Chapter II: Premonition
The Speedwagon Foundation has a long history with the world's more supernatural events. Vampires, Stands, mystical objects, and even a Vampire with a stand in possession of a mystical object! Truly, to deal with these forces, they need individuals with certain... qualities. Stand users, such as Jotaro Kujo with his stand, Star Platinum, have been necessary to investigate and even fight against the supernatural. But, certain anomalies can exist. Kongou Banchou, seemingly a human but actually a member of a race similar to humans but evolved to perfection, is one such anomaly. Kongou Banchou possesses the abilities of his race: superhuman strength, healing, and an impossibly strong skeleton. But, in addition, the Speedwagon Foundation has found evidence that indicates... a Stand ability!
The SPW Foundation Tokyo Headquarters Finance and Documentation office was as uneventful as ever. Multiple employees were tirelessly skulking about, going to the water cooler for a moment, then walking back to their office cubicle only to get up in another moment to go back. Keyboards rarely tapped, and all of the televisions in the office were on the one channel that actually came in: the weather channel.
The office was a bit too small for such a famous foundation. This particular floor had cream-colored walls, with questionable stains sprinkled throughout, and more electrical sockets than was ever needed at any given time, even during events. The desks were separated by thin stand-up walls with small windows and slits for passing documents to different employees. The desks were anywhere from messy, caked with sticky notes, knick-knacks, and even shounen jump issues from months prior, to neat and clear, with documents organized from topic and chronological order. The occasional dying plant awkwardly hung out beside the printer and on a few desks, and were either regarded with annoyance or complete lack of attention, even when most employees weren't busy. Apart from all of this, the employees themselves were mostly dressed appropriately, with suits and ties smelling heavily of the local dry cleaners', although occasionally there would be a few employees dressed in casual clothing, always with the same annoying excuse: "my clothes were lost at the dry cleaners."
Hanamura Tetsuo, an up and coming employee that helped out in the research and development department of the Tokyo headquarters, called the Finance and Documentation Department of the office building.
"Speedwagon Foundation, Finance and Documentation Department, this is Kishimoto." The Receptionist said in a dull, monotone, recording-like voice. Anyone that heard that voice could immediately tell that she was extremely weary of her job, and ready for a promotion, a pay raise, something.
"Yes, this is Hanamura, from R&D. I wanted to see if Mr. Masaru was available for a meeting concerning a file by the name of 'Kongou Banchou'?" The young employee said, trying to hide the enthusiasm in his voice from the already dull receptionist.
"One moment, I'll ask him." She hit the button, putting the employee on hold and phoning Mr. Masaru.
"Yes, Kishimoto, What is it? I'm quite busy, unlike you." Mr. Masaru said in his usual rude manner.
"Hanamura Tetsuo from R&D is requesting a meeting that has to do with something called 'Kongou Banchou'." She lazily echoed, ignoring Mr. Masaru's rudeness.
Mr. Masaru paused for a moment on the other end of the line.
“Er, yes, send him in.” He reluctantly said.
Kishimoto pressed the button again and told the eager employee that Mr. Masaru had agreed to see him. The employee then thanked her and told her he’d be right up, as this was an “urgent matter”. Hanamura Tetsuo elevated himself from his office chair in the R&D department, which was very similar to the Finance and Documentation Department’s office, and swiftly grabbed up a thin file and made his way to the elevator. He pushed the “Floor 6” button, and was on his way. When he arrived at the designated floor, a man was waiting on the elevator. Hanamura looked him up and down, and decided that there was something very off about this man - but he couldn’t decide what. It was this air about him, something curious and unnatural. He looked to be a man in his 30’s, dressed in a suit and tie, and his hair carefully combed over to give him a business-like appearance. His face was bright, and he wore a tight smile that did nothing to light up the room or anyone else.
Hanamura shrugged off his suspicions and then decided he might be coming down with a cold or something. The man continued into the elevator, and Hanamura hurried past him. He rushed into the Finance and Documentation Department, where his enthusiastic smile and gait was met with condescending gazes and frustrated sighs. He strutted to Reception, and said to the dull Ms. Kishimoto, “Yes, I’m Hanamura Tetsuo from R&D here to meet with Mr. Masaru?”
She responded by merely nodding her head and pointing over to an office with walls, apart from the cubicles and the mundane setting of the Finance and Documentation Department. Hanamura took this as his invitation and let himself into the small office of Mr. Masaru.
The office was littered with several documents, many of them crumbled and upon the ground, as the trashcan had been filled beyond its limits. The desk was caked with books and two laptops, and among these there were knick-knacks, magazines, and of course, documents that needed filing. Mr. Masaru sat in his office chair, hunched over his desk to type the endless amounts of reports that endlessly flowed. He seemed to perk up a bit when Hanamura walked in, however, presumably because he was a distraction from the copious amounts of mundane work.
Mr. Masaru was a man in his 50’s, and seemed to be very knowledgable about many things, specifically the Speedwagon Foundation’s “special” documentation. His face was riddled with lines, showing his mental age. He wore a suit and tie, of course, but they were abnormally orange and blue, odd colors for a suit. Mr. Masaru may have been the director for the Finance and Documentation Department, but he was also a long-time employee of the Speedwagon Foundation, often consulted on anything dealing with the supernatural, and was considered an expert on Hamon, Stands, and the Stone Masks.
“Take a seat, please,” Mr. Masaru said, gesturing to an open seat directly in front of his desk.
“Thank you.” Hanamura said, claiming the seat as his own for the time being.
“Right, to get to the point. This “Kongou Banchou” file, what about it?”
“Well sir, we believe that it’s possible that this “Kongou Banchou” fellow may have a stand - and a powerful one at that.”
“How are you so sure?”
“Well, we’ve gotten reports from Kongou Banchou’s allies that he had something of a “mode” that he could activate - something like fighting spirit - and they claimed it felt like ESP at the times he activated the ability.”
“Hm, that does sound like a Stand, and he would be a valuable asset to the Speedwagon Foundation’s “Stand Corps”,” Mr. Masaru said thoughtfully with a hearty chuckle to finish it off.
“Mr. Masaru, do you think this warrants going to meet Kongou Banchou? We’ve kept clear from him til now, but with these reports of a possible Stand, he might know something about another Bow and Arrow, and he might be willing to help the Speedwagon Foundation as well!”
“Hanamura, I think that’s a capital idea. This “Kongou Banchou” must be investigated, so we’ll offer for Mr. Kujo to go and check him out.”
“Sounds like a good idea, Mr. Masaru. I’m glad you were receptive to my new findings and proposal. Thank you very much!”
“My boy, finding Stand users that have done good for this world is a rare thing. It warms my old heart to see that. I’m greatly interested in this “Kongou Banchou” and all the additional good he could do in the future. I’m sure Old Speedwagon would smile if he knew of this.”
“Glad you feel that way, sir!”
“Right, so I’ll send Mr. Kujo an email so as to alert him about this and send a jet to pick him up from his office in America. Anything else, while you’re up here?”
“Hmm, nothing but...Ah! I saw a suspicious guy walking out of here while I was walking out of the elevator, seemed really suspicious.. any idea what that was about?”
“What? There was no man...What are you talking about, Hanamura?”
“Er, but he was there, I’m sure-”
Just then, a loud noise echoed throughout the building. The two employees instinctively looked outside, to find a familiar face facing off against the mysterious man that Hanamura had seen earlier.
“Wh-what in the world!?” Hanamura exclaimed.
← To Be Continued