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Old 2011-05-11, 20:46   Link #3
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: event horizon
Emperor of One
Act II - The Chaser

Hornests’ Nest
“Where do you want me to start counselor?” said Kou
“Anywhere is fine. How about right after you had that meeting with professor Nicholas?” said Isolde
“Very well.” said Kou
“It was right after school, and as you know already, I was persuaded to follow Mao. Everything seemed pretty straight forward. I already knew all of her friends so I just did the obvious thing, I asked them…”
“And they just, answered?” asked Isolde
“They did. Yes.” said Kou
“Mao’s relationship with even those somewhat close to her is, how you would put it, professional.”
“I didn’t ask for anything special either. Just chatted about what clubs she was in.”
“Afterwards I checked the club schedule. The times she got off were very discouraging. I was planning on just accidentally leaving school at the same time and accidentally going the same direction home.”
“Couldn’t you have pretended anyway.” said Isolde
“The last club she was attending just happens to be the only one to end that late.” said Kou
“You, could have joined the club perhaps.” said Isolde
“I took it into consideration, but the ballerina skirt didn’t quite fit me.” said Kou
“I see, please continue Mr. Kou.” said Isolde
“Tailing her in the evening, on almost empty streets would be a pain. To make matters worse, that day they stayed up longer. By the time she left it was getting dark, and all the shops were closed. Bumping into her under those circumstances would draw too much attention. So, I did the only thing to do. I ran.”
“You went home?” said Isolde
“No, I didn’t.” said Kou
“It seems I got ahead of myself, let me clarify.”
“Normally I would trail her using the crowd, noise, and such; however this time non of that was feasible. So what I thought to myself was, ‘what methods have now become feasible that weren’t earlier’, and so I came up with the method of running. I went and changed to my sportswear at school and ran two blocks in front of her to the nearest intersection. I waited a while until she was near me, gave her a look, then ran forward towards the next intersection.”
“What if, she does’t go forward.” asks Isolde
“If she goes left, I don’t stop and just go left as well at the next intersection.” said Kou
“Same procedure if she goes right.”
“Won’t she be suspicious of you bumping into her so often?” said Isolde
“Since I always go forward, in that situation she looks like the one intercepting me.” said Kou
“I suppose it’s it does make it hard to draw accusation when you are neither hiding from her, nor trailing her.” said Isolde
“I find it hard to believe it was that effective, however.”
“Well, about that…” said Kou
“After pulling off this little dance about four times, I lost her. So now the normal conclusion here would be, that I found her home. However, the buildings in the area dead. They not just merely unsafe, they are uninhabitable, nobody could live there even if they wished to. I looked over map when I got home, in hopes of finding some information on the buildings, however what I found instead filled me with dread. It’s not immediately apparent when you simply walk initially into the area, but out of the roads, only two lead into and out of it. Even more so, the one she used was only recently cleared, so previously the one I had used was the only entrance and exist out of tha area. I could pretend I was jogging if she asks, but it would be very strange if I was just randomly wondering, and that place is no place anyone would plan as a route. In other words the little witch got me into checkmate position and then vanished.”
“So anyway that’s the story, can I go now?” said Kou
“That’s very hard to believe.” said Isolde
“It’s the truth counselor.” said Kou
“I swear it!”
“Oh, I’m sure it is.” said Isolde, sipping more tea
“What’s very hard believe is the story ends there.”
“Do please continue.”
“Is there something I should know counselor?” said Kou
“Now, now, I asked you first?” said Isolde
“Very well.” said Kou tacking a deep breath
“After that bitter defeat, I had Mercury—think of her as the equivalent to your Walter—make some tracking devices, like cameras and sensors, from the usual trash she picks up. And it shames me to admit it but she did it again, that day she simply went the complete opposite way she went the day before. So I had Mercury make even more devices, and covered both paths. I thought that would stop her but no, she again went a completely random path.”

“At this point I didn’t care about the Nicholas bastard anymore, it was personal. Seeing as all the direct attacks failed miserably, the obvious rational thing to do is to change strategy to more indirect attacks. However, my pride wouldn’t take it. So, rational planning aside, I yet again went with a direct approach. It took a full three days to prepare but I was sure it would not fail again. What I had done is create a super scent. To our primitive nose it would be unnoticeable, but given the right equipment you could follow a fly if it had just an ounce of the stuff a thousand kilometers away. The problem now was simply delivering it, so that’s how I joined the martial arts clubs she was in. Initially I joined only one; sadly she kicked my ass the first day, and then the second day as well. So I stated all the others she was in, Now, I don’t even recall if that decision was rational. It makes sense to do that, but after getting several bruises all over my body, all I could think at the time was how much I wanted to win against her in a match. On the weapons at best I got a tie, but barely. And out of all the others I only managed to best her at hand to hand combat. But it was enough, I had accomplished my goal. What do you think happened counselor?”
“I don’t suppose your plan worked this time?” said Isolde
“Actually, every technical detail worked perfectly.” said Kou
“You don’t sound very happy saying it.” said Isolde
“Because I’m not.” said Kou
“That day she asked me for a favor.”
“I agreed; it was the logical choice. Although looking back it would have probably been better if I hadn’t.”
“Favor which involved going with her to her workshop, which just happens to be her house as well.”
“And guess what we do there…”
“I suppose cake is out of the question.” said Isolde
“She handles me a bunch of posters and has me follow her around town putting them up.”
“They were more or less directions towards her repair workshop. Complete with a stupid map no less.”
“Mr. Kou. May I ask something?” said Isolde
“Yes?” said Kou
“Don’t you think it might have been better to ask her where she lives to begin with?” said Kou
“Well…” said Kou
“I did ask her.”
“She just called me a idiot in return.”
“I asked the school too, at the time at least there were no records.”
“I see. So what happened next?” said Isolde
“I went to see Lore with my so called findings.” said Kou
“He pretty much told me to get the hell out and continue with the task.”
“That my job was to follow her, not stalk her, or some such nonsense.”
“Well I suppose Sir Nicholas can be ambiguous at times.” said Isolde
“He was happy with the location for some reason, even though I explained I didn’t find it by myself.”
“It’s okey Mr. Kouro, let’s just continue with the story”
“Up to the middle of the second week nothing really happened, not until that day.”
“Ah yes, that unfortunate incident.” said Isolde filling her cup back up
“Isn’t that the real reason I’m here?” said Kou
“I’m sure it’s not really worth your time to worry about old farts playing pranks on their students.”
“Heh. Yes, I guess that would explain a lot of what happened to you.” said Isolde
“So is that what you think happened.”
“No.” said Kou
“But at the time it was a very compelling possibility.”
“Well, until that happened anyway.”

1450 words. Was a little big, had to cut the first part of the chapter out; as usual. You can read it in full, along with the other chapters over at the archives.

Critique & Comments Welcome~
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