Achi used to be part of the vigilante gang, right? Maybe Minorikawa can cross path with Achi if he covers The Rise and Fall of Shibuya’s Vigilante Squad!
|# ? Jun 29, 2019 15:46|
|# ? Aug 5, 2021 18:53|
Achi used to be part of the vigilante gang, right? Maybe Minorikawa can cross path with Achi if he covers The Rise and Fall of Shibuya’s Vigilante Squad!
This question is about which of those topics to not cover, from my reading.
Update on the previous page, if you're missing context.
|# ? Jun 29, 2019 17:41|
I'm not sure what's more , this guy sending his own daughter to get the gas hose for him, the gently caress (and then... deciding to use a different method anyway?), or that weird jump point. Guess they wanted to make certain you'd know what Burning Hammer is? That doesn't actually seem important to this branch yet, but okay...
As for the vote, yeah, drop Shibuya NOW, there's not even any plan for it! Not that investigating organ harvesting sounds particularly safe, mind you, but at least it's concrete...
|# ? Jun 29, 2019 21:33|
Oh. Freak. I didn't read the choice carefully.
So yeah, drop Shibuya NOW. I changed my vote.
Yeah, the Keep Out mechanic is pretty stupid and provide unnecessary cliffhangers. Switching from Achi to Kano in the first block makes sense. But switching from Tama to Minorikawa?
|# ? Jun 30, 2019 06:11|
He decided to cut “Shibuya NOW!”
He didn’t have the time to make up an article out of whole cloth.
His goal was just to make sure that Four-Star General Gossip made it to the press at all.
Society of Surveillance!
Where Are They Now?
Those three pieces had individuals slated for interviews, but no appointments had been made with any of them.
Unscheduled interviews were a dicey prospect. Minorikawa decided to call them up on his cell as he made his way down the list.
The only one he managed to get a hold of was Shinnosuke Oarai from the Where Are They Now? piece.
He said he’d be willing to give a fifteen-minute interview after 2:30. Minorikawa sighed. He’d just have to get material from the others in a more impromptu fashion, then.
428 Tip – Shinnosuke Oarai posted:
Former broadcast writer. Has appeared on various popular variety shows on commercial network Sun TV. He currently heads up a small theater troupe known as “The Wandering Angels,” operating out of Shibuya.
Putting his nose to the grindstone, he started throwing together a schedule for the day. Was it possible to get all that material and write it all up and still finish the whole thing by 8 o’clock?
It was no use.
No matter how he tweaked it, none of his simulations ended with him having a proof ready on time.
He just needed one more thing. And that was another writer.
Minorikawa zoomed through his contacts list, calling up all the freelancers he knew.
The results were depressing. Answering machines. Overseas on business. In the hospital. Currently doing time...
Before long, he’d called everyone he could think of except for one: novice freelancer Chiaki Iso.
Chiaki was a bit of an odd duck-a reporter who was scared of talking. to people.
Minorikawa had never known anyone who became so hopelessly flustered in a one-on-one setting.
If she couldn’t talk to people, she certainly couldn’t do interviews.
And if she couldn’t get any real interview content, she wouldn’t be able to write much in the way of copy.
Would she come to his aid if asked? Quite probably.
428 Tip – Hopelessly flustered posted:
In such a rattled state as to be unable to speak. Chiaki’s tendency to become flustered is famous among her freelance writer colleagues. Once, she conducted an hour-long interview during which she only managed to ask her interview subject’s name-yet another chapter in “The Legend of Hopelessly Flustered Chiaki.”
The issue was whether she would hinder more than help.
|# ? Jun 30, 2019 14:55|
We need a writer, not an interviewer. And we've already called everyone we know. Beggars can't be choosers.
Do we get to play as Hana and tell our dad we're not going to let him off himself because
|# ? Jul 1, 2019 05:13|
This was no time for beggars to be choosers. Minorikawa decided to call up Chiaki.
The phone rang several times before a sleepy voice finally answered.
“Chiaki, hi. It's Minorikawa. Are you free today?”
She seemed thrown by the abrupt question.
“Did you just wake up?”
“Huh? No. I mean, well, yeah. Good morning.” Her voice still sounded half-asleep.
“So then I’m guessing you don’t have any work slated for today. As usual.”
“Pretty much. No work, no money, no food. Nothing to do except sleep. If I’m not awake I can’t dwell on how hungry I am.”
She didn’t sound well. Almost like she literally didn’t have anything to eat.
Well, I’ve got work for you. I’m over at FourStar General Gossip. Get over here ASAP.”
“What? You really mean it?” That seemed to finally wake her up.
“Yeah. But hurry!”
Minorikawa decided he’d assign Chiaki to “The Rise and Fall of Shibuya’s Vigilante Squad.’
“First I want you to take a look around Shibuya for this group of vigilante types.”
“By vigilantes, you mean people who have volunteered to help prevent crime?” There was a note of relief in Chiaki’s voice.
“Yeah, that’s right. Except apparently now they’ve turned into a nasty street gang.”
“Did...did you say ‘street gang’? Nuh-uh! No way! Absolutely not!”
Minorikawa could almost see her shaking her head on the other end of the line.
“What if I get killed or sold into slavery overseas or something?”
He doubted there was much chance of the latter-or the former, for that matter-but still, he understood her concern.
“All right, I hear you,” he said. “Then how about you go hang around Shibuya Station and do some street interviews for me.”
“Street interviews?” There was a nervous waver in Chiaki’s voice now.
“Yeah. Just talk to normal, regular people walking around outside the train station. That should be fine, yeah?”
“B-B-But...but Mr. Mino, I...street interviews aren’t really my, uh...”
Apparently, it was beyond her capacity to give him a simple ‘no.’
“No buts! Just interview at least ten people and get me an article by six o’clock!”
Minorikawa had originally planned to axe the “Shibuya NOW!” piece because it didn’t have any content, but getting some quotes from people on the street would at least make for useful filler.
That gave him a sudden idea.
He’d take on the Vigilante story himself, and have Chiaki handle “Shibuya NOW!”
That was plenty of work to keep two people occupied throughout the day.
The more time-consuming organ-market story would have to be cut.
After explaining what kind of interviews he was after, Minorikawa hung up.
“Okay, I’ve gotten us another writer. We’ll get through, Toyama. Somehow.”
Toyama shrugged gloomily.
“Yeah, well, the thing is, there’s actually one more problem.”
“Are you kidding me?” Minorikawa couldn’t hide the irritation his voice. “What is it now?”
“The loan company is sending a debt collector over at 4 o’clock. But as you can imagine, I don’t have a single yen to give them.”
“That’s...less than ideal, yeah. So what’s the plan?”
“Well, they’ve said, provisionally, that if next month’s issue gets published, they’ll be willing to wait on repayment.”
“Then there’s no problem. The issue’s coming out, guaranteed.”
“But they’re not going to take my word on that anymore. I’m going to need to prove it. If we could fill, say, half of the twelve pages by the time they show up, I could probably convince them.”
“All right,” Minorikawa said wearily. “So for starters, we need six pages by 4 o’clock?”
They had to get all twelve pages done as it was.
That made a perfect midpoint to shoot for.
“Any other problems you’d like to let me know about?”
“No,” Toyama said. “No, that’s all. I really am sorry about this, Minorikawa.”
Again he bowed his head low.
Minorikawa felt distinctly awkward. He had known Toyama for years, and had never been kowtowed to like this before.
“Yeah, well...just let me handle it, all right?”
Minorikawa unfolded a map of Shibuya. The first order of business was deciding where to begin getting content.
He marked the editing office with a circle, then considered where to head next.
- Diet Drink Sales Demo (Center Gai)
- Where Are They Now? (Sakuragaoka/Theatre Ace)
- Society of Surveillance (Dogenzaka/Endo Electronics)
- Sexy Squared! (Midoriyama Academy)
- Shibuya Vigilantes (Location TBD)
428 Tip – Midoriyama Academy posted:
A university associated With Midoriyama High School. Notable alumni include famous actress Masami Nagahama and National High School Baseball Championship-Winning pitcher, the Tissue Prince. Its educational philosophy is summed up in its slogan, “Words, Skill, and Beauty.” A very high percentage of Winners of the Miss Midoriyama contest go on to careers in the entertainment industry.
The diet drink sales demo was at one o’clock, and the interview with Shinnosuke Oarai for “Where Are They Now?” was slated for 2:30, so those times were set.
The question was what to do in the interim.
|# ? Jul 3, 2019 20:16|
Let's try Dogenzaka.
|# ? Jul 3, 2019 22:48|
Oh hey, it's the cartoonishly sleazy scammer. I wanna meet the cute furry cat. Let's go to Center Gai
|# ? Jul 4, 2019 00:44|
Huh. Either not choosing to axe the organ story from the get-go is gonna bite us later, or that earlier choice was completely pointless. Okay then, whatever, I'm sure Shibuya NOW will work out fine, given we put the lady with social anxiety on it!
Ah well, beggars can't be choosers. For now... An hour early is a lot, but maybe our scammer's free right now, which would free us up some time for later. Option A for Center Gai, let's make more of our viewpoint characters meet each other!
|# ? Jul 4, 2019 01:34|
It was a little early, but maybe he should just go to Center Gai and start gathering material about the diet drink sales demo.
Once the event started, things might be too busy for him to get any face-time.
If he got there ahead of time he’d be able to ask more questions.
“Okay, I’m heading out. And don’t even think about doing anything else stupid while I’m gone. Got it?”
Minorikawa tossed the draft proposal into his bag and hurried out of Heaven Publishing.
Preparations for the Burning Hammer diet drink sales demo seemed to be well underway when he arrived at the Nokane Building. Minorikawa could hear voices from somewhere ahead as he made his way down the corridor.
He knocked on the door, and a tired-looking man poked his head out.
“Yes, can I help you?
“Hi! My name’s Minorikawa. I’m a freelance writer. I’d like to interview you about Burning Hammer.”
“Huh? Oh, an interview?” The man’s face lit up with an enormous smile.
“Are you the person in charge, then?” Minorikawa asked.
“That’s me! Name’s Jun’ichi Yanagishita! Thanks for your interest in Burning Hammer! Drink all you want and just burn those pounds away!”
Instant sales pitch, eh?
Well, at least the guy was confident in his product.
“Is that tagline actually true?” Minorikawa asked. “The more you drink, the more you lose?”
“Absolutely. Have a try for yourself and you’ll see. Here, a free sample.”
Yanagishita produced a small bottle from his jacket pocket.
It was filled with some kind of red liquid.
“So, this is Burning Hammer, huh?”
“Yes, and I don’t mind telling you it’s a fantastic product.” The proud smile on Yanagishita’s face spread from ear to ear.
“Hmm.” Minorikawa opened the bottle.
“Oh, hey!” Yanagishita said quickly. “Before you drink that—”
“You’re not on an empty stomach right now, are you?”
Minorikawa blinked. “What?”
“Well, it’s just, if you drink the product on an empty stomach, ah-How do I put this? There are some minor health-Uh, I mean, it’s just the body might not, ah-Er, it’s just, uh-”
“Look, don’t sweat the details. It’s fine,” Minorikawa said. “I didn’t have any breakfast this morning, but hey.”
He tipped the tiny bottle back and drained it in a single go.
It didn’t taste bad, really. In fact it didn’t taste like much of anything.
“Not much flavor, huh?” he said.
“Well, yeah, it starts out that way. In the beginning. Um, are you feeling all right?”
“All right how?”
“Just, y’know, all right. Are you sure you’re feeling fine?”
“Look, what is it?” Minorikawa asked. “If you want to say something, just say it.”
“Well, all right, then. So it turns out that if you drink it on an empty stomach, some nasty stuff can happen.”
“Nasty stuff? Meaning what, exactly?”
“Well, let’s see. First, there’s a tingling sensation on the tongue...”
Indeed, an uncomfortable tingling was starting to spread along Minorikawa’s tongue.
“After that, your whole body starts to get hot-like, froosh!”
Minorikawa felt a flush spread across his skin.
“You’ll start sweating all over...”
Sweat was practically streaming from his pores.
“A sort of steam’ll start coming out of your ears and nose...”
Water vapor began to gush from his ears and nostrils as if from a kettle that had reached a boil.
Before Minorikawa could hear what the last thing was, his body launched into the air like a rocket.
His head crashed into the ceiling and he crumpled right back to the floor.
It felt like his heart might shoot out from his throat at any moment.
“...yeah, it goes kinda like that,” Yanagishita finished. He looked down at Minorikawa with pity in his eyes.
“‘It goes kinda like that’? What the hell are you thinking, selling something like this?”
“Well, it’s just-”
“This isn’t a diet aid. It’s a death trap!”
Minorikawa shuddered, his whole body wracked with pain.
“Well, be fair, now. I did ask whether or not you were on an empty stomach.”
“Go to hell, you...you psychopath! You can’t be allowed to sell this poison! I’m taking you down!”
Clutching his pen as if it were a sword, Minorikawa lurched to his feet, his mind little more than a blur.
He lunged for his foe.
Over the course of the next two hours, Minorikawa chased the diet drink salesman around the building in a berserk haze.
When someone finally alerted the police, it took four officers to subdue him; and when he finally came to his senses in his detention cell, the Four-Star General Gossip deadline had long since passed.
He turned and faced the wall, muttering to himself.
“If only I’d eaten breakfast...”
“No way is that a customer,” Chiri says. “I mean, right?”
She guzzles from her two-liter bottle of iced tea.
“No one’s gonna buy something as sketchy as this.”
“I guess not,” I agree.
About the only thing I can really say about Burning Hammer is that it’s spicy.
“Anyhow,” Chiri says. “Wanna get something to eat?”
“But you just ate lunch. Two lunches.”
“I know this amazing Chinese buffet. Wanna come along?”
“Because I am gonna dominate.”
“Someday, I plan to chow my way through every item on their menu.”
Before I can respond, I hear a sudden outburst in the hallway.
“What the hell are you thinking, selling something like this?”
The voice sounds harsh and strained.
It’s quickly followed by another voice: Mr. Yanagishita, sounding desperately apologetic.
“Well, be fair, now. I did ask whether or not you were on an empty stomach.”
“He must have given someone some Burning Hammer, huh?” I say.
Chiri nods. “Yeah, maybe. But that’s weird. Did we really get a customer this early?”
“Yeah, isn’t the sales demo not until one o’clock?”
There are more sounds from the hallway.
Chiri gets a weird look on her face. “Whoa, what? What the heck? What’s going on?”
Suddenly, a man kicks down the door and bursts in, shrieking like a madman.
His face is flushed; steam is erupting from every pore.
Chiri and I can only stare, frozen with bewilderment, as he rampages around the room, smashing everything in sight.
In a matter of moments, the venue is completely totalled. Then the guy simply charges back out the door.
No chance of holding a sales demo now!
Why did this have to happen? Who was that guy? Why'd he have to do this?
It was a bit of a hike, but maybe he should go to Dogenzaka and check out Endo Electronics.
Yeah, that should give him what he needed to put together the “Society of Surveillance!” piece.
“Okay, I’m heading out. And don’t even think about doing anything else stupid while I’m gone. Got it?”
Minorikawa hustled out of the editing office, hoping Toyama would take his admonition to heart.
A taxi came by just as Minorikawa stepped outside.
“Huh? You again?”
It was Kimizuka’s taxi again.
“Heheh. What can I say? I know how to sniff out a guy who’s going places.”
“Really. Well then, Dogenzaka ASAP!”
“Son of a bitch.”
Minorikawa bristled. “I beg your pardon?”
“That son of a bitch you wanted to give a piece of your mind, sir. Was he waiting for you like you expected?”
“Oh! Yeah. And I drat well did give him a piece of my mind, too.”
“Heheh. Glad to hear it, sir.”
The taxi sped off.
Minorikawa pulled out the proposal and looked it over again.
The idea for the surveillance story revolved around the claim that hidden cameras had been installed throughout Shibuya’s shopping districts-upwards of 500 of them. Supposedly these had eliminated lots of blind spots, and the crime rate in the area had dropped significantly.
The cameras were managed by Daisuke Endo, the owner of Endo Electronics and chairman of the local downtown committee.
That was Minorikawa’s first mission, then. He needed to get this guy’s story.
Scanning the side of the road, Minorikawafinally spotted a run-down electronics shop.
The sign out front, which looked like it might fall off at any moment, read “Endo Electronics.”
“Right here’s fine!”
The taxi stopped, and Minorikawa pulled a 10,000-yen bill from his wallet. “Keep the change,” he said.
“Look, don’t sweat it. The name’s Minoru Minorikawa, and I’m a freelance writer. I care about two things: what’s real and what’s true. There’s real worth to what you’ve done for me. That there’s a token of my appreciation. It’s not much, but please, take it.”
Minorikawa slid out of the taxi and headed for the electronics store.
Inside, Endo Electronics looked more like a mountain of hoarded junk than an actual business.
Towering piles of ancient appliances stretched toward the ceiling; old television sets with dial knobs leaned against computers with five-inch floppy drives.
What possible use could there be for all this outdated stuff?
General Tip – Five-inch floppy drives posted:
A storage medium for personal computers in production from 1976 to 2001. The magnetic disks are sheathed in paper or plastic jackets, and are known for their tendency to flop around in one’s hand.
“Mr. Endo, are you in here?” Minorikawa called out.
Nobody came to greet him.
The shop was definitely open, though. Surely the proprietor hadn’t left it unattended?
“Hey, Mr. Endo! Come on, I know you’re in there!”
After a short wait, Minorikawa heard sounds from the living space behind the shop.
A door opened to reveal a tired-looking, middle-aged man. “Yeah, what do you want?”
“Are you Mr. Endo?” Minorikawa asked.
“I am,” the man said guardedly.
“And I’m sorry, but I’m in the middle of something at the moment. Could you come back tomorrow or-”
“Please, just give me a minute. I’m a freelance writer. Name’s Minorikawa.”
Minorikawa showed Endo his business card. “I’m writing an article for Four-Star General Gossip.”
“Hmph. A magazine piece, huh?”
“Precisely. So if I could just have a little of your time today-”
The phone rang, cutting him off before he could get down to business.
“I’m sorry, you’ll have to excuse me for a moment.” Endo reached into the clutter and pulled out a telephone.
“Hello, Endo Electronics.” The proprietor listened for a moment, then raised an eyebrow. “Yeah, that’s a problem all right. All right, understood. I’ll try and get a hold of the customer, then.”
Endo set the receiver back down.
“What was that all about?” Minorikawa asked.
“Oh, yesterday I sold a dry ice machine, and the manufacturer just called to let me know the model is defective.”
“Apparently, once it starts making dry ice, it won’t stop. I need to tell the customer I have to recall the machine and refund their deposit. Please give me a moment.”
Endo sifted through some sales slips, read a number off of one, and made a phone call. Nobody picked up on the other end, however. “That’s right,” he grumbled to himself. “He said they had some performance today.”
“Performance?” Minorikawa asked.
“I sold it to a guy from some theater troupe. They’re called the Wandering Angels or something.”
The Wandering Angels? That was Shinnosuke Oarai’s theater troupe. Minorikawa had an
interview with him booked for 2:30.
“Anyhow-what can I do for you?”
Minorikawa hastily explained what he was after. Endo gave him a dubious look.
428 Tip – Wandering Angels posted:
“As I said earlier, I’m a bit busy right now.”
“Busy cleaning up, I hope. How do you get anything done in this mess?”
“Why, you-Are you this rude to all your interview subjects?”
Five minutes! Just give me five minutes of your time, please.”
“You’ve got to be joking. Go on, get the hell out of here.”
Endo headed for his back room in a huff.
“Fine. Then I’ll just have to write about what you’ve already told me. Namely, that Endo Electronics sells defective merchandise.”
“Hunh? Just what are you implying?”
“Did you or did you not sell that theater troupe a defective piece of equipment?”
“Look, I’m going to get in touch with them as soon as—”
“I’m betting they’re in a hurry preparing for their performance. I doubt you’ll be getting through to them today.”
Endo hit his lip.
“Now that I have your attention,” Minorikawa said, “let’s make a deal!”
“What kind of deal?”
“I’m meeting with a member of the Wandering Angels a little later today. I can let them know about the dry ice machine for you. In exchange, all you have to do is give me my interview.”
Endo scowled. “And where’s your proof that you’ll be meeting with the Wandering Angels?”
“I might take advantage of a guy when he’s down,” Minorikawa replied, “but one thing I’m not is a liar.”
The shopkeeper took a few moments to think about it. “Fine,” he grumbled. “Five minutes. That’s all you get.”
Minorikawa whipped his notepad out of his coat like he was drawing a gun. “Then let’s get right down to it, shall we?”
“Go right ahead.”
“So I hear that over 500 surveillance cameras have been installed throughout Shibuya’s shopping districts.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“Why so many?”
“We used to have a lot of...delinquents in town.” Endo said the word with marked distaste.
“Oh, yeah. I remember there being some problem kids around.”
“They were real punks. They vandalized my signs, made a mess of my storehouse-they were just awful.”
General Tip – Delinquents posted:
Young people who act rowdy or cause trouble, often at arcades or convenience store parking lots, and who frequently resort to petty theft and other mischief. Also referred to, in more outmoded terms, as ruffians or hoodlums.
Minorikawa scribbled diligently in his notepad.
“Heck, my own son put together a sort of vigilante squad to help teach those punks a lesson.”
“Whoa, hold up right there for a sec!" Minorikawa jutted out his hand to interrupt.
This guy’s son was part of the vigilante squad?
What a stroke of luck!
Maybe he could also provide some info for the article on the gangs of Shibuya.
“Sorry, I don’t mean to get too far off-topic, here, but could you tell me the name of this group your son belongs to?”
“They call themselves S.O.S. Prided themselves on being the top gang in Shibuya and all that.”
The top gang in Shibuya?
Did I really just hit the jackpot right here? Not to pat myself on the back, but...go me. All I have to do is step outside and the story finds me.
I think I might be a natural at this.
428 Tip – S.O.S posted:
Originally, a group of well-meaning young people who would get together downtown as a sort of vigilante squad, trying to keep Shibuya clean and safe. In those days the group never engaged in theft or other criminal activities. More recently, however, 8.0.8. has become one of the biggest gangs in Shibuya, resorting to defacing public property with graffiti, shoplifting, and shaking people down for cash.
“As it happens, I’d also like to interview people from S.O.S. Would you be able to put me in touch with your son?”
“Yeah, sure. But you should know that my son isn’t in the gang anymore.”
“Oh.” Minorikawa hesitated. “Guess he’s of no use to me, then.”
“Oh, believe me. I know how you feel.” The look on Endo’s face spoke volumes.
There was no point in interviewing Endo’s son if he wasn’t with the gang anymore.
It figured that Minorikawa’s run of good luck would end eventually.
Still, he’d gotten a lead in the form of a name: S.O.S.
That was progress.
“All right, so back to the matter at hand. ” He flipped his notepad back open. “What did you decide to do about all these juvenile delinquents?”
“I set up a tiny little web camera in order to protect my property.”
“I see. And I’m guessing the webcam did the trick?”
General Tip – Web camera posted:
“Sure did. And so then other local businesses heard about it and started asking me to install some for them. Web cameras aren’t particularly expensive, so it wasn’t too tough to set them up all over downtown.”
“So who’s in charge of these security cameras?”
“Members of the downtown business committee take turns. The cameras are connected via a wireless network that business owners can access throughout the area.”
General Tip – Wireless network posted:
A LAN, or Local Area Network. A communications system that can only be used within a limited geographical area. A Wireless LAN transmits using electronic signals. Although convenient because it does not require cable attachments, there is a risk of signals conveyed in this way being intercepted by a third party.
“How’s your security for this wireless network?”
“Oh, no problems on that front.” Endo seemed surprised at the question. “All of the footage sent over the network is fully encrypted.”
“But still, people can’t feel too good about being recorded on camera without their knowledge, don’t you think?” Minorikawa asked.
The shopkeeper’s expression darkened.
General Tip – Encrypted posted:
Encryption is the process of encoding data so that it is indecipherable by a third party. Restoring encrypted data to its initial form requires what is called a “key,” a program designed for this purpose. There are two main types of such cryptographic systems. “Secret-key cryptosystems” use the same key for both encryption and decryption; “public key cryptosystems” use a public key to encrypt the data, but require a private key known by the recipient in order to decrypt.
“We hope to strike a balance between crime prevention and protecting individual privacy.”
“Uh-huh. And who determines what that balance is?” Minorikawa let a note of challenge slip into his voice.
“That would be me. I’ve been entrusted with the management of the security cameras.”
“I see. So essentially, you’re providing your own moral oversight.”
“Are you implying that I’m abusing my authority?” Endo shot back. “I’m doing this in the name of public order. Right, you’ve had your five minutes. Now get out of here.”
The shopkeeper stood up and headed into the back.
“I’ll be sure to let the Wandering Angels know about the dry ice machine!” Minorikawa hollered at the closing door.
Endo didn’t reply.
428 Tip – Wandering Angels posted:
Minorikawa had gotten enough of a story to put an article together, so he decided to hurry to a coffee shop and get started on some copy.
He was making his way down along Dogenzaka when his cell phone rang.
The incoming call display showed Chiaki’s name.
“Chiaki! What’s going on?”
“Oh, it’s no use.”
She sounded like she was on the verge of tears.
“What’s no use?”
“I can’t do this. I just can’t talk to people passing by on the street.”
“What? Why not?”
“It’s just that everyone seems so busy when they’re walking past. If I try to interrupt them they’re gonna be all mad at me.”
“Well, who the hell cares if they get mad?” Minorikawa was ready to start ripping his hair out.
“I don’t want them to be mad at me,” she whimpered again.
Well, this wasn’t about what she wanted, was it? She was supposed to be working, not whining.
“Look, Chiaki. You need to get me those interviews, period. Do I make myself clear?” He hung up before she could squeeze in an objection.”
“Dammit,” Minorikawa muttered. “Just what I needed-one more thing to worry about.” He pulled at his hair a few times, then cast his worried gaze in the direction of Shibuya Station.
|# ? Jul 6, 2019 22:15|
Down to Achi and Osawa:
|# ? Jul 6, 2019 22:17|
I'm gonna go for... Achi A.
|# ? Jul 6, 2019 23:31|
This is a live action visual novel. And yet having Minorikawa drink the shady drink sends him rocketing into the ceiling like a cartoon character. Picking that option is worth it.
I don't think those choices matter. Both of them pick A
Your Everyday NEET fucked around with this message at 01:04 on Jul 7, 2019
|# ? Jul 7, 2019 01:02|
... Oh. On the one hand: yup, that sure was a bad end. On the other: hey, I achieved my goal of making another viewpoint character meet Tama! Sort of! More or less! Victory!
As for what to do now that we've run out of Fun Reporter Adventures... Yeah, I'm still not ready to go back to whatever the hell creepy poo poo was going down with Osawa. Let's jump back to Achi, and go for A, so we might get more info I guess?
|# ? Jul 7, 2019 01:39|
Older women who ran tobacco shops or noodle houses did seem to have a knack for spotting details.
Achi decided to follow up some more. “Was there anything unusual about this van?”
“Well, let me think.” The woman frowned, pausing a moment in thought. “Aha!” A flash of recollection shone in her eye. “That’s right. Now I remember. I think there was some foreigner sitting inside.”
Achi and Hitomi exchanged glances.
“Yes, I’m sure of it. The man who makes my noodles said he saw it, too.”
“Was there anything else?” Hitomi asked.
“Hmm. No, not that I can remember.”
Hitomi hung her head in frustration as they left the soba shop. Achi did his best to cheer her up.
“Hey, we might still find that car. Let’s try waiting around here for a while.”
“Just waiting? What good will that do?”
“It’s possible that they went looking for you when you didn’t show,” Achi said. “Maybe they’ll come back, y’know?”
He sat down on the edge of a planter outside the restaurant.
“But the criminals already have the money,” she said anxiously.
Even Achi understood the implications.
Now that the crooks had the ransom, their hostage was nothing but a liability. Why take the risk of letting her go when they already had what they wanted?
The situation was bad. Very bad.
Still, just running around Shibuya willy-nilly was only going to tire and frustrate them. Achi wanted to make sure Hitomi had the chance for a little break.
“We don’t have anywhere else to look, so let’s just give it ten minutes, okay?” he said.
Hitomi seemed unconvinced. She looked like she might just march off down Dogenzaka at any moment.
“I understand how you must feel, but you know what they say: slow and steady, stay in place.’”
Hitomi burst out laughing.
“Hmm? What’s so funny?”
“It’s ‘slow and steady wins the race.’”
Hitomi smiled, then sat down beside him. “All right,” she said. “We can wait here for ten minutes.”
“Cool. We’ve run enough races today already, right?”
Hitomi kept her eyes on the cars passing through Dogenzaka for a while. Then she murmured softly to Achi.
“Thank you so much for everything. Really.”
“You can thank me after we find this van.”
“I’m sure if I’d been by myself I’d have been in too much of a panic to do anything.”
“Aw, what can I say? I try to keep my head up and face things as they come.”
“You’re quite the optimist, aren’t you?”
Achi grinned. He tried to recall what ‘optimist’ meant. He was pretty sure it had something to do with doctors. Or maybe glasses.
The shy, sweet look on Hitomi’s face as she said it, though, made him figure it probably wasn’t a bad thing, whatever it was.
Cars drifted on by, one after the other. But they saw no sign of a blue van.
After a while, even Achi began to grow impatient.
This was starting to feel like a waste of time. And then-
There it was!
There it was!
A blue van had appeared nearby, parked in a spot that had been empty previously.
Achi couldn’t see who was inside, but there was definitely something fishy about it. Besides, there weren’t any other blue cars around, so this had to be it.
He’d been right: the crooks had come back after all.
“I’m gonna go take a quick look,” Achi said. “You wait here.”
But before he could carry out his plan, Hitomi jumped to her feet.
Without a word she rushed toward the van.
“Hold on! I said wait!”
She wasn’t slowing down.
Achi caught hold of her arm. “Wait! This could be dangerous. What if the kidnapper’s in there?”
“And what if my sister’s in there? I have go help her!”
Achi knew full well what it was like to be impulsive, but this was one situation where cooler heads would have to prevail.
“We can’t just hang out here!” she insisted. “What if the car takes off again?”
“That’s why I said I was gonna go take a look first.”
“But isn’t that dangerous? What if they do something to my sister because some random guy comes snooping around?”
“Oh. Huh. Yeah, you got a point.”
Achi thought as fast as he could.
The criminal told Hitomi to get into the van. There had to be some specific reason for that.
What if they were planning to abduct her as well?
Whatever the case, he couldn’t just let her go.
|# ? Jul 11, 2019 19:59|
Yeah, the criminal's totally gonna snatch Hitomi when she got close to the van. A. You go first, Achi
|# ? Jul 12, 2019 03:09|
“Look, just let me go first. I don’t want to put you at any risk.”
Hitomi’s determination wavered at the look in Achi’s eyes.
“Please,” he continued. “We have no idea who or what we might run into. If I think they’re gonna try to run off again, I’ll give some signal. Then you can come along, and I doubt they’ll be interested in leaving then.”
Hitomi gave a reluctant nod.
“Please, be careful.”
“And tell me if my sister’s in there.”
“I will. You can count on it.”
Achi stepped out into the open and started walking toward the van.
He tried his best to look as if he wasn’t paying it any attention.
Yep. I am just an ordinary passerby.
As he got nearer he tried to sneak a glimpse inside. The van’s dark window film made it hard to see who might be inside, or even how many people.
Casually, he moved closer still to get a better look.
Suddenly the sliding door burst open and several people jumped out. None of them were Japanese.
Within moments, Achi was surrounded.
“Whoa, what? Hey, what’s the deal?” Achi said. He let out a little chuckle. “Man, that thing must be packed. How many seats you got in that thing, anyway?”
He took another step toward the vehicle and looked inside.
On The Move.
One of the men pulled a knife from inside his jacket, thrusting it out in Achi’s direction. He’d probably meant it as a simple threat, but on reflex, Achi went into self-defense mode, kicking him right in the jaw.
There was a loud crack as his foot connected. The man dropped, out like a light. The others stared, then rushed him.
Well this sure hadn’t gone as planned. Too late to take it back now.
The damage was done. Achi was just going to have to take out the rest of these punks, too. He nimbly shifted his feet, evading their initial attack.
Having to take these guys on three-to-one wasn’t going to be pretty.
“Achi!” he heard Hitomi cry out.
He hadn’t given any signal, but she had come out of hiding anyway.
“Hitomi, stay back!”
How was he supposed to fight off three guys and protect her at the same time?
What could he do?
What should he do?
Within moments a number of passersby had gathered around the fight. Maybe they’d heard Hitomi shouting.
“Hey, what’s going on?”
“Oh my god, is that a knife?”
“This ain’t just some petty squabble.”
“Someone call the police!”
Some of them began taking photos with their cell phones.
One of the men cursed in frustration, then signaled for his buddies to get back into the car.
Achi couldn’t stop them. The engine roared to life, and the van sped away.
Knowing he’d never catch them on foot, Achi merely watched it go.
He’d failed. This was his fault. All of it.
Achi hit his lip, hard. How could he possibly face Hitomi now?
Hitomi’s voice was hollow, empty.
Achi stared down at his feet like a scolded child. “I’m sorry. I...I didn’t see whether your sister was in there or not.”
The words, so simple and matter-of-fact, stung him to the heart.
“I’m so, so sorry.”
But Hitomi simply shook her head.
The fact that she wasn’t even chewing him out made him feel all the worse.
“I know I messed up, but I’ll-”
He was going to say I’ll make up for it, somehow, but he froze with fear at what he saw next.
Across the street, staring at them, was the man with the cane.
“Hitomi! It’s him!”
They had to get out of here.
He grabbed Hitomi by the hand and bolted down Dogenzaka.
The assassin followed, staying on his side of the road.
Achi wasn’t sure what to do.
Should they try heading into the alleys and side streets again?
No. It was more dangerous to head someplace where there’d be fewer witnesses.
Best to stick to Dogenzaka for now.
The man wouldn’t be able to gun them down if they managed to lose themselves in the crowd along Center Gai first.
Besides, the guy had to use a cane.
Achi and Hitomi could outrun him.
Hand in hand, they sped along Dogenzaka and through the intersection in front of the 109 building.
“Come on, Hitomi, just a little further!”
She was panting, but she pressed on. Achi risked a glance back over his shoulder.
“Huh?” He stopped in surprise.
“What’s wrong?” Hitomi asked.
“That guy. He’s not following us.”
The slope leading down to the intersection wasn’t all that steep.
It was strange that the gunman hadn’t bothered to pursue.
Still, there was no time to worry about his behavior right now.
428 Tip – Intersection posted:
Several plainclothes detectives have been hiding amidst the crowd in the intersection as part of the kidnapping stakeout. Right now, Director Kuze is sending a message to all officers over the wireless, and so the detectives have stopped to listen in. It’s a bit unusual; an observant individual might notice.
“Hitomi, can you still run?”
“Yes, I’m all right.”
“Then this is our chance. This way!”
They needed to put plenty of distance behind them before the assassin came after them again.
But they also needed to find the van again and rescue Hitomi’s sister.
Would they be able to find it and yet stay hidden from the man with the cane?
Achi wasn’t sure one way or the other, but with Hitomi in tow, he hurried onward along Center Gai.
|# ? Jul 14, 2019 19:58|
“Yes, come in.”
Ai stepped into the study. The room filled with the scent of her perfume.
“Have you reconsidered the whole America thing?” she asked.
This again, Osawa thought sullenly to himself. “Please,” he said. “Can we not discuss this right now?”
“If not now, then when? You know this isn’t a decision to just make on your own.”
On his latest business trip, a major American pharmaceutical firm had attempted to headhunt him, asking him to join them and be “among the top researchers in the world.”
The money and prestige held no interest for him, and he was reluctant to turn his back on Okoshi Pharmaceutical after his many years of service.
Nonetheless, he was intrigued by the offer. It would mean the chance to conduct his virus research in a much better-funded environment.
428 Tip – Okoshi Pharmaceutical posted:
The pharmaceutical company for which Kenji Osawa works. It is a major corporation, with a solid sales network both domestically and internationally, and an annual turnover of one trillion yen. It holds patents for several medications that are in demand worldwide, and is influential at the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, and other political institutions. The company employs roughly 7000 people, including 600 researchers.
Taking the job would necessitate relocating to the U.S., however.
When he’d mentioned the possibility of emigrating to Ai, she’d shot the idea down on the spot.
Her opposition was understandable.
Ai’s father, Suguru Makino, was a member of Okoshi Pharmaceutical’s board of directors. No way was he going to let Osawa jump ship to another company.
Ai drew in closer to him.
“Think about it from my perspective. If you leave for America, what am I supposed to tell my father?”
He’d gotten so used to it, that grating whine of hers.
“Have you considered what might happen to Okoshi if you leave, dear?”
“We can discuss that once all this is finished.” Osawa kept his voice as level as he could.
“You do remember that you’re a director, right?” Ai said. “You have responsibilities. Stop thinking about yourself so much.”
With a sour look, Ai turned and departed.
Well, he had known that moving to America would never be a simple a matter, regardless of what his wife thought about it.
There was another reason, however: the antiviral agent that he had developed at
After the Ua virus was discovered, infectious disease research facilities worldwide had thrown themselves into a top-secret effort to develop a vaccine.
General Tip – Antiviral agent posted:
A therapeutic drug used to treat viral infections. Examples include the drugs used against influenza and HIV. These treatments do not eliminate the infection; rather, they simply inhibit the development of the disease. There are still many issues with such drugs, including the risk that treated viruses possess or develop a resistance that makes the treatment ineffective. Academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies worldwide devote tremendous resources to further advancing the field of antiviral medicine.
General Tip – Vaccine posted:
Vaccines function by safely introducing a harmless or attenuated version of a virus or other pathogen into the human body; this triggers the body to produce antibodies against the pathogen, making it difficult for the dangerous version to take hold.
But Makino had ordered Osawa to work on creating an antiviral agent, not a vaccine.
A vaccine immunized the subject in order to prevent infection in the first place. Conversely, an antiviral agent could be used to treat patients already infected.
It was a so-called “wonder drug” for combatting the virus itself.
Creating such a drug was far easier said than done. Developing the antiviral had been a long, arduous road.
Only after years of research had Osawa’s team succeeded in identifying a substance that might qualify as an antiviral agent for Ua.
In theory, if it was administered during the virus’s initial stages, 100% recovery could be attained.
Data also suggested an 80% survival rate for patients treated shortly after the onset of symptoms.
But there was a fatal flaw with the new antiviral agent: the side effects on the body were unusually potent. If it was administered in amounts beyond a certain threshold, it was linked to life-threatening complications.
For a time the research was at an impasse. It had seemed that the drug had to be administered in high volume to combat the explosive propagation of the Ua Virus.
But then Osawa had received some fortuitous news.
Okoshi Pharmaceutical’s nanotechnology branch had engineered a cutting-edge device known as the DDS.
Osawa had jumped on it immediately. By administering his antiviral agent with the nanotech DDS, he was able to use smaller amounts of the drug to quash the Ua virus with precision.
The procedure was a huge success.
General Tip – Nanotechnology posted:
Technology created and/or operated on an extremely small scale, often measured in nanometers (there are one billion nanometers in a meter). Some nanotech devices are literally regulated on the atomic level. The possibilities are ever-expanding in practical fields such as medicine and materials science; the United States is among the world leaders in the push for research and development.
428 Tip – DDS posted:
Acronym for “Drug Delivery System.” Such a system administers ultramicroscopic drug capsules to a targeted area of the body.
428 Tip – DDS posted:
There was a marked increase in the drug’s efficacy, along with the expected decrease in
The effects had been confirmed via animal testing on monkeys, and now, the antiviral was ready for the final development stages: clinical trials on humans.
But the very existence of this new wonder-drug was still a secret.
No doubt Okoshi’s leadership would be reluctant to see Osawa, the drug’s lead researcher, transfer to another company.
General Tip – Adverse side-effects posted:
A pharmaceutical is said to have a positive effect if its use brings about the desired results when treating a medical condition; but many drugs create unwanted or unforeseen adverse effects as well. Given the extreme complexity of most drugs’ interactions with the human body, nearly any medicine can have both positive and negative effects.
General Tip – Animal testing posted:
Experiments involving drugs or medical techniques tested on animals to confirm their safety before they are used on humans. The 1964 Declaration of Helsinki, which lays out ethical standards for human experimentation, advocates responsible animal testing, but many animal rights advocates regard such testing as a form of animal cruelty.
General Tip – Clinical trials posted:
When a new drug is being prepared for government approval, after it has been tested on animals, it must pass tests on humans (clinical trials) that evaluate its safety and suitability; such tests are frequently conducted on both patients and healthy individuals. In Japan, the development of new drugs is often hindered by insufficient legal infrastructure for conducting clinical trials resulting in a smaller knowledge base and fewer opportunities for testing.
Still, it wasn’t completely outside the realm of possibility.
Once the antiviral was out of development and announced to the public, Osawa would be free and clear.
For that very reason, he was loath to cause any friction over the drug right now.
This anxiety only magnified his concern about the email he’d just received.
Osawa called up Tanaka over the intercom. “There’s something I want to show you. Could you come in here?”
He needed a second opinion, and Tanaka could be relied upon.
Osawa opened the door the moment Tanaka knocked; he looked around before ushering his Vice-director inside.
“What’s this about, sir?”
Osawa showed him one of the images. Tanaka’s face went pale.
“It can’t be...”
Tanaka clearly recognized the symptoms of the Ua Virus.
“Any idea what this is about?” Osawa asked.
“These images were just emailed to me. The subject line says: One Year Ago - South Africa.”
“That would put it around the same time as the most recent run of infections, wouldn’t it, sir? But that information isn’t...”
Tanaka trailed off; Osawa nodded.
“The thing I don’t understand is why these pictures were sent to me.”
Osawa opened the other email from “A.” “The second message I got says that these pictures are my ‘crimes.’”
“I’ll look into this on my end, sir,” Tanaka said. He hesitated uncomfortably.
“Sir, ah...Just to make sure, I-”
“Are you asking about what I think you’re asking about?” Osawa said.
Tanaka gave a slight nod.
“Understood,” Osawa said. “Don’t worry. I won’t trouble you.”
“I appreciate that, sir.”
Visibly relieved, Tanaka left the study.
Osawa brought up a folder marked “Ua_virus” on his screen.
Within the folder were enlarged images of the virus itself.
He double-clicked one of the images; it blew up on the monitor to reveal the pathogen in intricate detail.
A specimen of the Ua virus was approximately one hundred nanometers in diameter. Ten thousand of them in line would take up barely a millimeter.
But a single, tiny virion, upon entering the human body, could become two thousand in an hour.
That speed of multiplication was nothing short of astonishing.
Even the Ebola virus had a typical incubation period of seven days or so before infectees developed symptoms. For influenza, it was one or two.
But the onset of the Ua Virus happened in a mere twelve hours.
General Tip – Ebola virus posted:
A virus of the family Filoviridae that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Currently, five characterized species are known (Ta'i Forest, Sudan, Reston, Zaire, and Bundibugyo). Ebola is Widely known for its high mortality rate (53% for the Sudan form, 88% for the Zaire), but the Reston variety, discovered in monkeys that had been brought into the U.S., has displayed no pathogenicity in humans.
Osawa Viewed an image slideshow of the virus’s propagation mechanism.
It was a fascinating sight, no matter how many times he looked at it.
Viruses existed to multiply, nothing more. They had no motives, no driving logic. Nothing but simple multiplication.
To Osawa, that fact held a certain air of mystery.
If viruses had emotions, how would they feel about their lives?
He had thrown himself into virus research in search of answers to questions like that-answers that no man could truly know.
His development of the antiviral agent had really been nothing more than another job responsibility.
He felt no particular sense of duty to protect people from a killer virus. He was just happy for the chance to play around with Ua day after day.
Another email arrived in his inhox.
The sender: “A”.
The subject line: “One Year Ago — South Africa.” Again.
Osawa read the message.
This time, there were four images attached. Osawa proceeded to open each of them in turn.
The first shocked Osawa so much that he felt like he’d been punched in the head.
One of the Ua patients from the earlier images was being injected with something.
“No...” Osawa muttered to himself. “It can’t be...”
The second image showed one of the infected, hunched over in pain, vomiting up blood. The symptoms had already manifested, but Osawa thought he could see that some degree of life had come back into the patient’s eyes. He rushed to open the third image.
It showed a morgue, piled high with corpses. The rictus of anguish on the dead faces made them look no longer human.
Various fluids seeped from the eyes and nostrils.
The lymph nodes were grotesquely swollen. There were hospital beds, stained with massive amounts of blood and gastric fluids.
General Tip – Lymph nodes posted:
Next came the fourth and final image.
More corpses. They had badges affixed to their chests, With various labels: “six hours past, twelve hours past,” and “eighteen hours past.” It looked as if someone had been attempting live trials with the antiviral agent.
Osawa didn’t consider the antiviral agent ready for release, but that was because his team hadn’t conducted clinical trials on humans yet.
And there was a good reason why such trials hadn’t been conducted: there was no way to test the efficacy of the drug without an infected patient.
To run a proper clinical test, someone would first need to be infected with the Ua virus. No matter how effective animal testing had been, if the drug proved ineffective on humans, that person would have a guaranteed death sentence.
It was unthinkable to run trials that involved such a deadly risk.
And yet, as he looked over the images again and again, Osawa became certain.
Without his knowledge, someone-presumably someone from Okoshi Pharmaceutical-had conducted human testing with the antiviral agent.
The time markers on the corpses in the fourth image were surely there to mark the time elapsed since the onset of symptoms; a thorough trial would test the drug’s effectiveness in those timeframes.
Osawa slammed his fist on the desk, enraged. This was nothing short of vile human experimentation in the guise of clinical testing.
The people responsible could not be allowed to get away with this.
There was only one person Osawa could trust to keep this under wraps: his boss, Makino.
He reached for his phone to call Makino. But he stopped short as soon as he picked up the receiver.
He knew he was in no state of mind to have a calm, reasoned conversation right now. Turning to the CD player, he put on Aya Kamiki’s latest album.
The World Doesn't Change so Easy.
Leaning back in his chair, he surrendered himself to her soothing tones. Bit by bit, he could feel himself returning to a calmer emotional state.
There had been a time when Osawa hadn’t listened to music at all. In fact, he’d had no interest in the arts in general-music, painting, cinema.
It was only due to a simple coincidence that he had found Aya Kamiki.
His daughter had asked for a CD as a birthday present, so he’d swung by the store to pick one up.
Since Kamiki’s new album had just come out, there was a display for it in the front of the shop. Something about the bright, colorful album packaging had drawn him in.
|# ? Jul 15, 2019 20:56|
Well, that got very serious all of a sudden. Let's call Makino and get it over with.
|# ? Jul 15, 2019 22:53|
Osawa is the father of Maria and Hitomi, right? He seems calm enough for a father whose daughter has been kidnapped.
Also, there's a lot of sciency stuff in his route which makes his story seems pretty boring compared to the other 4 main characters.
Well, let's just get his story over with. A.
|# ? Jul 16, 2019 06:37|
Uhhhh Well, I'm not sure about "boring", but this story sure is a tonal shift, and not one I'm sure I enjoy as much as the others.
So yeah let's go ahead and try to get this guy in gear (even if I doubt that calling your boss who might actually already know all about the human testing in secret is a good idea) and go for A.
|# ? Jul 16, 2019 21:11|
Well this is loving interesting.
There was some questioning earlier about why our suicidal editor sent his daughter for the tubing if he was just going to hang himself. I see two possibilities:
1: It was to get her somewhere else while he hung himself, he didn't need the tubing.
2: He was going to use it to kill himself (and probably her too) but while she was gone he realized that he could just off himself without her having to see him do it (or be there to try and stop/talk him out of it).
My big reaction to the whole thing was Minorikawa (hope I remembered the spelling) Leaving his suicidal friend alone after preventing the attempt. You don't loving do that, jesus. I'll be surprised if we don't have to prevent the suicide a second time, ugh.
I'm also surprised that we didn't hit a roadblock after the street fight. They are clearly trying to abduct both girls, and the whole thing with the briefcase is misdirection to keep the cops busy.
I second whoever said Tama is probably the missing sister. The real question is how the hell she got away.
|# ? Jul 18, 2019 23:23|
Yanagishita has the most perfect facial expression I've seen a human have, and his real life counterpart's is in fact real and as nightmarish as it sounds.
|# ? Jul 21, 2019 14:15|
The World Doesn't Change so Easy.
He took a nice, deep breath, and then he dialed up Makino.
“Has there been any progress?” Makino asked as soon as he picked up.
His voice was somber.
“No,” Osawa said. “Nothing much yet.”
A tiny sigh came in from the other end of the line. “I see. Then what can I do for you?”
“Sir, I’ll just get right to the point. Have you conducted clinical trials using the antiviral drug?”
Makino didn’t respond right away.
“What makes you think that?” he asked at last.
Osawa described the emails he’d received.
When he’d finished, Makino let out his breath in surprise.
“Not over the phone,” he said. “We’ll discuss this in person. I’ll head over to your place when I’m done here.”
“As soon as possible, sir.”
“As soon as I can manage,” Makino said. “You’re not the only person who’s busy.” With that, Makino hung up.
There was no doubt about it, then: there had been human testing.
Osawa went to let Tanaka know he’d be meeting with Makino.
“Mr. Osawa? Are you going somewhere?”
A stolid-looking man stood in the hallway, almost as if he’d been waiting for Osawa to emerge.
It was Yoshio Kajiwara, one of the detectives from the Shibuya precinct.
He struck Osawa as a bit too soft-spoken and meek for a detective, really. And his treatment of the kidnapping case gave an impression of flighty detachment that made him seem rather undependable.
428 Tip – Yoshio Kajiwara posted:
A detective With the Shibuya Precinct’s Criminal Investigation Division. He is sociable but awkward, and despite his reserved personality he can be quite unsettling. His colleagues at the precinct refer to him by nicknames such as “Japanese Columbo” and “Little Ken Takakura,” given his own quirky demeanor as a detective.“
“No, not really. Have there been any developments, Detective?”
Kajiwara shook his head quietly. “I’m sorry, sir. I’m not really sure what to tell you.” Kajiwara then slipped a hand into his suit pocket.
He pulled out a banana.
“Are you hungry? These are good for when you’re tired.”
General Tip – Banana posted:
A highly nutritious fruit belonging to family Musaceae, genus Musa.
“I’m fine, thanks,” Osawa said.
Kajiwara seemed to lack a detective’s sense of situational awareness. Just being around him got on Osawa’s nerves.
“Well, sir. I need you to come with me,” the detective said. “If you don’t mind.”
He took Osawa by the arm.
As Kajiwara hurried him toward the living room, Osawa could hear other detectives talking on the other side of the door.
“He’s working at a time like this? Seriously? Sheesh. I do not get rich people and their priorities.”
“Yeah, I feel bad for his daughter. Her dad’s a real piece of work.”
Nice. They were badmouthing him in his own house.
“Oh, uh, I’m really sorry about all that,” Kajiwara said, pausing in embarrassment.
Osawa pushed past him and opened the door.
A number of police detectives had holed up in the living room. They went suddenly silent as Osawa entered.
“So, tell me,” he said sarcastically, “would you rather I stay here weeping as I watch this disaster unfold?”
The detectives winced and grimaced.
“Forgive me for not being a perfect father,” he added, his hostility building.
Kajiwara stepped forward to intervene before things go out of hand. “Now, now. Let’s not be touchy.”
“I am not being touchy,” Osawa snapped.
But he knew full well that he was.
These guys had the time to sit around backbiting him, but not to go out and bring Maria to safety?
Already close to half a day had gone by without any new developments.
The ransom demand had come in the previous night, at 8 o’clock.
Maria had been abducted roughly an hour before.
“Tomorrow, 10 am., by Hachiko in Shibuya. Have the sister, Hitomi, bring 50 million yen. If not, the girl’s life is forfeit.”
The kidnapper called only once, so the police were unable to run a trace.
“I’ll do it,” Hitomi said. “Anything for my sister.”
She didn’t hesitate in the slightest at the suggestion that she make the ransom handoff.
Osawa was staunchly opposed to the idea, but the police were of the opinion that it was better to acquiesce to the kidnapper’s demands.
Ai’s reaction, on the other hand, baffled nearly everyone.
“We don’t have 50 million just lying around! Are the police going to be putting that together for us?!”
Kajiwara stepped in to reassure her. “If it comes down to it, the police will be able to help raise the money.”
“Okay. Go ahead, then. Do it.”
“We’d need you to pay it back afterwards, though, of course.”
“Well then what’s the point of that?” Ai’s voice spiked up to a piercing shriek.
“Calm down,” Osawa told her. “You’re making a scene.”
Ai turned away in a huff.
“It’s all right, Detective,” Osawa continued. “I’ll talk to the bank first thing tomorrow morning and figure something out.”
At that, Ai stormed out of the room; Kajiwara bowed his head several times in apology.
“As soon as Hitomi has made contact, we’ll apprehend the suspect and take things from there.”
“What? Hold on. Won’t that put Maria in danger?’
“If we let the kidnapper get away with the money, we have no proof that he will return the hostage safely afterwards.”
There was a certain logic there, Osawa had to concede.
“I see,” he said. “So you’re saying that catching this guy will be easier for you if he keeps my daughter hostage.”
“No, no, that's not what I was implying at all!” Kajiwara wiped the sweat off his brow and bowed profusely. “At least – I promise we'll get your daughter back safe and sound, Mr. Osawa!”
Obviously there was nothing to be gained from further challenging the detectives.
“All right, then. I’ll let the police do their job.”
Osawa bowed even lower than Kajiwara had.
“How long are you going to just loaf around?” Ai shrieked as she stormed into the room. “Hurry up and arrest this guy!”
She was becoming increasingly hysterical. An hour had passed since the suspect had taken the money, and yet the police had made no effort to apprehend him.
The police apparently had a rule against discussing an operation before it was fully resolved, and so the Osawas had been left in the dark.
But they had overheard the task force talking over the wireless, and it appeared that they were deliberately letting the suspect roam free.
“Hey!” Ai snapped again. “If he gets away with our money, you are going to reimburse us, right?”
Osawa scowled. She made it sound like the money was more important than Maria’s life. The detectives exchanged uneasy glances.
|# ? Jul 21, 2019 20:36|
|# ? Jul 22, 2019 05:48|
Osawa chided his wife. “It’s only money. It doesn’t matter.”
“‘Only money?’ Are you serious? Do you have any idea how much we’re talking about here?”
The ferocity in her voice left him with no response. He should have known better than to expect her to make sacrifices for his daughters.
By now he was accustomed to Ai’s coldness toward the two girls.
The twins were Osawa’s daughters from his first wife, who’d passed away fifteen years earlier.
Ai had no blood ties to Maria or Hitomi herself.
“Well?” Ai continued. “Are the police going to reimburse us or not?”
She glared pointedly at Kajiwara.
“Well, um, right now we’re focused on making sure Maria is safe...”
Ai stormed up to him, shouting right in his face. “Stop dodging the question! Answer me!”
“Y-Yes, of course!” Kajiwara squeaked. “Maybe, uh-would you like something to eat, to help you calm down?”
He held out a banana. Ai smacked it out of his hand.
“Oh, dear. What a waste.” Kajiwara scrambled to retrieve the fruit from the floor.
Osawa went over to Tanaka and whispered into his ear.
“I’m going to meet with Mr. Makino.”
Tanaka nodded silently.
Turning, Osawa saw Kajiwara looking in their direction.
They made eye contact, but Osawa quickly looked away and strode out of the living room.
Kajiwara followed after him.
“Excuse me, Mr. Osawa?”
“Yes, what is it?”
The detective fussed sheepishly with his hair and forced a smile. “Sir, we’d appreciate if you could remain in the living room as much as possible.”
Osawa was in no mood to stand on propriety. “Look, I’ve got a ton of work to do,” he said. “Are you here to tell me to play the role of the grieving father, too?”
“No, not at all. Personally, I happen to think you’re an admirable father, Mr. Osawa.”
Admirable. Did the word have a ring of sarcasm?
He had no way to tell if Kajiwara was being forthright with him or not.
“You’re no ordinary fellow, Mr. Osawa; you’re a genius.”
“A genius? Me?” Osawa made a skeptical noise.
“Am I mistaken, sir? You’ve made very important strides in the field of virus research. Or, well, so I’ve been told.”
Osawa wasn’t sure how to respond. He had never considered himself a genius. He was just someone who was more interested in viruses than he was in other people.
“Everyone who’s a genius is also a little bit odd, after all,” Kajiwara went on.
Probably he’d intended that as a compliment, but still.
“And I mean there’s nothing wrong with weirdos. So long as they leave us ordinary folks alone, you know?”
Is this guy trying to praise me, or insult me? Osawa let out a heavy sigh. Genius, weirdo-what did it even matter?
So long as he could be left to his work, he didn’t care one whit how he looked in other people’s eyes.
Kajiwara wiped the sweat off his forehead with a handkerchief.
“By the way, what are you working on right now?” he asked.
“I’m afraid you wouldn’t understand even if I explained it to you,” Osawa replied.
“Right. Precisely. Even if I gave it my full attention, it would still be beyond me.”
He peered with sudden intensity at Osawa’s face.
“I’d appreciate if you didn’t hide things from me, sir,” he said.
Osawa gaped, at a loss for words.
“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Kajiwara added hurriedly. “Goodness, that made it sound like I’m accusing you of hiding something, didn’t it?” The detective bowed his head repeatedly.
“I hope you’ll forgive me.” He held out the banana.
“That won’t be necessary.”
“How about this, then?”
This time, he pulled a bar of chocolate from his pocket.
“No, thank you.”
Did this guy just carry an endless food supply wherever he went?
“Oh, my,” Kajiwara murmured. “You geniuses really are tough to sort out.” He inclined his head, mumbling to himself for a moment.
“What can I get for you then, sir?”
“What I’d really like is some time by myself.”
In a daze of exasperation, Osawa felt his way to his study.
Locking the door, he finally let out the breath he’d been holding. Then his eyes alighted on the bookshelf against the wall.
Lost in Thought.
He pulled out a photo album and began to flip through it.
There were pictures of his daughters’ grade school enrollment ceremony.
Their mother had already passed away from illness, so Osawa had taken the girls himself. He remembered that, after the ceremony, Hitomi had come down with a fever.
Hitomi had been rather sickly as a girl, falling bedridden at the drop of a hat. Maria, by contrast, had been lively and energetic-quite the handful.
Osawa had found it remarkable that their personalities could be so different despite them being twins.
He flipped further into the album.
There was a picture of the three of them at their grade school graduation; Maria was looking away from the camera.
Osawa felt like someone had stabbed a dagger in his heart.
His daughters, or virology? Which truly concerned him more? Which did he truly love?
It was ridiculous to try to compare the two. He’d known the answer before he even asked himself.
Even so, human emotions were complicated, and sometimes made people act inconsistently.
One of the consequences of that was this photo album.
This was the last photo he had of Maria.
He searched and searched through the rest of the album, but she was nowhere else to be found.
|# ? Jul 22, 2019 20:51|
As we're now moving to the next hour, please vote for which of the five protagonists you want to see next.
|# ? Jul 22, 2019 20:53|
Deep down, Osawa does care about his daughters after all.
I got a weird vibe from Detective Kajiwara. He's a little cartoonish in the mostly serious route, and he looks like a horror villain with how he just stood in the dimly lit hallway.
I pick Kano. I wanna see how will that hotheaded detective catch the terrorist.
|# ? Jul 23, 2019 01:45|
Let's get that mood whiplash / potential foreshadowing going by swapping over to Tama. I like the theory that she's the sister with amnesia.
|# ? Jul 23, 2019 04:14|
Well now, isn't that just such a pleasant family I mean, I can sort of sympathize with Osawa's "There's nothing I can actually DO here so I'll go elsewhere and not think about this" response to a depressing/traumatic/stressful situation, but it also looks like he wasn't the best at playing that Caring Dad role before his daughter got kidnapped. Though, maybe he's got a "I forgot I got interested in viruses because my wife(?)/daughter were always getting sick, the original point was to help them and I spiraled out of control!" tragedy going on.
And the less said about his current wife, the better. (Though, my my, she sure is concerned about money for some reason, huh... )
As for the current vote... as much as Tama is fun, I gotta admit, I want to see
ChaceRider fucked around with this message at 12:31 on Jul 23, 2019
|# ? Jul 23, 2019 12:27|
Can we vote for playing as the banana? It's had such an exciting time of it so far, can't wait to see more.
If not, see how Tama is doing.
|# ? Jul 23, 2019 20:57|
Any lurkers around willing to break the tie between Kano and Tama?
|# ? Jul 29, 2019 11:36|
|# ? Jul 29, 2019 12:11|
Any lurkers around willing to break the tie between Kano and Tama?
The correct answer in that case is "Show both in a double-length upd00t"
|# ? Jul 29, 2019 17:51|
428 is $10 on Steam right now if anyone's interested in getting it. Don't think I've seen it this low before.
|# ? Aug 8, 2019 19:57|
Kano had been watching syndicate members hand off the attaché case for an hour and a half.
He still had no idea where this relay might be headed.
The man he was tailing now was about ten meters away – closer enough that Kano could close the distance and apprehend him at a moment’s notice.
But his orders remained the same: follow and observe.
He watched as the case was handed off once more.
By now, the shock of seeing it passed to yet another accomplice had worn off.
“It’s already been 90 minutes, huh?”
It was Sasayama; at some point he’d crept up on Kano from behind.
“They don’t seem like they’re trying to get away at all,” Kano said. “They’re just...walking. What could they be up to?”
Sasayama shrugged. “Yeah, it’s weird.”
Kano recalled Dick Dictum #89.
Dick Dictum #89
The more irrelevant something seems, the more relevant it’s bound to be.
If Tateno’s wisdom held true, the syndicate must have some reason for what it was doing. Were they just trying to throw the investigators off their scent?
No, that couldn’t be it. They were wandering in circles, staying right in the same area. They were just running up the clock.
Hmm. What if that’s exactly what they were after: buying time?
Kano felt a sudden conviction that he was on the right track.
If they needed more time to make sure they got their hands on the ransom payment-
Wait, hold on.
HydroSphere fucked around with this message at 17:16 on Sep 3, 2019
|# ? Aug 12, 2019 19:37|
Feels a bit like A.
The timeline where the guy in a long coat tossed the case of a bridge is the 'real/present' one, right? And I feel like there was an opportunity on the train, too, at the very least.
I still can't believe they went with "Dick Dictum" for those sayings. You'd think they'd want to avoid the dick jokes, since it's not 1920 and nobody's seriously going to call a detective "dick" and just mean detective…
|# ? Aug 12, 2019 23:24|
Somehow I feel like both of these options will lead to the same conclusion, but A seems more likely. It'd be easier to switch out the whole case than just the contents.
|# ? Aug 12, 2019 23:30|
|# ? Aug 5, 2021 18:53|
Yeah, these both feel pretty much the same (though I'm sure one or the other will somehow Bad End us somewhere nevertheless! ) so I'll just and say A.
|# ? Aug 13, 2019 01:46|