Okuyama leaned on his cane, looking after the two cars leaving the garage with a thoughtful look. One of the cars wouldn’t return. Forcing himself out from his stupor he aimlessly let his gaze wander around the garage he was standing in. If it had been up to Okuyama they would have ended up locking Tanaka into a steel drum instead of letting him go. But Sato had insisted letting him meet up with the humans on this obviously pointless meeting with the Health Ministry was the better solution, explaining it would help them achieve plans set in the future.
In Okuyama’s ears the idea had sounded too vague to be a good decision, a steel drum would simply have been the safer option. With Tanaka having become more and more unstable in his behaviour and unreliable in even the most threatening situations it would have been nice to know he would pose no further threat to them.
Okuyama shook his head. Sato could be so sentimental at times, feelings clouding over his mind despite better judgement. It was a pity but what could be done?
More importantly, Okuyama needed to focus on his part in the upcoming operation. That’s why he was still standing in the garage in the first place, waiting. He put his hand into the pocket of his tracksuit jacket, feeling himself calm down by the smooth surface and weight of the gun he was carrying with him. A precaution, nothing else, but a comfort to have with him anyway. After all he had picked the humans for today’s operation very carefully. Any of them turning out to be a traitor, it would be extremely unlikely. But not impossible, so Okuyama wanted to be on the safe side.
He was still thinking about those things when he could see the car showing up in the distance, driving towards their place. Their thirteenth new participant had arrived. The one supposed to help Okuyama. The car halted, parking in front of the garage instead of driving into it. The driver got out of the car, nodding towards Okuyama.
Okuyama was still holding onto the handgun, hidden in the pocket of his tracksuit jacket. “You’re Kimura-san, I believe?”
“Exactly.” Kimura walked closer and now Okuyama could see that he looked just as tense as Okuyama felt. “I was ordered to come here by ‘The Immemorial Nodens’. Though I assume that’s not your true name?”
Hearing his online handle Okuyama briskly shrugged his shoulders. “It’s Okuyama.”
“It’s good you’ve arrived. We have quite the busy schedule ahead of us. And it needs to go fast.” Okuyama turned around, gesturing towards the entrance. “Please come inside.”
Kimura nodded and went along. Okuyama led him to the second floor, unlocking a door to one of its many rooms. He gestured at the bags and equipment placed on the floor. “First of all we have to move place, right now. It’s as simple as that. Please carry the stuff located here into the car, in the meanwhile I still need to get some things ready.”
Kimura looked surprised but immediately started carrying the first few items out of the room. “A move, huh?”
Maybe Okuyama needed to fill him in on some more details. He clarified: “There’s a high chance the location of this place will be getting found out soon. So we quickly need to move to another place.” Okuyama felt his badly suppressed irritation bubble up again. Seriously, the entire hassle with yet another move could have been avoided by locking Tanaka away. If Sato didn’t want to lock him into a barrel then why not sedate Tanaka and keep him in a locked room? As long as he was just no longer a threat to them; it was obvious he would feel no qualms of ratting them out to the enemy given the opportunity. During the Forge operation he couldn’t even have been bothered of staying with them when danger was present, leaving them alone during an ongoing battle. There was no reason to believe he would behave any more reliable now with them having parted their ways.
Understanding showed up in Kimura’s eyes. “I see. I will do my best to get as swiftly done with everything as possible.”
Okuyama nodded. “Thank you.” With this he walked towards the room he had set up his computers and stuff, beginning get them ready to be moved. With Tanaka still around until now he hadn’t be able to do that earlier, after all it was supposed to stay a secret everyone else was preparing to leave this place. Okuyama sighed. Such a hassle. At least Kimura made the same impression he had left on Okuyama when they had been interacting online: He seemed to be reliable and earnest. Easy to work with. Okuyama just prayed this impression wouldn’t change.
Packing everything into the car and getting ready to leave had felt surprisingly fast, Okuyama thought while Kimura started the engines of the car. Maybe it was because Okuyama meanwhile had experience with sudden and quick moves, being forced to do so right after the Forge operation, with only Gen and Takahashi to help him. Of course they had been alone for that too with Tanaka having them suddenly deserted like that, Okuyama thought, bitterly recalling the memory. He looked out of the car window, seeing how their old hideout grew smaller and smaller the more the distance towards it grew. Well, their stay in the abandoned love hotel had been a short one after all.
Kimura’s voice shook him out of his musings. “Okuyama-san? So, we need to get on the highway, and then north, is this right?”
“Yes. Exactly like that, yes.” Right, presently there were more important issues to focus on. Today’s operation was just about to start. At least Kimura honestly seemed to be reliable. And the truth was, his presence had been needed. Moving house entirely on his own, with his ill leg, it wouldn’t have been possible this fast, he had to admit this to himself if only reluctantly so. Suppressing a sigh Okuyama forced himself to think of something to start a bit of conversation with. He wasn’t really good with small talk but now that they had to work with each other during this entire day it seemed important to find a good basis to do so. “So, I hope you’re not disappointed you’re having to help with a mundane move instead of being involved in the main operation, Kimura-san?”
For a moment Kimura seemed surprised. Then he started laughing, only slightly so but genuinely. When he started talking the last bit of his lingering tension seemed to have disappeared. “Not at all. I’m happy I can help you to bring your movement towards its goal. It’s for you to decide where I or anyone else fits in best.”
Hearing this Okuyama felt how his mind was becoming more at ease as well. “Well, that’s good then. Rest assured though, the most exciting thing for today is still to come yet. Though we will spend our times in front of computers mostly.”
“I’m prepared to adapt to whatever.”
“Wonderful.” Okuyama turned his head, studying the landscape outside of the car. There was a specific reason he had decided to use Kimura for moving house instead of letting him get involved in battle: Okuyama meanwhile had the strong suspicion Kimura might be an ajin himself. There was no way to say for sure but judging from his research and background check of their new allies he had gotten the feeling. It was just, compared to the other twelve humans Okuyama had send to Iruma base Kimura seemed to take the entire matter so personal.
Or maybe it really was just coincidence after all. In any way his motives to support them seemed to be genuine and in the end that was all that mattered. And if Okuyama’s suspicions proved to be true and Kimura was a fellow ajin, then well, pressuring him into admitting anything would make no sense. He might admit in time.
Once they had arrived at their new hideout things just continued being stressful. They had to unpack and install Okuyama’s computers and technical devices as quick as possible; at this point his only connection to Sato and the others were his mobile phone and a laptop. But this day continued being cooperative, for once everything went smoothly. Just a short time after arriving the most important devices were already running, making sure Okuyama could not only call Takahashi and Gen but support them with advice and information as well.
Until now Kimura had hesitantly hovered in the background, obviously afraid to be a disturbance to Okuyama. Realizing this Okuyama made sure to give him a friendly look. “Why don’t you come over and have a look? The operation is advancing as planned so far.”
Kimura stepped closer, looking at the various screens. “So everything’s going well?”
“Yes, let’s hope it stays like that. Today’s offering a rare chance after all.”
The expression in Kimura’s eyes got sharper, the small smile displaying on his lips looking as absentminded as it was content. “Once we have it the people in charge will be forced to take the demands of ajin more seriously. Instead of hunting them down.” The tone is his voice had been bitter, fuelling on Okuyama’s suspicions. Ajin or not, Kimura took matters atypically personal.
Inside of him Okuyama felt slight excitement bubble up. Arriving here and setting everything up had been a hassle but now the fun was about to start. “The government will be forced to react in some way, yes.”
“Hard to ignore the abc, yes.”
Okuyama raised his index finger, clarifying: C only. They no longer store atomic and biological weapons at Iruma.”
“Oh. That’s a pity”, Kimura said, sounding disappointed.
Okuyama could sympathize with the feeling. Oh, could he sympathize. “Unfortunately. But I guess that one option will already be threat enough.”
Kimura nodded in agreement. With this the two of them continued doing their best to support Sato and the others from afar. Their operation to obtain chemical weapons had just started after all.