“I didn’t expect it’d be you.”
Akira feels a cocky grin tug at the corners of his lips. Makoto was right. She couldn’t resist interrogating me. He glances up at the security camera as subtly as he can and nods.
And if the camera nods back, well, at least Niijima-san doesn’t see it.
He hears Niijima-san gast and follows her eyeline to the syringe on the floor. “Those bastards…”
“You cop friends didn’t think they could handle me,” Akira says, channelling all of his Joker confidence. “I suppose I should feel flattered.”
“Do you have any idea what kind of situation you’re in right now?” Niijima-san snaps.
Akira starts ticking off fingers. “Well, I’ve been double crossed by a teammate, arrested, broken my original probation for assault, been beaten and drugged senseless so I have no hope of escaping on my own, and forced to sign a lengthy confessions positively rife with inaccuracies. That sound about right?”
“Don’t you even care that you could end up in prison for the rest of your life?”
“Oh, I care. But if you think I’m guilty, and you do, I’m already done. Japan is too proud of their conviction rate to risk their reputation for someone like me.” He hardens his voice a little. “I was raised by a cop. I know how this goes.”
“And you intend to prove your innocence to me?” Niijima-san sounds incredulous.
Akira nods. “Starting with those inaccuracies I mentioned.”
She crosses her arms. “Enlighten me, then.”
“The obstruction charge is bullshit. We never interfered in police investigations or lied when asked direct questions. We got blackmailed, but never blackmailed anyone else. Defamation only counts if what we said was a lie, but everything we said about our targets was true. All of our weapons came from an airsoft store; I have the receipts at home. And we didn’t kill Okumura Kunikazu.”
“You do realize I can’t just take you at your word, right?”
“Isn’t this an interrogation? I’m an open book, Prosecutor-san. Ask me anything.”
“Then tell me about the initial assault charge that led you to Tokyo in the first place.”
“I tried to save a woman from a man who was harassing her. I pushed the man, and he sued me. It was hard to handle, of course…”