Saturday, September 18, 2010

Down the Road –Chapter 4

Four female employees in the operations room of the branch office of Fourth Kangyo Bank in Inai, entering data in the host computer so it could write a patch to send the day's transfers to other bank branches. None of the four were looking down at their keyboards; their glances only turned back and forth from their displays to the numbers on the display vouchers they had been working with.

"Why is my terminal always the one to break!?" One of the workers irritably got up from her seat.

Her name was Mida Yoshie and she had been working at the bank for two years. She was brilliant but somewhat short-tempered lady, with a bob-cut appearance that complimented her energetic personality. Yoshie looked closely at the other workers' terminals, but it appeared that she was the only one experiencing the problem. Her screen was completely dark and not responding to any keyboard input at all.

"Isn't that what normally happens when you send data to the host computer?" Shimamura Yuko, Yoshie's polar opposite in appearance and personality, looked over at her as she continued to enter data into her own terminal.

Yuko had been at the company a year longer than Yoshie and was thus slightly higher on the chain of command.

"Is it just mine, then? Oh well, I might as well go make some tea."

As Yoshie discontentedly left the room, a blue haze started to seep from the display behind her. A pungent musky smell started to waft throughout the room; engrossed in their work, nobody seemed to notice. The blue haze started to coagulate and take form behind the chair that Yoshie had been sitting in.

Tired from all the data entry, Yuko thrust her arms toward the ceiling and stretched. A strange jelly-like substance grabbed onto her white throat.

"Yoshie, cut it out."

Yawning as she turned around, Yuko found herself staring into the bronze face of Loki, his head atop that bizarre pillar of gelatinous flesh. She tried to scream, but her vocal chords froze; she could not make a sound. The demon's tentacle constricted, crushing Yuko's skull with a loud crunch. Yuko’s head was nothing more than a grotesque lump of disfigured flesh; her hands continued to tap on the terminal keys out of sheer inertia. The other two women sat paralyzed with fear; fresh tentacles grabbed them and pulled them inside the demon's body.

From behind Loki came the sound of porcelain shattering. Yoshie had returned with tea and dropped her tray at the unbelievable bloodbath she had walked into. Loki's tentacle stretched out. Heat shot through Yoshie’s chest, along with a sticky sensation. In the next instant, blinding pain shot through her as fresh blood spurted out of her rent skin.

"What's going on?"

A male employee carrying a load of bills to the safe had heard the strange sound within the room and opened the door. Loki mercilessly threw Yoshie's now-decapitated head at his chest with incredible force.

"Agh!"

Knocked hard against the wall, the man blearily searched for the emergency alarm and barely managed to press it with his remaining strength before passing out.

The shrill sound of the alarm echoed throughout the building. In the midst of the clamor, Loki calmly completed his transformation into his bronze humanoid form and turned his pitch-black eyes toward Asuka.

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