Death Note: Reclamation (Chapter 14)
Just to clear the air, yes, all these first-person chapters have basically been Uric explaining everything to Near and the others I hope the transition works out well for you guys. Enjoy
Six Years in the Making
I must admit, the days leading up to my reunion with Shahim were exceptionally lonely, even by my normal standards. Maybe I didn’t deserve even the company of a Shinigami, but at this point, the only thing on my mind was this plan…and the probability that it might fail. Every second that wasn’t spent in my office was spent going over every feasible possibility and the outcomes that would result from their occurrence, most of which were not very favorable. I now had the tools and information necessary to succeed, but I had to ensure that both my secrecy and longevity were guaranteed for the decades to come. …And after almost eight weeks, I emerged more than prepared to relieve myself of my current status as a pawn…and reclaim the title of queen that I had left to Light six years ago.
On the 25th of January, the information I’d been waiting for finally arrived…and everything to come was set into motion. I could tell that Shahim had certainly encountered numerous points in this mission of his where he found himself hopelessly aggravated, …but I suppose we were both relieved that he had returned. It was almost nightfall when he drifted through the walls of my bedroom once again, but the time didn’t really matter to me now.
"…It’s been a while, Shahim. I hope things weren’t too boring…or exhausting, during your time in the outside world."
"Almost two months, to be exact, …and you have no idea. That man was a bigger pain in the neck than you were, but he did manage to carry out his part in your little scheme very well. Of course, being around Light’s little posse wasn’t much better, …especially because I recognized the Shinigami from back in our realm. …Yeah, he definitely gave me a hard time when he had the chance."
"Hmhmhmhmhmhm, is that right? …Well, I suppose I should memorize his name now. …After all, we may end up meeting before this is all over."
"…Uhhh, yeah, probably. His name is…Ryuk. He’s not exactly the most…charismatic of sorts. …And it seems he’s got a bit of an addiction for apples, too."
"…Is that so? Hmm, …I might have to memorize that."
"So, …is there anything I should know about?"
"Huh? …Oh, yeah! Well, it seems you were right. They are planning to meet on the 28th. They decided that only a few hours ago. And it’s supposed to be at some warehouse called the Yellow…uh…"
"…Yeah, that’s…that’s right. How did you know that?"
"I recognize the name. It’s an old warehouse owned by the Daikoku Wharf. My father was called down there several years ago to fix the lighting system in that particular building before they finally closed it down. It’s actually located not too far from here. …It’s a perfect setting for what’s about to happen."
I already knew the location, so I could investigate it tomorrow, given the premise that neither party would do so, as well. …This was honestly working out better than I had previously thought…and that’s saying something.
"…Yeah, I suppose. So, have you found out everything else about how this meeting will carry out?"
"Of course not, Shahim, …but my assumptions should prove rather accurate."
I took the next few minutes to explain everything that I had found out over the past two months…and how I intended to act on this information. Even after witnessing my formulation of several other vague, though ultimately accurate, assumptions over the years, he still appeared visibly impressed by my abilities. …I never got used to that feeling.
"…Well, …how about that? Looks like everything’s in order now, huh?"
"…I would suppose so. …So, is there anything else interesting that you found out during your stay with Light?"
"Hmm, …now that you mention it, I think I heard them talking about something called Wammy’s House and…a group called the SPK. …And somebody called Near, I think?"
"…Near, huh? …Well, it seems even L’s successors have an affinity for codenames, …not that I’m surprised. The SPK must be the name of the American organization going after Kira. …The ‘K’ in the acronym should go without saying…and I’d wager to say that the ‘S’ stands for ‘special’, so…by process of elimination, the name of the group is most likely the Special Provision for Kira. …Rather fitting, I’d say. Now, as for Wammy’s House, …there’s a riddle if I’ve ever seen one."
"Well, this is rather helpful, Shahim. I’ll be sure to act on that information."
"…Alright. So, what will you do now?"
"…Today, nothing. Tomorrow, I begin arrangements to eliminate the only obstacles left in my way. …But before that, I have a favor to ask you."
"…And what’s that?"
I didn’t expect him to understand my request immediately upon receiving it, but simultaneously, I never anticipated that he would take it so candidly, either. …Of course, I based this solely off his typical reactions to my questions.
"…Yeah, I could do that, but…why not do it yourself?"
"…Is it not your duty to carry out? Unless I’m mistaken, you placed a lot of emphasis on that fact when you first mentioned it. …Shahim, if this is going to happen, it has to be done now. I simply can’t take that risk when the time comes."
"…Alright. What do you want it to say?"
I formed a smile in satisfaction. With the greatest threat to my potential demise now removed, an immense sense of dread suddenly detached itself from the large burden of guilt and dismay I had already begun to collect over the years. Now that my life no longer at risk, I was left with the task of ensuring that those of my enemies were completely sealed. …I pulled out my Death Note and took my pen in hand.
"Hey, what’re you doing now?"
"…Isn’t it obvious, Shahim? I won’t have time to do this once I’ve taken my hiding place inside the warehouse, …so I’m going to write the cause of deaths for the members of each team now."
"…Without the names, huh? …Well, I’ve never heard of anyone using a Death Note like that. Do you think it’ll work?"
"Positive. …By the way, did you catch exactly how many members each team has?"
"…Uh, yeah. They asked for that information while they were setting up their plans to meet."
"Hmhm, I thought so. So, how many are there?"
"Uh, Light’s team had…five members, but he did say that one of them was with the SPK. And the SPK had…four."
"…Okay. And that’s including Light and Near, correct?"
"…So, that’s nine, in total. Did they say whether or not Misa Amane would be present?"
"…No, she won’t be."
"…Alright, I didn’t expect that she would."
"She most likely lost her memories when Light sent her Death Note to his new proxy. …She’s effectively no longer even a piece in this game."
"So, what’re you planning to write down?"
"…All in due time, Shahim. I can say, though, I think you’ll find this first and final encounter rather…enjoyable."
"Hehe, we’ll see."
"…Yeah, …we will."
With each cause of death finally written to its perfection, all those preparations which I could tend to that night were complete. So, I slept, …something I haven’t found enjoyment in for the longest time. …After all, what’s left to dream about when you no longer find joy in your greatest pleasures, …but the fear in your worst nightmares?
Breakfast the next morning was…minimal, as it always was. How much sustenance I consumed wasn’t a high priority at this point, though. …I had far too much to do today to concern myself with such matters. My upmost priority for the day…was to investigate the Yellow Box. From there, I could identify any supplies I would need when the 28th arrived. After gathering all necessary provisions, I left immediately after breakfast. …The length of the walk made the early start a necessity. With the water nearly twenty miles away, an estimated four hours was spent on foot heading towards our destination, …something Shahim didn’t seem rather fond of.
"Rrrgh, this is ridiculous! Do you have any idea how long we’ve been walking out here!?"
I always enjoyed it when Shahim complained about such matters. …He was normally easy to make a fool out of.
"…At this point, about three hours and fifty-…two minutes. …And why are you complaining about walking? You’ve been flying this entire time."
He was silent for a moment, slightly hinting that he was cursing me in his thoughts.
"Damn it, I should’ve known. …He’s such a smart-aleck."
"…Yeah, touché, whatever. So, how far away are we-"
He cut himself off when he looked back in my direction and saw me retracting a chain-link gate.
"We’re here. …Come on."
There were certainly a large number of warehouses in this particular region. Fortunately, the Box was much older than any of the others that were present, so its entrance wasn’t difficult to spot.
"Is this it?"
I couldn’t manage an answer as I walked towards the warehouse. The meeting day was still nearly thirty-six hours away, …yet it felt as if that was the reason I was there that day. As I stepped up to the door of the building, I paused a moment to reach into my jacket and pull out a black glove and place it over my left hand. …I wasn’t about to leave any clues to my presence here.
"The puzzle’s nearly complete. …The last few pieces are on the other side of this door."
Beginning to shiver ever so slightly, I reached for the handle, hesitating a moment to form the Sign of the Cross one last time before sliding the heavy door open and stepping inside. …A strange aura filled the empty building…and the silence was so profound that I could almost hear the bones in my neck slide together as I tilted my head in every direction, …searching for the answers I was there for. …The floor, …the staircase, the second level, …the brackets holding up the roof, …in almost a fraction of a second, everything that was going to happen played out in my eyes. …I could almost see it now…and I couldn’t help but cringe at the thought. I walked back to the door and turned around, moving slightly to the left and stepping forward roughly twenty paces before turning back to Shahim.
"…Near and his team will be standing…right here."
I didn’t even look to see the expression on his face. All that mattered right now was this final deduction. I looked toward the opposite of the warehouse and moved fifty paces in that direction before turning back around.
"And Light and his team will be standing…here."
I took one last glimpse around. In my mind, I could vividly see Light’s accomplice walking through that door, …standing there in shock as the notebook in his hand failed to kill the enemies of his false God, …being seized shortly thereafter. I turned my gaze directly ahead to see Near taking the confiscated fake Death Note in his own hands, reading each name before turning it over to show the Task Force that the only name not there…was that of their leader, Light Yagami. Afterwards, he would place that notebook on the ground, …leaving it there…for me to copy down the names inside. This was it, …my victory…their checkmate.
"Hey, Uric! Are you gonna stop daydreaming or what!?"
I closed my eyes for a moment before reaching into my pocket and pulling out a red lollipop, unwrapping it, and placing it in my mouth before putting the wrapper back in my pocket.
"I’ve done it, Shahim."
"Based on some quick assumptions, …I’m gonna need to get to higher ground. It can’t be on the second floor, cause they’re bound to check up there upon arrival, so it’ll have to be…"
I turned around and pointed to the metal bracket approximately fifty feet above the staircase.
"…Uh-huh, and just how do you plan doing that?"
"Well, I have two options. I can either ride on your back…or find myself a rappelling hook."
"Hehe, well, we both know the first one’s never gonna happen."
"Hmhmhm, of course not. From there, I’ll need a small magnifying lens…or a device that holds the same purpose. I’ll need that to read the names out of the notebook, …as well as to see the face of every Task Force member who walks through that door. Once they’re in their positions, their backs will be facing me, so I’ll need that information ahead of time. After that, …I only need remember to bring a pen."
"Yeah? …And how do you plan to match the names with the faces?"
That would have been an excruciatingly difficult question to answer…had I not thought of it previously.
"Put quite simply, through process of elimination."
"It all comes down to logic, Shahim. Near’s name will undoubtedly be the first to be written down. We both know that. The SPK members are American, so their names will be written in English. Since you said that there are only three others, their profiles should be easy to match, based on their physique, where they’re standing, and, of course, gender, should any of the members be a woman. …That should also allow me to decipher which one among them is the Task Force member you said would be with them. As for the other group, which you said had five total members, …that’ll pose a greater challenge, …but ultimately be just as simple."
"How do you figure that? What’s gonna happen?"
"…As I said, it’s more difficult, but still straightforward, so far as I’m concerned. …I’ll just wait for them to give me their names themselves."
"Hold on a second! What the hell do you mean by that!? You can’t honestly believe that will actually happen."
"…Of course it will, not directly, but…in the end, their demise will result from their ignorance of my presence. I’m not saying that all of their names will be spoken aloud before I write them down. In truth, I’d only expect this for one or two. …But, that’s more than enough for me to decipher the rest."
His thoughts are not my own, so I could never certify this, but…in that moment, I’d wager to say that Shahim was just as assured of the success of this plan as I was.
"…So, that’s it, then. …It’s finally over?"
I didn’t speak, though I did give a slight nod to confirm my answer. And with that, I left as I had came. Tomorrow, I had some…shopping to do. The day after that, …the world would start heading in the right direction…and it would keep on that path…for the next nine decades to come.
Time always slows down when you don’t spend it doing something entertaining. Distractions are just mankind’s tools to make the days go by faster. …For the past thirty hours, though, I’ve had no distractions, …none whatsoever. I had honestly never been so bored, …yet so tense, in my entire life. But, the day was here, …the day I’d waited over six years for. …This was the day I reclaimed responsibility for the task that I had given to Light more than half a decade previously. …And there was no time to waste. Grabbing the supplies I had purchased the day before, along with those things which mattered most, I set out at 5:00 in the morning…on January 28th, 2013. I knew that this meeting started at 1:00, but that was merely a set time given to Light and the Task Force. The SPK was sure to arrive long before then. How long was a mystery I didn’t have the tools to solve, so I suppose this was a gamble, either way. Fortunately, though, time was on my side, …even if God no longer was. Keeping the dark gloves I wear on for the entire time, I pulled back the main gate and closed it behind me, assuring myself that absolutely nothing left a trace of my arrival here today. Doing the same with the warehouse door, I made my way to the second floor of the building and used my new rappelling hook to hoist myself onto the metal railing lingering above. Moving to the center of the rail, I sat down in my favored position, gathering up the rope and placing it to the side before pulling out my Death Note and, of course, a pen.
"How can a measly stack of papers be responsible for both my gravest mistake…and my greatest triumph?"
I still don’t know this answer, even as I speak. My victims weren’t to arrive for a few hours, so I took what time I had left to explore my mind…and remove from it any cause for worry I still had within me. …Only then would I truly be prepared for what was to come.
One hundred and eighty minutes passed by, each one longer than the last, until finally, …the final match began. To be perfectly honest, …I never expected that Near would hold so many similarities to the original L. …He didn’t even stand properly. He wore a mask with faint similarities to L’s face. He must have suspected that Light’s proxy was hiding in the warehouse, …though I’m sure the reasoning behind that particular mask was that he also intended on antagonizing Light with it. I smirked at the thought. …What better way to get underneath Kira’s skin than to pose as the man he loathes above all else?
"So, that’s him? Hehe, a bit of a scrawny kid, isn’t he?"
"Yeah, …but you should know by now that appearances are never what they seem. …Now, do me a favor, Shahim, and shut the hell up."
I wish that I could've told him this upfront, but at that point, I couldn’t afford to make any sounds whatsoever, lest I reveal myself before it was safe to do so. All I could now…was relax and be patient. …But, that was becoming more difficult with every passing second.
"What the hell are they doing down there? Shouldn’t it be common sense to search this place?"
I tilted my head ever so slightly, just enough for Shahim to see the smirk on my face.
"Of course it is. But, Near never anticipated that there was another piece in this game, as well. As far as he’s concerned, Light Yagami is Kira and Misa and his stand-in are the only two accomplices he has left. Even if he did suspect there was someone in here, they’d have nothing to worry about, because of the fake Death Note that he replaced the one Light’s proxy was using with. …He is, without a doubt, …the cockiest bastard I’ve ever come across. But, who can blame him? After all, …what have I done to make suspect that I knew of this meeting? That’s right, …nothing."
My smirk slowly turned into a grin in response to the thought. Afterwards, I quickly pulled out the magnifying lens I had purchased the previous day and fitted it over my left eye, just as the door of the building opened for the second time. It seems that even after six years, Light was still prompt to make himself appear presentable, regardless of the event. …We truly were polar opposites. As each member of the Task Force walked in, I made sure to memorize each of their faces. …I would need them later on.
The events that followed began with almost forty-five minutes of silence, each group standing exactly where I had estimated them to be. As the silence began to break, Near finally removed his mask. …With the exception of the shadows beneath the latter’s eyes, even his face bore strong similarities to L. Then, …he confirmed every assumption I had made up until this day.
"…X-Kira, the one who is currently using the notebook and killing people on Kira’s behalf. He’s bound to come here and bring the notebook with him. And then, …he’ll see me and write down my real name, …or rather, he’ll write down the names of everyone here who knows about the notebook and kill them."
"…Wha-? …What are you saying? This doesn’t make any sense. What are you trying to tell us, Near? That some other guy’s gonna drop by with the notebook, poke his head in, and kill us all!?"
"And you want us to sit back and let it happen!?"
"…Yes. That’s correct. Now listen carefully, …"
I had won. At that point, only two outcomes were left to occur. Either Light succeeds and I’m left with only two people to kill…or he fails and I catch a glimpse of the names in his Death Note…and write them all inside mine.
"He’s already here!"
In that instant, everyone here turned their gazes towards the slightly opened door, including myself. I almost couldn’t keep my composure any longer. Within the next forty minutes, …this would all be at an end...finally.
"Teru Mikami, if it’s not too much trouble for you, would you please come in and join us? …I already know that you’re the one who’s been judging and executing people for Kira. If you’ve already written down our names, then there shouldn’t be anything to be afraid of. You can come right on in."
…Perfect. I now had the one name that reading the notebook wouldn’t give me. …Silence followed after Near’s request. Teru was obviously waiting for closure from his false God. …He got it.
"Teru Mikami, is it? …He’s correct. There’s no reason to hide from us. You can come in."
Almost immediately, the door slid open with a single thrust of the man’s arm, then he stepped inside. He looked…possessed, …which he was.
"How many seconds has it been since you wrote down the first name?"
"Well Near, looks like I win."
"…No, Light. He wins…for the time being, at least."
Light suddenly began to fill the room. …How ironic. It must have been God’s way of signifying the end of the dark age of Kira.
"H-huh? …We’re still alive. It’s been over a minute and…we haven’t died."
Light was facing the opposite direction, so I couldn’t see his face, …but I can imagine that it was a more composed version of the face Teru Mikami was wearing in that moment.
"Didn’t I already tell you all that no one was gonna die?"
"B…b…but why!? Why won’t they die!? …God, …I DID EVERYTHING YOU TOLD ME!!"
"Rester! Gevanni! Take him now!"
Within a fraction of a second, Teru was in handcuffs…and the fake Death Note was on the ground.
"Gevanni. The notebook, please. …If you didn’t believe me earlier, then see for yourselves."
This was it. Victory was to be mine...here and now. Fixating my enhanced vision solely on that page, I took every last name written there to heart, vowing never to forget them.
"Alright, …Halle Bullook is definitely the woman’s name. Nate River is the first name written, so that must be Near. Anthony Carter is second…and the man restraining Mikami was the closest to the door, …so that must be him, …leaving the name Stephen Loud to…Gevanni. …And that’s it. The SPK is finished. Now, for the Task Force. …Hmmm, Kanzo Mogi is the first name written in Japanese, which means he must be the one standing with the SPK members, since that man would’ve been the first seen by Mikami. …But, at this point, there’s no way to match the other three names and faces, as even a guess would yield only a thirty-three percent chance of accuracy. …I think I’ll let this drag on a little longer."
Just as I suspended my analysis for the time being, the man I had identified as Mogi walked over to handcuff Light, who Near previously identified as the only one whose name wasn’t written in the notebook. Before he could put them, though, Light broke away from them and ran towards the wall, stumbling as he did. I shook my head almost involuntarily.
"You always did hate losing, Light."
"Light Yagami…L…Kira, …it’s over. You’ve lost the game. …Just a moment ago, you proclaimed your victory, expecting us all to die, …and to tell the truth, you might’ve actually won…and I would’ve lost. We ended up doing exactly what you expected us to and altered the fake notebook in Mikami’s possession. …However, when I said before that we had modified the notebook, I was, in fact, referring to the real notebook, as well as the fake. …We only switched part of the main notebook, but as for the real one, we replaced the entire thing."
This was all occurring just as I had expected it to. Near then pulled the real Death Note out from beneath his shirt and showed it to Light before explaining the reasoning behind his demise. As he did, he brought to light another piece in this game, …a knight that took on the role of a pawn, in order to aid his queen.
"…This was all thanks to Mello. …I believe if I explain this much, you’ll begin to understand. Please take a look at this page of the notebook."
After flipping over to the previous page of the notebook, I noticed a name and a cause of death written at the top of the page, …both of which belonged to Kiyomi Takada.
"…So, that’s it. Mikami must’ve had been followed to the real Death Note’s hiding place when he moved to kill Kiyomi, giving his follower unlimited access to it once he left. …This Mello must’ve kidnapped Kiyomi in order to provoke her into killing him, then once she had performed her duties, …Light killed her. …It seems he also ordered her to tell Mikami to write names in the notebook to prevent them from suspecting him of having fake one. Mikami must’ve tried to take care of her himself. …How morbidly ironic. His sole mistake…resulted in the demise of his God. …Mello, …the martyr, …I’m sorry to say that your sacrifice will be in vain."
I now had all the information I needed, so I closed my eyes…and attempted to match the final three names. I was cut off, though, only moments later…by the sound of gunfire.
"MATSUDA, YOU IDIOT!! WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE SHOOTING AT?! …Don’t screw with me!"
I looked down to see a man younger than the most of the others, standing there with a gun in his hands, …pointing it at Light.
"Matsuda…Touta Matsuda. Hmhmhm, so that would leave…Hideki Ide and Shuichi Aizawa. …I can’t wait much longer to write down these names…and the rules state that I can use a name four times before it becomes ineffective, …so I’ll go out on a whim and write them both down. …I’ll write them down. …I’ll kill them…all of them. …God, …forgive me."
I began with Near’s name…Nate River, then followed it with those of Anthony Carter, …Stephen Loud, …Halle Bullook, …Kanzo Mogi, …Hideki Ide, …Touta Matsuda, …Shuichi Aizawa, and finally, …Teru Mikami. …It was over. …This was all about to end…, once and for all, ...in forty seconds...thirty-nine...thirty-eight...thirty-seven...thirty-six...thirty-five...thirty-four...thirty-three...thirty-two...thirty-one...thirty...twenty-nine...twenty-eight...twenty-seven...twenty-six...twenty-five...twenty-four...twenty-three...twenty-two...twenty-one... twenty...nineteen...eighteen...seventeen...sixteen ... fifteen...fourteen...thirteen...twelve...eleven... ten...nine...eight...seven...six...five... four...three...two...one...
Uric, having finally finished his explanation of the events that passed, looked around the warehouse at the array of stunned faces. He had been speaking for almost fifteen minutes, yet not one person had adopted a different facial expression in that entire time. Deciding that he had wasted enough time telling them why they were about to die, he turned to Near, …eager to begin this elimination process.
"I’ve been hiding in the shadows for a long time, Nate River, …and now I’m ready to step into the light once again. …Don’t blame yourself. As I said before, even L couldn’t have predicted this. And now…almost every single threat to my cause is about to be removed. …This is the embodiment of all that I’ve worked toward, …six years in the making."
A quick movement of his teeth broke off the last piece of the lollipop in his mouth, prompting him to place the stick in his pocket. He then assumed a more stern expression before continuing.
"I do admit, though, …I’m rather disappointed. All you had to do was take a look around when you came here today…and all of this could have been prevented. …But, like anyone who uses their head too much, you were bound to overlook a few minor things along the way. …You were almost destined to slip up at some point…and you did so at the worst possible time. That’s the reason why you never stood a chance against me and that is why you’ve lost this game."
- The End -