomi: Oh, and one last warning HJ.
Matt was soon close to losing, he and Tokatsu were weakened, Ventus, seeing it fit attempted to get the final blow. Grinning Matt quickly retaliated with attempting the attack again, replicating Ventus' movements he managed to get the kicks out, noticing his leg ep was engulfed in electricity, he quickly axe kicks Ventus into Tokatsu.
Hitomi: Take a break every once in a while. With you taking over a lot of these small districts police forces, you need to spend more time with family. Oh, and you probably shouldn’t have eaten that last piece of cake. Bye.
The communication fizzles out once again,
HJ: ...She’s right about the first part.
Bullet: (Looks at HJ) What was that about the piece of cake? The one I was saving for later?
Matt rolls his neck as he helped up Ventus and Tokatsu, the two defeated looked at Matt with knowing that he may stand a chance in the future.
HJ: ….I’ll...just get back to work. *thinking* DAMMIT FOOD CRAVINGS!