❯ Traitors in the Midst – One-Shot

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

Disclaimer: I don’t own Akira, and stuff. The actual guy that does is Katsuhiro Otomo. I just write about it in my spare time. Kyatto Ninden Teyandee (aka Samurai Pizza Cats) is copyright Tatsunoko Productions and Sotsu Agency.

Author’s Note: The reference to Tetsuo and Eiichi (one of the « supporting » Capsules and the guy who told Kaori that Tetsuo got captured) having similar voices is a reference to the 1989 Streamline dub. If you have not seen that version, just know that they kinda sounded alike (since they shared the same voice actor).


Traitors in the Midst


It was three in the morning, but Kaneda was bolt awake. And it wasn’t because of drugs this time.

It was a few days after the second Akira incident, and Kaneda had not gotten a wink of sleep since. Right now, he was sitting in the floor of his dorm room with a can of beer in his hand that was almost full. Fortunately, his school campus had been far away enough from ground zero that it didn’t take much damage. It wasn’t completely unscathed, however; one of the dorms had a wall and its ceiling ripped off. And this dorm was making weird groaning noises that he swore it never made before. One of the reasons he didn’t want to go to sleep is because he just didn’t trust the building’s structural integrity.

Another reason he probably wasn’t sleeping was because he had to sleep in the floor. He was letting Kei borrow his bed for now. He wanted to get in the bed with her at times (for reasons other than sleeping, too), but he knew that would probably make her angry. He really didn’t want to blow his chances with her.

But the biggest reason why Kaneda just couldn’t sleep was because he was too busy fuming. He couldn’t stop thinking about Tetsuo. But it wasn’t because he missed Tetsuo, or anything; he was absolutely furious at Tetsuo.

The last week had been absolute hell. First, Tetsuo had gotten himself in an accident, and then was taken away by government agents for reasons he still couldn’t figure out why. Not wanting to see his best friend of over ten years dissected like a common science class frog, Kaneda immediately set out to rescue him. But upon finding him, Tetsuo suddenly turned on Kaneda and tried to kill him. And then he tried to kill everybody he saw. And then he turned into some sort of horrible blob monster, and accidentally ate his own girlfriend. Then he disappeared into some weird vortex thing when some creepy dead kid in a jar revived himself, (hopefully) never to be heard from again.

Kaneda wished Tetsuo hadn’t been taken away. Because how would he know Tetsuo was dead for sure without seeing a corpse? For all he knew Tetsuo was just sealed away somewhere, like they do to demons in movies and video games. Whatever the case, he sure hoped that Akira kid did him and everyone else the favor of getting rid of his former friend. He sure deserved it. After all, Kaneda had literally risked life and limb trying to rescue him from that government lab, and he just goes on a killing spree? Some gratitude! If he had known Tetsuo was going to do that, he wouldn’t have bothered – just let the damn doctors cut him up!

There were, however, those odd flashbacks Kaneda had when he got stuck in that vortex of Akira’s that threatened to make him feel guilty. Threatened, but didn’t succeed. It just aggravated him even more. Perhaps, if he had he never returned Tetsuo’s toy, none of this would have happened. They would have never been friends, Tetsuo would have never been in the gang, he would have never been in that accident, he would have never been experimented on and turned into a psychic, the explosion would have never happened, and everything would be right with the world.

Of course, there was also the nagging feeling that Tetsuo’s rants had a point. Was he really bossy? Was he such a bad leader that his own members wanted to overthrow him? No, no, he shouldn’t be thinking about that. He had always tried to keep his members’ best interests in mind – much unlike their rivals, the Clowns, who would seemingly leave their injured members to die or get arrested. And then there were hardcore gangs on the other side of town like the Gunstar Runners who would kill each other just because they felt like it. So if anything, Tetsuo should have been thankful he was in the Capsules. His sudden treachery was entirely his fault.

But what bothered Kaneda the most was that Tetsuo seemed to have been planning this for some time. He said things like, « Ever since we were little…, » and, « …Always treating me like a kid. » It sounded like he had been harboring a secret grudge against him the whole time. All these years, and he never noticed it! Never saw it coming! He didn’t know if he was just stupid, or Tetsuo was just really good at hiding things. Well next time, Kaneda was going to be a lot more attentive.

Like Kai for example. What black-hearted evil was lurking underneath his somewhat goofy exterior? Let’s see… well, like Tetsuo, he was a junior member. He was a pretty good rider – he could take out Clowns twice his size, and he did a pretty good job of dodging those SOL beams. He was also kind of strange. He liked to wear ties, he could vomit up blood on command, and he had this creepy obsession with Kobe beef.

So what was he plotting? Maybe, since he had skill but was still considered a « junior » member, he was secretly feeling unappreciated. Maybe he was planning on taking over the Capsules behind all their backs! Or maybe…maybe it was worse that Kaneda thought. After all, he didn’t know Kai as well as he did Tetsuo. For all he knew, Kai was secretly a double agent, secretly spying on them for the Clowns! Maybe that’s why he acted so strange – he was using his short stature and quirky behavior as a ruse so nobody would suspect him! Or maybe he was acting so strange because he was a serial killer! Maybe he was an assassin for one of the hardcore gangs, and he was only waiting for the right time to kill everybody! Maybe that’s how Yamagata really ended up dead! Maybe the whole thing about Tetsuo in the bar was just something Kai made up – maybe Kai was the one who actually killed Yamagata! He probably led Yamagata into the bar, then strangled him to death with his tie! And then he smashed his head open with a pipe to make it look like Tetsuo had killed him, just in case anybody came looking! And then he killed the bartender, because he was a witness! OH GOD, AND NOW HE WAS GOING TO-

No, no, no…that wasn’t right. He may not have known Kai as well as Tetsuo, but he figured it wasn’t likely that Kai was secretly out for his throat. After all, he helped out a lot during the fight with Tetsuo. If Kai really was out to kill him, wouldn’t he have just let Kaneda get fried by the SOL beams? And wouldn’t he have tried to kill him long before that? And if Tetsuo had never been in that bar, how would Kai have known to make it look like a telekinetic killing? He wouldn’t have known Tetsuo was even psychic…

Well, what about Yamagata? He was second-in-command of the Capsules, and he could certainly be cocky. He and Kaneda did have words with each other about things – like who to let into the gang, who to kick out, girls, bikes, and even which Kyatto Ninden Teyandee episode was the best. Maybe he was-well, no…Yamagata wasn’t too good at keeping secrets. And if he had a problem with anybody, he tended to curse them out right on the spot.

…Or did he?!

…Yeah, he probably did. And what did it matter now, anyway? He was dead.

But what about the other members of the Capsules? What about Eiichi? He sounded a lot like Tetsuo, what if he also had the same mindset? What if he also had some secret grudge against Kaneda and was planning on killing him? And what about Kuwata and Takeyama? They were the older, higher-ranking members, and the « muscle » of the gang. What were they up to? Maybe they were secretly tired of taking orders from a teenager. Maybe they figured that since they were the strongest, they should be leading the Capsules!

On second thought…someone’s voice wasn’t a very reliable judge of their character. Besides, Kaneda and Eiichi rarely hung out let alone knew each other all that well; it was unlikely Eiichi was planning on killing Kaneda too. And neither Kuwata or Takeyama seemed to have an ounce of leadership between them. In fact, they seemed rather content in their current ranks. But even if they weren’t, it didn’t matter now, anyway; Kaneda hadn’t seen hide nor hair of either one of them since the explosion. If they hadn’t gotten killed, they probably split.

But what about Kei…? As much as Kaneda didn’t want to think about it, Kei could very well be up to something right under his nose, too. She was a terrorist, after all. She killed a soldier right in front of his face, and she broke into a top secret government lab. She also fought a psychic Tetsuo all by herself. Well, okay…not entirely by herself. Those creepy wrinkled kids had possessed her at the time, but he wasn’t going to split hairs. But anyway, how did he know she wasn’t going to shoot him or blow him up « for the revolution »?

No, that was stupid. Her beef was with the government, not him. In fact, he had helped her out during that raid on the lab, and he was currently giving her a place to stay. Therefore, it was highly unlikely that she’d suddenly decide to assassinate him. Not only that, but her terrorist group got wiped out during that raid. And since the government was severely punished by the battle with Tetsuo and the Akira incident, it was unlikely they’d do anything worth rebelling against anytime soon. Thus « revolution » was pretty much over.

…Or so he thought!

Yeah, so he thought. Kaneda shook his head, trying to drive those paranoid thoughts from his mind.

Easy there, Kaneda. Don’t let Tetsuo get to ya, he thought. You don’t wanna end up psycho like he did!

He took a sip of beer. He then noticed that he was actually beginning to feel tired. Maybe he could finally get some sleep?

The dorm building then made one of those deep groaning sounds. No, probably not. He could finish his beer, though. So as Kaneda guzzled down the rest of his beer, he continued to tell himself that Tetsuo’s treachery didn’t mean the rest of the world was out to get him.

…But he would still be more attentive. Just in case.