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              Well, this was one way to spend Christmas Eve, wasn't it? Not exactly the familial or neighborly gathering you had been hoping for, but it was exciting nonetheless. Exciting just might be a bit of an understatement. Guests were cramped shoulder to shoulder in the main lobby of Nakatomi Plaza, clinging to one another as they glanced around the open room with nervous eyes. A group of unfamiliar men stood towards the front, heavy and clearly expensive artillery slung over their shoulders as a simple reminder of who exactly was in charge of the party now. One man in particular stood out amongst the others, dressed clad in a high end pants suit that wept purely of unadulterated money and style. You knew plenty of men who bathed in piles of cash and flashed their wealth proudly to everyone around them, but he seemed classier than that.

"....Where is Mr. Takagi?" He spoke with a low rumble of a voice, the velvet enunciation of his words dripping from the tip of his tongue in a clean cut European accent. German, it appeared to be.

You stood slightly off to the side and in the front of the crowd, glancing back over your shoulder as you scanned the room for the wanted man. Mr. Takagi had hired you not that long ago as a way of promising your father the job would keep you off the streets. Even as old as you were, freshly 26 and well acquainted with the darker aspects of adulthood, your father still worried about you. It didn't phase you all that much, though, as he had been the main reason for your leaving home right after turning eighteen.

You were but a mere office assistant, often making coffee and lunch runs for the higher ups of the company. You were nothing of importance yet here you stood, held hostage at a Christmas Eve party by a bunch of Germans. Could be worse.

"Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi. Born, Kyoto 1937. Family immigrated to San Pedro, California in 1939..."

The man, stood much taller than most everyone else in the room, continued on as he took slow and calculated steps into the crowd of terrified people. Everyone kept quiet, not daring to utter a single word as his booming voice echoed and bounced off the shiny marble floor. He inched forward in your direction and you couldn't stop yourself no matter how hard you tried from darting your gaze over toward Mr. Takagi behind you, then right back up to the towering and intimidating man.

He clearly took note of your panicked actions and easily followed the trail of your lingering stare with his own, landing on his target and gripping him by the arm with his own large hand. You watched as he brought your boss up to the front, but he suddenly stopped and spun himself around on the heel of his shoe. That's when you two finally met eyes. Shit.

His head slowly tilted to the side and a devious smirk faintly tugged at the corner of his lips. He gave a sharp nod and one of the other men rushed forward, gripping you by the shoulders and yanking your forward with a harshness that was sure to leave bruises behind. You knew not to fight it, allowing him to twist your arms behind your back and pin your wrists together, holding you in stern place.

The man in charge didn't speak for much longer before him, Mr. Takagi, and you were all in tow toward the nearest elevator at the end of the hallway. It was cramped to say the least and the only noise to be heard amongst all of you was low humming, tune unrecognizable to you. The steel doors opened and each of you marched down the adjacent hallway and toward an empty office, the unnamed man gripping your wrists harshly as he kept you off to the side.

Mr. Takagi was at one end of a rounded table while the same man from earlier sat at the other end, posture relaxed and hands crossed at the belt of his waist. Clearly, he had no intentions of leaving without getting what he wanted and it was plain and clear that he knew exactly how to get it.

Money. It was money he wanted. $640 million in negotiable bearer bonds and somehow, you weren't all that surprised. He struck you as the kind of man to play big and play hard, no run-of-the-mill bank robbery type of shit. You knew Mr. Takagi well enough to expect him not to give up the codes and with how things were going so far, would not end up well for him.

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