Su is barely awake as she stumbles off the shinkansen in front of me, dropping – her frame visibly surprised – onto the platform with a start. The 2 hours of sleep she grabbed as we shot towards Kyoto seem to have done more harm than good. Half asleep and in need of some vertical support Su absently slips her hand into Kurosawa’s. His body stiffens for a second, his shoulders tensing, before he gives her hand a gentle squeeze, imperceptible had I not been studying it so.

  Dalton follows me off and I turn to nudge him, pointing towards our colleague and the cop, and he grins appropriately. It would have been a very sweet scene, all in all, had I not spotted Morita-san over Dalton’s shoulder, a way away, stepping off the very train we’d been riding these last few hours. The utter shock of seeing our target so unexpectedly and the realization our doll-thief had been mere cabins away this entire time – onboard a no-escape quarantine zone – strikes me momentarily dumb, and I point stupidly, forgetting his name and finally shouting “Necrophile!” at the top of my lungs. Dalton and Kurosawa whip around instantly, following my finger and Morita turns our way. It’s like a wild west, no one moving, fingers twitching, a hundred tumbleweeds-cum-passengers rolling between us until suddenly, after what feels like forever but can only have been five seconds, he dissapears among them. It’s not hard to spot him – he’s the only one racing through the crowds carrying a brown paper coffin – and we give chase.

  It’s all silence in the commotion, real hollywood chase, with only beating hearts and slow motion muscle-pumps as the entire lot of us – Suzette tugged along after Kurosawa, her sleepy hand now holding on for dear life – sprint after him, weaving through the huge throngs of people. Kurosawa has his gun unholstered in his spare hand but there’s no way he’s going to fire it in here. I’m leading the charge and thinking back to my days on the football squad – brief and unsuccesful – and trying to remember how far away I could dive-tackle someone. Su is neck and neck with me all of a sudden, surprising everyone, woken up and alert as she tears away from Kurosawa and Dalton behind us. She doesn’t even look at me but I look at her, the hard-set determination pulsing through her features, and I think to myself god damn this girl deserves a raise.

  He dives down the steps ahead of us, into the subway’s maw, and we all race in after him. Leading with our shoulders we crab-walk down the steps, shouting at someone in inane English to stop the thief. No one understands, or makes a move to, either way he tears around the corner at the bottom of the stairs and out of site, well aware we’re still on his heels.


~ by Joseph Blame on January 7, 2011.

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