"Mr. Kimura," Dr. Strauss said giving up on containing his fury, "Regardless of what forms this plague takes, it has to be stopped. Did you ever once stop to think what your clients would actually DO with their new abilities? My guess is that they would do what anyone in power would do: get more power. What you're planning to do would throw the world into complete chaos!"
Dr. Strauss started pacing around the room, stomping with each step.
Mr. Kimura shook his head and sighed.
"Now come on Dr. Strauss, you're making me sound like some sort of Bond villain. You know full well that our clients would have to keep their powers secret, can you imagine what the public would do if they found out people like you two existed? There really would be chaos! Regardless it's not as though we've actually been successful; at the most we've only ever had one case that actually worked and we lost her before we could even do safety checks, along with vital equipment."
He looked around uncomfortably as if he had just realised he had said too much.
"Sorry, that was confidential, I really shouldn't have told you that. Forget it."
The thin man stroked his beard yet again, before addressing Alec.
"Actually I'm Mr. Kimura now, I haven't been a doctor for over five years. But do you mean you can really speak to dead?"
He spoke in a fast excited voice, the scientist deep within him reappearing for a few short moments.
"How does it work? Can only you hear them, or see them? Are they aware of our presence when you do so? You must explain it all to me now!"
"I thought you knew that that was my power, and yeah, I can speak to the dead, however I can only succeed if I am alone with the body. My research led me to believe that the dead can only see one person at a time, and if there is more than one person with them, the spirit is blinded.
I only have a few theories about why I can talk to the dead, although none of them make much sense, even the reason about why they can only talk to one person at a time. Also some spirits get angry at me for waking them up. There has been an encounter where a phantom possessed me, and my lab partner had to get me to an exorcist. If you can tell me where Hui is buried, I can summon her for a few minutes, and pass a few messages from her to you. Oh, and, I know that this sounds like a load of bulls***, but I got my job because of my power, that should be proof enough that this isn't fake."
Alec began hoping that Hui would be in a good mood. The last time he'd been possessed was a painful experience...
Dr. Strauss snorted irritably.
"I should've known. You can't really talk to the dead, can you? You're just another charlatan. I don't know why I bought into that bloody tabloid, even for a minute."
Dr. Strauss picked up his file and read it. What he saw there was rather disturbing; every intimate detail of his life since he was born was laid bare for everyone to know. The idea that someone had done [i] that [i] much research on him was threatening. The damage was done, he knew, but he decided he needed to do something about it anyway. Dr. Strauss reached into his pocket, pulled out a lighter, and used it to destroy the file.
"Hey! I'm not faking this! I can prove it by answering a few questions only Hui would know after I summon her! In fact I could probably squeeze some info out of her about the experiment that she was in! You just wait!"
Seeing Dr.Strauss burn the files, Alec became enraged, for this file held a ton of info.
"Get your paws off those files! Who knows when they will become useful!"
Alec grabbed the other end of the file, and began putting out the fire.
Dr. Strauss turned white when Alec grabbed the file from him.
"Alec... you're going to want to lie down, now. You touched me. You touched my exposed skin... you're going to be deathly ill in a few minutes; and probably dead in a day or two unless I can stop it. Mr. Kimura, get your medical staff ready, we need to begin diagnosing and treating him NOW."
Takeda frowned as Rin shook his hand. That wasn't what he wanted when he put out his hand. As soon as she let go of him, he reached out to her other hand and grabbed his ball. She let it go and he tucked it tightly against his chest, glaring at her.
As she whispered in his ear, one ear perked up curiously. "You said I can't fail, why are you making threats like this?" he asked, a mix of suspicion and fear in his voice. But before he could get an answer, Maya rushed back over.
Takeda didn't like Rin anymore, understandably. She'd extorted him and threatened Maya and was now expecting him to kill people for her.
With a look at his ball, it disappeared into a puff of luminescent smoke. He didn't have his backpack anymore so he might need a new one of them. Until he got one, the ball was safe in the inside pocket of his hoodie. But nobody else would know that.
Despite himself, he was curious about teleporting. He wanted to know what it was like and how Rin would do it, and why it would be bumpy. He reached out and took the woman's hand, quickly hiding his ears and tail with his clothes. "Where are we going, exactly?"
"If you've done your research correctly, you should know I can't go in without being formally invited by someone standing within the threshold" Lily said, walking to the door, but stopping a few meters short. Rules were different for demons, and they were different for individual demons too, so Lily figured she could get away with it. "I know it's a vampire thing, but every misconception comes from somewhere" putting up the face made when saying Sorry, I should've told you my friend was allergic to shellfish as you sit down at a fish restaurant billed as serving the best lobster in the city. She had known a demi-demon who was required to be invited in to a building, so she wasn't just making things up. Sadly, the invitation limitation had been the source of his demise.
She was enjoying messing with her new plaything, and was using every opportunity to take advantage of Rin's lapse in judgement without letting anything slip. Because after all, what were the odds that someone your trusted contacts had told you was a demon, was actually a telekinetic with no religious ties? It had to be ten thousand to one.
Lily held her expression for a moment, then let herself return to her default businesslike but approachable demeanour. She let herself smile inwardly, but managed to keep her mind clear of any clues of deception, lest one of the crowd be a telepath. She hadn't bothered with any of her usual flushing techniques, because anyone here keeping an eye on her would be far too well trained to smirk or titter.
Mr. Kimura gave Dr. Strauss an annoyed look.
"Hardly surprising, you two are fighting like children! Utterly pointless too; in this modern age do you really think we don't have digital back-ups of our data?"
He lent back in his leather chair with the ghost of a smile slowly starting to appear.
"Remember we're a private company here, we have no obligation to treat Alec... if we do not wish to. I will get my medical staff to help him however, if you both agree to a number of terms. Firstly you must stop trying to destroy my property. Secondly, Alec must attempt to contact Hui as soon as he's well enough to, and thirdly related to that there's a certain possession of mine which I need you to recover, the location of which my unfortunate ex-partner took to the grave."
He stood up and offered a hand to each of the men.
"Of course; complete these successfully and a large sum of cash might just find its way to you. Do we have a deal?"
Meanwhile on the other side of the city Rin replied to Takeda's question.
"Paris, in France. We'll also be travelling about five minutes backwards in time as our conversation took a little longer than expected, but considering the distance we're going it should barely make a difference. Let's be off!"
As she said this the world around them slowly started to spin and suddenly disappeared to be replaced by grey nothingness; only punctuated by thin wisps of glowing white clouds. For a couple of seconds they floated tranquilly in the void before a tiny point of light broke off from one of the gaseous objects and drifted slowly towards them. Rin reached out with the hand she was using to hold Maya to touch the miniscule orb with one finger and without warning the greyness vanished, leaving the three in darkness. A light flickered on to reveal they were in a small warehouse, empty except for a few boxes and a dark figure standing in the shadows holding a large case.
"They're a bit smaller I imagined... and I thought there was only going to be one?"
The tall thin man sporting a moustache and a beard came closer to peer at the two children, eyeing them suspiciously. He spoke whiningly in clear English, although with an accent that was very difficult to place.
Dr. Strauss acted on impulse and shook Mr. Kimura's hand with his broken-glove hand. He was still enraged at the idea that Mr. Kimura would want to spread this disease, and he channeled that rage in an attempt to control which disease Kimura would get.
"Mr. Kimura," Dr Strauss snarled, "I'm afraid you only have a few minutes left to live."
"Oh no! What's going to happen to me!?" Alec stayed worried for a few minutes, and then seeing that nothing happened, calmed down.
"Wait, so I have to touch you to feel the effects of your power?" Turning to Mr.Kimura, Alec was shocked. He was touched!
"Mr.Kim, of-coarse I take the deal, but I think you're in one great DEAL of trouble now! Somebody, help! Tell me what you're looking for, and I'll be on my way!"
Now knowing that the company isn't as sinister as he thought, Alec was now more eager to dig up Hui.
Maya stared up at the strange man as he spoke, realising that he was the first real white person she'd ever seen. He looked very comical with his large beard and moustache, as well as his pale skin and huge nose. He wasn't speaking Chinese, but somehow the words seemed to make sense.
He's speaking English! I can still remember what Mummy taught me!
Despite this she felt too shy to say anything to the man in case she said something wrong. He seemed a little edgy, with his oddly blue eyes constantly darting backwards and forth. She wondered why he was here and if he was going to help fight the demons too. The darkness of the warehouse wasn't what she had been expecting and she stayed close to Takeda, afraid that a monster might jump out of the shadows at any moment.
Rezetta stood right next to the warehouse's door, peering inside doubtfully. She still didn't trust this Rin person one bit, and every moment in the presence of her and her little groupies just increased her feeling of uneasiness. Her demonic blood gave her better night-vision than humans, though wearing her contacts didn't help. As Lily was busy talking to Rin about needing to be invited to go inside--she herself had no such limitations--she reached up to remove the contacts from her eyes. As she did, she let the illusions covering her pointed teeth and nails fall away and felt an immediate, if small, relief in her mind.
She heard a couple of the group give some sort of reaction, having noticed her striking white eyes. Zetta turned and gave a grin that showed off her teeth and was rewarded with more startled expressions and gasps. As far as demonic appearances went it wasn't much, but she couldn't help enjoying the reactions. Besides, they all knew what she was--partly, anyway--so there was no point in hiding it and taxing her mind even further.
Having put her contacts away, she peered through the doorway again and picked out several boxes and a man standing by a far wall. Myrddin, probably, but his face wasn't facing her direction and so she couldn't be sure. By this time, Lily had finished speaking. Zetta turned again to face Rin this time and said, "As long as there aren't any holy items directly in or beyond the doorway, I'm good." This was actually true, in a sense; any place with such protections in their doorway was not a place she'd feel the inclination to enter. Almost immediately after she finished speaking, she heard a voice come from inside the warehouse, but she kept her eyes on Rin instead of turning to look.
"Oh, I'm sorry; I'm not really up to scratch with demonic rules."
Rin stepped backwards into the darkened warehouse, and beckoned the two women to come closer.
"You both have permission to come in, and I really think you'll want to. Myrrdin, bring it here now!"
The man approached, this time carrying a large black case similar to those musical instruments are kept in. Rin continued speaking from within the confines of the building.
"I don't blame you for not realising who my assistant is, for though he's very well-known most people call him by a slightly different name to which he was given at birth... don't they Merlin?"
Myrrdin nodded, for the first time a grin actually appearing on his face. He did a polite bow and as he did so opened the case he was holding. Inside was a gleaming sword that seemed to sparkle even in the dim shadow of the room. Rin laughed almost manically.
"Any guesses what this is then? One clue; coming inside will help!"
Even as this happened back in China Mr. Kimura clutched at his chest. He spat at Dr. Strauss with rage.
"What have you done... you idiot! You're not safe... to be anywhere... least of all in public".
He wobbled, then whilst holding himself up by his desk spoke in laboured breathes to Alec.
"It's a magic sword... taken by Hui years ago. Very powerful... can be used to give abilities... with the right equipment. Maybe also... take away powers... possibly... but don't tell her it was me who sent you... understand?"
The thin Japanese man fell onto the floor with his hands around his neck; appearing to choke.
"This isn't over... I'll survive...get help. I forgot to say... ask Hui... about... her..."
He fell still, lying spread across the carpet with one hand outstretched towards to the two men, his face pointed upwards towards the ceiling but his eyes firmly closed.
"Just to be sure."
Dr. Strauss kicked Mr. Kimura in the gut, it was much squishier than normal.
"Yeah... his internal organs have liquefied. I didn't want to do this, but I can't allow this epidemic to spread. Too many people with these powers would lead to a global war."
Dr. Strauss walked into a corner of the room and dropped to his knees. It was just like before.
"Damn it." he said, tears rolling down his face, "Just like before. Janet, I'm so sorry... damn it."
Dr. Strauss started beating his hands into the floor.
Alec saw the nice man who was going to pay him, appear to die a horribly painful death. Alec felt a surge of anger toward the doctor, ignoring his crying, Alec felt like kicking his face in, but thought better of it.
"You murderer! I'll get you for this! You didn't even let him finish explaining the purpose of the experiment and you KILL him!"
Alec picked up the near dead Jap, and carried him out of the office, and towards the staircase where dozens of people were standing.
He will still talk...
When Mr.Kim coughed on the way to the graveyard, Alec was relieved.
Takeda stumbled a bit as they emerged from the ether and into darkness. He was disoriented for a moment and held tighter onto Rin's hand, but quickly found small comfort in the light coming on.
The boy tilted his head and looked at the new guy curiously. Takeda understood his words just fine, but he didn't understand what he meant. It sounded like this man had some kind of deal with Rin already, and he'd been waiting for them.
He felt like he should be insulted at being called small, but he also knew it was true. And this man was fairly tall, but not big. "You're not a demon, are you?" Takeda said, making it sound more like a statement than a question. The man definitely wasn't just human, he could feel it.
"Excalibur..." Lily whispered, taking a step through the doorway. "How exactly does that help in your plan?" She asked cautiously approaching, and checking behind herself for any kind of trap. Not seeing anything or feeling anything other than her usual wariness, she walked closer to the sword. 'This woman either doesn't have a clue, or she's very dangerous. Merlin isn't the happy-go-lucky wizard like in the stories. He's a cunning, devious, Celtic warlock. If Rin has... "tamed" him, then we're dealing with a serious player. Though her contacts are amusingly unreliable, and that might be our only advantage if things go south unless Zetta has a machine gun up her sleeve.'
The man looked down at the kitsune in distain while nervously stroking his moustache.
"Do I look like a demon? No you stupid boy, I'm the mighty Myrrdin, caster of spells and curses, keeper of..."
He never finished his sentence however, as Rin hurriedly interrupted him.
"Oh be quiet, if you were really so powerful I wouldn't need Takeda and Maya here. The demons will arrive any minute now, so go and check on the followers outside."
Myrrdin sniffed in annoyance and then marched out the room with his head held high, deliberately avoiding looking at either of the two children. After he slammed the door shut Rin quickly turned to them.
"Sorry for my assistant's rudeness. We haven't got much time, so here's what you have to do. Make yourselves invisible, and then hide behind those crates just to be sure. When I bring to two demons in here, the signal for attack will be when I say the words 'divine justice'. Takeda, I know your powers will be weapons enough so do whatever you need to. "
She then bent down on one knee and addressed Maya in a softer voice.
"Now dear, I know your abilities are a bit more limited than your friend's is, so I brought you this."
Rin reached into the pocket of her long coat and brought out a small metal pistol, before giving it to the little girl.
"I've already loaded it with six shots, so just pull the trigger and it'll fire. Make sure you're nice and close to the demons first so you can't miss. It'll make a bit of a mess but I'm sure you don't mind that do you?"
A call came from outside and the woman jumped up with an excited look on her face.
"That'll be them, quick hide now!"
She dashed out of the room without even waiting for a response from either of the two assassins-to-be.
Not knowing what else he could do, Dr. Strauss helped Alec carry Mr. Kimura's body. There seemed little hope in keeping the body in one piece all the way to the graveyard as liquefied organs sloshed around inside the corpse, occasionally leaking out of the dead man's orifices and threatening to burst out of its gut.
"I had no choice," he said, "He had to be stopped... these powers... are a plague... and he was determined to spread it to others. As a Doctor I could not allow it."
With the help of Dr. Strauss, Alec dragged the surprisingly light man into the graveyard, seeing that there was only one person in the graveyard, other than them, Alec made his way towards him.
"Hey, I'm sorry if I'm interrupting something, but there is a matter of serious importance going on right now. I need you to leave this place ASAP so I can start my work. There is no time to explain, MOVE!"
The man was shocked that there was an emergency going on, and ran back to the facility. After that, many ghostly manifestations became visible, and Alec began looking for the one that looked like Hui. When he found her, he began his investigation.
"Hi Hui, it appears that there is a serious problem going on. I need your help to fix it..."
The sad mournful apparition glanced briefly at Alec, and then looked away again in apparent distain.
"Who are you?" she asked in a distant voice "How can you see me, foreigner?"
Alec felt pity for the ghost. It was such a shame that she had died.
"I have no idea, but that is one reason that I've come to you. People with special abilities and powers are now being hunted down! I have come to ask for the sword, and the info about your last experiment."
Alec thought that how he worded what he wanted to say sounded rude, but he couldn't think of a better way of saying: "Hello ms. dead person, I've come to rob your grave."
The wisp of a spirit turned her face quickly to the man.
"That's bad. You're lucky I can speak English, a rare trait among my fellow country people. The sword is a very powerful object, capable of great creation, or destruction. In my opinion Tao Zheng was not worthy to possess it, how do I know you are?"
Alec thought for a long time about why he was worthy of the sword. After five minutes, Alec decided to be honest with his reason, and said: "Well, so far, the safest person to give this sword to is me. Dr. Strauss kills people by accident, Mr. Kim is dying, and there's no one else that knows about the sword. I have done a lot of archeological research in the past years, and I think that I have more experience with swords than anyone that roams this graveyard, not to mention that I'm the only person that will ever ask you if they want to take your sword..."
"Chojun is dying?"
Hui's voice remained as disembodied as ever, but a single ghostly tear dripped down her cheek.
"After all that he did to me... to her... I still love him. I think he was a good man at heart and may his soul find peace. I will tell you where to find the sword, but first you must make a promise to me."
Chojun, OH NO! I left Mr. Kim outside where doctors can't treat him! I need to figure out how to save him fast!
"HUI, we can save him together! Tell me what to do, and I'll do it. While I do that, tell me what you want me to promise. How do you stop someone's insides from liquefying!?"
"Giving him water and making sure he's still breathing will help. Get him to a doctor soon though, that's his best hope. Before I tell you what I did with the sword, you must promise me this: if you meet any lost children on your travels, please look after them for me."
Alec took out a flask of water, and forced it into Mr. Kimura's mouth. After that he gave him CPR. Seeing that the man was now slowly waking up, Alec knew that he was doing something right.
"Wait, I got an idea! I'll take your promise, but can the sword give someone the ability to live, or give life?"
The apparition shook it's head sadly.
"Unlikely, according to legend it wasn't able to save the life of the warrior king was first given it by a water-spirit. We only used it as part of an experiment to test whether powers can be given artificially. Even if it could, you wouldn't be able to reach it in time. I was forced years ago, just days after I left Tao Zheng, to sell it to a woman named Rin. I don't know where she lives but she had a local accent so she's probably still around here somewhere."
The ghost paused for a moment and stared into space before continuing in the same empty voice.
"Be warned though, she has some sort of dangerous ability, you will need to be prepared. I didn't want to give it up to her but as a mortal women I had no choice but to accept her deal. I wish you good luck; may heaven's blessings be with you."
With that the vaporous spirit faded, silence returning to the empty graveyard.
"Strauss, if you want to help me, assist me in digging up Hui's remains. She holds too much info to be left alone, but first, treat Dr.Kim so he wont die, you ARE a doctor."
Dr. Strauss helped Alec take the corpse to the graveyard and then left in a hurry when Alec more or less told him to fuck off. He went back to Dr. Yang's lab. There he found a lengthy journal detailing his experiments on people with special abilities. Telekenisis, flight, shooting electricity from their hands... it all seemed so fantastical... so impossible. While the experiments often varied in their approach... they all seemed to have a single goal: finding a way to control "specials". Most of Dr. Yang's research seemed to have reached a dead end, until he got a chance to look at Alec.
From what he could tell, Dr. Yang had hit upon the idea of using a combination of mild radiation exposure and defribulation to bring back dead "specials" in order to channel their abilities towards some strange purpose... after that point, Yang's handwriting became too erratic and incoherent to read.
"Hmm..." Dr. Strauss said.
Then Dr. Strauss heard Alec running towards the facility with Mr. Kimura's body shouting for help. Despite his earlier anger at the man, Dr. Strauss didn't want Mr. Kimuera's death on his hands... or anyone else's. So he put on a new set of latex gloves and rushed out to help Alec bring Mr. Kimura back into the building for treatment.
"We need to get him into the medical wing... wherever that is..." he told Alec.
Takeda ran behind the crates as he was told and turned himself invisible. He hugged his arms tight around himself and tried not to shake. Demons . . . how strong will they be? Will they be big and scary?
But he was actually more worried about Maya. The fact that Rin had given her a gun was worrying, especially with the fuss she'd put up over him touching weapons back at the house. Maybe Maya wouldn't even need to use it. Maybe I'll just take care of the fight and she can hide back here.
Something was wrong here, very wrong. As Rezetta stepped cautiously into the dark warehouse, a tingle of dread went up her spine. She stared around in the gloom, very alert despite the pounding headache she currently had. If she hadn't been so anxious, she probably would have been more awed to the fact a wizard of the Arthurian age was standing right in front of her. As it was, she barely even glanced at the gleaming sword nestled in the case the man held. "I don't get it," she said, still nervously scanning the area around them. "Why'd you bring us in here simply to see a sword? And how do we know that what you're claiming--that this man is really the Merlin and that this sword is really Excalibur--is true?" she demanded, twining her fingers together as she spoke. Despite everything she'd seen today and during the rest of her life, she was finding it all a little hard to swallow at the moment.
Another tingle went up her spine and Zetta recognized what it was that she was feeling; her old life on the streets had taught her well. She and Lily were being watched. And it wasn't just from the rest of the group hanging outside of the warehouse, either. Somebody, or something, was here in the darkness and watching them. The problem was, she couldn't actually see anybody. Either they were hiding themselves amongst the crates, or they were somehow invisible. She frowned, trying to catch Lily's eye and tip her off without alerting the others that she knew something was up. Zetta had grown to appreciate and acknowledge the way Lily kept certain things quiet in order to keep the cards in her favor.
Lily had dulled her senses a little to keep herself from realising anything and alerting the telepath that Rin had, in case it forced them to act first, and she was now convinced there was a telepath in the crowd outside. Nobody needed an entourage that large just to keep a sword, especially one as elusive as Excalibur. They were here to monitor Lily and Zetta, and if the need arose, kill them, that was something else she was sure of. Lily noticed Rezetta making eyes at her, either concerned or worried, and lifted the small layer of force she had put over her ears, she listened intently for anything belying Rin's fašade. After a while of listening, all the while approaching the sword, she heard something behind a pair of crates move slightly. In cased it was just a rat, Lily sent a small push around the obstacle a couple of centimetres above the ground, about eye level for a rat. Eventually, just about where the two crates came together with a small gap between them, she felt resistance in two small, vaguely rat shaped places. They were more heavily set than rats though, and were making a point of staying very still. Moving the push up a little, she felt a pair of ankles. Very small, but they were definitely the shape of a pair of ankles. She let the force go, and kept walking. It was definitely a trap. She slowly edged up shields around herself and Rezetta, but kept her mask of fascination with Excalibur on at all times.
Rin smiled knowingly at both Rezetta and Lily.
"There are certain objects in the world which are infused with magical powers. This is one of the most powerful, certainly the greatest I have ever been able to get my hands on. I bought it a number of years ago off some Chinese woman with a baby, I have no idea how she ended up with the sword but she evidently didn't know how to use it. My ability to see the possibilities of time allows me to take advantage of these sorts of opportunities that would normally require extraordinary luck. I have foreseen that together with a strong wielder, this could be part of a route to world domination. Come closer and read what is written on Excalibur."
The followers crowded silently into the warehouse behind the two women, almost as if they were waiting in anticipation for something to happen.
Just a couple of minutes earlier, Maya fled after Takeda, not wanting to be left alone in the middle of the darkened warehouse. She crouched behind the crates and then closing her eyes in concentration, felt something similar to a cool breeze running down her body as she turned herself invisible. Her hands shook as she clutched the heavy pistol to her chest. As the voices outside became steadily louder, it felt less like an exciting adventure and far more frightening. Without warning the small girl suddenly burst into tears.
"Why are we here Takeda?" she sobbed "I don't want to kill demons, I don't to kill anyone! I just want to go home..."
Alec kicked opened the door and dragged the man to Dr.Strauss, then he put it on the floor.
"Ok, I think we should take a look at the building map first."
Alec spotted one in the hallway, and looked over it. The medical wing appeared to be at the far end of the first floor.
Alec grabbed the body and rushed towards the room. When he got there, he knocked on the door.
An angry voice was heard: "Gǔn chūq¨!"
Dr. Strauss followed Alec to the medical wing as fast as he could.
Damn... this guy sure can move fast... and he's dragging a corpse around...
Dr. Strauss eventually caught up with him.
"Here," he said while trying to pick Mr. Kimura's body up, "Help me get him onto the table."
As the two entered the office, the doctor inside of there quickly hid a petri dish and microscope under a desk.
"What was that?"
The man didn't understand what Alec said, and left, muttering something under his breath.
"Well, I wonder what's his problem."
Alec lifted the Mr.Kim onto the table nearest to him.
"What do we do now?"
Dr. Strauss looked around the room carefully. He found an extensive medicine cabinet, a portable defibrillator, and just about every tool a surgeon could ask for. Dr. Strauss plugged Mr. Kimura into the heart monitor. It started beeping at a regular pace.
"That's odd," Strauss said, "He should be nearly dead by now... Hmm... my best guess is that how much skin makes contact and how much time it... never mind... need to focus on curing. For now... just lower the temperature in the room to freezing levels... need to slow his blood-flow... prevent the virus from spreading too far..."
Dr. Strauss dug through the medicine cabinet and dug out a few stimulants, some ibuprofen, and a rare medicine that functioned as a combination of insulin and biflorcloric acid. Dr. Strauss got a hypodermic needle, filled it with the rare medicine, squeezed the air out of the needle, then injected it into Mr. Kimura's left arm. Then he gave him a few bits of ibuprofen. Miraculously... during all of this, Mr. Kimura's pulse remained stable.
"It looks like he's going to make a full recovery... I'm sorry... I don't know what I was thinking back there in his office. There's just something about his plans to give more people special abilities that really bugs me. I don't like what he wants to do... but I just don't want another death on my hands... not after..."
Dr. Strauss buried his face into his hands.
Alec was at a loss of words, but did what he was told. He found the thermostat in the room quickly, and set it to the lowest safe temperature there.
"I hope this works, and if it doesn't, maybe I can find a way to use the sword and save him, but that's unlikely."
Alec saw Dr. Strauss appear to cry, trying to ignore him, he began looking for something to do.
He found a small remote which had the words "Mini EMP laser." Alec pointed it at the tracker in his chest, and turned on the EMP. Soon afterwards, the light began to glow dark purple as it appeared to dig farther into his flesh, looking for a way to avoid the EMP wave...
"What's going on?" a weak voice came from a nearby bed.
Pale and shaking, Mr. Kimura struggled to turn his head so he could see his surroundings. The room was generally clean-looking with painted white walls and several medical posters easily visible. He looked a little disappointed when he spotted Dr. Strauss crying in a corner and Alec apparently studying a miniature laser.
"Oh, it's you two. I'm surprised you're still here after what he did to me. How long have I been out?"
He spoke a little stronger this time, emphasising his dislike of Dr. Strauss with the way he said "he".
Dr. Strauss took his hands away from his face. He checked the heart monitor... it was still beeping at a stable pace. Mr. Kimura's eyes seemed to be regaining their color... as was his skin.
"Mr. Kimura... it looks like you're going to make a full recovery. And... I'm sorry about what I did. I did everything I could to save your life just now... but I'll understand if you'll want to call the authorities and have me arrested. I won't resist."
Alec put the EMP back and decided to let Mr.Kimura handle the tracker.
"Ok, I've found out that the sword is in possession of a woman named Rin, who has some dangerous powers. I plan on digging up Hui so I wont get lost on my journey for the sword and to get this tracker removed when you get better. I hope you didn't lie when you said I'd get paid because I cant earn any money for the next few days, and I need to eat."
Alec came closer to Mr.Kim examined his eyes, they appear to have changed color during his revival.
Mr. Kimura looked thoughtful for a moment when he heard Dr. Strauss's statement but then shook his head.
"I suppose your... ability lets call it... could come in handy when searching the sword. Help Alec retrieve this most important object and I'll forgive you, and pay you a large sum of money too. Take this for now."
He slowly reached into his trouser pockets and while still lying down, took out a wad of cash and handed it to Alec.
"That's about a thousand Chinese yuan, equivalent of maybe a hundred and fifty American dollars. That'll last you a while. I'm sorry I can't help much with this Rin woman, I've never heard of her. You'll have to find her on your own. Did Hui say anything... interesting? Also do you really need to dig her up? It's only been a couple of months since she passed away so I'd imagine that the body... hmmmm... wouldn't be too pretty to say the least."