Read Or Die Fan Fiction ❯ Read or Dare! ❯ Briefing ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Read or Dare Two

Wendy Earhart hurried up the hallway of the temporary headquarters of the British Library, the papers clutched in her arms as the young blonde raced to be on time. “Mr. Joker,” she said as she opened the door, “I have the files you requested.”

Joker looked up from his cluttered desk, the blonde haired man looking impeccably neat as always in his dapper suit. “Thank you Wendy,” he said as he got up, shifting stacks of books aside as he added, “put them right here.”

“Yes sir,” Wendy smiled as she put the reports down with a soft thump.

Joker looked over at the pile with a wry look as he asked her, “You had a chance to look them over?”

“Skimmed them,” Wendy conceded.

“Can you give me a summary?” Joker asked hopefully.

“I’ll try,” Wendy said, quickly looking around the small, book filled office. Finding a chair she took the books off the seat then dragged it over as she asked, “Do you have any preferences where I start?”

“Dokusensha,” Joker said with a serious look on his face.

“Hmm,” Wendy took a notebook from her back pocket and flipped several pages before she sat down. “With the death or Mr. Gentleman their sponsor Ms. China also died, we believe due to a previously unrevealed connection between them. However, even without her they are a formidable force, with operations throughout China and the far east.”

“While we’re based in Europe, the United Kingdom and to a lesser extent in Japan,’ Joker calmly noted.

“Precisely,” Wendy noted. “We believe Dokusensha were involved in the attack that killed Mr. Gentleman, possibly in revenge for our defeat of them in the Ijin case. They also have established a corps of superhuman agents like our own, including their own papermaster.”

“The infamous Sonny Wong,” Joker nodded thoughtfully, “also called the Recycler. A killer of the worst sort.”

“Exactly,” Wendy agreed. She checked her notes, “We believe they’re continuing to observe Nenene Sumerigawa, so I’ll continue to urge Yomiko and the others to stay out of contact with her.”

“And our new paper master?” Joker asked thoughtfully.

“The Word is training up nicely, according to Drake,” Wendy noted. “He’s passably good with rifle and pistol, and he failed unarmed combat. However, he’s a prodigy in paper defense, producing barriers superior to Yomiko’s, even if his attack skills are less than stellar.”

“We’ll have to keep that in mind,” Joker noted. He rubbed his fingers together thoughtfully, “And our allies?”

“The American Library has offered whatever support we require,” Wendy kept the sarcasm out of her voice, “assuming we join with them as a lesser partner.”

“Lovely,” Joker made a face.

“The Russian Library has been somewhat more helpful,” Wendy added, “mostly due to their own run ins with Dokusensha.”

“Dokusensha did do them some damage over the Rasputin papers,” Joker recalled.

“And they still owe us for recovering those papers,” Wendy agreed. “I think we can use that leverage to get replacements for some of the tomes lost in the fire.”

“And our agents are still scouring Jinbo-cho?” Joker mused.

“We’re digging through the world’s major book markets, but especially there,” Wendy agreed. “So far, we’ve recovered twenty-eight percent of the lost books.”

“A good effort,” Joker acknowledged, not pointing out the large remainder they had to go. Besides, he was aware she already knew. “And the report on the cloning issue?”

Flipping through her notebook again Wendy found the section she was looking for. “A unanimous vote has banned further superhuman cloning efforts,” she reported, “at least among Great Britain and the United Nations.”

“Wonder how long it’ll take Dokusensha to break that one?” Joker wondered.

Wendy hesitated before saying, “They already have, though apparently it hasn’t worked out too well for them.”

Joker brightened, “Oh?”

“They spliced paper master DNA into two women who they programmed as agents,” Wendy revealed, “Maggie Mui and Michelle Chan. They proved effective so when a third paper master child had difficulties, they placed Anita King into the two women’s care.”

“What happened?”

“The two women developed such a strong bond with Anita that they destroyed a Dokusensha instillation getting her back,” Wendy sounded smug, “apparently Dokusensha has decided to avoid antagonizing the trio at all costs. They’re now operating as the Paper Sisters Defective Agency.”

“Oh, good show,” Joker clapped his hands cheerfully, then a oddly thoughtful look appeared on his face.

“We’ve been concerned about keeping Nenene Sumerigawa safe....” Joker trailed off thoughtfully. A smile teased at his lips, “Is Agent Linho still keeping an eye on Sumerigawa?”

“Yes sir,” Wendy confirmed, faintly surprised by his memory of such a odd bit of trivia.

“Have someone check over these Paper Sisters and confirm their story is true,” Joker said with a merry twinkle in his eye, “then suggest to Agent Linho that he should hire them to look after Ms. Sumerigawa.”

“They aren’t the most stable of people, according to the report,” Wendy cautioned.

Joker smirked, “Neither is Yomiko.”

“Sir,” Wendy scolded, even though a smile tugged at her lips.

“Besides,” Joker noted a bit sourly, “it might stop the young lady from filing missing persons notifications on Yomiko.”

Wendy giggled, then promptly shut her mouth. “I’m sure it must be difficult killing all those reports,” she said sympathetically.

“Yes it is,” Joker gave her a faintly suspicious look, “maybe I’ll pass the job on to you.”
Wendy’s eyes widened in horror, “Oh, no sir!”

“Heh,” Joker smiled as he picked up the top report, “we’ll see.” As he began reading he asked, “Could you fetch us some tea?”

“Of course sir,” Wendy smiled as she headed off.

To be continued....

Notes: this is a alternate universe to ROD, including the Dream manga version of the Paper Sister’s battle with Dokusensha, as well as details from the Read or Die Novels about Mr. Gentleman’s counterpart, Ms China.