January 11, 2012
On Wednesday, Sutekiko gets an email in response to her advertisement from a “Concerned Spouse.” They agree to meet at Jackie’s Café on Thursday.
The next evening, Sutekiko goes and sees, somewhat out of place, a business woman holding an envelope. After introductions are made, Sutekiko learns that the woman is Janet Strom, and she has a problem. Her husband, Ethan, is a business man, but she has been suspecting that he is having an affair at times he claims to be away on business. Her private investigator has been following him for about half a year, and though he has not obtained any candid shots, it does appear that Ethan has been seeing the same woman for that time.
Janet then hands Sutekiko the envelope, which she opens. It contains photographs — first, a picture of her husband, a slick-looking businessman. Next, there are various photographs of Ethan with a very pretty, buxom, blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman. They are taken in various places around the city, at dinner, entering and exiting cabs, and so forth. Janet indicates that all signs point to Ethan having an affair with this woman, known as “Sally,” but that she wants Sutekiko to make sure. If Sutekiko confirms it, she wants her to assassinate them — $30,000 for Ethan with an extra $10,000 for the woman. At Sutekiko’s request, Janet indicates that Ethan and Sally sometimes go to a set of high-rise apartments together. She also tells Sutekiko that he works as a businessman in Mergers & Acquisitions in the old Monotoli Building.
Armed with this information, Sutekiko returns to her new apartment in Fourside to plan. She decides to go scope out Ethan’s office the following day, on Friday, and tail him.
Around 5:00 PM on Friday, Sutekiko goes to Ethan’s office and waits. When he leaves, he gets into a taxicab, and she follows him. She finds that he goes to the aforementioned apartment building and buzzes himself in. Thinking quickly, she parks her scooter, grabs a box from a nearby trashpile, and goes up to the front. When she hits the buzzer, she indicates that she has a package for Strom. The door clicks open and she enters the lobby. It’s fairly nice, containing a bank of elevators, a uniformed doorman, and a few suited guards. She is instructed to go to the top floor to find Ethan Strom, and she hits the button for the elevator. When it opens, she sees that there is even a uniformed girl acting as the elevator attendant.
Upon going to the top floor, Sutekiko finds that several guards patrol the hallway. The hallway itself is short, having only a couple of doors on the sides an a prominent door at the end of the hallway. Thinking better of the situation without any of her equipment, she tells them that she was given the wrong address — likely as a practical joke by some of the other guys in her deliver service — and makes her way back downstairs.
After leaving the building, she tosses the box and returns to her scooter. She returns home to gather her staff and other objects, and then returns to the apartment complex to stake it out. She calls Janet Strom to make sure that Ethan has not returned home — he hasn’t, and Janet knew he might be home late anyway — and then continues watching. After dark falls, she waits a little longer until 9:00 PM. She then goes into the alley and starts to scamper the building along the fire escape. After reaching the thirtieth floor, she takes a brief rest before continuing. Looking into one of the windows, she finds an apartment with nobody home. After forcing the window open, she climbs inside, gathers herself, and opens the door into the hallway.
The three guards ask who she is, and she indicates she’s only here on a specific job and has no quarrel with them. They raise guns and tell her to drop on the ground, and as she advances, they open fire. They miss, but she responds by swinging her staff at the closest guard’s kneecaps. He collapses with a sickening crunch, and hits his head on the floor as he falls, letting loose a growing pool of scarlet. The second dies similarly, as a strike from her staff shatters his pelvis. The third surrenders, and she lets him go. Before he leaves, she asks for confirmation of Ethan Strom’s room, and the man indicates it is at the end of the hallway. She walks to the door, and knocks. Ethan answers, and after telling her to go away, she smashes it open with her staff.
She is greeted by a posh apartment, rather like a penthouse, with a large, plate-glass window overlooking this portion of the city. A very surprised Ethan Strom is standing wearing an open dress shirt and boxers. Sally is sitting in bed, holding the covers over her chest. A katana hangs on the wall over the bed. Sutekiko demands to know if Ethan is having an affair, and he orders her to leave. When she doesn’t, he goes for the katana. Sutekiko knocks it out of his hand, and when she still won’t leave, he goes for the phone. She unplugs the phone cord, and he goes for his cell phone. She tells him to listen, and kicks him for emphasis — apparently, however, he is just off-balance enough and she plants it just right to send him sprawling across the room and right through the plate glass window. She then looks at Sally, and asks what was the nature of their relationship. Sally seems annoyed, and says they had a good thing going. She then drops the covers, revealing that she is naked, and things shift. Suddenly, her eyes glow red as spiraling, striped horns grow from her head, accompanied by fangs and claws. She leaps at Sutekiko, but Sutekiko gives her a swift jab with the staff, sending her sprawling across the room. Sally responds by screaming, exploding into a cloud of bats and flying out of the window. Sutekiko, stunned by the turn of events, stands idly for a moment before the sound of sirens catches her attention. She descends the fire escape and returns to her scooter. After calling Janet to meet, she returns home to clean herself before going to Jackie’s Café.
Upon meeting Janet, Janet indicates that she heard the news about her husband. She asks about Sally, and Sutekiko explains precisely what she saw — that Sally became demonic and exploded into bats. She doesn’t know whether Sally might be in danger, but she figured she ought to let her know. Janet, seeming somewhat skeptical, then thanks Sutekiko and leaves a bag behind before she leaves. After drinking her milkshake, Sutekiko takes the $30,000 in the bag and leaves.
Still shaken, Sutekiko decides to call DJ Inazuma. Getting only his voicemail, she looks him up, and sees he is apparently DJing a set at the Breakfast Club in Fourside. She goes, and manages to catch his eye. At one point while she is at the bar, he comes and visits with her briefly before returning to his set. She explains that some crazy stuff happened tonight, and he says he can talk after his set is over, though it might be around 3:00 AM or so. She stays, and when he is done, she explains her night over drinks. He seems just as surprised as she is, though he seems more credulous and makes sure she is okay. As the night wears on, they part company, but say they ought to hang out before too much time passes. Before going to sleep, Sutekiko looks up bat repellent through Google, and finding that there isn’t really any such thing, she goes to sleep.
The next day, she does little, although she contacts Donald Flanagan and asks if she might have the opportunity to practice boxing a little more. He says that should be fine, and that he actually has a boxing match coming up, and would she be interested? She agrees, and they agree to meet Monday.
Sunday, she works at Kawaii Corner. When she has a moment, she also decides to see if she can contact Travis Touchdown. She first puts out a message on SlaySpace seeing if there is any reliable way to contact him, and then she sends a letter addressed to his last location, asking if he has any tips for an up-and-coming assassin.