For a second Hana closed her eyes, took one more deep breath and then looked at Elyss.
“You’re right, sorry.” she said.
She took one more glance around before she slowly resheathed her weapon. It was stupid, she should have been able to feel before, that there was nothing here right now. But the desire to cut down these beasts was almost overwhelming. She needed to focus.
“We...we are looking for anything out of the ordinary. I don’t know. But this was where I met them and where I found the piece of paper, so it seems logical to begin here.”
She started turning slowly, scanning every millimeter of the ruins with her eyes. There had to be something here. Hollows were just souls like she and Elyss. They were no gods, they had to leave traces.
“Mhm, yeah, a torso. It was walking on it’s hands, had grey skin and scythe-like blades on it’s arms. The Hollow I met on earth recognised that one as Teke. It seemed to be somewhat of a legend to some Hollows, that this Teke and others live in Soul Society.”
Suddenly Hanako stimbled and had to hold on to Elyss’s shoulder for a second.
“Sorry, must have tripped.” she mumbled and then yawned.
“But this Teke wasn’ ‘lone. There was one dog-like Hollow with’im. Big, black, mask lika dog’s skull, pretty quick.”
She yawned again. Why was she so tired all of a sudden? She had slept enough, if not well, and the adrenaline flowing through her veins should keep her alert. She began to feel a bit dizzy as well.
“An’ there wassa third one...coun’t see’im...shrou’ed….oh”
She sighed. There was something very wrong her. She looked at Elyss. Was she affected as well? Damn, she couldn’t see her clearly anymore, her vision was blurred.
She sank to her knees. The need to sleep rolled over her like an avalanche, buried her, carried her thoughts away.
8 a.m., time to start the day. Ameko Sato drew one last time on her cigarette before she threw it in the ashtray next to the door and went in.
“Detective Sato, good morning.”
“Hey, Sato, lookin’ good.”
“G’mornin’, you got that report from last week somewhere. Need to look something up.”
“Hey Sato, ever been mistaken for a man?”
Voices flew in her direction, surrounded her and stayed with her as she walked down the corridor in her small police station. She smiled, waved towards a few people, answered.
“Good Morning, Captain.”
“Shut up, Yamazaki.”
“Where it should be, filed in the basement. Have fun searching.”
“No, have you, Ito?”
Finally she reached her office. It was small, cramped, with barely enough room for her desk, some chairs and shelves. The latter were all overflowing with folders, boxes, trinkets and stuff that could not be defined on first sight. It wasn’t pretty, but it was hers and it had a door she could close, if she so desired. And she desired it so.
She closed the door and collapsed in her chair behind the desk. She was tired. Her blue blouse was crumpled and the button that held it together over her breasts was only hanging on by a thread, literally. Her black blazer was in no better shape than her blouse and the black leather shoes were dusty and her dark-red hair only roughly combed and tied into a pony tail. Only her jeans didn’t show any sign of the long night yesterday. A missing persons case that turned out to be a wild goose chase when the “missing” boy turned up at his parent’s house again, explaining he had been at a friend’s, playing video games. Apparently the friend’s parents hadn’t payed their electricity bill and weren’t home. So they couldn’t be reached. The boys had been playing in the basement and didn’t even realise when the police had knocked on the door of a dark and seemingly empty house. Thanks to that she had been crawling through the forests for the better part of the night, slept for a few hours and was now back at work again. Detective Ameko Sato...it had sounded so good when she was promoted and looked so good on her door. If she had known how much overtime the job as detective in a small-town police station would bring with it, she’d have declined.
Ameko Sato was a big woman, well trained and perfectly capable of besting her male colleagues, be it on the shooting range or in the dojo. She had earned a lot of respect with that, but her humor, work ethics and the fact that her family had been in police service three generations back, worked for her as well.
The door opened and the Sergeant popped his head in.
“Please tell me you’ve come to bring me a coffee.” Sato said.
“I have.” he said, entered the room fully and placed a steaming cup on her table. She looked at it. The coffee was a deep black and she knew from experience that it was only just still a ‘liquid’, could dissolve metal and raise the dead. Exactly what she needed.
“...and I have work.” the Sergeant said and placed a folder right next to the cup. “Just came in.”
“Yeah, I know. Sorry.” It sounded honest and he smiled apologetically when he left and closed the door behind him.
She really had hoped that it would be a slow day...
Reluctantly she opened the folder. Murder case...wonderful. She closed the folder again. It could wait until after her cup of coffee. The dead wouldn walk away.
Coding Altered From: [The Frost]