Sato Corp: Zanjin Bridge
Posted on Wed Feb 14th, 2018 @ 1:03am by Category V: Supervillain Frederick Hollywood
The Villain's Spire
Timeline: The Year of the Apocalypse
Yoko came bouncing into the room. “Merry Christmas, Frederick!” She was dressed in her favorite green and red elf outfit. The skirt was so short that if she turned the right way Hollywood could see her undies. She ran up to Hollywood and grabbed the handles of his chair and looked him right in the eyes, with her face only an inch or so from his.
He always loved to see that smile on her small pale face. The old man always felt lucky he had met his young bride playing one of his favorite massively multiplayer online role playing games. She always acted like she loved the things he loved: games, dressing up, food, and even going out on the town. Of course, he always felt a little bit guilty because he had met her well into his fifties and had been confined to a wheelchair by the time he was in his mid-forties. Worse yet, he couldn’t even have relations with her in the strictest sense of the word. “Merry Christmas, Yoko!” She was one of the few reasons he could think of that made the holiday seem brighter.
“Do you want me to see if your friends want to do dinner later?” She squealed a bit, still in his face, her legs bouncing off the ground a bit.
Friends? He felt funny about the question, like something was terribly wrong. But why? He loved seeing his friends on the holidays.
“Oh, don’t be like that, honey. I know it's always hard for you. Especially on Christmas, because you loved playing Santa. Ya know, maybe I could talk to my father about getting you a sleigh or something so you could still do that.”
“You mean like one of those new robot wheelchairs or something?” Frederick couldn’t help but wonder how they would afford something like that.
“Yes, yes! Heck, he could always use a face here in America to test one out for the public.” Yoko kissed the poor man’s head.
He could never say no to her, although he never saw himself as a face for anything. “It does sound like something interesting.” It would be nice to play Santa again, after all.
In the shrine, Lorde was laid out on a tatami mat surrounded by wards and charms to keep him safe from his fellow Zanjin Master. His feet dangled off the edge of the mat onto the floor.
The old grey geomancer had been feeding the time traveler a green tea with a special ginseng that would strengthen his inner chi and fight the poison he had been injected with. He had already healed the man’s physical wounds. Yuki did not mince words with Nikki. “We can only do so much for him. He must, at some point, break free from the witch's curse himself.”
Nikki looked the big man over with his dark eyes. Although in some ways he looked better, the look that would come over his face told him what was happening to him mentally was another story. Clearly there was a battle that was being fought that neither the young entrepreneur nor the old geomancer could be part of. At this point, time was the real enemy. If the witch made good on her promise, she would be heading at one of the few people left alive who could validate who he was.
The massive dinner table was filled with all the things one might expect for a traditional Christmas dinner right out of a Charles Dickens story. At least if it was the end, and that family was eating with old Scrooge himself. There was a massive bird with all the trimmings, and even those little booties so rarely used; corn on the cob with dipping dishes for butter and toppings; a huge bowl with mashed potatoes with cheese baked onto the top; a cranberry dish with bits of orange, raisins, and a crust underneath. Everyone’s place was set just so. Red crystal glasses with little snowflake designs had just the right amount spices for the wine.
Everyone was there. Some of Frederick’s oldest friends had come to join in the party: Delvin towering over everyone at the table, Pheonyx with her flaming hair, Renee in her U.N. Spacy Dress Uniform, her husband Moa Loa in his anime Hawaiian dress shirt with the design running all the way along his pant line.
Then, of course, there was Yoko dressed in a finely made red dress with slightly lighter red cherry trees. “Okay, Frederick, how about a toast!” Her red lips smiled brightly at the old, grey-haired man.
He, of course, could never say no to that face, and lifted his glass to the gathered group of old friends. Just then a pain struck him in the temple so hard he dropped his glass.
Yoko stood up and ran to his side to hold Hollywood’s hand. “Are you okay, honey? Maybe tonight has just been to much for you.” Her voice quivered as her warm arm wrapped around his frail form.
The wine began to drip slowly off of the table like blood from an open wound. As Fred looked back up at his long time friends, they all either had shocked looks, or worse. The kind of looks that people had in hospitals or madhouses when someone started coughing or acting up. “But Yoko, all these people are dead. They have been for years.” As he said the words, the dinner guests’ faces drew long and dark, until eventually becoming nothing but rotting skin on bones.
“This better fucking be good. Do you any idea of what time it is, or what I am doing?” Harada spat into the phone, expecting it to be someone else coming at him for money, or, worse yet, his wife. He had, in fact, left the force when he couldn’t find any dirt on Sato, and what he did find on Hollywood disappeared.
The cool and even-keeled voice on the other side explained, “Why, I would guess you are into your second bottle of sake and a fifty dollar whore. I must apologize for the late hour. I am on my way to Nakamura’s house, and I thought you might want a chance to redeem yourself and get to the bottom of the Sato murders single handedly.”
Nikki figured they could use all the help they could get, just in case this giant didn’t wake up from his slumber fast enough. He shifted gears and pushed his little car to go faster. Its top end wasn’t too high, but would just get him there in time if he pushed it.
He figured if he could get this man to the old man’s place, either just after or before he awoke. It would keep the woman from murdering his ancestor. Of course, with psychopaths that might be asking a lot.
The young Sato looked in the back seat at the two sets of Sato blades. While he knew where Tozo’s had come from, the other was quite the mystery. Hopefully there would be time later to ask Fred about that.
The small car whipped around a corner fast enough that the big guy’s head banged against the window. “Now who’s asleep on the job?”
When Frederick’s eyes snapped back open, he was staring up at the ceiling unable to move. He knew those tiles all too well. ABC’s and 123’s on those oh so sterile white styrofoam inserts. Fear moved into his chest as the madman realized he was back in the hospital, a state mental institution for long term care. “Nurse!”
A small girl crawled on top of him from the foot of the bed dressed in a nurse’s uniform that looked like it was bought at an adult bookstore. “Did someone call for a nurse? Oh, my poor Frederick-san, do you still have trouble distinguishing what's real and what is fantasy?”
She was right. For all he knew, much of what he had been doing for the last couple of hundred years was just some sort of fevered dream of a damaged brain. He could be in a coma, and with what he remembered of his mind, he could have invented everything down to the little girl in front of him, but just in case it wasn’t real, and just in case a mess load of people depended on him getting out of that sick bed, he decided to stick with the most recent reality he had adopted.
“Why, Yoko? I thought we were close. Maybe even too close.” Keep talking, he figured, try and muster your inner strength. Try and form an avatar.
Her face grew dark in an also strangely cute way to him. “Close! Is that what you call dropping someone off in an orphanage to be raised by monsters after all we went through?” She ran her nails down his chest, tearing open his flesh.
Nikki pulled up to the house. Harada was already there waiting for him with his police light still blinking on top of his metallic grey Camry XLE. “Your Big Boss still out cold, huh? Better leave him there in case things get rough. Do you have a gun?”
Nikki nodded to Harada. “Yea, and a couple of other toys as well.”