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((Kimiko Kao continued from Why We Fight))

Kimiko had slowly made her way to the asylum, being careful to stay as hidden as she could. She had hesitated once it had appeared on the horizon, slowly looming over her as she moved closer. It represented a lot of different things, many of them dark and she was certain some were evil. Her fingers had nervously fiddled with her necklace, she didn't like the place. It was the superstitious part of her brain that was telling her to fear it. She knew the building itself held no power, the real power lay in the ideas it represented. That people could be fixed by shipping them off to an island prison and forgetting about them. All the while the doctors got to experiment on them.

The idea of monsters lurking in the dark corners of the asylum itself was also a crazy thought her brain had conjured up out of all the fear and uncertainty that floated around her mind like the wreckage of a ship. Kimiko was sure she was still sane but her increasing paranoia had her worried, she had enough to fret about without conjuring up monsters that didn't exist.

Once she had entered the asylum through its main door Kimiko had been presented with a choice. She could have stayed on the ground floor, gone upstairs or go down. After a brief moment of internal debate, she had decided to descend into the darkness.

She had one singular thought, a concept even enter into her head as soon as she saw what was at the bottom of those dark, unwelcoming stairs.


Kimiko had never given the stories about hell much stock. The whole idea of the afterlife was different for Taoist's. But faced with what was at the bottom of the staircase she thought she was close to Diyu. It even reminded her of another name for hell - Mingjie. The asylum itself could have even been hell, or a hell. There was a name for that as well but it eluded Kimiko as she stood in the layer of cold water that coated the floor. It didn't quite soak into her boots but every step brought forth a soft clapping noise, like something was pleased she was there. Still she forced herself deeper into the bowels of the asylum, until eventually the darkness enveloped her.

After what felt like an unending corridor she finally came to a set of double doors. Being careful to minimize the noise as she pushed them open, the first thing Kimiko noticed was the smell. Instinctively she put her hand over her mouth as she gagged, eyes watering. There were bodies in the room, she had no idea how recent they were but her right-hand reached into her pocket and gripped the tantō tight, as much for comfort as any intention to use it.

Taking much more deliberate steps Kimiko moved further into the room closer to the bodies, as soon as she was able to make them out more clearly so too did one thought become much more prominent than all the others.

She had been right.
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