Author's note: The two main characters, Yukio and Kane, are not both mine. Kane belongs to FuzzyUglyBunny here on fictionpress, while Yukio is my character.

Chapter 1- Greed

"Judge people less on their mistakes than on how they handle their mistakes." -Anonymous


System scanning.....

Access pin 24959215955 Accepted
Running security overview system
Accessing VF memory

Access pin 32344897333 Accepted
Security system update complete

He watched the data scroll by on the screens in front of him, a glass held in his hand, slender fingers holding it from the bottom, swirling the red wine inside. His fingers on the opposite hand drummed the arm of the polished wooden chair idly, the room dimly lit; only the light of the screens and the dim green glow of his machine right eye's pupil served as light sources in the near dark of the security station. He had long since given up on having people staff his laboratory, things went missing and bad things happened to those responsible. He took care of security himself now. Not that he often had trouble, or even visitors, for that matter.

Leaving the security computers to continue their scanning, Yukio wandered from the room, tall, slim figure clothed darkly in black dress pants and a dark grey button-up shirt, long sleeves ending in open cuffs. His polished black shoes tapped the white tile of his lab, muffling slightly as the floor changed to the hardwood of his living area. It had been a dull, dull evening. Not even his research had been enough to immerse his thoughts in, there was a painfully lingering sense of boredom that hung in the air and he couldn't escape it. It seemed nothing even mildly relevant had occurred in weeks.

Setting his wine glass down with a soft, bored sigh, he reached both hands to the back of his head, slightly loosening the rather tight ponytail his white-blonde hair was pulled into, which reached his lower back in straight strands. Settling himself down on the sofa in his living room, he let himself relax slightly, sinking into the dark green faux suede cushion behind him. His mind, however, did not rest.

Whereas he had perfected many formulas and chemicals for various reasons- changing one's species, stimulants, sedatives, enhancers, hallucinogens- his latest project was giving him difficulty, and test subjects were getting hard to come by. His latest creation was a mental stimulant that threw off senses, some coordination, and mental stability- something he liked to call Insanity in a Bottle, because that was what it essentially was.

Or at least, would be.

If he could contaminate the water supplies, the people would go into mass hysteria. Instead of a hostile takeover, he could play the role of a saviour by offering the leaders of the realm an antidote, for the price of letting him take control. The realm would become his and he would be revered as a saint.

But first, he needed to perfect the antidote. He'd already had to toss out some test subjects who had gone permanently insane without hope of recovery. Such a pity. Some of them had been lucky enough to die in the process.

Recovering his wine from the small table beside the sofa, he drained the last of it, then reached for the small drawer in the table. Pulling out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, he placed a cigarette between his lips and lit it, exhaling a thin stream of smoke into the air. What a wasted day.


I really hope this Mahasi guy knows what he's doing, Kane thought to himself as he kept up his pace of a quick trudge through the small mountain town, getting odd looks from villagers, just because of his sheer size. He towered over most at six foot two, the sheer muscle on him making up most of his bulk. Ignoring the people as they made hushed comments to each other under their breaths, resisting the urge to go over there and break their necks, He pushed onward to the location given to him by his ears in the black market- the hidden labratory of one Yukio Mahasi, known in the underground as a master of chemicals, formulas and potions.

Kane wanted for himself one of these supposed potions that were supposed to work so well- he didn't care for the dodgy ones, shape changing, stimulants, sensory enhancers... He, specifically, wanted something to make him stronger. He wanted power, and by becoming stronger than everyone else, he knew that power could be achieved. He reached the incredibly steep wall of the mountainside just outside the village and put his hand on it, and started to walk, dragging his fingers along the wall, looking for something.

His fingers paused as they traced an unnaturally smooth groove in the stone, and he followed it around a small corner, dipping into the wall. He found the large shrubs against the stone that he was looking for and approached them, shoving branches aside with some mild frustration (snapping quite a few in the process) to reveal the entrance to a tunnel, about seven feet high, going down. Without hesitation or doubt he stepped inside and followed it into the darkness, pace slowing to give his eyes time to adjust.


"Unidentified life form in tunnel area. Requesting confirmation."

Yukio blinked, puffed a ring of smoke into the air and looked down at his watch, which he'd radio-wired to the security system. Well, at least it would cure the boredom that was weighing him down, if only for the moment. Standing up slowly, he made his way back to his lab, stepping into the security area, expression disgruntled. If it was just a stupid animal or something he was going to be pissed.

But no, on the heat-vision camera's screen, there was a large figure walking down the tunnel. He watched as it stopped where he knew the heavy steel doors were, watched him inspect it, get frustrated and lean against the cavern's wall, bringing a hand up to his face. He tapped a code into the nearby keyboard quickly.

Access pin 32344897333 accepted

Locking all doors
Opening main entrance doors


"..." Kane looked up as the metal doors suddenly slid open, about half of his frustration evaporating. He'd thought he'd come to a dead end, and squinted against the sudden white light pouring out from the door, dark brown eyes protesting as they adjusted once again. Stepping inside, watching his surroundings carefully and suspiciously, the fluorescent light poured over him, illuminating his unruly, earlength black hair, his close-fitting black shirt, black belt and dark grey pants. The heavy black boots he wore gave muffled clunks on the white floor, and he narrowed his eyes, glancing about him. He could see other doors, four or five of them, and noted the keypads next to them. Probably locked.

"Can I help you?" A sultry voice sprang from an open hall to Kane's left side and he glanced over, half-startled, a flare of anger toward the lack of warning rising up for a moment, but he managed to let it subside. He eyed the man curiously- tall, but still shorter than him, long blonde hair in a ponytail- a very unnerving machine eye that was obviously fixed on him- a normal green eye, dark clothes and a white lab coat hung over slender shoulders.

"You'd better be Yukio Mahasi," Kane said bluntly. Yukio took his time sizing up this visitor- quite tall, he never liked looking up at people, made him feel inferior, which he certainly wasn't. Well built, black hair, dark eyes, handsome face. His machine eye, which had been scanning, determined his status as a carbon-based life form, male, aged somewhere close to 30. His own personal sense told him he had a short temper.

A subtle nod. "That is who I am, yes."

Kane found this man disturbingly calm. "The one who makes these supposed enhancement potions?"

"Is that what they're calling them these days." A soft chuckle. He knew his name was becoming a common term in black markets, his chemicals and formulas were selling for large sums of money.

Kane grit his teeth. "I want you to give me one that will make me stronger." His arms folded over his chest and he stared down into the pale green eye and machine eye, even though he was about six feet away. The glare in his dark brown eyes said that he wasn't asking, he was demanding.

A disgustingly pleasant but thin smile played over Yukio's lips and he slid his hands into his pockets, nodding slightly. "Ah, of course." He paced toward a door slowly, Kane's eyes watching him intently. This was almost too simple. He felt sure that there would be some sort of snag.

"You must realize, of course, that the formula will take a few days to make," Yukio added almost offhandedly, tapping in a keycode to the door. "This way, what's your name?" he directed and asked as it slid open.

"... It's Kane." he followed the slightly shorter scientist, still suspicious.

"Now, It will take time to assemble chemicals and prepare the-"

"What's the catch?" Kane demanded, interrupting Yukio mid-sentence.

"None at all," Yukio uttered smoothly as he stepped into the lab, Kane following behind him, grumbling something incoherent. The scientist's voice sounded so truthful it was painful.

The lab was a massive sweep of white; the ceilings were higher, fluorescent lights lining them, illuminating everything below. Prominent in the room were two large plexiglass enclosures, and by looking closer Kane could see that tubes lead to the inside of them, and the doors only had knobs and locks on the outside. Each looked like a transparent prison cell against the wall. There were many stainless steel-topped tables, some empty, others covered in books, others in delicate-looking equipment, some a mix of both. Everything was impeccably, spotlessly clean. There was a small door leading to a smaller room, and through a glass wall Kane could see security screens.

"I'd prefer if you didn't touch anything," Yukio added as he went to a grey cabinet against the wall, pulling a documented folder from it. He flipped through it quickly and pulled out a sheet of paper, looking it over quickly before heading over to one of the clean tables and getting to work.

Kane took the phrase 'don't touch anything' as 'feel free to look around', and so did, loosely looking around the laboratory as the scientist worked.

It was about ten minutes later when Kane started to get bored.

Yukio was working quickly, had a few burners going with several chemicals being mixed and heated, a couple books open and the formula sheet laid out on the cold steel in his easy view. Far too preoccupied, he wasn't watching Kane, who felt like exploring the rest of this place this one-eyed 'genius' apparently lived in. He started wandering toward the security room, noting the keypad next to the locked, closed door. He reached up to press one of the buttons on the keypad.

"Don't-" came Yukio's late reaction as he caught Kane out of the corner of his eye- at the same time the keypad gave out a distress beeping sound, and there was a heavy metal clanking sound from somewhere. Kane's eyes widened and he blinked, not sure of what had just happened.

"Unauthorized access. System locked down."

Yukio sighed. "Brilliant. Idiot. You'll be staying the night now, the front door's locked itself for a 24-hour period."

"What?!" Kane answered with a surprised and annoyed tone, obviously ticked by this little bit of information.

Yukio stepped back from his work, took a pack from his pocket, drew a cigarette from it and lit it over one of the burners, putting it to his lips and exhaling a thin stream of smoke. "You heard me." he stated bluntly, feeling the nicotine calm him down slightly. "You're stuck here now, by your own fault."

Kane growled slightly to himself, then tightened his jaw and took a deep breath, trying to stay calm. "So what do you expect me to do?"

"In reality, it's your own convenience..." the scientist answered casually, watching the chemicals on their soft boil, leaning against the opposite table about five feet away. "The formula won't be ready until tomorrow as it is, and I have a spare bedroom in my living quarters you can use." He let the cigarette hang from his lips, wishing he had a glass of wine to go with it, but he could get that later. It was a minor inconvenience that he would have to share his home with someone temporarily. "The door should be open by tomorrow."

"Shit," Kane cursed, leaning against the wall, jaw tight, gritting his teeth slightly. The last thing he needed was to be stuck here. With that arrogant bastard over there, no less. Not that his own ego was any smaller.

"Hnn, just deal with it, you impatient idiot," Yukio said offhandedly, stepping back toward the table and taking a few of the chemicals from the heat, cigarette still hanging from his lips.

Kane stopped himself from growling at the insult. Tiny featherweight like him, the nerve. Tempted to go over there and give him a real piece of his mind, he stopped himself and just raised his middle finger in irritated silence- it wasn't as if he could make this little potion himself, he needed Yukio to at least be uninjured enough to work.

Yukio merely smirked as he caught the gesture out of the corner of his eye, pouring one chemical into another. "Pretty," he commented casually toward the gesture, pouring a vial of something into the beaker of heated chemicals. He had a feeling it was going to be a shaky evening.


Bored.

Bored and unable to sleep. So painful.

He just couldn't sleep here. he paced in the room Yukio had offered him, black hair ruffled from when he'd tried to lie down and get some rest but failed. He glanced out the door into the dimly lit hall, which was empty- would it hurt to wander around a bit? Not like he cared. Yukio could go to hell. He just wanted the damn potion, and waiting was not one of his favourite games, to say the least.

He stepped out into the hall, quietly moving along until he came back to the lab. With that scientist around he hadn't been able to get a closer look at some of the chemicals and formulas, and now he did, skimming over the tables holding various coloured substances.

A table he hadn't noticed before caught his eye; it held a single, rather large bottle, labeled with a chemical formula Kane didn't understand- not like he'd ever really want to. as it were. He approached the table and picked the bottle up, looking at the amber-coloured liquid inside. it was a little thick, like syrup. that got him curious, and he brought the bottle closer to his face, taking the cork off and sniffing the contents.

"I'd stay away from that if I were you."

Again that cool, sultry voice cut into Kane's silence and he cursed himself for being startled, though it scarcely showed on his face. His jaw immediately tightened as he set the bottle down, replacing the cork and looking toward the doorway in which Yukio was standing.

He was dressed simply in the same black pants, a black nightrobe hanging over his shoulders, tied at the waist. A plain grey shirt could be seen underneath, low neckline cut below his collarbones, and he held a glass of red wine in one slender hand, eyes fixed on Kane- this was especially eerie in the dim lighting as the machine eye's light seemed brighter.

"And why is that?" Kane inquired with a slightly strained tone, frustrated for being caught literally putting his nose into what wasn't his business.

He holds his jaw very tightly when he's trying to stay calm, Yukio noticed somewhat bemusedly, stepping more into the room. "Very dangerous substance, that one," he said with a thin smile, "My latest creation."

"Oh?"

"You're one to pry," Yu noted, eyeing the bottle thoughtfully. He took a sip of his wine calmly, natural eye closing for a moment.

"I'm only asking what it is, jackass," Kane half-growled. He couldn't stand this man.

Yukio lowered the glass with a small grin, eyes on the bottle. "It's a mental scrambler. It disables sensory areas and messes with mental stability. It is, essentially," he paused, taking a sip of the wine, "Insanity in a Bottle."

Kane blinked, then looked back to the bottle, crossing his arms and shifting his weight to the other side. "What are you going to use it for?"

"Unhostile takeover."

"You're kidding me."

"No really," Yukio said, slowly starting to pace. "It's quite simple. I contaminate the water supply. Mass hysteria. When there's nowhere left to turn, I offer them the antidote, for the price that I take charge. I'll be revered as a saint and a saviour to them. I'll be in complete control."

Kane twitched.

"...then why haven't you done it yet?" he asked slowly, and Yukio shook his head.

"Haven't perfected the antidote," he said, glancing toward the two plexiglass enclosures. "...and I'm running out of test subjects. It's very difficult to capture unknowns, nobodies, you see. If they don't have friends or relatives, they won't be missed."

Kane let that churn through his head for a moment. So he killed his test subjects in his tests. That didn't bother him.... what really got him thinking was the fact that it would be Yukio in power and not him. ...maybe.... maybe there could be a compromise.

"So you can't find tests subjects, hmm."

"No."

"You need someone to help you with that."

"Something of the sort."

They stared at eachother for a moment, both with dislike and curiosity as to what each one was thinking.

Yukio took a sip of his wine as Kane continued. "What do you say, I bring you your subjects, we compensate and you share power with me?" It was quite simple, he was much stronger than Yukio, he could overpower him once they were at the top and take the rule for his own. He would be back in power again. It was easy, and all he had to do was bring Yukio test subjects.

Share power? ... Yukio swirled the wine in his glass as he thought on that. Well, once he was in power, he might be vulnerable. With his low profile he could work with his potions and formulas in secret, but as soon as he was in a position of power it would be public. He would need some muscle as backup. He lifted his eyes slightly to look at Kane, who was watching the wine glass out of the corner of his eye.

He seems to always swirl that around when he's thinking, he noticed idly.

"...All right, deal, Kane." Yukio offered his free hand- Kane hesitated but accepted, their hands nearly the same size though Kane's was wide and rough while Yukio's was smooth and slender. They shook on it, and Yukio nodded.

"Now get the fuck back to bed, I don't want to find you wandering around my lab at two in the morning again."