It was a break in gone bad they had said.
A baseball game his mother had missed. He didn’t hold it against her, she was a busy woman. A detective on the Midorijima Police Force by the name of Riko Akushima. A single mother and a dedicated cop at the top of her field.
He still wished she could have made it. He wished she had been anywhere but home. Anywhere would have been fine. Out shopping, at the station, anywhere but home.
It was a break in gone bad they said. It didn’t matter the strange and threatening letters she had gotten. It didn’t matter that someone clearly wanted to hurt her.
Why wasn’t anyone doing anything? Why weren’t they investigating?
His mother believed in the good of the people. Others may have thought she was naive, but she was damn good at her job. She would bring criminals to justice, and protect the innocent no matter the cost.
The team tags adorned the wall above her. This was no accident.
A few weeks earlier, she had put away the leader of one of the rising gangs that’s been breaking into local shops. A petty thief she thought. How could she have known he had a team behind him.
She had taken away their leader, and they were angry.
It started out with letters to the station. She had made sure to stay alert. It was still something she could control.
But when the letters had made their way to her home, it was too much.
She kept her son out of the house as much as possible. She was tired but she kept the facade on anyway. She encouraged him to go play baseball, made him believe nothing bad was going on. He didn’t believe her, but he trusted her to not get hurt. He trusted her. He trusted her and now this.
It was Sunday, and is baseball team had a game. He of course wanted her to go watch the game, but she was tired. She was worried. She was a busy woman.
He could have never known what he would come home to. He could have never known this was how he would find his mother.
A break in gone bad. He knew better. Anyone with half a brain knew better. How could he be expected to believe that it was just a break in gone bad, as if this was an accident.
“Hiro, make sure you lock the door.”
Those were the last words she had said to him.
He was prone to forgetting the door. It was usually just a simple mistake. She would scold him, and then they would have dinner.
Why couldn’t she be scolding him right now. He would give anything for her to be scolding him right now.
But no matter how much he hoped and wished, she wouldn’t get up.
A break in gone bad. He could almost laugh at how stupid they must have thought he was.
He got home that Sunday and the door was open. He called out for his mom, and received no reply. A foul stench coming from his home. He went to the kitchen as he would usually do. No one was there. He was too nervous to eat. He walked into the living room, and stepped into something wet. Looking down, he saw a red puddle and his heart sank.
There was a small trail and his eyes followed it to the twisted show piece left in his home by some sick bastard.
There against the wall was his mother, the life gone from her face. A hole in her head and a team’s tag art right behind her.
It’s something he can remember vividly. He remembers begging the police to get there. He remember the looks on their faces as they did nothing.
“Looks like a break in gone bad.” They tell him. They can’t even believe their own lies.
“But the tag art-” They don’t give him the time of day.
A warning. This is what happened to people who mess with their team.
It didn’t matter that their own had been slaughtered, the police did nothing.
A break in gone bad. They were spineless.
Hiro Akushima made a vow that day, that no child would have to go through what he did.
A break in gone bad. It was almost comical. A woman who did so much for these pigs, to bring justice to this evil island, and she would get none herself.
Bringing justice to the Island, despite how corrupt everything was. Despite how many try and tear you down.
An older Hiro vaguely wonders how disappointed she would be with his path in life.
Being no more than a pawn to hunt down Rhymers and Ribsters.
Hunting down terrorists, though he doesn’t quite know what they’ve done. He’s heard through the grapevine that the leader of the team Scratch was involved somehow. They were causing trouble on the island.
But they weren’t his main target.
Aoba Seragaki. He wonders for a moment if he shares a relation to a girl he once knew who used to live on the island. She of course up and left with her partner before the island went into isolation.
Apprehend Terrorist Aoba Seragaki. Those were his orders.
He didn’t know why this kid was supposed to be a terrorist. He was a target. It was easier to think about them like that. To think of them not as people, but as merely a target.
It was a difficult thing to do in the beginning. He had such high hopes. He thought he was going to be able to help. He thought that he would do good. He thought he would ring justice to the people.
Eventually though, it wore down on him. The people on this island, they just weren’t worth saving.
Punks, criminals, terrorists. He was glad when the Toue Corporation bought the island out. Things got worse, and so did he.
A shit hole city with a head detective to match. Boy would mother be proud.
He wasn’t even sure this place was worth living in. Lord knows he’s thought about it. How easy it would be to be painted against the wall, just like his mother was. He usually wakes up with a bad hangover the night after he has those thoughts. He wonders why he had to wake up this time.
In Platinum Jail, he wasn’t sure why he let the kid talk him into hearing him out.
It was probably his pretty hazel eyes, or that nice plump ass. Maybe even that voice of his got to him. But he wasn’t one to be swayed so easily.
There was just something about this kid that he almost wanted to trust.
But he was a terrorist, a target, he wasn’t worth the effort. Yet here he was. Seated at a bar in a loft called Glitter, listening to this kid’s story.
How he would always forget to lock the door, how his grandmother would scold him and immediately feed him afterwards. How he was terrified that night when he found his door open. How he could only worry about where his grandmother was.
“I was worried it was like a break in gone bad or something. I don't know what I would have done if they had hurt her..."
How was it possible he would use those exact words. Those exact words that froze him in place.
This isn’t what he wanted.
He knows that this isn’t what he wanted, and he’s known it for years, thinking of criminals as merely targets and nothing more, but somehow in this exact moment he’s hyper aware of what he’s doing.
He doesn’t even know why this kid’s been marked a terrorist. He never even thought to ask. The last time he asked about a target, he had still had hope in this world. A hope his mother was always able to keep.
How did this kid get linked to any of this. Why did Toue want him so badly? How the fuck was this kid's hair so blue?
Suddenly he was questioning everything. Suddenly he felt so hypocritical. He knew exactly what he was doing and he stopped asking questions long ago. Being manipulated like a chess piece.
A break in gone bad. Isn’t that why he became a cop? So no one would have to go through what he did when he was faced with a “Break in gone bad”?
He almost laughed.
For once since he’s lost his hope and motivation, Hiro Akushima needed answers. He needed the truth. He needed justice.
For the first time in years, he wants to do the right thing.
For the first time in years, he thinks his mother might be proud of him.