All Work and No Play

“How long do you think he’s going to take this time?”

Katsuo scratched his chin and checked his watch. “Who knows. He certainly doesn't seem to be in a rush."

Yuudai Shibata and Katsuo Tanaka sat in their undercover car, parked a safe distance away from a nondescript apartment complex in Fukuoka. Yuudai was fidgeting with his wristband and looking out the car window every so often to glance at the building’s doors. Katsuo calmly sat in the car, checking his watch and phone occasionally while keeping a steady eye on the door.

A quiet beeping alerted Katsuo to his phone. Yuudai noticed a similar beeping from his. Both of them looked at each other for a moment before turning to their phones.


Katsuo cocked an eyebrow at the message. Minori Iwata herself thought it was a piece of major news? What exactly was happening?

“Look. There he is.” Yuudai pointed as the satchel carrying man that Yuudai had met earlier came out of the apartment complex. Noticeably, however, his satchel was gone. Whistling a pop tune, the man got into his car.

Katsuo quietly started the car, and began to follow the car once more. Yuudai licked his lips, and pulled out the pistol in his pocket, checking that the gun was loaded.

“Put that away. We’re going to check where he lives, not kill him.” Katsuo glanced at Yuudai.

“Never hurts to be prepared, right? I’m not ruling anything out.” Yuudai pointed out.

“Put it away. I don’t want you trigger happy, especially when you’re not going anywhere near the guy. He’s already seen you.”

Yuudai grimaced for a moment, but put the gun away. Katsuo couldn’t blame him. He would have been worried had he been in Yuudai’s shoes too.

Katsuo drove smoothly, but with a somewhat distracted air. What could Iwata possibly want? He wondered if the undercover agents had made any progress. He knew that the Foundation also had people in with the Dojin-kai, but he had no idea who they were or anything they had accomplished.

Maybe he needed to talk to Hisashi again, he thought. See if his contacts with the Dojin-kai knew anything that was going on with that group. Or would that just hurt his cover? Or would it be worse if he didn’t do anything at all?

Katsuo shook his head clear of distracting thoughts to focus on the task at hand: following the dealer. Suddenly, the suspect’s car turned left, down a smaller road, until it reached a small kendo dojo. The dealer parked the car and exited quietly, glancing around as he did so.

Tanaka stopped the car. This was something new.

A man came out of the dojo, and greeted the dealer, who produced the backpack full of money that Yuudai had given him. The newcomer looked at it, then smiled at the dealer, before taking the offered bag. After a few moments of conversation, the two entered the dojo together.

The detective turned off the car and pulled out his phone. While pretending to look at it, he used the phone’s camera to discreetly gaze around at the street surrounding the car.

The whole street was located in one of the more well-to-do districts of the city, lined with fashionable clothing boutiques advertising the latest American styles, and small cafes and shops scattered throughout the area. Across the street from the kendo dojo was a small convenience store. The kendo dojo seemed almost out of place in this upscale neighborhood; a relic of an older time. It certainly seemed a little disused compared to the plastic shine of the rest of the area.

The detective focused on the last thing he saw, and walked into the convenience store. He glanced around. His only company was a bored looking cashier and an older man who was thumbing through some magazines.

Tanaka picked up a small box of candy as he walked to the register, still keeping an eye on the dojo across the street. The cashier mechanically checked out the purchase. Katsuo cleared his throat.

“So, that kendo dojo across the street. Is it any good?”

The cashier flicked his eyes to him for a moment. “I hear it’s alright. Mostly younger guys wanting to look tough.”

“Ah, okay. Know anything about the master there?”

“Wouldn’t know. Wouldn’t care. Here’s your candy, sir.”

Katsuo took the box back, and walked out of the store. As he passed between the doors, he casually dropped his hand behind him, sticking a small object next to the door of the convenience store, pointing straight at the dojo.

Tanaka entered the car and slid in smoothly, tossing the box of candy to Yuudai.

“Eat it, I’m not going to.”

Shibata seemed as if had a question, but thought better of it. He opened the box tentatively, but then set it down, staring into the box. After a moment, he looked back up into his mentor's eyes.

“What now?” The young detective asked.

Katsuo scratched his chin. “Looks like we’ve got a meeting.”

“Holy fucking shit, man. This is one hell of a payload.”

Naoki Koga reclined against his chair, almost wincing at the talk. All of these idiots wanting to look cool. As if watching a couple awful American gangster movies and swearing would boost your reputation.

Naoki ignored it though. Since his crew had started selling Spirit Dust, the money kept flowing in. And if that kept his crew happy and (relatively) quiet, he was okay with that. Even if meant putting up with the idiots. They’d learn eventually, or wash out like the rest.

The backroom of the dojo was filled to the brim with the members of Naoki’s individual gang, a collection of 12 shatei that Naoki had hand-selected. They ranged in age from old to young, some dealers, some enforcers, some only foot-soldiers. All faithful yakuza. All handpicked by Naoki himself.

And in the middle of them all was a neatly organized pile of money so large it seemed almost cartoonish. Yoshida hadn’t been joking when he talked about the price they were selling spirit dust for. And it had only been rising as they were selling the drug, Koga mused.

“So, after we give the oyabun his cut, what are we going to do with the rest?” The same man who spoke earlier asked. He grinned a toothy smile, all too telling of his youth. “I’ve got this motorcycle I’ve been eye-”

“Shut your mouth, you insolent twat.” An old man, covered in tattoos snorted. He shook his head in disgust, earning him some toothless grins from the older members. “Kyodai Koga is the one to decide, not a brat so young he’s barely got a tattoo on him.” The old man gestured to his body to make his point.

The youth sprang up from his seat and glared at the old man, his eyes burning. His hands went to his belt. “You looking to start a fight, you pi-”

“Hey.” A single word, full of authority, cut through the air like a razor.

Naoki folded his arms as everyone turned to look at him. “The money goes to the family. We earned this as a family, we keep it as a family. Got it?” He looked around to meet the eyes of each of his gang brothers in turn. They met his gaze, or looked away in shame, in the case of the upstart.

A kyodai’s word is law to shatei.

Naoki looked over at one man in particular. “Shiba-san. Count up the money, throw it in the safe, and make a record of it. Nobody’s to touch it without me there.”

Shiba bowed deeply, and ran off to find a cart for the money. The youth looked at him, somewhat longingly, Koga noted.

Naoki sat in his chair with perfect poise, and steepled his fingers in front of him. It was a very American gesture that he had picked up, but he enjoyed it. He considered the audience in front of him, and chose his words carefully.

“Your loyalty is unquestionable. Yes?”

A few confused looks, but nods and murmurs of assent in response.

“You are my brothers in arms, and I’ve helped this crew get to where it is. Yes?”

The shatei looked far more confident now, and nodded vigorously or vocalized their agreement.

“So. Then you all did what I told you to?”

They nodded, this time for sure. The shatei dealers produced small devices from various places, and held them up for Naoki to see. He gestured to the table in front of him, and they placed their devices on the table. The screens on the devices glowed in an indistinct way.

Koga leaned back in his chair, and swept his hair backwards. “Excellent.” He couldn’t help but grin at his crew.

Then, he heard a slight beeping from his phone, and froze. It wasn’t his normal phone. He slipped into his pocket and pulled out his Foundation issue. On the screen was a single text message.


He looked at it, betraying no sign of distress in his face, though his stomach turned. Was it one of the other undercover agents? Iwata couldn’t know about his latest moves yet, could she?

Whatever had happened, it wasn't likely to be good.

He looked up from his phone and put it away. He cleared his throat, looking up into the expectant eyes of his crew.

“Let’s get to work.”

One hour earlier

Commander Minori Iwata put on her coat, and walked out of the Foundation facility onto the streets of Fukuoka, muttering some goodbyes to the people she passed, who knew better than to engage her in this kind of mood.

There was a light rain, but it didn’t bother her too much. Rain was the least of her problems, as she stalked through the streets, head down, and mind full of thoughts.

All of these regional containment teams, and they had accomplished precisely jack shit. The rate at which spirit dust incidents were occurring was quickly growing uncontainable, but none of her teams had anything to report on with regards to investigation.

As far as she knew, spirit dust was a literal demonic substance, as some of the civilians they had amnesticized were saying. Nobody had any leads on where the substance was coming from, aside from the fact that the Dojin-kai yakuza were pushing it around. Where they got it from, nobody had any clue.

She glanced up, looking at the garish signs and ads of downtown Fukuoka, blaring some obnoxious drivel about beauty supplies or new appliances, or something else. She sighed. If only these beautifully deluded idiots knew what had to be done to keep them in their state of idle, ignorant bliss.

Her thoughts wandered back to the day. Her researchers couldn’t figure out anything either, besides the fact that it was a plant with something weird about it. What she wouldn’t give for an American base right now, with the kind of equipment they had…certainly better than this castoff junk they got when the Americans or Europeans were done with it.

She blinked through the rain, and shook her head, trying to clear her thoughts. She needed to relax a little. She had already chewed out a few terrified interns and containment team representatives. She didn’t need anything else to cloud her mind for the coming days.

By the time she got home, the rain had picked up. Her drab apartment building looked even more drab than usual. She glanced at the potted plants lining the side of her apartment complex. They looked as silly as they usually did, little bushes in pots that had no business being there.

Minori chuckled a little. She really must be going senile. She was getting furious at a potted plant, of all things.

Minori opened the door to her first floor apartment carefully, as she did everyday. Sensing nothing wrong, she flicked the light on and entered her apartment. She closed the door behind her, and then let out a huge sigh, visibly deflating as her shoulders slumped and the coat slipped off of her.

It had been a long day. She was done playing her part for now. Commander Minori Iwata, the fiercely independent Foundation officer, shrugged off her carefully laid mask along with her coat, and simply became Minori Iwata, the very tired middle aged woman.

She strode through her mostly spartan living room, and made her way to the kitchen. She opened the top cabinet on the left, and drew out a bottle of Taiwanese kaoliang liquor. She needed it today.

She poured herself a glass, and settled on her small couch, deciding not to even take the effort to change. Idly, she flicked on the television, sipping her liquor, hoping that it might dull her senses enough to slip into sleep eventually. It burned as it went down, but with each sip, she could feel its magic work on her.

Heh. Who needs Spirit Dust when the regular stuff works just as well?

“…and we bring you more on the death of Councillor Takeda’s son. Latest reports from the county coroner’s office have revealed an unidentified plant substance within his body that is believed to be some form of narcotic. Sources believe that-”

Minori didn’t hear the rest of the newscast. She was already on her phone, furiously texting, the haze of the alcohol already lifting.


Then, she put the glass aside, once again put on the mask of Commander Minori Iwata, Regional Containment Commander, and got back to work.

She supposed that the work never really stopped.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License