Part 71: Seven
Entire update in video form. Might wanna watch this.
"Seven, you're a loose cannon. You're off the case; I'm gonna need your badge and gun. And your other gun."
That was why, on that fateful day, he'd gone with his gut, and gone to the wharf at night on a slim lead.
It was 9 years ago. The wharf had been dark and cold and foreboding.
The hospital had been under the management of Cradle Pharmaceutical, and Seven's investigation had turned up evidence that Cradle had been involved in the kidnappings.
After a little persuasion, he'd managed to finally get a real lead from someone inside Cradle Pharmaceutical...
Seven had, of course, gone to the wharf.
Hidden in the shadows, he'd searched the harbor until at last he found the ship he was looking for.
The bags... There was something about the way they moved as they were carried... There could be no mistake: There were human beings in those bags.
Out of the shadows he came, his gun already in his hand.
He heard the words "Don't move", but they weren't his.
He felt metal touch the back of his head.
"Is that what you'd like? The fish here would be thankful for the meal..."
With the words, he felt the cold metal thing behind him press against his skull.
Slowly, Seven crouched down, and laid his gun on the ground.
He felt a sharp pain in his neck. ...A needle.
Was it...some sort of drug?
"Ugh... Damnit! Shit, my head hurts..."
Seven woke to find himself lying on a hard floor.
He twisted his neck to peer around the room.
"Where am I..."
A toilet with no stall or privacy of any sort...
As a cop, it was a place Seven had seen all too often.
Seven struggled to his feet and hobbled toward it.
He threw himself against the door a few times, but to no avail.
"I knew it..."
Seven grumbled to himself as he moved back toward the bed. He sat down.
The voice was far away--very far away. Seven couldn't understand what it was saying.
Nonetheless, it was a voice, and a high one--most likely a child.
Where were the voices coming from?!
He looked around the room, frantically.
Perhaps the door? No! That wasn't it!
He grabbed the bed and flipped it up with ease.
Seven lay down on his stomach and peered through the grate. He couldn't see anything... It was too dark.
Now that he'd found it, however, there could be no doubt--this was the source of the voices.
For a moment he was confused. Why were there children nearby?
Then he remembered what the man from Cradle Pharmaceutical had told him...
How a ship would take the kidnapped children from the wharf to a waiting passenger liner out in the ocean...
Seven looked at the metal grate. Could he fit through that hole...?
He stuck his fingers through the grate and grabbed hold of it.
"Hhhhggh!" "Urrrrgghhh!" "UuuuurrrrrrrRRRRGGGHHH!"
"*Pant* *Pant* *Pant*... Yeah! How'dya like that, you son-of-a-bitch!"
After a time, however, it got a little larger, and even someone as large as Seven was able to crawl along on his hands and knees.
He felt like he'd grown from an inchworm to an insect. Not much of an improvement, but it was better than nothing.
He'd begun to wonder where the duct would take him, when--
There was a thunderous sound, like a massive metal door slamming shut.
Then he heard a voice.
[Sound Bite: Siren]
Please evacuate the incinerator immediately.
Emergency incineration command has been acknowledged.
Seven wasn't sure what it meant, but "incinerator" certainly didn't sound good.
He grabbed hold of the handle and threw the door open. The old metal gave way easily before his onslaught.
The room he was looking out into had a dome for a ceiling, and 9 equally-sized walls.
At the top of the dome was an upside-down funnel.
It looked almost like a...chimney...
"Not that I could blame, 'em, running into a mug like this when they're already scared shitless..."
He permitted himself a short snort of a laugh, then turned to the children again.
"Don't worry, kids! I'm not your enemy! I'm one'a the good guys!"
Not a single one of them moved.
"How are you gonna help us?" the boy in the uniform asked.
"Where's the exit," Seven responded.
"There isn't one. The doors we came in through won't open, and the door over there--"
He cut himself off, considered something, and then continued.
"Anyway, there's no point! We can't all get ouf of here! If we don't get out of here, we're gonna be burned to death!"
"Burned to death...?"
"Can't you hear it? That voice said the incinerator's gonna start up soon!"
15 minutes. They only had 15 minutes.
There was no way he could pull the children up. That was when he had an idea.
"Wait right there! I'm gonna be right back!"
"What?!" "Wh-Where is he going!?" "Are you just going to leave us here?!"
Seven did his best to smile what he felt was a reassuring smile.
"Don't worry, all right? I'll be back, I promise. So just stay calm, and wait right there. Got it?"
He didn't wait to hear them respond. There wasn't time.
He ran, as fast as a man could run on his hands and knees.
As soon as he was finished, he dove back into the duct, and took off toward the incinerator.
Leaning out of the door in the duct, Seven lowered the rope he'd brought to the floor of the incinerator.
"All right, just tie that around yourself, okay?! I'll pull you up one at a time."
The voice reverberated against the walls of the room.
"Look, that can wait, all right?! Just get us out of here!"
Seven grabbed ahold of the rope.
He'd looked scrawny from above, but his looks belied impressive strength. He scaled the rope quickly, but as he was almost to Seven--
They heard the sound of someone knocking. All eyes turned to the door.
Cut into it was a thick, square window.
On the other side, they could see a furious face.
The door opened, and a man stepped in, looking half mad with fury.
Seven recognized his face. He'd seen him many times in photos during his investigation.
The man's name...
Nona Kashiwabara official art. Looks kinda like what Lotus looks like if she was 12, huh?