Rapunzel and the Art of Suicide

(It's kinda meh, and a lotta bit long, so yeah......)

(Dialogue translated from Japanese)

Magitek research facility; Tokyo, Japan

The Magitek research facility lies in the heart of Tokyo, amongst many other skyscrapers used in business and research. Though outward appearances aren't much, especially when compared to some of these surrounding buildings. It would appear as just another one of the many. However, further study into the facility could prove quite peculiar indeed. Publicly, they are known as an organization committed to the merging of science and magic. They conduct research with magically enhanced pharmaceuticals, materials, technology, and more. But there isn't much there, not much to show for it all; not for the public eye, at least. They remain a small business, and the true underlying workings, no one really knows of, save for a select few. Certain measures are put in place to ensure this information never gets out. Though they put on a well-played cover that holds up even to regulations and inspections, many morally questionable practices take place underground, away from prying eyes. Currently of utmost importance, a most recent endeavor, overseen by Dr. Manami Kitajima, involving an unusual girl with violet hair reaching down to her feet, unseeing eyes, and a special connection to the celestial element known as æther, or ether. Theories abound about what exactly it entails, but general consensus is that it means great power, even if it exists as untapped potential. The girl herself, at times, seems to give off a particular, very noticeably powerful energy signature. Other times, it seems to become entirely undetectable by any means. The aim in her capture three months ago in South America was twofold. First, to find out why the energy signature fades in and out as it does. The second, to find a way to harness and control this energy and make it usable for humans, applicable in the daily life. To turn it up to maximum, permanently, and make it available for use in electronics, buildings, vehicles, and more. Manami's research suggests should their goals come to fruition, it could mean clean, reusable energy for the entire planet, indefinitely. Given the nature of the power that resides in her, applications could be literally limitless. That is, at the expense of the girl. It's been said before, paradise must always come at a price.

At the moment, the doctor was conducting yet another procedure designed to study her physiology. An opening was made in the chest, though due to her remarkably fast healing, special methods were used to keep the cavity open. They had been making slow but steady progress measuring bodily responses to different stimuli while also connected to a number of monitoring machines, though with a limited time frame, for at any moment her energy levels might spike once more and she would return to the waking world. After a couple of hours, she was overdue.

She awoke on the operating table, bound tightly by reinforced steel restraints at the arms and legs which held so tight as to restrict all but the smallest movements. Long, mauve colored hair slithering along the ground was the first indication of life in the girl, even before she herself consciously moved any muscles. This alone let the others in the room know that she was awake. Soon after, her body began knitting itself back together. A few nervous glances passed between the scientists before their eyes drew toward Kitajima. "<We're done, for now. Take her back into holding. Be quick, but careful.>"The blindfold over her face prevented her eyes from discerning anything from the environment, but this was nothing new. Her other senses picked up so much. One animal and five human heartbeats in that room alone. Hundreds in the entire building. The overwhelming nauseating sterile smell in the room. The stench of the cold steel of the rifles of the sweaty men in the hall, recently polished and cleaned, near flawless in and out. Tapping her finger on the table, the small sound which was beneath the notice of anyone else provided to her a sonar-like map of the surrounding area. But that small movement itself indicated the strangely magically enhanced drugs used to keep her under were beginning to wear off. And sure enough, slowly the pain of precisely one hundred needles penetrating her body, as well as the incision made by the scalpel that made the hole in her chest, began to set in. Not long after and it hit full force, sending the girl into a panic. She tried struggling against the restraints but could get no leeway. Her hair whipped about violently like it was made of angry vipers, though the only real harm it did was disrupting whatever plans they had. Reacting on instinct, the doctor grabbed a syringe, loaded it up with an anesthetic, and plunged it directly into the girl's heart. She was down in seconds and they started loading her onto a cart to be strolled away. But as soon as she had been freed from her restraints, she came to life, thrashing about and assailing the scientists with her arms and legs. They had numbers, but their combined might couldn't hold her for long. Within seconds she was up and out of the door, sprinting aimlessly through the halls. Dr. Kitajima's voice rang out over the PA system. "<All hands be at the ready. Patient has escaped. Seal the exits and bring her down. Authorizing as much force as necessary.>" Normally, this wouldn't be allowed, but under such special circumstances, it wouldn't matter. This subject could handle it. Not the sound of the tramping boots nor the clacking of the guns halted her. A group of men lined up a few yards in front of her and laid down heavy suppressing fire. She went down almost immediately. More tramping as they moved over to her location. Kitajima stepped forth and kicked her, a small check, though the body full of bullets told the story all its own. "<I don't see what the big alert was all about.>" one of the men spoke out. "<She can't even see. That was easy.>" It got quiet for a moment and then she heard it. An elevator coming down, carrying six more heartbeats. Just a few meters around the corner. Before any could react, she sprung up to her feet and bounded right through the men to the elevator, through the other group that was exiting, and mashed frantically on the buttons in the hopes of being taken to ground level. "<Shut off that elevator!>" the doctor called out, and the technician of the group went to work. "<Send a team up to get her. If any of this gets out, The Association will have my head.>" The girl made little progress before her trip was halted, but she was not to be hindered. Instead, she leapt to the ceiling, hanging like some kind of animal. Raising her fist, she punched right through the steel and tore through the roof within seconds. Following this, she hopped to the walls and began climbing her way up the elevator shaft. By the time the teams got there and realized what happened, she would be halfway gone. That is, if it wasn't for the doctor's familiars. A number of large bat-like creatures that often served as her eyes and ears around the facility. Once alerted to the presence, they swarmed the elevator, screeching their own alarms for all to hear.The appropriate response was of course to load up the elevator with men and send it speeding upward, driving the escapee with a sense of urgency to the top floor, where she leapt out of the shaft into an office floor. It was quieter there, and didn't smell quite so sterile. A pleasant change in her mind. No cold stone floors or steel walls. So busy savoring the feel of the carpet beneath her feet and the freedom she had yet to see through to fruition, she didn't even notice the DING! of the elevator signifying the new arrivals. Only too late, as someone caught a hold of her long hair, using it to keep her in place. He tugged and she tugged, neither really giving much, until she bent forward to stand on her hands and hit him with a mule kick that sent him crashing back into the elevator. Again, she started running, this time without the pressure of heavy gunfire, being aboveground and their need to stay somewhat incognito. The men chased, but she was faster, and she ran until she came to face a glass window.

Faced with her next course of action and the pain she knew it would cause or capture, she chose the lesser of two evils. In a desperate bid for escape, she crashed her body through the window of the top floor, shards of glass cutting into her flesh, and sunk down to the streets below like a rock. Her descent, however, was cut short by a large semi-trailer truck moving along the road, which collided with her body and sent it careening like a ragdoll through the air, farther down the road a few blocks before tumbling to a halt.

By the time the scientists got to the scene, the girl was gone.

"<Subject nowhere in sight. All hands be on the lookout in the surrounding area, and begin with tracking procedures once more. We have to find her, and soon.>"

Dr. Kitajima shook her head in disappointment, taking a drag from a cigarette and letting out a deep sigh before heading back inside. It would take a bit of work to explain the situation to the public in a satisfying way, but that was the least of her concerns. One parcel of knowledge brought her something akin to comfort. The fact that all the subject wanted was escape, and not revenge.

Because if she knew what she was doing, we'd be dead right now.