Chapter 13


Yoko was beginning to feel on edge. It probably shouldn't have been this easy to get into Tokoyo's laboratory compound, and he was beginning to be suspicious that he was being allowed to make his way almost unimpeded through the building.

It had been child's play to climb up the elevator shaft via a maintenance ladder and slip unnoticed into the compound. The only person he had come across was a single security guard on his rounds, and Yoko had avoided him by running up a wall and wedging himself against the ceiling until the man had passed by. The tricky part was to find the correct room, though he had a rough idea what area of the compound it was in based on previous visits. He found the specific room by standing on his toes and peering through the narrow window slits set into the doors.

It was upon trying to enter the room that he began to feel uneasy. It was easy to override the door's security mechanism with the factory override code, and once inside, there was no indication that any sort of security system had been set off. Yoko crouched unmoving just inside the doorway, looking around the room without moving his head. He was sure there were security cameras watching over such important specimens as this one, but he was less concerned about being identified after the fact than at being caught while in the act; he could deal with his brother but did not relish the idea of having to evade security guards or SPD officers.

His target was on a high metal table in the middle of the room. Yoko approached it with caution, taking in the unconscious man he was there to rescue.

His breath caught in his throat. Even without all the hair, he recognized him immediately. They'd only seen each other once in Solace--they weren't even acquainted--but it was a face he was quite familiar with. Something stirred in the vicinity of his diaphragm and he put one hand over that space, willing the consumed souls inside of him to be calm.

It took him less than a moment to get back on track. He'd been warned not to touch the man's bare skin, and didn't want to take him out of the building naked anyway. It took him several moments, but eventually he found several sets of scrubs in a cupboard in an adjoining washroom. He had to don gloves himself to get the man dressed, but he accomplished the task with relative ease despite the disparity between the two of them in size. Manipulating the other man's body into a position to be easily carried was a chore, but he eventually managed to get him onto his back.

Now came the more difficult part of his task: getting back out of the building while carrying a much larger man, without being seen. Fulfilling two of these three criteria for his exit would have been simple, but it was the combination of the three that made this mission challenging. Fire began to rush through his body in anticipation, and he allowed himself a small, feral smile, baring his canines. His senses felt heightened: the darkness no longer seemed like such an obstacle, the smells of the building were sharp in his nostrils, and his skin prickled as the cold air around him caressed it. He hadn't felt this sort of adrenaline-inspired euphoria in a long time, and he found that he'd missed the sensation. This was going to be fun.