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Stockholm Syndrome

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"Ready, Imaizumi?"


"Yeah. Beginning Intrusion."


Those were the last words I remember telling before I fell straight into this pit of darkness. My body felt so stiff, so limp and unconscious, but my mind wasn't. It barely even remembered the last few hours before the mission began. I only remember Yuuka's voice from the intercom, but with violent static interruptions that frenzied out on me partway the assignment. I tried to holster my weapon properly despite the fear of how the mission would backfire, and in minutes I felt a hand snake around my head and---

"Y-Yuuka!" My eyes flew open and I'm still within darkness. My left arm was numb under my entire upper half's weight; cold skin pressed against cold ground. I shook my head as I tried to feel the earpiece inside my ear, but it was empty.

I can't help but pant at how hot it felt inside... this room. Despite my eyes getting blocked by a thin sheet of cloth wrapped around my head, a vague image of the place appeared inside my brain.


"The location is an old, rundown camp just outside the city, Imaizumi. Are you sure you're up for it?"


"Why wouldn't I be? I've went through worse."


"Don't underestimate the Outcasts as most of them are tactical thieves and dangerous criminals. Even our organization weren't able to fully subjugate the security nor scan the entire building's parameters."


I sensed a hint of concern in Yuuka's voice.

As I placed the last magazine inside of one of its holsters, Yuuka holds both my shoulders tightly in her grasp as she sternly looked at me in the eye.


"You are set to eliminate two high-profile criminals located inside the area. You can back out if you want, we'll just send Shida and Hirate instead."


I smiled as I held her hand on my shoulder. "They're on a break, remember? Besides, do you remember who you're talking to?"


Yuuka nods. "But this is the first time you took on a high-ranked mission, right?"


"Then that just means I'm getting better, Yuuka. I promise I'll be back in one piece."


Clearly I have underestimated the probability of getting caught in one of their traps inside the camp. I'm a hundred percent sure Yuuka is dead worried and might have requested Chief to send reinforcements, or even worse, re-shuffle my assignment at a different base other than the headquarters.

My trail of thoughts we're jammed as a flash of white light blinded my eyes from the blindfold, blurry figures of two people in front of me. One crouched to my eye level while the other just stood, towering over me. "I see you're awake now." A soft, cunning voice starts. I squinted and shook my head to help my vision return to normal. The girl smiled. "Still sleepy?"

Frowning was a necessary reaction. My arms were about to reach out and strangle but it was restrained. "G-Ghng.." The girl chuckles and stares at me as I scuffled the chains that binded my wrists tightly behind by back. My stomach dropped at the realization of the terror I'm in, and in a few moments I instantly knew who these two were.


I can't believe I'll be played along the palms of the hands of such filthy criminals.


"So, what brings you here, Imaizumi-san?"