S-CRY-ed Fan Fiction ❯ Scryed Askew ❯ Whatever Can Go Wrong... ( Chapter 6 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Scryed Askew: Part 6 - Whatever Can Go Wrong…
By Robster80
Disclaimer: I do NOT own S-Cry-ed, period! Not the characters, the name, or anything. It belongs to TV-Tokyo, Bandai, Tokyopop (Manga), etc.
Kazuma was up early that morning. He always got up early on date day - the day he would head out to the city and spend time with Cherise. This particular morning, he got up earlier than Kanami and made himself a quick breakfast before he went back upstairs to take a shower. When he was done, he dried himself off thoroughly and put on his usual clothes; Kanami had taken all of his newer clothing to be washed.
One look at him and one could tell Kazuma was more than eager to get going. This would be the first date he and Cherise had in over a month since their first (and last) one. The last two attempts for them to get together ended in failure as first Cherise got sick and had to stay in bed all day, and the next time she had to take part in a mission on the far side of the Lost Ground due to a slight uprising by three particularly vicious Inners. Kazuma had been upset by these setbacks, but Cougar had informed him that Cherise was none too pleased about them either.
But today, Kazuma was determined to see her no matter what the case was. Even if he got all the way into the city and Cherise had to work or something, he would at least use the hard-earned money he saved up to get Cherise a necklace that Cougar said she had been eyeing for a while. After all, her birthday was coming up in a few days; it would be the perfect present for her, even if it was early. He just hoped he had enough money to buy it for her.
Here I come, Cherise, he thought as he made his way downstairs. Leaving a note on the table for Kanami, he walked out of the clinic just in time to see Kimishima ride up in his buggy. “Morning, Kimishima.”
Kimishima let out a yawn as Kazuma hopped into the vehicle. He didn't like getting up early, but Kazuma needed him to take him to the city since Cougar had to cover Cherise's shift that day. “Never seen you so cheery this early, Kazuma. Then again, whenever it comes to your woman, you're never quite yourself.”
Resisting the urge to kick the snot out of his friend, as he was the only one between them who could drive, Kazuma simply remarked “Cherise is her own person, not my or anybody's woman. You remember that, Kimishima.”
“Yeah, yeah. Let's just get you to the city so I can head back home and sleep in some more.” Kimishima turned the motor over and stepped on the gas. Still Kimishima was somewhat grateful for Cherise being in Kazuma's life. His friend seemed to mellow out more and more ever since the date. Of course, nowadays Kazuma spent more time working on the farms rather than the odd jobs he had to dig up for the both of them. Kimishima guessed that maybe Kazuma wanted to avoid picking a fight with other Inners so HOLY wouldn't come after him, especially if somebody from the militaristic group discovered that Kazuma was dating one of their own.
“Say, Kazuma, does Cherise have any friends who are single?”
“How many times do I have to tell you, Kimishima? The only female friend she's got is this Mimori chick that Cougar started hanging out with. Besides, I thought you were seeing what's-her-name.”
“Ayase Terada. How many times do I have to remind YOU, Kazuma? …Besides, I don't think she has time for a guy like me. Her kid brother's not doing so well.”
“Still, huh?” Kazuma thought about the sick little boy that Ayase always looked after. The local doctors were unable to help treat the illness the kid had contracted, and they didn't have much money to get help from the city medics. “When I see Cherise today, I'll try to ask her about making some kind of arrangement.”
“If you see her today.”
“What do you mean IF?” Kazuma leaned over to Kimishima, annoyed by the comment. Suddenly, the buggy came to a sudden halt, and Kazuma looked ahead to see the reason why Kimishima had both stopped AND made his previous comment. “Oh. Great.”
A group of punks, the same ones who had been harassing Hidaki's gang over a month ago, had shown up in front of them. Several had either clubs or pipes in their fists, and a few even had knives. Behind a bunch of them was their leader, the hulking blob known as Biff “the Hammer.”
“This here's our road,” Biff said in a deep, menacing voice. The other members of his gang moved aside for him as he strode up to show off his giant physique. “Anybody who wants to use it has to pay a toll. We'll take all your money and maybe the buggy if you ain't got enough.”
Let me handle this,” Kazuma hissed to Kimishima before he got out of the vehicle and casually walked over to Biff. “A toll, huh? Fine, I'll pay up. But lemme ask you a quick question. If that's okay?”
Being far taller than Kazuma, not to mention more muscular, Biff loomed in closer to sneer at the smaller man. “Heh. Sure, as long as it's quick. What is it?”
“Well, what would you rather have?” Kazuma held out one hand as he continued his inquiry. “A shoe full of dollar bills?” He then stuck out his other hand. “Or two socks of fives?”
Groaning, Kimishima buried his face in his hands. Not again with that old gag, Kazuma!
Biff let out a slightly amused laugh. His followers did the same. “Why, that's an easy one. I'd take the greater one - the two socks.”
Of course. “You got `em, pal!” And Kazuma threw a left cross, followed by a right hook, into Biff's fat face. The sudden hits forced the bloated Inner backwards a few steps. Kazuma smirked. The greedy ones always went for the second answer to his question. “Now you gonna let me and my pal move on, or do I have to muss ya up? I got a girl I haven't seen in a while waiting for me, and I'm in no mood to be late.”
Blood oozing from his nose, Biff glared at Kazuma hard; nobody ever hit him and got away with it without getting their limbs rearranged. “You little smartass! I got bad news for your woman - you're going to the morgue instead! HAMMER!!
Seeing Biff surrounded in an all too familiar rainbow glow, Kazuma quickly summoned his alter. By the time his right arm had changed into his Shell Bullet and his three red fins appeared on his back, his opponent had summoned his huge piston-armed alter. Hammer's free hand, which was smaller than its right, picked up Biff and secured him with its four-pronged fingers.
Kimishima paled at the sight of Hammer, while Biff's gang cheered. “Oh boy. Kazuma, I think we're in over our heads here.” Who am I kidding? This is Kazuma we're taking about; he hasn't lost a fight as long as I've known him.
“HAAAAA HA HA HA!” Biff laughed as he looked down at Kazuma. “My alter's bigger than yours! From up here, you're like a tiny ant waiting to be crushed. Now how are you gonna hit me from way down there-?”
One of Kazuma's fins had shattered and a green flame exploded from his back, launching Kazuma up directly at Hammer's body before his battle cry was finished. His Shell Bullet arm shot forward as he collided with the large alter, ripping a hole into it and plowing himself through before he landed on his feet. As he turned, Hammer collapsed onto its knees and then broke apart, dissipating from the attack. Kazuma watched Biff's gang stutter in shock as Biff fell face first into the ground, and they all took off running.
“I already told you,” Kazuma spat as Biff slowly looked up to face him. “There's a girl waiting for me, and I won't make her wait all day! Next time you get in my way, step aside and save yourself the embarrassment. Rev her up, Kimishima! We're outta here.”
All three men looked to see one of HOLY's transports moving towards them. Biff took one look, recalling his last encounter with HOLY's one Alter-user, and quickly scrambled to his feet. “No! Not those guys again! Lemme outta here!!”
Kazuma watched him take off, muttering “He runs pretty fast for a fat guy.”
The transport came to a halt and a lone figure jumped down from the roof. He was Kazuma's height with dark green hair and cold, piercing eyes. Immediately, Kazuma could tell that this was the Ryuhou that Cherise and Cougar had told him about. The cold, stiff voice was also a dead giveaway to the man's identity. “You will stand down and surrender immediately. Inners who misuse their powers are guilty of criminal activity and will be judged accordingly. That is HOLY's purpose. Order shall be restored.”
“H-hey,” Kazuma exclaimed, “I only attacked in self-defense! That tub of lard and his goons ambushed-.”
“SILENCE!” Ryuhou turned to Kimishima, almost scaring him. “As for you… you may go on about your business. Don't worry, I'll deal with this scum and the others who tried to do you harm.”
Both Kazuma and Kimishima couldn't believe how dense this guy was. Not only did he accuse Kazuma of assault, but he believed they were total strangers to one another. Still Kazuma figured this would be Kimishima's chance to escape. “Don't think this is over, you punk!” He shouted towards Kimishima, winking with his one eye that was turned away from Ryuhou. “I'll settle with you later.”
Quickly catching on, Kimishima started the engine and then sped off to get as far away as he could. Be careful, Kazuma! Remember, Cherise is waiting for you!
Once Kimishima was gone, Kazuma turned towards Ryuhou. “Okay, now that he's gone, let me explain-. What the hell?!” He found himself suddenly bound by two long purple straps of some sort. His eyes followed the trail of purple to see they were connected with a white and purple humanoid alter with one red eye and half its face concealed by a plate. A name popped in his memory, recalling one of Cherise's earliest letters. “Zetsuei, I presume?”
“I'm flattered you've heard of my alter,” Ryuhou said, “Now, stand down and come with us for questioning.”
Dammit, dammit all to hell, I don't have time for this! “Nothing doing! For the third time, I got a date-!”
“The only date you have is back at HOLY Headquarters. Don't bother trying to break free; Zetsuei's ribbons can hold up to ninety able-bodied men. Now, are we going to do this the easy way, or the hard way? It's your call, but I should warn you, I've never lost a fight.”

Bound tightly, Kazuma realized he had two options: either he could fight his way to escape, or he could just surrender and hopefully explain his side of the story and get released long before he'd be late with meeting Cherise. Despite his gut instinct to show Ryuhou just whom he was up against, the mental image of Cherise waiting for him as the sun went down made him realize which the easier option was.
“…Okay, I surrender,” He said calmly, willing his alter to vanish. “I just hope I get a fair trial.”
“Of course,” Ryuhou stated as he, Kazuma, and Zetsuei made their way back to the transport. Several soldiers in grey uniforms and helmets surrounded them, aiming their guns at Kazuma. “We at HOLY are firm, but fair.”
“You sound like a boxing referee.” Before he was led into the transport, Kazuma made one last look in the direction of the city. Sorry, Cherise. This wasn't how I planned on coming to see you.
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Cougar sighed as he entered the room monitoring the latest batch of HOLY's prisoners being put through what he called the “spin cycle.” All unruly Inners were placed in capsules and taken for a high-powered spin on a centrifuge inside HOLY's base, and it was his turn to monitor their progress. If one had been left in too long… well, it wasn't pretty for even Cougar.
“I always hated this part of my job. It's the same old thing, despite the new faces that show from time to time.” Still, since it would have been Cherise's turn, I think I can stand it for her and Kazuya's sake.
Coffee cup in hand, which had been provided by Mimori of all people, Cougar strolled over and sat in the chair in front of the controls to the monitors. There were screens for each prisoner, up to at least thirty in all, and one for the whole machine. One of the lower screens on the control panel indicated a diagram of the centrifuge and a connecting pipeline that was used to load and unload the prisoners. Another screen listed the new arrivals by a name consisting of two letters and four numbers.
“And let's see who our lucky contestants are today…” Cougar's eyes glanced down at the list and then up to the correct screen so he could get a look at the latest prisoners. He began taking a sip of his coffee when he spied one of the latest listees: NP3228. He paused to swallow the mouthful of black liquid in his mouth, and licked his lips.
“Miss Minori… I mean, Mimori… You made some damn good brew. Now, where was I? Oh yes. NP3228…”
Cougar began taking another sip when he glance dup at the screen showing the matching prisoner. The person he saw had fiery red hair and a very familiar-looking face. His eyes nearly popped out of his head and through his sunglasses, and he quickly spat out his coffee away from the control panel. He had to have been imagining things, there was no way he just saw whom he thought. Jumping to his feet, his mug falling to the floor and spilling its contents, he got a good look at prisoner NP3228.
“Oh shit. Kazuya!” How the hell did he get captured? Cherise is going to flip.
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He's never been this late before, Cherise thought as she checked her watch again. She was waiting in the city square, the same spot she waited at on their first date, for over two hours, and there was still no sign of Kazuma. Granted, this is only date number two for us, but I wonder where he could be? I hope he didn't get hurt or anything serious. Maybe Kanami's sick and he's looking after her. Maybe he couldn't get away from the farm.
“Hey, Cherise!”
Looking up excitedly, Cherise frowned as Urizane walked over to her, carrying a netting full of watermelons. “Oh, it's only you, Urizane.”

”Whattaya mean, it's only me? Don't be so rude; I was gonna offer you some watermelon.”
“You NEVER share your melons, Urizane.”
Chuckling, Urziane gave Cherise a thumbs-up sign. “That's right; you know me well enough. So, what are you doing out here all dressed up? Not waiting for Cougar, are you?”
Cherise turned away from her bloated associate. “You and I both know he's stuck on monitoring duty so I could have the day off. Besides, we keep telling you-.”
“Oh I know you're not seeing him. In fact, I think I discovered just whom you've been seeing.”
Urizane's words drained all the color from Cherise's face. Had he really found out about Kazuma? “W-who?”
Leaning forward so that his face and Cherise's were inches apart, Urizane said quietly, “You're dating a woman. You're really a lesbian, right?” A hard slap from Cherise's hand followed his answer a half-second later. “Well, it was worth a shot.”
“Honestly,” Cherise exclaimed, “you're a sick pig, Urizane!” While relieved that Urizane was still in the dark about her real boyfriend, she was mad that he would even think about her as a lesbian, not that she had anything against women who preferred other women over men.
“Okay, if it's not that, then who is it? You got any idea how many people are taking bets on just whom you're dating? I got good money riding on you dating someone within HOLY.”
“Here's something Miss Kiryu taught me.” Turning away from Urizane, she stuck out her palm to his face. “Talk to the hand!”
“…Funny way to get an answer, but I'll try anything once-.”

A sudden gust of wind hit the square, and before Urizane could blink, Cherise had vanished. Only one person he knew could have done this. “This looks like the work of Straight Cougar. But ain't he supposed to be with Miss Kiryu?”
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“Get your hands off me-! Cougar?!”
“Ssssh!” Cougar hissed as he and Cherise were now back in the monitoring room. “I'm sorry, but I had to bring you back, Cherise.”
“Cougar, I appreciate you getting me away from Urizane's questioning, but Kazuma could show up back there any-.”
Before she could finish, Cougar had made Cherise turn around to look at the monitors, specifically at the one monitoring prisoner NP3228. She saw Kazuma's face, and felt her jaw practically hit the floor. “WHAT THE HELL-?!” Once more, Cougar clasped his hands over her mouth.
Do you want the whole building to hear you? Then I suggest you tone it down.
Once he let go of her, Cherise whirled around to face Cougar. “Why the hell is Kazuma being put through the centrifuge? Strike that; why is he even a prisoner?
I'd like to know the answer myself. I just went on duty and was running down the list when I noticed he was on the screen. I even spilled the coffee Miss Minori made-.
Oh yeah, sorr-.” Cougar quickly shook his head, almost throwing off his sunglasses. “Th-this isn't the time for that! We gotta find out what's going on and then try and get Kazuya outta here safely. Run back and change into your uniform, and then get back here to take over for me! I'll try to figure out what to do. Don't just stand there, girl; get moving!
Nodding, Cherise bolted out of the room and rushed down the hallways. Fear gripped her heart as her legs carried her through the building. She had a good idea who was the one that brought in Kazuma. Ryuhou, if you hurt Kazuma in any way, I'll kick your ass!
Suddenly, one the heels on her shooes snapped, nearly tripping her up. Cherise kicked off her shoes, grabbed them along with the broken heel, and resumes running in her socks. Dammit, these shoes were NOT made for running! I'm never wearing high heels again.
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By the time Cherise had come back to the monitor room, Commander Zigmar had joined Cougar, who was using several rags to clean up the coffee he had spilled earlier. She quickly saluted. “Commander.”
“Adjani,” Zigmar replied in surprise, returning the salute so that Cherise could be at ease. “I thought this was your day off.”
“My date never showed. I figured I'd come back and resume my duties since I know Cougar isn't fond of monitor duty. With your permission, of course, sir.”
“Very well. Ah, I see NP3228 is coming out.”
The three watched a monitor showing the capsule Kazuma had been placed in being rotated out of the centrifuge and to a docking hall where his capsule opened up and he staggered out before falling to the floor.
“Ryuhou brought this one in earlier today,” Zigmar said suddenly, Cherise and Cougar still watching the screen. “According to the report, this Inner, along with some gang members, terrorized a man driving a dune buggy and there was some sort of dispute between him and the Inner known as the Hammer. He single-handedly defeated Hammer with one blow before Ryuhou intervened, but when Zetsuei had him bound, he simply surrendered. He's a strange one.”
“Speaking of Ryuhou,” Cougar said, pointing to the one corner of the screen as Ryuhou appeared. He quickly turned a knob, adjusting the volume of the camera's feedback. They watched as Ryuhou stood before Kazuma as he tried to get up from the floor.
“What about… my… fair trial?” Kazuma said.
“All in due time,” Ryuhou replied, still in a cold persona. “But tell me, why did you give up so easily? From the look of you, I assumed you'd fight to the last.”
Kazuma was on his feet before he could answer. “Months ago… I would have. Now… some things are… more… important.”

“You're referring to your date? I'm sure she's given up on you.”
Never, Cherise mentally fumed, though she retained her neutral expression. I'd wait day and night for him.
“Come on, when can I have my say?”
“When we're ready. Guards, take him to his cell.”
“Hey,” Kazuma cried out as two guards took him by the arms. “I keep telling you it's a misunderstanding! I was with my friend when…”
“Very interesting indeed,” Zigmar stated. “I wonder… was he really on his way to a date with someone?”

Cherise felt her heart racing in dread, while Cougar's sunglasses hid the panicked look in his eyes. However, Zigmar simply shrugged and said “Oh well. It's none of our business.” By the time he turned to leave the room, Cherise relaxed herself a bit. “I think I'll give this young man his chance to explain himself. Carry on, you two.”
After a few minutes after the Commander left, Cherise let out a low growl of frustration. “Damn that Ryuhou! When I get my hands on him-!”
“You do, and everyone will find out you and Kazuya are dating. And then you'll both be prisoners.”
Cougar's words somehow got through to Cherise despite her anger. Tears welled in her eyes; she felt helpless. “But what will we do?”
“…Let's just hope the commander shows him some leniency. Also, I think Kazuya should really consider joining up this time.”
“You know he won't. He values his freedom more than anything.”
“I don't think so.” Cougar then took off his sunglasses to look Cherise right in the eye. “I've been watching both of you ever since you and he first met, and I really believe if Kazuya would give up his freedom for anything, for anyone, it would be for you.” Maybe that Kanami kid, too, but I'm not going to say that right now. Cougar then got up and headed for the door. “You'd better get to work, and act natural. I'll keep you posted.”
Now that she was alone, with the door locked, Cherise collapsed onto the chair, and buried her face in her hands. If Kazuma was incarcerated because of her, she would never forgive herself.
Kazuma… what will happen to us now?
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Kimishima counted his blessings silently as he walked through the corridors of the wall surrounding the city form the rest of the Lost Ground. The fake ID he had bought for himself seemed to have worked very well. As he exited the tunnel, he found himself in slight awe of the city, having never been there before. When he asked Kazuma about the city after the first date with Cherise, all Kimishima got was a dull “it's not so great.”
He's a rotten liar, Kimishima mused as he walked down the streets. He was amazed by the tall buildings and the clean streets, and especially interested in some of the women he passed by along the way. He wished he had been born in the city instead of the wastes; no scrounging for food, no shady dealing for cash, and probably no Kazuma to threaten and hit him.
Staring after a few girls, he suddenly shook his head. A grim determined look appeared on his face. He had to stay focused. Kazuma was his best friend; his friend had been captured by HOLY, and he had to somehow rescue him. If he didn't Kanami would go ballistic. His hands went into his jacket pockets, in which he concealed two loaded pistols that had been surprisingly easy to get past the security checkpoint outside the city.
Hang on, Kazuma old buddy. I don't know how just yet, but I'm going to get you out of there and back home. Maybe I can get Cherise and Cougar to help me… No, bad idea. Last thing I need to expose them as our friends. I'm on my own on this one.
To be continued…
Next: Kazuma is put on trial by HOLY for the crime of merely being an Alter-user. Ryuhou gets a turn to question him, but will he be able to get out scot-free or is he doomed to be shipped off to the Mainland for study or worse? Also, two people make plans for Kazuma's escape, but as they are oblivious to one another, will their plans collide and instead make things worse? And the biggest question of all is whether everyone will discover that Kazuma and Cherise are dating?
Author's notes: Man, I love having a full day off to work on my stories. What the best part was I spent most of the day writing this chapter and the last one while waiting for an auction on ebay to near closing time before I put in a bid. However, since I didn't want to repeat the mistake I made with The Enigma Called Love, I put off posting this until a later time.
I've honestly tried to kind of keep the characters in their character, but with the last chapter, and also this one, I seem to be slipping in some OOC. But if I get flak for it, I get flak for it and then I move on to the next script. At least I'll get some sort of feedback. Ah, I gotta say I'm sorry to say this, but lately people don't seem to care much about fanfiction anymore. It's sad, really.
Read & Review, please.