Chapter 7: Resolution
"TSUKA-KUN!" Yukari yelled out in their clubroom.
Tsukasa's eyes went wide and his head shot up as he looked around, knocked out of his daze. "Huh? What's going on?" He asked, looking around and then at Yukari who was leaning over the table at him, her face only inches away from hers with her eyes staring right at his.
"You tell me. I've been sitting here, calling your name out and you've not so much as looked up. Where is your head today?" She asked him. Tsukasa, Yukari, Ai, and Kaoru were all sitting together around a table in the clubroom that afternoon once classes were finished for the day.
"Oh, sorry about that. I guess my head is just up in the clouds today or something." Tsukasa said and shrugged.
"You can say that again." Karou chimed in. "You've been out of it all day long. That's unlike you man, what's on your mind?" he asked curiously.
"Nothing really. Nothing at all, promise. Just having an off day or something, that's pretty much it." Tsukasa lied and faked a small smile.
Ai listened quietly to the exchange and looked away subtly. She knew exactly what it was. Tsukasa had barely said a word ever since the two of them had returned from the slums the day before. She knew exactly what was on his mind, and not just because she had been inside his mind before. To say he was having an identity crisis was putting it mildly.
Yukari sighed and sat back in her chair, folding her arms across her chest and said, "Well I guess it doesn't matter either way. We're going to have to cut things short today anyways, I need to get going. I have another one of those horrible….'meetings' again today." When she said the last part, her face sort of cringed in disgust.
"Oh ho! Another one of those huh? Hehe, have fun." Kaoru said with a small smirk, putting his hands behind his head.
"Don't hold your breath." Yukari replied as she grabbed her bag and made her way to the door. The other three then followed suit and stood up to get ready to leave for the day.
"A meeting? What does she mean?" Ai asked curiously.
"Oh yeah, you don't know about that. Well it turns out that our Yukari comes from a VERY wealthy and prestigious family. She's also an only child so her parents have been arranging for her to meet with guys from other families with tons of cash to try and find someone for her to get married to." Kaoru explained. "What's more, it seems that Yukari here is quite picky and hard to please." Kaoru was about to say more but he only let out a yelp as Yukari stomped down on his foot with her heel.
"It's a lady's right to be selective if she wishes to. After all, we are talking about the man whom I shall swear both my body and heart to for the rest of my life!" Yukari said in the most dramatic way possible, throwing her hands up in the air and then wrapping them around her figure as she mentioned her body for dramatic effect. "It's so embarrassing when I think about it."
"Wow, an arranged marriage? That's pretty unheard of these days." Ai commented.
Yukari let out a very vocal sigh and nodded in agreement, "Yes, it's such a bothersome and exhausting process. Oh, it would be so much easier if they would just allow me to marry Tsuka-kun here!" Yukari commented and wrapped her arms around Tsukasa which made him blush a little.
"Hey wait a second! How did I get dragged in to this?" Tsukasa asked.
"Well you are obviously the best choice to be my husband, Tsuka-kun." Yukari insisted with a big smile.
Ai's eyes went wide and she blushed, her mouth dropped open a little, "Wait! You mean you want to marry Tsukasa!?"
"Oh yeah, she does this more than you would think, mostly to scare away some of the other girls in the school who want Tsukasa too. Hehe, being the mysterious amnesia guy has its payoffs." Kaoru joked with a small laugh. All Tsukasa could think about was the irony of what Kaoru had said.
"Are you jealous Ai? Well don't worry! Because we are friends, I can let you borrow my Tsuka-kun some time!"
Ai blushed deeply and stuttered a little, "W-what! No! I'm not jealous at all!"
"Yeah! And just because I owe you for all your help doesn't mean you can rent me out to people!" Tsukasa added in.
Kaoru snickered a little, leaning up against the table so that he didn't fall over from laughter. "Oh wow. It's times like these that I'm reminded why I love hanging out with this group." He said to no one in particular.
Later that evening at the Animus business building, Alphonse Montague sat at his desk as he looked over a number of photos on his desk. They were pictures of the remains of the fiends that he had dispatched to kill off the terrorists that night, his assistant stood at the side of the desk silently. Montague rubbed his chin in thought as he looked over the photos. "So you say that this was all that the cleanup crew found?"
"Yes sir, that is correct. When they went it, all of the fiends were already completely killed. There were some bullet wounds and several were cut up. But it looked like some had suffered from some sort of powerful impact trauma. That's the part that really stumped the forensics team." His assistant explained.
"I see, it appears that we underestimated these terrorists. They seem to be much resourceful that we had originally anticipated." Montague said then smirked smugly to himself and added. "How refreshing, and here I thought being transferred to this place was going to be boring. These terrorists are livening things up finally. So was the team able to find any trace of the terrorists? Find out where they escaped to?"
"Ummm, unfortunately no, Sir. It appears that they may be using the old subway and sewer networks of the old city to move from place to place. It's also unclear as to if they have a main base of operations at all; our experts say that if they do, then it is most likely in the old ghettos where many of the Japanese still live. We have been interrogating and questioning them, but they have been uncooperative at best. It is possible that they are harboring the terrorists."
Montague drummed his fingers against the polished surface of his desk and looked out at the city lights. "Of course, leave it the Japanese to stick together no matter what, even when it's in their personal best interests to sell the others out. They will stick together through almost anything. I find that trait so….disgusting." He then paused for a moment and smirked as an idea came to him. "Although…perhaps I can use it to my advantage. Ready a strike team, and have the press prepare a cover story."
"I'll get on it immediately sir, umm…what should the cover story be for?" the assistant asked.
"…A massacre. In fact, have them place the blame on the terrorists. It will be a nice touch. Oh, and one last thing. Call up that new restaurant and make a reservation for two. I am being set up with some girl by her parents tonight." Montague said and then waved his hand for his assistant to go.
At the school dormitory, Tsukasa sat quietly on the roof, leaned up against the protective chain link fence that went around the perimeter, and stared up at the night skyline of the city. He leaned his head back against the fence as a cool wind blew overhead. He gazed up at the night's sky at the stars. What should I do? Do any of you have any answers?" He asked out loud, even though he knew he wouldn't receive an answer. But it wasn't as if he could ask anyone else. He looked back at the skyline and wondered to himself where he should go from this point. Yukari and Kaoru didn't know that he had gotten his memory back, so maybe he could just go on as he was. Not tell anyone about what he had found out and leave the past behind him. He could treat the whole thing as if it was nothing more than a bad dream.
The idea was tempting, so very VERY tempting. But in the back of his mind, Tsukasa knew things wouldn't work out like that, no matter how much he wanted them to. There was no way that he could ever just forget that he was some genetic experiment, some freak that was created to kill innocent people. Tsukasa's eyes gazed over the skyline of the city, Animus' city. He wasn't sure who he should hate more, himself for killing all those people or Animus for bringing him in to this world in the first place.
"There you are, I was wondering where you vanished to." Came a voice that made Tsukasa look up. Ai was leaning against the door that went back down to the dormitory and staring in Tsukasa's direction. "I hope I'm not disturbing you. I mean, if you'd rather be alone then I understand. I'm sure I'm probably not your favorite person right now. I haven't exactly brought a lot of good to your life after all." She said, rubbing the back of her head and looking away.
Tsukasa shook his head and replied, "No, it's not like. I don't hold anything against you, nothing at all. I went with you, I asked for you to give me back my memories. You did nothing wrong."
"I suppose, but all the same I would understand." She said and walked over and sat down next to him. "So, have you decided what you're going to do?" She asked him.
"Honestly, no. I have no idea." Tsukasa said, and then looked down a little.
"I see. Well no pressure, but you know…you could do a lot of good if you were to maybe join us." Ai suggested as nonchalantly as she could.
"No pressure?" Tsukasa repeated with a small grin, "I think the whole reason you're my roommate is to put pressure on me."
Ai laughed a little and said, "I don't know about that. I'm simply here to observe you, that's all." She then paused for a few moments and there was silence between the two of them. "Joking aside, I don't mean to try and sway you one way or another. It's just that I…we...have spent a long time looking for you, and were all very excited when we found you. I know that right now you're feeling a lot of guilt and remorse for what happened in the past, but you have so much potential to do so much good. I'd just really hate to see that go to a waste. The people of this country need someone who can turn the tides against Animus. Someone Animus fears, someone like you."
"I think you might be overestimating me a little bit. Or more like a lot." Tsukasa told her. The two teens then looked up overhead at the sound of three large helicopters flying overhead. Tsukasa's eyes followed along their flight path and said, "Wait a second. Those are transport helicopters used for deploying soldiers. Where the hell are they going?"
"It can't be…..they're…..they're going in the direction of the slums." Ai said, her eyes widened fearing the worst. "Do you think it be a coincidence?"
"I doubt it. C'mon, let's go." Tsukasa said, jumping to his feet and heading towards the door that led downstairs. Ai nodded and followed along. They would need a ride. Ai called Satsuki who thankfully happened to be in the area at that moment, a lucky break. Ai told Satsuki what they had seen. Satsuki said she had seen the same thing, which was why she was now high tailing it back to the old part of the city. She had already called ahead to Jin and the others to lay low.
The three helicopters carried three squads of soldiers from Animus' private army. Ironically they were known as the 'Defense and Protection Agency'. They wore an advanced version of Kevlar armor and protective helmets that also had built in two way radios and night vision visors. They each carried assault rifles made of reinforced plastics along with a side arm and combat knife.
The captain of the squad in the main helicopter stood up and said, "Alright men, lock and load! The locals in these slums have been harboring and protecting local terrorist factions, which makes them just as bad as terrorists themselves. We've been given the go ahead to have ourselves a little fun. Smoke out the terrorists using any means possible."
There was an outcry of cheers among the soldiers at their orders. The doors of the helicopters were then pulled open and ropes were dropped down below towards the streets of the slums. The soldiers then rope fell one after another down to the streets.
An elderly Japanese were sitting in their apartment together sipping tea when they heard all of the commotion outside. They didn't bother to go to the windows to check, after all that had happened they had come to not care. But then there was a loud knock at their door, so the elderly man slowly rose to his feet and walked over to open the door. The old woman couldn't see their front door from where she was sitting. She looked up and called out, "Honey, who is it?" The next thing she heard were the sounds of gun shots and saw blood splatter over the wall.
When Tsukasa, Ai, and Satsuki all reached the slums, the sounds of gunfire were already echoing throughout the neighborhood. "I can't believe it. They're….they're killing everyone." Ai said in horror.
The three of them quickly got out of the car and were met by Shino who came running up to them. "Hey! C'mon, we have to hurry. They're going through all of the apartment buildings and just killing off everyone just to try and find us. We have to stop them! Jin and some of the others are trying to help everyone they can to get out of here. The rest of us are going to try and slow them down. Come on Satsuki, we have a rifle for you already set up at one of the windows. We need some of your patented sharpshooting." Shino quickly explained.
Satsuki nodded and ran upstairs to their apartment. Tsukasa looked up to one of the apartment buildings where he could see some of the flashes from the gunfire. "They're already on the third floor." he said out loud, but no one noticed.
Shino pulled out a pair of pistols and held them out to Ai, "Here you go, your two best friends. Divert them the best you can, but don't you dare go dying on me." Ai grabbed the pair of guns and nodded; she then took the safeties off and readied a bullet in both of the chambers. "Alright, as for…..wait a second. Where'd that Tsukasa guy go?" Shino asked when he looked around to see Tsukasa nowhere in sight; he must have walked off when they were distracted.
Ai looked around frantically then noticed Tsukasa running towards one of the buildings where the shots were coming from. "Ah man, what's up with that kid? Is he stupid, what's he thinking going out without a weapon?"Shino asked, shaking his head a little. Shino then noticed Ai running off in the same direction. "Wait a second! Where are you going?"
Ai looked over her shoulder as she ran and called out, "Tsukasa is going to need backup. I'm going to go up the stairway on the other side so that we can trap them in.
"What? Just the two of you? Don't be stupid!" Shino called out, but it was no use. Ai had made up her mind. "Ah damn it!" He cursed and then grabbed the shotgun he was carrying off the ground and went to meet back up with the rest of his part of the group that were trying to fight off Animus' soldiers.
Tsukasa ran up the stairs as fast as he could; every time that he made it up one of the floors there was the sight of blood and some bodies in the open doorways of apartments. It made him sick. He reached the third floor to see one of the soldiers slamming on someone's front door. If there was anyone home, they weren't opening up. The soldier was then fed up so he just shot the door locks and then kicked the door in. When Tsukasa saw him raise his gun up Tsukasa's eyes turned red and he rushed at him from his side. By the time the soldier noticed Tsukasa out of his peripheral vision, Tsukasa was already right next to him. Tsukasa quickly slapped the assault rifle out of the soldier's hands and over his head with one hand while Tsukasa used his other hand to push the solider up against the side of the doorway. When the soldier's assault rifle came down, Tsukasa caught it in his hands and shot the solider in his back without warning.
Tsukasa then took a look inside the apartment to see two kids of about elementary school ages, a brother and a sister, clinging to each other while shaking in fear. "Go downstairs to the streets, both of you. There are people down there who will help you get out of here. And whatever you do, don't look up, don't look around." If the bodies were bothering Tsukasa then he could only imagine of how badly the kids would take it.
The other soldiers that had gone a little on ahead of the one Tsukasa just killed heard the gunshots and then looked in his direction. They all readied their weapons while Tsukasa stood in front of the girls that were running away towards the stairs. Behind the soldiers though, Ai was quickly ascending the stairs. She stopped right before she turned the corner to where the group was and closed her eyes. She could sense their presence there but didn't know what direction they were facing. She leaned against the wall and held both of her guns at the ready. She took a deep breath and then came around the corner and pointed her weapons. Seeing that they were about to fire on Tsukasa, Ai began t shoot without hesitation. Being taught well by Satsuki, Ai had a pretty good eye and could aim for the weak points in the Animus Soldiers' body armor.
Tsukasa had seen the group of soldiers pointing their weapons at him, just as the two kids were coming out of the house. He quickly held out his hands and tried to cover up the two children, hoping that they wouldn't get hurt. Tsukasa cringed a little when he heard gunshots but then looked up when he saw that the soldiers were falling to the floor and then saw Ai behind them. He smiled a little and sighed in relief. Tsukasa then looked over his shoulder to see the two small children running around the corner and to the stairway. Tsukasa then looked back towards Ai but his eyes widened in shock. He saw over on the roof of another building, the shine of a rifle scope of a soldier who had Ai in his cross hairs. "Look out!" Tsukasa yelled over to Ai.
The sniper on the roof had Ai in his crosshairs and his trigger finger slowly started to squeeze the trigger. It was over though when a bullet went through his head and he fell forward and off the building in to the streets below. Satsuki was sitting in one of the apartment buildings near the window with her rifle balanced on the window sill. Her hand quickly pulled from the trigger and she pulled back on the lever, the bullet casing flying out with her lighting quick hand movement. She then readied her gun again, looking through the scope for her next target. By far, Satsuki was the very best sharp shooter in the entire resistance group. She continued to take out Animus soldiers, taking out any sharpshooters on the roofs first and then going for the stragglers on the ground and giving the other resistance members cover.
Tsukasa ran over to Ai's side to see if she was okay. The two of them went on to the next floors. They split up so that they could cover more ground faster; hopefully that would mean they would be able to save more people from the soldiers. Tsukasa reached the top floor and found that there were no other soldiers around. He checked each of the apartment doors that were open to see if there were any soldiers or civilians inside. When Tsukasa reached stepped inside the last open apartment, he stopped dead in his tracks at what he saw.
The captain of the soldiers was standing there and looking through for any Japanese. He then stopped when he saw a crib. The soldier captain smirked a little and pulled out his pistol and pointed it in to the crib. Tsukasa's eyes went wide when he heard a small baby crying out. Tsukasa ran up behind the captain silently and then put both of his hands on the sides of the soldier's head.
"What the…" the captain said before Tsukasa spun his head around with one quick fluid motion. Tsukasa heard the small cracking sound of the man's neck breaking before he fell to the floor. Tsukasa's eyes were red in color once again and he could feel his blood boiling with rage as he looked down at the soldier. Tsukasa kicked the soldier's body out of his way and then walked over to the crib and looked inside to see a small baby girl lying in her crib, crying a little.
"It's okay, everything is going to be alright." Tsukasa whispered in a soft voice as his eyes turned back to their blue color. He reached in to the crib with both arms and wrapped the baby up in her blanket and then picked her up, cradling her in her arms. Tsukasa looked down at the small baby that stopped crying and looked up at him. Tsukasa looked down at the adorable baby and asked, "You're not afraid of me, are you? I'm glad."
Tsukasa blinked a little when he felt the small baby reach up and touch his cheek a little with her tiny hand. Tsukasa smiled and a small tear ran down his cheek. He wiped it away on the shoulder of his shirt and nodded a little. "I understand now. I know what I have to do."
Ai walked in to the apartment after going through the floor below them. She noticed Tsukasa with the baby and walked over. "Hey, I think things are about done. So let's go see what else we can do." She then looked down at the baby and then looked around. She didn't see any bodies, "Where are her parents?" She asked.
Tsukasa shrugged and said, "I don't know, hopefully they got away…she didn't ask for this Ai."
Ai tilted her head a little to the side and asked, "What? What do you mean?"
"This little girl, she didn't ask for any of this chaos. She didn't do anything to deserve all of this, so why? Why does Animus get to come in and just kill all and hurt all of these innocent people?" The two of them then took the baby downstairs and met back up with Shino and Jin who had helped clear things out for the civilians. A fairly young woman ran up to Tsukasa when she saw him holding the little baby. She said it was her daughter and Tsukasa handed her to the grateful woman who kissed and embraced her baby girl and then ran over to who Tsukasa guessed was her husband and the small family quickly ran away.
The fighting had now come down to an end and luckily there were very few innocent casualties. Luckily for the resistance, Animus had severely underestimated both their numbers and their ability. Animus had only sent in twenty four soldiers. Now Jin and the others were rushing all of the people out of the area and go in to hiding, just in case Animus sent more troops in to the slums. Some of the people in the slums had family outside the city in the rural areas where they could stay for a while. Only the bare essentials were being taken.
Tsukasa looked around at the broken homes and broken families. Many were clinging to their loved ones, and just as many were crying in despair. Tsukasa looked down and noticed a small badge that one of the soldiers was carrying. On the small object were inscribed the words 'to protect the people', reading that made Tsukasa feel disgusted. He reached down and picked up the small badge then looked back up at the city. The highest skyscraper was one of Animus' buildings. Tsukasa gritted his teeth and squeezed the badge, crushing it in his hand.
"Tsukasa, c'mon we need to hurry and go. Jin, Satsuki, and the rest are going to make sure everyone gets to the train stations to get out of here. Shino is going to take us back to the school." Ai said.
Tsukasa nodded and threw the crushed badge down the road. He then looked at Ai and said, "Ai, about what you said earlier. I won't rest until Animus is gone from not just Japan, but everywhere. I will never allow them to do this to innocent people ever again. They created me, I'm going to make that in to the worst decision they ever made." Even though Tsukasa could never undo all the horrible things he had done, all the people he hurt, he could try to repent for his past sins. He could try and save as many people as possible.
Whew! Another chapter done. The gloves are now off and Tsukasa is done questioning himself. Things are only going to heat up as things continue though, and Animus is no small adversary. Stay tuned for the next chapter, and if you've liked what you read or have any comments then leave a review or message me. Until next time, thank you all for reading. ^.^