Previously on the series: Part Three
Keigo knocked at the door for the fourth time. The case of missing people was normal, but then returning with no memory of what happened, was something incredible. The press would go haywire and the public, well, it would be chaos. He had to find out, what all of this meant. Solving it was a distant possibility, making sense of it was his immediate attention. After ten minutes of being polite, he was left with no other option but to use the Lock Over-rider. Machine whirred silently as it got attached to the sensory locks on the door, and finally beeped.
Keigo walked in to the sprawling thirty acre mansion of Tokyo’s best known ramp model, Teriniko. It was highly conspicuous that no working staff, no maids, and not even the Butler could be seen. From what he heard, after her return or more so a reappearance last week, she had dismissed everyone. Rumors were adrift that she would cover herself up from tip to toe with black robes. Nothing would be visible apart from her eyes. Just as Kiego passed a huge Digital SyncroMotion painting of Imklopo Waterfall, he felt his left ear-pod slightly vibrate. Right ear-pod meant home, Left ear-pod was Work.
He touched the ear-pod, and voice blurted out.
”Embassy has sent Brühl to investigate, and he wants to access your server files, he’s going crazy, man, what do I do ?”
”Why is the Russian embassy in my office? Did you even try to stop him?”
Keigo walked through the corridor, trying to find some movement somewhere. There has to be IR sensors at the gate, and no record of her leaving.
”Vittoria? Remember?” his colleague, Pikobo, spoke in a hushed tone. Clearly, Brühl was somewhere near him. A giant of a man, with a highly volatile temper. Fearless, and truly unstoppable, he was easily the best cop in Russian embassy and Interpol, both taken together.
”They found her?” Keigo exclaimed in excitement. But then a grotesque thought of some severed part made him silent. They had found the others, each one of them, except for her and Teriniko.
”They literally did, near the paper dump in. South Detron cross and…”
”And? What is it.. Tongue? Ear? What?”
” Skin…!!”. Keigo froze in his step. Ear could be cut. Eyes could be, well, popped out. But Skin?? Did the devil peel her skin off. Any mellowed image that he could project in his mind, seemed more and more gruesome and sadistic. He came back to his senses only after the voice on the line spoke further.
”They traced her disappearance to Tokyo Regency ten days back“
”Wait a second, so how come we never did?” Keigo exclaimed, remembering the portly restaurant owner, who had weirdly forgot to turn his CCTV on.
”Embassy, well, got lucky. She was found in one of the pictures clicked by some teenager celebrating his birthday”
”Face-Scanner Access huh? Chief denied me that, you Know. I would have gotten to her even more quickly. Anyway, do we, you know, get to talk to her” he said.
”Yup, As soon as you come back from the Party, Keigo!” Pikobo stated casually. It was odd for Keigo too have chosen to go to a fund raiser right in the middle of an investigation. But then Keigo was clearly equipped to go nonsensical.
”What Party? I’m here to meet Teriniko” he waded forward. There wasn’t anyone. Where had she gone?
”This probably isn’t the best time to kid around, You are in Kyoto, for a fund raiser. Your Track is there“
”No No…I’m not…My track? Wait a second…”
He cut the call and pulled up his sleeve and saw a minute red blinking on his forearm. It was very much in place. The signal was not hack-able of course. He could see a high wooden door in front of him beyond the vases. Something told him that Teriniko was behind the Door. He walked up to it and opened it.
A bunch of men , all dressed in tuxedos and suits, looked at him, and got back to their chatter. As his mind started to go numb, he saw a fountain of wine in a gorgeously decorated hall, with political honchos laughing at a corner, their wives and companies listening to jazz musician play, on the other. He was in a party. He ran back to the door, and opened it to find a washroom. As a million questions blasted through his mind, he lost balance of what was real and what wasn’t. What was his memory and what was fed to him. It was no longer a mind game, it was a thought massacre. And he fell on the wet floor with a loud thud, as blood started to drip out of his nose…
(To be continued)
Copyright/Author: Siddharth Naidu