Dog Days in Hotlanta – Chapter 48: Downpour

Basically, the entire planet is currently chasing after Ohata King right now.

Atlanta Nebuta may have been canceled on account of rain and gunfighting, but if someone far above were to look down at the street right now, they might think this is the parade right here. It’s got your assortment of clowns, bozos, and dancing fools. It’s got a huge object floating along in the sky, occasionally taking potshots from a very not-sharp shooter. It’s even got a peppy J-pop tune blaring over all the speakers in J-District because whoever was operating the parade sound system forgot to turn it off before running away.

All the ingredients needed to fulfill the requirements of a hilariously overwrought farce. Even as I’m chasing Ohata King, this miraculously resilient sprinter, I can recognize that this is the dumbest thing I have ever been involved in. Ever. Even worse than the crossword puzzle thing, yes.

I said I expected random civilians to jump in, and at this point it actually seems like people are doing that. With the Crusader shouting about the villainous Ohata King to cease his obstruction of justice or whatever, it seems even regular people want to get in on the action.

That means the current contenders for this chase include:

Lamar and me;

Kusata and the Eastern Union agents;

The Atlanta City Police Department;

The Crusader;

Whatever mafia stragglers are still around;

And, now, random people who love running in the rain.

What a lovely, not at all horrible situation. I, for one, absolutely do not approve of running in the rain, and I expect to catch a horrible cold immediately after this is finally over.

In the corner of my eye, I see Nami ONCE AGAIN running to try and catch up to me and attack me personally. At this point, she no longer gives a crap about her boss; she just wants to take me down and get her ultimate revenge.

It’d probably be a pretty painful death I would suffer, except that Nami isn’t exactly the most coordinated person after getting knocked out and now running in a rainstorm. She smashes into a light pole and falls back to the ground without even reaching me.

Yes, folks, that’s what kind of chase it is today.

Ohata King gets to the very last float on the street, the very last bit of the parked Nebuta parade. It’s a set designed like a mini-kabuki theater stage, albeit with no performers still around. Three stories of it. Honestly really impressive that they were able to build it that well, even if it isn’t exactly a traditional Nebuta float or anything. King hops on the float and climbs up to the top of the stage in a desperate attempt to flee his captors.

Once again, really blown away by how this guy is so successful at athletic abilities. He does NOT look like the type who can just Ninja Warrior it up and climb a three-floor stage right after sprinting for five minutes. I guess that’s the power of adrenaline.

He gets to the top and starts waving madly to the police helicopter. For a second I wonder if this means the cops in that helicopter are dirty dudes on the take, but then I remember that they were just shooting at him a second ago. And sure enough, when the helicopter circles back around, there’s a dude shooting at King’s feet, trying to disable him. But he’s also a really bad shot so it’s not even close.

One bullet ricochets off the stage and shatters the window of a nearby take-out sushi restaurant. Mighty Slammer would be proud.

People are still screaming, but it’s drowned out by the rain and the cutesy anime girl voice singing over the speakers.

Right now, some of the civilians are doing their best to climb the parade float stage. About five of them, the real heroes in all this. One beefy white guy in a sleeveless shirt is the fastest one so far, and he might just make it in time, while also probably risking his life with that helicopter guy’s horrible accuracy. I’m rooting for him, because it’s gonna be another ten seconds before I can even reach the float, and another five to do my cool super jump move I barely ever use.

Unfortunately, Ohata King has other ideas about the situation. He pulls a gun out of his jacket (why did he wait until now to do this?), and shoots wildly down at everyone climbing the stage. One Asian woman gets grazed in the hand and falls off the stage completely; it’s only Lamar’s quick reflexes in catching her that saves her life.

Now I’m here, and now King’s out of bullets. The helicopter guy’s stopped shooting, but only because the helicopter is hovering directly over the float.

He’s cornered.

And, back by popular demand, I lean down, summon my strength, and super jump all the way up to the—

My head collides with the bottom of the helicopter and suddenly I feel a whole world of pain. Apparently I didn’t aim very well.



Another world of pain once I SMASH back onto the concrete.

Now I know how that lady was going to feel if Lamar didn’t save her.




I can still see, which at least means I’m not dead yet, though I am pretty sure I would be were it not for my powers.

So now I get a front-row seat from the ground to watch as King makes his last desperate move: He leaps towards the helicopter and grabs onto one of its legs with his free hand. Why in the world he’s still holding onto that gun is beyond me, but I’m not sure if there’s anything rational left in him.

The helicopter jerks wildly, its pilot freaking out too much to do anything rationally themself, either. The easiest thing to do right now would be to simply touch down and land, but instead it turns and rotates like it’s trying to shake the man off.

His hand slips. He yells out something in Japanese, barely audible over the storm and the speakers. I certainly have no idea what it is.

Everyone, including him, realizes what’s about to come. Even as he drops his pistol and grabs onto the helicopter with both hands, it’s too slippery. Too wet. Too much of a building fate for him to avoid.

And so, after thirty or forty seconds of desperation, the hammer drops. Or rather, Ohata King drops.

Unlike me, he is not a cybernetically enhanced individual. Unlike me, he crashes on top of some unlucky person’s car, and he does not get back up.

The helicopter veers around and flies away, apparently deciding that its work was good enough for today. I GUESS landing here is dangerous, but still.

Lamar pulls me to my feet and essentially the entire city goes over to look at the carnage. All these countless different groups all chasing one man, and it’s over. Now we’re all gathered to look at the dead body of this really awful dude.

He looks pretty sad. Betrayed, spied on, set up, foiled, beaten, chased, and now dead. That’s a lot to take for a single person.

The Crusader watches the body like it might move at any second. His head is bowed down as if in some kind of mourning.

Police sirens flash in the distance. I can’t hear them but I can see them. Kusata’s agents slip away into the shadows, while Kusata himself

“The King is dead,” Kusata says. “Long live the King.”

“Is he coming back as a zombie?” I ask.

He bows his head and sighs. “He didn’t receive justice. For what he did in Bonin, fate was far too kind for him.”

I don’t know the specifics, and I honestly hope I don’t. The extent to which Kusata went to capture him is enough for me to understand.

“What now?” I ask.

“I’ll return to the Eastern Union,” he says. “I’ll solve more crimes. Take down more two-bit thugs. And then one day I’ll retire to a cozy beach house and drink a whole bottle of awamori.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Then Kusata, too, slips away.

Lamar pats me on the back. “We did good.”

“We’re real wet.”

“Let’s go home,” he says. “I’ll bring the booze.”


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