DEVIL'S BACKBONE: Original Tokyo Ghoul Role-Play

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Why was he here, one might ask?

In the rare moments where Pawn Kai Langley found himself off-duty he usually used that time to indulge himself with a quick nap or continued his frenzied efforts against Ghoul-kind feverishly researching. For when Kai wasn’t killing Ghouls…he was probably planning to kill them.

So yes indeed, why was he here? In the local Nerima mall, leaning on a wall next to the cinema theater on a Friday night like a normal 24 year old young man would?

Well he had been invited here.

And old face of the past had contacted him a few days ago. Nisei Hikari, an old child-hood friend (well…more his sister’s) who apparently was the notorious Joan of Arc, a known record-breaker in the Ghoul-killing business, perhaps only rivaled by a few, like the Silent Fang of the 9th.

He didn’t really expect to meet her again, but looking back he should have seen that the girl was bound rise high in the CCG’s service. Like his own sister, Hikari had shown signs of genius at a young age and already at 15 she had gotten Command’s attention by executing a Ghoul using one of her cleverly constructed gadgets.

She was in the academy way before he was and he distinctly remembers her as a rival he could never catch up too, after all, she had made her own Quinque before she was even 18. The girl back then had simply demonstrated to be simply better than him, she even graduated 2 years before him and got promoted to Bishop just last year.

In his younger years he was ashamed to say that he somewhat resented the ease with which she dominated the classes and exercises for which he constantly had to struggle and study to handle. But nowadays, as a grown man and not a short-sighted boy he had grown to appreciate and admire those geniuses in service of the CCG, being grateful for their contributions to the war-efforts.

They were all comrades after all.

Maybe one day he could climb to the top, steady like he had always done it.

He was somewhat ashamed he hadn’t realized that she was in Tokyo, considering he had been operating as Pawn for months now, steadily gaining both experience and notice among his peers and superiors. He had been so enraptured in his own vengeance and duty that he truly did not concern himself with anything that wasn’t mission-related.

But he could watch a movie today, for old time’s sake.

If his sister’s words were to be trusted they might soon relive the past properly with her at their side, little devil was wiping the floor with the Academy.

As much as he liked his suit, it was perhaps a bit too proper for a simple movie night. He had dressed casually, keeping only the dark-grey dress-shirt that matched his eyes, sleeves rolled up just below his elbows and unbuttoned offering the view of his crimson T-Shirt. The black belt held his blue jeans in place as his feet were snugly covered by a pair of brown boots. His long black mane had been loosely tied into a ponytail but not tight enough to keep off his face in a long dark mess.

People walked around, groups of eager teenagers ready to witness the newest action-flick, loving couples on their newest dates, families with children held tight by the hand. It was funny, he thought, these were the people for which he fought.

The people he had to protect.

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It had been quite some time. A number of years since she had lost seen or really even made contact with her childhood friend Kai Langley. Thus, she felt it would be a good time to have a little meeting/chat with him. Step by step, the young lady adjusted her glasses while walking through the crowd. She wore a grey trailblazer with a black scarf wrapped around her mouth and neck. Those eyes looking left and right before she witnessed the figure out in the distance. Ah yes. She believed that was him. She wore this night a short skirt showing her slender, smooth legs, and boots. Simple black boots. Her hands were gloved with black leather based off the sight of things. After all this time, in the CCG, it seemed she was still uninjured. The well known Joan of Arc of Nerima. Well...Nerima was sort of the ward for pussies of the CCG that likely would never see combat. Although that weasel had interested her quite a bit in data reports. It was a good thing she sent that sniper right after she heard that things were going rough.

“Konichiwa Senpai. Remember me?” Addressing herself, she looked at his face. It had been quite some time since they’ve last seen each other. She’s grown a lot...and in a lot of areas as well. Giving a light curl upwards of the lips, she looked almost old in those eyes however. Stepping forward, she opened her arms and would offer an embrace to the man in front of her. “It’s good to see you here. It’s been a long time since we’ve been face to face! Hahaha. So...what are we watching tonight?” Moving to his side and looping her right arm under his own arm, she wrapped it close. They looked almost like a couple at this time. However, she then did whisper. “We have work to do after it’s done.” It seemed that they were here for more than just a movie and a good time. Something was going on...something that needed a Bishop and experienced pawn together to take care of it.

Well…she had grown into quite the fine lady, he had to admit.

Long, smooth legs, slender frame and a soft face. But the glasses and the scarf, those couldn’t be missed, a familiar sight in the giant stranger that was Tokyo. Well Tokyo wasn’t exactly a stranger, but the sights that he once knew as a kid had been either changed, renovated or destroyed by the passage of both time and war.

When he returned to this land everything had changed and just like that he had to adapt to those changes.

Perhaps it was better, to think of his past in Tokyo led him to think of his father and to think of that man and his fate only led to one of two roads: Melancholy and fury.

I think I should be the one calling you Sempai” he retorted with a laugh, yes he remembered her, mostly she remembered her antics she and Anne dragged him to as kids, but those were indeed happier times. The embrace came as a surprise, causing a sudden stiffening of the body as he directed a puzzled look of confusion in her direction. Kai was never one for public displays of affection and the CCG didn’t exactly breed behavior like that, everything was either cold professionalism or gruff camaraderie, which was fine by him, but led him to be even more estranged by normal human behavior.

Still, it warmed his heart somewhat for her to offer such a warm-hearted gesture, he didn’t remember them being particularly close, but manners were manners…

And so he reciprocated the embrace, covering her figure with his tall frame and strong arms before moving back with a relaxed smile on his face, a rare gesture one might say.

Eh, I thought it would be the lady’s choice, you invited me here after all. If ya let me pick you’ll be stuck with some action flick” he replied sheepishly as he scratched his beard before suddenly feeling her arm wrapped around his own. Tensing up in light of the sudden contact and quite self-conscious, being aware of the impression they might be giving to the crowd at large, Kai felt his face warm up with a blush he couldn’t quite suppress.


The blush and awkwardness died quite easily however at her next words paired with a specific tone. His face returning to his usual stern and stoic mask as he nodded decisively.

There was work after all that needed to be done.

Understood” he replied, quiet as a spring breeze but hard like Quinque steel.

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It seemed that the man was steeled and prepared for duty after this. She know that she hadn’t told him, but there was a ghoul that lingered around this part of town known as “Screenshot.” The identification of the mask was that it was completely chrome, a shining reflective surface and typically struck between the hours of ten to twelve pm. This was the reason why she had brought Kai Langley her close friend here for a simple movie, then a meal. They’d be able to spend time together like the good old days, minus dear Annely for the duration of the trip. Taking his hand, she leaned in and gave him the lightest of pecks on the cheek. “No need to be so stone faced mister Langley. After all, this is still a date isn’t it?”

Leading him off to the reception, she bought four bags of gummy bears, carrying them into a tray, waiting for the man to order anything he’d like before moving down. Having the idea of what he wanted to watch, she stopped by a comfortable little movie known as “Deadmen.” Entering the dark theater, she lead him to the middle, one of the best spots for movies as she sat her large case in front of her, leaning onto her lap. After the number of commercials, the flick would begin in a forested region, a series of wooden barricades were erected as many men dressed in Samurai armor had been prepared for war. Then, a rumbling as the head Daimyo drew his sword, his gunmen looking through the cracks. Then, it was there, the ghouls rushing forward at rapid speed. “ITE!” The first line of rifles released their fire, a few ghouls falling. However, it transitioned into a bloody fight scene sequence.

After a second line had alternated with the first, firing while the first line reloaded, there was a physical clash of ghouls and men, both sides slicing each other, but yet some ghouls had broken the blades that struck against them. Both sides had a powerful representative leader, one the head ghoul whom was but a young woman with her snow white hair and nine tails. The other was a man who looked battle hardened. As the battle progressed, these two commanders made their way to each other, before they clashed back and forth, until the man’s friend pushed him out of the way, being mortally wounded. The Samurai seemed crazed and manic but asked the Daimyo for the Kagune of the ghoul bitch for the afterlife. Hikari seemed rather interested in the flick so far, eating her gummy bears, occasionally aiming the bag for the man.

The movie continued, and over time, she rested her head into his shoulder, seemingly a bit too tired to support her head perhaps. At the end of the movie after two or so hours, the movie ended with the woman ghoul and her army being defeated in an epic army clash scene with the humans coming with all they had. She was captured and being sent to a dark dungeon of sorts. It was interesting, because the movie then said, “Inspired by true events.” Clapping her hands at the credits, she looked to Kai Langley. “That was a pretty great movie huh?” Hopefully, he wouldn’t let it get to his ego that the Daimyo was him.

His visage of pure concentration and battle-readiness was promptly broken like a porcelain pot at the sudden sensations of his old friend’s soft hand intertwining with his calloused one and the slight touch of her lips on his cheek. The stone had been broken and his solemn mask shattered into a sheepish, flustering mess.

Jeez what was wrong with him and women?

His face turned a shade of even darker scarlet at her words.

…It is?

He helplessly questioned as he allowed himself to be led off like a ragdoll by her rather petite frame in comparison to his own towering figure. People probably thought they looked funny together, or cute- Agh!

Seriously Langley, what’s wrong with you?

He didn’t really know, he thought this was a simple reunion between friends, no signs of courting had been delivered on his part, or at least he thought so? Did he say something that might have carried a double meaning?

Stuck inside his head, Kai’s body did what it knew best- act on autopilot. He didn’t really hear himself order some popcorn or the soda, he didn’t exactly recall when he agreed with Hikari’s (Should he call her Nisei or…?) choice of movie and for the life of him, he couldn’t remember when exactly they had taken their seats, his long and convoluted train of thought suddenly interrupted by the thump of his companion’s (date?) Quinque being placed on her lap.

Suddenly aware of his surroundings and increasingly ashamed of his zoning-out tendencies, Kai mimicked her actions, getting comfortable on his seat as he placed the Reaver in his retracted state leaning on his lap. He checked their tickets to actually know what they were watching, to embarrassed as he was to ask her directly, he had always such a tendency to space-out, Jura was right, it was going to get him killed some day.

Huh, he thought as he munched on some popcorn, its salty taste assaulting his tongue, Deadmen? What was that? Some action-flick? Between his duties in Ota, supervising that…Thing those Edogawa fuckers had pushed into his hands and his various investigations revolving around Restaurant, the Rail-Wrecker and that new Skull lurking around in the Black Tower, he had no time to really involve himself in anything non-work related.

His mind drifted momentarily to the task awaiting them tonight, if he had to guess, now that he had time to think about it, judging by the area, tonight’s assignment should be…

Screenshot perhaps? It would suit tonight’s decoy. Chrome mask, Kagune fluid analysis identifying the suspect as a high-impact Rinkaku; hunting patterns surrounding the Nerima Mall on late night hours, favored prey being young couples on their home.

He would ask her for details later, the movie was starting and as the Investigator in charge of the operation she was bound to know more than what was written in the records.

The movie was a…interesting experience. He remembered his youth, when he would enthusiastically get dragged around by Anne and Nisei on urban escapades, sometimes they would go watch a movie. Being the young Junior Academy trainees they were, of course at that time they were quite smitten by CCG-sponsored action flicks portraying brave human heroes cut relentlessly through legions of villainous and savage Ghouls.

Back in the day, Kai day-dreamed with becoming such a hero someday, avenging his father on a rightful quest and saving humankind in epic battles, using moves so choreographed and exaggerated that they might as well be dancing techniques. Some of those childish notions remained with him to the day he embarked his flight to Tokyo to become an Investigator so many months ago.

But now he knew the truth.

War was hell. It was chaotic, it was confusing, it was bloody and stressful and brutal as fuck. He knew now that real combat had no need for flashy moves or acrobatic pirouettes, one needed to kill the enemy, as fast as one could for the enemy would offer the same courtesy. He knew now how the battlefield smelled: like blood, sweat, dust, gunpowder and spilled guts. He knew the terrifying roar of gunfire, the screams of men being torn apart alive as Ghouls, real Ghouls feasted upon their flesh.

The movie was a classical blockbuster hit filled with gritty violence, witty dialogue and jarring historical and technical inconsistencies. While the Kagune could come in all sorts of forms, sizes and colors, it had certain principles in its general shape and functionality, the RC-Cells usually adopting a crimson color unless victim to some sort of mutation.

Historically, Ghouls had always been despised and Samurai clans constantly arranged hunting parties to hunt down the beasts. Ghouls in kind, assembled themselves into rag-tag bands for protection and larger hunting strength. What the movie didn’t tell of course, was that battles of such scale were extremely rare considering the large population gap between humans and Ghouls, with numbers and intensity like those only present in modern day, where a Metropolis like Tokyo could fit millions of individuals in a rather tight space.

And even then, it was rare, like Shibu-

He didn’t like to think about Shibuya.

Taking some of the offered sweets into his mouth, Kai amused himself hunting for more inaccuracies. Weapons were wrong, of course, nothing short of a hand-cannon could fatally wound a Ghoul with sheer gun-fire, volleys were useful of course, but with the past’s reloading times such tactic was virtually useless and snipers and archers who could successfully get a Ghoul’s eye at a considerable distance were stuff of legends. Sword’s could work, provided they were coated and tempered in Kagune fluid or forged with parts of the Kakohou of vanquished foes, ancient techniques first mastered by the Washuu’s, the firsts of the Ghoul-hunters.

Usually Ghoul-hunters would be large, burly individuals carrying Kanabos, the only weapon melee weapon readily available that could inflict enough kinetic damage or Naginatas that they would attempt to jab into the beast’s eyes. Armor was usually carried in full heavy set or none at all, depending on the weapon choice, with demon masks commonplace as a sign of strength and defiance against their dreadful opponents.

A battle’s ferocity however, that the movie could handle. Perhaps a bit too well, as limbs flew and men screamed, blood painting the battlefield, Kai’s senses were flooded by the familiar sights and sounds of-

-gunfire was echoing all around. A woman was screaming as they dragged her behind their defensive line with her leg barely attached to her body, a man was shouting for medical supplies. They barred the door as best as they could, the Thorax corps threw themselves against it, the smell of blood lingering in the air as they smashed and smashed and smashed.

Hold the line! Hold it! He heard someone call, was it him? The guns and blades were held in trembling hands and shell-shocked eyes. His breathing was ragged, but they needed to fight, he needed to fight or he was going to die.

They charged again and again against the door, bullets whizzing past them as the fire-teams exchanged fire feverishly. He lifted his blade just as their barricade came crashing down and from the smoke they came roaring.

A wave of red cloaks and red eyes ready to-


He stammered, jolted awake by her clapping and voice. Taken aback, he quickly darted his eyes from the rolling credits to the bespectacled woman.

Great, yeah!” he cheerfully declared, somewhat nervously.

He shook his head, trying to shove the unwanted memories aside. That would do him no good tonight.

And besides, date was still on and he probably had to pay for dinner…

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She wasn’t aware when Kai was zoning out, and neither did she take the movie into much historical consideration along with other things. It was a fun little movie and she took it for how it was intended to be, a movie. She enjoyed it and she was ever so delighted to find that he enjoyed it with her. It reminded her...even if just a little about the good old times when they were kids, goofing around, spending time in Germany looking around for fun things to do, driving their parents crazy, kid things. Back then, they didn’t have to worry about anything, but it made her think over the years about what a charismatic little idiot Kai was. He was working hard now she recalled, and she was sort of excited for him, to see what kind of a man he was now. Though, if she knew he was such a scarred veteran, she would hold him in an embrace.

However, she didn’t know. It was the truth, and so she simply took his hand, grasping him with a smile on her face, the quinque that was her guitar case on her back, she walked along with him before slowly releasing the hand. “You’re so cute Kai, daydreaming as usual!” People began walking out of the theaters, also a new group of people began walking in, to enjoy the movie. “So Kai...I’ve been meaning to ask how you’ve been doing all these years. Must be rough working the field and a-” She stopped for a moment as to Kai, who was behind her, it looked like as if a figure bumped into her, his hood over his face and hiding his form, then, he’d see it was beyond that. Hikari’s eyes were widened and her face went pale as beads of sweat formed over her face. He simply walked past her...and within five seconds, she suddenly swerved to her left, sliding, blood smearing against the wall of the theater as he could see a long and thin knife was stabbed right in her stomach.

He gasped as she grasped at the thing at her stomach, looking up to Kai as she looked to be in absolute agony. She didn’t expect it...she didn’t think it was going to be so sudden. However, it was then that the hooded figure ran out of the building, and if Kai were to stay and tend to her, he’d be long gone already. The people that saw this immediately began panicking, running away from the scene as Hikari looked to him. She’d been didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. However, she proceeded to grasp the knife, then she jammed it deeper inside as she grunted in pain, and then the bleeding was lessened...despite the pain. “K-Kai?” She took deep breaths as she coughed. “ ambulance.” She fell unconscious with the blade still lodged in her and the bastard getting away.

His childhood friend, in the blink of an eye was stabbed, the assailant running off into the night, and she needed his help. Slowly, Hikari fell onto her side as blood slowly began to pool under her. She needed a doctor. Whether the assailant was a ghoul or not was a good question, because a ghoul normally had no need for a weapon, and if he wanted to kill her, he could have done that easily. It didn't make too much sense, unless he wasn't trying to kill her. He wanted to send a message. A message that the humans should be afraid, and Hikari was an example. Her glasses slipped off of her face as the girl that was so prepared for fighting, for battle, for most situations was so easily taken out. She needed him...and hopefully he knew that. There was a question here about what was more important, saving her life, or chasing her attacker. What would he do?

She did not question his strange behavior, willful ignorance or not, he did not look a gift horse in the mouth. He appreciated Hikari not asking him about it, be it on purpose or not, he hadn’t really told anything about it. Back in HQ, where he had been patched up and evaluated, his blood had been still pounding, hypersensitive, too focused and ready to fight.

The dreams wouldn’t come until later.

It was just something he had to deal with, a soldier’s burden. He could accomplish the mission, he could still fight. A small part of him, a small and voiceless part of Kai Langley was terrified of the possible implications, the possibility of being deemed unfit for service.

The possibility of losing his chance for vengeance.

But it was not the time for such things.

It was a fun little…date, he supposed. It made Kai remember, simpler times, happier times when he could worry about little things, hopelessly crush on that classmate two desks next to him and how he would never talk to her instead of feverishly trying to stay alive for just another to seconds.

It was a relief he didn’t really know he needed.

Bright eyed danced behind spectacles, soft fingers interlacing with his and pearly white teeth revealed as her lips curled up into a pretty smile. Allowing to lose himself in the moment, tired of being on edge for oh-so long, Kai allowed himself to smile, a small gesture, framed by tired eyes, but a sincere one.

Of course that was the precise moment when shit hit the fan.

A hooded silhouette bumping into her, sliding in and out of their existence as fast as it came. But…something was wrong, dark grey eyes following the shape of the black hood amidst the cloud in a custom born of paranoia. Then a hiss, soft fingers suddenly letting go from what used to be a firm grip just seconds ago, the characteristic sound of pain inflicted upon a person.

He caught her just before she could roughly collapse on the floor. The suddenness of all forcing him to his knees where he held Nisei as she clutched her stomach, eyes wide with panic.

Blood seeped crimson between her fingers.


The implications of this, what it meant and its consequences would have to be dealt later. Kai’s eye twitched, torn between rage, panic and fear. For one hot second, he felt the urge to look up, to gaze upon the black hood hiding in the crowd.

Then she grasped the hilt of the blade within her and pushed deeper.

Hands moved out of instinct, a trance he was too familiar with. Too many men and women screaming as their guts eagerly attempted to exit their bodies. His hand pushes against the wound, seeking to stop the bleeding even further, crimson staining his skin as his other hand flies to his pocket, fishing his intercom.

-Langley calling in medical support. I repeat, injured Investigator on my position-

He drones, a message he has issued many times before. At this point he’s moving through the motions, devoid of sense or purpose. If he focuses on the task at hand he won’t have to think about how he’s actually afraid, how he fears that the knife might have-

He practically rips the dress-shirt he had over his t-shirt off him, ruining the fabric further as he hastily wraps it around the woman’s middle, a make-shift bandage. The knife is still jagged inside her guts and at this point he can only hope it didn’t hit any major vessels or organs.


She passed out, that-that could be bad, but perhaps it was better this way. A crowd was gathering around them, security pushing their way through. His eyes focused on Nisei, silent at the barrage of questions.

Someone did this to her.

Pawn Kai Langley, CCG” he deadpans, flashing his ID and badge as he rises, guards kneeling down to take a look at the for now stabilized woman. “Watch her, a medical team is on its way

“But sir! What are you going-“

The security guard’s words are silenced by the sounds of his suitcase opening, electric impulses stimulating the tissue within, morphing until only the Reaver remains, its blade of smoky silver ready to tear into flesh.

I’m hunting

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