Day 2: Back to the UG
Neku felt groggy as he woke up, he was leaning against Hachiko. He saw Beat and Rhyme lying not too far away and turned to see Shiki lying next to him, he smiled. He heard Beat come too.
"Ah man, we at da UG?" he asked Neku
Neku watched as Rhyme woke up and turned to see Shiki's eyes open. He helped her up.
"Yeah" he said, he could feel that strange sensation when he was here coming back. He'd thought it was like a dream once, now it didn't feel of anything, only emptiness.
"Neku, you ok?" he turned to see Shiki's worried expression, could she feel what he was feeling?
He smiled at her "I'll be fine" he said.
"Yo Phones, taboo noise incoming!" Beat shouted as he turned with Rhyme ready to take them on, their pact already made.
"Looks like you got me" Shiki said, it was almost bitter, towards herself
Neku smiled again and held out his hand
"I wouldn't partner with anyone else"
Shiki gasped and looked down at his hand, before smiling. She took his hand and Neku felt the surge of energy rush through him. The pact had been made.
Neku grabbed a handful of pins and Shiki called Mr. Mew to her side. How strange that Neku missed that soft toy cat of hers. Neku activated the Pyro pin and created a ring of fire around the noise so they couldn't escape. Beat was diving in the air as a few tried to escape.
"Getdown!" he shouted
Rhyme was casting freeze spells and barriers, weakening the enemy. Shiki got to work, Mr. Mew slicing his way through the noise. Neku joined in, holding the LIVE! pin in his hand he unleashed a huge shock wave that immobilized the noise, then with the Ice Blow pin he created an huge icicle that killed them in one shot.
"Yeah that was tight!" Beat shouted
"We did it!" Shiki said relieved
"You did indeed"
Neku turned to see Joshua clapping.
"Bravo Neku, you certainly haven't forgotten how to fight have you?"
"Joshua" Neku stood in front of Shiki; Beat did the same for Rhyme.
"My aren't we over protective" Joshua chuckled
"Aight, you got us here" Beat said "Now what da hell you want us to do?"
"Well I would have thought that it was fairly simple what you had to do" he grinned "Kill Sho Minamimoto"
"How do we do that?" Shiki asked quietly from over Neku's shoulder.
"The same way Neku got him the first time" Joshua explained "But this time I'll make sure he doesn't come back"
Neku could see that he meant it; his eyes were dark and menacing. Even after everything Joshua had put them through, even now, he still trusted him. 'I just hope I don't regret it' Neku thought
"It's not going to be easy" Joshua continued "We need to meet up and plan this, meet me at WildKat in half an hour, if you're quick you won't get erased" and then he disappeared. Just like that, gone. It wasn't even the real him.
"Damn" Neku was really annoyed now, he had been dragged back into the UG, so he was technically dead. Now, Joshua was making him risk his own existence by going to meet him because he couldn't be bothered to meet them. Neku felt cool hands on his arms, and a head rest on his back.
"Don't be mad Neku" Shiki's voice was calm and soothing; all at once Neku's anger was fading. He stood still for a moment, not wanting to move, he felt so peaceful. Shiki didn't move either; it was as though they were floating, far away from the world. Only the two of them existed, in pure serenity. They stayed like that for a little while before they both, reluctantly, separated and turned to Beat and Rhyme.
"We better get moving then" Neku said to the others
They got to Cat Street without any more fights with Taboo Noise. As they went towards WildKat café, they all noticed that the window had been repaired and there seemed to be no damage to the structure of the café itself. Which was odd because from what Neku could remember he'd thought a nuclear bomb had gone off outside the café! The café door was open so they headed inside.
"Well it's good to see you again 'Phones'!" the voice and the laugh were familiar
"Mr. Hanekoma!" Shiki said surprised
She was right. Sanae Hanekoma came out from behind the counter and smiled at them all. Neku was amazed; after all, he was CAT the designer too. The only person he looked up to apart from his new friends of course. They got settled inside the café and Hanekoma shut the door firmly and turned the open sign to close.
"Well aren't you a sight for sore eyes!" he smiled as he handed out drinks
"It's been while" Neku said, also with a smile
"It has indeed," Hanekoma replied "I can see that you learnt the lessons well, and trusted others"
"He sure did Hanekoma, he saved my life!" Shiki praised Neku cheerfully and, although he felt a little awkward about hearing it, seeing how proud and happy Shiki was about it, Neku made him happy too.
"Oh did he now?" Hanekoma raised an eyebrow, as if challenging Neku to say it himself
"Yep" Rhyme giggled, even Rhyme was on his side, and he could also see Beat nodding in agreement. These three people, had popped into Neku's life out of the blue, and had helped him become a better person. These were Neku's friends, and he was going to stand by them, no matter what.
"Well you seem to have a strong group of friends here 'Phones'" Hanekoma said
"Yeah, I do" Neku smiled, he wasn't afraid to say it, because they were his friends and he was happy about it.
It was at that moment that Joshua entered the room, he sent a sly grin to Neku, who narrowed his eyes.
"Well enough soppy stuff, we've have things to disscuss" Joshua said as he sat at the table with them
"What kind of stuff" Neku asked; he looked to Hanekoma as he pulled up a chair
"This is gonna take a while 'Phones so pay attention to what I'm about to tell you" Hanekoma said
The discussion was long and very confusing, once Hanekoma had finished he headed back to the bar and made more drinks.
"So you're saying that you're an angel?" Shiki had asked the question on everyones mind
"Like Mr H said, he's from the Higher Plane and is the producer for Shibuya's UG" Joshua said "He was also the reason Minamimoto learned how to create Taboo noise"
"I had my reasons" Hanekoma snapped, this surprised Neku "You think I was gonna let you erase all these kids who deserved another chance?!"
Neku wasn't angry at Hanekoma for what he had done, he had wanted all the players to get a chance at life again, how could Neku hate him for that? But one thing wasn't adding up.
"So who's helping him now then?" Neku asked Hanekoma
"I don't know" Hanekoma said quietly "He may be alone this time, we don't know"
"That's why we need to find him and take him out" Joshua added
"Well surly you have the power why don't you do it yourself?" Rhyme asked
Joshua looked at the little girl sitting next to her brother with a stare Neku had not seen before.
Joshua looked to the floor "My powers have been restricted, it happened suddenly before I came to fetch you, I just, lost them. I only have the powers I had when I was a player now, there not enough to defeat Sho" Joshua looked very irritated just then, it was hurting his pride to beg for help but he was doing it.
"So what do you need us to do?" Neku asked, he wanted to get straight to the point, the less time they spend here the better.
"You need to use the rest of your days here to find where Sho is" Joshua explained "He knows where you are now, and he'll want you to play the game"
"Play the game? You mean complete the missions like before?"
"Exactly. Today is you're second day here, which means we have 5 days to find and stop Sho from destroying the UG"
"So you ain't gonna help us at all?" Beat said
"I can't leave this place!" Joshua shouted, everyone froze, apart from Hanekoma, who stood up from his chair and took the empty glasses away.
Joshua continued "If I take one step out of WildKat, I'm erased. Mr H is keeping me alive right now. I've been communicating to you through your player pins, it's the only way I can right now.
It went quiet for a while; as if Neku, Beat, Shiki and Rhyme were processing all the information they had been told. Taboo noise, the UG, Sho Minamimoto and now angels?! It was getting too weird. But as they looked at each other they realised, did they ever have a choice?
They stood outside WildKat, Joshua came to the door.
"So what's your plan then Neku?" he asked
Neku looked at him, then to the others.
"To play the game" he said "We'll stop by here when it gets rough and pass on anything useful we find. We have to stop Sho Minamimoto, so many players are couting on us"
"Yeah" Shiki smiled "We'll do it for them"
"I'm in" Beat said "I'll teach them noise a lesson they ain't gonna forget!"
"Count me in; someone's got to keep an eye on my brother!" Rhyme sighed, at least it was a happy sigh
And as they felt tired Hanekoma shouted out to Neku
"You can do it 'Phones! I believe in you"
Neku smiled and his world faded to black.