Rose Samurai part two

Josh Vogt (TheLorian)

Flavian didn’t live too far away from the bar, which was good for him, but not good for the bar. The part of the city they lived in had one of the highest crime rates of the entire world, and at the same time the highest number of virtual reality simulation centers in all of Tokyo, as they were seen as perverse by most people in the city, similar to old-world brothels. Flavian himself tried his best to avoid such establishments, unless his work led him into one. His house is next door to one, which due to all the bright lights makes it far harder to fall asleep.

He arrived home in less than ten minutes, and walked through the empty, decaying lobby up the weak, creaking staircase until he reached his floor. He’d have taken the elevator but it broke down several months ago and the landlord couldn’t afford to have it repaired, what with his struggles to avoid bankruptcy.

The entire apartment could fit inside the space of one semi-large room, approximately 30 feet by 40 feet, the longer side bearing the exterior window on one’s right as they would enter the room. The first thing he’d notice every day would be the advertisements next-door for the virtual reality simulator, and much to his chagrin, they were always more or less inappropriate. He would close the door slowly, so as not to break off it’s fragile handle or crack the already glass-like surface the door was becoming. The hard wooden floor greeted him as he stepped into the room, and he kicked off his raggedy old shoes to the side as he shambled further into his domain.

There was a counter that ran along the interior wall, which included the remnants of some cabinets, a leaky old fridge, and of course, the staple soy machines required in every home to be up to code. As he had yet to invest in curtains, he simply ignored the flashing lights of the advertisement as he maneuvered his way to the soy machine, opening one of his few functioning cabinets and placing a plastic cup beneath the dispenser. He searched through the options on the machine until he found the Hojicha tea setting. He waited as the soy machine created the artificial drink for him, gazing at the utterly disgusting counter. No matter how many times he cleaned it, it never seemed to stay as clean as he wanted. 

With it finally finished, he moved slowly across his room, using the advertisement as his only light in the dark of the night. The floor creaked as he moved, almost visible holes in the planks, but just barely safe to walk upon. As he sat on the couch, he could feel parts of it continue to tear where they had started since he’d gotten here. Still, the couch had not fallen apart on him yet, and he had hope in the big green thing. He sipped his tea, and though it didn’t really match the rich toasty flavor of Hojicha, it was close enough that he could pretend it was real. He almost relaxed, but then he heard a noise from outside. There it was, the sound of sirens in the distance. Likely just the police escorting somebody through the neighborhood because it wasn’t safe to travel. Maybe it’s a foreign dignitary or someone who doesn’t know the city at all, he thought to himself. No sane individual would knowingly come into this part of the city.

The sirens did remind him of one thing: he had a job to do. Nobody was going to do it for him, and certainly not the police, the useless lot they were. They were so corrupt that they may as well be the criminals as well. Forced into action, he set his tea back on the counter and moved over to his sleeping area. He had one mattress upon the ground, stained irreparably from use throughout the years, and a large chest, battered and old against the wall. The chest had a padlock on it, with a keypad, likely the most expensive thing in the apartment. It was a large thing, and the lock on it was worn, the keys already missing numbers from use. Upon opening the chest, he would wave away the musty smell that wafted up from inside.

Inside the chest was the most pristine thing in the entire apartment: a set of samurai armor colored the pink of the sunset, finely polished after every use. Lying next to it were the many weapons that he would need on a nightly basis, and he quickly suited up, strapping himself into the armor. He pulled one of his swords slightly out of it’s sheath, watching as the rising moon struck it lengthwise with its azure rays, reminding himself why he did what he did. He did not do it for the fame that unexpectedly came from the media, nor for the strange fans that sprung up throughout the city. Crime was tearing his home apart, and he could not stand by and watch it sink into the ocean under the weight of all the corruption. If not for him, he was sure it would only get worse.

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