All it took was another phone call. I didn’t even have to say anything, just call and hang up as soon as she connected, and she was right in the right location before I even got here.
That is, here at the abandoned boardwalk arcade, same as last time. And the person I contacted is Nami, that blue-haired thug working for the Japanese mafia who really did a number on me the first time we met.
Last time, the Crusader, that idiot vigilante knight, rescued me in the knick of time before I was captured or worse. This time, I don’t think he’ll be doing anything of the sort. And I hope he doesn’t.
Nami isn’t dancing with her rhythm game like she was before. She knows the things that happened last time and isn’t going to mess around and get too cocky. She is, however, still wearing a schoolgirl uniform-esque outfit, despite clearly being well above adult age. I guess she can’t take things TOO seriously, or at least her boss is forcing her to wear the clothes for gross reasons.
“I’m back,” I say. “I’d like to talk to you.”
“No talking,” she replies. “Let’s fighting.”
And without another nanosecond’s wait, Nami begins a rapid-fire volley of kicks and punches like something out of Fist of the North Star. I take a few of them, absorb the blows as best I can, and reach out with my arms in a grappling position.
Each strike is increasingly painful, first five then ten in a row, but—heya, here we go.
I manage to grab both of her fists with my hands and begin a fun and very violent tango with her. She jerks around trying to get out of my grip, while I pull her around, trying to get her to trip up. She attempts a headbutt, but I push her back so hard she falls over on her back.
But only a second later, and she’s already back on her feet, swerving around and moving her feet in that ryhthm game way.
She swipes with her legs to try and trip me, and I keep having to jump every second to avoid it. I’m pretty scrappy, but nimble is not a word I’d use to describe myself at all. If I get tripped, I will undoubtedly faceplant hard, and I’d prefer to keep my face plant-free.
I dodge one powerful punch and push her to the ground again. This time she rolls on the concrete a few times, and it takes a bit more time to get back up. Nami’s already starting to tire out after only a couple minutes of fighting. She might do well against the beefy gunmen that mafia organizations love to hire out, but I’m basically an unstoppable machine, as long as you don’t knock me out or blow my head off. And so far she’s failed to do much of any of that.
Her breaths grow deeper, and her attacks grow weary. She kicks me in the shin, but it barely makes an impact. It’s almost boring.
I punch her in the stomach and knock the wind out of her completely. Then I grab her sides and set her down gently on the ground against the outside wall of the arcade. She’s not getting back up for a few moments here, and it looks like that’s by choice too.
That’s what happens when you face Morgan Harding and they’re not caught by surprise. You lose.
“Alright then. So where were we?” I ask.
“We will talk,” she says through labored breaths.
“Great. I want to know all about what’s going on, and I hope you have a lot of information. Especially about the Japanese mafia.”
“You think I am a Japanese mafia?”
“You are, aren’t you?”
“No, I am not.”
Nami laughs maniacally. “You are a fool. Of course I am a Japanese mafia.”
“Dammit. Foiled again. Well then, tell me all about it. Who is Ohata King?”
She says something foul in Japanese, and then says, “He is the new boss in Atlanta. He will do many bad things to you and your family.”
“Oh yeah, that other guy told me the same thing. But my real question is, what’s his real game here? What does he have planned for the Summer Festival?”
“I cannot tell you that. He will kill my family.”
“He’s not THAT evil, is he? Because, what if I’ll kill your family too? Which way do you choose?”
“I choose my boss, because you will not kill anyone.”
“What? I’m a huge killer. I kill all the time.”
“You are a small fluffy rabbit in human skin.”
“Aw, thanks… I think. Okay, if you won’t tell me Ohata King’s plan, then at least tell me about Mighty Slammer. Why are you giving her gold? What’s her deal in all of this?”
“Mighty Slammer… What?”
“Don’t play funny with me. I just want one single straight answer out of you. I have been spending all damn month on this case and I’m sick of it. Just tell me what’s going on!”
She laughs again. “You are stupid at a high level.”
“No I’m not, Nami,” I say. “You’re going to tell me what I want to know, or else I’m going to keep beating you up and then take you to the police or something like that. I haven’t really thought of the plan that far ahead. Wait, the mafia doesn’t pay off the cops, does it? I really hope not.”
“I do not know about the Mighty Slammer. I do not know about gold. But I do know about you, small fluffy rabbit. You are mine now.”
Just then, I feel a sharp pain at my back. It takes a second to realize… Ah, great, that’s a knife. The searing bright flash of agony shocks through my whole body just in time for me to spring back into action and dodge the catapulting fists aimed straight at my head. I roll on the ground, away from Nami—and right into the arms of three beefy looking, suit-wearing dudes. Also a few punches and kicks thrown in there for good measure, since that’s simply the thing that happens in the Morgan Method.
They shout at me in Japanese, probably something like, “Stay down,” or, “Give up already.”
I don’t have much in the way of choice in the matter, anyway. Because right as I’m apprehended, one of them gets out a sweet-smelling cloth and presses it right to my face.
Great. Exactly my very intentional plan to meet Ohata King in person. Everything’s going according to plan, because I’m just really, really good at this… job…
You can find out the resolution to this unexpected cliffhanger for $2 on Patreon. Here, I’ll even link the next chapter for you for easy access.
This week’s ATL recommendation is Dark Wolf. It’s absolutely ridiculous, just crazy in a way that brings me great joy. Sci-fi werewolf action and I cannot stress how utterly itself it is. There’s a lot of sex and violence; if you enjoy and/or can get past that, then you should try it out.