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Chapter 8 : Battle Plan

Rubbing his eyes, Seto sighed heavily before glancing over at the alarm clock on his wooden nightstand. It read 2:00, and by the height of the moon and the strength of the stars in the sky, he realized to his great displeasure that he had, yet again, stayed up past his desired bedtime. He glanced back at his computer and frowned before maximizing the desired screen.

He had spent the entire day researching into the numerous facilities Gozaburo had used during his control of KaibaCorp. He had searched the term 'biological weapons' and was astounded to find nearly a dozen locations and facilities that were in use at the time for conducting such research. He even remembered visiting some of them on business trips with his adopted father, though his ignorance as to what they were testing came second to his image. He had been forced to visit the facilities with the bastard often, making it appear as though he was interested in carrying on the legacy of machinery and weapons. It didn't matter whether or not he knew what it was they were researching; all that mattered was that he oversaw the research. How shocked the world had been when the second Gozaburo fell out of his tall tower, Seto trashed every tank and missile developed and turned his attention to a child's trading card game. Oh, how the mighty fell there.

One facility in particular had caught Seto's attention, and it was the one he was currently viewing. The facility had been the first registered under 'biological weapons,' but finding it through the archives had been difficult. All the facilities listed were closed once Seto took over, yet this facility, named ReGEN05, was nowhere to be found in the closed databases. It was as if the facility had never been properly shut down, and the fact that Seto couldn't remember reading the name of the facility added to the probability that it had merely been forgotten. What was disturbing was that the most recent report coming from ReGEN05 was listed as having been written two months after Gozaburo's death. Seto didn't write the report, so who had?

That and many other questions had led Seto to where he was now, sitting in front of the computer at 2:00 in the morning. He stared at the image of the facility and frowned. It didn't look like a facility. In fact, it looked like someone's mansion. There was a helicopter pad located near the coast, along with a small port with a ship or two docked, and Seto could barely make out a pathway leading up to a wide, one-story house. He had never seen such a building before, and the fact that it appeared to be a home rather than a testing facility meant that there was a high probability it worked under the radar. The coordinates and location of the facility were listed along the right side of the screen, and Seto read that it was surprisingly close by, just fifty or so miles off the coast of Okinawa.

Pulling up another menu, he scrolled through the findings at ReGEN05 and was discouraged by the lack of information. Most of it was copied onto the server, and Seto growled at the amount of black marker that had been used to cover key information. It felt like he was reading some sort of government paper, not a report on a testing facility. What he could read, however, disturbed him. There were reports of scientists from other testing facilities moving to ReGEN05, being ordered by Gozaburo to work on a project whose name was covered in black. Seto even recognized some of the scientists, having fired them shortly after taking over KaibaCorp. The dates and names didn't seem to add up, however, and the fact that a majority of the information was blackened out signified that something secret had occurred.

Seto leaned back in his chair and stared at the monitor. He couldn't believe what his mind was proposing, but it seemed as though it was the only possible choice he had. All the other facilities came up as negative, either having been destroyed or bought by other companies to be used for various purposes. This was the only facility that appeared untouched by Seto's control, and the fact that it appeared under biological weapons was a sign that, in Seto's mind, it was connected to what was currently happening. There had to be an outsider involved, someone in the real world who had helped Gozaburo do whatever it was he committed in the virtual reality, and from the archives Seto had, this was his best shot.

But investigating the mansion was one thing. What his mind was proposing was something else. He wanted to actually travel to the island, seeing if there was anything there related to what was occurring in his mind. He wasn't naïve enough to believe a cure was waiting for him on this island, but he had to do something, and from the limited options he had, he felt that visiting this island would help him gain some insight into his condition. After all, everything about this facility was suspicious. Even if it had nothing to do with Seto's condition, he still wanted to know what the hell was going on.

Feeling a headache starting to form, he placed a hand on his forehead and sighed. </i>"I can't just leave the company alone, but if I am going to fix this thing, I need to do something. This island… There's something to it, something disturbing about it. I've never heard of ReGEN05, and Gozaburo never told me about biological weapons testing. Maybe this is where they were testing the virtual reality material? It's a long shot, but it's possible. And all these scientists moving from their originally designated zones to ReGEN05 can't be a coincidence. Anzu said Gozaburo told them that he had been testing biological weapons before I took over, and every scientist working in a designated biological testing facility moved here. After that, all traces of them vanish. There has to be a connection…or do I just want to believe there is a connection?"</i>

He closed his eyes and shook his head before looking back at the clock. "2:10. I need to go to bed soon, but I want to figure out what I want to do. I can leave for this island sometime this weekend… Sunday would be best since it's my only free day. Today is Thursday. That will give me about three days to prepare for the trip. I can leave Sunday morning and should be able to arrive by noon. I don't work long on Sundays anyway, and I hope Mokuba won't mind if I take our free day to figure out what is affecting my head. I can then investigate for the day, seeing if there is anything of importance, before leaving by dinner. If I find anything of relevance, I can plan from there. That way it will only be a day. Mokuba will be fine… Or maybe not."

He growled in frustration. He hated leaving his little brother alone at home despite the fact that they had the best security in Japan next to the government. It was just the idea that, after all they had been through, leaving his brother alone seemed counterproductive. "Maybe I could hire a babysitter or something. Or maybe Roland can look after him for the day." But then again, he didn't want to be going to this island by himself. Taking Mokuba was out of the question; he had no idea what to expect going to this place. "For all I know, it has fallen apart and is being excavated by an American team. I can't endanger Mokuba over this, but putting myself in danger is just as bad. I'll have to bring some of my guards from KaibaCorp along just to make sure, should anything happen, I will be able to escape safely."

But that still left Mokuba alone. "He has plenty of friends. Maybe he can go to a friend's house that day? Or, better yet, maybe one of his friends can come over and keep him company while I am gone. But his friends are mostly his age. I want someone older taking care of him, someone who can handle the boy in case anything were to happen…"

His eyes widened in surprise. The first name to strike him sent a shiver down his spine. "Do I really need her to be brought into this mess…?" Yet it surprisingly made a good bit of sense. She was older and much more mature than the rest of the group. Sighing, he glanced towards the clock once more before turning off his computer for the rest of the night. "I'll think about it… After all, she's been helpful in taking care of Mokuba so far, and she has an idea of what is happening to me. Maybe she's somehow the best person to take of Mokuba in my absence…"

----------------------------------------------------------

"Oh my God, that's like the twentieth time!"

Jounouchi slammed the controller onto the table, causing the rest of the group to jump. "If you aren't going to behave like an adult," Anzu scolded, "then I'm playing!" She leaned forward and swiped the controller before the blonde could take it back, smirking as they returned to the Choose Character screen. It was around lunchtime, and she and the boys were at Yugi's house playing multiplayer games. She had yet to touch the controller all morning due to Tristan and Jounouchi's constant bickering. Yugi chuckled as Jounouchi reached for the controller, which Anzu hid behind her so that it was between her and the couch.

"Argh, come on, Anzu!" he pleaded. "One more round!"

"You've had plenty of rounds, Jounouchi," Duke remarked. "Let the girl have her turn."

Jounouchi growled and crossed his arms over his chest but refused to speak further. She smirked victoriously and went to choose what character she wanted to play as when a sudden noise caught the group's attention. She frowned as she leaned forward and grabbed her purse off the beige carpet, taking her cell phone out and glancing at the number. Recognizing it to be Mokuba's number, she smiled and answered it, saying, "Hello, this is Anzu."

"Good day, Mazaki."

The voice startled her, and for a brief second she forgot about the controller. Jounouchi picked up on her sudden focus, and he snatched the controller out of her lap, saying, "If she's busy right now, then I'm goin' another round!"

"Is that the dog barking in the background?"

Her eyebrows knit in confusion. "What are you calling me about, Kaiba?" The room became silent the second she said his name. All eyes turned to her, and she felt a blush rush to her cheeks despite the fact that she herself was clueless as to why the CEO was calling her.

"I simply wanted to ask a favor from you. I assure you that you will be compensated."

"A…favor?" Since when was Seto Kaiba one to ask favors? And from her no less? "Does this have to do with his condition?"

"I may have found a way of curing whatever it is that Gozaburo did to me," he began explaining. "However, in order to investigate, I need to leave the mansion for a day, maybe two. I am planning on leaving Sunday morning and hope to be back by Sunday evening. This leaves a full day in which Mokuba will have no one in the mansion to take care of him. Despite the fact that he is old enough to take care of himself, I am someone who likes to take every measure in making sure my family is safe. Therefore, I would like to ask if it would be all right if you came over and took care of him. As I said, I will pay you accordingly if you do this for me."

For a brief second, she was stunned by what she had just heard. She didn't know what to say. "Seto Kaiba is trusting me to take care of his younger brother? Does he have so few allies and guards left that I'm his only option, or am I the only one he trusts now that he has this head trauma to deal with?" Realizing she had been quiet a bit longer than necessary, she said, "Sunday, you said? I don't think I have any plans Sunday… What time should I be over?"

If the group hadn't been paying attention before, they were clinging to her every word now. Their eyes were wider than saucers, and she suddenly wanted to glare at them for their intrusion.

"I know it is a bit early, but would 9:00 be all right?"

"9:00? That…sounds good."

"I appreciate it. I will be sure to show you around once you come over. Don't want you getting lost in my house, do we Mazaki?"

He chuckled at his comment, and despite its obvious condescension, Anzu realized it was a rather nice thing for him to do. After all, he did own one of the largest mansions in Japan. And the fact that he was calling her to do this for him in the first place showed a bit of trust, didn't it?

"Right. 9:00 Sunday morning. I'll be there."

"Thanks."

The line went dead, and Anzu slowly turned her cell phone off and placed it back in her purse before setting the purse on the floor in front of the couch. The only sound heard in the room was the video game, which sounded highly out of place given the sudden tension in the room. Jounouchi, like always, was the first one to speak. "The hell was that about?"

"He wants me to come over Sunday to babysit Mokuba," she answered. "Apparently he's going somewhere and wants someone to be there with Mokuba while he's away."

"How is he doing after the whole virtual reality incident?" Duke inquired, leaning forward in his chair slightly. "You haven't said anything about him other than the fact that he went to the hospital that one day."

"Yeah… I don't know how he is doing now, but he thinks he may have found something to fix it. I don't know where or how he found it, but he said it may take him a day or two to investigate."

"Wait, he's leaving to go and investigate this?" Yugi asked. "If you're taking care of Mokuba, then who is going with him?"

Her eyes widened; she hadn't thought of that.

"Is Kaiba really in a position to be leaving the mansion by himself?" Jounouchi asked. "I mean, we don't really know what's goin' on in that head of his, but if there's somethin' seriously wrong, he probably shouldn't be going off somewhere without someone supervising him, right?"

"I'm sure he'll have his guards there to help him," Tristan remarked.

"But do they know of his condition?" Yugi countered.

"What exactly is his condition?" Duke asked. "It was never really explained to us given how much of a social butterfly Kaiba is."

"Gozaburo did something to his brain waves in the virtual reality," Anzu answered. "I think it's making him see and hear things that aren't there. He seems fully aware of it occurring, but when I went to visit him in the hospital, Mokuba said he fell unconscious. Apparently the strength of the brain waves changes from very weak to very strong. The doctors were baffled as to what was happening, but I think Kaiba knows more than anyone what's going on in his head."

"Well, I suppose if he knows what he is doing…"

"I'd double-check to make sure someone is tagging along with him," Yugi stated. "If he has no one going along, you can ask to go with him. One of us can easily watch over Mokuba."

"Oh yeah, Kaiba will definitely ask for one of us to tag along with him," Tristan sarcastically retorted. "Maybe he'll send us a Christmas card while we're at it."

"I'll be sure to check it out," Anzu stated. "I'm sure Mokuba will make sure someone goes with him."

The group nodded in agreement, and soon their attention returned to the video game at hand. But Anzu secretly worried over what Kaiba meant by the phone call. "If he is truly leaving behind his brother in order to find a cure…does that mean things have only gotten worse for him?"
This is chapter 8 of "The Nightmare Virus," originally posted under the name "Violet Wings" on Fanfiction.net.

The cover art was designed by my good friend Emi-chan92. You can check out her edition of the story, where she's turning the fanfic into a manga, at this link: Emi-chan92 Deviantart

I don't own Yu-gi-Oh!, but I did write this fanfic. :)
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