Author's Note: You may NOT reproduce this work without my permission. Prepare yourself for a ride. This work is one of my many experiments in writing. Anesthesia is rated T, with borderline elements like gore, black humor and mentions of dark themes.
DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. Any similarities between the characters and real life people are all unintentional. The views expressed in this work of fiction are not really representative of my own beliefs. The words and actions of characters in this story are not an endorsement of any political or personal ideals, nor are they meant to be interpreted as indicative of the beliefs of any other persons or organizations.
CASE #1: DEUS EX MACHINA
1.1: THE PRINCE AND THE PRINCESS
Damien Utsunomiya calmly crosses his legs in his ornate armchair, facing the floor-to-ceiling window that dominates one side of the study. The Western design of the three-floor mansion is apparent both from the inside and the outside. Like the building, Damien himself is garbed in Western fashion. The suit will qualify in any high class tea party, and yet it is actually leisure time for him. It is, after all, four o'clock in the morning and a Saturday morning at that. He just likes the look.
His dark brown eyes narrowing, he snaps shut Machiavelli's The Prince, gently setting it on a side table. He picks up a teacup, savoring the taste of Earl Grey and the view of the forest at night. Miles away from the nearest human settlement, just being there gives him great peace of mind, one he won't find anywhere else in the world, he thinks.
Other than the tea set and the book, on the table is also an old folded up newspaper cutting. Picking it up and rereading it, Damien lets out a sigh.
BUSINESS MAGNATE COUPLE AMONG VICTIMS OF AIRPLANE CRASH
He stops reading at the title and sets it down again. Almost a year ago, it was his fifteenth birthday when the news struck him like a rude kick in the stomach. Almost a year ago… Damien checks his watch: 4.13 a.m., a fortnight before his birthday.
I wonder what silly surprises will Dianne bring this year…
But then, he catches sight of an orange flash in the distance. He quickly stands up, placing the teacup on the table with a clunk. His eyes widen and his legs betray him with a slight shiver.
"Master Damien," a man's voice calls out from behind him, clear and tranquil, "we have an emergency."
The fiery blast was a guardhouse bursting into flames from a rocket launcher.
"Oh hell, yeah!" jeers the man poking the bazooka out of the black van's window. "Who are we says he? Shoot first, answer questions later!"
His friends didn't laugh.
The van crashes through the black iron gate, followed by five more in single file.
"Gatecrashing! Get it? Whahaha!"
No laughs from the men, just groans.
"Shoji, how many people are there in this mansion?" Damien asks as he hastily makes his way along the high-ceilinged hallway.
The middle-aged butler sporting an English moustache answered, "Other than you two young masters, just five servants, myself included, and only three of us all are combat worthy. We're all leaving, they're coming! Five vans, maybe around thirty to forty men, probably armed to the teeth. They even used a rocket launcher. We have no time to lose, we must evacuate!"
Reaching his destination, Damien kicks the double doors open.
"Agh, my eyes!" Damien instinctively covered his face with both eyes.
The room is not just pink, it radiates pinkness.
Taking his role as the last man standing, Shoji heads towards the double poster bed guarded by a wall of heaped plush toys. "Lady Dianne, as far as I know, you're not a heavy sleeper."
The fluffy pink blanket ten times the thickness of the ozone layer slides down, revealing a girl in pajamas who might have been Damien's twin, just with her black hair long, tied in a ponytail, and her eyes round and innocent.
The eyes are teary, and she seems to be slightly shaking. "What is it, Sh-Shoji?"
"Forty gunmen are about to kill us, they're going to be here in minutes and we're all going to evacuate."
With a sniffle, Dianne Utsunomiya nods. "Okay." She throws aside the novel she's reading, and pulls out an M-16 from underneath her pillow. "I'll bring the Teddy."
"Yes, Lady Dianne, just be careful. I'll give Master Damien a handgun."
Damien, slowly opening his eyes like someone coming out from a cave, approaches the thrown-aside novel and poked at it with his pen like a child checking out a roadkill. It has a hunky vampire on the cover. She's crying from this?
Ignoring that insinuative action, Dianne takes out a pair of bulletproof vests from the cupboard and smacks one of them on her brother's back. "Come on, we're getting out from the balcony. You can climb down the rain-pipe, can you?"
"No," Damien deadpans, taking the proffered equipment.
"Yes you can, we're just on the second floor!" Dianne snaps, picking up a teddy bear amidst the hill of stuffed animals.
"British second floor," another deadpan.
Thud! Damien got a whack across the face with a teddy bear, and he falls backwards, luckily, on a layer of plush toys.
"Lady Dianne, that's the Teddy you're whacking him with."
"Oh, right, sorry," comes the nonchalant reply. Dianne doesn't even look at her brother. Already donning the vest over her pajamas, M-16 in one hand, she unlocks the glass doors leading to the balcony, and throws the teddy bear at Damien.
Damien catches it, but the impact gets him in the stomach, and he teetered in pain for a few seconds.
"Lady Dianne, that's the Teddy you're throwing at him."
"Oh, right, sorry," she answers, and with some clanking noise, disappears into the night, making her way down the rain gutter with the ease of a monkey.
"Is she actually even my sister?" Damien asks rhetorically.
"She's your twin," Shoji finishes for him. He pulls out a handgun from the inside of his suit. "Here, I hope we'll not need it. You're not Dianne."
Damien tests the weight of the firearm in his hand. "I assume you bring climbing rope?"
"No, we'll just use the stairway, to the kitchen and use the back door."
"We have roughly two minutes, enough for that exit."
"Well, Lady Dianne was too excited about climbing the rain gutter… and a gentleman doesn't stand between a lady and her wholehearted exploits."
"What took you so long?" Dianne asks underneath the cover of trees. "In one minute, we could have put a football field behind us!"
"It's your damn Teddy!" Damien lied, hurrying his pace, breathing heavily. The vest and the handgun stuffed in his suit do not help. Luckily, Shoji is the one carrying said Teddy.
"Well, you'll be thankful later, Damien, we need that bear!"
"Are you crazy? You should hope we're not going to need it!"
The forest at night is as black as ink, and it is hard to advance without stumbling against something. A gibbous moon hangs in the night sky. Their breaths turn into mist in the cold air.
Only after going some distance into the forest does Damien realize the unfairness of the situation. They are grossly outnumbered. The enemy is heavily armed and is probably going to track them somehow.
"Shoji, any hiding place ahead? A cave, or safe house, or anything?" Damien asks in a whisper.
"This mansion is just recently acquired, so we didn't have time to set up any of those measures yet," Shoji replies grimly.
They hear the distant sounds of gunshot.
"They're here," Dianne whispers hoarsely. "Maybe we should reduce haste to advance silently?"
"No way," Damien wheezes, before coughing profusely. "They're probably able to track us anyway." He stops, his legs shaking, his hands on his knees.
Dianne pauses, looking back. "But, you don't look like…"
"I can do it! Don't worry too much!"
"We can't risk you turning blue, Master Damien," Shoji answers calmly, not at all out of breath. "If the worst comes to be, we're going to give them one hell of a fight."
"Dammit, that's a death flag, Shoji!" Dianne kicks the butler's shin. Shoji lets out a slight gasp of pain, but keeps his demeanor. "Don't you read manga?" she scolds.
Distant canine howls and barks permeate the silence.
"I'm afraid the worst will happen. They brought dogs, probably tracking hounds," Shoji points out.
"Dammit…" Dianne curses. "You know what, if only I put a sniper rifle under my pillow instead of an M-16!"
"No night scope? No silencer?" Damien asks. It's a valid cause of concern.
"Nada. Unless we're ninjas, I don't see how we can—"
A blinding flash of light startles them, followed by a deafening blast. The shockwave makes their hair stand. The flash subsides, replaced by a great orange glow that sends dancing shadows deep into the forest.
More than a hundred yards behind them, having struck the mansion and nearly leveling it is a giant flying saucer.