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 Danger Right Under Our Noses, Tag Kou~
42
POSTS
UNKNOWN
AJIN: Demi-human
AJIN
MERCENARY
Carma (Da mom)
He/Him
KOU DON'T BE STUPID PLS
Mild gore TW for Satou being Satou

Eyes were easy. He could extract the eyes without much trouble. The same with the forearm, a simple chop and a good job with bandages and that was all he’d need. Only the forearm didn’t really go for much. Eyes were better. Shoulders he could….if he was careful, and then there was skin but that was just a bit hard to make a clean cut. He was no surgeon, after all; he couldn’t make those slick incisions. Those, though, were all the easiest points of interest. It became troublesome when organs were involved. Simply put, he just wasn’t cut out for surgical removal. His hands weren’t the shakiest, no, but if the market had a demand on, say, liver, he really just wasn’t the man for that job. It would, he supposed, be worth looking into having an assistant, but if that was the case he’d need to hide his identity. No use in having a potential accomplice know the face of the old man. At least, not at first. The entire issue was a simple one - he had to ensure his subjects were in no danger of dying. And that was difficult when he unintentionally tore something internal that he really rather shouldn’t.

He’d discovered it entirely by accident, really. But it turned out that death was impossible. He knew that these people weren’t Ajin. He’d done a few preliminary tests - running his black ghost about here and there hadn’t garnered even a wink of suspicion. They didn’t see it. True they could have simply chosen not to acknowledge it, but he’d run several social experiments and hadn’t run into a single positive response to it. Simply put, they weren’t Ajin. And yet death eluded everyone. Whatever this world was, it certainly was a marvel. A complex enigma he would just love to pry apart, but, that was perhaps a bit too grandiose for him just yet. He was newer to this world - he needed to learn how it worked before he went for anything so grand. He wasn’t a fool. Although...honestly it did make his little side business a bit of a pain at times.

It was a matter of circumstance, really; he’d just been curious the first time. He’d delivered a blow that arguably should have killed. Yet somehow the bullet barely grazed. The man was unconscious, sure, and that had been his downfall. That was how the experiment started. What happens if it’s not a fatal wound? Poking, prodding, cutting, slicing. It had relatively been what he’d expected. Then he’d moved on - bullets, in nonfatal areas, seemed to have the regular effect. Breaking, snapping, removing - so long as it was a nonfatal wound, the physiological response was...normal. But...then he sort of had these parts he didn’t need any more. Since he hadn’t thought to blindfold the first gentleman, he decidedly kept that one in the back, inside what he could only imagine was one of those old wine barrels. It was empty - was, now it had an...occupant. He would serve for another test. Would hunger kick in? Fatigue? ….Regardless, he took more care in the future. If he could make use of these people….well. He liked to consider himself an opportunist, and here, he found an opportunity. At the very least, disappearances in the Barrows weren’t….unheard of, but he had certain hopes that the gradual increase would stir concern. Something for him to latch onto. Something to turn the sparks into fire.

Presently he was just…mingling. He liked to scout out potential weak points in the districts. People who were at their tipping points, who just needed an extra push. Maybe John Doe had a little brother and that was all that kept him in line. Maybe Margaret Nobody was struggling to keep herself and her son afloat. Take away those anchors and down they fell. And when despair sank into their stomachs, that was when chaos started to burn.

His current target had decided to pay a visit to Hialao. She was about twenty years old by her looks - not that he asked, of course. This one gent he’d had his eye on was hopelessly, helplessly in love; hell, he could see it just from how pathetically he acted when she was around. Apparently she had family in the Barrows, but she herself attended school here. Her father was part of the same gang he himself was in - which was for his own benefit, or else he wouldn’t know half of what he heard through that man’s angry ranblings. If she were to disappear, there would be such utter rage. Internal conflict. Now that was something he would enjoy. How would it pan out? Who would side with who? Or would everyone gun the crazed father down and lock him up? It was really just a social experiment.

For now, he played nice. First, he would make conversation. Later, he would offer to walk with her back to the Barrows, once he let slip that yes, in fact, he did know her father, and that it was such a crying shame he lived in such conditions and she was such a fortunate girl to be outside of that mess.

He stopped mid-step, though, so close, when he felt eyes on him. A soldier’s instincts or whatever….he was definitely being watched.
♔ ree @ atf & shine
If there's someone out there who's counting on me, I'm living up to that no matter what! That's how I've always done things!
125
POSTS
eighteen
ajin: demi-human
ajin
cafe staff
sam (she/her)
he/him
For a long while — how long had it even been since he’d woken up on that damn train? — Kou had thought that he was the only one of his world that had been dragged to this strange dimension. He was finally getting used to that fact — to being the only Ajin amongst a sea of the normal and abnormal, of people and monsters alike. Honestly, living in a world that didn’t actively target and discriminate against Ajins was nice. Like, really nice. He could live a relatively normal life, free of crazy terrorists and the threat of capture and experimentation. That was what Nagai had wanted, right?

But still…

He couldn’t ignore the occasional burst of agitation, the unease that burned beneath his skin. Sure he was doing alright, but what about everyone else back home? What was Nagai doing? Was Satou still on the warpath? And what about that firefighter guy, the one he’d made a promise too all those months ago?

I promised him that I would stop Satou. How can I ever expect to keep that promise now?

Ironically, it was while he was stewing over this exact thought that Kou saw the hat. His hat.

He’d done this before — he’d see a hat that closely resembled Satou’s and his heart would immediately leap into his throat, only for him to realize a moment later that it was just a hat, that Satou wasn’t here and he needed to drill that realization into his thick skull, idiot. But this time, it wasn’t just the hat. It was also the hair, the face… this time, he wasn’t just seeing things.

Satou was here. And Kou didn’t know if he should be feeling furious or terrified.

He gasped as soon as he recognized the old man, and immediately scrambled to hide around the nearest corner as if he were under the irrational thought that Satou would gut him with his IBM on sight. Fuck, fuck. He was here. He was really here.

What am I supposed to do?

He didn’t have anyone to help him this time. Not Nagai, not the firefighter guy, nothing. But at the same time, he couldn’t just let the man go. He couldn’t just sit back and do nothing. He’d made a promise.

So he followed Satou from a distance, trying to hide himself in the crowd of passersby. Where was he going, what was he doing…

… who was that he was looking at?

”Hmm?” Kou muttered to himself, peering curiously through the crowd as he noticed Satou’s eyes focus in on someone. It looked like… a girl? Just a normal, human girl. And, for some reason, that was enough to set him off.

Rage immediately twisted in Kou’s gut. He didn’t think — why did he never stop to think? — he just moved, feet pounding on the pavement as he shoved his way past startled strangers. He didn’t care why Satou was looking at some random girl. Maybe the old man hadn’t even been planning to hurt her... but he had hurt so many others, had killed so many others. Kou couldn’t watch him do the same things in Hialao that he had done in Japan. He wouldn’t.

”SATOU!” he roared, skidding to a halt in front of the Man in the Hat with fire in his eyes and not a single clear plan in his mind. Shit, this was when having someone like Nagai around would be really fucking useful. But Nagai wasn’t here. For all he knew, it was just him and Satou that had been pulled into this world. He was on his own.

So, he improvised. ”What are you doing here?” Kou snapped, clinging to his anger like a lifeline. It burned away his insecurities, his fears, allowed him to say what needed to be said. ”How did you get here? Are you planning to take over this place like you tried to do in Japan? Huh?!”

Yea, this was going to work wonderfully. He’d completely thought this out.

kill me if you dare
hold my head up everywhere
BY MITZI
42
POSTS
UNKNOWN
AJIN: Demi-human
AJIN
MERCENARY
Carma (Da mom)
He/Him
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE YOU FOOL
Well….that was unexpected.

It wasn’t as though he spoke on personal terms with very many people. Unlike his adventures back home, here he didn’t have a reason to make his name known to public. “The man in the hat” was nobody here. He was nothing. Though, that would change with time. Once he knew where to start picking people apart, how to start a war in the Barrows, he’d have a reason to start making himself known. It would just take some time and patience. The former he had plenty of; the latter he….well, he was patient enough. But he did need to find some way to kill his boredom. Usually that meant playing video games or….people-watching. Occasionally it meant chatting up an individual to see if they would be of any use to him. If they weren’t, it became a matter of if he thought he’d be able to get away with snatching them into the Barrows. He had to match the requests for the black market, after all. He hated to be seen as an unreliable supplier.

That all aside, his name wasn’t so well known. And certainly not to the disgruntled looking child in front of him, startling both he and the young woman who was presently in his company. He gave a small, shocked sound, stepping backward a little just as the woman did. He didn’t know who the brat in front of him was, but the fact that he knew his name was enough to at least make him interesting. Did he know the face that went with that name, though? Really? There were a very select few he’d introduced himself properly to; was it possible they’d sent this kid after a “satou, the guy in a hat that looks like this”? Playing pretend could at least give him an idea - if he knew his face, then this was very likely someone from….home. He did his best to hold a concerned look on his face, throwing an arm in front of the girl - because of course, a kindly old man would protect a lovely young lady.

”I’m not sure who you think I am, sir,” he began, his voice soft and slow, feigning slight uncertainty, ”and I don’t know what you mean about a takeover or anything like that. I don’t know who you are, sir. Please calm down and think clearly…” ...Well, it seemed he was from back home, and also that he was a fool. He’d just blurted out his best card, showed his hand. That didn’t mean he had to give up the facade - after all, the girl here he was with clearly had no idea what was happening. He continued to look quietly stern and concerned as his mind worked. Was this boy human, or Ajin?

Only one way to find that out, but he wasn’t about to break his mask just yet. Not in front of her. Instead, he looked imploringly at the brat, doing his best to seem...disgruntled, confused, ruffled, but calm despite it all. He had to sell it to her, not him. She was his shield in this little game. He had to play her right, make this kid out to be some hooligan teenager. She seemed to at least be startled by him.

”Who are you?”

If talking didn’t work, he could always use his Black Ghost. But that would be a last resort.
♔ ree @ atf & shine
If there's someone out there who's counting on me, I'm living up to that no matter what! That's how I've always done things!
125
POSTS
eighteen
ajin: demi-human
ajin
cafe staff
sam (she/her)
he/him
He… he didn’t recognize him?

”Wh—“ Kou started to say, momentarily thrown off-kilter by the whole “innocent old man” act Satou was putting on. Sir? What was this crap?

But then he thought about it a little, and his confidence faltered. Why would Satou recognize him? They’d only met once, and the encounter had been brief to say the least. Kou had seen Satou on the news after that, and in the videos he broadcast on the internet, but the other surely hadn’t seen him. He’d been locked in a truck for days, weeks even — and then he’d found himself here not long after getting out.

Fuck, he was such an idiot. But even so…

He wasn’t wrong. He knew he wasn’t wrong. This man was Satou, and Kou didn’t know why he was lying about who he was or why he was with this random girl, but it couldn’t be good. He had to get him away from her, make her see that being around him was a mistake. He wouldn’t just shut up and go away.

Kou’s eyebrows pressed together in a frown as he solidified his stance, eyes glaring balefully at the man who had tried to turn Japan upside down. ”I am thinking clearly,” he spat, fighting to keep his voice level. He couldn’t afford to scare the girl away; he needed her to see, needed her to open her fucking eyes.

He turned towards the young lady then, his eyes suddenly soft and pleading. ”Please, you have to believe me. This guy is bad news. We come from the same world, and he’s killed so many people. He wanted to start a massacre! You’re not safe with him!” he spoke, struggling to keep the desperation out of his voice. She had to belief him. She had to.

Kou returned to glaring at the old man, his skin prickling with anger as he asked who he was.

Who am I? I’ll tell you who I fucking am.

Again, he wasn’t thinking. Before his brain could catch up with his mouth he’d blurted out, ”My name is Nakano Kou. And I’m going to stop you.” Stop him from doing what? Stop him how? He didn’t know. But the words were out, and Kou couldn’t take them back even if he wanted to.

Big words from a kid who had no fucking idea what he was doing.

kill me if you dare
hold my head up everywhere
BY MITZI
42
POSTS
UNKNOWN
AJIN: Demi-human
AJIN
MERCENARY
Carma (Da mom)
He/Him
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE YOU FOOL
He was trying to remember if he’d seen some….fifteen, maybe?....year old auburn-haired brat back home. It was possible, but Satou didn’t have much of a memory for boring things or boring people. And that meant this boy was one of those types. But he certainly had a mouth on him, that was for sure. Still, Satou looked at him with a concerned sort of gaze. He was an innocent old man, that was all anyone needed to know. It was what she knew, but for this fellow….well he wouldn’t be able to convince him, probably. Very clearly he knew Satou - and that was a problem. But, he could play up the act and perhaps make him seem like a raving lunatic attacking a poor old man.

Role playing games weren’t his favourite, but they could be fun if there was a chance at failure.

He winced ever so slightly at the words spat at him - oh, how the poor old man must feel in this situation, being attacked by a young lad. Verbally, but attacked nonetheless. Ah but - he didn’t overdo it, either; he didn’t feign fear, just discomfort and annoyance. Behaviours that were the natural response to such behaviour, no? His eyes widened as the lad went on and spoke to her, now, speaking of…..

Oh, wonderful.

His eyes narrowed slightly and he shook his head. He didn’t speak, but he also didn’t deny it - to outright deny such a claim would make him suspicious. So instead, he kept shaking his head at the madman in front of him. The girl, though, was most certainly looking between them both anxiously - she was certainly perturbed by the boy who approached, but even the possibility that the old man next to her was bad news….

Well that was a problem.

Nakano Kou…..

”Please, just…both of you….I’m...leave me alone. I’m going!”

He didn’t stop her, but he gave her a pelading sort of look as the girl backed away. At least…..he didn’t stop her with his own body. There was a certain skill that Ajin had, a certain….useful feature. It wasn’t raining - that was helpful. It should be easy enough. His Black Ghost materialized - not immediately in front of her but a ways into the distance in the direction she was trying to escape. Satou couldn’t be attached to a crime at that distance - if she found her abdomen suddenly skewered by some unseen force, he certainly couldn’t have had anything to do with it.

His own gaze stayed on the boy named Nakano Kou.

”Kou-san….please think. I...don’t know you. I’ve never seen you before...why do you…” His voice raised, his eyes widened, and there was a very subtle crack in his voice that sounded almost anxious. ”Why are you making such accusations? I’ve never seen you! I don’t know what you plan to stop me to do….but I just want to get home. So please. Let me be.”
♔ ree @ atf & shine
If there's someone out there who's counting on me, I'm living up to that no matter what! That's how I've always done things!
125
POSTS
eighteen
ajin: demi-human
ajin
cafe staff
sam (she/her)
he/him
Well… his passionate speech had kind of worked. The girl was still looking at him like he’d grown a second head, but at least she wasn’t looking so comfortable around Satou anymore either. Or, maybe all of her discomfort was still aimed towards him nope nope, she was leaving.

Kou’s brows pinched together in concern, and he took a step after the girl before stopping himself. She didn’t have to trust him. He’d gotten her away from Satou, and that was what mattered. Right?

So… what now?

Satou was still sticking with the innocent old man shit, and at this point… it was starting to get to him. Kou was doing his best not to let it show, but he wasn’t Nagai. He wasn’t good with this sort of crap — this act smart, be crafty fuckery that everyone else seemed to be experts at. He didn’t know what the next step was supposed to be; hell, sometimes he didn’t even know what step he was currently on. He was just… there.

”I—“ Kou started, unsure if he should be going with an angry retort or a confused apology. His gaze darted between Satou and the direction the girl had gone wait what the fuck.

He froze, his eyes riveted on a dark figure that he knew all too well. Well, technically he’d only seen Satou’s IBM maybe once before, but he knew a fucking black ghost when he saw one. Kou sent a wild look Satou’s way, his eyes — the reddish hue of an Ajin’s — burning with mingled alarm and anger. That IBM was headed — it was going to —

His feet were moving before he could even think.

He had to make it he had to make it he had to— ”Get out of the way!” Kou hollered, barreling into the girl just before the IBM’s claws could gouge her. Those same claws that were now sinking into his abdomen with a sickening squelch.

…Oh. Oh shit.

Kou crumpled to the ground with a pained yelp as the IBM wrenched its hand out of his body. Ow. Fucking ow. He was losing way too much blood, he was losing…

The darkness he plunged into was beginning to feel all too familiar.

______________________________________________
notes: /grenade by bruno bars plays in the distance

kill me if you dare
hold my head up everywhere
BY MITZI
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