MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING: If psychological disorders and suicide are triggers, DO NOT read! ID: Invaded gets heavy into this and I am writing to the feel of the series.

Story intentionally picks up in the middle of the last scene where Narihisago and Hondomachi come out of the final dive. I did grab their dialog and actions-expanding on the latter. But this already written story goes WELL beyond the last extraction scene. This is just the set up as I wanted to explore the consequences of what happened during the final two episodes since they skip ahead.

I hope you enjoy my take on ID: Invaded.


File: HUNTED

Chapter 1

Narihisago opened his eyes. The screen of the cockpit glowed green against the black panel.

They were back? They'd been retrieved from the well? Damn … he'd been right to hold out the faint hope for a rescue. How utterly strange it had been knowing himself inside the well … er wells, and a little disorienting now that he wasn't. This was certainly a trip for the books, too bad Momoki had missed out.

Suddenly the letters blurred. A deep burning spread in his gut. He looked down to find a hole punched in his damp black shirt. Blood welled out continuing to soak into his white Kura prison jumpsuit. This wasn't some surreal mind imagery. He was legit bleeding. His hand clamped across the wound. Shit! That's right, Hayaseura shot me … here in this room before the last dive … gah! Nothing he did eased the pain. He took a moment to catch his breath before looking to the cockpit across the room.

Hayaseura's blood soaked body slumped behind the screen.

The sight triggered a white hot wave of anger. Good riddance! The man had been the director—the founder of Kura, and as it turned out, through the most despicable means. Sense of his own justice? That was laughable, if it wouldn't have brought Narihisago to his knees in his current condition. That bastard had been about the sickest most twisted psycho-path he had ever encountered. And as a Mizuhanome pilot Narihisago had wandered around a lot of demented psyches!

How much time had passed real world since the bullet struck him? Inside the well it had certainly been a wild chase. But if no one was watching maybe time had dilated there, that strange effect he and Hondomachi had experienced out of sync. The burning felt like someone ramming a red hot iron rod straight through him. This wasn't good. He was in trouble. That was a fair amount of his blood no longer in his body. In the wells when there was that much, it usually was the last thing he saw before waking up back in the cockpit. Seeing it here was alarming.

Hondomachi calmly exited her cockpit and crossed the chamber. He hadn't seen her very long in person before … well, awake anyway. She'd already been trapped in the Mizuhanome when he'd been brought in to help get her back out. By some miracle that fiasco had worked out. In the brief exchange before they dove back in to chase John Walker, because his focus had been on the gun wielding maniac responsible for destroying his life, he hadn't had much time for a good look at her. The confident way she held herself, the way she looked, aside from the clothing which was now the business suit typical to field detectives; almost nothing had changed about her from his experiences inside the wells. She was so steady, almost frighteningly so in this circumstance. The average psyche would be either paralyzed or clawing at the walls about now.

But not her.

Proving his point, the guard near the closed door jerked back against the wall as he came to, discovering Fukuda near his feet. He lost more color when he noticed the pool of blood around Hayaseura's cockpit. Certainly the self inflicted gunshots through the abdomen would contribute to that. But the real culprit was the point blank he'd pulled to his own chin. That lined up to sever main arteries. He'd bled out before his finger even relaxed on the trigger. Bastard took the easy way out! At least he'd tried to. Hope he likes prison inside the well. Now that's revenge. His actions landed me in prison in reality, but there's an end here. One day death will release me from confinement in this world. As far as we know Hayaseura's consciousness will remain imprisoned within the Mizuhanome indefinitely. Serves his ass right.

Hondomachi glanced at the guard and waved a dismissive hand as she came to Fukuda's side. "Calm down. Just go get the medics."

The guard scrambled out of the door. Usually things weren't quite this exciting outside of the id wells. Poor guy. Narihisago knew him, Soma was one of the nicer, more considerate guards.

She pressed her fingers against Fukuda's neck and tried to wake him. There was no response, not even a stirring. But he wasn't dead. A slow rise and fall of his back proved something was hanging on. He just couldn't reach the surface anymore. Well, that was Narihisago's working theory anyway. Today had held a lot of firsts into whole new uncharted territory. That explained his level of exhaustion. Amazing how much stamina sitting in this chair took.

Narihisago leaned forward in the cockpit. The pain intensified as he engaged the punctured muscles. The bullet was deep. The back of the seat behind him devoid of blood. It hadn't gone through. That had to be why he hadn't bled out more. The bullet blocked some of the blood flow. Putting more pressure on his stomach, hot blood trickled over his fingers. But his eyes settled on Hondomachi crouched by Fukuda's side. That man had threatened to kill her, and yet the angle of her shoulders spoke of grief. In the well they had both stood over Fukuda's fallen body … in the well he had saved her, taken a bullet in the back. But his words certainly explained why Narihisago hadn't felt the hard drive to push Fukuda to the final end, his own drive to drill the holes had been to fix … to save people, not necessarily to outright kill them. Messed up? Well yeah, there was no denying that.

Regretfully, without a button there was no way to extract Fukuda's consciousness, if it even existed after dying in the well. He hadn't arrived through the cockpit as Anaido. Narihisago closed his eyes, she had asked if those who died there would wake here. Earnest hope in her voice … for the fate of a serial killer. How had she forgiven Fukuda for threatening her life … for altering it so drastically? There was no way she didn't have some damage to her neural pathways. She had a hole drilled through her head thanks to his threat, … well, he'd held the drill, she'd shocked him by ramming her head into it herself. Who does that? "Hondomachi."

Not facing him, she shook her head and drew her hand across her face. He surmised that she wiped tears from her eyes.

Narihisago gripped the metal plates that formed the armrest of the cockpit. He longed to cross the room, but every motion hurt worse. He didn't dare stand up. "It's ok." He called out softly, "You're allowed to cry, you know." No one had ever said that to him. He wished they had … but that bridge had long since passed.

Hondomachi turned toward him, a faint smile on her face. "Yeah. That's really all I needed. One tear is perfect for him." Standing up, she tugged her suit jacket down.

A tiny chink in the numbed state he'd been locked behind for so long, a sad smile grew as he met her tranquil eyes. How could she stand there so damn calmly after what had happened? "You're right."

When he closed his eyes for a moment Muku's voice called out to him from his memory in the well … he trembled. Oh God, when she had lived … when he had taken her place against the Challenger, when he had protected his family instead of missing the damn clues. "You are coming home. Aren't you, Dad?"

He replied aloud knowing she'd never hear him, "I am." That moment was all gone. He'd never have it again … save for memories. That was the extent of his world now, had been for years. Memories. His head hung as Hondomachi eased under his left arm, placing it over her neck and shoulder. She was surprisingly strong. Or maybe he was weaker than he thought. Warmth spread beneath his hand.

Lightheaded, the distraction pulled him deeper, Narihisago bowed his head calling forth their faces. Ayako and Muku, his wife and daughter smiling beside him … alive in the same world, as they had been—three years ago. "One day I'll be with them again. But … not today."

Hondomachi paused and eyed him, her jaw loose.

Smiling down at her, he met her gaze with dry eyes. The tears he had shed for the life he'd been denied were back in the well within a well … when he'd said his farewell to his family. "Sometimes it's good to run out of tears." He took a staggered step, his weight precarious on his feet.

She let him set the pace. He took another, his breathing growing shallower, a strange numbness taking over.

The door slid open revealing the frantic guard accompanied by a medic on the other side.

"Good, you're here." She glanced up just in time. His eyes rolled back. "Narihisago?"

He tried to fight it, but there was nothing left to halt it … the world swirled. The air was thin, too thin. His body lost tension spilling him to the floor, the only thing that slowed that plummet was her effort beneath him. His consciousness flagged.

Is this what it's like to really die? I've been shot hundreds of times in id wells before. It was never like this. The motion was up, not down. Oh, this is so confusing.

The medic's hand against his wrist forged a short tether to the world. He wasn't out cold—not yet. His eyes fluttered open catching snatches of blurred light. A voice nearby called out, "Hey, back there in that cockpit, was that where he was? Is that blood all his?"

"Yes." She answered swiftly, her small hand pressed on his shoulder.

"Oh dear. That's not encouraging."

A familiar voice crackled over the room speaker … female … the assistant Wellside director. She had a name … oh yes, Togo. "Hondomachi, what's going on?"

"It's Narihisago. Hayaseura shot him before we went back into the well to chase him down."

"What? He dove with a gunshot wound? What was he thinking!"

"Look there's a lot to explain, but as long as the theories were correct, we trapped John Walker. That's all you need to know at the moment. Right now Narihisago's in trouble. The medic's on it." Her voice came closer to his ear. "Hey, you hear me? Hang on in there."

I hear you. I just can't respond. I can't even open my eyes now.

The medic stuck something into his arm, it pricked and stung. "He's going into shock from blood loss. Have to get him to surgery quick before he bleeds out."

Oh? Is that what's going on? That's ok … I mean … I'd done it … I'd said I'd get John Walker if it killed me. Well … here we are. Things were growing heavier. Harder to breathe. He faintly felt a mask … the flow of oxygen against his nose and half open mouth. But everything was a world away. Unreachable, slipping from his grasp. Kinda like being extracted from a well … only the other direction. Pulled ever downward.

"Narihisago. Hold on!" Hondomachi's voice was just a faint echo.