1963-09-20 - Into Oblivion
Summary: One week after meeting Akihiro and inviting him into Weapon X, the young man is picked up by Yuriko Oyama, the good Doctor, and the Commander.
Related: Missing Pieces Plot
Theme Song: None
natasha akihiro stryker deathstrike 

It's been a week, and, as promised, Yuriko Oyama and several of her cohorts have gathered at the alley which she had promised to meet one Akihiro Howlett. She leans against the brick building adjacent to the alley and takes a long languid puff on the cigarette dangling form her lips. Her black pant suit definitely isn't in style, but it suits her well enough (pun intended). With her dark hair pulled into a tight ponytail, she has a nearly harsh look about her person.

A large satchel remains tucked under her arm, and a furtive glance is cast towards the vehicle just across the street. The dark windows conceal the Director inside, but Yuriko knows he's always watching. "Hewlett will show," she states blandly as her eyes turn to her fingernails expectantly.


Yuriko's cohorts include Gretchen Steingate, dressed for the alley rendezvous in black flats, a black skirt, muted blue and red floral blouse, an absent white coat, and a clipboard under the arm. She, too, is puffing on a cigarette while casting nervously expectant glances down the sidewalk.

"How can you be so sure?" she quietly dares to wonder without looking Yuriko's way.


And show Akihiro does. The teen rounds the corner, cigarette between his lips and his attention on a book in his hands. "Because I'm a lot of things doctor, but I try not to be a liar." He closes the book, which is revealed to be a best seller in Japan written by a former kamikaze pilot, Kenji Oyama.

"So, we're ready to move out then? Or is there a nondisclosure agreement I need to sign?" He seems in better spirits at least. "Actually, I imagine the explosives are agreement enough."


"Because I did," Yuriko mutters to Gretchen as her chin tucks to her chest. She takes another long puff on her cigarette as the teen rounds the corner, and her eyes lift to take him in. A smirk tugs at her lips at the mention of the explosives. "They're an insurance policy rather than an agreement, Mister Howlett." Her eyebrows lift at the book, but no remark is made about it, instead her eyes draft to the car across the street.

"The Director will summon our vehicle now hat you've arrived. He's very busy, and would've seen you himself but," her lips quirk into a tight smile, "duty calls~" she virtually sings.

The folder tucked her arm is passed to Akihiro followed by a pen that she retrieves from her pocket. "Sign your life away. The Director likes the t's dotted and i's crossed."


The cigarette nearly falls out of Gretchen's mouth when she starts at the sound of Akihiro's voice. It's held between her fingers for a long drag, after which she takes a step back to let he and Yuriko hash things out. She watches him through a puff of smoke, disdainful and tense— and, thanks to the talk of explosives and insurance, curious.

She allows a low, "Your committment to self-improvement is an inspiration," after another puff.


"Wouldn't call it self-improvement. We do what we know, but you know how that is." Akihiro looks up long enough to shoot Gretchen a wink, before he returns to going over the contents of the folder he was handed. "Just hope I get what I was promised. Be a shame to waste all those years I spent training." He proceeds to sign where he was instructed, then he produces a small container and stamps his seal next to the signatures.


A wry eyebrow raise follows Akihiro's defence. "What do you mean the years you spent training, Mister Howlett?" Evidently Yuriko remains cynical. Her jaw tightens and she studies the outside of the book. And then, finally curiosity gets the better of her, "Why that particular book?" Because if he's trying to rattle her, it's clearly not working. Clearly.

After the seal is stamped on the documents, Yuriko steals the folder back and tucks it under her arm again. The vehicle across the street exits its parking spot to motor away. Almost in quick succession, a black 16 passenger van pulls up and the door opens, allowing the party to enter. Yuriko looks to the others, "After you."

While the back of the van is empty, both the driver and front passenger seats are occupied.


"Of course," Gretchen evenly replies, eyes meeting Akihiro's for those brief moments. "It's my job to, after all."

There's nothing for her to add to the signing, so she takes the opportunity to write down a few notes. Once the van arrives, she tucks the 'board back in against her body and climbs into the back.


"I was fourteen when I went to Canada. Sure it was a nice place. But all I left there with was the ability to resist torture, infiltrate and kill. Can't say I enjoyed it, but it's been useful." Akihiro explains, pausing slightly when she mentions the book.

If he knows of Yuriko's relation to the man, he doesn't let on. "It's an interesting read. Suppose I can relate in some ways, but it's generally too pessimistic. I'd understand if in doing what he did he killed his mother or hurt his children, but he had no control over not dying there. Seems the dramatic type to me." He climbs aboard the van, taking a seat.


A tight-lipped smile follows Akihiro's remark about Canada. "The Canadians have rather," her lips tighten into a grimace, "unconventional methods to meet their goals. Especially now." Once the other two are tucked into the vehicle, she follows suit, taking a seat nearest the door.

"Commander," she calls towards the front, "we are ready to head to DC. Mister Howlett has signed the paperwork." She leans forward to study Akihiro a few beats. "The procedure should be, relatively, painless." A glance is cast towards Gretchen, "Mister Howlett will be undergoing two procedures. You are tasked with completing his psych assessment before and after," as if Gretchen did know. "The first procedure, as per your agreement with Director Colcord, is the instalment in," she taps her temple. "Your healing factor should help you withstand any pain."

"Following that," her throat clears, "we will be activating and coating your claws with adamantium. Following which, the Director insists, you will be given your first mission on behalf of the project."


"Of course," says Gretchen while casting her gaze towards Akihiro. "I'm sure that we can find plenty to talk about. It sounds like Mr. Howlett's going to have a very eventful few days." She then turns her attention down to the clipboard, pen coming into hand.

"Are you excited?" she wonders.


"I've already talked with my father about the process." Akihiro informs Yukio. "I know that he went feral for a number of years after he had the entire process done, so I'm prepared for this to be one of the most painful thing I've ever experienced."

With that said he looks over at Gretchen. "More worried than anything. You came close to seeing what happens when I get hurt too badly, or become too angry. I'd hate to lose myself and have my head blown off for it."


"What X-1," not Howlett, not Logan, X-1, "had done is far more invasive than what we intend for you, Mister Howlett. At least for the time being." Yuriko's fingers steeple and the vehicle jerks into motion. "So no, this procedure will not be terribly invasive." Her lips edge upwards in a nearly feline smile, "Should you prove yourself and stay on with the Project longer term?" She issues him a one-armed shrug. The Director had promised.

She turns her head to catch Gretchen. "Did you? Please detail this for me. I require debriefing to understand what kinds of problems may present themselves."


Gretchen looks up and squints towards Akihiro for a long moment before lowering her eyes.

"It was when the Coney Island site was raided," she murmurs, trying and failing to keep a scowl from forming, "When those mutants tried to abduct me. It must have been after I managed to escape them— I certainly didn't see the subject in any such state. I'm assuming that there are no guards…?"


"Don't actively torture me, and use that sedative you had developed for use on Laura during the bonding process, and you won't have any problems." Akihiro assures Yuriko. "Could use it to your advantage if you had any large targets, actually."

His gaze moves back over to Gretchen, "There were plenty of guards there. Were. But they made the mistake of shooting me, so they're wherever the remains of that site are."


"We don't require guards at this moment," Oyama replies to Gretchen. "No one can keep you safer than I can, Doctor." Yuriko's eyebrows lift. The remarks about mutants cause her body to stiffen, and then, almost on cue, she states, "Defective weapons need to be repaired in the Armoury. The Commander will recall the weapons."

Her head then turns to Akihiro. "That wasn't torture," Yuriko counters simply. "It was a test. You passed." Whatever that means. "Those guards are in the bottom of the ocean," Yuriko states matter-of-factly.

A voice from the front, familiar to the passengers echoes towards the back. "We will get young Mister Howlett to the facility for the procedure. After which Oyama will help him to hone his new talents and take him on his first mission," Stryker stares out the window in front of him.


"From Coney Island," Gretchen tightly clarifies. "So you that you could be debriefed on the subject's… heightened emotional state." After shaking her head a little, she adds, "It's not so important, anyway: there should be plenty of opportunities for observation."


"Of course that wasn't torture. I went through worse before you grabbed me." Akihiro assures everyone. "Really I just hope you've learned that saying please works better than telling people what they're going to do."

"Oh," he flashes Gretchen a smile, "us mutants aren't that bad. I mean I could have probably taken over Hell's Kitchen already if I wanted to. But, I'm only eighteen. Got a few hundred years left to decide what I want to do."


"Indeed," Yuriko agrees. "The Director and Commander have tasked me with your training," she asserts to Akihiro, with a clearing of her throat. "And The Doctor will see to your mental needs," she rolls her eyes, evidently Yuriko doesn't think highly of other members of her team. "For now, however, I suggest relative silence until we reach the DC facility."

And so the van drives into oblivion, into another kind of hell.

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