by Neil Burns
GATCHAMAN/BATTLE OF THE PLANETS,etc. are owned and copyrighted by their respective companies. Red Impulse observes about his chosen path, Ken and Gatchaman among other things. Takes place anywhere between "Mysterious Red Impulse" and "Farewell Red Impulse". (Note-some strong language)
I am Kentaro Washio, aka Red Impulse. I am a 48-year-old widower with an 18-year-old son Ken. I lead Red Impulse, a covert security force and my oldest friend Kozaboru Nambu is head of the International Science Organization and head of Project Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman. My wife Sayuri died of lukemia when Ken was eleven. I left Ken in Nambu's care when he was four while I carried out my mission to gather information about Galactor's V-2 Plan.
Father. What a laugh. To paraphrase a quote I heard in a movie long ago "What in my history with the ISO made me even think I was parental material. It sounded good on paper at the time. Marry the girl I love, although many colleagues including Nambu thought that was one emotion I was totally unable to feel. Have a family and settle down. Well, the marrying part was easy enough. Leastways, the ceremony and honeymoon was. But then the missons started coming in and I was away all the time. Even when Ken was born, I was collecting data. Reminds me of that old Chapin song "Cats In The Cradle". People think I dumped Ken in Nambu's lap because I just didn't want to deal with diapers, bottles and all that shit. True, I wasn't prepared to be responsible for another life and the idea did scare the hell out of me. But the real reason was Galactor's V-2 Project. The Van Allen Belt is a 60,000-kilometer field that protects the earth from the sun's protons and electrons and Galactor was working on a condension project that lowered the Belt toward the earth until the heat killed everyone on the planet, leaving the surviving Galactor rulers. I feared that the bastards would come for my family if I got too close and I couldn't live with my family being in danger, so if I faked my death, the Galactor would leave them alone. Nambu was the logical choice to ask to take care of Ken. With two kids of his own and plenty of "Dad experience", he's more of a father than I'll ever be. Forgive me, Ken. Forgive me, Sayuri for being a rotten husband and even worse father.
Speaking of Ken, everytime I see him, he looks more and more like Sayuri everyday. He doesn't know I'm his father and why would he? I've been out of his life for fourteen years and he's done fine. Nambu wonders why I'm so tough on the kid, asking me "Do you want to make him a cold, bitter sonofabitch like you?" Well, Nambu. The world is cold and bitter. Reality is tough. It's not some giant fucking playground that your charges think it is. You bet I'm bitter because those fucking Galactor bastards are trying to take over the world and enslave everyone, depriving them of their happiness and well-being. The sooner Ken knows the score, the sooner he'll be the better for it. If he becomes cold and bitter like me, then c'est la vie. Maybe someday, when this war is over and if we both survive, Ken and I will get together for a few brews and hopefully try to hash things out. I wouldn't count on it happening, but it still would be nice to try some sort of reconciliation.
Speaking of Nambu's pet project, the Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman, I am really not that impressed. Come on, Koz. It takes more than tacky stupid-ass birdy suits and cheap-shit toys you probably bought at Wal-Mart's to win this war. The Sicilian kid G-2 I like. Cold. Bitter. Gets the job done. Takes no shit and thinks Nambu is full of it. Reminds me of me. G-3? Okay. She's cute with a nice set of gams which that mini-skirt shows off nicely and she could probably teach Masaki a thing or two about all that computer crap. Otherwise, women belong in the kitchen and not on the battle front. And what the hell is with the fucking yo-yo? "Surrender or I'll walk the dog on your ass." Whooooo. I'm really shaking in my boots. G-4? Robbing the cradle, aren't we, Nambu. Some snot-nose little punk barely out of diapers acts like he's hot stuff. And bolos? This ain't a game, junior. This ain't Romper Room. Go back to your milk and cookies and Playstation and leave the real fighting to the grownups. G-5. What fucking genius recruited this fat lazy slob? All he does is fart around on that ship, jerking off or sleeping. And when he's not, he's stuffing his fat face. These are Nambu's "secret weapon" to fight Galactor. These are the hope of mankind. Keep dreaming, Nambu. In the meantime, Masaki, Oniishi and I will do our jobs to protect the planet by working our asses off, not using some cheap stupid gimmick like birdy suits.
I may not show it and I don't want anyone to know, but I love Ken. I am proud of him and hope that he actually makes a better life for himself. I couldn't stand by while my family and the whole world die or be enslaved by those Galactor bastards. I couldn't stand raising a family in those conditions, so I volunteered to infiltrate Hontwhorl and gather data. Of course, this meant faking my death and changing my identity. I am progressing very nicely and have the names of scientists involved with the V-2 project and experiment notes, but I need more. When this is done, I will reveal myself to Ken and explain everything. Until then, this mission is fourteen years of hard work that must take priority over everything. My happiness. My family. Even my well-being and possibly that of Ken's. Forgive me, Ken. Forgive me, Sayuri. If we can't meet again in this life, maybe we can be together in the next lifetime.
All comments (good AND bad) encouraged. Neiltkd@aol.com is the address so let's hear you all. Don't be shy. :)