The Moment I saw my mother standing there in front of me the whole event with my father came rushing back into my active memory and I had to fight hard to avoid tearing up right then and there. Heck normally I would have done so without shame, but one look at the way my mother stood there told me that now wasn’t the time for it, and that important events were about to take place.
So instead I steadied myself , quickly brushed over the Japanese style business suite I only now fully realized I had been dressed into while I was unconscious, whipped my hand over my face just in case some remnants of my long sleep remained, quickly checked my hair in my reflection on the window, and then made the gesture for the door to open, little more than a flick of the finger with intent really.
The moment the door slit above the limousine I was hit by a harsh gust of cold air, only natural since the rooftop of the Fuyu Headquarter building was quite high up in the sky really, and steadying myself against the side of the door I pulled myself out of the car. Surprisingly the harsh wind didn’t seem to bother my mother or her hair much while mine where blowing around out of control, but then my mother always loved to have an air of authority and elegance around her when on official duty, so she most likely had fixed her hair and clothes in place somehow to prepare for it.
Since my mother was still slightly bowed I quickly bowed to her in kind as well, responding with a firm “It’s been a while Oka-san”, and with that we both rose to our full height again, my mother severely smaller than myself at no more than 1,60 meters in height. Since talking was quite hard on the rooftop and spying eyes could be everywhere my mother then instantly turned around and moved towards the rooftop access to the building, a little hut designed in the style of an old Japanese shrine. Yuki quickly came after us while the virtual Raccoon simply had vanished into thin air, and together we quickly entered the elevator that would bring us down into the more comfortable areas of the building.
The moment the elevator doors closed behind us, finally protecting us from potential spying eyes at least for a moment, I moved closer to my mother and gave her a tight hug, which she quickly returned before pulling out of it again, both of us whipping away a little tear from our eyes as we did so. “I still can’t believe it, Otou-san is dead? What happened? How are you coping? Why did no one tell me?”
Before I could rumble on my mother raised a hand in a stopping gesture “I’m sorry Ya-chan, but we couldn’t contact you about it, things are different here now, you have to understand that. Things have been set in motion, things that have been planned for a very long time in fact, and we simply couldn’t risk contacting you, you were with the ISS after all, and some even questioned your loyalty…”
Ignoring the fact that Yuki could barely contain her laughter at my mother calling me “Ya-chan”, I looked at my mother in shock and slight anger, and responded with the same tone in my voice “What do you mean? Loyalty? Were in the ISS? I still AM in the ISS in some way Ka-chan, I’m a bloody General of Yu Jing, heck Field Marshal even as you well know, you even sent me a congratulations card not too long ago if you remember…”
At my mentioning of Yu Jing, something like anger embedded itself on my mother’s face, and with a harsh tone she waved her hand aside in a sweeping gesture “Not anymore son, you are no General of Yu Jing anymore, not even a Citizen by now, your disappearance in combination with your fathers action has led to you becoming branded as a traitor by those in power who had just waited for this opportunity. As you well know they had been suspicious of you ever since you rose in power, and this was just the opportunity they needed. The ISS was already charging your house as you saw the news about your father I’ve been told, if we hadn’t extracted you like we did, you’d now be serving your so beloved ISS as one of their Kuang Shi at best, a fate which might still lie in store for all of us if things don’t work out…”
The realization of what my mother had just said hit me like a truck, I had already expected part of it really, but I didn’t have time to understand the full meaning of my father’s actions and my own disappearance for my life and that of my family and friends. “A traitor….I can’t….I need to…the Emperor! I’m sure I can explain things if given the chance…oh screw it, they never will give me a chance to….I’m doomed….we’re all doo..”
Another harsh gesture from my mother cut me short, quickly followed by her grabbing my shoulder and slightly shaking me before looking me straight in the eyes. “It matters not, we prepared ourselves for the consequences when your father decided to act like he did, and you would have been branded a traitor sooner rather than later anyways, like I said, things have been set in motion…things bigger than you or your father, bigger than our family.”
Shaking lose from my mother I rose my hands into the air in frustration, turned away and walked for two steps before realizing that I was still in the elevator, and then turned back around while throwing my hands down in anger again “What are you talking about Ka-chan? What the hell is going on?”
With a slight “Ding” the elevator stopped and its doors opened, and my question was suddenly answered by someone else outside of the elevator “You’re about to find out former Field Marshal Fuyu…we’ve been waiting for you…”
As I turned around to face the person interrupting my conversation I was surprised to find a short old man with wild grey hair and chin beard, upholding himself with a wooden walking stick dressed in a japanese style business suite not unlike myself standing right in front of me, flanked by what seemed to be two soldiers dressed in some sort of uniform in red and greys which I couldn’t assign to any unit or even army I knew of.
“Come with us please, what you are about to hear is important, and we want you to listen closely….”
The man walked away from me with the confidence of someone fully in charge, and towards a traditional Japanese looking door which, after a scan of the man, quickly slid wide open, revealing a long table with several people already sitting next to it, staring at me intently the moment I came within view of it.
Surprised and intrigued by the man’s behavior in my own families building, I followed him into the room, quickly taking in the people already waiting there. It was quite an intriguing crowd, some of the people seemed to come from a military background, while others seemed to be scientists, Kuge Delegates, and some even looked like ordinary citizens from the street, heck I could swear I even spotted a Yakuza or two among them.
They all had one thing in common though, and that was the fact that they stared at me in silence, awaiting my next move.
“Please take a seat….”
Everyone was staring at me in anticipation, and as I quickly glanced over to my mother who just gave me a confirming nod, I sighed, and then reluctantly took a seat. “This better be good….I’ve had a rough day…”
“And I’m afraid it’s going to get even rougher once you hear what we have to say…”
And with that the doors behind me closed, and my day indeed did become even rougher….
What followed was a several hours long explanation of the events which had recently been set into motion, as well as heavy emphasis on the reasons behind it.
I was shown recordings of Yu Jing Military sending Japanese Troops to their death in wasteful and meaningless ways, mere cannon fodder for the grinder in some cases. I saw recordings of court cases getting ruled in favor of Yu Jing citizens and against Japanese citizens on a regular basis, even though the culprit was more than obvious and evidence clearly showed the Japanese citizen to be innocent. I saw Japanese citizens getting spit at in the street by Yu Jing nobles, carelessly driven over by government official’s limousines during a demonstration, and even worse.
At one point I was even shown a recording of a hunting party made up of flashy dressed Yu Jing officers chasing some poor Japanese girl through the dark streets of her little town with mechanical dogs and hunting rifles like it was some kind of sport.
Propaganda to make me loath the Yu Jing, the sort one would see in the Japanese Areas of Yu Jing every now and then when the ISS wasn’t looking too closely or the Tatenokai was active in the area on that day.
I even saw the incident with Minister Fu Meng Huo which caused my father’s death, but this time depicting the Japanese units infiltrating a complex and blowing it up, as well as my own father chasing and eventually executing Minister Fu Meng Huo for his crimes. He was depicted like a hero of old, bringing retribution to an enemy of Japan, and right afterwards more videos like it where shown, operations by the Tatenokai and Kempei to save Japanese from Yu Jing oppression in all sorts of ways.
To be honest it was enough to make any proud Japanese citizen enraged with Yu Jing and swelled with pride for his own people, but I had seen most of these before, had known about these things for quite a while. It was things like these that made me want to rise in the ranks in the military, to prevent Japanese troops from getting thrown in the grinder for no reason. To maybe one day get enough influence to change things. Though obviously that was all for naught now….
After that one of the Kuge delegates started a presentation, explaining that the Tatenokai as well as the Kuge themselves have had enough of these horrible events, and have secretly plotted to undermine Yu Jing rule in Japan for quite a while now. This of course was nothing new either, everyone in Yu Jing knew that the Japanese weren’t too happy with their current situation and that there were some more violent elements among them actively plotting Yu Jing’s demise, but what was a surprise was the sheere scale of it all that presented itself to me.
From what I could see this was a very large scale operation, spanning several planets, and in some shape or form, almost all of japanese’s society was somehow involved in it, most of all the Kuge families and corporations, my own family among them. Since the Fuyu are a Samurai Clan of old, we have been part of the Kuge pretty much since their founding, though that hardly had much impact on my own life besides my early childhoods education period. In fact by the time I had hit puberty and my “wild phase” I thought I had shaken off this side of me completely, but with my recent rise to power, I had grown more and more connected with those parts of my upbringing again, and apparently it had caught up to me in full swing now….
It became obvious that what had occurred in the days before my disappearance was more than just a period of heightened Tatenokai activity like many Yu Jing intelligence officers had assumed, this was MUCH bigger than that, and it was all confirmed as the presentation came to its end and the old man suddenly stood up again and turned to me, addressing me as much as the crown with a very direct and demanding tone.
“Yasashii Fuyu, you saw what we wanted you to see. There has been doubt within our Ranks about your loyalty, and some of us even went as far as to attempt assassination to ensure our cause wasn’t compromised once everything starts for real. But the actions of your family and not the least your own father have convinced us that you surely must be able to see what is the right course of action for yourself, your family, as well as for Japan as a whole….you have seen the atrocities that being part of Yu Jing has brought upon our people, you have seen that this cannot continue, you have seen what we are willing to do to prevent that, what we are about to do …..There is only one thing leftto decide….will you be fighting at our side? Are you willing to serve with us and the true Emperor for the freedom of our own people from the Yu Jing oppression? Are you willing to rise with us from the shadows to lead Japan and its citizens into a brighter future?
As the man mentioned “to rise” my mother suddenly appeared next to him, and then bent down on both knees, holding out a Daisho on a cushion towards me with anticipation in her eyes. I would have recognized that Daisho from a pile of a thousand blades within a heartbeat. It was my father’s Daisho, the pair of blades I had seen at his side ever since I had first seen the light of day.
Apparently not only the full assembly of strangers in the room expected me to join them, but even my own mother was on their side. I was completely out of my depth, surrounded by people who apparently had planned the downfall of the system I had been serving until only a few days ago from my perspective, but as this thought crossed my mind it instantly dawned on my….had been serving….even unconsciously I no longer considered myself a servant of Yu Jing it seemed…the events unfolding and the dramatic death of my father had apparently triggered a change in my thoughts……it felt right to do this….even though I didn’t fully understand why. And of course to be honest I didn’t have much choice…refusing at this point would mean my death obviously, I knew too much, and the armed guards in the corner of the room had become more and more tense as the presentation progressed, following my every move.
So for now, until I fully understood what was going on, I decided to trust my gut feeling and my families decision, and stretched out my hand to pick up my father’s long sword.
I thought about making some sort of grandiose pose or speech or whatnot, most of the room apparently expected me to as well if their anticipating looks were anything to go by, but then I decided against it, and just placed my father’s Daisho at my belt where my own Daisho used to hang for most of my life until now, and just nodded while proclaiming in a commanding tone:
And the room erupted in cheers and people knocking their fists on the table, as well as the guards slightly relaxing. The old man just looked me deep in the eyes and then nodded in approval.