Cutscene: stage two - On the Use of Fire

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stage two
On the Use of Fire

Characters: Hideo Matsuda

Date: Various dates; February 12th, 2013


"You must never become accustomed to taking lives, Hideo."

Clad in a custom-tailored red suit, a stoic, steadfast man in his mid-to-late fifties stood in only one of many abandoned warehouses in Konan Ward. Plastic sheets crinkle as he turned, pressing down on the hand-carved cane he carried to take one impassive step back from the growing puddle of bright scarlet pooling across the once-clean sheets.

Only several feet away from him rested a younger Hideo Matsuda, tall frame hunched over a lifeless body, eyes wide and vomit and blood clinging to his lips and scarred face. His entire body trembled with the shock of being forced to do something it was unwilling to do.

"I know this was difficult for you, boy. But one day you might come to appreciate that difficulty. In some ways, it will be inevitable. You will not always have a first kill. Eventually you will forget this feeling. Eventually, you may not even consider the hurdle of taking a life any more heavily than you might the socks you choose to wear for the day." The red-suited man turned his stare down to the dead man beneath him -- his expression betrayed neither disdain or regret, merely a neutral placidity that carries all the way to his even tone.

"But you must never forget: every time you take a life, you are taking a possibility. You are not simply killing someone, you are killing everything they were and could be, and taking from others everything they might have been with the presence of that person in their life. I do not choose to take lives lightly. I will not ask you to take lives just for the sake of it. There must be a purpose to it, because otherwise... you are simply being wasteful."


It has been too long a day for Jiro Kimura. A long-standing member of the Sumiyoshi-kai's Sumaru branch, he had, for much of his years after attaining a rank of comfort, simply enjoyed a simpler life of managing real estate within the city. The buying and selling and manipulation of property had led to an enjoyable front for the man, who had always been more at home with the more 'legitimate' side of his criminal family than the seedy business they used his legitimate means to hide.

But thanks to his extensive network developed over years of property dealing, when the drug Cintamani made itself known and began spreading throughout the city like wildfire, suddenly his job had been changed. Rather than enjoy his simple life, he was given increasingly impossible assignments to use his connections to try to track down Cintamani's source and keep tabs on its distributors. And Kimura, far too unused to the criminal aspects of his criminal career, could only barely keep this new work afloat enough to appease his fellow Sumiyoshi-kai executives.

He had thought, with the police and that Department 4 now dismantling Cintamani, that his job might be done; instead, the man has spent hours after hours fielding countless calls about where he is in securing information about the whereabouts of Cintamani's mastermind, Hideo Matsuda, and too many other matters related to the fiasco to count, coming off it increasingly feeling as if he is at the end of his rope.

Without even a single creak, Jiro Kimura opens the door to his expansive home within his well-secured, gated community property in Narumi. He is still in the midst of dialing yet another number when he shuts the door behind him, listening to the countless rings before the number to his colleague, Hideki Kobayashi, leads to his voice mail for the fifth time.

"Kobayashi-san -- with all due respect, where the hell are you??" demands the man tiredly; he can hear the sound of his young son giggling in the background, brows furrowing. He should already be asleep. Why is...? "I gave you a job to do, and I haven't heard a single thing from you all day, when you said you'd have everything prepared by now! I hope you're not avoiding me, for your sake, because if I don't have anything to present to the others by the next meeting we're BOTH going to be--"

Barking. A dog barking interrupts Kimura. He blinks at the unfamiliar sound; they don't have any animals.

"... dead men."


Slowly - very slowly - Jiro Kimura advances into his living room. There, he sees his six year old son, playing happily with a large, shaggy akita, bounding around the young boy with endlessly energetic joy. Jiro Kimura comes to an abrupt stop. His fingers loosen lifelessly around his phone. The blood slowly drains from his face.

"Dad! Dad! Your friend has the coolest dog!!"

His stare focuses past the dog, onto the distinctively massive form of Hideo Matsuda, sitting in his leather chair, in his home, watching his son at play.

"Yo," intones the large man; vibrant green eyes don't even focus on Kimura -- they focus on the dog running circles, circles around his son.

"Figured you'd show up about now."

"What are... how did you get here...?"

"He said he had to talk to you about work stuff! It's okay, he had a key an' everything!" The boy laughs, hugging the dog around the neck. "Hey, what's his name??"

"Doesn't have one," answers Hideo succinctly. Slowly, those green eyes come to focus on Kimura. The man can feel his blood going cold. "Figure you know why I'm here."

A single, slow nod is Matsuda's answer. The large man says nothing. He just gets up, hands shoving deep into his pockets. "Then let's go. C'mon mutt." A sharp whistle, and the shaggy dog backs away from the boy's clinging grasp, running back to its master's side. The boy's disappointment is palpable -- but none of it comes out as anything more than a numb whine in Kimura's ears.

"... You don't have to do this..." he murmurs, under his breath.

"Yeah. I do. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. C'mon - time to go."

"Could you please just... just let me say goodbye to my son...?"

Hideo pauses at Jiro Kimura's front door. He looks, squintingly, at the man, and then his happy, unassuming boy. A scowl crosses his lips.

"... Whatever. Do what you want. But try anything stupid--"

The slam of the door is palpable to Kimura's ears.

Five minutes later, Jiro Kimura leaves his gated, well-secured community property in a plateless car. Today has been too short a day for him.

It will not be until well into the next day that both his and Hideki Kobayashi's bodies will be found on one of Kimura's development properties, with a single message hung in a sign around Kimura's neck:



Within a warehouse with floors covered by plastic sheetings and blood, the red-suited man crouched in front of a young Hideo Matsuda. And in spite of himself, the younger man turned bright green eyes upon his mentor, unable to find words to speak beyond a small, choked noise.

"Hideo. It will not always be like this. But never forget. The people you kill have friends, family, loved ones -- connections. When you kill, you do not simply affect one life, but many you will never be able to account for fully. Always remember that. Always respect that.

"Because one day, you will have to experience that same loss yourself."

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