Welcome to True Path, an alternate universe My hero Academia RP set BEFORE the actual Series! We are at the beginning of the establishment of Hero society, come join us and help us create the wold of My Hero Academia.
Too cold to be outside at this time of year, but the officer didn't have the luxury of squeezing under a futon or enjoying the station's brand new heater. Instead, thanks to the concern of some of his more pestering colleagues, he was sent in to check on some good-for-nothing PI regarding a cold case they'd been thinking about re-opening. Just his damn luck. At least he could see where his coworkers were coming from, after he read the case files for himself. There was one mean bastard they were lookin' for, and apparently this wannabe had come close to finding something.
In the chilly Tokyo weather, Officer Matsui of the Tokyo M.P.D. made his way into the suburb of Nakano. It was impressive how much progress had been made in recent months, but the place was still one of the city's biggest shitholes as far as he was concerned. Not as bad as Kabukicho, but at least they had a few good bars there.
He eventually entered the building where the PI was apparently holed up, renting out a room for his own temporary office while he chipped away at this cold case. When the officer found the man's door, he'd give a firm knock, announcing himself as he did. "Anyone home? This is Matsui, Tokyo MPD. Here to check in on ya." Were one to peer through the door, they'd find a man who looked about in his mid 20s, with well-groomed facial hair and a furrowed brow as he waited impatiently at the door.
Thing still needed tidied up, There were always some loose ends that would never get fully answered when John worked art or magic with those he had chosen to take in or use as his tools or prospects of how he worked. But he would at least always make sure those loose ends didn't point to him or better yet pointed to others. Leaving mysteries that would never end up a hindrance to his work and interests.
However even so this whole endeavor and encounter had been little of a thing of passion or drive for him, It had been a work of labor and hassle. A thorn in his side that needed plucking and now that it had been thoroughly plucked he merely had to tend to the wound to ensure an infection didn't not set in. Only then would be cleared of this disgusting affliction as he saw it.
The one who let the information slip, and the pesky PI as well had already been dealt with personally. The thorn was plucked so to speak and John's current safe house had a freezer full of meat stored and ready for his needs to come for quite some time. The man with the strong heart that once beat so hard to catch the criminal of his conspiracy theory now beat no more and instead burned down in the acid of John's stomach.
John wearing the man's face and body in a sense as he'd shifted and formed from it as well. The body horror of a man more creature then human now cleaning out the office that once held such conviction for it's cause. John only able to sneer at the mere idea of it as he saw it more like cleaning out the rubbish then anything of important beyond that. The people would be tools now, and their lives slowly fade into obscurity until forgotten. Alas... people didn't forget instantly though hence his new intruder for the day he had to deal with. The knife tucked into his clothes ready should he need to make someone else disappear. Although he'd try and avoid that if possible. He wanted to close this chapter of his story not opening several new ones.
The temp office and apartment were clean as John took care in how he got rid of things over time. Opening the door to greet the officer at his door. The look on the PI's face was one of tired exhaustion. Much like one might expect of a investigator chasing cases across the country and private inquiries he was paid to look into. OR at least that was as it looked, Something the officer could likely sympathize with in John's thinking of mind.
"I was wondering when an officer might stop by... Guess things didn't go well for any of us. It's never good when cases turn cold..." He'd say with a light sigh. The frown on his face feeling almost more like a smile like a giddy boy inside. Although no sign of it upon his face. "Ah sorry guess I'm just in a bad mood... please come in." He'd say opening the door and ushering the officer in to the make shift office and apartment that had clearly always been a temporary prospect.
The door was opened before Matsuda, showing him the weary face of the PI who'd been digging into this cold case. He looked about as Matsuda had expected him to. Tired, beaten down, and likely having gotten next to nowhere in his investigation. If good, honest police work hadn't been able to get the job done, then this underqualified individual would've had an even tougher time. Matsuda didn't wanna be too hard on him, he just wasn't too appreciative of the idea of this prick upstaging them.
"It was already cold, guess you couldn't breathe any new life into it. Speaking of cold, it's fuckin' freezing out, let me in, would ya?" The officer would utter with a slight harshness to his tone. This poor bastard had probably been trying to chip away at the frozen case, seemed like he hadn't gotten anywhere with it though. When he was let in, Matsuda all but charged into the slightly warmer workspace, curiously eyeing around the place for what signs of work might be present.
He knew it was a makeshift little office, but seeing just how 'temporary' it was... Got him a bit curious. That was for later.
"Alright, let's not waste any time. What progress have ya made, if any? No leads we can follow up on?" Matsuda queried, grilling the guy right out the gate. He wanted to make sure this outsourced work was up to their standards, after all.
He'd quickly allow the officer in allowing a facade of a defeated deep breath leave his lips. John's naturally exhausted state when he wasn't in the midst of what gave him passion and thrills helped mixed nicely into his role as the dejected and defeated PI he currently pretended to be. An act breathing life into a character that had long since shuffled off from this mortal coil.
It didn't take him long to quickly be seated within the office chair behind the small desk in the tiny hovel of a office. John sighing through lips and the molded body that mimicked another. Giving that defeated exhausted appearance the full run. Using it to buy moments of time as he put bits of words together in his head to finish the stories he'd been planning to weave. He knew well enough to tell proper lies a tiny bit of truth had to be sprinkled in.
"It seem's things don't wish to work out well... The angle of the illegal papers seems to have gone cold. I've been checking all the angles and contacts I could but." HE felt himself gulp lightly. The sign of it might have appeared like a defeated detective not wanting to show his incompetence. But it was more just a mask as that as the gulp was more recalling the annoying papers man bitter taste. They always got a little acidic and therefore bitter when they died in fear. It was... not ideal for what he needed. Of course these were details this officer would never know of of course.
"I fear he's gone into the wind, You know how it is with illegal papers and id's... They point in so many ways. I wonder if my source was just some fake information." He'd say scratching his chin lightly. The office was kept only mildly warm so while it wasn't chilly it was cold enough given winter to allow it to remain just a smidgen away from being comfortable. Just a bit to help John try and keep anyone that came knocking a tiny bit off there toes. Each little distraction and dulling tactic helped remove the edge from otherwise dangerous foes. "Given what you said... I'm guessing it's cold on all angles then. Shit... Guess this must be what it's like working cold cases as a cop too." Shaking his head and seeming to almost melt in his chair that he sat in lazily. His eyes looking back to the officer waiting to see what would come next. Fully ready to play this little act... An if not... Well worst case scenario he'd simply leave the detectives face wanted for taking out a cop. But he didn't want that of course. He wanted to settle this all clean and have a new face to wear in his disguise until the meat ran out of course.
Everything about this guy was screaming pure exhaustion, to an almost unnatural degree. Just how hard had he worked on this damn case? Matsui was beginning to wonder if they'd handed it all over to someone who actually knew what they were doing. Given his own experiences with P.I.s, his guess was 'no'.
The police officer idly wandered around the room, as if searching and scrutinizing it, while he listened to what the investigator had to say. "Fair enough. Sometimes you work an angle and it doesn't go anywhere. Always plenty of angles to explore, though," Matsui would comment idly. He didn't want to end up closing the case away if the new angles hadn't been adequately explored, so he planned on making sure the guy gave up any mistakes he could've made.
The P.I. feared the guy had gone into the wind, off the hook again. A real damn shame, given what a piece of shit this guy was, from what Matsui had heard. When the investigator tried to empathize, Matsui huffed a little. "Don't compare your work to cops, pal. We've got different methods," the officer would claim, continuing to scour the place. Awfully unassuming little place, really.
Seemingly satisfied with his assessment of the room, Matsui would turn back to him and stand before the desk, looking down at the P.I.
"I'm gonna need more details before I can dismiss this case. Was there... Any kind of lead you could find? Sure, an angle can lead to a dead end, but you still pick up breadcrumbs along the way. What makes you think your source is fake? C'mon, talk me through your work," Matsui would demand, in an almost sportsmanlike fashion, as he grinned down on the PI. A mixture of wanting to dismiss the man and wanting to make sure he'd actually worked the case properly seemed to conflict, but Matsui would be content with finding out the guy had mishandled some leads and wasted chances. At least then he could tell off his bosses.
John felt himself groggy from this entire task, Even if it was nearly finished and fully taken care of. It was still an act of extreme work that wasn't even something of passion but instead it had simply been a action of need. Work, Not art, an thus the bitter taste in mouth left him burning for a true passion project to soon come to pass. The anger he felt and exaustion of it all had his finger tips itching to bury one of the kitchen knives in the police offer for only reminding him of it further. As he watched the officer with tired eyes he briefly imagined scenarios of pouncing across the table or trying to bury the fountain pin on the desk in one of the man's pupils. Of course as all these ideas swished around in his brain like energetic fish in a pond. His body gave no such inclination of anything of the sort as he simply remained tiredly still in his seat.
He only allowed a soft sigh to break his from his pursed lips at the comment about the work comparisons. Things like that were for the best slowly easing at least some minor tension. It would mean when they part less questions would be asked and only a natural sense to want to forget and move on would take over. John was a hunter after all and knew how to manipulate people when he wanted too. It was an art as well some might event say.
"Well there was a papers guy, Someone printing up fake ID's passports that sorta thing. But he's in the wind now but even before that. They weren't as high quality as I thought. My original speculations and clues pointed to some past ID's leading as this to be a next clue and origin point. Maybe tieing some old crimes together of sorts with a paper trail connection. Maybe even finding real names to look in systems for. But I put to much faith in it. It was just what you'd expect from a street level forgery guy." He'd say as the lead that turned cold left him somewhat dejected. Of course it wasn't fully lies after all a good lie had crumbs of truth sprinkled within to make it easier to force someone to swallow down.
He allowed his words to slowly trailer off in a defeated sound. Curious to see where the officer would take his questioning, working with the officer but also trying to get the cop to lead and create some form of mild annoyance in the officer to help make him want to leave and not care for the late detective he thought was sitting before him this day.
Matsui would gaze down at the private investigator, piercing in to him with a scrutinizing glare as he listened to the private eye explain his side of the story. There was something off about how little he'd gotten at first, but he was ready to chalk that up to the man's own incompetence. It's what they got for entrusting what should've been simply, honest police work to some crackpot who thought he could do a better job.
He followed the investigator's story along, nodding at the parts that made most sense. Chasing some fake IDs seemed about right. If there was some kind of lead on this guy, it made sense he'd try to conceal himself further. The investigator had tried to follow the fake ID like a paper trail. That stuff all made a fair bit of sense, but Matsui furrowed his brow a bit, not quite following it all along.
"So, you put too much faith in a single lead without any backup. Rookie mistake. I understand that much. I'm just curious about how you got there in the first place," The officer inquired. Maybe there was something here they were missing. "Where did you get the lead on the fake IDs? Must've been pretty solid if you were confident enough to take a swing at this case," Matsui would ask. He didn't want them to end up dropping this case if it was just plain mismanagement, so if there was just some kind of shortsighted mistake on the end of the private investigator, they might still have some substance to this case...
Well, that's what he was hoping anyway. Chances were, the investigator had fucked that up for them already.
John had to fight back the urge to snort and instead hide his want to smile under a fake mask of sadness and defeat. While he had to agree much of the late Private investigators methods and tactics weren't top notch. He'd still come the closest anyone had ever come to catching him. John's strange and unusually odd methods compared with his ability to so easily mask and alter what's scene and evidence to make it appear others had done the acts. It would take the equally unusual or odd to catch him. He almost felt like commented to defend the detective for his near fruitful efforts... Almost.
"Bread crumbs trails is all you have sometimes for cases like this. Things haven't been going well and it just seems dead ends lurk around every corner... Do you ever feel sometimes it's almost like these villains are mocking people like us?" He'd say as he was simultaniously doing just that with his comment as well. "It was more a follow up on papers we found on prior crimes and cold cases that didn't sit right with me. A little luck and as I said bread crumbs sorta let us this way. But only so many crumbs before the trail just ends it would seem." He'd say in a calm tired tone griping the bridge of his nose to feint a headache setting in from the loss of it all when in truth it was to cover up his small grin fading in for a brief for seconds.
Something was starting to bug him about this whole ordeal. The detective's actions and his explanations had this slight disparity between them, that made Matsui more irritated. Truth was, he didn't wanna see this case sip away, and he was starting to feel more and more like the PI was covering his own ass for the mistakes he'd made... Matsui didn't want one man's fuck up to be the end of this case, but it looked like there wasn't much he could do about it.
"Mocking us? Of course they are. Cocky little shits will mock you until the day they're caught. Some people just think they can get away with it." The police officer scoffed, as he listened to the PI explain the simplicity of the case. On its own, it all made sense. It all clicked, finding papers at a prior scene, following them through on some fake IDs, and finding a dead end... It was all standard stuff, really. But there was just something that didn't quite fit with this story.
Matsui glanced around the room again, confirming what he'd thought about it upon entry. This place was 'temporary'. This PI wasn't from around her, no, he'd come all this way...
"I don't really get you, y'know..." Matsui muttered to himself, looking idly around the little room. There were explanations, of course... He just didn't like that they were being hidden from him. "It's clear you put in some effort to come all the way out here. You chased this guy, these breadcrumbs, had the confidence to take the case of our hands and set up shop away from home, who knows how much that cost... And you're giving up after a dead end? You bet it all on a breadcrumb? C'mon..."
He looked back at the PI, an accusing stare.
"Why this case then, huh? All that effort for a dead lead... What made you so ready to chase it, only to drop it?"
Even if he didn't show it he couldn't help but feel a smug bit of arrogance warm him at the cops mention of mockery and insult from such villains. John finding great pleasure in this entire show and act he got to put on. As if a actor making the world truly his stage in the moment. An officer in serious true investigation on one end of the room. A villain shifter on the other molding and changing the truth to suit his needs and savoring the flavor of it all so to speak with every inch of his being as well in the current moment.
It was while not the best move for him still entertaining like a check or piece steal in chess fun when the officer seemed to make a surprise question and move. He wasn't as dull after all John thought to himself briefly in passing. He was beginning to wonder if the smug cop aura would make this too easy for a few moments there. The present moment taking all of John's restraint not to smile in initial answer while holding the exhausted expression trying to mimic a question if not unsure look as he looked back after the man had spoke to him.
"It's strange... It's like breadcrumbs merely lead to other bread crumbs. I'm starting to wonder if you're really curious if my family is right. Maybe I've allowed this case to take me to hard... I'm like a dog with a meaty bone in front of me. I just can't help biting for it. I'm starting to wonder if I'm not seeing clues that aren't really there." He'd say in a faked saddened tone still feigning the image of defeat. For a brief moment allowing a warm smile to look at the officer as if perhaps playing the act of someone that had simply burned out and whose reserved had fizzled. Moving lightly in his chair as well. Curious how this would go... He hoped to settled loose ends but if things got to messy maybe another body would need harvesting as well.
Call it something as silly as intuition, but Matsui smelled something off her... An odd disparity between how desperate this man was to chase this case and how ready he was to drop it. It was almost like this guy wanted to get this thing off his desk, even if he'd been the one to bring it there in the first place. So he dug a bit deeper, trying to get to the bottom of this case, of what exactly this man was hiding from him...
The PI's answer would cause the detective to raise his brow, leaning back and crossing his arms. It made some sense, if anything he was just reiterating the same things as before, telling Matsui what he already knew. That this PI had been very ready to chase down this case, like a dog chasing a bone, without much real reason behind it... Yeah, he supposed that was a reasonable explanation. It might sound silly, but as an officer himself, he knew how sometimes a case could just really stick to you without any real reason behind it.
Yet... It still didn't feel right.
"Alright, alright, I get it. Sometimes you just get tunnel vision on a case, no real reason for it. But... Even then, you really seemed ready to chase this thing, chase that one lead. Now you're here, almost trying to get rid of it. I dunno, it just... Feels like you're hiding something from me. Feels like there might be a reason you grabbed this case up then tossed it away. I don't know what that reason is, or if there even is one, so the only thing I can really ask you is..."
He leaned forward, eyes piercing into the PI, as if trying to look past his eyes and straight at his intent.
It was beginning to become a little precarious and perhaps tad annoying how the officer seemed to have his teeth sunk into a piece of meat one might say and so unwilling to release it. The sensation of it all had John briefly gnashing his molars against each other for a brief moment or possibly two. He sifted briefly through his inner thoughts piecing together what games to play or tales to spin. Letting his mind wonder in those brief few seconds as he did from time to time. Such games as wearing anothers face and pretending to be them while spinning tales was a game he'd played several times before over and over. Each time a new experience all his own one might say.
"Nothing to hide, Chasing ghosts tends to just end that way. Wouldn't be the first time an investigation had found a dead end at the end of it's long journey." He'd say simply enough in a defeated tone. He was having trouble at present finding many ways to sway the officer away and hoped simply he'd give in on his own accord possibly. He couldn't help but behind the face of another on the inside feel his annoyance and anger slowly begin to bubble more and more in coming moments. If it weren't for the problems that would come from it he'd consider trying to kill the officer as well to end his questioning ways.
It was kind of frustrating for Matsui, this feeling that he was onto something, that if he just peeled back the curtain a little bit, he'd find something previously hidden from sight, and satisfy something deep down within him. He wasn't sure why, and he didn't want to call it a hunch. It was just... Something about this Investigator felt so incredibly off
And yet, no matter how hard he pushed, he got nowhere. He kept on trying more and more to dig up whatever the PI had buried in his story of failed leads and disappointing results, only to keep finding nothing... In a moment of lucidity, Matsui began to realize that maybe they weren't so different after all. Here he was, chasing something that ended up nowhere too... Did he stop now, or just end up like this pathetic wannabe cop who hedged all his bets on a single lead?
In the end, the detective just sighed.
"Christ... All this work, all this time, and all we got was a shitty P.I. Sorry for the digging... Now I see it ain't any more complicated than that you fucked up. Put all your eggs in one basket, and now we're paying for it." Matsui huffed. He stood up and stretched his back, looking about ready to leave.
"You got anything more you wanna say, anything you're hiding, it can only make you look better. As it is, all I've got from you is the story of a man who ain't any good at his job. Don't expect any more offers if you ain't got anything to say in your defense."
Matsui was offering what might be his final words to the man, but what was also his final attempt to try and stir something from beneath the surface... If there even was anything there, of course.
He felt himself sigh and remain somewhat dejected if not defeated in expression and tone. He felt some part of him almost wanting to defend the detective further. Given he was one of the few people to truly get close to finding the truth of the disappearances and some of the past kills that had been disguised as murders or suicides. He of course would remain silent as these were truths that would need masked in their shadows and lies. The trick of his quirk and his abilities coming together to paint a false truth that when accepted would allow him to continue on in life doing such dark acts when his heart desired and continuing to remain anonymous as well.
With a slightly raspy voice as he felt his mouth dry a little there wasn't much more he could say or offer. At least not without risking more then he was willing to risk while using this disguise and way of hiding himself in the moment. "I'm afraid,... There just isn't anything to add. It appears I have been bested at every corner in this investigation. Maybe things were just never as they seemed even from the beginning of it all." They'd say with a heavy sigh and words that carried two meanings in a sense of sorts.
Matsui furrowed his brow at the detective. This guy frustrated him, made him itch so bad... There was still plenty Matsui wanted to press him on, but none of it was getting anywhere. All he was getting was a guy who seemed to want to look bad through all of this, to an almost suspicious degree. But, even then, Matsui could only do so much. When the detective stuck with his story, claiming there was nothing he had to offer, nothing to defend himself, Matsui knew something was up.
He huffed to himself, and went for the door. "You really are a useless guy. Don't contact us again."
Matsui gave his final words before departing, and as soon as he closed the door behind him, an odd relief washed over him. Like a weight was lifted off his shoulders, as he found himself sighing into the air. Something had been crushing him in that room, something had felt just so incredibly off. It was clear something was up with that detective... He must've just been fine with swindling what money he could and getting away with it.
Well, that was the simplest story, anyway. And Matsui was a simple guy. He walked away from the apartment, never quite getting rid of that odd pressure he'd felt in that room...