A Dangerous Stranger

Standing in front of the self-service check-in machine, he pressed the "Yes" button, which would get him onto the last flight leaving Japan today. His luggage was as simple as possible: forged clearance documents, two unregistered guns and a large bottle of virus in the disguise of nutritional supplements. All in a small suitcase. The passport was real, although the original holder had already sunk to the seafloor 10 hours ago, who would not be discovered as a corpse in at least 3 months. By that time, he would be sitting in a bar which offering some very old-fashioned homemade beer and watching ball games with strangers who spoke a different language of a neutral nation.

However, at that very moment, he was so dying to see him.

"Hello, can I speak to Mr. Fushimi? ... yes, in section 4 ...OK, thanks. ... no, not an emergency."

The booming noise from the passenger jetliners ripped through the glass dome of the airport. People came and went in a rush.

He looked up and saw the fashionable dome carpeted with the fluorescent lamps as if it was a fishing net covered by thousands of shining knots. He had no one to say goodbye. What left in his memory was those nameless tiny hotels in Shinjuku. Those squeaky old beds, the dripping noise of the taps in the bathroom, and Fushimi's look of dislike when seeing the vulgar neon signs. He had thought about it. He believed that the reason he preferred to linger on those insignificant places was related to his own past--but he could not tell Fushimi anything about it. His memory was something planted into his brain. The lie detector tests had been upgraded so fast. Their interrogation resistance techniques had to follow in, which required them to rely on what they really believed in. As a result, he deceived everyone.

As soon as he heard the first impatient "hello", he hanged up.
He could almost imagine the grumpiness of Fushimi receiving no response from the caller. He knew how upset that bad-tempered man could be, especially when being interrupted during work for nothing.

Just like an experimental animal wearing a brainwave controller since birth and suddenly being released from its surveillance collar, he had almost tasted the terrible taste of freedom. Nevertheless, it was not the final show. As long as "Jungle" existed, he had to live his life in shadow.

That was it. Fushimi, who knew nothing but born as a genius. Even the "parrot" would like to recruit him. Fortunately, he was discovered by the police in a hacker game, just before the "Jungle" could take any action. Lucky for the government.

Memory. Those--memories. Those pulsating brain waves, alterable biological signals. How could anyone have come up with the idea of hiding the information in the cortex of the person who could never hide any secrets? That was almost the most sensible move you could ever take. If only the golden tower's shrunken stock could cover their cost of hiring the spies.

On all accounts, Totsuka should not die in vain.
None of them would give up even though there would be no results.

Three minutes before the Christmas eve ended.

He took batteries out of the phone and broke off the GPS chip before throwing them into the bin.

Tears were too expensive for anyone. The background music was just the airport broadcast that reminding passengers to board. No goodbyes were really necessary. 

The Christmas gift would be delivered on time. One copy for the headquarter of "Jungle". Another for the metropolitan police department in Tokyo.

On the box written "Recipient: Mr. Fushimi", his careful handwriting could be seen clearly:

"Merry Christmas, Saru."



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