Read Or Die Fan Fiction / X-Men Fan Fiction ❯ Read or Die: Shadowcat! ❯ Chapter 14
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Shadowcat: Read or Die!
"Sir?" Wendy tentatively asked as she entered the office, the little blonde haired woman looking around curiously.
"Here," Joker's voice rang out, and Wendy realized he was hidden at his desk, concealed behind books and various pieces of paper.
"A new field report from Kitty and the others," Wendy reported excitedly, "they've encountered two new Ijin."
Joker stood up, gazing at her intensely, "Who are they?"
"Amelia Earheart," Wendy read, "the famous lost pilot. She's apparently been augmented with biological wings."
"And the other?" Joker frowned.
"Yukio," she checked her notes before Wendy continued, "a martial artist who apparently has been changed into a cat-woman."
"Interesting," Joker murmured, "it seems to fit the trend I've noticed with the Ijin."
"Huh?" Wendy blinked.
"It seems he may have borrowed more than our Ms. Pryde's DNA," Joker mused, "the powers he gave Gennai Hiraga resemble the criminal Electro's, Amelia's wings may well be borrowed from the X-Man Archangel and so on."
"Does that mean we'll end up facing even more superhuman Ijin?" Wendy had to ask.
Joker smiled grimly, "I suspect so."
In another part of Tokyo the three figures stepped out of the black limo, Drake leading the way as he looked around warily. "Is this sort of thing really necessary?" the tall blonde haired man asked, tugging at his tailored suit.
"If we want to be taken seriously, yes," Kitty answered, the brown haired young woman dressed in woman's business wear.
"But why am I dressed like this?" Yomiko asked, her red dress tight and slinky. She pushed her hair back then adjusted her glasses nervously.
"You're my companion," Kitty explained a bit sheepishly, "so you need to look the part."
"So this Silver Samurai, he's..." Yomiko asked.
Surprisingly, Drake spoke up, "Kenuichio Harada, the bastard son of the former head of the clan Yashida, Shingen Harada." He paused, "Not a nice guy, I understand."
"But he is an honorable one," Kitty added, "he's studied Bushido and the way of the samurai all his life." She smiled wryly, "But he's also running a crime family."
"So why would he help us?" Yomiko asked.
"He owes a debt to a friend of mine," Kitty answered simply.
The three headed towards the buildings, each feeling the unseen eyes resting on them. "This place has some high security," Drake softly murmured as they passed through the outer gates of the ancestral Yashida castle.
"The Yashida's were once very big in organized crime under Lord Shingen," Kitty quietly replied as they moved down a stone walkway through a garden, "and his heir has strengthened those ties considerably."
"Didn't Mariko Yashida try to break those ties?" Drake recalled.
"And was killed by the Hand for the attempt," Kitty said bleakly.
The room they were led into was large, the Silver Samurai waiting for them on the mats by a tea set. A young woman dressed in traditional kimono prepared the tea before smoothly rising, leaving them with the intense looking older man. Divested of his mask and armor Kenuichio Harada still had a powerful presence, almost an aura of dangerousness about him, black hair neatly styled and muscular body under traditional robes.
"Welcome," Harada nodded respectfully, "I was most surprised to have you request a meeting, Pryde-san."
Kitty folded her legs under her smoothly as she knelt, noting that Drake and Yomiko both sat slightly behind her, the blonde haired man looking like the perfect bodyguard. 'I'm glad Yomiko isn't pulling a book out,' she thought. Looking at Harada she said, "Thank you for seeing me so promptly."
Harada just nodded slightly, "A guest is always welcome."
'He's not going to ask me why I came, even though his curiosity must be killing him,' Kitty thought. "I'm sorry that a matter of some urgency has brought me here," Kitty started, "one that relates to your father's former business."
"Indeed," Harada smiled slightly. They both knew that he was carrying on the family business, but neither would state it directly. "How can I help?" he asked.
"There is a certain figure in the underworld," Kitty started, "an assassin named 'Ogun...."
"He is dead, is he not?" Harada's eyes narrowed slightly as he added coldly, "Slain by Wolverine, I understand."
"Apparently being dead hasn't stopped him," Kitty explained.
"There were stories 'Ogun was a demon," Harada looked at Kitty thoughtfully, "is there really some truth to that?"
"He doesn't seem to want to rest easy in his grave," Kitty answered. Leaving out certain details like the Library's role she roughly sketched in the information on the Ijin appearances and how they seemed to relate to 'Ogun's return.
"Hmm," Harada sat there for a moment, studying the three of them thoughtfully. "I don't know much," he finally admitted, "but I can tell you some things. First, whomever is creating these Ijin must be using a very sophisticated lab, and therefore must have purchased some very rare equipment just to keep it operating."
"We've already attempted to track such equipment sales," Kitty answered him calmly, "but so far, no dice."
"I have certain contacts you likely don't," Harada said dryly. He paused, "There were certain rumors that circulated after the first Ijin appearance, that a powerful foreign organization had in truth been responsible for their creation."
Kitty leaned forward slightly, "Do you know the identity of this organization?"
"Not precisely," Harada confessed, "but the general belief was they were British."
Kitty felt a moment of shock, but kept it from showing on her face. "If you could contact me if you find out anything," she half bowed, "I'd be deeply appreciative."
"I'll contact you," Harada's servant took a copy of Kitty's cellphone number even as he continued, "please let your mentor know I sent my regards."
"Of course," Kitty bowed again, then the three left the buildings to return to the limo.
"I know what you're thinking, Kitty-san," Yomiko spoke up once they got under way, "and it's just not possible."
Kitty had a frown on her face, "Oh? It fits a lot of the information we have so far. The Ijin started out as a British Library project before being taken over by Sinister and 'Ogun, then twisted to fit their own purposes."
"Even Joker wouldn't pull something like that," Drake protested.
"I haven't known Joker long," Kitty answered him coldly, "but I could see him doing what he had to, if it was absolutely necessary."
"Kitty..." Yomiko started.
"Harada is a yakuza," Drake said with a scowl, "a known criminal. Are you really going to believe anything he says?"
Kitty held up a hand, "It doesn't matter. I'm not going to do anything without solid proof, all this information means is that I'll be a lot more careful around Joker and Mr. Gentleman."
"And us?" Yomiko asked softly.
Kitty met those eyes behind the glasses, eyes that she knew she could trust. She gave both of them a smile, "I trust you."
To be continued....