Byakko: A MORFS Universe Story

By Tagrachan  


Chapter 3

Everybody in the gym got frightened, seeing the enraged little Tiger girl looking as if she was going to rip open Trainer Lee’s throat . It was obvious to everyone that this wasn’t a kitten to be handled without gloves. Several people stormed towards the combatants, but it was obvious that they wouldn’t reach them in time to stop Kumiko from killing Lee.

Several people shouted, “No. Don’t do it!” Kumiko, still in a state of red-hot rage, heard the people shouting, and suddenly realized what she was about to do. She paused, feeling a chill creep into her. She had almost killed the trainer!
Retracting her claws, she made a quick jump got away from Lee just before the people wanting to stop her could reach her. She felt so embarrassed and shocked that she began to cry a little while running away to the locker room.

She didn’t even bother to get changed. She just grabbed her bag with clothes and ran out of the locker room, straight into Sachiko’s waiting arms. Sachiko immediately knew that something wasn’t right. Kumiko looked like she had been crying and still looked mighty upset. “Kumiko, douka shimashita ka?” {Kumiko, is something wrong?}

Kumiko just hugged Sachiko and cried a little. Then she poured her heart out to Sachiko. “I was ready to kill that guy. He baited me to attack him, and I snapped. I almost sliced his throat with my claws.”

Sachiko made comforting noises, “It will be all right, Kumiko. Don’t you worry about it.”

After a while a man approached and cleared his throat when he stopped close to the girls. “Excuse me, Kumiko, could you come with me, please?”

Sachiko, feeling protective towards Kumiko after her ordeal, asked, “Do you mind if I come with her?”

The man smiled, “No not at all. Please, this way.” He gestured to a room on the side.

They all made themselves comfortable in some plush high backed chairs, which indicated to Sachiko that this man might be a shrink. The man produced a folder and opened it. He read for a moment and then looked at Kumiko. “I see that you have a problem with restraining yourself. Before I can declare you safe enough for school, I would like you to come with me for some tests.”

Kumiko thought, ‘Yay! I don’t have to go to school!’ Then immediately after that, she thought, ‘Wait, I’m not safe enough for school?

Sachiko immediately said, “Can I be present there with her?”

The man smiled thinly, “I’m sorry, but you can’t, I need to be alone with Kumiko for that. He rose from his seat and so did the two girls. This will take about half an hour, why don’t you make yourself comfortable …” He looked in the folder, “Miss Furumori.”

Sachiko didn’t want to, but what could she do? Kumiko looked back at Sachiko standing in the doorway of the room while the man directed her to another door further away. Just as they were about to reach it, a man came out of a room and asked, “Excuse me? Are you Kumiko Furumori? I’m Doctor Jensen, the psychiatrist.”

The man who was taking Kumiko for a test didn’t say anything but quickly went through the door and closed it. Kumiko looked bewildered alternating between Doctor Jensen and the door were the man had gone through. Sachiko came running to them. She opened the door, but the man had vanished. Confused, Doctor Jensen said, “What is happening? Who was that man?”

Sachiko quickly answered, “He said that he was the psychiatrist and wanted to take her somewhere for a test.”

Doctor Jensen, still confused,  told them, “I don’t know who that man is, but he doesn’t work here.”

Now both the girls became frightened. Kumiko had almost gone with some unknown man, to God only knows where. Maybe he was a pervert trying to abduct her. But he did have a file on her with him. Doctor Jensen took them to his office and reviewed Kumiko’s performance in the Gym and with the previous psychiatrist. He said, “I’m the head of the department, and I have to decide if you’re safe enough to go to school.”

Kumiko had déjà vu, she had heard this already before. “Are you saying that I’m not safe enough to be in school?”

Doctor Jensen smiled, “Why do you ask? What do you think yourself?”

Kumiko said timidly, “I don’t know. I do know that I can be very dangerous to other people. But I also think I won’t attack any people just like that. I am just not looking forward to go to school.”

Sachiko laughed and Doctor Jensen smiled broadly, “I can understand that, Kumiko. Unfortunately, you still have to go to school. And I’ll clear you for that with a provision. I want to see you after two weeks again for an evaluation.”

Kumiko looked at him with pleading eyes, but capitulated, “Okay, I guess that will be okay.”

“Fine then, now you go on home now. I’ll see you in two weeks time. Please make an appointment with my secretary on your way out.” He rose from his chair and gave both Sachiko and Kumiko a hug before ushering them out of his office.

Later, on the walk home, the girls kept talking about the strange man that tried to abduct Kumiko from the MORFS center. “Kumiko, do you have any idea what that man had for motive?”

“I’m sorry, I am trying to remember, but I still see this blank wall before me. I don’t think I ever saw that man before. And I don’t know why I was in the van as everyone keeps telling me. I simply don’t know.” She almost started crying from trying to remember.

Sachiko put her arm around Kumiko, “Hey, it’ll come back to you later. Let’s just be careful, okay?”

Kumiko sniffed, “Okay, sister.”

Sachiko kept her arm around Kumiko the whole way towards home.

When they arrived home Sachiko started telling her parents about the kidnap attempt. Ichiro was very concerned, especially when he remembered the strange doctor that disappeared from the hospital. He didn’t say anything out loud, though. He didn’t want Kumiko to worry needlessly. He did tell her to be careful, and only go with people she either trusted or that had been checked.

On Sunday morning, Kumiko woke up from sleep and found Amaya already in her room with some clothes on her arm. It had a cream-white color and looked frilly. Amaya said cheerfully, “Rise and shine Kumiko. This is what I want you to wear this morning. We’re going to church, and both you and Sachiko need to look your best.”

Kumiko scowled at Amaya and took another look at the frilly dress “No. I won’t do it. I will not wear that awful dress.”

Amaya looked shocked, “This isn’t an awful dress. It’s very nice, and suitable for church. You have to wear it when going to church.”

Kumiko glared at Amaya, “Then I will not go to church. I refuse to wear something that frilly and sickly sweet.”

Amaya looked at Kumiko for a moment, utter dismay and alarm showing in her expression. Then she stormed out of Kumiko’s room without a word, leaving the door wide open.

Kumiko suddenly was horrified at what she had just done. She had just treated her foster mother badly. She wished that she hadn’t done it, but she felt really strongly about not wearing that dress as well.

She had just sat down on her bed, feeling close to crying, when Ichiro walked into her room. “Ohayo, Kumiko.” {Good morning, Kumiko}

Kumiko looked up at him, “Ohayo.”

Ichiro sat down next to her, “I hear that you don’t want to wear the nice dress that Amaya picked out for you.”

Kumiko looked at him with a tear in her eye. “Onegai shimasu, dekinai!” {Please, I can’t}

Ichiro interrupted her with a soft voice, “I understand your objections, but Amaya and Sachiko picked this one out for you. They want you to look nice for church. Can’t you please honor their decision? I promise that tomorrow, you can wear what ever you want.”

Kumiko perked up hearing that, but still shook her head, indicating that she still wouldn’t wear it. Ichiro made her look at him, “Remember that you signed the permission for me to act as your guardian, since you’re still a minor?”

Kumiko gave him a frightened look, ‘I knew it would come back to haunt me.’ She nodded, cringing in fear of what would follow. Ichiro didn’t disappoint her, “I want you to wear that dress, and smile today. For the next two days, you can wear whatever you like, as long as you wear this dress or a dress like it to church.”

Kumiko really felt like crying now. She stood up, and hesitantly put on the frilly dress that Amaya had left on her bed. All the time she was getting dressed, she kept glancing at Ichiro, who kept looking at her, making sure that she put on the dress, with a glum look.

Finally she was finished. In the meantime, Sachiko had breezed into her room. Ichiro left the room giving his daughter a wistful look.

Sachiko didn’t waste much time, sitting Kumiko down in front of her vanity, she silently started applying a little make up. She was done very quickly, and even Kumiko was stunned by her looks. A beautiful little girl stared back at her from the mirror. She pouted, seeing her stunning reflection, but that made her look even cuter.

Sachiko escorted her out to the living room where she couldn’t resist saying to her parents, “Kawaii, ne?” {Cute, isn’t she?}

Ichiro and Amaya just smiled brightly at the girls. Kumiko now really felt humiliated and embarrassed. She scowled at everyone and kept quiet. She just didn’t feel like arguing anymore. She thought that her embarrassment couldn’t be greater, but she was sadly mistaken.

When the family arrived at church, they received continuous comments on how cute the girls looked, especially Kumiko. It made her feel so awkward, that she tried to hide herself as much as possible between the family members. However they went out of their way to show Kumiko to the world.

She silently cursed her adoptive parents for being so inconsiderate to her wishes. Once seated in church, it was better, though Amaya scolded her, “Do you want to give all the boys here a thrill? Keep your legs together, Kumiko!” Kumiko realized with a shock that she had been sitting with her legs apart. ‘Why’d I do that?’ She quickly slammed her legs together and sat more ladylike. After that, Kumiko even enjoyed being in church a bit, though she couldn’t sing a note straight during the songs.

Finally the family went home After Kumiko endured a few more comments on how cute she looked in her new frilly dress. But she forgot it all when the family walked a different route home and passed a big estate with a girl her age, playing in the front yard with several big kittens. They looked too big to be normal cats, and as if drawn by a magnet, Kumiko went to the fence to see the kittens more closely.

Sachiko came over to stand next to Kumiko, and asked, “Hi, what kind of cats are these?”

“They are a hybrid of some kind of Panther and a normal cat,” said the girl. “Why do you ask? Do you like them?”

Sachiko looked at Kumiko, “ I think that Kumiko here likes them a lot.”

Kumiko didn’t say anything. She just silently looked at the cute kittens playing with each other on the lawn. The girl said, “You can see them closer if you want.”

Sachiko opened the fence door, and as she did, a black kitten noticed it’s chance and jumped up to storm out of the enclosed lawn. The girl cried out, “Oh no, come back here, kitten.”

Sachiko tried to block or grab the black kitten, but the feline critter was much to fast for her. She easily evaded the grasping hands of Sachiko. The kitten expected to evade the next girl as well, but Kumiko showed remarkably fast reflexes and quickly grabbed the kitten by the nape of her neck.

Kumiko said, “Not so fast, Stormy.” She carried the black kitten back to the yard, where the girl looked at Kumiko with wide open eyes.

“How did you grab her that fast?” asked the girl.

Kumiko shrugged, “I don’t know. I just do.”

The girl giggled at Kumiko’s answer, “Hi, I’m Petra. Who are you?”

Kumiko changed the position of the black kitten to her arms, and started petting the cat. “My name is Kumiko. Are you keeping these kittens?”

Petra smiled wryly, “I wish, but Mom says that we have to sell them.”

Kumiko turned to Ichiro, “Can I have Stormy, please? I’ll take good care of her.” Then as if to emphasize her words, the black kitten in her arms started to purr from the petting that Kumiko was giving her.

Ichiro looked bewildered, alternating between Kumiko, Sachiko and Amaya, feeling cornered.
Sachiko looked back, as if saying that he owed Kumiko something. Ichiro did feel a bit like that himself, and when he looked back at Kumiko, at the pleading look on her face, he just couldn’t refuse her request.
“All right then. But only if you promise to take good care of her yourself, and do some chores for the costs for her food. You can have your cat, Stormy, is what you called her?”

Kumiko nodded in confirmation. She kept petting Stormy, who was only too happy to lay content in her arms. Petra stepped up to Kumiko and smiled, “I hope I can visit you sometime to see how Stormy is doing.”

Kumiko smiled back, “Sure you can. I promise I will take good care of Stormy here. So how many did you sell already?”

Petra sighed. “Stormy makes two. It’s hard, because they are bigger than original cats. Most people are afraid that they will grow too big,”

Kumiko giggled, “Oh I don’t care. I can take care of myself, and her.”

Ichiro came back with Petra’s Mom and paid her the money that they were asking,

Kumiko said her goodbye to Petra, and Petra, with tears in her eyes,  said, “Bye, Kumiko; bye, Stormy.”

In a very good mood Kumiko walked home with her family, all the while petting and stroking a contently purring Stormy. When they arrived home, she went straight to her room and played with the big kitten.

Amaya came in her room with some old newspapers and a box. “Kumiko? Please put your kitten in the box for the night. And put these papers in there first, so she’ll not make too much of a mess.” She put the box with papers down and was about to leave when she stopped and looked at the bed with big eyes, “What happened here?”

Kumiko looked at her bed and saw that during playing the bedspread shifted and that the tear she had made during her nightmare showed prominently. She felt fearful and with quick thinking said, “Please don’t punish Stormy. She didn’t mean it. She’s just a little kitten.”

Amaya went over to the bed and examined the damage, “Well it’s not as bad as it looks. I think I can repair it. But be more careful with your kitten, okay?”

Kumiko quickly acknowledged, “Yes I will. Stormy will not do it again, I promise.”

Amaya took the bedspread and left the room. As Kumiko continued to play with Stormy, she suddenly felt something weird, like she had to go to the bathroom, even though she had just gone. Then she looked at Stormy, and she realized that it was Stormy who needed to go. Quickly, she put her cat on the papers, just in time, too. After cleaning up the messed up papers, Kumiko held the cat in her arms. ‘How could I feel that Stormy needed to do her business?’ Then she had another thought, ‘Maybe I have a mental connection with her? Is it because I’m a cat as well?’ She stroked Stormy, who began purring again.

Kumiko heard Sachiko call from the hall, “Dinnertime, Kumiko!” She quickly took Stormy with her downstairs. There, Ichiro had a surprise for her. He must have gone to an open pet store, for he had some cat food, litter and a litter box, (big size), that he presented to Kumiko. She was really happy with the gifts, and wanted to take them up to her room directly. But Amaya insisted that they have dinner first.

After dinner, Kumiko disappeared quickly to her room with Stormy, where she tried to expand on a mental connection.  She found that she did have a rapport with her hybrid cat. Quite soon, Stormy knew to do her business in the new litter box. So, quite quickly, she was house broken.  Quite content with her new cat and the progress made, Kumiko went to sleep already looking forward to the next day, when she could wear whatever she liked. She already knew what she would want to wear too. Thinking about it made her fall asleep very fast.

Kumiko woke up early the next morning with something heavy lying on her chest. She opened her eyes and found a contently purring Stormy asleep on her blanket. She smiled and tried not to move, but Stormy woke up from the small movements she made. She started petting the big kitten, who stayed contently on Kumiko’s bed. Then she remembered that she could wear anything she wanted.  Stormy looked at Kumiko full of interest as she searched through her wardrobe for clothes that she thought were nice. She laid out a dark shirt with cut off arms and black cargo pants. Together with the black leather ankle coat, she’d really look like a goth girl. Especially with the army boots she intended to put on.

A quick shower, but tedious drying, later Kumiko dressed in her dark outfit and put on the bulky army boots. After telling Stormy to stay put, she tried to go downstairs softly, but the boots made quite a bit of noise. Amaya was busy in the living room when she walked into the kitchen to get a few bread rolls. As she stuffed them in her mouth and washed them down with some juice, Amaya walked into the kitchen.

One look at Kumiko made her scowl and call out loudly, “And what do you think you are doing girl? You haven’t combed your hair, and those clothes are not suitable at all!”

“Ichiro said I could wear whatever I wanted today and tomorrow,” said Kumiko, indignantly, but firm.

Amaya huffed, “Well I don’t approve, so go upstairs and change!”

Kumiko was feeling enraged, “No, I won’t! Yesterday I had to wear that awful dress. Today I will wear what I like.”

Amaya took a step towards Kumiko, who in turn, backed away. “You’ll go change now!”

“No, I won’t,” Kumiko said, turning towards the door.

Amaya growled, “Koi!” {Come here!}

“Iya da!” {No way!} Kumiko snorted back, “Hottoite yo!” {Leave me alone!} She hastily pulled open the front door and left, saying, “Ittekimasy!” {I’m off}

Amaya yelled after her, “Ittarashai!” {Please return}

Kumiko just snorted again before slamming the door. She took off towards the mall in a hurry, not wanting either Amaya or Ichiro to be able to call her back.

Arriving at the mall, she looked around for a while. It was quite busy, as some mothers had taken their children shopping for school. This was the last week before school, so Kumiko wanted to make the most out of her free time. Soon she spotted a games arcade, and went in looking for some gory shoot’em up games.

She looked around for a while in the busy arcade, and watched someone in a VR booth make a mistake. His character soon got shot to pieces. As the boy exited the booth in disillusion, she quickly slipped in just before another boy could enter it. He cried out in surprise, but Kumiko didn’t pay attention. She just wanted to start playing the game.

How exactly, she didn’t know, but she knew exactly how to don the VR gear and start the game. After a tedious boring first level, she advanced and got into really good action, shooting the alien invaders. One after another of the ugly looking things got blasted to splattered slimy puss. Kumiko was having the time of her life with the game. The only thing was that it was kind of slow to her. Maybe she had improved reflexes? Then the game halted and a message appeared. <Do you want to play multiplayer game?> with a blinking ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ button beneath it.

Kumiko didn’t hesitate, and shot at the ‘Yes’ button. The game continued, but then the scenery changed slightly. Soon she saw a better looking alien, that immediately tried to shoot her. She quickly dodged the shots and returned fire. After quite a long chasing game from both sides, Kumiko managed to shoot her opponent and kill his character. From a booth next to her booth, a wail reached her ears. “Nooo, that’s not possible! I can’t be beaten. Who is this guy?”

That distracted Kumiko so much that she missed the ugly alien creeping up behind her and she quickly got shot. Her life points quickly dwindled to nothing and the message ‘Game Over’ appeared in her HUD. She said some bad words in all kinds of different languages, then took off her gear and went outside the booth. There, an agitated young man was waiting for her. He widened his eyes at the sight of the diminutive girl exiting the booth. “A girl? Who are you, that you can beat me at the game?”

Kumiko was a bit blustered and in an automatic response said, “I’m Kumiko.”

The young man smiled, “I’m Phil, I never thought someone could beat me at this game, let alone a girl. You must have been playing this for a long time, I guess.”

Kumiko gave him a sheepish look, “I think this is the first time ever I played it. I sorta have amnesia.”

Phil widened his eyes even further if that were even possible. “You never played before? I can’t believe that. Come here.” With that he pulled Kumiko towards him and kissed the flustered girl directly on her lips.

For a moment Kumiko didn’t believe what was happening. Then she realized that she was being kissed. She pulled back and slapped Phil on his cheek. He was surprised at that, and for a moment, didn’t know what to do. Then he felt so enraged he slapped Kumiko right back. He didn’t care that she was a girl. “Nobody slaps me! You hear?”

Kumiko was similarly enraged, and without thinking, extended her claws and ripped through his jacket, missing his skin by just a fraction of an inch. Phil stepped away in wonder and fear, as Kumiko suddenly realized what she had done. She bolted from the arcade and ran all the way home. Arriving there she found Ichiro waiting for her, probably wanting to have a stern word with her. She didn’t stop, however, and quickly ran past him up to her room. She slammed the door shut and picked up a startled Stormy.

She started crying while petting her big kitten, so lost in her misery that she didn’t hear the knocking or the voice asking if he could come in. When she hadn’t reacted after a few minutes, Ichiro just opened the door slowly and entered the room. Kumiko didn’t even notice him coming in her room.

Ichiro sat down next to her on the bed and put his arm around her. Kumiko automatically leaned into him and kept on crying. Ichiro cleared his throat and said softly, “We are not that angry with you, Kumiko. We just don’t approve of your clothes.”

Kumiko looked up in surprise, she hadn’t even thought about the fight with Amaya anymore. Still sobbing she said, “I’m not crying because of that.”

Now it was Ichiro’s turn to look surprised. “What is wrong then? I thought you were so upset about us not approving the way you dressed?”

Kumiko leaned back into Ichiro, “I almost lost it again. I went to a games arcade and played a game. A boy played against me in multiplayer game and didn’t like that I beat him at it. Then he kissed me and I lost my temper.”

Ichiro pushed her slightly away from him, “You lost your temper? How Kumiko?”

Kumiko looked away, “First I slapped him, then he slapped me back and I ripped open his jacket with my claws.”

Ichiro hugged her again. “Be careful with that, Kumiko. You can be dangerous with those claws.”

“I know, I will try my best not to lose my temper,” sighed Kumiko.

“Now Kumiko, about your clothes …”

“You said that I could wear what I wanted today and tomorrow,” interrupted a defending Kumiko.

Ichiro sighed, “Yes, I did say that. But I agree with Amaya that what are wearing now is totally unsuitable.”

Kumiko was about to protest vehemently, but Ichiro was finished yet. “And I am asking you nicely to wear something nice tomorrow.” Kumiko widened her eyes, but Ichiro continued, “We have an appointment at the courthouse for your official adoption hearing.”

“But I thought I was already adopted legally by signing that contract?”

Ichiro smiled, “No that was the preliminary adoption, this hearing is only to make it legal.”

“Oh, okay then, please don’t make me wear a silly dress, though,” whined Kumiko

“I’ll have Sachiko pick out something with you for tomorrow, okay?”

Kumiko just nodded.

Later she went through her closet with Sachiko, and together they picked out a nice, but not too girly outfit for Kumiko to wear the next day.

A good restful night later, Kumiko dressed in her outfit and got a good breakfast from Amaya who didn’t mention anything about the day before. Kumiko was glad about that and felt a little guilty, but very perseverant about her choice of dress the previous day.

Ichiro drove the whole family to the court house, where they had quite a wait for a while for their case to be called. While waiting on the hard bench, Kumiko pulled at the collar of her uncomfortable blouse. She didn’t really like the blouse she was wearing, but still, it was best she had in her wardrobe for an occasion like this. She certainly didn’t want to wear a dress, though Sachiko had told her that it would look even better and feel a whole lot better as well.

Finally the family was called in. The judge was already sitting and the family Furumori was asked to sit behind a table in front of everyone. The judge said, “Custody hearing 34-5B, orphaned child with amnesia.”

Kumiko was called forward and the judge asked, “Hello, what is your name?”

“I call myself Kumiko now. But I don’t know who I was before. I want to remember, but I can’t.” Kumiko bit her lower lip.

The judge’s face softened a bit, hearing that, and he continued with the procedure. Then the lawyer for the state got his turn. “I don’t think it is in the best interest of everyone, if the child stays with this family.”

The judge narrowed his eyes and asked, “And why do you say that, Mr. Heinz?”

“Because the child is extremely dangerous,” the lawyer exclaimed, taking some papers from his briefcase. “These pictures and documents prove that she should be held in a special home till she is deemed fit to be let loose in public.”

The whole Furumori family gasped hearing that, while Kumiko cringed in fear of being dragged off to a prison. The judge said, “Present your case, Mr. Heinz, and it had better be good.”

The lawyer called Heinz, stepped forward. “I have here an affidavit from Kieran Lee. He’s a martial arts instructor at the MORFS center. He was assessing the physical state of the child when without provocation, she attacked him and almost ripped open his throat with her claws.”

Kumiko wanted to interrupt and started, “Hey …”

But the judge looked in her direction, and the family’s lawyer said, “Sssh, you’ll get your turn.”

Mr. Heinz continued, “And yesterday there was another incident. As these pictures prove, there was an altercation in the games arcade in the mall. This time she ripped open the jacket of a boy, only missing his skin by a fraction of an inch.”

Kumiko whispered to the lawyer, “Can I explain these events myself please?”

The lawyer stood up, “Your Honor, my client has an explanation for these events. With your permission, I would like her to tell what happened.”

“Proceed, but keep it brief.”

Kumiko stood up, “Yesterday I played in a multiplayer game. I won, and the boy came out of his booth excited. Then suddenly he kissed me against my will. I slapped him. He then slapped me, at which point I lost my temper and slashed his vest. I didn’t mean to hurt him, and I would never have done anything if he hadn’t tried to assault me.”

The judge looked at Kumiko with interest, but didn’t show any signs of approval or disapproval. “And the incident at the MORFS center?” he asked flatly.

Kumiko narrowed her eyes at the recollection. “Lee was taunting me. He wanted me to attack him. When I did, he tried his best incapacitate me. He put a sleeper hold on me, and I don’t know how or why, but I reacted from some sort of instinct. Again I was provoked to attack, and I reacted with everything I could bear.”

The judge seemed lost in thought for a moment. Then he said, “You do have a point, Mr. Heinz. She can be dangerous to the public.

Ichiro stood up, “Your honor if I may say something?”

The judge nodded, and Ichiro continued, “I’m a doctor at the hospital. I know more about Kumiko then anyone. While I don’t deny that she has issues and a temper. I also know that she has a fragile state of mind at the moment. I’m not a practicing psychiatrist, but I do have a degree in the field. My professional opinion is that she needs stability and a loving environment. I’m sure that you will agree with me that a special home doesn’t excel in that.”

The judge smiled, “Quite true, Doctor Furumori. Do you have anything to add, Mr. Heinz?”

“Of course Dr. Furumori would defend the girl. He has taken her into his home. He has a personal stake in this.”

The family lawyer spoke up, “Dr. Furumori only took in this girl because he recognizes her problems. And the family not only supported, but encouraged the doctor to take the girl into their midst. We ask for a permanent stay with this family, until Kumiko reaches the age of consent.”

Mr. Heinz snorted, “The state asks for the child to be put into a special home for further evaluation. She’s a menace to society, and should not be let lose on the streets.”

The judge gave a curious smile that encouraged both parties into their favor. “Though Mr. Heinz has a few good points, I’m ruling that for the moment Kumiko can stay with the family Furumori. However, if in the next half year, there is a serious incident involving Kumiko seriously harming other people, her case will be reviewed again.”

Kumiko smiled brightly. She got to stay with the family! Amaya and Sachiko cheered, hearing the news, while Ichiro just smiled, as he was pleased with the outcome.

Mr. Heinz looked to the back of the room at some men who looked very unhappy with the outcome. They got to their feet quite fast and exited the room, where one pulled out an eCom and speed dialed a number. He said flatly, “Operation Pinky is a go.”

Ichiro drove the family home before going to work. The others all went into the house and were about to prepare a lunch when a big van and two cars stopped in the street before the house next door. The girls went outside to see what was happening and saw a family with a boy apparently Kumiko’s age get out. The van was clearly marked as a moving van. Sachiko said, “So there is finally someone going to live next door?”

Kumiko didn’t respond, she watched the family walk to the front door. The boy saw the girls standing and waved to them. Sachiko waved back while Kumiko just looked, without moving. Amaya joined the girls and said, “I think we should go over and meet them. But we should let them move in first, come and have some lunch.”

A bit later Amaya took a tray with cakes with her as she and the girls went over to the house next door. A woman opened the door, “Hi?”

“We’re the neighbors next door. I’m Amaya Furumori, and these are my daughters, Sachiko and Kumiko.” Sachiko stepped forward to greet the woman, while Kumiko stayed a bit back.

“Oh, hello. I’m Blanche Abrahams. Come in, please.”

Everyone went inside and met the man, Henry, and the boy who called himself Zack. While Amaya went off with Blanche, Zack took Sachiko and Kumiko to the den. They talked for a while about the neighborhood and such. Mostly it was Sachiko and Zack doing the talking. Kumiko pretty much just kept quiet. Zack, however, had only eyes for Kumiko. He only looked at Sachiko when speaking to her. Being the object of interest from a boy made Kumiko more than a bit uncomfortable.

After they finally went home, Sachiko started teasing Kumiko, “You have an admirer, Sister.”

Kumiko protested, but knew that Sachiko was right.

At the neighbors, however something strange happened. Instead of a family getting ready to settle in, they sat down around a table and talked about the encounter with their new neighbors. Then the man attached a device to the phone and punched some numbers on it. Then he dialed a number with the phone, and after a while, a distorted voice said, “Report!”

The boy Zack said, “Initial contact has been made with target. All aspects are green. Operation Pinky is underway.”

The voice from the phone responded, “Good, next report at the usual time, control out!”

End of Chapter 3





The entire MORFS  Universe can be found at