A Waste of Justice
-> RTS Page for Livingstone 2
Livingstone, Chapter 2 (Weekly Morning, No. 36 & 37, 2009)
Souls—The source of life,
And the controllers of our destiny.
[left of logo ghost]This is a slightly shifted reality.
[below logo]The second installment of the new series that asks, "What is the soul?"
Chapter 2: A Waste of Justice
[margin below frame]This is a fictitious work. Any semblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
=...It wasn't your fault...
=It wasn't my fault, either...
=Our line of work is pretty special.
=I can't say it pays well,//But we've got just as much worth and responsibility as the Pope.
=We handle "souls."
="Souls" have a lifespan of 5000 years, and are passed on from person to person during that time. We have the important duty of ensuring their safety.
=But gosh... Where the heck did Amano go?
=Is that your new partner?
=What's he like?
=Hasn't Mr. Tokieda told you, Kae?
=People like Amano who get sent over for the job are different from us.
=They don't have "souls."
=They have no memories from when they were human,
=And I've heard they get something else put inside of them that isn't a soul.
=Like they exist just to carry out their work.
=I guess it means they can't understand people's feelings.
=They get involved with other people like it's nothing.
=Even though there's the risk of upsetting your own "plan" if you interfere with other people's lives.
=Sounds like you don't have very many friends, Mr. Sakurai.
=What!?//Even I have lots of—
Only new years greetings I got this year,
Were advertisements, huh—
=I mean, that whole thing about upsetting your "plan" sounds like an excuse.//You just don't want to get hurt by getting involved with other people.
=How do you expect to grow without getting hurt?
=That's... Really deep...
=I bet my soul is way more experienced than yours, Mr. Sakurai.
=I'm not a little baby who refuses to eat pickles.
But they're so sour though...
=...I wonder how old my soul is.
=Probably around adolescence or something.//When kids lock themselves in their rooms.
=Piece o' cake.
=...Do you have any idea what you're doing?
=—Yeah, the soul broke because there was an "unplanned" accident, and it became a "stain."//So I cleaned it up.
=Are those flowers what you call an offering?
=That person isn't here anymore. They're dead.
=The growth of the soul, huh...
=But getting involved with other people doesn't do any...
=...I knew it doesn't do any good...!!
=Can you please let him off the hook!
=Who the hell are you...? You've got nothing to do with this.
=Oh... Well... Umm...
=That's... My younger brother.
=Wow, you really got beaten up.//Does it hurt?
=Nope, not really.
=I just have an odd feeling in my right arm.
=Yeah, that's called being hurt!
=I got a bit... Carried away.
=Oh no, I'm sorry for what my brother did.
[keep typo]=I don't have an older brothe—
=...I also have a troublesome younger brother,
=Well, we hardly ever said hi to each other once we became adults...
=Isn't that normal?//Getting too involved doesn't do any good either.
=Right,//I felt the same way.
=But if you don't get involved,
=You end up regretting it anyways.
=Once they die... There's nothing you can do.
=No matter how many flowers you give,//It's too late... Right?
=...I see...//I'm really, terribly sorry...
=...No,//You were exactly right.
=He's not there anymore.
=...Sorry about hitting you.
=Souls that fail to fulfill their "plan" due to an unexpected accident, break apart into pieces...
=Places that are stained by the pieces of the Livingstone carry negative energy, leading to other unplanned accidents.//Cleaning those "stains" is also part of our job.
="...But Amano, we always have to work together.//It's a rule, okay?"
=Look!//It's more annoying when you do a job by yourself and end up getting beaten up!
Please take this seriously!
=I gave you my old cellphone, remember!? Answer my calls!
=Piece of crap.
=Anyways, forget about that.
=This is weird.
=That guy from before...
=I purged the "stains" on the guardrail,//And I collected the Livingstone. I didn't make any mistakes.
=But there was a blotchbeast clinging to that guy's body.
=You know what that means?
=Wow, you're stupid.//It means that guy walked by another "stain" somewhere around here.
=Gosh, take your job seriously,//Big brother!
=What's up, Sakurai.
=Who are you calling?
=Mr. Arima.//He's the detective that helps us out with our work, remember?
=Just wanted to know if anything's been going on around 2nd Street of XX Town in Shinjuku.
=Have there been any incidents recently? Like an accidental death?
=...//You better keep this under wraps.
=The police aren't supposed to trust occult people like you.//If it's a case, then don't stick your head in. Leave it to the state.
=Yeah, I know.
=The investigation's been called off on the grounds that he probably just took off,
=But 2 weeks ago, there was a search request put in for an 18-year old runaway kid.
=He was last seen working at the construction site on the corner of the intersection before he went missing.
=There it is...
[screen]Redial//No. 27//Work: Yamada//0907
=BEE.. BEE—P BEE—P//BEE—P
=...He blocked the number...
=...Why'd we wait until nighttime?//It's hard to see.
=It's better if nobody's around.
=There's a risk of upsetting your own "plan" if you get involved in other people's business.//Always be calm, and...
=No, that was definitely you.
=What's wrong with this dog...?
=It's so gaunt, and...
=There's the "stain."
=There...? Is the dog... Protecting it?
=Who are you?
=Oh... Hello there.
=A steel pipe...? This can't be normal...
=You... What are you doing here?
=You're not from the health center, are you?//...Trying to give a stray dog something to eat...?
=Uhh... Yes, that's about right.
=...//Can't have you doing that...
=This is bad...!
=I'm sorry, we just got lost and wandered in here.//We'll be going now, so—
=What the fuck are you doing!!?
=Uck... Uh... A-Art! It's graffiti art, right? Amano?
=Sorry we'll pay for the damages...//I mean, we'll erase it.
=You gotta be kidding me!
=You guys are fucking criminals!
=I'm gonna call the police on you!
=Aren't you the one who doesn't want the police coming over?
=Oh... Shoot, I said it.
=How...//How much do you know...!?
=We're just here to clean up the stains of a person's death.
=Amano, you idiot—!
=There's no going back now—!
=It doesn't hurt.//Maybe 'cause I don't have a soul?
=What the hell are you guys...!?
=It's hard to explain, but...//We're not from the police, or anything like that.
=Please give me 1 minute.
=Amano, hand me the Livingstone... I have to see.
=See the memory of this soul...
=These aren't the memories...
=The memory of his death is—
=Leave it for tomorrow—
=It's getting dark. It's dangerous.
=Alright. I'm just going to bring this thing down.
=...A young man,
=He lost his footing...
=Right around there.
=You were working down below.
=...How did you know...?//Were you watching...?
=Well... Yes, sort of.
=Actually, I saw it just now, but...
=...That was just an accident.
=It wasn't your fault.
=...I didn't have a choice...
=...I'm sorry, Mr. Yamada.
=There was... An accident.
=...The kid we hired for the day... He's gone.
=...We actually don't offer insurance to day laborers.
=...That's not good.
=...Who else is left?
=...I'm the only one.
=Let's keep this a secret between the two of us.
=The insurance is my responsibility.//But you were the one on the scene, Mr. Takabe.
=You have a family too, don't you?//Are you gonna be able to pay for the damages?
=Don't worry, it happens every now and then.
=I buried the body...//In the mountains.
=...You're gonna call the police?
=Heck no. That would be annoying.//Our job here is done.
=You just went along with the company's cover-up, right?//I don't think you'll get a hefty sentence if you turn yourself in.
=Well,//Not that anyone would ever find out if you left it like this.
=You're not... Going to do anything...?
=...We can't make decisions about right and wrong.
=Human values are constantly shifting, and what we deem righteous may end up destroying a person's life.
=Our only standard is to "Not harm the soul."
=I've... Got to turn myself in.//I can't keep thinking, "It wasn't my fault."
=Accident or not,//...I got myself involved.
=A person died.//And I chose to do "nothing," so I...
=But if you don't get involved,
=You end up regretting it anyways.
=What about me...?
=Hey,//Can you lend me your phone?
=I wanna call my boss,//But he blocked my number.
[keep typo]=...Yes, no proble—
=Hello, Yamada.//...Oh, Mr. Takabe.
=Huh!?//Turning yourself in?
=...Alright alright, look.
=You were the one on the scene, right Mr. Takabe?//And you were also the one who got rid of the body, correct?
=B-But, you told me to hide it!
=I did, but there's no evidence to prove that.
=...A person died...!
=It's just a part-timer. There's plenty of replacements.
=So what if he's dead.
=You're gonna ruin my life just so you can turn yourself in and have a clear conscience?
=Please try to refrain from bringing down the company with your worthless sense of justice.
=Alright, that's all.
=...He hung up.//Here you go.
=...What're you gonna do, mister?
=...Evidence or no evidence, this is my problem.
=...I'm gonna turn myself in.
=Please, take this.
=I recorded that conversation just now.
=Sorry about not telling you...
=You can do that!? With that piece of crap!?
I'm gonna punch you...
=...I ended up getting involved.
=So I can't just back and watch.
=Getting involved with other people, huh...
=Wonder if I did the right thing...
=Several days later—
[sign]Criminal Investigation Department
=Here, the cellphone we were keeping as evidence.
=The suspect turned himself in, so we don't need it anymore.
=90% of your life is predetermined.
=That, is the "plan."
=If the "plan" is disrupted, the soul is harmed.
=The important part is connecting the soul to the next world.//It's not about right and wrong in the world we're living in.
=I already know all that.
=That's kind of... Sad.
=Yeah.//I didn't think he was a bad person...
=Like he said,//I think I would've regretted it if I hadn't gotten involved.
=...I'm not really sure what the soul is...
=But it's probably what gives a person their heart, and their feelings.//And I... Want to make the most of that.
=...Huh?//You ate them?
=This sourness is nothing compared to the bitterness of life!
=I said you're still a kid 'cause you're talking life based on pickles!
[right text]Difficulties of the job. Taken with a side of sourness.
Chapter 2 / End
Watch out for another color release in the next issue!