Interview of Nakahara Nobu by Officer Suyuki, Intelligence Brief 271-28-00-2199, Police Case #40511255, March 25, 2174:
Suyuki: First of all, I’m sorry for the loss of your brother.
Nakahara: Gorou, Gorou… thank you, officer, but god, was that boy an idiot.
Suyuki: An idiot?
Nakahara: Trusted people a little too much, if you know what I mean. Quirkless, desperate to be liked… I loved him, I loved him, but he wasn't the, ah, the sharpest knife.
Suyuki: Quirkless? But he had a quirk. What was it… Void Cheek?
Nakahara: (Laughs) What a name, what a name. Effectively quirkless, late bloomer. The mindset sticks, you know?
Suyuki: Sure. Okay, did you know any of his acquaintances?
Nakahara: I wouldn't say that I knew them well. He didn't really bring them by.
Suyuki: So you couldn't identify his fellow bank robbers?
Nakahara: I'm afraid not, officer, I'm afraid not. But, ah, I'm sure they'll turn up sooner or later. (Laughs)
Bank - undeveloped - why? Hiding something? What to hide - devastation total, money likely gone
something missing that would be expected
- Note on scrap of paper, written September 19 by Midoriya Izuku, tucked into Unsolved Mysteries, Vol. 2
From: Sir Nighteye <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Centipeder <email@example.com>, Awata Kaoruko <firstname.lastname@example.org>, 18 others
Subject: URGENT - Missing Analyst
You're all off your cases and on this one unless your case is exceedingly time-sensitive or you're in charge of an undercover operation.
Midoriya-kun has gone missing. It's likely that he was checking out a lead like the problem child that he is and he ran afoul of something.
He seems to have had a breakthrough concerning the identity of “Boss”, who appears to be Nakahara Nobu, the elder brother of the well-known bank robber Nakahara Gorou. Something about that case caused him to go haring off without informing anyone. I've taken possession of his notebooks and case files and Centipeder and I will analyze them. Anyone in Chiba, call your contacts and ask around. Anyone at HQ, look into the old bank heist case. What did Midoriya-kun find?
Osamu: How are you holding up?
Inko: Don’t waste your time on me.
Inko: Bring him home.
Osamu: We’ll make it to dinner on Thursday
Osamu: I promise
Transcript of conversation between Sir Nighteye (HID: 8082956) and Eraserhead (HID: 6661845), September 19, 2178 at 11:13pm, Police Case #00289910:
Nighteye: Give me some good news.
Aizawa: Don’t have much of that. Give me that chair - I haven’t been sitting in cushy abandoned warehouses all day.
Nighteye: Were you followed?
Aizawa: No, but you can check if you want to be sure.
Nighteye: You’ll be fine undercover. We’re safe.
Aizawa: Did you see….
Nighteye: No, but keep an eye out.
Aizawa: (sighs) It’s a gambling ring. Illegal fights, outcomes of broadcasted hero fights, races, the usual. I think there’s something more to it, though. Trafficking? There’s definitely an export of drugs to somewhere - they could be transporting more than that.
Nighteye: I hope we’re not looking at trafficking. Fuck.
Aizawa: I don’t have confirmation of that. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Nighteye: Did he say anything to you? Anything at all?
Aizawa: He thought he recognized Nakahara’s voice and he had a bad feeling about it. The real mystery is why he had watched interviews from that case. The bank is in Funabashi, right?
Nighteye: What’s left of it, yes. In the incident that killed Nakahara Gorou, half of the bank collapsed in on itself. It’s likely his quirk went out of control for some reason.
Aizawa: Did you check out the bank?
Nighteye: First thing we did. It’s still a ruin. There’s no sign that Midoriya was there. We even asked Hound Dog to come in from UA. He didn’t catch his scent.
Aizawa: (hums) What would Problem Child do in this situation?
Nighteye: What do you mean?
Aizawa: I’ve only known Midoriya-kun for a week, but I’ve noticed that the kid doesn’t just think outside the box, he doesn’t seem aware of the concept of a ‘box’. He definitely reached this point in his investigation - Nakahara Nobu, destroyed bank, missing money, missing bank robbers.
Nighteye: He found the robbers - popped up in a lake two weeks later.
Aizawa: Of course he did. Alright, did he follow that lead?
Nighteye: No, no, wait. Destroyed bank. In central Funabashi.
Nighteye: He’d ask - why wasn’t it repurposed? Who owns that property? It’s worth a fair amount of money, and it’s not a bad location. Why is it still a ruin?
Aizawa: Sounds like him.
Nighteye: Yes, it does. Aizawa, thank you for your help.
Aizawa: Don’t thank me. It’s my job.
Aizawa: Get him back safely.
Excerpt from “A Changing Profile of Pharmocology” by Edwin J. Hume
As human body chemistry has diversified, so have the chemical structures of the substances that we choose to put into our bodies. One of the most popular drugs of the last decade, Slip Slider, or Double S, was originally derived from methyl bromide. Methyl bromide was toxic because of its interaction with a class of enzymes (glutathione S-transferases) that produced a undesirable byproduct. As quirks were emerging, scientists were already noting that workers exposed to methyl bromide had widely different outcomes depending on their specific subtype of GSTs.
If you gave Double S to an average person in the 1980s, they would have most certainly have died, but give Double S to someone today, and they will likely get very, very high. The cause for such a change is unknown, but the ramifications of it can be felt throughout Japan. While most people nowadays are resistant to methyl bromide, there have been a handful of cases involving unfortunate people stumbling upon a Double S production site and succumbing to the toxic methyl bromide fumes.
Izuku’s notes, recorded in Quirk Science Vol. 2: All cases were quirkless ppl. SS linked to quirks like toe joint? Look at SS distribution patterns + unexplained quirkless deaths.
From: Awata Kaoruko <email@example.com>
To: Sir Nighteye <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Centipeder <email@example.com>
Subject: Bank property
The bank sold the property to a construction company - Miku’s Construction, to be specific. It’s a bland name for a bland company. Everything’s aboveboard… or so it seems.
But if you look into Miku’s Construction, it seems that the company owns only a little bit of property - the bank, a handful of empty lots, and some scattered warehouses in the Keiyo Industrial Zone. Nothing has been done with any of them. Miku’s gets income from only two sources - an anonymous donor who is only known as “Hisakazu” and a monthly payment from a company that bills itself as a renovation company. It’s called Chishiki, and guess what? They have a man that looks suspiciously like Nakahara Nobu on their board of directors. I’m sending over a list of their properties.
Go get him, boys.
Izuku didn’t know how long it’d been. He was thirsty, desperately so, and hungry, and tired. He’d had to soil himself once already, and he hadn’t heard anything since they’d stuffed him down here. Not for the first time, he cursed himself for just… taking off like that. He’d been excited, high on the thrill of discovery, but if he had just paused for two seconds, texted Sir or Centipeder….
If he had, he wouldn’t be here, and the missing people who were just upstairs would have already been found and he wouldn’t have fucked this whole operation up. But he hadn’t, and all he could do was hope that the others could find what he had found.
He heard the creak of a door and the thump of booted feet on the stairs. Two pairs, one man with a pronounced limp. He could venture a guess who his visitors were.
“God, it stinks down here!”
“That’s what happens when you don’t think things out. You, ah, you get a teenager and nowhere to put him.”
The blindfold was ripped off of Izuku, and he blinked his eyes against the harsh light as he tried to focus on the two familiar faces swimming in front of him.
“If you hadn’t panicked,” continued Nakahara Nobu, “it wouldn’t have come to this, Gorou.”
Transcript of intelligence briefing led by Centipeder (HID: 1105921) and Tsukauchi Naomasa (PID: 005-580-296), September 20, 2178 at 7:00am, Police Case #00289910:
Tsukauchi: As all of you are aware, the primary analyst in this case, Midoriya Izuku, has gone missing. I just want to make it clear that it was likely a result of his investigations, and does not suggest a risk to headquarters or the integrity of this case.
Ventriloquist: I don’t quite understand - how have his reckless and stupid actions not comprised us? And why are we devoting so much energy towards this and taking our attention off the case?
Sir Nighteye: Are you seriously suggesting that we leave a 15 year old boy at the mercy of criminals?
Ventriloquist: No, of course not. I would never want to put him in such a dangerous situation. Unlike some.
Sir Nighteye: What is that supposed to mean.
Ventriloquist: You put a 15 year old in the position of primary analyst. Really, what did you expect to happen? It was a foolish thing to do. It’s been three weeks and his only major accomplishment is getting himself kidnapped. He’s worse than useless.
Sir Nighteye: You will shut your mouth. “His only major accomplishment”? Who was the person who made the connection between Takahashi Noburu - the bartender - and this underground trafficking organization? Who was the person who discovered the identity of “Boss”? Who in this room has made any progress whatsoever that was not assisted by Midoriya-kun’s observations?
Sir Nighteye: (Quietly) You may criticize his recklessness. You may castigate him for his lack of communication when it was most necessary. You may question my ability to keep him safe from harm. But never suggest that Midoriya-kun is useless, or worthless, or unworthy of the respect given to him. You all know the truth.
Centipeder: I second this, and furthermore, this whole line of conversation is entirely unproductive. Ventriloquist, sit down and shut up. You’ve wasted more of our time than Midoriya-kun ever has. Sir Nighteye, would you please present the current findings about Chishiki?
Sir Nighteye: Of course. All of you should be aware of the identity of Nakahara Nobu and his connection to the renovation company Chishiki. Bubble Girl provided me with a list of properties owned by this company. Now, we can assume that Midoriya-kun got this far in his investigations. There was a partial list of these properties scribbled in one of his notebooks. One of them caught both his attention and ours - most of the properties are industrial or in development. However, one is a house.
Cat Burglar: A house?
Sir Nighteye: Yes, that was our reaction. It seems likely that Midoriya-kun left to investigate this property.
Tsukauchi: What did he expect to find there?
Centipeder: Something “missing from the bank that would be expected”, in his words. We’re starting to put together his theory. It’s a long shot, but it seems likely that Midoriya managed to find the unlikely truth.
Sir Nighteye: Hound Dog, you’re with us. Let’s see if we can’t pick up Midoriya-kun’s scent.
“I didn't… I didn't want to, you know? I didn't want to work with heroes.”
Izuku tried to ignore the shooting pains in his chest as he desperately assessed Gorou’s expression with his one good eye.
“Why'd you hafta?” Gorou drawled, trying and failing not to look interested. When Nobu had been using Izuku as a punching bag, Gorou had laughed and laughed and laughed, until he had choked on his own spit.
“My foresight quirk… was too valuable… I wasn't given a choice….”
Gorou scowled. “Yeah, it all comes down to quirks, doesn't it. Having one or not having one… what kinda one you get. Hey kid, you like having a quirk?”
If Izuku was actually quirked, he knew what he'd say. He also knew, as a quirkless person, what he'd want to hear in “late bloomer” Gorou’s shoes.
“Honestly… I think my life… would be even shittier if I were… quirkless.”
Gorou laughed. Izuku hated the brothers’ laughs. Gorou’s was loud and grating and it always had a mean edge to it. Nobu’s was… empty. He laughed frequently, but there was never any humor behind it, just a strange cynical amusement.
“Yeah, yeah, you get it,” Gorou said. “It’s bad with a quirk but it’s worse without! At least if you have a quirk, you… ah… I don’t really know….”
“You… you matter? Either way?”
“Yeah! Yeah!” Gorou slapped Izuku on the back in his enthusiasm. Izuku cried out at the blow and his vision whited out for a brief moment. He came back to the awful sound of Gorou’s laughter.
“Sorry!” Gorou said. He didn’t sound apologetic. “But yeah, if you have a quirk, especially a real flashy one, people look at you! They notice you!”
Izuku was well aware of how his quirklessness allowed him to slip under most people’s radar. Before his internship, he’d hated it. Now, he wished he could have been just a little more invisible.
Gorou was just warming up to go on a rant when Nobu strolled into the room. Izuku forced himself to breathe through the fear. Gorou was a sadistic bully, but he was simple, easy to manipulate. Nobu was a manipulator himself. Izuku didn’t know how long his lies were going to hold up under Nobu’s determination to pry the truth out of him.
“Shut up, Gorou,” Nobu ordered, his eyes fixed on Izuku. Izuku wondered what he was seeing. He was strung up from a hook, his tethered wrists wrenched just high enough that he had to stand on his toes to take the pressure off of his shoulders. His ribs protested with every breath. His left eye was swollen shut, and he could taste the dried blood on his lips. He must have looked a mess.
“No,” Gorou whined, “but Izu-chan and I were having such a good discussion.”
Nobu laughed. “Oh, a good discussion! That’s what I came down here for.” Izuku’s breathing sped up and his heart raced in fear as Nobu drew out a thin knife from his jacket. “Let’s start at the very beginning again. I have such an awful memory, you know. Just terrible.”
The cold metal of the knife rested delicately on the curve of Izuku’s cheek, under his black eye. “Tell me again, Izu-chan - What’s a kid with a Support ID belonging to Nighteye Agency doing here in Chiba Prefecture? A little out of your scope, isn’t it?”
“We came in.... because of the body,” Izuku said. “Chiba… Chiba police didn’t think they could... handle the case alone.”
Nobu hummed. The point of the knife traced the bridge of Izuku’s nose. “And Gorou’s house had to do with that?”
“No,” Izuku gasped. He couldn’t shake his head. “That was… I saw it, with my quirk.”
“Ah yes, that… ah, what was it? A mild foresight quirk? Just like Sir Nighteye’s! What, ah, what providence!”
“No, I can’t… I can’t choose, not like him. It’s… I get directed towards things that... might be important.”
The blade of the knife dug into his cheek. He gasped into the pain. Blood trickled down the line of his jaw.
“Important? Why do you think you ended up, ah, that is, why do you think the house is important, hm?”
Izuku swallowed. “Nakahara Gorou. I… recognize him. From… from the bank heists.”
Nobu laughed. “Oh, oh, those, yes. Makes sense.”
Izuku hummed nervously in agreement.
“A good story,” Nobu said with a wide smile. It didn’t reach his eyes. “All the details in place.” The knife lightly traced looping patterns across Izuku’s face. “I certainly can’t disprove any of it.” The knife came to a halt right beneath the corner of Izuku’s right eye. “Too bad I don’t believe a word of it.”
Izuku screamed. It felt like a line of fire was drawn agonizingly down his face. The pain was overwhelming. He forced himself to open his eyes only to see Nobu holding the bloody knife, laughing and laughing, Gorou’s guffaws echoing in a sick harmony. He could feel the blood pouring down his jaw, could feel it soaking into his shirt.
“I could believe every word,” Nobu told him, tilting his head up with a gentle hand under his chin. “You see, every story is ah, a little unbelievable, right? There’s a little coincidence, a little bit of strangeness. If it’s too nice of a lie, it just, it doesn’t go down quite right, if you know what I mean.”
Izuku looked at Nobu, at his implacable expression, the blood spatters speckling his hand, the light in his one good eye. “You would have done this either way.”
Nobu stared at Izuku for a long moment before a large grin split his face. “You’re a perceptive one!” He laughed, and patted Izuku’s cheek in a gesture that would have been kind if he wasn’t touching the long slice that he had carved down Izuku’s face. Izuku whimpered. “You’re right.”
“Anyway,” the man continued, insouciant. “I’m bored of this now. Think about it, Izu-chan. Give me a better story in a while, yeah?”
He’s going to kill me, Izuku thought, as Nobu tossed the knife, stained with Izuku’s blood, onto a small table near the door. He’s going to get bored of me, and I’m going to die.
How long can I stall?
Excerpt from Quirk Analysis, Vol. 5, by Midoriya Izuku:
Notable Heroes: Sir Nighteye, Omen, Split Second, Oracle
Notable Villains: Doomsday, Anton Meissner, Wang Li Chun
Characteristics: A broad category of quirk, although rare and often dangerous - the only thing that can be said about foresight quirks in general is that they can’t be generalized. Often born out of strange lineages, foresight quirks have never been explained scientifically in a satisfactory way.
Most common are the foresight quirks that give a short burst of possible futures, not usually exceeding a day. Split Second could only see futures up to ten seconds away, which she used to her advantage in fights. Less common are foresight quirks that see vast future timelines. These place an incredible mental burden on the individual and are often uncontrollable. Oracle and Wang Li Chun are both examples of this type - Oracle worked as a hero until his mind shattered under the strain, while Wang Li Chun tried to shape the world to her visions in her insanity.
The least common type is foresight quirks where the user can adjust the length of the time seen. Sir Nighteye is the most notable example. This quirk is powerful, both in the long and the short term. It should be noted that the mental strain seems not to increase with the length of time viewed, which would be expected since more variables would have to be analyzed. This means that it is likely that the longer the future foreseen, the more likely there are to be errors.
Foresight quirks are rarely wrong, but they have been known to be fallible, either because of another’s quirk, or simply because the future is difficult to predict.
“The… the reason I... recognized… Gorou - I… lied.”
“Oh? Color me surprised.”
“Three… three people died in… the Tokyo bank heist - the one… in October. My dad… was one of them.”
“There wasn’t a Midoriya among them.”
“I… know. It’s my… mother’s maiden name.”
“And so you studied the case out of, what? Curiosity?”
“I wanted… to understand… the crime that killed… my dad.”
“What a touching story. Do you recognize me by any chance, Izu-chan?”
“You’re… his brother. I… saw the interviews.”
Izuku screamed as a matching line was cut down his other cheek.
“Better,” Nobu said, clinically watching Izuku cry painful tears into his cuts. “More interesting. You definitely know details about the case. I don’t believe the rest of it, but that’s more information than I expected.”
Izuku knew that last bit was to make him feel like a failure. It was blatant, obvious manipulation. That didn’t mean that it wasn’t effective.
Excerpt from “A Meta-Analysis of Crime in Japan” by Suyuki Yui:
Official stats from the Japanese government claim that the crime rate is currently at 6%, and has been decreasing every year since All-Might’s debut and meteoric rise to the unofficial position of the “Symbol of Peace”. However, a careful reading of the definition of a country’s “crime rate” will reveal that the term has subtly shifted since its usage in pre-quirk days. Crimes that count under this new definition are robberies, murders, arson - in short, any crime that a mainstream hero could respond to. And indeed, that’s how the government calculates this statistic - by looking at the workload of its mainstream heroes. All-Might’s tenure as the Symbol of Peace has certainly kept this crime rate low.
However, in recent years, underground heroes and the police have reported a drastic increase in the more insidious crimes - human trafficking, drug manufacturing and distribution, gambling rackets, fraud and insurance scams, and extortion and blackmail. Criminals, it seems, have not disappeared altogether, but have simply evolved ways to stay beneath the notice of mainstream heroes. This is concerning news for a heroics industry that sees more and more heroes swelling the increasingly unnecessary ranks of the mainstream side of the industry, while the underground agencies are struggling with a lack of manpower and a steadily growing burden of cases.
“I… I actually don’t… have a foresight… quirk.”
“Yes, I know.”
“Quirkless. Don’t look so surprised, kid, I can spot it at a hundred paces. You’re… ah, I can’t describe it. Like a little patch of nothingness in a vibrant world. A blemish of black on a canvas of color.”
“That’s… That’s your….”
Nobu laughed. “My quirk, yes. Handy, handy, I know. In my line of work, it’s cheating.” He laughed again, like he just told a joke that only he understood.
“That’s how… you saw….”
Nobu hummed. “That must have been puzzling, hm? For your little case, I mean. ‘How did someone abduct five quirkless people at the same time?’” he squeaked in a high voice, obviously imitating Izuku. “‘They must have stalked them for days! But no one saw anything!’ My boy,” he said, abruptly switching back to his normal voice and demeanor, “there was nothing to see.”
Izuku pretended to let realization bloom across his face. “You… you’re the one… who abducted them?”
Nobu’s face suddenly lost all expression, turning hard and flintly. He grabbed Izuku’s chin roughly, his fingers digging into the cuts on either side of Izuku’s face. “Don’t insult me,” he told Izuku, deadly calm, with no hint of humor. “Lie as much as you like, it’s entertaining. But you saw the people upstairs when we brought you down here, and there’s no way that you didn’t recognize them. Don’t think me so stupid as to buy that swill.” Tears gathered in the corners of Izuku’s eyes as Nobu rubbed the cuts with his calloused fingertips. “You might have, ah, you might have even known before Gorou caught you skulking around his place. Who knows? But you know now, and the acting is insulting. Don’t do it again, understand?” When Izuku didn’t answer immediately, he dug his fingernails into the cuts.
“Yes,” Izuku gasped. “Yes, please, I understand!”
Nobu withdrew, leaving Izuku to blink away the tears from his eyes. By the time his vision cleared, he was alone again.
Transcript of communications on Intelligence and Villain Apprehension Operation led by Centipeder (HID: 1105921) and Tsukauchi Naomasa (PID: 005-580-296), September 22, 2178 at 3:13am, Police Case #00289910:
Centipeder: Everyone in position?
(Chorus of affirmations.)
Centipeder: Let’s be clear - Midoriya Izuku’s safety is our first goal. Apprehend villains for questioning if you can, but Midoriya is the priority. I’m authorizing lethal force - use your judgement. Sir Nighteye, get in there first and assess the situation - let us know if you foresee any difficulties.
Sir Nighteye: Understood.
Centipeder: Eraserhead, we might need you and your undercover operation if things go south here. Stay back and don’t engage, but we’ll need you to deal with Nakahara Gorou if he really is… there. And alive. We don’t want a repeat of the bank.
Centipeder: Good. On my go, ladies and gentlemen.
A prophecy of Oracle, recorded on May 10, 2059 - three days before his official retirement:
Listen, it’s like - it’s like the sound of seagulls, or, or a crowd of believers confronted with… or like, the sound of gold shot through with prismatic red. Adulation and terror, something more than a man but less than a god.
It’s the lynchpin, the turning of the world. The ending of an age, a shattering, a breaking.
Who? Oh, who? Oh, he’s always been here - a silent pane of glass - distortion and shadows - unseen and seeing and blind.
What shatters? It was not meant to last.
Who shatters? Many, many. They shatter into shards and dust. The lynchpin and the heroes and those who watch - fragments of… it’s a kaleidoscope.
Izuku was jolted into awareness by the sounds of distant yelling and gunshots. He was hazy with exhaustion and pain, but tried to blink away the bleariness. He had to be ready - he had to have a lie on the tip of his tongue or Nobu would get bored, would… He shook his head to dispel the thoughts.
His individual pains had lost their definition and now his body was one, blazing ache. He could barely keep himself lucid and he knew that he’d break, this session or next session or the one after that…
There were footsteps coming down the stairs, hurried and pounding. Tears pooled at the corners of Izuku’s eyes. He couldn’t dare to hope… but what if….
The door swung open. A familiar figure was framed in the doorway.
“Izuku!” Sir Nighteye cried, and then, “I have him, I have him - Midoriya Izuku has been found and secured.”
Gratefully, finally, Izuku let himself relax into unconsciousness.