"Who is Wraith?" he demanded of the young woman before him.
Of all the so-called Ground Zero survivors and their families, she was the first he had seen face-to-face since just after that first horrible night, the night that first Domino City, then Japan, then the world came to realize what kind of trouble they were in.
She leveled a steady glare at him, similar if not better than ones her brother had turned on him over a year ago. "Kaiba-san, it would be better to say 'Who are Wraith?'."
Subtle grammatical difference, yes, but this time it made a huge difference in meaning. "Wraith is more than one person then. Good to know."
Yet everyone who had been sent to him by Wraith had given him nearly identical, if completely vague, descriptions of Wraith. Brothers, perhaps? But he didn't know any set of brothers who fit the general qualifications he knew of: nearly identical appearance, able to operate in complete stealth, and knew him well enough to send all these people here.
"Wraith is two people," Kawai Shizuka confirmed. "I only met one of them though." She frowned, and the expression struck his tired mind as being between cute and her loser brother's scowls when he was one-upped. "I'm surprised you haven't figured out who they are yet, Kaiba-san."
It would be wrong to turn the best glare in his rather prestigious arsenal loose on a mere slip of a girl, no matter if all those annoying behaviors apparently had managed to run in her family, so he settled for his third worst one. "In case it escaped your notice, I happen to spend much of my time keeping the people here and at Kaibaland alive. I don't have time to hunt down clues throughout the city."
She frowned, apparently liking being one-upped just as much as her brother, but there was no arguing that particular known fact. The earth was dying, everything was going to hell in short order, and Kaiba Seto was the only thing holding parts of the city together.
"Like I said, I only met half of Wraith, but..." She trailed off, glancing nervously around his office, as if someone might be skulking in a corner listening in obscurity, waiting for the name.
Impatiently, he gestured her to come closer, rising to his feet and leaning towards her over his desk. "Who is Wraith?" he repeated.
She leaned close enough that he could feel her breath on his skin. When she said the name, it was barely louder than a breath: "Bakura Ryou."
14 May 2008
Apparently the updates here will continue to be sporadic at best. Between two jobs and waiting to do the editing on the book, my time has been utterly swamped. This actually got written during a bout of insomnia last night around 2 a.m. Don't you just love nights like that?
Tucked away in my flash drive, I have three novellas that I started on a few years ago and always meant to finish: "The Haunting" (which is currently sitting at about 3500 words and maybe 10 done), "Third Chance" (which is pending a rewrite, but is currently about 2900 words), and the long awaited "Vidi" (which still needs to be completed, but is currently about 3300 words). I'm still planning on finishing all of them, along with "Automatic Paranoia", from the Endless Loop series. Speaking of Endless Loop, the series is not abandoned. It will, however, be taking a new direction upon its continuance. Route 666 and Panic Attack will complete Season One, and Season Two will begin with Virtual Insanity. More updates on what's going on will be in these author's notes as stories progress.
Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me!