Yoshiki glanced around nervously as the black van slid up to the loading dock. His mouth was dry and he was beginning to wish that he had gone to the bathroom before coming to the meeting. Hopefully, this would be over quickly.
The panel door slid open and Rin stepped out of the vehicle, accompanied by a slim blonde girl who looked to be about 16, and a twenty-something man who looked like he had stepped out of a bad fifties cybergang movie.
His friend was almost unrecognizable. Gone was the delicate and beautiful young woman he had been in love with, replaced by a sharp-edged, frightening creature of muscle and steel.
She gave him no more than a passing nod as she looked at the two crates stacked on the dock. “You were able to get everything?”, she asked.
Yoshi nodded. “I couldn’t find as much ammunition as you wanted without making someone suspicious, but everything else is there.”
She seemed to notice his discomfort and gave him a gentle smile. “Thank you, Yoshiki. This means a lot.” For a moment, she almost looked like the woman he had once known.
The ganger struggled to lift the top crate, grunting with effort before having to let it drop. Yoshiki winced as the container hit the ground. Even though he knew intellectually that the ordinance was safely packaged, he’d still be glad when it was gone.
The young man felt his jaw drop as the slim teen girl effortlessly lifted the heavy container, carrying it back to the van. Rin and the scarred man carried the second crate and stowed it before climbing into the vehicle.
Rin was about to close the door without saying goodbye when Yoshiki spoke up. “Yumi and Katsu are doing well. Her grades have started to improve again.”
The young woman gave him a thin smile, stepping out of the van. She gently laid her hand on his cheek, the feel of cold metal and polymer completely destroying the tenderness of the gesture. “Thank you for your help, Yoshi. My job is almost finished. We’ll be back in a week at most, and life can go back to normal.”
As the van drove out of the loading dock, Mr. Saito emerged from the service elevator.
“You have done well, Abe-san”, said the senior manager. “The tracking devices are in place?”
Yoshiki nodded numbly, hardly noticing the older man’s reassuring pat on the back. He stood alone on the loading dock for several minutes before turning to go. Eri and the children would be wondering where he was.
Your life will never go back to normal, Rin.
There is no profit in revenge.