Monday, December 13, 2010

Return – Chapter 3

The Seito Plaza Hotel was amongst the high-rise buildings by the west exit of Shinjuku station and was known for having large numbers of foreign guests. A short, bald man with a red face entered it that night, seemingly out of place. But his body gave off a glittering energy, and as he passed, the other guests all turned toward him as if on cue. Jogging past the lobby, the man headed to the elevator.

His name was Shimazaki Ryunosuke. He was an infamous tycoon, known for his shrewd buying and selling of conglomerates using foreign capital. The more than three hundred companies under his control were said to make over 50 billion yen in a single day. Shimazaki was also known to have deep connections with the current ruling political party. Who could he be visiting here, alone and without his secretary? Spat out by the elevator as it stopped at the fifteenth floor, Shimazaki stepped in front of the door to room 1504.

"Loki is a demon. A demon can't die!"

Shimazaki heard the hysterical cries of a woman and slowed a bit. He doubtfully pulled a memo out of his pocket and checked to make sure he was at the right room; Shimazaki reluctantly knocked on the door.

Shimazaki had known Isma previously and could recognize him on sight. With barely a greeting, as soon as he had entered the room Shimazaki was asking if a demon had truly been summoned. With a slightly offended look on his face, Isma went over the details of what he knew and had learned from Ohara.

"So then, instead of Loki, a demon named Set has now been summoned?" Shimazaki's question was hurried and impatient.

"According to Ohara-san, it would appear so..." Isma looked back as he spoke. Ohara was trying to open the door and leave.

"Where are you going?" Isma's gaze stopped Ohara in her tracks.

"That's none of your business now is it?" Ohara's tone was confrontational.

"I won't have you running out on your own and ruining things. Stay right here." His stare affixed on Ohara, Isma moved toward her, a step at a time.

"I don't take orders from you!" As she spoke, Isma's large, bony hands grabbed her by the back of the neck. Ohara's eyes opened wide.

"Just what do you think you can do on your own? True, we don't know for sure that Loki is dead. But even if I let you continue to play with the summoning program, with your limited computer knowledge, you'd only end up getting killed by Set!" As he admonished her, Isma threw Ohara to the floor like so much useless rubbish.

Crawling on the carpet, Ohara glared up at Isma, her eyes full of humiliation and bewilderment, the white nape of her neck marred with reddish-black marks from his fingers. Acting like nothing had happened, Isma turned and continued to speak to Shimazaki.

"Shimazaki-san, I would like you to hurry and prepare a computer for me."

"Of course, Saint. I'll ready any machine you want, be it an IBM supercomputer or a Cray 1. In exchange, if you could let me use the power of the demon as well..." Rubbing his hands together, Shimazaki looked at Isma.

As Isma responded with a sarcastic smile, his eyes drifted to Ohara, who was crawling towards the door in another attempt to escape.

"Don't you get it yet!?" Isma chanted a spell in a low voice.

"Yog-sothoth Ya Rubikay Hara."

Ohara let out a cry like an animal and rolled around the floor, her hands frantically clutching at her throat. Her shining, manicured nails sunk into the flesh of her neck, and blood flowed from the wounds.

"Ohara, the mark on your neck will not vanish easily. As I continue to cast my spells, you will feel a tightening pain as if you were being hung from the gallows."

Isma's harsh, merciless words sounded like a far-off echo to Ohara as she writhed on the floor in agony.

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