Soul-Dancer (Page 9)

Zak exchanged astounded looks.  They both opened their mouths to speak, but Kelly beat them to it.  “You’ve been living on your own since you were four?”  Akiko nodded.  Freya skulked off to the bookshop, bored with the conversation, where she picked up a book, skimmed through the pages, then put it back down again.  Akiko’s face lit up, the words I’ve got an idea written all over it.  “I know!  You four could live with me for the time you’re staying in Japan!”  The four agents looked at each other dubiously. None of them wanted to impose on Akiko’s life, but neither did they want to disappoint her.  So, Zak thanked her in Japanese and the five of them headed to Akiko’s apartment.



Just after they exited the airport, Myra pulled Zak aside.  “When did you learn to speak fluent Japanese?”  He looked away uncomfortably.  “Just a… skill that I picked up from the Agency of Darkness.”  he said, avoiding her eyes.  Myra, although uncertain, didn’t know what else to believe, so she just moved on tentatively, leaving Zak behind.  Ten minutes later, they arrived at a small, graffiti covered block of flats.  They climbed the flights of stairs, all the way to the top, and when they finally walked through the door of Akiko’s apartment, they saw there wasn’t much to it.  The walls were bare brick, without paint.  There was little furniture; just a couch, a computer on a small table, and a rug. There was a veranda too, although it didn’t have much of a view.  Just a few more apartments like Akiko’s.  Akiko announced her small living space proudly, before apologizing for the mess.  “There’s only one bedroom, so I’m afraid you’ll have to fight over the couch.  I can set up beds if you like.”  Before anyone could open their mouths, Myra threw her bag onto the couch.  “Dibs on the couch!”  she cried.  Fraya, Zak and Kelly moaned as they helped Akiko set up the beds.   Akiko saw Myra gravitating towards the computer.  “You can have a look at it if you like.  I don’t have many games on there though.”  Myra nearly laughed.  Games!  How wrong she was.  She sat

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