Death Note Fan Fiction ❯ The Secret Rule ❯ Kira Strikes Back ( Chapter 4 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
After several days and a lot of thought, Taro had come up with an explanation.

Most likely, the Man had been working under Kira's orders. He was writing names on pages from the Death Note, while Kira was holding the Note itself. The first possibility was that he was deliberately laying a false trail for people who were trying to track Kira down, like Taro and L. Kira, who was also on the subway, might have noticed that his agent was being followed, and killed the Man to prevent being traced back to him. The only problem with that theory was that, if Kira was deliberately setting false trails, he would have eliminated Taro, not the man beings used as bait.

Good, thought Taro, because otherwise I would be in real trouble.

Wait...who am I kidding? I'm definitely in real trouble. Unless L somehow discovers the Death Note, I technically know more about Kira than anyone, and that makes me his biggest threat, for all the good I can do. And for L to find the Death Note from scratch...well, he'd have to be like a super-genius or something.

Unfortunately, the second possibility was even more frightening. The Man could have been one of many agents Kira had placed all around the city (or the country, or even the world!) to be his eyes and ears and do his dirty work. That way, even if one of the agents somehow got caught, he would still be safe, like a spider in the center of his web. In which case, Kira would have killed the Man because (again) he saw that his agent was being followed. In which case, Taro was not dead either because Kira just didn't know his name, or because the agent was just that expendable.

Of course, that would make Kira practically untouchable, even if he were in the area. No matter what, he needed to be more careful. If Kira had even gotten a glimpse of his face, he might be able to track him down. And that was the last thing Taro wanted to happen.



Over the next few months, Taro continued to look for Kira. He made sure to keep up with all of the news broadcasts and media coverage involving Kira. Unlike the public, he knew what to look for. He knew that Kira couldn't kill just anyone; he needed to know their name and their face. Taro also knew that Kira was using a Death Note; in fact, he had become so hung up on that bit of information that he almost freaked out whenever he saw someone carrying a black notebook, until he inevitably remembered that Kira wouldn't be stupid enough to carry his weapon around in public.

However, he had given up on the whole private investigator scheme. The murder on the subway had proved that searching for Kira alone was even more dangerous than going to the police. Therefore, he had tried to contact L directly, and asked to join the task force; as much as he distrusted L, he knew that L would get the job done. However, the men at the police station couldn't (or wouldn't) direct him to L, and he couldn't really blame them; if they let just anybody meet L, Kira would have killed him long ago. It was also pretty unlikely that the task force would have taken a teenager seriously anyway. The officer-on-duty, Mr. Matsui, had offered to take a message to L, but without direct contact, Taro couldn't be absolutely sure it wouldn't end up in Kira's hands, so he had declined.

So Taro kept a close eye on the news. Unfortunately, he knew that the media couldn't release all the information about Kira (which was another reason why he had tried to contact L in the first place), so that left him with only an incomplete picture of what Kira had accomplished. Still it was better than nothing. And maybe the television stations themselves could provide him with information that they weren't giving the rest of the public. Stuff the police were telling them to keep secret.

But even then, he couldn't get an inside look. His dad, who worked in the television station, had refused to take Taro to work. "Being a newscaster is dangerous," he said. "You're attaching yourself to events that may be horrific, and people tend to associate you with them." Taro knew that, but he also knew it couldn't be more dangerous than riding the subway with a mass-murderer. Mr. Kagami became even more resistant to bringing Taro into the station after he began to suspect Taro wanted to learn about Kira. Still, Taro continued to beg and plead, and finally, his dad relented. He told Taro that he would show him around the studio after the 6:00 evening news was over.

The day was April 18th, 2004.

Taro was sitting in front of his TV at home, tuned in to Sakura TV. His dad usually was on the air just before the 6:00 news, but he wasn't one of the more prominent newscasters, so he didn't usually cover the big stories.

He was just about to put his jacket on and start walking towards the station, when something on the TV caught his eye. His dad was on, but he wasn't covering the traffic report tonight.

"On April 15th, this TV station received an envelope containing a letter and four video tapes," Mr. Kagami said. As a newscaster, he was trained to keep a stoic attitude, but Taro knew his father, and he could tell that something about tonight's story was making him very frightened.

Mr. Kagami continued. "The letter claims to be from Kira, and that the tapes are his message to the world. Kira has threatened to kill the president of our network if we do not broadcast his message. In other words, we are practically reporting this news as the hostages of Kira himself."

Kira's hostages? Dad?

By now, Taro's mother had come into the room, and stood frozen, unable to take her eyes off the screen. Mr. Kagami assured them and the other viewers that the tapes were not a hoax; they had already predicted one of Kira's murders in order to prove their authenticity.

"He instructed us to broadcast the second tape today at 5:59 PM. We have not watched it ourselves, but the tape should validate the other tapes, as well as bring Kira's message to the world." The clock at the bottom of the TV screen changed to 5:59. And with that, the image of Taro's dad cut away to reveal a white background with "Kira" written on it in black letters. A shiver went down Taro's spine; it was the exact same font and style as L's original message challenging Kira. Now, Kira was responding in kind.

And just like L, he spoke to the world through a synthesized voice box. "I am Kira. If this is being aired at exactly 5:59 PM on April 18th as I requested, then it is 5:59:38 right now...39...40...Please change the channel to Taiyou TV: the news anchor will die of heart failure at exactly 6:00 PM."

Before Taro could do anything, his mother had already grabbed the remote and changed the channel. Sure enough, the man who was now on the screen had clutched his chest and collapsed. His mother screamed, as Kira spoke again. "That was the punishment for speaking in cynical terms against me on television."

Taro gasped. Did Kira really have to prove his identity on live television? Probably, but why use a news anchor who had merely criticized him? It wasn't like when he had killed Lind L. Taylor; Taylor had specifically said he was going to hunt Kira down, so he was an actual threat. How could people support Kira if he killed innocent people?

His dad...if Kira would kill innocent people just to identify himself, he wouldn't hesitate to murder the hostages. In fact, it was a miracle that his father hadn't already been killed; it would have been easy for Kira to arrange for him to die as he was introducing the broadcast, and use that as identification.

This was personal now. Taro leaped up from his chair.

His mother yelled, "No! Come back!"

But Taro had already grabbed a hoodie and headed out the door.



Taro pulled the hood of his jacket down over his head, as he ran to the TV station. He knew that Kira wouldn't be able to kill him just from seeing his face, but he still didn't want Kira to know what he looked like.

The Sakura TV station loomed ahead. Taro could see that the police were already there, trying to enter the building. He let out a sigh of relief. They would get his father and the other people being held hostage out.

But then the policeman doubled over in pain...

...and collapsed, dead.

Taro stopped in his tracks. Kira? But how could Kira have killed the policeman, even if he were watching the building; he needed a name. It couldn't be that he just happened to know who that particular officer was; that would be too much of a coincidence. Somehow, Kira was able to kill him anyway!

At this point, Taro wasn't thinking clearly. Then again, it was pretty understandable; if Kira actually were able to kill him (or anyone else) without knowing his name, then everything he had done to try and track Kira down had been much, much more dangerous than he had previously thought. And given the sense of paranoia that Taro experienced on a daily basis, his nerves were already on edge.

Then someone shouted, "Get in here, kid," and pulled him inside a building across the street. Taro looked up and saw that he was in a bar. Most of the patrons were staring at the body of the dead policeman outside; the rest of them were transfixed at the TV set in the bar, as Kira continued to speak:

"Please give an answer as to whether or not the police will cooperate with me to create a new world four days from now, on April 22nd."

Taro shivered. The police would never bow down to Kira. They just couldn't. But...looking at how scared these people were, it was only a matter of time before everyone gave up hope. Especially after Kira had just demonstrated how effortlessly he could kill.

"Are you alright?" someone asked. Taro looked up and saw the bartender; he must have been the one who pulled him inside. Unlike so many of the monsters created by Kira's regime, this man had a kind face.

Face, face...Kira had killed someone knowing only their face. How had he done that?

Ryuk...

Now that he thought about it, a shinigami would have to be able to know someone's name in order to use the Death Note as well. How did they do it? Taro smiled at the thought of a shinigami going online or asking people for someone's name; that would be silly. Somehow, they had a way of just knowing someone's name.

Which meant that Ryuk could have told Kira what the policeman's name was. Or, since humans could use Death Notes, it would make sense that the shinigami might have some way of giving people this ability as well. And Ryuk hadn't mentioned this to him because...well, he was Ryuk; he got a kick out of watching people struggle.

Then Taro realized that the bartender was still waiting for him to respond. "Yeah, I'm fine," he said. "My dad's in the TV station. I wanted to go help him."

"That was very brave," the bartender said. "But it's too dangerous if Kira's watching."

"I know," Taro admitted. "I just hope my dad's okay." He was glad that the bartender, at least, seemed to see Kira as the killer that he was.

At that moment, an armored car came speeding past the bar. Taro and the bartender both looked up. Instead of stopping in front of the Sakura TV station, the van kept going...right through the glass doors in front of the building. Taro had never seen anything like it. Then he realized; that's how the police were getting into the building without being seen.

Over the next few minutes, more police cars showed up at the scene. When the cops got out, Taro saw that they were all wearing riot helmets to cover their faces. Right about then, Kira's broadcast ended, and instead Taro heard a megaphone directed at the officers outside: "Alright, there's reason to believe that Kira is in the vicinity; retreat while attempting to conceal yourselves."

"Retreat?" Taro said. "What about my dad? He's still inside!"

"Don't worry," the bartender said. "Now that the broadcast is over, it should be safe for him to come out. You can stay until he gets here."

Taro nodded, and sat down at one of the empty tables. "Can I have some milk?"

The bartender poured him a glass. "Sure. On the house."

"Thanks," Taro said, smiling. The milk was thick and warm, and very calming.

"Ah, Miss Amane, you leaving us?" The bartender called to a young woman walking down the stairs from one of the upper rooms.

"Yep, all done," the girl said.

"You certainly were up there a long time," the bartender said. "Was our humble establishment sufficient for the...needs of a celebrity like yourself?"

Miss Amane opened her mouth to reply, then grinned. "Really, now, you should know better than to pry into a young lady's private life." Then she winked at Taro, and walked out the door, bumping into a man who was coming in.

"Excuse me, miss," he said.

Taro jumped up. "Dad!"

"Hello, son," Mr. Kagami said.

Taro ran up and hugged him. "I was so worried."

"Yeah, we all were. But it's alright, now."

Taro smiled, feeling like the 14-year-old that he was, and not like one of the few who stood between the world and Kira. Kira may be more powerful than before, but tonight, Taro and his family were still alive. That was enough of a victory for now.

Chapter 3
Chapter 5
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