Friday, 9 June 2017

Chapter five, 2017, defeat, segment seven

As June grew to a close Ulf got used to the boredom of not having his closest friends around him in school. In ways it was a little like the life he took for granted while they built TAP and acquired more customers during the nineties in his previous life.

Back then old friends grew distant, and new ones took their places. Still, it was different now. It didn’t matter that he knew his teenage body lacked a lot of the impulse control that came with adulthood. The sense of immediacy was still there, and he drowned himself in his work, training and, more importantly now than ever before, in club activities.

That day, not too long ago, when Noriko arrived in the restaurant he had first reacted with surprise, but when he learned about the expulsions Ulf understood how she had wanted to tell her parents as soon as possible.

In short, while the arrivals couldn’t be expelled, their fight against Kareyoshi had turned into an utter defeat.

Himekaizen took on an uglier tone, one that he remembered from Red Rose Hell. Korean and Chinese students were expelled en masse and the few ones left were subjected to harassment while most of the teachers turned a blind eye to what was happening, when they didn’t outright support the bullies.

A few took the fight, but after their English teacher was fired on unclear grounds the last of the resistance petered out.

In place of the old PTA a new one, firmly in the hands of Kareyoshi, was established, and the only mitigating factor was how journalists kept stalking the school and stubbornly fed the flames of a slowly escalating political scandal.

Ulf had his suspicions about who lay behind it. Arrivals, far older than he was, built their own power base, and then there was that shadowy organisation behind it all. It might be split into two fighting factions, but that meant there was still the faction with saner ideals who kept throwing dirt at the side who currently had the upper hand.

It had to give, and when one journalist caught Kareyoshi on tape when he referred to Christina as ‘the foreign whore’, it did. Problem being, it never happened. When the scandal reached international media it turned out the tape had been mastered.

What a mess, Ulf thought. He kept the thought to himself, because right now wasn’t the time to air what he was thinking. The arsehole in charge sat delivering an endless stream of incoherent threats and verbal abuse while his cronies in the PTA listened. Ulf stood at the receiving end.

He wasn’t alone. Beside him Amaya silently sat in a chair and heard it all. Silently because he had forced a promise from her not to explode the way she usually did. As usual he taped the entire session for future use.

When Kareyoshi finally finished his raging rants Amaya looked up. “Let me see if I understand this correctly. If Urufu doesn’t make sure that the articles about this school ends you’ll have his arms broken and him thrown into Tokyo bay?”
Ulf refrained from shaking his head. Sure enough, the idiot said those things, but there was no risk he’d make it happen. They were just empty threats.

He’s filth!” The arsehole said. “Garbage like him should just die.”

I need to ascertain this,” Amaya replied. “Did you just say you wanted one of your students to die?”

He deserves it, and you know it.”

What’s she up to? That was when Ulf noticed the throat microphone hidden inside Amaya’s collar. No, you didn’t!

Let me just try to understand. You’re saying that if that sixteen year old boy doesn’t force media from six nations to stop writing about this school you’ll have him killed?”

He’s not...”

Even Kareyoshi wasn’t stupid enough to disclose the secret about the arrivals in front of the PTA, not even if he had them under his thumb. Ulf watched him panic slightly, but as Ulf suspected the moron simply lacked the brains to understand when he was baited.

In the end Kareyoshi just growled.

That’ll be all, thank you very much,” Amaya said and grabbed Ulf’s arm.

When she started leading him out of the principal’s office Ulf saw Kareyoshi’s face redden once more.

I haven’t given him permission to...”

Officer, please take him in for interrogation,” Amaya said rather than wait for Kareyoshi to finish. “I’ll supply you with the recordings of the meeting as well.”

You’re not allowed to...”

The yelling stopped when two men in civilian clothes passed by Ulf and entered the office.

Ulf could hear muted protests from the inside even after Amaya the door. So could part of the Himekaizen teaching staff as well since they had stood eavesdropping outside.

What’s the matter with you? Never seen police before? Do you need a closer contact with them to better learn what they’re like?” The steeliness in Amaya’s voice reminded Ulf of the line of works she had been into since long before he met her. How he could ever have seen her as his substitute daughter was beyond him.

While a few of the teachers frowned at her all made themselves scarce within moments.

Urufu, my young man, you’d better learn to behave.”

Yes ma'am,” Ulf said. He recognised that voice for certain.

I don’t care if you think you have some kind of special status. Here you’re just another student, so act like one! Understood?”

Yes ma’am.”

Then something glimmered in her eyes. “And that fucker is just a principal, so we’ll teach him to behave like one as well.”

Yes ma’am,” Ulf said, just to be on the safe side.

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