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Right now, most of the members of the Yamashita Syndicate are having dinner at a lounge across town with the Oyabun (big brother) of the Syndicate. You were informed of this dinner earlier, but were non-committal about whether you would be there or not. No one said they expected to see you there, so you know your presence is not required. That is fine by you. Two days ago, you acted shamefully when collecting a protection debt from a whorehouse and ended up slashing a wide swath off the mama-san's face when she refused to give you the money. That you did not know that the mama-san was the older sister of Oyabun Yamashita's 17 year-old mistress was testament to the lack of prudence with which you carry your affairs. The next time you see Oyabun Yamashita, you expect you will have to give your last remaining pinky finger to him as a sign of contrition. Yamashita was a dirty old man, and way too influenced by young pussy.
Then again, you could always put it off. After all, you are going to see the old man tomorrow when you deliver your collections to his office. As you drain the last of your sake, you think it might be nice to just spend the rest of the night with Aiko, your favorite hostess at the bar ten blocks away. That would be preferable to having to give satisfaction tonight. What do you do...
--Go to the restaurant with the Oyabun and your Yakuza brothers.
--Go to the hostess bar to meet Aiko.
You set the choko down gracefully on the counter and sign the credit card slip the waitress has set next to you. No procrastination. You will go see the Oyabun and take responsibility. It will only be a little bit of pain, and by next week it will be healed enough for you to get fitted for a prosthetic finger. Respectable golf clubs will not allow a man missing his fingers to play on their courses.
You suspect this might just be drunken bravado though. You've had a lot of sake tonight and stumble a little as you walk towards the entrance. The sararimen notice this and break out into another peal of laughter. The urge to pull out the 9mm Makarov hidden in your sport coat and put a bullet in each of their heads flares in you, but you hold back. If the Oyabun has to bribe the police to let you out of jail, he will probably ask for your whole hand for embarrassing the Syndicate.
You hail a cabbie out on the street and he takes you to the hotel where your brothers are dining. You probably pay the driver too much. Some younger yakuza brothers are outside guarding the hotel, and they bow to you eagerly as you step out of the cab. They conduct you to the elevator that will take you to the lounge.
After going thirty floors, you arrive at the penthouse lounge where your brothers are partying, and, to your annoyance, they even louder than the sararimen in the sushi bar. All of them are toasting loudly while the bar maids sit next to them, smiling demurely. The two brothers guarding the elevator door bow to you as you exit. You see Oyabun Yamashita sitting quietly with his mistress (who was dressed in a schoolgirl outfit) at a table in the corner with his saiko-komon (senior advisors) drinking wine and observing the cacophony around them.
Brother Homma sees you and gives you a big drunken slap on the back. "Brother Takagawa, your presence was direly missed at dinner!"
Homma is elder to you, and you are too drunk to discern whether he means "Where the fuck were you?" or was being genuine, so you hedge your bets and say: "I was having dinner with my mother. She is sick with the flu."
In the strictest sense, yakuza are supposed to sever their family ties and give absolute loyalty to the organization. That is in the strictest sense and Brother Homma didn't seem too concerned with minutiae at the moment, so perhaps he was unaware of the incident at the brothel. "Tell her to eat lots of miso soup. It will clear her flu right up," Brother Homma says. "Come Brother Takagawa, let's have a drink! There are plenty of girls at our table..."
You look over to the Oyabun's table and wonder if you need another drink before you give your apology. You could lose your nerve though if you keep putting it off. What do you do?
--Go straight to the Oyabun's table and give your apology.
--Go have a drink with Brother Homma and his girls.
"Sorry Brother Homma," you say. "I have business with the Oyabun presently. Please accept my apologies."
"Very well. You are welcome to come drink with us after your are done with your business with Yamashita."
You will probably be going to the hospital after you are done with your business with Yamashita, but reply, non-committally "Perhaps I will."
You step over to the sushi bar and ask the shokunin for a clean sharp knife. The one he hands you is spotless and you stuff a 10,000-yen note into his tip jar. You wrap the blade in a white napkin you take off the bar and carry the knife in plain sight in front of you so no one will think you mean to attack the Oyabun.
A waiter is taking another drink order from them and you stay back until their business is complete. You figure it is better this way. By going straight to the Oyabun and giving your penance, you may be able to get away with only having to cut off one knuckle of your pinky.
When the waiter leaves, the Oyabun gives you a slight nod of his head. You step forward and bow violently and dramatically, placing your forehead right against the ground.
"Sumimasen Father! I have dishonored the Syndicate through my careless actions. I have brought shame on our family and beg you to allow me to show the degree to which I desire penance!"
They say nothing. You raise your head and place the knife on the table, unwrapping it from the napkin (you should have gotten another one to wrap around your hand when you were done, but too late...) The Oyabun sat there looking inscrutable as did his lieutenants. Michiko, his 17 year-old mistress was silent as well, but you can tell from her eyes that she is insanely pleased to see you prostrate your self with such utter lack of pride. You wonder snidely if Oyabun would dote on her so much if he'd seen the foul things she'd done with a squid on videotape before she caught his eye.
But knowing the rumors of the Oyabun's taste in women, you decide that yes, he probably still would.
"Very well Takagawa," saiko-komon Kazuo says. "Give us your penance."
You splay your hand out across the table and pick up the knife. Right as you are about to chop it down on your pinky finger, the waiter returns with the drinks. From your position kneeling at the table, you can see that the waiter is hiding something under the tray. It's a .38 revolver!
"Your drinks, sir," the waiter says, then drops his tray and aims the gun right at the Oyabun. Instead of bringing the knife down on your hand, you drive the blade into the waiter's armpit. This throws off his aim and the bullet meant for the Oyabun ends up hitting Michiko in the cheek, obliterating her face and splattering her brains all across the back of the booth.
The sound of the lounge changes from conversation to panicked yelling after the gunshot. All the bar maids start to shriek almost simultaneously. You ram the knife deeper into the waiter's armpit until you feel a warm gush of arterial blood spill over your hand. It severs the nerves and he drops the revolver. All the color rushes out of his face and you feel him going slack. You let his body drop, whip out your Makarov and put two bullets in his forehead and another two in his heart.
Click here to continue.
There is shocked silence in the lounge once the waiter is dead. Silence, except for the glass-shattering pitch of the shrieking bar
maids. You look over to the hostess and grunt, "Get those stupid bitches out of here!"
"Shinji-san," Oyabun Yamashita says with surprising humor despite the fact that he had nearly been killed. "You certainly know how to give penance."
He lifted Michiko's head off the table by the part of her skull that hadn't been reduced to pulp. He observed that the beauty of her face was no more, then dropped it back down. Despite the favor he showered on her, he seemed unconcerned that she was now lying in a pool of blood and teeth on the table. After all, sluts like her are a dime a dozen in Tokyo. Now that the cunt is dead, you hope your pinky is safe for the time being.
"Look!" one of your brothers has stripped off the dead waiter's shirt to expose the tattoo on his back. It was of a geisha with a knife through her head. "He has the art of the Kitano!"
You growl and shoot the waiter's dead body again, right into the geisha tattoo. Your brothers jump back at the sound of more gunfire. The Kitanos were a relatively new syndicate, mostly comprised of the cast-offs of other clans that had been destroyed in the last gang war. Their business consisted mostly of illegal pornography. They had denied the Kitanos a meeting last week, which was probably why they had called for the hit. One does not meet with mangy dogs without the grace to commit suicide after their dishonor.
You turn back to the Oyabun. "Please Father. I know I am unworthy, but allow me the honor of repaying Kitano's insult in kind."
"Shinji-san," the Oyabun says. "You are reckless, impulsive and impudent. But it is times like these that those traits can be an asset." He steps away from the bloody mess in the booth and places his hand on your shoulder. "Take your brothers and return with the head of Ryu Kitano on a silk pillow and I will consider your honor within the clan restored."
You bow deeply. "Arigato gozaimasu. I will not rest until all the Kitano pigs are slaughtered." You back away facing the Oyabun until he turns his back on you to talk to his saiko-komon.
Despite all the bluster, you have no idea where to find Ryu Kitano this time of night. Then you get an idea! Perhaps Aiko knows. The more affluent of the Kitano Syndicate swine sometimes hang out at her hostess bar. Maybe they are there, celebrating the death of the Oyabun prematurely. You pull out your cell phone and call the bar...
"Moshi-moshi," the girl answering the phone says in a high pitched and squeaky voice.
"I want to talk with a girl who works there named Aiko."
"I'm sorry, Aiko is not working tonight. Would you like me to take a message?"
You don't believe her. The bar probably has to deal with a lot of perverts who fall in love with their hostesses. Then again, that is not too far away from how you feel about Aiko, but tonight it is all about business. You tell the girl on the other end of the phone your name, "I'm one of Aiko's regular customers. I just have a question for her. Perhaps you can answer it. Have you seen any customers there wearing cheap knock-off Armani suits?" The Kitano Syndicate was notorious for dressing up in trashy Italian fashions.
There was a pause on the phone, then a giggle. "There was a gentleman dressed in the manner you described here earlier. But he left an hour ago."
"You wouldn't know where this fellow went to. Please, it is important that I get some business documents to him before he leaves for Narita."
More whispering on the other end of the phone. "The hostess he was with believes he was leaving to go to a celebration in Kabukicho ward of Shinjuku. But she cannot say for certain."
You growl out a curt "Arigato," and then snap your phone shut. The Kitano Syndicate had an office above a pachinko parlor in Kabukicho. They were celebrating the death of your Oyabun prematurely.
Homma was consulting with some other members of the Syndicate in the corner. "Brother Homma, I have determined that Boss Kitano is probably celebrating at their office in Shinjuku. I wish to take a group over there posthaste to send him and the rest of his dogs to Hell."
Brother Homma shakes his head. "I think it would be unwise to assault Kitano directly. He must have known that assassinating the Oyabun would result in a war between our syndicates. His office is most likely heavily guarded and waiting for our retaliation."
"Brother Homma," you say. "I have been tasked with retrieving Ryu Kitano's head for the Oyabun. The Shinjuku district is where Kitano's head presently resides."
"Patience, Takagawa..." Brother Homma says. "I'm sure the Oyabun does not require his head tonight."
"What would you have me do then, Brother?"
"Attack Kitano's assets," he says. "I have the address of a brothel they use to pleasure businessmen as well as film their pornographic movies. The Kitano's have few assets, so the loss of this business may starve them out of their hole, especially when their American and European clients come calling. It will be a move they do not expect and may put them off balance."
"MAY put them off balance? With all due respect Brother...the Yamashita Syndicate is three times as powerful as those Kitano dogs. It won't matter if they are expecting us...we will crush them anyway. That is what everyone will be expecting. To not do so may result in a loss of face before the other syndicates."
"Brother Takagawa, you raise a good point," Brother Homma says. "But consider this...it is well known by everyone that the Yamashita Syndicate is more powerful than the Kitano Syndicate. Do you really think that Ryu Kitano went through all the trouble of orchestrating this assassination attempt just to sign his own death warrant? He may have support from the other syndicates."
You are about to say something, but Brother Homma has also raised a good point.
"Regardless, Brother Takagawa, the Oyabun has tasked you with returning this slight. I will leave it to you to decide the best course of action."
You growl again as you consider what you should do tonight. What do you do?
--Go to the Kitano Syndicate office in Shinjuku and retrieve their boss's head.
--Destroy the Syndicate's pornographic video studio.
You bow your head, but not too far. "Thank you for consulting with me Brother Homma. You have raised many important points. Yet I am still compelled to kill Ryu Kitano this evening. To remove him and his syndicate from the equation immediately may give us a clue as to who is supporting them."
"Very well, Brother Takagawa. Let me make a few calls. I will summon a car to drive you to Shinjuku, as well as some brothers to assist you dispatching that pig. Wait here until they arrive."
You skulk off to the bar to get a napkin to clean the assassin's blood off your hands while Brother Homma makes his calls. After a few minutes, he nods to you and you head off towards the elevator.
Downstairs there is a white stretched limousine waiting for you. The younger yakuza brothers all look jittery as they bow to you. You point at four of the larger ones and growl, "Come with me!" as you step inside the limousine.
Brother Homma's arrangements have been thorough and exquisite for such short notice. There is a small arsenal of handguns, assault rifles, and automatic shotguns inside the passenger area. On the seat was a gray gift box with a silk pillow inside, which will be perfect for presenting Kitano's head to the Oyabun, along with a wakizashi with which to sever it. You place the wakizashi on your lap. Though you are more skilled at the katana, the short sword will be more useful since the syndicate's office is sure to be as cramped as all quarters are in Tokyo.
With everyone inside, the driver begins heading towards Shinjuku. The other brothers look extremely nervous. This is their first war and they are not used to the bloodletting that comes with being a yakuza. Bloodletting is something you are extremely familiar with and thrive on. You smoke some cigarettes while you wait to arrive at your destination.
The limo pulls up to the pachinko parlor. The knees of your brothers are shaking as they step out of the car. You growl at these weak reeds. "Remember, tonight we leave here with Ryu Kitano's head, or we do not leave. If any of you run in the heat of battle, I will present the Oyabun your head along with Kitano's. WAKARIMASU KA?"
"HAI!" they all shout in shaky unison. You sling the wakazashi's scabbard across your back and head towards the door.
You and your brothers weave your way through the crowded pachinko parlor towards the stairwell in the back that leads to the Kitano Syndicate's offices. The proprietors are used to seeing yakuza in their business, and the players are too wrapped up in collecting their little steel balls to notice all the firepower your group is carrying. You burst through the door that says NO ENTRANCE on it and start climbing the stairs. There is a Kitano Syndicate brother at the top, guarding their office door.
"Private party only! Get out of here!" he yells at you. It is the last thing he says before you pull out the Makarov and put a bullet in his throat. He starts to fall down the stairs, half dead and trying to draw breath through his perforated trachea. You catch him and prop up his body, then kick down the door and shove him inside.
The plan had been that the guard's body would get riddled by the first fusillade of bullets that were sure to be waiting for you. However, the body flops lifelessly to the floor, receiving nothing but the stares of the fifteen surprised yakuza lazily drinking bottles of Sapporo to greet it.
Dogs! They were truly arrogant if they thought they could try and assassinate the Oyabun and expect no retaliation. You put two bullets into the chest of the closest yakuza as you charge into the office, you brothers filing in behind you. One of them fires three times with the Bellini automatic shotgun, shredding the reception desk to toothpicks, along with the Kitano Syndicate swine sitting behind it.
The Kitanos are officially snapped out of their surprise by this, and begin to seek cover and their own firearms. You keep firing with the Makarov and take out two more. Your brother with the AR-15 doesn't get a single shot off before a bullet hits him right above the eyebrow and takes off most of the top of his skull. Fool! He should have selected a weapon more appropriate for close quarters combat.
Your Makarov locks empty, having taken down six Kitano dogs. As you reach for your spare clip, you notice a yakuza charging you in your peripheral vision. Quickly, you pull the wakazashi out of its scabbard, step off his line and slash horizontally across his belly. The yakuza's intestines spill out of the gash in his stomach like bloody gray sausages. He is in shock and trips over his entrails as you slam the fresh clip into your Makarov. You put two bullets in the back of his head before he has a chance to attack again.
The other brothers with you have proven to be inept gunmen. Two more have been killed, leaving just you and a skinny boy with a Mini-Uzi, quivering behind a metal filing cabinet. Luckily, catching them with their pants down has allowed you to wipe out all but a few Kitano's yakuza. You hadn't been counting on the element of surprise, but are grateful you had it because you would have been wiped out immediately if they HAD been expecting you.
You duck around a corner just as a bullet meant for your head slams into the plaster next to you. You grunt to your remaining brother. "Ryu Kitano's office is just down that hall. Cover me and I will go there to retrieve his head."
He nods in acknowledgement. You burst around the corner with your Makarov blazing while he fires with his Mini-Uzi. He sprays the bullets indiscriminately and you feel one graze your ear. If you both survive, you will demand he cut off his pinky for his carelessness.
You find Ryu Kitano's door at the end of the hall, kick it down and open fire. Your bullets do nothing but punch holes in leather chair behind his oak desk. You look about frantically for Ryu Kitano, but do not see him. Where is he?
Two bullets catch you in the back and slam you against the desk. You flip around and see Ryu Kitano standing behind the door holding a .357 Magnum. He starts coming towards you and you look desperately for your Makarov, but you must have dropped it.
"Takagawa-san!" you hear cried out from the doorway behind you. It is your brother, and if he gets you out of this mess you might consider not asking for his finger. A hand reaches out from above him, grabs his hair and yanks his head back. A knife comes out and slashes his throat, spraying you with his blood. He falls to the ground, both hands clamped to his neck like he's trying to keep the blood in. He looks terrified as Ryu Kitano walks over to him. Kitano lets him writhe on the floor for a second before he smiles and puts a bullet into his face. His henchman steps over his body and nearly slips in the expanding pool of blood on the floor.
"Shinji Takagawa, I presume..." Kitano says and you try your best not to flinch when he puts the hot barrel of the Magnum against your forehead. "Shinji Takagawa of the Yamashita Syndicate, yes?" He sits down on the desk next to you. "Before I kill you, would you be so polite as to tell me why that old pervert Yamashita wants me dead?"
His insolence is beyond measure. "You dare claim you don't know why?"
"Yes, and I double dare you not to explain it to me."
"I was sent to have the pleasure of telling you that your attempt on the Oyabun's life has failed."
Kitano laughed. "The old man must be going mad from syphilis! I have no reason to kill that fool."
"Liar! I was the one who felled your assassin," you say. "And I saw clearly your clan's tattoo upon his back!"
"I cannot be held responsible for any asshole that gets a tattoo," Kitano reaches over, opens his desk drawer and pulls out a tanto knife with a bamboo handle. "Regardless of what the old man thinks, we will not take this assault on our office lightly. We will enlist the help of the other syndicates if need be. No one likes a rogue."
He takes the tanto's blade and holds the handle out to you. "As for you, I can see you are just a pawn that may have made an honest mistake. I will allow you the honor of seppuku."
"I would never commit seppuku at the command of a dog like you!"
Kitano smiles. "I guarantee you the other option will be considerably less pleasant. Your show of respect may even convince me to search for a peaceable solution to the conflict between our two clans."
What do you do?
--Take the blade and commit seppuku.
--Spit on this treacherous dog.
Your dishonor is too great. You have utterly failed in your task and brought shame upon your clan. Your hands shake as you take the tanto from Kitano's hands.
"Perhaps I can recoup some honor from this..." you say as you open your shirt, exposing your belly.
"You are a true warrior, Takagawa-san," Kitano says, drawing the hammer back on the Magnum revolver. "I promise you I will be a swift second after you make the second cut."
"Don't bother!" you snap at him. "The pain will cleanse the dishonor from my spirit before it reaches the afterlife!"
Kitano shrugs. "As you wish..."
You take a deep breath as you grip the tanto with both hands, ready to plunge it into your belly. Kitano is standing close by. You see a hint of a smile curling up in his lips and this enrages you even more.
With a swift and sudden movement, you grab Kitano by the collar and ram the tanto's blade into his chest, just under the sternum. You release his collar and chop your arm downward on the hand holding his gun. The Magnum discharges, blowing off half of his right foot.
His henchman is drawing his gun in the doorway. You yank the knife out of Kitano's chest, a ribbon of blood following the blade, and throw it at him. The tanto is not weighted for throwing, so it harmlessly strikes him harmlessly in the face, stunning him. This gives you enough time to pry the Magnum from Kitano's grip and fire two bullets into him, flinging him into the hall outside the office.
You swing the gun around at Kitano and pull the trigger, but it is now empty. You let it drop the ground with a thump.
"Do not look so surprised..." you say to him as he shakes, mortally wounded on the floor. You remove the wakazashi from its scabbard. "Did you really think a member of the Yamashita Syndicate would provide you the pleasure of seppuku?"
He doesn't get a chance to answer since you bring the wakazashi's blade down against his neck, cutting it about halfway. It doesn't have the length, weight, or momentum of the katana, not to mention your weakened condition, so it takes four chops to sever his head. You pick it up by the hair and watch as the eyes and jaw move in its death spasms. You regret not taking it with a cleaner cut for the Oyabun.
Your Makarov is lying under the desk, and you pick it up, stuffing it back into its holster. Holding the wakazashi in one hand and Kitano's head in the other, you shuffle off back to the limousine.
--Click here to continue.
"Brother Homma!" you cough into the cell phone between drags on a cigarette. "It is Takagawa."
"Takagawa-san, are you alright?"
"I've been shot and all my men were killed, but we have are victorious," you say, patting the gift box sitting next to you in the limousine."
"Where are you now?"
"I'm still in the car. We've been circling around the side streets, making sure we are not being tracked by the police." Indeed, the sight of you carrying a severed head had created such chaos when you left the pachinko parlor that it had taken five minutes just to exit. Apparently the gunfire had been covered up by the clinking and clattering of the machines.
"Ii desu ne," Brother Homma says. "Right now we are finishing up destroying the brothel."
"You went ahead with that?"
"Yes," Brother Homma says. "Destroying the Kitano Syndicate does not begin and end with beheading Ryu Kitano. And it was easy work. Most of the whores submitted to our blades and bullets obediently."
"I am surprised at the ease of our assault," you say into the phone. "They did not seem to be expecting us to attack when we hit the office."
"Ease? It sounds like taking Kitano nearly killed you."
Was he trying to sound glib? You cough again. "It would have been an impossible task with the idiots you sent with me."
"Very well," Brother Homma says with a sorrowful tone. "What are you going to do now?"
"I want to see the Oyabun, and present him with his trophy."
"You sound like you've been through hell, Takagawa-san. Perhaps it would be wiser to have a doctor look at your injuries first."
"Bullshit!" you bark at the receiver. "I can still stand. I want to see the Oyabun tonight!"
"I'm sure the Oyabun will understand if you present him with the head tomorrow. I'm sure he will not want to lose you, one of his most ferocious lieutenants."
The pain in your back is tremendous, and you are sure you are bleeding internally. What do you do?
--Go to see the Oyabun, and present him with Ryu Kitano's head.
--See a doctor; take the Oyabun his head in the morning.
"I must see the Oyabun tonight! The pain of my dishonor before him is greater than the pain of my injuries!"
"Takagawa-san," Brother Homma says. "What you talk of is nothing but ego. You risk depriving the Syndicate of your services if you carry on as such."
"I am permitted my ego for the shit I've gone through tonight!" you yell. "I will speak no more of this!"
You toss your cell phone out the window in a rage. That simple movement was enough to break the scabs beginning to form over your wounds have them bleed afresh. The shock and numbness that came from being shot is wearing off and is being replaced by fiery pain. You will deliver the head to the Oyabun, but will seek medical attention first thing afterwards.
The limo arrives at the Yamashita Syndicate's offices. You step inside and find it to be vacant. Did Homma take all the brothers to destroy one measly brothel? Who was left to guard the Oyabun in this time of war? You grunt as you lug the box and your sword into the room. For this careless planning, you plan to collect enough fingers to create two new hands! You would take Brother Homma's as well if he weren't your superior.
The light is on in the main meeting room. You walk to it, kick off your shoes, and slide open the shoji screen. The Oyabun is in there alone in his kimono, meditating before the shrine across the room. The spicy smell of incense permeates the room. You kneel down and bow until your head touches the tatami mat. Even these small movements cause you great pain.
"Honorable Oyabun Yamashita! I come to you announcing success in retrieving the head of the treacherous Ryu Kitano. For this trifling act, I beg you to show your greatness, forgive my shortcomings, and restore my honor before the clan."
The Oyabun remains silent and you keep your forehead pressed against the mat for at least five minutes. Perhaps he is deep in meditation. After another five minutes you cry out, "Oyabun...do you hear me? I announce success in our quest to destroy the Kitano Syndicate!"
He still remains silent. Perhaps the old bastard has fallen asleep. You pick up the box and shuffle across the mats to where he is kneeling. "Oyabun, I bring you a gift!"
The first thing you notice is that the front of the Oyabun's kimono has been soaked through with blood. He has been garroted with a wire that cut deep into the skin of his neck. His eyes and face are locked into a rictus of pain and surprise. Even in death, the strength of Oyabun was able to keep him sitting upright, long after his spirit had left his body.
The shoji screen slid open again and Brother Homma and an unknown woman with slightly Ainu features entered the room. "Brother Homma!" you cry out. "The Oyabun has been killed! Who has left him unguarded?"
"I did," Brother Homma says, drawing his Beretta and shooting the Oyabun in the back of the head and splattering his brain across the shrine. You growl and wipe your master's blood and a fragment of his skull out of your eye.
"Traitor," you say, rising to your feet. "It was you who plotted to kill the Oyabun all along!"
"It was I," Brother Homma says, holstering his Beretta. "It took a second time, seeing as you thwarted my first attempt. But in the end, I have been victorious."
"May I ask why you have performed this act of treachery?"
"You may ask, but I won't give you an answer. I'm no idiotic villain who has to gloat about his success before he kills his opponent. I promise it will be a clean death."
"Let me murder him, Homma," the Ainu half-breed woman hisses as she creeps along your flank. She pulls a small dagger out of her leather jacket. "It is you who tasked me with murdering him tonight. Let me fulfill my mission!"
"Please, Takagawa-san," Brother (though you think you will dispense with the honorific from now on) Homma says. "In your condition, there is no way you can defeat both of..."
You whip out your Makarov and blast six holes through the Ainu cunt before she lands dead on the tatami. Homma pulls the Beretta out of his holster and puts a single bullet into your shoulder. You drop your gun in pain.
"It seems...I have...evened the advantage..." you pant.
Homma grins, then locks open the slide of his Beretta and ejects the clip, which bounces silently on the straw mat. "You certainly have, Takagawa-san." He goes to the wall and selects two of the katana swords mounted there. He tosses one across the room and it lands at your feet. Homma pulls his from its scabbard and makes two slices in the air to test its weight.
"It seems we will have an honorable battle to death after all!" he yells.
You bend over, your body creaking with pain reaching for the katana at your feet. Instead, you pick up the Makarov, snap upward, and shoot Homma four times. One of the bullets catches him in the jaw, ripping it clean off and leaving his tongue hanging lazily about his throat.
You shuffle across the mats to him. Despite his missing jaw, Homma's eyes were alive with fear. "One does not concern himself with matters of honor when he is dealing with dogs!"
You spit and unload the Makarov's last five bullets into Homma's head.
Letting your empty pistol drop to the ground, you contemplate the silence for a moment. The air of the room is a haze of incense, cordite and blood. You wonder if you should now truly commit seppuku, for you have witnessed the final destruction of your Syndicate.
No, the dishonor is not yours. If anything, it is the Oyabun's for not having the wisdom to sense the vipers in his nest.
You stumble out of the Yamashita Syndicate's offices for the last time and pretty much fall into the back of the limousine.
"I am done here," you say, lighting up a cigarette. "Take me to a doctor."
The pain in your back is getting bad now, and it is sure to get worse. You get the feeling that if you present the head of Kitano to the Oyabun before seeking medical attention, you are likely to fall dead before him as well. While dying before your master after victory may be in the true Bushido spirit, let's face it, you're no samurai.
"Very well, Brother Homma," you croak into the cell phone. "Send a doctor to my apartment. Have him patch me up enough so that I can take the head to the Oyabun in the morning." You know that if you dally too long with that, Brother Homma will likely take the head himself, and thus the credit, and there is no way that is going to happen.
"I will make sure one sees you immediately!" Brother Homma says.
You close the phone and stuff it back into your bloodstained trousers. "Take me to my flat!" you bark at the driver before lighting another cigarette.
The limo arrives at your apartment building shortly. The driver asks if you need his assistance to get upstairs, but you just growl at him as you gather your sword and the box with Kitano's head in it and shuffle inside. You press the button for the 30th floor with your thumb and feel dizzy as the elevator rises through the building.
Your apartment is small and spare. You kick off your shoes as you step inside, then set the wakazashi on the desk where you practice calligraphy (in an effort to become a more cultured person, you've taken an interest in the finer arts.) You are not dripping as much blood on the carpet as you thought you would and you think that's a good sign.
You set the gift box on the desk as well and ponder what to do with Kitano's head. It is fresh now, but by tomorrow it would probably rot and smell. You consider sticking it in your refrigerator to keep it fresh, but the idea of keeping such a gruesome trophy with your food is nauseating. Decisions, decisions...
There is a knock on your door. "Enter!" you yell. A woman who looks like she is of half-Ainu blood steps inside, carrying a leather satchel.
"Kon ban wa. I was sent by Brother Homma to tend to you."
"Brother Homma sent a woman to treat me?" you say incredulously. "He must surely want me to die."
The Ainu-girl bowed her head slightly. "Please, Takagawa-san. I know as a woman my hands are not as skilled, and my temperament is often frivolous, but I have tended to wounds and performed minor surgeries successfully in the past, and I am sure I will be able to start healing you as well."
You growl again just as pain flares up in your back. You will have to have a polite talk with Brother Homma about him sending a woman to treat you--an Ainu woman no less!--later. Perhaps though, he was trying to kill two birds with one stone. Perhaps she was meant to treat your wounds and then be used for your pleasure afterwards. Though you share the typical Japanese contempt of the Ainu people, you have no problems with using their women for sex.
You take off your jacket and shirt, peeling it away slowly where it had congealed onto the scabs. Then you lie on the futon on your stomach. "Dozo."
"You tattoo is quite ornate!" she says. You hear the Ainu girl open up her satchel. "Do you care for some herbal tea or incense to calm you before I start?"
You groan. "Shut up, woman and just dig these fucking bullets out of my back!"
"How rude!" she says. You hear the insolent bitch getting above you now. "I have told you a lie however, Takagawa-san. I was not sent here to treat your wounds..."
"How obvious..." you say. "Well, I'm in pain now, so perhaps we can do the massage and happy finish later...GAHH!"
You didn't feel the wire slipping around your neck until it was pulled taut and digging into your skin. You try to rise up, but the bitch rams her knee into the small of your back. Your wounds sing out in pain.
"I would hope that this teaches you to behave more mannered around women," the Ainu-bitch says. "But, teaching you anything is kind of moot at this point."
You struggle, but not long since you are already in a weakened condition. The wire slices through your veins and cuts into your windpipe which begins to froth as you try to draw air through it.
Finally, you pass out. The half-Ainu woman lets you fall face first on the futon and then gets off of you. She rifles through your jacket for a moment and retrieves your Makarov 9mm. She fetches a pillow from the wall, places it over the pistol and fires it into the back of your head, so you will rise no more.
You hock a loogie of spittle and blood straight into Kitano's face. "I would not dare commit seppuku for anyone but my Oyabun, much less for a treacherous pig like you!"
Kitano remained surprisingly calm as he pulled a silk handkerchief from his pocket and wiped the spit from his face. "Very well then. Toshiro!" he yells and his henchman snaps forward.
Kitano hands the tanto over to his henchman, but keeps his focus squarely on you. "I am guessing that Yamashita wanted you to chop off my head, correct?"
You stay stone silent. Kitano laughs.
"I knew it. That old pervert is always into silly medieval flourishes like that. Well, perhaps turnabout is fair play. We should surely let Yamashita know that he has failed. Your testicles will accompany the message."
You stay silent, but inside you shudder at the thought. This devil cannot be so cruel as to leave you unmanned!
"Are you sure you do not want to change your mind?" Kitano taunts.
You really would like to change your mind right now, but either way you are going to die so you may as well go with honor. Without honor, you may be left with no testicles in the afterlife as well.
"Toshiro! Take this fool's balls!"
You remain silent and resolute, even as he undoes your pants, letting them drop to the floor. It is impossible to keep your knees from shaking. Toshiro places the blade of tanto underneath your manhood. You can feel the blade biting into your scrotum.
You do not cry out as he begins to saw away at your sack. Toshiro does not seem to have many skills with a knife, and cannot make a clean cut. You do not cry out as you feel the skin of your scrotum pull apart and feel both blood and urine start running down your thighs. You are biting your tongue as the knife saws through nerves and the spaghetti-like tubes of your seminal vesicles. You balls are gone, but Toshiro doesn't stop there and you feel the knife cutting into your penis, urethra first, and you still do not scream. You must remain resolute and not break until the end...
However you break long before the end comes, and your scream would chill even the most hardened soul.
"Thank you, Brother Homma. In speaking with you, I realize now that my original plan was rash and reckless. The Kitano Syndicate will surely be guarding their leader heavily tonight and it would be unwise to attack him directly. You are right that we should instead attack their assets."
"I am glad you have seen the wisdom of my plan, Brother Takagawa," Homma says. "I am arranging for all the brothers to attack the Kitano Syndicate's movie brothel. You will lead the attack. Make sure there are nothing but cinders left when you finish."
"Hai!" you yell, and then bow deeply to Brother Homma. He turns away to start making arrangements on his cell phone. You go to the bar and have the bartender pour you a shot of Glenlivet while you wait. It is amazing how much foiling an assassination sobers one up. You will need to have at least a little buzz going on to finish your work tonight.
You see Brother Homma snap his phone shut. You slam the rest of your scotch and go up to him. "It is done. There is a limousine outside waiting to take you their studio. It will drop you off at the alley behind the brothel, where the entire Yamashita Syndicate will be waiting to assist you."
You pull out your Makarov and slap in a fresh clip. "We will succeed or die trying."
You go to the elevator, which leads you downstairs. All the young brothers have their guns drawn and the lobby is awash with nervous energy. You step into the back of the white limousine, which has been filled with weapons: automatic rifles, submachine guns, pistols, and knives. It is an elaborate arsenal, but the only weapon you select is a Beretta to pair with your Makarov. After all, you will only be slaughtering whores and maybe one or two junior Kitano yakuza enforcers guarding them.
"Hajime!" you bark at the driver. You smoke several cigarettes as the limo takes you to the brothel/studio out in the warehouse district. You know the place where you will be attacking tonight. Once, there was a Chinese girl the Yamashita's smuggled into the country, with the understanding that she would work making sadomasochistic movies for the Syndicate in order to pay off her debt. She was kidnapped by the Kitanos and forced to make movies for them instead. When the Yamashita's complained about having their investment hijacked, the Kitano's said they would return the girl to them. Return her they did, only after she had been drowned and violated gruesomely with a golf club, and not necessarily in that order. This incident typified the simmering enmity between your two clans.
The limousine came to a halt at the alley behind the brothel. There was only two cars a couple of scooters parked in front, so it must not be too occupied in there. You step out of the limousine. Brother Homma may have been exaggerating when he said the ENTIRE Yamashita clan would be there to assist him, but a good portion of them were there; about twenty of them standing about anxiously with their guns and swords
You step out of the limousine and toss your cigarette out into the gutter. You look at your brothers. "We burn this place to the ground. No one will leave here alive. Slaughter them all."
"HAI!" they yell out to you in unison. You cock your Makarov and Beretta and silently walk around the corner to the entrance of the brothel.
There is a guard standing outside. He is either sleepy or unobservant, because he doesn't notice you until you're right in front of him. You blast thirteen bullets through him, hurtling his body with such force that it breaks down the door.
You leap over the guard's smoking body. The first room is a sort of lounge. The woman behind the counter is screaming in terror, but you ignore her. One of your brothers comes in behind you and silences her with his sword. You are looking for any more armed guards that may be in the brothel. You stalk up the side stairwell upstairs and catch some old man coming around the corner wearing only a bath towel. You shoot him twice reflexively and he slumps against the hallway.
Downstairs is where most of the whores service regular clients. Upstairs is where Kitano and his thugs film their pornographic movies. In one of the large rooms, there is about thirty naked men mewling around with a girl in a nurses's uniform kneeling in the middle. They are making a bukkake video. Your gunfire has created a stampede, and you fire your guns at them to keep from being trampled, killing about four of them. They start running for another exit as you duck back into the hallway and reload your guns.
A door opens across from you and shrieking woman covered in what looks (and smells) like shit bursts out of the door. They must have been making a scat video behind that door. She runs into you getting feces all over your nice suit. It will cost a fortune to get it dry-cleaned!
"Cunt!" you scream. You drop your guns, grab her by the head and snap her neck like hashi at a cheap ramen restaurant. The shit covered woman collapses dead to the ground, with a strange knot of bone jutting out under her skin.
You pick up the Beretta and the Makarov and slap fresh clips into them. You run out to the stairwell the bukkake men had run down. You see them at the bottom of the stairs trying to squeeze their way out of the fire door. From the second floor, you rain bullets down on them, killing another ten before your guns are empty again.
You see your brothers finally coming into the stairwell. They start slaughtering the remaining men with bullets and swords. You duck back inside the hallway to reload and take out any stragglers that may be left up here.
Walking back to the studio, you see one of the men you shot is not quite dead yet, so you blast him twice in the back and that puts him down. In the center of the room there is the plastic mat, covered in the semen of the thirty men. You see a trail of it towards the wall, leading right to a window curtain. If you listen carefully, you can hear muffled, but frightened breathing.
You aim your gun at the curtain. "Come out here. Don't be scared. I'll make it quick for you."
"Shinji..." you hear a female's voice behind the curtain.
You rush forward and rip the curtain away. You see Aiko, quivering in her nurse's uniform and covered in semen. Your first instinct is to slap her, but you don't want to get semen on your suit.
"WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE?"
"Sumimasen, sumimasen. I am so scared," she repeats, and crumples to the floor. You kick her, not hard enough to break any ribs, but hard enough to make her yelp.
You feel white hot rage in your soul. Aiko had been a symbol of purity to you. What could she be doing with there foul Kitano pornographers?
"Is this why you were not at the hostess bar tonight?"
"Y-yes," she says. "D-did you go there to see me?"
"No, but I was thinking of visiting you," you say, calmer now. "I found out when I called the bar."
"I always knew you were a yakuza," Aiko says. She's calmer now too. "I didn't know you were a rival of the Kitano Syndicate."
"I wasn't, until they decided to kill our boss tonight," you aim the Beretta at her head and she turns away. "Answer me and tell the truth! Do you know or did you know anything about his murder tonight?"
"No," she says, stammering. "I didn't know of it. I don't think they would tell me either."
You lower the gun. You believe her. "Then I ask again: why are you here acting as a whore for these Kitano dogs?"
She lowers her head. "I am so ashamed. I borrowed a lot of money from one of their loan sharks. I tried to pay it back to them, but I could not come up with enough money. They said I could repay the debt if I performed in their films. They said men would pay a great deal of money to see my purity defiled..."
"Why did you not ask me for the money?" you say.
"I did not seem to be proper. I only knew you as a patron at the bar. I didn't know if you had a family or a wife. I did not think you desired more from me than my company. I didn't think you'd favor me if I was just another cheap whore."
You smash a Coke bottle that is sitting on a table nearby. Aiko flinches as shards of glass land on the floor before her.
"Yet a cheap whore is all you are! Convenient now that I am to kill everyone here that you start professing your feelings towards me."
"I only wish to say what's true," Aiko says, resigned. "I do not expect to be released from my due punishment."
You aim the gun at her again. You notice that your hand is shaking as you do it. "I thought you were purity made human..."
Then, Aiko says quite plainly, "Let me regain some of it in your eyes before I pass into spirit."
She reaches down, picks up the largest shard of the broken Coke bottle and proceeds to violently slash her own throat. Her expression doesn't change even as blood begins pouring out of her. Soon she collapses on the floor, but her eyes keep focused on you, radiating nothing but love.
You feel a tear roll down your hard cheek as you end it for her with a single bullet to the forehead. Her eyes suddenly go lifeless, and blood begins to run from them like tears. You turn away and walk back down the stairs.
The hallway is littered with blood and the bodies of the whores they had slaughtered tonight. You step over them gingerly. Tonight had been a success, but you'd be loath to call it a victory.
"Brother Takagawa!" one of your yakuza brothers hands you a cell phone. "Brother Homma is calling for you. He says it's urgent..."
You take it from him, "Yes..."
"Shinji! I have some horrible news."
You can't think of anything more horrible than what has happened tonight, but Brother Homma provides it for you. "The Oyabun has been murdered. He was praying at the office and someone strangled him with a wire."
"WHY WAS HE NOT BEING GUARDED!" you yell.
"I am sorry," Brother Homma says. "I had assigned three brothers to protect Oyabun Yamashita, but the assassin was able to overcome them. They are all dead. It is my fault. I will gladly give the entire syndicate two of my fingers for my failure."
So tonight had been all for naught. The Kitano clan had exacted their vengeance. You are now loveless and leaderless, destined to roam the gambling halls and brothels of Tokyo as just another disgraced ronin.
"Takagawa, perhaps you were right. We should have fought Kitano directly. Now he is the major power in Tokyo. Bring the brothers back at once. We should coordinate an attack immediate..."
You turn off the phone and hand it back to your brother. You lay both the Beretta and the Makarov on the brothel's desk as you head for the door.
"Brother Takagawa!" one of your brothers asks. "What did Homma say to you? What are we to do next?"
You do not answer, you just contemplate going to the mountains and meditating, perhaps practicing calligraphy.
"Brother Takagawa! What do we do?" they repeat desperately.
"Leave me alone," you whisper. "Brother Takagawa is dead to you all now."
You step out the door, alone, into the night.