Immortality Has its Price

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
Story of a man being manipulated and burned. Until he fights back.

Submitted: December 16, 2007

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Submitted: December 16, 2007

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Prologue

The room was dark and loudly quiet. Out of the shadows, a heavily accented oriental voice echoed through the dark canyon.

“State your name for the record,” the Voice said.
“Jason Maxwell.”

“You live a hard life, Mr. Maxwell,” the Voice continued. “Not everybody can take what you do.” Each sound vibrating through the room as the Voice takes a sip of his warm sake.

“I’m aware of that.”

“So let’s see: Jason Maxwell, thirty years old, American, six-one, one-seventy-five. You are the son of Alex and Andrea Maxwell, Air Force lieutenants.”

As the list grows from his past, the muscular individual seated across from the Voice has his eyes transfixed at the Voice’s source. His stare was quiet, cold, focused. His crisp blue eyes were transfixed, barely squinting, not allowing for a single blink. The Voice notices but continues:

“How did you end up with your life, Mr. Maxwell?”
The Eyes narrow, “shit happens.”
The Voice sighs, “Jason, we don’t have to do this.”
“Yes we do, the story has to be told. Your approach sucks.”

The Voice notices the hint of sarcasm and counters with his own quip “so how would you approach this?”

Sliding toward the middle of the table, for the first time putting his face under the light, the Eye responds “how ‘bout I just tell you my life?”

Countering the sudden abruptness of what has evolved into a chess game, the Voice moves into the table “so how the hell did you become a Yakuza assassin, gaijin?”

As he released a breath of cold air, the Eyes close for the first time all night. The Voice takes another sip of his sake. He knows this is important.

“My father was a first class United States Air Force pilot here in Tokyo. He got mixed up with the group, you know: speed trafficking, got money out of prostitution schemes, sent pornography throughout the Air Force base, got busted by his colonel. The Yakuza found out, whacked him and my mom.”

“Doesn’t explain how you got mixed in.”

“When someone blows your parents’ fuckin’ heads off and threatens you with the whole ‘can’t beat them, join them’ bullshit, you kinda need to comply, especially if you’re only seven years old.”

“Stockholm’s syndrome?”

“Hardly, I volunteered. And I knew one day, I’d have my revenge. So let me begin with my story.”

Like I said before, my parents were involved with the Yakuza. But before I begin, let me teach you a little history lesson, one that you don’t learn in your high school, something true. When people start thinking about the Yakuza in this country, they only think about the bad things that they have done to the place. Yeah, I admit, we’ve been involved with drugs, prostitution, and gambling. Whoever doesn’t know that shit has his head up his ass. But that’s beside the point.

Long before there was Yakuza, there was the kabuki-mono, the “crazy ones”. Man, those guys were seriously nuts. They would dress up in weird garbs, their katanas were extra long, but they were the best. Nobody really knows this, but they were the elite soldiers of the Tokugawa shogunate when the shoguns still ruled Japan. They were the badasses of the old provinces, when wars escalated, these guys would destroy the competition. They served with honor, until people turned on them.

When the emperor took back the power in Japan, the kabuki-mono lost their way. They started to fuck up people for no reason. Soon, they stole shit from rich people, and they made life a living hell for foreigners who took advantage of Japan, started calling themselves the Yakuza, you know from the card game where ya means eight, ka means nine, and sa means three, adding up to twenty, the unlucky number .

Over the years, the original members of the kabuki-mono continually held an alliance. This alliance went through centuries, from the modernization of Japan to World War II. Then, money became the sole objective. When that happened, the alliance died. Out of that alliance came two powerful families, the Hanzo and the Kamada.

Hanzo Takeru and Kamada Yamato were the two sons of the most powerful Yakuza leader coming out of the alliance, of course from two wives. Takeru and Kamada were the closest brothers could be until something went wrong and they began to feud with each other over their father’s estate. And that’s how the gang war began, two factions hell bent on fuckin’ each other up until the other doesn’t live.

So you wonder why I’m telling you all of this. Once again, my father was involved with the mob. Not only that, my father was one of the dealers for Hanzo-san. Apparently, he was busted because he sold inside info to Kamada and Hanzo had him whacked. When I was brought to Hanzo-san he looked at me with a katana in his hand. He raised the katana like he was about to slash my head and he stopped right before the blade could touch my neck. He had noticed something. I didn’t even blink. “Why don’t you fear me,” he asked. I told him there’s nothing for me to live for. He told me that in life every nail gets hammered and people will find their way. And because he noticed no fear in my eyes, he wanted to make sure that I stay on his side.

So he had me trained. The next day I was flown out to the northern mountains of this fuckin’ country to train with the best ninjutsu fighters in the world. Over there, I learned how to fight, with or without weapons. Even better, I learned how to be silent, to be cold, and to be invisible. For the next ten years, Hanzo sent me the best teachers in the world. I saw chemists, philosophers, historians because I was not only trained to fight, I needed to learn to think. The process was brutal and unforgiving but near the end of it, I knew what Hanzo wanted to do with me. He wanted me to become the perfect weapon.
By the time I was seventeen years old, I had already memorized every single element in the periodic table, read every philosophy book, analyzed every type of literature, and had perfectly memorized the history of the world. But most of all, I had evolved into the best shinobi in the entire camp. But the training didn’t end there. I was flown to the other side of the world to live in Africa. For a year, I learned how to hunt for people and how to find them using your senses. I learned how to track footprints, memorize people’s scents, and be perfectly aware of my surroundings. When that ended, I was sent to the slums of New York City to learn how to live in an urban society. What I got out of New York were bumps, bruises, a fucked up vocabulary, and I learned how criminals think and operate.

When my training finally ended, I was twenty-two years old. I finally came back to Tokyo to face Hanzo himself. With a cold stare he asked why I thought I was sent to all that training. I explained using a quote that Sun Tzu uttered: “if you know yourself and the enemy, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory you will also suffer a defeat. But if you know neither yourself nor the enemy, you are a fool and will be DEFEATED in every battle.” He smiled and told me I was exactly right. Rather than having me killed and wasting the prospect of having the greatest fighter killed outright, he wanted me to be his greatest crusader. I was gonna be the man who would cause his brother the greatest problem and the one who would fortify his reign on the Japanese underworld. I declined at first; it was then that he had his men point about one hundred firearms at me. By the end of my life, I told him, I was gonna kill him. No question. And I accepted his proposal.

The first part of my Yakuza life was to get the official Yakuza brand. So we all went to Hokkaido so that I could get the irrezumi. I encountered different agents while working for Hanzo and each one had their tattoo different, but it was mostly the same. They all had dragons, tigers, kabuki dancers. I decided to have du, or the number ten written on my back. The number ten in Japanese numerology was important to me for it signified the heavens, or immortality.

And so my life began. I ran missions for Hanzo. I traveled around the world to take care of Kamada operatives and field generals. My first mission was in New York, where I made sure that Kamada would lose $20 million of his investments when I raided one of his speed smuggling rings. It’s funny, the Yakuza are the world’s biggest suppliers of speed and crystal meth and they couldn’t afford better security to guard their so-called “assets”. I always marveled at the lack of talent that I faced, and on that fight I remember quoting Shakespeare: “E tu brute?” while I had just finished off a man twice my size.

I guess that’s the thing about me. All this training has rendered me bored. In my life, I’ve probably killed thousands of people and during that time I would quote the most ridiculous lines in literature. I killed Kamada’s field general in Los Angeles while I burned down a Yakuza prostitution ring and I found myself saying “There is nothing pleasanter than spading when the ground is soft and damp.” During my tenure as Hanzo’s agent, I knew I was the best in the world. I could nail an operative from a mile away or I could get close to him with my katana. I had no fear. There was this absolute adrenaline in me that allowed me to actually move with the speed of the moment but at the same time my hands were so fuckin’ steady and something about that scared me.

The Voice had remained silent throughout the conversation. He knew this story was absolutely different. He had never heard about a Yakuza assassin, let along being in the same room with the best in that field. He remained steady during the monologue, but his hands could barely feel the warm cup of sake he was gripping, his heart was pounding like there was no tomorrow.

“So that’s how it began for you, huh? How did you end up with where you are now? How did you end up here,” he finally began.

The Eyes closed for the second time tonight. It’s obvious that the story has taken a lot for him to say, but then again it’s his appearance in this room that has taken the most out of him. This was something he would have never done.

“I met somebody.”

One night Hanzo invited me to attend a function with him. The night was one of those social gatherings which symbolized true Yakuza hypocrisy. This was Kamada Yamato’s seventy-fifth birthday party and his brother wanted to wish him many joyous returns. So we walk into the party and straight into Kamada’s face. Hanzo began the conversation.

“Hello, brother, you’re looking well.”

Kamada smiled, “my dear brother I am glad that you are here.”

“Happy birthday, Yamato, I see time has not withered your resolve.”

“And I see your resolve remains strong, dear brother, my assets in New York and Los Angeles being proof of your endless devotion.”

Hanzo laughed, “you’re assets no longer bear your name, big brother, for they bear a new symbol.”

Shinigami,” Kamada went straight into his brother’s face.

Hanzo stepped closer, “hardly, though if you want to wish the death god to your door, I could have that arranged.”

Kamada stared at the eyes of his brother, “my blood, if you wanted me dead it would have been done years ago. You and I know the price of either one of our deaths.”

Hanzo smirked, “well, in either case, I do wish you a pleasant birthday, brother. And I would like you to meet my shinigami.”

“Is this the man who single-handedly took out my Yamamoto, Tea Hair, and Takashi in one battle?”

“Yes it is.”

Kamada looked at me and asked if I was in a hurry to die. I responded by quoting Lao Tzu: “nature does not hurry, though everything does get accomplished.”

“Indeed nature does not hurry,” he responded, “but given your actions, I’m sure it can make an exception.”

At that moment, twelve men came up from behind Hanzo and myself and surrounded us. They were not like Kamada’s other lackies, there was something about them. They looked at us with a cold stare of death. They were not cronies, they were warriors. They were bred to fight to the end. And the one standing right behind Kamada was probably its best fighter for his stare was ice and it was pointing right at me. Their hair was Yakuza regular, fashioned to be nappy and simple, but I admit they were intense.

“Let’s not have a massacre on my own day of thanks, brother,” Kamada opened.

“Agreed,” Hanzo said, shaking his brother’s hand for the first time all night.

From the moment that Kamada turned his back on us until there was no shadow of him left, his soldier did not stop staring at my eyes. “Lay on, Macduff, and damned be him that first cries, ‘Hold, enough,’” I whispered under my breath.

As I walked with Hanzo towards the balcony of the residence, I saw an image that perhaps transcends everything I believed in prior to that point. She had long flowing hair that perfectly accentuated her body. The very curves that surrounded her frame rivaled a supermodel’s, her skin perfectly tanned, and her eyes were the most beautiful shade of brown I have ever laid my eyes on. She walked up to where Hanzo and I sat and she went straight to Hanzo to give him a long embrace.

“Father it has been too long since I have seen you,” she uttered with the most charming breath.

“Daughter, I am sorry for missing moments with you.”

In my head, the first thing that popped was that Hanzo had a daughter? How a devil like him could have such an angel for a daughter, I asked myself.

Hanzo looked at me, “Jason, I would like you to meet my daughter, Keiko. She is the sole heir to my estate and the sole owner of my heart.”

Keiko added, “are you one of dad’s little bodyguards?”
“You can say that,” I responded with a smile.

“This is the first time I’ve ever seen you employ a gaijin. Modernizing are we?”

The moment she said that, I thought to myself that if she knew Hanzo’s life, she would know he employed my parents, who were obviously white. So how come she doesn’t think he’s ever employed a gaijin?

“It’s because I’m the best, ma’am,” I responded.

“Jason is my top guy,” Hanzo added. “He makes me lots of money.”

She looked at me and smiled. It took my breath away.

“Well, we’ll see how good you truly are,” she told me. “Let’s dance.”

She pulled me out of the table and into the dance floor. For a little girl like her, she was strong. Her grip was pretty tight.

She pulled me close, “I know what you do for my father.”
“You do, do you?”

“I’ve heard about your activities in New York and Los Angeles. I must admit, you do make my father a lot of money.”

“So you know what I am capable of doin’” I looked her straight in the eye.

“Oh yes, I’m very aware of that. But you were not the only one that my father had invested his time and money with. I know how handle myself around you people and I know how to handle my father’s operations.”

“So why are you telling me all of this?” I move her closer.
“Because there is something you don’t know that’s going on.”

The Voice focused closer to the Eyes. If there were something bigger going on with the entire syndicate, it would be the biggest story of all. What are the Eyes hiding? What could the thought truly be?

“What don’t you know that’s going on?”

The eyes were tired. It has been too long for a night, too long for a life. He has been weathered by the endless drought of reality. At this moment, there were no revisions, no clever repertoires. The story had to go on. It had to continue.

...

From that night forward, Keiko became my closest ally in the Hanzo syndicate. Not only that, we became lovers. At first, I was worried that Hanzo could possibly use his daughter to get to me, but she relinquished all my thoughts. In fact, she has made me feel truly blessed. I noticed a difference with my life, too. The stresses of being an everyday assassin became that much more dangerous. There was a promise that you had to be home at the end of the night.

My fears came true one night. I was out stalking one of Kamada’s generals around Tokyo’s financial district. The Yakuza have been making efforts to infiltrate the stock market for some time now. Many go into companies disguised as weak stockholders and get dirt on primary holders and use that to blackmail themselves into power. So when Hanzo found out that one of Kamada’s men had infiltrated his company, he sent me to take care of the business for him.

As I followed the Bentley in which the general was in, I noticed several anomalies with the activity. For one thing, I knew even I was being followed, most likely by Kamada’s Terrible Twelve. But not only that, the way the car was being driven was odd. It had seemed like the car was moving too slow, even at a casual pace. It was as if the car was waiting for me to catch it. I had to know what was going on.

The car was parked in a location I have never seen before. It was a warehouse in Downtown Tokyo, not in the usual Tokyo red-light district where Kamada would meet his men. For some reason, Kamada enjoyed the trafficking of Filipino women into Japan. Something about their helplessness made him feel good. But I digress.

When I got outside the warehouse, the same followed feeling came into me. I snuck into the warehouse and I investigated what was around me. It was not a meeting at all. It was an ambush.

Before I could realize it, a storm of bullets pierced through the entire warehouse and the sky fell. Kamada’s boys brought in the entire package on me. Throughout the night, I cursed myself for being so fuckin’ stupid. The Terrible Twelve then subjected their search for me. They attacked in pairs. The first pair attacked me with a knife and a staff. Even though they were very good with their weapons, they weren’t good with their balance. I shot their legs and that was the end of it.

The next pair attacked me hand to hand. While they were very good in close range combat, they emphasized too much style rather than substance. When I understood their style, they were soundly beaten. They probably studied just the style of it, I made a career out of weeding out the style of a fight.

Suddenly one person came at me with an array of bullets while the other came at me close range. I could tell that the one that came after me was the same guy who pierced me with a cold stare in the party. I knew I’d be in a dogfight. To take care of the guy on the outside, I made sure that his man was covering his shot. So as I sparred with Stare Boy, I made sure he blocked his man so that Gunner couldn’t get a good look. When Gunner became rattled, I let my knife go. Gunner never saw it coming.

When it came down to just me and Stare, I knew I finally found a match. In this fight, there were no quotes, no jokes, and no cracks. This was war. We opened up with a series of combos. Some of them hit him, and most of them hit me. I still have the bruises to prove it. We must have battled for a long time because our fight raged on towards the entire warehouse. Each kick that I blocked meant that I opened myself up somewhere else and he made me pay for it. And for every shot he took at me, I tried to throw it back at him three times worse. Every move was premeditated to either support or flow with the next. It was as if we were in a chess match with only two knights left.

At the end of the fight, I knew I was desperate. I had to be creative. I lured him for one more sparring and he gave me all he could, but he left one thing open. Around his belt were a series of explosives, the type whose chain needed to be yanked to let an explosion go. The next thing I know, BAM. He hit me on the face and I was on the ground. He said something like it was an honor to fight me. And I said likewise, though his experience may not be as good. He squinted his eyes and realized there was a little chain hangin’ between my fingers. BOOM.

There was something about the way I was assaulted. It seemed too much like a setup. Hanzo and Kamada were talking about possible implications if they died during the party. So I figure Hanzo had me taken care of using Kamada’s men so it wouldn’t look too obvious. But still, the fact that Hanzo was using Kamada’s men. Something just didn’t add up.

“So let me get this straight,” the voice uttered. “You walked into a trap knowing full well the danger, but you still went on with it. What happened to being a changed man?”

There was something that was true. The Eyes stared at the voice for a long time thinking about how he could come back. He smiled and remarked.

“Maybe it was my ego.”
“That’s not smart.”

“She knew what I did for a job and she knew me. Plus I had to know who was better.”

“So what happened when you arrived at Hanzo’s?”
“I lost it.”

I arrived at Hanzo’s house a little after two in the morning. I noticed that there was a significant drop in security. If you live in a house full of mobsters, there’s gotta be some security. But that night was different. There was no one there. Not a sound. When I walked into Hanzo’s room, he was sitting on his seat with a katana in his hands. He looked at me and I saw a look that terribly frightened me. It was a look of dejectedness.

“Are you here to kill me now,” he asked me.

“I don’t know, considering you just sent my ass into a death match with the Executioner’s Elite.”

He responded, “it was not my choice to make.”

I told him I was sick of this shit. All these years of using me to become the most powerful man in the country and now he wants me dead? What, did I lose my use in this world?

He walked towards me with his katana. It was clear he was drunk, the smell of liquor permeated the air. There was something wrong with him. I could tell. He had lost his air of arrogance. He was no longer whole. He looked like an onion peeling. He was desperate.

“Do you know why my brother and I disassembled the kabuki-mono allegiance?”

Kabuki-mono allegiance, I had’t heard about that in years, not since I started becoming a full-blown operative with Hanzo.

“My brother and I, we were close. However, we never completely saw eye to eye on how to take care of what was left with my father’s estate. He believed that we should take what my father had and take over the rest of Japan. With the entire economy dropping at the time and how we actually owned the majority of the stock exchange and real estate we could have taken over everything. I had two objections to his ideas. One, I hated politics and I have never been one to operate a coup de tat. Second, I thought that we operated perfectly since we were out of the government. We used them when we needed them. That’s it. And third, I had kept a secret from my brother. I was having an affair with his wife.”

Walking towards me, Hanzo lit up a fresh cigar, Cuban, the scent was too strong to ignore. He gingerly made his way back to his seat and pointed to the seat in front of him for me to sit. This conversation was definitely not a normal one. I took the seat.

“Yamato never knew that the relationship was going on. But what he did know was that I did not share his ideologies and it drove him mad. He somehow felt betrayed by my lack of support and he demanded that we split my father’s will and leave it at that. I concurred, knowing some day I would regret it.”

It was evident as the night wore on that the story was taking its toll on the Eyes. For someone who barely blinked, his eyes were locked shut. He did not want to go on with the story, yet he knew that it had to be told. It was a must. He had to do it.

“So Kamada and Hanzo had a difference in politics, huh,” the Voice asked.

“You can say that, only Hanzo was fuckin’ Kamada’s wife the entire time.”

“Did Kamada ever find out about it?”
“Yeah, and things got worse.”

Hanzo kept walking in circles. I thought he was going insane. Something must have gone terribly wrong for him to get like that. You know, big time powerhouse like him, it’s just not possible. “My brother eventually found out about the affair when I had gotten Akane pregnant,” he said. “My brother thought that it was not possible that he could have ever gotten her pregnant because he was never around to be with her. And who did she know as well as my brother than me? He looked at me and the fury was there. Not only did I betray him, I broke his heart.”

The paces of which he was walking became faster and faster. It was like he was going to put a hole in the floor. He was walking in this endless ring and I couldn’t make him stop, even if I wanted to. But he continued, “when Akane gave birth to Keiko, I received a phone call that the hospital was on fire. When I got there, there was barely anything left in the place. Suddenly, my brother walked up from behind me with a baby in his hand. It was Keiko. He told me that we were even and if he ever gets hurt or gets truly pissed off, he would go after her.”

As he told me this story, his eyes began to water. He did not want to have anything to do with this life anymore. “I’m sorry, Jason. I truly am. Why else would I keep my daughter so far away from me? He has her now and wants to kill her. But he told me if I set you up tonight, she’ll be safe. We both know what happened there now, do we? All your life has been eyed on revenge. You want me dead, yes? For what, killing your parents? No, I did not kill them. My brother had them killed. But it was I who cleaned up the stakes so that he wouldn’t get his name dirtied. I cleaned up all the mess for my brother. All the missions I had you undertake were to clean his ass up. But the truth is I wanted to save you. I wanted to use you to get my revenge on him. I’m sorry it had to be this way, but it is true. And now my dear daughter is gone.”

As soon as his voice left his mouth and entered my ear, the livelihood of me disappeared. I have never loved anyone in my life. When my parents passed, there were no tears in my eyes. I was so hell bent on revenge that I forgot that I was human with emotions. Keiko brought out what was best in me and when Hanzo told me that I lost the one person that meant the most to me, I felt my soul leave the room. And to know that I brought it about, it brought a certain guilt that made me want to skin myself for the rest of my life. It’s an overwhelming pain to live with, one that makes you regret your existence. I wanted to die.

But Hanzo Takeru beat me to it. When I looked back at him, he was making his way towards his window. And with one mighty swing, his katana went right through his stomach. As he fell backwards, his blade touched the floor, and his entire body slipped through the katana until it hit the floor. The once strongest man in Japan had nothing to live for and he took his life the only way most Japanese people knew how, seppuku. I would have taken my life that night, but there was someone I needed to pay a visit to. Someone who has deserved the pain I needed to inflict since I was seven years old.

Kamada’s facility was much more armed than Hanzo’s. Indeed he did want to take the initiative in creating his rule in Japan by building a massive army. It’s known that the Yakuza numbers up to about a hundred ten thousand Yakuza operatives in the world, divided into 250 families, yet even though they are divided everyone knows they all answer to Kamada. He practically has his own desert storm in there.

Before I made my move, I noticed an incoming slew of police cars and black SUVs moving into Kamada’s gates. Kamada probably heard the news that his brother died, well then again when Yakuza owns the majority of media and crime enforcement in Tokyo, news could come to you easily. With the years of training I had attained, getting into the residence was easy. But where to begin my war would be a tricky situation.

First, I looked for Kamada’s generator. Living in a nation like Japan, a powerful man like Kamada needs to keep a generator just in case electricity fails on him. So a good spot to put timed explosives would be to place it into the generator. Not only would the generator provide a bang, but it would also take out most of Kamada’s men. After I finished setting that up, I began to leave little explosives set on the perimeter of the property.

I next made my way into Kamada’s motor pool. He’s had this yearning to collect classic and vintage cars and mix it up with some of the new ones. He does have an interesting collection: a 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback, ’65 Corvette, Yenko Camaro, 1997 Toyota Supra, ’72 Monte Carlo, Pinifarina Ferrari Mythos, three Nissan Skylines, and many others. What I always enjoyed about car aficionados like Kamada is that his cars are not just ready to be traveled in at all times, they are most likely spiked with nitrous. I open up two cars and check under their hoods, NOS, everywhere. I guess if you haven’t noticed, I have a penchant for explosives. I find that blowing things up makes things easier for me, especially if I’m doing a one against three hundred kinda thing. I hoped Kamada would like fireworks because it was gonna rain like Independence Day on his candy ass.

One thing I learned also is cars that are modeled before the 1980s have extremely hard shells. In fact, some of them have been known to be bullet proof. So I couldn’t resist the temptation of taking Kamada’s black Mustang for a ride. It’s not like he would be using it after I was done with him anyways.

I carried out my plan much like how Hitler ran the blitzkrieg. I know, Hitler is probably the worst example to use in this case. God knows I hated what he did, too. But the man knew his shit. He was a military genius. Plan A for the blitz was to bomb the enemy until they shitted their pants in fear of getting blown up. When I began my onslaught, I set off every single one of my explosives while quoting Macbeth: “And Duncan's horses--a thing most strange and certain beauteous and swift, the minions of their race, turn'd wild in nature, broke their stalls, flung out, contending 'gainst obedience, as they would make war with mankind.” I didn’t give a shit about them, I wanted them all dead.

Phase two of the blitz was to open fire on them like there was no tomorrow. This is where the Mustang came in handy, I was armed with three types of firearms, an AK-47, an Uzi, and a SCAR, all of which was automatic and could fire round after round with ease. So why did I steal Kamada’s Mustang? I’m crazy, not stupid. I needed it as a shield. I took my shots while I was in the car so that no one could hit me. When I made sure I dispatched of all my competition, I headed straight for Kamada’s lair.

Phase three of the blitz was hand to hand combat. It was time for me to get down and dirty. So what better way to make a splashing entrance than ramming your car into a wall? I rammed the Mustang into the wall and launched myself out through the door. The Mustang broke perfectly and I opened fire on the car’s gas tank and BOOM! That took out about twenty of them. The next twenty came with ease since they were obvious amateurs with firearms. They were probably practicing to use their guns when Kamada first gave them one about a few years ago. I’ve been mastering my precision for nearly a decade. That’s why I can hit them and they can’t hit me. When I ran out of clips, I took out my beloved katana and laid waste with them. Maybe they were afraid of me, maybe they didn’t think a gun could kill me, but whatever it was they allowed me to get right up to them and kill them right there. I almost pitied them, if I had a heart.

I made my way into Kamada’s room and there he was, the cocky son of a bitch didn’t even move out of his seat. He just sat there sipping his red wine like a connoisseur in one of those Food Network shows. It made me want to kill him a shit load more.

“So I guess you came after me, huh,” he asked, that silly smirk on his face stretching out to his ears. God I would love to slap that look outta his face.

“You know, Jason, you have been a pain in my ass. I have your family killed, you live. I try to get you killed, you live. I sent my best men for you and you still live. You’re like this fuckin’ cockroach that just won’t die, gaijin! And because of that, I have had to wash my hands from the blood of my niece and now the blood of my brother because of you. I didn’t want to kill Takeru and Keiko, but my brother knew the price of not having your white-ass killed. You really do piss me off. And I intend to take care of that problem now - boys.”

When I walked into the middle of the room, I found myself surrounded by about twenty SWAT policemen. Yeah, Yakuza definitely owns the cops. They were laced with Kevlar, even had helmets and shit. I was impressed, he did want me dead. I threw two daggers, one at the guy at my twelve o’clock and one at my six o’clock, because people usually lose control of their nerves when they get stabbed in the neck and by hitting them there, they involuntarily open fire. They killed themselves in a matter of seconds, just because of two guys’ nerves.

When I finally walked up to Kamada, he pulled out a gun on me, which was dispatched. You can’t handle a gun if you don’t have an arm. I walked towards him and I began telling him a story.

“Yamato, do you read much literature? Because I am big on literary stories, short stories, actually. I think I’ve read the majority of the classics out there and I thought I would share a story with you.” As I spoke to him, he was yearning to make his way out of the room, but with each inch he gained, I began to cut off a limb. “Yamato, it’s rude to leave when someone’s talking to you. Anyway, the story goes that this guy, Monterssor, was insulted by this dude, Fortunato. Fortunato made quips and rumors about Montressor and well my boy had enough. And being that Fortunato was big on wine, much like you are, he lured him into a catacomb. What’s a catacomb, you say, well, it’s like an underground tunnel. It’s creepy and dark. But my boy promised Fortunato that by the end of their walk into the cavern, there would be a cask of Amontillado, the finest wine in Italy.”

Kamada was still. I don’t know whether it was a fear of me or whether he was planning something. So I decided to kick him around during the story. I then dragged his body back near his table and I settled myself for a glass of his wine.

“Like I said, they were in this little catacomb and Montressor started to get Fortunato drunk throughout the walk. Until finally…” I could feel Kamada’s a part of his body reaching up my leg, he was begging. I kicked him off. “Finally, they reach a wall. What Montressor did then was he lured Fortunato into a little hole in the wall telling him that the wine was there. Fortunato entered and well, he was so drunk he couldn’t really get out. Keep in mind, Fortunato had a cold, the cavern was cold. You know. But finally, my man started to cover up the hole with bricks and Fortunato became trapped. And you know what: he left him there.”

Kamada was barely moving when he asked me what the hell was the point of my story. I told him that the point was that I was not someone to be played around with. I was getting sick and tired of this whole Yakuza life and killing my family, screwing with me, and taking the one person I love away from me was enough. Finally, I raised my blade and I told Kamada: “Montressor had a quote on his arm, nemo me impune lacessit.” That was the end of it.

The Voice had sat in the room silent throughout the conversation. He did not blink once; neither did he say a single word. Each part of the Eyes’ tale became important to him. This is something that can’t be scripted, yet at the same time, it scared the hell out of him.

“So why did you want to tell me this,” the Voice asked.

“Because the story needs to be told, Kenji. And with you being a reporter, I trust that you will let the story be heard,” the Eyes responded. He looked clearly at the eyes of Kenji Fukiwara, the number one journalist in Japan.

“Agreed. But what will you do now? You can’t run when this story gets out.”

“I know. I had that taken care of.”

Kenji laughed at Jason’s comment. “How did you have that done, line the place up with explosives?”

Jason smiled, “hardly, as we speak this place is lined up with every single type of law enforcement agent from every branch of this government. I’m willing to bet there’s CIA, FBI, and Interpol involved, too.”

The shattering sound of Jason’s news sent a chill through Kenji’s spine. He looked outside the door and he saw a search copter. Jason wasn’t bluffing.

“That’s suicide, Jason! You go out there, you’re nailed with the death penalty!”

Jason stood up, he knew this. He walked straight into Kenji’s face. “The life given to me has its price. I guess even the Yakuza can’t be attacked without impunity. But even so, my sins need to be atoned.”

As Kenji Fukiwara watched Jason Maxwell being marched in by the authorities, he couldn’t help but feel a slight pity for a man who has had to live his life as a pawn to a chess game that no one will ever understand. Jason Maxwell is just another casualty of the society we live in, one in which people kill others to gain power. But with the tape in his hand, Kenji Fukiwara would immortalize Jason’s story forever. The tattoo on his back, the symbol of immortality, had in fact been solidified.



Gaijin-Japanese slang for someone who is Caucasian, much like how Hispanic people call white people “Gringo”.

Stockholm’s syndrome-condition in which those who are kidnapped become dependent on their kidnappers.

Katana-Japanese samurai swords.

Illegal Economy.com.

Crime Library.

Shinobi-ninja warrior.

The Art of War

Irrezumi-Yakuza tattoo, Introduction to Yakuza Japanese.

Illegal Economy.

Shakespeare-Julius Caesar.

Steinbeck-The Grapes of Wrath

Shinigami-Japanese death god.

Lao Tzu.

Yakuza Hair.

Shakespeare-Macbeth.

From Rackets to Real Estate, Yakuza Multifaceted

Trafficking of Filipino Women to Japan: Examining the Experiences and Perspectives of Victims and Government Experts

From Rackets to Real Estate, Yakuza Multifaceted.

Seppuku-honorary suicide.

Crime Library.

Yakuza:Japan’s Criminal Underworld.

Ross-Scene IV, Macbeth-Shakespeare.

Cask of Amontillado.

Nemo me empune lacessit-no one attacks without impunity.


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