The old building had been abandoned long enough to attract a few nesting birds, but not long enough to be really run down. In a few weeks they'd start renovations, and she and the birds would have to find another roost. Miho sometimes came there when she needed to get away by herself and think. This time she was there because of the view. The place was built on the top of a small hill. Perched daintily on a brick ledge eight stories above the ground, she had a marvelous view looking east. To the southeast, she could see the water of the harbor in the distance. The sun was high in the sky just behind her, casting the city in a soft light.
Somewhere out there in that vast city was something lost, waiting to be found.
Yuki-san, where are you?
It had never occurred to Miho not to get involved. The strings of fate that tied herself to Sonoda Yuki were complex. There was Miho's past involvement with Yuki's parents, their mutual fascination with a certain American boy, and even the simple fact that they were schoolmates. And then there was the most interesting thing of all; something Yuki's father still didn't know (although her mother surely did), and Yuki herself was only beginning to realize: Yuki was a magic girl too.
Miho closed her eyes, and reached out with her other senses. She had no names for them, or any way to describe exactly how they worked, but, they had drawn her to the center of the chaos again and again. They always told her just where she needed to be to play the game. This time the stakes were higher than they had been in…a while.
She stood unmoving, still seeing the view of the city in her mind. It wasn't such a long shot as some might think. On several occasions, Miho's uncanny ability to be exactly where she needed to be had drawn her directly to Sonoda Yuki. Asking for a particular focus instead of simply following those mysterious promptings was always a bit risky, but this time it was necessary.
She might have been a statue, except that no statue in Tokyo had ever quite looked the way she did. Maybe one of the mannequins in the trendy shops in Shinjuku, but not a statue. Thick-soled black leather boots, each with four prominent chromed buckles, stopped just below her knees, while a simple, black leather skirt fell just above them. Deep purple tights flashed between the two. Above the skirt she wore a light long-sleeved sweater, knit in vertical black and purple stripes, with a wide black leather belt hugging it to her waste. It was an outfit she could move very quickly in if she needed to. A slender black choker adorned her neck, and her signature ribbons were carefully wound through her hair.
Why Sonoda Yuki? Miho long ago gave up asking questions like that. She was important, that's all. Of course, all magic girls were important, but Yuki was important to Miho. She might almost be…a friend.
Tokyo was a sprawling maze, tightly packed and teeming with life. From where she stood she could only see a fraction of that massive city. Yuki could be anywhere, but Miho wasn't fazed by that in the least. All she needed was…
That was her cell phone, ringing with the tones she'd programmed for Inspector Sonoda. Miho smiled. It was timely.
"We've received a communication. Yuki has been kidnapped."
"I have an idea where she is, Inspector. I'd like to discuss it with you."
"Where can I meet you?
Miho named a tall building a few blocks away from her.
"There's a landing pad on the roof. Come in a helicopter if you can."
"A helicopter? Why?"
"Your daughter is somewhere on the waterfront, Inspector. I don't think we should make her come to us."