Another Version of Events
by Karan Seraph
There was some kind of alarm going off and Heero did not know who the enemy was and what he was supposed to be alerted to, and that terrified him. He sat up, heart pounding in his chest, mentally going over everything in the room that might be considered a weapon...
And then he realized the alarm was very localized, not a warning of fire or air loss or attack. Duo was beside him, unafraid. With a moan and a small moment of his hand, Duo silenced the alarm.
Heero cursed and lay down again, heart rate still rapid. He reached over and gave Duo a shove. "You could try music!"
Duo laughed sleepily, eyes still closed, but very much awake. His lips grinned. Duo's tongue moistened his lips and then he spoke. "That happens to me too, when I end up sleeping at other people's houses." Duo flipped the wristwatch from beneath his hand so that Heero could see it. "I'm quite used to this one. It doesn't bother me."
Duo lifted his hand and watch and draped the arm over Heero's side. "Don't be so cross at me in the morning," Duo said, "I want to start off the day feeling good. I was having a really nice dream, too."
"Yes! You were having the same dream again?"
Heero could not be sure of that, but it was probably true. The dream he had did not seem entirely his own making. It had involved various styles of motorcycles, riding gear, a house surrounded by trees that did not exactly resemble Heero's house on Sakhalin, and having sex on the wooden floor of a room that had no furnishings.
Just before Heero had woken, he knew that he had been dreaming that Duo was fucking him. Now that he was awake, he did not remember it clearly, but he thought that it had been something only just started and not seen to completion before he woke.
"Do you like motorcycles very much, then?"
"Mm, I wouldn't say 'very much.' It's probably coincidence that you've run into that particular fantasy twice. Trust me, there are a lot more."
"But there are people who have a fetish?" Heero asked, "I remember it from my research. It's the leather."
"Yeah, it is kinda gross if you think that it's dead animal skin, but I guess that idea might be sort of sexy, in a way, to some people. I don't know if it's the process of making it or what, but it does sort of smell sexy, if you ask me. I confess I do like the smell. It's nice, like wood or trees."
"An Earth smell."
"Yeah," Duo sighed, "And it feels nice too... and it looks nice..."
"When you dreamed of me, was I wearing some sort of racing costume with logos and numbers?"
"Yeah. You don't like that? I just dreamed you like that; I don't know why. I think it's because I just can't see you in black leathers. I've actually tried visualizing and it doesn't work for me. I don't think everyone can pull off that look. I suppose my mind decided one day that if you would be on a motorcycle you would have that tight suit with the stripes and everything. Maybe I thought of it because I saw you have a racing style jacket."
"You can wear black leathers," Heero said. He had not realized before Duo had spoken that the word could be used in the plural in that way.
"Yeah, I can pull off a lot of looks."
"What about...?" Heero tried to think of something that might be considered a typical fantasy, if any could be said to be typical. There were images of men that society or the media seemed to indicate were more acceptably attractive or ideal. "Cowboys?"
Duo laughed softly his wrist pressed against Heero's back, encouraging him to turn toward Duo. Heero turned. "Not really, the motorcycle thing sorta takes care of the riding and the leather... and you don't have to bother with the animals." Duo paused. "Why? Do you?"
Heero smiled. "Maybe. A little. Probably more 'western movie' than 'cowboy.'"
"Seriously?" Duo asked, grinning again.
"Yes, now that I think about it. I would like some of those boots and some Levi's. 517's. And some kind of hat..."
Duo laughed. "Remember when Noin tried to pull off that look? Talk about Spaghetti Western!"
Heero frowned. "It would be sexy if I did it."
"You would look sexy in a lot of things, Baby."
"I want a jacket like James Dean wore, like that red one... and I do not even like red that much."
Duo cackled a laugh. "You are so gay!"
Heero cringed. He propped himself up on one arm and glared. "You do not need to say it like that. You could have just said doseiaisha or something, and you did not need to use that tone."
Duo laughed. "Heero, 'gay' is not derogatory."
"I did not say it was, only that I did not like what you said. I do not see what that has to do with a jacket."
"You displayed sudden interest in old Hollywood movies and you aren't some bearded film student. Whatsmore you fixated on the windbreaker James and Sal wore in Rebel Without a Cause. You are either gay, or you have some sick fixation with American boys!"
Heero laughed. Duo was teasing of course. "Yes, you caught me. I get off on seducing and dominating angst-ridden American teenaged boys."
"Lucky me to be so full of angst, still eighteen and xenophilic."
Heero sat up and stretched his arms overhead. "I still do not like gay, though." He lowered his arms, placing his right hand behind Duo's back so that he was leaning over him. "'Gay' is just like 'fairy' without the magic and body glitter.. and what is a fairy without the magic and body glitter if not... you?" Heero smiled.
Duo laughed, flipped to his back, sighed and smiled up at Heero. "Who says I don't have magic and body glitter? But, fine, you want to play that way? I'll be gay and you can be my green fairy."
"I am OK with that."
Duo shook his head. "You are crazy!"
Heero bowed and licked Duo's lips. "I want to be your boyfriend today."
"I am OK with that." Duo smiled. It seemed quite genuine.
"You do not have to leave me right now do you?" Heero asked as he swung his right leg over Duo's body. He placed a kiss to Duo's jaw. "You can stay a little longer."
"Right here," Duo said, pointing out a spot along his neck that he wanted Heero to kiss.
Heero was going to miss him again. He really disliked this sort of long distance relationship. He thought if Duo was around more of the time, he might figure things out sooner. He might not be so irrationally worried to begin with. Heero knew he had panicked the night before, but now he thought he wanted to be with Duo forever.
"Tell me when you'll see me again," Duo demanded as Heero sucked at his throat.
"Soon. I do not have it all planned out. Definitely before Monday. Your place?"
Heero had trailed his way down to Duo's navel. He brought a hand up Duo's left leg after stopping his backward crawl and touched his dick, confirming its hardness. Heero felt a sense of power then, knowing he could give Duo so much pleasure, or so much pain. It was fair; he often surrendered the same power to Duo. "For me, or just time of day?"
"Fuck you... it's totally for you!" Duo told him breathily.
Heero's phone rang. He lay poised to wrap his lips about Duo's dick, glaring at his phone on the floor beside the bed.
"Not many people have my number," Heero said calmly. He decided he should answer, but get rid of the caller quickly. "I will get rid of them." Heero reached for the phone, checked the blind was on, fit it to his head then hit the button to receive. "Yuy," he said, as he stroked Duo's dick with only his hand.
"I would not disturb you unless it was important," Lady said. The number had been concealed.
"Trant Clark is dead."
"Thanks for the warning," Heero said. He disconnected then pushed the small monitor and mic into his hair and immediately thereafter set his tongue to lapping Duo's dick from base to tip. Trant was dead and he knew he had not done it. Duo suddenly tasted sweeter.
Duo's body shivered under him and Heero took him in the mouth, sucking hard. He felt, voracious. He knew that word and it seemed a good word for this wanting. His fingers were scraping Duo's arms and torso.
"Gonna... Heero! Fuck me!" Duo shouted, "I'm gonna cum!"
Heero sucked once more forcefully then lifted his head. He heard Duo's voice croak wordlessly. Heero quickly lifted Duo's thighs, forcing his body to bend, and as Duo's weight settled on his shoulders Heero sucked Duo's balls into his mouth, feeling them tense as he finished Duo off with one hand.
The position was awkward, but then Duo just screamed and Heero knew he did not care how awkward things looked or felt.
Duo gasped and then shouted. "I need it, Heero, just try a finger first."
Duo's hand was groping for the lube beside the computer but he could not reach it as he was pinned to the bed. Heero lifted the small tube from the floor as he rose to lick the cum from Duo's stomach. He did not think it tasted very good, but he knew that this time, right now, he wanted it.
He might have really tasted sweet.
Duo's knees were over Heero's shoulders. His heels rubbed Heero's back as Heero backed up again. Heero licked his lips, bottom then top. He blew air at Duo's asshole.
"Yes!" Duo screamed, "Fuck me, yes!"
The phone was ringing again.
"Fuck!" Heero whispered.
Heero's right hand was free of lube and so he lifted it from the bed to answer the phone.
"Don't you answer it!" Duo shouted.
Heero moved the mic a little closer to his mouth. "Yuy."
"There's been a death," Midii said flatly.
"Busy now. I know."
"You can't. We just found him."
Heero touched his tongue to Duo's asshole. "Who?" he asked then as Duo hissed a breath.
Heero switched to Russian, told Midii he needed a few minutes.
"There is a weapon with him?"
"I will be there as soon as I can." Heero disconnected then pushed the phone from his head. It fell to the bed as Heero flickered his tongue around Duo's anus.
Duo's heels dug into Heero's back and his body arched. "Aaaw Christ!" He shouted, "Heero!"
Vasili shoots Trant out of revenge then takes his own life to avoid capture or further conflict between Preventers and the Family. There would be a note along with the weapon. Vengeance and Justice more or less served.
Heero smiled then tongue fucked his lover and listened to him scream. "Fuck me now, Goddamn you!"
Heero walked his knees toward Duo. Duo's legs stayed bent over his shoulders. His thighs pressed closer to his chest and his ass was turned up toward Heero. This was what Duo had been wanting since that day Heero found him naked on the red velvet covered couch.
Their eyes met. Duo looked half-delirious. "Do what you need to, just let me see you come for me."
Heero's eyes narrowed involuntarily as he entered and he moaned.
Duo was gasping breaths, he lifted his arms to Heero's neck, as if he could cling to Heero and keep from drowning. His eyes fluttered closed.
Once deeply and a sound like a song came up from Duo's throat. "Do what you need," Duo whispered.
Heero knew. He was not thinking about how he could make Duo feel. He was not thinking much at all. He needed this fast and shallow. And so he fucked Duo. He fucked him fast and shallow.
And still, without planning or intent or consideration he still happened to give Duo what he needed, enough to please him. Sometimes he said, "yes," but he fell mainly into calling Heero's name. Over and over. And somewhere in there, he began to trill the R's.
Duo calling his name, over and over.
Reflexive rapid snaps of his pelvis. He did not know how much of this he could stand, but he knew he had to keep going until his body said that was all it needed. It always seemed like he could not stand to feel more, and then he felt a little more. It seemed to take a long time, while it went very fast.
He knew he was making noises. "Nnnn," and, "Uuuh."
And then he got louder.
"Nnnn... uuuh... nn... uh..."
And then he felt everything converging. The sound he made was like, "Aaaaaa!" His lover's name. "Duo, aaaaaa!"
His cock buried itself in Duo's ass, deeply. It brought a low contented moan from Duo as Heero was swaying mindlessly over him, his body spasming, burning up... melting down.
Heero was aware of the slight pressure on the back of his neck, Duo's fingers. He bowed his head in response, sealing his mouth to Duo's, accepting the kiss. He accepted Duo's tongue.
Heero felt that his cock was buried still and for a moment, before it slipped out, soft and slick, he was penetrated by Duo's tongue as much as he penetrated Duo and it made him feel something powerful. He thought it was love.
There was still hunger left in him. Heero bit at Duo's lip. He bit until Duo bled and then Heero sucked Duo's blood into his mouth. It was not safe at all, but it was not worse than what they had done thus far. They had managed to unite themselves well.
"I love you," Duo said, even as Heero was still sucking at his lips.
Heero moved his arms such that Duo could lower his legs and then Heero lay atop Duo, panting breaths and kissing his throat. There was already a bruise there from the night before.
"I love you. I am so glad we did that. It hurt a little, but I am so glad."
Heero wanted to curl up. He wanted to wrap his arms around Duo's body, fall asleep, and wake up with his warmth and his smell all around him. He knew he could not do it. "Arigato, Duo-chan," he said.
"So... who the fuck called you to make you do all that?"
"Do not think it was the calls." Heero tightened his hold on Duo. "It was in me before. It was still love, Duo, just... more rough."
Duo nuzzled Heero until he found Heero's lips with his. He kissed Heero again, biting, but not breaking skin. "So, who called?" Duo asked again.
"Duo, I have to go."
"I have to go, too."
Heero sighed. "Trant Clark is dead."
Duo said nothing.
"I think I know who the shooter was. I have to go find out if I am right. He's dead too, now, the person I suspect."
Duo sat up. Strong as Heero was, he did not weigh very much, and so Duo was able to lift Heero with him. "You knew Trant had died at that first call?"
"Yes. It was Lady."
"You could have just told me. And you think you know who killed him? That's a huge case, Heero. You probably should have gone to check things out instead of fucking around with me! You didn't have to. I would have understood."
"I had to," Heero said. He kissed Duo once more, quickly, and then climbed off the bed. He felt slightly disoriented, but Heero knew that sometimes sex left him lightheaded for a short while after. "But now, I have to leave. I have to hurry."
Heero went into his bathroom. He wiped his body with PMTs. Heero quickly swiped deodorant under his arms. Then he splashed water into his face and hair. He washed his hands and rinsed his mouth with his mouthwash.
When that was done, Heero went to his dresser for clothes. He pulled on a white tee shirt and socks and then a pair of undershorts. He reached into a drawer for a pair of jeans and then considered that he might be required to keep up appearances of calm and professionalism more than he would need to be active today. He walked to the closet.
Heero tossed a dress shirt to the bed to be packed and took the jacket Sake had made from the closet to wear over his tee. He had several pair of dress pants now and selected a pair that was dressy, without being formal. Heero switched his socks for black ones before putting on his dress shoes.
"Can you push my mobile and phone over here?" Heero asked Duo. He was resting on the bed, on Heero's side, with his hair spread over his own side of the bed. The ends of his hair had curled.
Duo lifted the mobile and then the phone. He sat up and then put them near the shirt Heero had thrown. "Who is it? If you are dressing up..."
"I do not recall if you know him, but I know him. I will tell you later Duo, if I confirm it." Heero opened the bedroom door fully. He went to his desk, gathering things he thought he might need. Koi was curled in a chair. "We are going out, Koi." Heero pointed to the door.
Duo was still sitting in bed when Heero moved back into his bedroom. He began packing his satchel. He took his mobile of course, a rigged game machine, his phone, some discs, a few tools, a full change of clothes plus the spare dress shirt.
Heero found he had a toothbrush already packed, some of the Tang's soap that he liked and a few condoms. He started to empty those.
"Keep 'em," Duo said, "You never know, you might want to give them to someone who needs them, or you might be thinking of me when you're away from home."
Heero replaced the condoms in his satchel pocket. "You will be OK if I leave? Lock up?"
"Yeah, I just need to get a shower." Duo offered Heero his bottle of water from the floor near the bed. "I do have the keys."
"Thanks." Heero took the water and then drank some before packing the bottle.
"Whatever you have to go do... take care of yourself."
"Same to you." Heero shouldered his satchel then left the bedroom. He gathered some of Koi's food in a container and then tucked that in his satchel.
Koi was waiting near the door. Heero only had to take down his collar and leash.
"You'll see me soon?" Duo called from the doorway.
"I think there may be some people who will need my help over the next few days."
"Well, call... well, you never call... but I'll call you sometime, OK?"
Heero smiled. "OK."
Heero left his apartment and then quickly made his way to the trains, not wanting to waste any more time. It would be slightly faster than walking to the Yemon's apartments.
There was an obvious guard at the door to the upper floors, though he might have just looked like a loitering resident to many people. Heero gave him a nod and then went inside.
He did not recognize the men on the stairs, but he knew they must be Family, young men who would have called Vasili Honorable Uncle. Though some of them were older than Heero, they bowed and moved aside when he climbed the stairs. Actually, he'd managed to get himself in the position where they should be calling him Uncle.
There was another guard upstairs. This man Heero recognized. He was usually in front of the Lonely Heart. "Where?"
"Roof access. There." He gestured toward a door beyond Ursula's apartment door.
Heero passed by, between railing and walls to Ursula's door. "Anyone in here?"
"It is open."
Heero opened the apartment. Sake was in there. Heero did not know why Sake would be present, unless it was purely coincidence. "Sake."
"They are on the roof," Sake said.
"I need to leave Koi to climb up there, rather, it seemed the best plan."
"You can keep him safe in here."
Heero removed Koi's leash. "Watch Koi for me," Heero told Sake, as he told Koi in hand signals to watch the young woman.
Heero went into the hall again and to the door that provided roof access. He opened it slowly, peering inside to discover a closet. There were some brooms, rags, and spare space suits. Floor and ceiling both had trap doors in them and a ladder ran along the rear wall.
Heero hopped to the ladder and climbed. At the ceiling, he pushed on the door. It gave easily and Heero was able to continue his climb through another small chamber. A second door above his head opened onto the roof. Heero could see no one in the direction the door opened onto, so he climbed out quickly and then looked around.
It did look like Vasili and he certainly looked dead. Vero, Ursula, Utsugi and Midii were gathered around. Heero wondered why Ai-sama was there, it could have been coincidence with sake, but if Utsugi was here with these others, it was not accident.
Heero walked across the roof, toward them. The surface was flat and covered in a photovoltaic material that captured what sunlight came into the Colony through the glasses and through process of releasing electrons made additional electricity available to the building and to the Colony grid.
"Ritual suicide?" Heero asked.
"Seppuku," Ursula said. That was the Japanese word for it.
Heero stepped closer to Vasili, to the body. He stepped to the very edge of the sticky pool of blood. So, the blood that had spilled had already had time to pool and to turn color and to become nearly dry. The dagger was still in his gut, Heero thought, focusing on the details objectively. The guts had been spilled There was blood all over the lower portions of the white kimono.
Vasili had actually managed the lateral cut across his belly. Harakiri. Heero understood suicidal thoughts. He thought he had some honor, but he could not comprehend doing this.
It was all so... in order. The white attire, the way his sash was wound about hands and sword, the determination in the cut. Heero thought he admired Vasili. It took strength and courage to take one's life this way. It was a lot more difficult than just dying in battle or pushing a button on a detonator.
No one had touched him, not at all. Heero could see there was a rifle sealed in plastic, half beneath Vasili's body, but if they removed it, it would be obvious something had been removed, as the blood had pooled all around his body, which was still propped up over the dagger. A little further from the body, but still within the pool, were a number of paper scrolls also sealed in plastic and what seemed to be an antique katana.
"Is this normal?" Heero asked, "Colonials committing seppuku?"
"In the family," Ursula said quietly, "Although some do not have the st..." she stopped abruptly, gasping instead as she realized she had nearly made a joke in rather poor taste.
Heero laughed. It was very inappropriate. No one there was expressing any emotion at all. The three women had dressed themselves in black and wore white jackets if they had them and covered their hair in white scarves. Vero wore a white jacket over his suit. They were all being very proper. Even Heero had considered what to wear.
"Looks like Vasili had the guts for it!" Heero said, laughing. He thought Duo would have liked that one.
Behind him, Midii snickered.
Utsugi cursed softly.
Heero sighed. "There are scrolls here addressed to each of us. Is that why you called for me?"
"And, we needed an odd number of votes to be able to decide what to do," Vero said, "We've been having a sort of disagreement."
"You are the man, Vero, you should have just told these women what to do," Heero said flatly. It was a joke. Vero was a man, but he was not a particularly strong person and gender should not decide who could hold power. Heero was actually surprised one of the women had not decided.
Heero stood and looked down at the neatly arranged bags and scrolls. "You must have come to the same conclusion as I did, and you wonder if you want this information known, if it is to everyone's advantage."
"I know that the laws says we must report suicides and consider it like a crime scene," Ursula said, but could we not remove the scrolls addressed to us?"
"We could hack the weather controls and make it rain today and then it would not be obvious we had moved anything. We could still report finding the body," Midii said.
Heero smiled, just because he was happily surprised that someone fro Earth had thought to hack the weather controls. Midii was learning. He was proud. "That would be a good plan, if we wanted to control the investigation, if we had acted sooner. The way the blood is drying, there would be traces, I think."
"Vasili, he laid everything out, he clearly meant for it all to be found, to be known."
"Yes, we should just call the Preventers. I do not really want Security Forces here, but we could call Preventers. I do not believe they would be interested in what Father had to say to each of us in these scrolls. Do you think they would take his body away, Heero? And the dagger?"
"To me it seems clear this is a suicide and what his motives were. Removing his body to a coroner's office would only be procedure. They would give him back to us with all his personal articles within a day, to perform services."
At that, Utsugi could not control her emotions. She fell to her knees and wept. They had been lovers, Heero decided. It did not seem they were parents to each other's children, but Utsugi had likely been Vasili's mistress for many years.
"So, you think we should leave everything as it is?" Midii asked.
"Yes. Vasili was an intelligent man and he clearly planned this out well. They are likely only personal messages, goodbyes. Any secure information he had to pass on to any of us, it is likely elsewhere. Though, one of these scrolls... this bag here, I think it is likely a confession and a will."
"We collect no life insurance if he killed himself..." Vero said.
"Vero," Ursula scolded.
"I did not want the money, I was only thinking out loud."
"Let me call Director Une. I think she would come herself. She would know what is best."
The others looked to Vero. He realized they were looking at him. "Yes. Call your Director."
Heero took his phone from his satchel and called Lady. He removed the blind as she answered. "Heero?" she said.
"Do you know who Vasili Yemon is?"
"You must come to his house, personally, with a small coronary team. Quietly would be best for now."
"I understand. I will be there shortly."
"Ryokai." Heero disconnected. "She will be here shortly. We do not all need to stay up here. I will stay, since you were all here earlier. Who was it who found him?"
"Ursula," Vero said.
"Yes. I found him. The plants here. I came to care for our plants."
"All right. Lady will want to know that."
Midii was helping Utsugi to her feet. "Come back downstairs, please."
Ursula was opening the door to the ladder.
"Vero," Heero called.
He moved closer to Heero. "Yes?"
"Would it be assumed that you are your father's heir in... business?"
"Yes. I am. He... he reminded me of it yesterday. He really knew he was going to do this."
"Yes. Vero, those men downstairs, you should send them away and tell them that if you have something to say you will contact your Most Honorable Brothers personally."
"Yes. Your father was looking after both of us. You understand? I think that Ursula and Midii also know many things that they do not share regularly. I did not really mean to be in this position."
"I know what you mean."
"It will be assumed that you will be his heir. If you are not strong, the others will come to you and ask you to let them do you a favor by taking certain businesses off your hands. Then your house will have no livelihood or power to protect your community if you stay here. That is how it works. They will let you go, if you want to do something else with your life, but if you choose to stay, they must believe you are strong."
"What will you choose, Heero?"
"I do not know exactly, but I do know, that whatever is mine will not be turned over to others, unless I know I trust them completely to do as I would. For the time being, all I can do is remain involved and appear strong."
"That is what I must do also. That is only right. I must know for myself exactly who can be trusted."
"Yes. It is very political but it is the way of things here. You were raised with it. Colonials who have kept the law from directly governing their community through a succession of various governments. A community like that must have structure of its own. And, you see, it does."
They both looked toward Vasili's body.
Vero gave a nod then went to the ladder.
Heero stood near the edge of the roof, looking down at the street so that he could watch for Lady. He watched also as the many young men in sharp black suits left the house and walked to cars or down the street, talking into their phones. Lady arrived within a very reasonable amount of time and was let into the building.
She had brought one agent with her, besides the coroners, which were specifically associated with a Preventer lab. Heero did not point this out or complain. Yamashiro might advise Lady if there were any involved Japanese customs she should be aware of. Heero was fairly certain Lady spoke Russian, though she was not ethnically a Russian. It was only wise to be sure they were able to recognize the languages coming here. Lady knew who Vasili Yemon was.
The others had returned with them, except for Utsugi.
"Kaniko Konnichi wa," Heero said to Yamashiro.
She bowed quite formally. "Konnichi wa, Captain-san. Are you well acquainted with the deceased?"
Heero suppressed a smile. It was very like an agent to get right to those sorts of questions. "I was more friendly with his children," Heero said. That was true.
Heero walked to meet Lady. She was standing just where Heero had stood earlier, at the edge of the blood, looking down at the scene. The Coroner and assistant were capturing photos of Vasili's body and the area around him.
"Heero," she said.
"Lady. I think that may be the weapon you are looking for."
"I should have told Wufei to question the father."
"No. Not unless you were planning to interview his associates in Japan as well. They had as much to gain I think, and less to risk."
"I will be thinking about that for some time," Lady admitted. "It seems the right type of weapon." She put on a pair of gloves.
The Coroner and assistant were stepping into their protective clothing. That was entirely normal in their work. They opened a body bag and then lifted Vasili onto the bag. The dagger was pulled from the body, some gore with it. Lady took the dagger by the handle and dropped it into a fresh plastic evidence bag. The sides of the bag were lifted and sealed.
The smell of death had registered before and Heero had ignored it, but now the body had been disturbed, Heero thought the smell was worse. He stepped back from the smeared blood.
Lady lifted the rifle in its plastic into a larger tote marked as evidence, where she had put the dagger.
"We were all wondering if you would have to consider the scrolls there evidence or whether we might take them?" Heero said.
Lady lifted the bag that had the thickest scroll in it. There was no marking on the outside that addressed it to anyone in particular. She opened the bag carefully. Kaniko put on her own pair of gloves and then carefully removed the scroll. She touched a button on her collar, activating an audio recorder, Heero thought.
"We have a paper scroll, apparently of a type produced for traditional crafts within S4, there is hand printing in ink on it. It is in English. It is starts quote 'I Vasili Yemon shot Trant Clark' end quote and ends with what appears to be the signature of Vasili Yemon. This same note also contains a passage that indicates that the writer of the note is planning to commit ritual suicide, he used the term quote 'seppuku' end quote in the standard Colonial Romaji spelling of the Japanese word."
"We will need that for evidence," Lady said.
Kaniko continued, "This same scroll was found rolled around a stack of common plastic printer paper containing what appears to be the will of Vasili Yemon. There is a note handwritten on the first sheet, in ink, in English, which indicates this is a copy of the will filed on the 14th of May. The name of a legal firm is given."
Lady turned to Vero. "We will need this copy for now. You know the law firm?"
Lady put the will and scroll back into the bag she had found it in and put that bag in the tote. She opened another. This one was marked with Kanji.
Kaniko lifted the scroll. "A second scroll of the same type. This one is on the outside of the roll in ink only with the kanji 'ai,' which means love."
"My father means for Ai-sama to see that. He always addressed personal correspondence to her in that manner, though her family is named for a dye color." Ursula said, "It is personal, I am sure."
"Miss Yemon," Lady said, "We will not study any personal messages we find, but it is our duty to determine whether any of these scrolls can be used as evidence to prove that Mr. Yemon did commit the crime he is confessing to and that he did take his own life. If I see that they are irrelevant to our cases, I will make sure the person addressed receives the note."
"Forgive me. I know that you have our best interests in mind."
Lady nodded to Kaniko.
"The interior of the scroll is also handwritten in ink. It appears to be entirely in Colonial Japanese kanji and kana. It is addressed to…I think it may be a pet name, it looks like quote 'Aijinka' end quote."
"Any mention of suicide or a shooting?" Lady asked.
"I think it must be personal. It is not relevant to our case, though it was found near the body. We will give it to Ms. Ai."
Lady put the scroll for Utsugi into a fresh bag and then put the bloody bag into the tote, empty.
They went through the scroll addressed to Ursula, which was in Japanese as well. Kaniko said it suggested some things about vengeance, but there was no clear statement regarding a suicide or a shooting. It seemed mainly to be a personal message to a daughter. Lady decided to give the scroll to Ursula.
Vero and Midii both received scrolls written in Russian. Kaniko read them, but then she had Lady check her work, so Heero supposed that Kaniko was educated in Russian but not entirely fluent or literate in the language. Vero's not was, they agreed, a personal message to a son. It did mention the suicide and Lady asked Vero if he would mind her making a copy of the passage for evidence. Vero agreed. Lady made a copy with a handheld scanner.
Kaniko said she thought Midii's scroll contained business information. Lady confirmed that it did seem to contain business information as well as personal statements but that it was irrelevant to their cases.
They got to the note addressed to Heero last. As soon as Kaniko unrolled it, she looked confused.
"It also is the same kind of scroll and ink, and the letters are the same as in the last two, but I cannot read these words. Is it code?"
Lady took the scroll and read it. "It is Cyrillic, but not Russian." Lady studied the note a while longer then attempted to sound out the words. "Va-ta-shi-no-dan-shi…?"
Heero smiled when he heard it.
"Japanese!" Kaniko said. "Watashi no Danshi. He has addressed it 'My Boy.'"
"Do you understand this, Heero?" Lady asked him.
"Yes. It is not meant to be a code really, only to throw off casual observers, if the message is to be private. I had to learn to spell English, Japanese or Russian in Roman or Cyrillic letters as well as Colonial katakana, when I was a boy."
"What is 'Colonial katakana?'" Midii asked.
"It is the same as is taught on Earth, but there are a larger number of standard combinations for spelling foreign languages most often used in the Colonies, and minor changes in kana assigned to sounds when writing certain languages," Kaniko explained.
Lady handed Heero the scroll. "You can read it well then? Without having to sound it all out?"
"Yes, but it is not much of an asset. When I see words that would sound alike I sometimes become as confused as one would if they only heard them…or I start to spell English words as if they were in Romaji…" Heero looked down at the note Vasili had written to him.
"What is it?" Lady asked, "I trust you will tell me if it is relevant to our cases."
"No… I mean… it is not relevant…" Heero paused, trying to understand everything Vasili had written. "He is saying he knew who my parents were."