Pest Control

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Even after Tyson's food, he ate two servings of hospital fare and the thickest chocolate milkshake they would give him. It was calories he craved, and some floating little person in his head, that he always imagined looked a lot like Tyson, wondered if this was what it was like to have pregnancy cravings.

Afterwards, he passed out, barely having the energy to make sure his blade was held tightly in his hand. He had slept holding it many times before and knew he wouldn't let go, no matter how much he may toss and turn.

When he woke up sometime in the middle of the night, he at first didn't know what had woken him. That was, until he saw the dark figure doing a poor job at hiding in the shadows of his darkened hospital room.

He slowly clenched the launcher he had hid beneath his pillow.

"Leave or die," he said, forcing his voice calm and steady.

"Come willingly or unwillingly," the other said, even quieter than him.

Kai narrowed his eyes. "Sorry, but I don't feel like walking anywhere."

The man's arm jerked into motion at the same time Kai did. In one move he had Dranzer on and his fingers on the rip cord, but what the man pulled out wasn't a blade. He threw his fist to the floor, faint white smoke vanished half-way through the air, and Kai's vision went opaque. He caught his breath, clung to his consciousness, desperately felt out for the muscles that would set Dranzer free...but it all slipped away.

When he came to, not only was he once more ravenous, but his arms, legs, and face throbbed in great burning waves of pain, though it was especially pronounced in his tightly bandaged right leg where the assassins had cut him days before. It was almost as though his burns had been returned to him.

He saw a utilitarian, cement ceiling, lit by blander naked bulbs. Gagging at the taste in his mouth, probably whatever leftovers of what they had used to knock him out, he rolled over and retched.


He reeled himself back, beating control into every spasming muscle his focus could reach, and rolled to a sitting position to see the speaker.

And found himself staring at a rather unremarkable man. He was of the usual Japanese breed, with dark hair, slanted eyes, and pinched, olive colored skin. The strange bulky cape thingy he wore on his back like some elongated turtle shell was new though. He wore the perfect uniform Kai would have picked for breaking into the mansion: a tight fitting, long sleeved turtle neck, well-fitted cargo pants, and flexible skin tight shoes, all in black. Against the pale gray surroundings of the cement basement they were in, his captor, as he presumed he was, stood out like a great gash into space.

The dark man gave him an ugly, twisted grimace. "I'm not going to be able to talk to you with that noise still in my ears. Please, if you're going to puke, let me know so I can leave in time."

Kai wiped at his mouth, more to get a feel for the state of his body without looking away from his foe than to clean anything from it. He was still in the hospital gown, which was demeaning. His skin was cold, so he hadn't been in contact with someone else for a while, so how long had the other man been standing there? Knowing would tell Kai precious information about his personality.

"Go on," said the man, flapping a hand at him. "Ask me what I want. We got to do this right, don't we?"

"What are you talking about?"

"You know, the usual script. 'Who are you, what do you want?' I say something diabolical, give you my evil plan right off the back, maybe cackle a bit. Or would you rather we cut to the chase?"

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