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    World At Peace, Track 1

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    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

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    World At Peace, Track 1

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Mon Jan 16, 2012 12:12 pm

    It was a bright, sunny day on Ikebukuro III's main city.

    Before a traffic signal, two girls stood waiting for it to change. One wore a dark green hoodie with small feline "ears" and a yellow skirt. The other's hoodie and skirt were inverted in color, and her yellow hoodie had floppy, rabbitlike flaps for ears.

    Once the light changed, the two headed across the crosswalk. The girl in the yellow hoodie skipped gleefully, humming a little ditty to herself, while the other walked slowly alongside. Soon, they reached a little triangular, miniature plaza of sorts, comprised of gray masonry and set between two streets. Behind the "plaza" was a small video game store with a large plasma screen in front of the second story, right below what appeared to be living quarters on the third story.

    Excitedly, the girl in the yellow hoodie and green skirt - Now seen to have short, straight black hair and dark eyes behind her retangular-lens glasses - Oohed and ahhed as she looked around. Meanwhile, the other girl - With jawlength black hair and eyes of a similar hue - Held out a flip-cellphone on its camera setting, taping the city around them.

    It was shaping up to be a peaceful day.

    ~ ~ ~

    Beneath an oak tree in the park, Anri and Mikado went over their summer assignment with each other. It was a set of simple math problems, and together, it gave them little trouble. Soon enough, the entire assignment was completely finished - Yet now, they had nothing to talk about.

    Staring at the grass, Anri shifted nervously. Feeling immensely shy, Mikado looked up at the sun-dappled leaves. Neither wanted to be the first to try and catch the other's gaze. Soon, however, a resolution to this awkward silence came along. This resolution practically skipped up to the two in its jovial mood. The resolution came to them by grabbing both in a a tight, reassuring, if slightly embarrassing group hug.

    This resolution's name was Masaomi Kida.

    "Well well well," Kida practically chirped, "If it isn't my two best friends in the world, Mikado-kun and boobalicious Anri-chan! C'mon you two, stop making doe-eyes, we have places to go, people to see, movies to watch!" Without pause, he grabbed the two by their wrists and led them away from their spot beneath the tree.

    Bubbling with laughter, neither Mikado or Anri could find words to express how glad they were to have Kida around when they were too nervous around just each other.

    It was shaping up to be a peaceful day.

    ~ ~ ~

    At a gas station, a tall, gangly man, with shoulder-length off-brown hair, filled up the gastank on an unmarked gray van. From within the service station, Kadota emerged with a box of pizza and some snack cakes in one arm, two sixpacks of some dark red, almost black cola in the other.

    Within the van, meanwhile, Karisawa Erika sat reading manga with a rather thin fellow of slightly tanned skin. His eyes were closed in an upturned, foxlike squint, and he had short, straight, golden-blonde hair. As he and Erika continued reading, the man outside filling up the van's fuel finished, scanned his card, and slid tiredly into the driver's seat on the right side. From the other side, Kadota hopped in, shoved the loot into the seat behind himself, and sighed.

    Like a couple of starved wolves, Erika and the other man tossed their manga onto a pile in the very back seat, ripped the packaging of the snack cakes asunder, and scarfe them down without leaving so much as a crumb. Seeing the look that the driver was giving them at all of the wrappers dropping to the floor, the male of the pair swept them up and dumped them out the window to a trashcan that was suspiciously closeby.

    Turned to look at the driver, Kadota said, "I'm surprised you didn't throw a fit, Togusa-san. It was very mature of you to put up with those two like you did." He himself couldn't help but give the hairy eyeball to Erika and her cohort as they now chugged the bottles of Cola in unison. "And you two...I'm not gonna stop Togusa if you make a mess and he finally snaps. That's the kind of thing that gives birth to serial killers - They're always the nicest, most polite, upstanding men and women until people like you push them too far.

    "You two don't want this nice, gentlemanly friend of ours to turn into the next Slasher of Ikebukuro," he continued, "Do you? Do you two want to be the sole cause of a string of gruesome, bloodthirsty murders that will go down in history? An infamous night-terror who would ascend into the realm of nightmarish legend?" His eyes set in a hard glint. Yet then, Kadota sighed as the expressions on Erika and company's faces showed that everything he'd said had gone in one ear and out the other. "Nothing. Keep it tidy." He took off his cap and ran a strong, worn hand through his messy brown hair.

    Finally, the one named Togusa turned to look at the foxfaced young man in the backseat. "Walker-san, did you buy that new wrench like I asked?" He tried to force down the twitch in the corner of his mouth as Walker went right on with drinking a second bottle of Cola. You'd think he'd never tasted a grain of sugar in his life, Togusa brooded to himself. But no, he was going to match Kadota's (Admittedly somewhat joking) assertions and not flip his lid on these two. They were doing an unusually good job of not messing up the seats. He knew that they couldn't grasp how expensive it was to get those seats cleaned.

    After several more moments, Walker replied. "Yup! DWW-72, Large Bolt Wrench! I even got a neat little toolbelt as an extra gift! Since Erika and I kinda flubbed up on your birthday and all, I only thought it was right to get you something to he - Awch." He rubbed at where Erika had jabbed an elbow into his ribs. Though he tipped the bottle, luckily, he'd been so thirsty that there wasn't even enough droplets to fall out. Togusa was thankful for this.

    "Yumasaki Walker you cad," Erika huffed. "You seem to forget the genius young woman who gave you the idea! As well as our charming, hardworking leader who gave us half of two weeks' earnings from his arduous job of rooftile-laying to pay for it! You're not going to take all the credit just because you got the opportunity to buy it as a surprise!" Still on a melodrama kick, she laid the back of her hand against her brow and gave a drawn-out, long-suffering sigh.

    Walker just stared at her for a few moments. Then, he took out a cellphone, pulled up the images gallery, scrolled to one horrible, purple-colored thing of five odd spheres and a crown grafted onto its forehead, and tapped Erika's shoulder. When she finally looked, he simply smiled as she gazed in awe at it. "This is Arujigas, aka Choaking, aka the fan evolution of Weezing I've been looking for!? It's awesome!!" Her anger at Walker temporarily forgotten, Erika began to chatter with him in a cascade of video games and anime fansquealing.

    Hat placed back on his head, Kadota looked out the window. It was a bright and sunny day, perfect weather, and no disasters had struck yet. For once, it seemed that their city wasn't slowly descending into lawless chaos.

    It was shaping up to be a peaceful day.

    ~ ~ ~

    Outside the usual bar, Shizuo Heiwajima was pissed. Seething quietly, he took a long drag on his cigarette. Normally, the sweet taste of nicotine and tar and a future of hacking and wheezing after going up one flight of stairs was enough to smother his rage. For some reason, however, today was different. He'd already gone through two cigarettes, was halfway through this cancerstick that reflected in his shades, and Shizuo was no closer to calming down.

    It wasn't an unusual thing, this state of the bartender being exceptionally angry. Bar patrons and staff alike had grown used to his frequent outbursts and rampages. The various waiters and waitresses had become strikingly efficient out of a reasonable desire to not upset him; no one ever had to wait for a drink more than three or four minutes, and the staff were known for being sarcastic and dry, but always great to talk to when certain people had problems on their mind. Though the neon sign had more than half of its characters either shorted out or busted, all of the regulars new well how to find the "Swallow's Nest."

    Today was different, even by Shizuo's standards, however. He was completely on the warpath. Most of the bar's employees and frequent patrons new how Shizuo tended to get restless when something bad was going down, but usually, it would pass without any great incident. It was halfway through the day, Shizuo had been on edge all that time long, and it showed no signs of abating anytime soon. Even talking to Celty - Which usually mellowed him out just fine - Wasn't enough to keep him sedate. Not long after she left, he had flipped right back out into belligerent rage and unease.

    Abruptly, Shizuo noticed someone approaching from further up the sidewalk. At first, he only snorted and ignored them. Until a familiar voice reached his ear: "You still so highstrung, Shizuo? I guess I never really expected you to calm down too much, but still. It's not healthy to get worked up all the time." Head turning quite quickly, Shizuo gave a short smile at the man standing there. Shorter, slightly stouter, the man had tan skin, jawlength, dark brown hair in dreadlocks, and dark eyes behind his wireframed, rectangular glasses. He wore a plain black suit over what appeared to be a scarlet and white floral-patterned shirt, and had a slightly tired look in his eyes despite the friendly smile.

    Despite himself, a chuckle escaped Shizuo. "Tom Tanaka. I haven't seen you in a few good months. I don't suppose you'd have some debts for me to help collect so I could blow off some steam?" He dropped the cigarette brusquely to the ground and lit up another. Tom did the same, and leaned up against the wall next to Shizuo.

    For a few minutes, calm silence was shared between the two. Eventually, Tom said calmly, "Not really here on business. Just felt I'd be remiss not to visit an old friend while I was in the neighbourhood. Looks like it's a good thing I did."

    Rather shockingly, just standing there next to this old friend, Shizuo visibly calmed down. Not saying a word, the two just let their cigarettes smolder and crumble as they vegged out in the sun, leaned against the wall.

    Normally, that tall, jovial, darkskinned sushi hawker from up north who always advertised on the next corner down made Shizuo fly off the handle. Right now, he could care less.

    It was shaping up to be a peaceful day.

    ~ ~ ~

    In a small plaza, on a bench beside a fountain-pool, Mika Harina typed away on her laptop.

    She had been assisting one Officer Hesta in searching for the Ikebukuro Slasher, but felt a bit guilty for some things. Though hers and Izaya's co-work in compiling and presenting evidence in secret concert had helped the investigation immensely, Mika had not been entirely forthcoming with her intel. Nor did she intend to start with giving out all she knew.

    To her, information was truly power. With the massive reserves of data and secrets she had compiled, if said sentiment could become literal, no one would be more powerful in this city or in any city on Ikebukuro than her. Her sources were so widespread and skillfully kept in the dark about each other that even Izaya didn't grasp the scope of her understanding. Though, it wasn't that much more than him - Should information become the true root of one's power, he would still give Mika a close run for her money.

    Thusly, a key part of information's potency was knowning when, where, why, and to whom it was meant to be divulged. Mika had never been good at sports, got sketchy grades in everything but writing and advanced calculus - The latter of which she seemed to excel at as almost a fluke - But had always had a talent for picking up rumors and secrets and knowing the exact way to use them. She had a few friends whom her knowledge had helped out in a jam, but for...Certain reasons, it would likely be hard for them to return the favor.

    Finished with whatever she had been typing, Mika looked up at the sky. The clouds were so white and puffy today, and the sun was bright; yet only to a pleasant degree, not harsh like at some parts of the year. It was just warm enough that Mika felt like getting an ice cream cone.

    Yet as she spotted a certain bespectacled, robust girl being tugged by a blondehaired young man, alongside a blackhaired boy who had a certain gentle look in his eyes, Mika frowned. Hurriedly, she turned, picked up her laptop, and left to head in the opposite direction of the trio she had spotted.

    She did know where to find other ice cream vendors than at this plaza. It wouldn't do to run into anyone who would ask questions right now.

    It was shaping up to be a peaceful day.

    ~ ~ ~

    In his apartment, for once, Izaya had all of the curtains open on his windows to let in the sunlight. Also in a rare occurence, he had out a chessboard with only regular chess pieces in play. The woman he was playing against seemed nonplussed despite being on the losing side.

    Of fair skin and long, sable hair, she had calm, pensive, dark blue eyes and an even frown. She wore a pale cream sweater, magenta-colored pants, and white socks with pink around the toes. While she had lost all pieces besides her queen, two pawns, and the unmoved king and rook, Izaya only lacked the majority of his pawns and a knight. However, Izaya cackled gleefully as the woman moved her rook beside her king and then jumped the king to its other side. Now, the queen stood in front of the king with the rook alongside it, and her king had been moved out of the path of one bishop.

    "I should've expected you to try castling about then, Namie-chan," he chirped. "Just don't expect it to do you much good, though." Clearly just toying with her over the whole match, he merely used his queen to pick off the pawn of hers about midway through the board. Yet abruptly, his eye narrowed as he realized where the other pawn had ended up as he neglected to bother with it: One space away from his back row of pieces. "Oho~ Clever girl. My hubris strikes again!" He watched, face leaned on a closed fist, as the pawn was moved to the final space it needed to be.

    Out of common courtesy, Izaya did the honors of placing one of Namie's knights in place of the pawn. "In case you're wondering how I knew you'd bring back that piece," he mused, "It's because that's exactly what I did my first time beating the fellow who taught me the finer points of chess. My move now, I suppose." Idly, he moved his rook into position to take the knight. Yet his eye narrowed as Namie's queen was moved to pick that rook off, now in perfect line to take his king unmolested. "Hm hm hm. This just got real, I'm sure you realize."

    For several minutes longer, they jostled for the position to take out the other's king. Yet slowly, methodically, precisely, Namie was taking out neglected pieces with her knight. As Izaya noted, it was either unimaginable forethought or ridiculous damned luck that she never had her knight in a position that he could take it without either her queen or rook to pick off the offending piece.

    As they wiled away an hour of sunlight, Izaya realized with a bemused expression that, while he had always thought Namie was a poor chess player, it was the opposite. She had been slowly working out how he strategized and moved in chess matches to defeat him. Rather like she was doing now.

    Thus, as he found himself in checkmate and made a noise between an exasperated sigh and a delighted chuckle, Izaya resolved that he would not be playing other games with Namie so unguarded.

    It was shaping up to be a peaceful day.

    ~ ~ ~

    Up that same mountain road to the abandoned apartment sector, Celty drove her solid black motorcycle at top speed. Had the traffic cops ever known to check this particular location, their chief would go on an explosive "Justice Bender" over her speeding. Of course, he'd first be angry about her profession, it not precisely being legal and all.

    Soon enough, she arrived at the apartment building where she was staying. Covering up her bike as the routine went, she unlocked the door, ducked into the darkened ground floor, and locked the door behind her with great speed. Wasting no time in the gloomy main room, she headed down the stairs to the basement level. None of the lights on, the only illumination came from a narrow vertical slat of a window on-level with the ground above.

    Heading into a back room, Celty found a great deal of surgical equipment strewn upon a table. Body language telegraphing abject unease, she quickly backed out of that room and headed for the kitchen. Still not finding what (Or rather, whom) she was looking for, Celty merely shrugged and headed back to the main room. Flipping the TV on, she surfed a couple of random channels with nothing of interest on before coming across one broadcast in particular.

    The handsome,fairskinned, jawlength darkhaired young man on the screen was on some kind of slowly-moving vehicle, gesturing to the city outside the window whilst detailing the local history and attractions. Yet it was his name that caught Celty's attention. With a start, Celty took out her phone and began hurriedly texting a message to someone.

    Having wandered in, Shinra had a look of shock at the young man on the screen. His name in particular, along the bottom of the screen, caused his jaw to drop slightly.

    He could only manage dumbly: "Shizuo might not like this very much."

    Reporting On Ikebukuro's City's, Idol Heiwajima Kasuka

    It was shaping up to be a peaceful day.
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    Yenot
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    Re: World At Peace, Track 1

    Post by Yenot on Tue Jan 17, 2012 6:47 am

    Got to say, I wasn't expecting this.
    It's not bad, that much i can say.
    It seems, I don't know, Peaceful?
    Peace isn't exactly something this site is known for, that's for sure.
    It is well worded, but as might be expected with a peaceful tale, slowly paced.
    Good work, all in all, unexpected, but good.
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    Zev the Reveler
    Gracious Double-Crosser

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    Re: World At Peace, Track 1

    Post by Zev the Reveler on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:15 am

    Thanks!

    I was really going for something laidback with Tracks 1 & 2, so I'm glad I accomplished that!

    Thanks~

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    Re: World At Peace, Track 1

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