Chapter Seven
Crime scene

Lieutenant Takama pulled up in a police car outside Shiritsu Daitou High School and got out with another officer. Three more TPCD cars pulled up behind him and two officers from each car followed suit.

Takama held up his hand and waved. Taking it as a signal, the other seven started towards the school. Takama held back and watched the stragglers heading to class part away from the approaching group. He took his cell phone out and made a quick call to headquarters.

<This is Takama. We're at the crime scene; what's the word from the regular police?>

<Word from Tokyo Police is a rather unusual set of murders: one of several simultaneous and nearly identical crimes throughout the city. Be on high alert. If you see anything, you have authority to evacuate the complex.>

<Understood,> Takama replied. <Unit is moving out as we speak.>

He joined the rest of his group and walked to the high school doors. A suited man – presumably the principal – and an officer from Tokyo Police waited for the team there.

<Good morning, sir,> Takama started as he walked to the head of the group. <I'm Lieutenant Takama with Cataclysm. If you could, will you take us to where the incident took place?>

The principal bowed. <Of course,> he said. <The regular police have already blocked off the area of the…incident, but this is certainly in your department's line of expertise.>

They walked inside, flanked by the police officer and the TPCD group. Takama looked around, seeing students in class as though nothing had occurred. <What are the regular police doing?> he thought. <Why are these students still in class?>

<You'll notice,> the officer said, as though reading Takama's mind, <that we have yet to evacuate. That is because of the unusual nature of the crime. There is no longer a threat to students at this point.>

<I hope so,> Takama muttered.

They turned and walked down a darkened corridor – the power was out in this section of the building. These classrooms were deserted, with only a single red line drawn sloppily on the floor. Takama could guess what the red was already, but it served quite effectively as a map to their final destination. The line went into a single classroom, and Takama walked in ahead of the rest of the group, his pistol drawn.

<What the hell is this?!> the Lieutenant shouted.

It looked as though the class was in session. The only problem, other than the blood spread along the walls of the room, was that the students in their desks, as well as the teacher, were all missing various parts of their body. It looked like they were all killed by swords.

<It happened at exactly 9:50am,> the officer said, <according to the surveillance video.>
<Are there any survivors?>
<Yes. One student was a minute late and walked in on this.>
<Just a minute?>
<Yes. The actual killings were conducted in a matter of a split second. One second they were all alive; the next – this.>

Takama turned to the principal. <What class is this?> he asked.
<English,> the principal muttered, looking away from the sight of twenty-some slain pupils.
<And the sole surviving student?>
<Tohya Miho. She's in the nurse's ward. She passed out when she walked in on this. But who could blame her?>
<It doesn't matter,> Takama said coldly. <She's going to need to be held for questioning.>
Takama turned to his men. <This is far too similar to a situation we had a number of years ago. This is bad.>


Piro grabbed Largo and got down on the floor as Ping had ordered. Unfortunately, he landed where his face was inches from a bloody head.

The scream echoed out into the hall. A few seconds later, he heard the noise of several boots hitting the linoleum in the apartment entryway.

<Tokyo Police!> someone shouted.

Piro could hear the men walk into the apartment. One of them radioed that they had found another scene, whatever that meant.

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