Chapter 9: Those Who Dance Amongst The Dead
A cemetery in the middle of the night was always a good place to see terrible things go down. Maybe zombies would rise from the grave and seek the flesh of the living, or a vampire would rise from a hundred year sleep, ready to regain a long dead throne. It was a place where ghouls and ghosts lay. A place you’d normally avoid to visit, the moment the sun sank into the horizon, but unfortunately, for the two Prospect agents, they’d have to fight both fear and cold. They had come out into the night, dressed completely in black. Stealthy enough to avoid the detection of any passerby, but unwilling in entirety to avoid the detection of the crooks that lied within. They were over a fence and zipping pass the many tombstones that lined a hill, until they found the trio Kouta had mentioned, sitting around a grave with the flare of their cigarettes giving minor sight of their faces.
“Hey boys, look what we got here.” One of them rose to their feet as they saw Ushio and Asano coming over, pulling his wool hat a little further down his head, almost as if to keep them from seeing his face.
“More targets?” Another rose and made Ushio grimace as his cigarette fell from his hand and he smothered it into the pristine graveyard’s ground.
“I don’t think so.” The last of the males stood, and gave the duo a chance to take them all in, noticing that they could not quite see their faces, but would recognize them easily from the matching coats they wore.
“You’re right to think that.” Asano stepped forward. “We’re here for two things, and if you give them both to us, you’ll find you won’t have to see us again.” She said and the boys traded a look before snickering, and turning hidden eyes back to her.
“What makes you think we’re going to give you anything?” The leader of their group laughed, and Asano’s eyes focused on him as she tried to assign a name.
“Because all we want is information, and risking your lives to protect that really isn’t worth it.” She replied and their leader laughed once more before she finally decided to call him, idiot.
“Go ahead sweetheart; ask your questions, we’ll definitely cooperate.” The idiot spoke and as if puppets dancing to his command, his goons laughed again.
“First of all.” Ushio stepped to Asano’s side. “Is it true that you’re stealing from the people who walk by this place?” He asked before thinking back to when they set off, and how he checked the town’s map, to see who’d actually go this way.
“What are you, cops? What makes you think we’re going to answer that?” The idiot said and Asano crossed her arms, and replied with a laugh of her own.
“Because it’s not worth endangering your lives.” She reminded them, and just barely, she could see a smirk turn up, in the light of the idiot’s cigarette. His fingers danced across a phone as he pulled it from his pocket, and as one of his goon’s phone vibrated, the Prospect agents found themselves alert. The goon read the text as the light shined strong, before sliding the phone back into his pocket and giving his friends a nod.
Suddenly, his skin became pale, and just barely, they could see his eyes turn completely black. The duo began to call out their weapons, but froze as the goon let out an ear-piercing shriek, and they felt their hearts race with booming beats. As they stood there, stuck in the binds of fear, they watched with disdain as the other two ran further up the hill, and quickly conjured their weapons in a moment of relief. They were ready to charge with their weapons at the ready, but fell to the shriek again, and cursed as the goon let out a laugh.
“Pretty epic, huh?” He said and their eyes became sharp. “I was pretty pissed when they started naming me after a girl monster, but looking at the stupid looks on your faces makes being the Banshee, not half bad.” He said and they assigned him that name as the fear wore off again, and he let them rise to their feet.
“So, what are y’all going to do?” He taunted, and Ushio and Asano traded a look.
“If we flank him we’ll be done with him fast, and easily be able to go after the other-.”
“Nope, I got this guy all to myself.” Asano cut her longtime friend off, and left him wide eyed as he considered the idea. “Let’s not pretend I’ve done that much since I got here. You’ve fought that windy-cutter guy, and Rin-san, while all I’ve done is saved Masaru-san with a sneak attack. We both know that if I don’t prove I can fight on the front line, he’ll never let me work with you again.” She said, and Ushio remained silent, helplessly unable to deny her claim.
“Are you sure you can take him alone?” The Banshee said as if to steal the words from Ushio mouth, and in reply, Asano launched her boomerang and watched it sore under him, as he leapt in the air.
“Go, Ushio!” She yelled as her boomerang began its spin back, and Banshee let out a shriek as a thought came to mind.
Ushio had only barely taken a step as the boomerang arch down, and left the Banshee laughing as it ran him and Asano through. With jubilee, the mugger laughed at how easily the two were taken down, until something heavy suddenly slammed into his head, and he was sent rolling back as it slammed into his body.
“How the hell…“ He was ready to question the abrupt hit, when another one came around and he watched Ushio rushed by as he lay embarrassed on the ground.
“I was going to ask you who you worked for before your friends ran off, but now all I want to know is, did they really make you think this fight would be easy?” Asano taunted him as the Banshee rose to his feet, and she could see rage burning in his all black eyes.
“There’s no way I’m going to be taken down by some girl playing with a kids toy!” The Banshee roared as he took his stand, and Asano gave him a flagrant shrug before grabbing her boomerang at both ends.
“If you insist.” She sighed as it began to glow and she held back a snicker, at the Banshee’s grimace as it turned into a fan.
“Do you think this is a joke?!” He roared. “Do you think you’re funny?!” He raged, and Asano holding up her hand to show that she found it a little funny, did nothing to calm him down.
“I think I should be asking you that, considering what a Banshee is, seems to me like your friends left you behind as a distraction.” She replied and the Banshee smirked at the idea.
“Do you think they’d really leave me behind, if all I could do was screaming?” He asked and Asano nodded, making the bit of bravado he gained, quickly die under the weight of his rage. “Well you’re wrong.” He tried to suppress his anger with his pride, and held up his hand as black nails tore through his glove.
“…Are you sure about that?” Asano taunted him once more, and watched him charge as he let out another of his paralyzing shrieks.
She could only stand helpless as the Banshee slid across the ground, but as she stood, her eyes took notes, and she jumped back as his nails came out. For a moment, the Banshee stared, unsure of what he had just seen, before letting out a shriek again, and once more closing the distance with a swish. This time as his nails came out, he felt something slice through his neck, and coughed as it made him gag before it sliced through his face. There was no blood drawn by the sudden swings, but still he could feel the nonexistent tear in his flesh, further stretching the sudden existence of his disbelief. His hands came up to ward off another swipe of Asano’s fan, but merely served as an alternate cutting board as they felt the feeling of the slash flow through them, and he fell down to his knees.
“How are you able to move before I hit you?!” He roared, as he used the snow to sooth his hands and Asano let out a sigh of disappointment, before stepping back and giving him a chance to take his feet.
“A paralyzing shriek that freezes your target for several seconds, allowing you to either make a swift escape or deal a fatal blow. In the moments that their paralyzed, the shriek has an effect on you as well, increasing your speed so that you can close the distance in time.” She replied, and the Banshee stared in awe at the evaluation. “That’s what I noticed from the few attacks that you performed on Ushio and me, and yet you have no idea what it is that allows me to stand unaffected.” She stared at him with eyes narrowed with disappointment, and the Banshee’s brow furrowed, as silent words came to mind.
“Don’t think that your fancy organization makes you better than me!” He shrieked and Asano shook her head.
“I’m better than you because I went into this fight knowing that I needed to know about your abilities to gain an advantage, not because I’m an agent from Prospect.” She said, and could see his eyes burning. “But thanks, that little line you said there pretty much tells me that you work for Yui.” She smiled, and Banshee’s rage smothered his disbelief, as she one-upped him, and made him charge again.
With a flick of the fan, it returned to a boomerang, and with a quick turn of her body, it went flying the Banshee’s way. Slicing through his legs, it made him stumble and slide across the snow where the agent slammed her foot into his back, and lowered herself on to one knee.
“Disable your powers.” She said to him, and the Banshee struggled violently, before letting out a strong no. She sighed once more, eternally upset by his ineptitude, and cringed as he let out a shriek of pain, when she placed a strange sticker onto his neck.
Now she stood over him, a little disappointed by how easy things had been, lamenting just how quickly the battle had come to an end, before imagining Ushio standing victorious as well, and imagining the mockery their mission advisor would give. She hated that the fight she had chosen her turn out to be settled in a couple of moves, but accepted that now wasn’t the time to lament as she rushed up the hill after her longtime friend…