No Choice at All
It was funny, Masumi reflected, how everything changed in the space of
a few hours.
Everything should have gone according to plan. Akashi Satoru had
changed; once the best treasure hunter in the world, but at the time
Masumi joined, a fool who didn't bother to check the background of his
new teammates. It had made things easier, letting the Boukenger figure
out where the Heart was, and then making his move with Natsuki.
Had everything gone well, he'd be in the Bahamas by now. Or somewhere
that was nice and private and he could relax. Instead, here he was in
SGS headquarters, thoroughly humiliated, forced back into this job he'd
considered only a cover.
He hadn't planned on what had happened after he'd nabbed the Heart. Not
of the monsters, not of his near-fall into the lava, not the part that
Akashi Satoru had been playing.
The last had hurt most of all. The man had, in his own way, scouted
Masumi. Not let Masumi know he was doing it. No, he'd lived up to his
name, was the Immortal Fang, had hunted Masumi and made sure he joined.
Masumi had thought he was getting one over on the older treasure
hunter, but Akashi Satoru had gotten one over on him.
Being the Immortal Fang's prey didn't suit him at all. A choice between
boiling in the lava and taking the Accelular, taking up the role of
BoukenBlack, it wasn't really a choice at all.
Masumi had no choice. None. Akashi Satoru had taken it away from him
like a teacher taking a toy away from a child. Which irritated him.
Kept him awake.
He was still awake the next morning.