Cutscene: stage one - ... And Elsewhere Nowhere
... And Elsewhere Nowhere
NOTE: RATING WARNING for swearing and some violence and so on
Date: September 23rd, 2012
Plastic crinkles around the toad-faced man's shoes as he steps into a long-abandoned warehouse in the Konan Ward. Dust and cobwebs line this place; the air is musky and stale. It hurts his already well-abused lungs just to take it in with each of his heavyset breathes. The only thing that saves it from complete disuse is the painter's plastic sheets that cover the flooring.
"... Hey," the heavyset technician begins, tentatively, as his toad-like eyes focus on the huge form of Hideo Matsuda, already standing in the middle of the warehouse. The man wears a heavy coat, obscuring his irezumi as he plays irritably with a smartphone; with how it shines with unblemished polish, it looks new. "Why'd you set the meeting up here, anyway? What about the bar--?"
"Bar's too hot right now. 'Til the Hirasaka shit blows over, you ain't goin' anywhere near it," is Hideo's terse reply. The Cint cook presses thick lips together as he watches the larger man fiddle with his phone. "Fuckin' piece of shit-- No one gives a rat's ass about the vacants in Konan Ward. Industries' been dyin' out, no one's come here in years. Cost too much to renovate 'em, an' this area's too much of a god damn dead zone to try to destroy 'em an' build somethin' else. An' the police has too much other shit to worry about right now to try an' case every fuckin' vacated warehouse that's ever existed in Konan to make sure nothin' suspicious is goin' on in 'em."
"Oh. Uh. Okay. Man, you really... really think this stuff through, huh?" the overweight man asks; his tone can't help but sound a little condescendingly impressed. The short stare he receives following it makes him wish he'd been able to. "It's not like I--"
"Shut the fuck up."
"... R-right. Well. I mean. I was just im--"
"Shut the fuck up."
Uncomfortable silence fills the wide, vacant building. The heavyset man shifts, a thick finger tugging at a collar that feels like it's now clinging to his neck like a noose. His hand lifts to rub against his swollen cheek. His lips part. "I--"
"You're gettin' moved to the main site," cuts in Hideo like a father annoyedly assuring a child Christmas really /is/ coming. The other man's face visibly brightens. "Just gotta make some calls with the right people, but this -- fuckin' -- piece. Of. Shit!"
The would-be cook winces away from the sudden, angry bark. Tentatively, he offers. "... Uh, what're you trying to do? Maybe I can help...?"
"... Eh?" Once more, Hideo turns that intense green gaze on him. He flinches back instinctively from the relatively neutral stare. "... Yeah sure, whatever. You know how to get this bluetooth garbage workin'? Here." Matsuda shoves the phone off into the other man's hands, followed by a bluetooth receiver. The toad-faced man nods agreeably, working the phone with surprisingly deft fingers.
"Sure thing. It's not too hard, it just--" Another glare. The man shuts up. "... ... here. That oughta do it."
The phone is handed off. Hideo places the bluetooth headset into his right ear testingly. "Thanks," says the large man blandly as he starts pressing numbers.
"No problem," says the technician; he turns around, getting a good look at the warehouse. For once, in Hideo's presence, he feels comfortable. His hands plant on his waist, satisfied. Eager, even. He looks down, smiling. "Hey, I was meaning to ask, what's with all the plasti--"
With the disappointingly anti-climatic sound of a balloon popping, the nameless man's forehead blows out into chunks of skull and shredded glops of brain matter. The heavyset, lifeless body of the former Cintamani cook collapses face-first into the painter's plastic as blood pours bright and free across its slick surface.
Hideo Matsuda lowers the long, suppressor-equipped barrel of his gun. He has not once looked up from his phone.
"I remember when this shit used to have real fuckin' buttons and a goddamn antenna and shit, jesus," complains the man detachedly as his thumb roves the screen. Grumbling an acerbic "come back an' now it takes me fifteen fuckin' minutes just to find a fuckin' call button," he presses down, and then listens to the ring. The phone slips into his jacket pocket as gloved hands boredly unscrew the suppressor from his gun's barrel.
"Hey. Yeah, it's me. Been a while." The clip of the gun is removed; both are tossed into a nondescript black bag. He walks away. "Yeah. The usual. Yeah. ... Yeah. Gonna be the same number as always."
When he returns, the man is carrying another bag in one hand and a large, heavy can in the other. He apathetically drops both in front of the lifeless body.
"The rest?" Crouching down next to the remains of the former lab technician, Hideo unceremoniously shoves a gloved hand into one pocket, withdrawing a cellphone, keys. Into the other pocket, withdrawing a wallet. He checks the rest of the man's pockets before he finally flips open the wallet. He stares with vacant, green eyes at the name 'KEIJI HAYASHI' typed neatly on the man's ID.
"I'm gonna take care of those."
The wallet slaps shut. It, the keys, and the phone are all thrown into the same bag as the gun. Unzipping the other bag, he reaches in, rooting around.
"Yeah, the stuff'll be there. Like always. Yeah. No one followed, made sure. Alright. Usual rate, yeah? ... Sure. Sure. Shit's ready for you when you get here."
Without a blink, the man lays out the long, handled wire of a Gigli Saw across the late Keiji Hayashi's back. Standing, he kicks the can forward until it reaches the front end of Hayashi's body; bits of lime powder knock out of the can, drifting a lazy path to the painters plastic, mixing unpleasantly with the pooling blood.
Hideo Matsuda never bothers to look once. He hangs up his phone; dials a new number; and then picks up his black bag.
"Yeah, it's me."
<"... Is it done?"> asks a man's voice on the other end of the line.
"'Course it is. He ain't gonna talk."
<"I'd like to know what happened.">
"Idiot was an idiot. Fixed the problem. Can't have that shit happening in an operation like this. You oughta know that better than anyone. Ain't you a businessman?"
<"... So did you--">
"You really wanna know what I did?"
"Yeah. Thought so."
Click. Hideo stares at that smartphone for several, long seconds after the call ends. His lips twist into an ugly, contemptuous sneer.
"Piece of shit."
By the time Hideo Matsuda walks out of the lonely, abandoned warehouse in Konan Ward, it is night time. As he exits, another man enters. They do not acknowledge one another; they simply walk their separate ways.
The smartphone bounces around in Matsuda's black bag of discarded goods.