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Family Matters by Daniel Rush
Family Matters by Daniel Rush
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The Year is 2067. The fouth year of the first Intergalactic war between the forces of the ISO, the United Nations, and Galactor in the 94OAV Universe.............

Municipal Park across from the Bay side hotel.

 The two boys were locked in heated combat, or that was the way to describe such a wild game of one on one basketball in the heat of the July afternoon sun. The nine year old was extreamly agile as he darted under the legs of his equaly quick 13 year old oponant and dropped another shot through the hoop.

"Yatah!" He screamed with joy. "Your getting slower Anikie!" He taunted with a jabbing finger in the older boys chest.

Jinpei would have none of that. He grabbed the boy and rubbed his fist through his scalp. " Wise guy! I should know better than to play games with a little thief. Your too sneeky!" The younger boy wrestled himself free and tripped Jinpei in the process. He sat on the warm concrete, taking time out to suck on his water bottle and run a wet hand through his wild hair.

Kenji was a good kid, despite the raw deal his young life delt him. He had been a street rat for as long as he could remember. It was Jinpei who caught him trying to steal from Swan Lounge but who couldn't hand him over to the local police. Insted, Jinpei got him a home with an elderly couple in the burbs, a day job at swan lounge, and in return.. Kenji called him anikie, older brother. Nothing sounded better to a boy who lives in the shaddow of older, bossy adults all the time.

The two boys walked off the court and fell apon the grassy slope to look out over the bay. Kenji removed a faded torn photo from his pocket and looked at it with a face of forlorn sadness. "Mr. and Mrs. Noborito are gonna try and help me find my mother Jinpei."

Jinpei didn't respond at first. Just a sigh and a puff of air from his nose was all Kenji heard. " What's wrong? Did I say something wrong?" Jinpei shook his head.

"No. Your lucky Kenji. At least you have a picture of your mom, some idea. I don't." Ninji sat up and looked at Jinpei who had closed his eyes to him.

"You don't know anything about your mom? What about your sister Jun?" That seemed to strike a real nerve. Jinpei rose off the ground and tried to walk off.

Kenji was insistant. He ran ahead of Jinpei and grabbed him. "Anikie! I'm sorry." Jinpei placed his hands on Kenji's shoulders.

"It's allright. It's just that I never realy faced this before. It comes and goes but I never realy faced it. I don't know my mother Kenji. Jun never knew her because Jun's not my real sister, birth sister anyway." Kenji began to back away but Jinpei grabbed him in a fierce hug.

"You don't know how important it is to have someone like you as a friend Kenji." There were tears, Kenji could hear the choking. Jinpei backed off and put his red cap back on his head. "I think it's time I  finaly tried to find out about my mom too."

Both boys wrapped arms around eah other and walked down the grassy hill to the hotel to begin another night of work.

   The next day, Jinpei woke up late as usual. "plan for seven, walk up at twelve. perfect!" He said with the usual elvish smile. He could hear Jun walking around downstairs as he got dressed in long, overy baggy jeans and a red and yellow pullover.

"Hey sis!" he screamed. "Can I have my breakfast in bed!" He could hear her curse under her breath. "Get down here and make it yourself sleepy head! And while your at it, you can open the club! Your old enough to do that, right?"

"Ow! That word "olds" a killer sis!" He said as he tore down the stairs and into the kitchen. Ripping open the fridge door, Jinpei grabbed a few apples, the milk, and a bag of sugar rice. He proceeded to make war on his assembled breakfast as Jun walked in with her hair done up in a towel. She almost laughed at the site of her near famished brother.

"I swear Jinpei, your becoming more like Ryu every day. You eat like it's going to be a last meal or something."

  He was oblivious to her as usual. Sucking the apple juice from his fingers, he commenced to giving her one of his famous elvin stares she allways hated. He could drive her and the others mad with these devilish grins and it showed when she snapped the towel within an inch of his head.

   "Stop it Jinpei! And what are you thinking? You don't make faces at me without something going through your head." He paused to think before asking the question.

"Sis? What can you tell me about the time you found me? She looked back at him  with an air of reservation. "Nothing more thn I've told you before. It was in a orphinage when you were only five years old. The same time I had lost my own family. When Doctor Nambu came for me, I took you along. Why ask? Jinpei seemed to squrm in his chair. " I want to find out who I realy am. My name's not realy Jinpei, my birthday's not even right. You gave me all that but I just feel I'm old enough now to know the truth." Jun didn't know how to respond to Jinpei's sudden questioning.

"Jinpei, I don't have any other answers I'm sorry." Insted of taking it calmly, Jinpei suddenly went off.

 " Why is it that you, Ryu, Ken, and Joe all know your mothers, your families, and I  don't! It's like for the past few years you've all hid something from me! Don't I have a right to know the truth too!" Jun tried to reason with the angry boy but it was impossible. Once he got riled up over something, Jinpei was as hard as Joe was. He dismissed her with a wave of his hands and stormed out of the kitchen.

Sometime later, Ken was busy putting the finishing touches to the polish on his acroprop when his comlink beeper sounded. "Washiro Ken." he spoke. It was Jun at the other end. "Ken, I've got a problem with Jinpei. He just walked out of the house and he's realy hot."

 Ken chuckled. "What now? Is it his school work or did you find another of those magazines under his pillow again?"

Jun was serious. "Ken! Jinpei was asking me about his past. I realy cause him to fly off the handle this time! I need you to talk to him." Ken almost growled under his breath. Jinpei normaly came to Ken when Jun couldn't get him to budge. He resided himself to the fact of having to deal with a very serious problem. "I'll talk to him the next time we report to the tower. Ken out"

   ISO HEADQUARTERS (2 days later)

The light knock on his office door told Ken that Jinpei had finaly made up his mind to see him. "Comeon in Jinpei." Ken called out.

Jinpei entered the office and stood before Ken's desk. As expected, he was still in a very serly mood. " I guess Jun told you allready? Bet your gonna give me the same score as she did."

Ken's sudden jump from his seat sent Jinpei tripping over himself as if to get out of the line of fire. But Ken was known for dramatics like this. It was his more calm and professional style of life that made him such a good commander. The acts were mere emphisis as if to say "I own this turf thankyou."

"First of all Jinpei, I won't tollerate any wise backtalk and stupid remarks from you. Your going to listen and take what I tell you without acting like a punk kid." Well that worked. Jinpei relaxed.

"Sorry Anikie." He said. Ken became more relaxed and he walke over to put his hands on the boy's shoulders. " Jinpei, I understand you, we all do. No one on the  team has tried to hide anything from you. If we knew the truth I swear we'd tell you. But none of us knows a lick past that we allready know."

Jinpei batted his eyes, another of his little teasers. Ken could smack him but he just smiled and shook his head. "Allright. I'll try talking to Nambu. See if he has anything to say. But...You have to trust me on this Jinpei."

 Jinpei smirked. "You mean I have to behave myself, right?" Ken brushed the boy's wild hair and sent him running from the room. "Thank's Anikie!" He yelped as he closed the door behind him.

THE OFFICE OF DR. KOZABUROU NAMBU

 "Be that as it may Ken. Jinpei will just have to suck it up and take it. Any information I have on him shall remain locked up untill such time as certain individuals are known to be dead."

Ken was shocked! "What individuals hakasie? My concern is taking one individual into combat with his mind on other things! Why keep this from him!"

Nambu shot back. "Ken! I should not have to answer the questions of the Commander of Gatchaman if he understands the words "SECURITY CLASS CODE ALPHA" Do I?"

Ken was resigned to the fact. "No Hakisie. Understood." Ken plced the phone reciever down and sat in thought. " Dam security." He went back to the grind of he usual after action reports.

***********  

    Later in the day, Jinpei took a walk up to the top of the ISO building and sat looking out over the city below. He liked it up here, amoung the clouds, alone to himself. He usualy brought a drawing pad or a book to pass the time but today he just decided to sit and think.

He was suddenly grabbed from behind and lifted off his feet by Ryu who sneeked up on him without a sound. "I got you now!" he bellowed as Jinpei squrmed and cursed to free himself. "Let me go Ryu!" He screamed and Ryu dropped him to his feet.

"Sorry." He said with a shrug. " I just came by to chear you up!" Jinpei turned around and sat on the roof with Ryu taking a seat next to the pouting youth.

 " Ryu. What's the big mistery here? Why can't anyone give me an honest answer about my past?" Jinpei gave him another convincing puppy eyed look as if to wiggle Ryu's soft spot a little.

"You want to know what I think kid?" Ryu said. " I think you should have known who you were a long time ago. In fact, I'm surprized you haven't figured it out yet."

"Figured what?" Jinpei asked with a tinge of sarcastic flavor in his voice.

"Look in the mirror kid. Your a dead ring match for a Japanese! The eyes, the hair, your skin tone, even your inflection as you talk. You never figured that out?"

 Jinpei almost jumped. "Japanese?" he muttered over and over as Ryu got up to take his leave.

 "Don't you tell anyone I told you that!" Ryu said as he walked off. Jinpei was left in a ponder. "Japanese...."

NEXT DAY, The Swan Lounge

Jinpei was minding the lounge while Jun made the daily run for coffie and food. Tonight would be a busy work shift as the place was reserved for a group of students on their summer break from the University.

Jinpei sat in a corner booth with his mini P/C pulged into a phone jack. His little toy was a marvel of computer design. It was wired into his own personal main frame at ISO and looked like a Nintendo hand controler with it's own pop up computer screen. With it, he could hack any system, hook up to any phone or radio unit at will, raid computer files. It had triple code, rapid switch encription that made lock on or decoding impossible. In his hands, it was more of a danger than his clackers were.

At the moment, he was scaning the Net for various options and sites in an attempt to trace his geneology. After an hour online, he beame stumped. He thought " There has to be something I'm missing, something very simple." he thought, then typed.........

GENEOLOGY TESTING/DNA .......BEEP............ Results245 Results12>20 result15 NATIONAL MINISTRY OF DNA RECORDS JP

   "Hot dam!" Jinpei smiled with a clenched fist as he opened the web site and searched it's contents.

RECORDS SEARCH/OPEN LINE COMLINK

Dear sir or mam,

I am researching my family geneology with ties to Japan. Is it possble to find information without no hard background information?

.......Beep.......

Dear Sir,

Establishment can be made by forwarding a copy of a DNA basic test result, done by a competant medical authority, to this office.

  Jinpei quickly copied the address and logged off the net. Now he thought about how he could get a DNA test done on his own blood. He smirked........"Yeah."

TWO DAYS LATER..ISO MEDICAL CENTER

Doctor Moriece Kraft was no stranger to Gatchaman. He had set their broken bones, mended their bruises, and pulled their teeth since they were children. Of all of them, Jinpei was his favorite. The young boy seemed to take a deep interest in medical technology, which is why his visits were always met with surprizes and joy.

The doctor welcomed Jinpei into the lab with his deep Cagin accent. " Hello my little friend. So what brings you down here to my humble lab? Some more of my neat toys, no?"

Jinpei laughed. "No doc. I just reminded myself that I was suposed to give this to you." Jinpei handed a vile of blood to the doctor from his pocket. "It's blood we took off some Galactor goon last week during a raid. Ken thinks he's some high up officer in the chain of command but only a DNA match can tell. He needs a basic DNA test done."

The doctor handed the sample to a technician and prescribed the test. After that, and seeing a possible interest in his young visitor, the doctor threw a book in Jinpei's hands. "That's all you need to know about DNA sciances Jinpei. It's fascinating! You'll be surprized I bet?"

Jinpei scanned through the pages and remarked, "How accurate is this stuff?"

"How about 99.98 percent. Amazing. >From a single test, I can tell eye color, hair, weight. Even in a murder victim over 100 years old, I can find out the exact makeup of the killer right down to parental geneology. With today's technology my friend, you can't miss."

The technician returned with the results in a manila folder. The doctor handed it right to Jinpei without even looking. "Don't you scan this stuff?" Jinpei asked.

 "No monamee, my classification doesn't allow me to do so. That's up to your intelligence brach no? So if you would, you can deliver this for me since your going that way,yes?" Jinpei smiled in reply, thanked the doctor, and walked out.

Jinpei reached the fourteenth floor of the tower and walked out. He wasn't going to the intel branch. Insted, he was about to commit a major violation of the ISO security orders, but to him there was more than enough reason.

He gained access to an office space with his P/C and located a fax machine. He had to work fast in hooking up the P/C and sending several route and bypass commands to cover his fax transmition. When that was done, he faxed the entire DNA report to the adress in Japan.

Now there was nothing left to do but wait.

***********  


July 23, 2067 Construction site 3 miles away from Swan club.

  Jinpei sat on a large drain pipe, his stomach churning with fear. The response from Japan had come at last. But now he was too afraid to look at it! He sat for minutes just trying to get up the nerve. He closed his eyes, muttered "God's will." and turned the mini P/C on.

Results of the Generlogical search request

Dear sir,

After carefull review of your DNA sample pattern to the national records, the following information was compiled..........................

  Jinpei dropped his P/C and shook. Slowly, tears, long overdue tears, dropped from his eyes and he reached to cover his mouth. Below, the P/C screen had the following transcript............

   The records indicate that you were born in the city of Ogori-shima in Takadahara Prefecture on 17 February, 2053 to one miss Midori Sakusa. Your birth name as listed is Kio Sakusa, resident of Ayo Village in Shinigara Prefecture Japan.

 Early the next morning at the ISO tower, Jinpei dropped a set of leave papers on Ken's desk. Ken gave them a once over before  signing them. "Yellowstone Jinpei? Another one of your hobby studies I suppose?"

Jinpei knoded. "Yeah. Well it's a great place that I've been wanting to see for a while. Just never had the lull like we got right now to do it. You don't mind do you?" Ken signed the paper and handed it back. "No. I think you deserve a little time off anyway. How are you feeling?" Ken asked as Jinpei turned to leave.

"Fine now. Just fine!" He said happily as he left the office.

That night, Jinpei showed up at the JAL airlines terminal for his four hour flight to Hiroshima International. Stratospheric flight was a boon to the weary traveler. No more fourteen hous in an uncomfortable 747 with this high flying concept. Jinpei arrived in the early morning at the Sumitomo International airport, four hours later and on time.

He performed another one his computer hacker specials before his arrival by moding his passport paperwork to add the designation "ZEBRA 220", The International Code of an ISO agent on a critical intelligence mission. The code prevented authorities from impeeding his progress or knowing his location for the next twenty days, plenty of time to do what he had to do.

Runing quickly through customs and out to pick up his rental car, Jinpei stopped to grab a map and practice some of his quickly learned Japanese. To his delight, he spoke it almost fluently as he made conversation with the sales clerk. That done, he walked out to his awaiting car.

Now a leopard 2000 is not something you'd give to a hyperative 13 year old speed demon like Jinpei. He almost relished the fact that he had twenty days to rack a good number of speeding tickets, but the thought vanished as quick as it came. He had to behave himself dispite the temptation.

With the convertable top down and his long brown hair waving in the wind, Jinpei turned the car onto National Highway Five and drove South towards Tokoyama and the city of Ogori-shima. He had seen Japan only once before, during a mission near Mount Fuji, and the sights and sounds of the old and modern land became a calling to him.

He wondered, as he drive looking at the sights, what his family was like, was his mother still live, and the one thing the DNA records failed to mention............ Who was his father?

NEXT MORNING The New Kanai hotel in Ogori-Shima

Jinpei had spent a good night's sleep  despite the obvious expectations of his visit to the hospital of his birth. After a quick breakfast, he was off driving around the busy streets of the city as it rose to work. It soon became a crowded, noisy symbol of Japan's industrious nature and Jinpei found it difficult to navigate the cloged roads.

He'd been searching for hours now when he finaly saw the traditional Green Cross flag that marked a Japanese district hospital. "That's it!" He remarked as he parked down the street and walked up to the front enterance.

Inside the lobby, he leaned over the reception desk to talk to the nurse who was busy going over the morning cases.

"Ohayo!" He said in greeting. " I'm here doing research on my family geneology, and I'd like to know if any of your staff worked in pediatrics during the year 2053?"

The nurse responded with a knod and checked her computer. "Yes, in fact our head doctor Shima Takeshisan was the dirrector of pediatrics at that time. Allow me to call him and see if he'll speek with you." She made the phone call and dirrected Jinpei across the hall where a buisness attired gentlemen in his 50's invited Jinpei inside an office.

Sitting down behind his desk, The doctor offered Jinpei a drink. "Now...Your searching your geneology am I correct?" The man asked.

"Yes sir. Actualy, I've been an orphin for some time now and a friend suggested I try to contact the records ministry. So I'm here to see if I can learn a little more about my mother. Even a picture of her would help."

The doctor rose from his chair and unlocked a file cabinet full of CD-ROM disk. "Now let's see. The year was 2053? What's the name of your mother?"

"Midori Sakusa." The doctor stopped, hesitated for but a brif moment and brought a CD-ROM from the cabinet to his computer. Bringing up the name on his program, he guided Jinpei to sit in his chair.

"You press return to see the picture. I understand that this may be a very hard time for you, so I'll leave the office. You will be ok?"

Jinpei knoded as the doctor left and slowly pushed the return button.

He froze.....hands tracing over the immage. A maternal conection of 13 years had been restored. She was beutifull, this 18 year old Japanese girl. Beutifull with a touch of soft strenth which infused her radiant features. Her hair was a long black flax, her eyes a deep brown. Her expression a face of love for that which she held in her hands. "What happened?" Jinpei said with unrestrained tears as he gripped the monitor with thoughts of joy, affection, and love.

AYO-YAMA An isolated compound 3 miles from Mount Ayo.

     The phone rang three times untill it switched on the vocal microphone in a small dojo where  lone figure sat in deep meditation. "I trust this is not a trivial report that your bothering me with?" said the figure.

"No master Tejiro! It is I Takeshisan. There is a boy in my office viewing the traitor Midori's birth file!"

The figure shot from his sitting possition, arms flexing at his side. "Describe him!"

"He has long brown hair, brown eyes, matches Midori's features, and..he has brought DNA records that match him possitively!"

The man snarled. "So...The rat of the slut has come home at last. Send him to me Tekeshi, so I can send the little bastard to hell to join his mother!"

The angry, ghee clad figure stormed out of the dojo, slamming the door behind him.

***********  


ISO MEDICAL

Joe had been dizzy the last few days. Obviously the stress of almost constant action and lack of any sleep caused his problem. As the doctor prescribed a dose of relaxant, the topic of the DNA test Jinpei asked for came up. Joe was taken by surprize.

"DNA test? OH yeah, that one turned out possitive. Your work is always good doctor." Quickly, Joe made his way to Ken's office and barged in without knocking.

"What? What DNA test?" Ken asked with equal confusion.

"The doc said Jinpei brought him a blood sample from a raid we made last week." Joe said as he placed his hands on the desk. Ken quickly picked up the phone.

"Switchboard! chaneel 22 alpha one, there was no raid Joe, Doctor Nambu this is Ken, I'm on my way up to your office right now! You'd better be ready for some whicked news." Slam went the reciever.

"Joe. Get Ryu and Jun and meet me up at Nambu's office as soon as you can!" Both men left the office in  a hurry.

AYO VILLAGE

Jinpei had arrived at last. He stopped his car infront of a small youth hostle and gazed up at the towering mass of Mount Ayo, a long dormant volcano that commanded the vally of rolling hills and lush farmlands. His first thoughts, however, were of coffie and he set off to find the nearest vending machine.

As he rounded a corner, he noticed a group of boys coming up the street. They were High Schoolers by the looks of the uniforms they wore and they were pushing and taunting a girl who was obviously much younger, perhaps thirteen or so.

Poping the tab on the hot can of coffie, Jinpei watched as the boys cornered the girl and began to push her around like a rag doll. His first sip of coffie made him jump, the stuff was super hot!

Slowly, casualy, Jinpei walked over to where the boys were having their fun and shook his head. " Can't you guys find a more deserving target to test your stupid egos?"

The obvious leader of the gang stopped and walked up to Jinpei with his gang in tow.

"Shrimp, you just made the biggest mistake of your life." Jinpei looked away from the towering teen and laughed. " I just hate the word shrimp."

He threw a roundhouse kick that sent the bully flying into a garage door! The others stood aghast, then charged Jinpei all at once. He expertivly dodged the first boy, grabbed his jacket, and added momentum to his charge that made him kiss the same garage  door! The next one tried to get behind him but Jinpei tosed his can of coffie into the air, 'whirled on one foot, and sent a blinding series of punches and kicks that sent the bully sprawling on the ground. The last kid stopped short and took the full contents of the flying coffie can in his face!

They all retreated down the street with Jinpei stopping short to boo them as they ran.

The young girl had never seen anything like it! She ran up to Jinpei and grabbed his arm. "That was wonderfull! Your very strong!"

Jinpei shook her off. "No. I just hate being called a shrimp. By the way, I'm looking for a miss Midori Sakusa. You wouldn't happen to know her would you?"

 "Midorisan? Oh yes! she lives up that road about five miles. You can't miss the house. Are you a friend?"

  "I knew her when I was younger." Jinpei said with a smile. "Thanks uh......" The girl smiled "Ayna." She said as she ran off down the street. Jinpei started to walk towards Ayo-Yama.

   He'd been walking for a while now, past farmlands and into the woods below the mountain. Open road gave way to a trail and a forest of grown bamboo trees resting amoung a sound of running water from nearby streams. Suddenly, with the wind, came a different sound. That of running feet!

Jinpei stopped, so did the running. He turned...and ducked into a split stance as a flying blade nearly took his head off! It sliced through a bamboo tree behind him and kept going into the forest!

"Dam it!" He screamed as he reached for his comlink in his pants pocket. It never reached his lips as he had to jump to avoid two more flying blades! The first missed him but the second crashed into the back of his head, knocking him out!

ISO BUILDING- DOCTOR NAMBU'S OFFICE

   Doctor Nambu was fuming with anger. "Which one of you told Jinpei about Japan?" Ryu answered him. "I did Hakasei. I couldn't lie to him." The doctor got right in Ryu's face!

"Dam you! How many times were you told. How many! You idiot!"

Ken jumped between both men." Hakasei! You told us to obey an order you never gave a proper explanation for! If you had told me years ago about Jinpei's past insted of hiding it, I would have understood!"

Nambu relaxed his position. "He's made a serious violation of the ISO security code. Your all in danger but it's much worse for the boy. I'll tell you ken but I hope to God you can reach him in time. Jinpei's walking towards his own death!"

AYO-YAMA The compound of the Jupitor Ninja Tai

     Jinpei awoke, bound and chained to a steel post. His head was throbing from the painfull knot where he was hit. Before him stood a middle aged Japanese man who was well fit in physical form and tone. He was clad in a Jitsu ghee, the traditional clothing of a practitioner in the anchient arts of ninjitsu. The man eyed Jinpei with vile hate as he walked around the pole.

"Did you know boy, there is an old Chinese saying? Why chase the dragon when you can wait at the place he is most vulnerable. Sooner or later he'll come home and he'll die." The man got right in Jinpei's face an spit. "Welcome home little Dragon or shall I say.......Kio?"

Jinpei returned the spit. " And who are you? the official greeter? or the maid!" The ninja slammed a fist into Jinpei's chest, knocking the wind out of him. He grabbed his hair and yanked his head up.

"You don't remember do you Kio? Of course you dont. Your memory was washed, erased so you couldn't return here. But you did. I fyou've come for your mother Kio, your a little late because hell is where your at and I'm the devil, Tedjiro Sakura!." The man moved away.

"Of course, it would be a shame to kill you before you heard the full story of who you are. I'll be generous, it's the least I can do."

"We are the Jupitor Ninja Tai of the clan of Tosnatobe. Many years ago, we allied ourselves with the Galactor by which we would attain rule over all Japan. From there, we would lead the nation into a new glory to avenge it's history! A new Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere which would make our people the most feared on Earth once again!"

Jinpei thought quickly. "Co-Prosperity?" The images came to mind. The war, the great hollocaust of World War II when the Japanese nation followed the code of bushido to near self anihillation! He raged. "Co-Prosperity! You would lead Japan back into hell. My mother, she tried to stop you!"

"Your mother became soft! weak! and all because of you! She stole our plans and ran off with you into the forest! We couldn't find you,but we found your mother Kio. She died like a sqeeling pig screaming your name. ...........I CUT HER UP MYSELF!!"               

Jinpei jumped, struggled, tore his skin against his bonds till it bled, "YOU BASTARD!!! YOU SON OF A BITCH!!I'LL KILL YOU!!!I'LL KILL YOU IF IT'S THE LAST THING I DO!!!"

Tedjiro laughed at the raging boy. "Such a waiste of energy Kio. What was not done ten years ago shall be finished now!" Tedjiro clapped his hands and Jinpei stopped in horror as he recognized the girl who entered the covered dojo.

"Anya!" He said in shock. "My daughter Kio. Aparently a lesson you didn't pick up. Never reveal yourself to a beutifull girl." Tedjiro pulled his sword from his Ghee and slapped it in his daughters hands. "Behead him. Don't burry the body!"

***********  


GOD PHEONIX COMMAND SHIP 70,000 FEET ABOVE THE PACIFIC

   The God Pheonix was a blur of blue and red as it screamed at near ultrasonic speed towards Japan. Ken was coaxing Ryu to put on more speed to the overworking thrusters but Ryu didn't dare push the Shima Tori in an overly crowed air zone.

"Faster Ryu!" Ken demanded once more! "Dam it Ken! If I push any more, we'll slam a tailpipe out here! Our current ETA over Japan is five miniutes!"

Ken turned to Jun. She was all fear as he was. Afterall, she had to bear the burden of not being able to tell Jinpei when she should have. She sillently uttered her fear in small pleas and prayers.

 AYO-YAMA

Jinpei kicked, bit, and contorted against the gang of ninja that dragged him up the slope with Anya in the lead. Suddenly, she stopped and motioned them to beat him into a crouch. They kicked and punched Jinpei till he was no more a heap on the ground. He hears the rathing of the sword as it cleared the scabbard.

"Anya! Don't do this! Can't you see your father's a mad man! For God sakes your following him to hell!" Anya held her stance and brought the sword over her head.

"Your pleading falls on dead ears Kakaru Ninja Tai, prepair to die!!"

Jinpei closed his eyes, expecting death, but just as the blade came down for the stroke across his neck, it shattered to pieces! The ninja around him fell in their place. Only Anya was spared by the familiar whistling sound of Ken's Birdrang!

"Anikie!" Jinpei screamed as the weapon returned to Ken's hand. Anya wheeled about to face him and went for her throwing weapon. "STOP!" Ken commanded, his weapon cocked for the throw. Jinpei pleaded with her. "Dam it! Don't Anya, He'll kill you where you stand. Don't be stupid!"

She moved, and Ken's birdrang literaly lifted her off her feet and sent her crashing into a tree! Jinpei closed his eyes and cursed Tedjiro's name as Ken mved to free him.

Once free, Jinpei ran to Anya's body and rifled through her ghee as Ken grabbed him from behind. "Jinpei! We have to get out of here! NOW!" Jinpei struggled against his hold. "No, I'm going to finish this here and now! Get out of my way Ken!"

"Dam you!" Ken screamed back. "I won't have you going off like Joe on some personal war! He's ate up with hate and sooner or later it may kill him! I'm not gonna watch you die, your going home!"

Jinpei flipped his hand and a small black ball flew under Ken's protective helmet shield and exploded in a cloud of searing pepper in his eyes!

"Ahhhh!" Ken screamed as Jinpei jumped free and ran down the road towards the dojo. "Jinpei!" Ken screamed as Jinpei changed into his G-4 battlesuit.

On a rise above the compound, Jinpei stopped, oblivious to all but one thought. "TEDJIRO!!! COME OUT COWARD!! COME OUT AND FACE ME!!" He screamed. There was no answer. "TEDJIRO!! ANYA'S DEAD! YOU KILLED HER!!SON OF A BITCH COME OUT AND FIGHT!!

Suddenly a loud onrushing noise rose from behhind him and Jinpei jumped as a steel Kapar flew below his feet and returned to it's owner. He landed, his clackers whirling in his left hand. On a high power tower before him, Tedjiro jumped from it's top and landed several yards away.

"Come nephew! Let's embrace death together!" Jinpei crouched. "The only one here who'll embrace it is YOU!"

The clackers went flying, sailing within a foot of Tedjiro before detonating in a huge fireball! He was thrown to the ground but quickly retalliated! His steel Kaper flew, smashing Jinpei's face shield and circling behind to smash the back of his helmet.

The impact threw Jinpei into a roll and he recovered, throwing another set of clackers that connected with the still flying Kaper. The explosion blew the weapon over the cliff!

Now on they came at a dea run! Both heaing for a collision! Tedjiro drew a Tanto from his belt and screamed like a mad demon. Jinpei made good use of a rock, throwing it like a skipping stone, it crashed into Tedjiro's face!

They collided! Jinpei struck the ninja in the neck. Flipping him in the air and slamming him into the dirt and rock with such force that dirt flew skyward!

But Tedjiro recovered. A flying kick to the back of the head and a throw sent Jinpei  throught the air! No sooner than he landed on his feet than Tedjiro came on him!

They were a blur of kicks, punches, hits, and counter hits. Tedjiro trying to slash and Jinpei catching the blade in his hands and returning kick with kick and punch with punch. Suddenly, Tedjiro's blade found it's mark, the steel racking Jinpei's chin! It was the effect the ninja looked for! He grabbed the stunned boy and kicked with all his might! The leg broke but two of Jinpei's ribs snapped like twigs! He flew onto the ground!

Tedjiro jumped on him and whirled the tanto in his hand! "NOW YOU DIE!"

The hate filled ninja's face would remain frozen in time. His upper body seemd to lurch, shudder, and contort violently. The knife fell from his hand and soon he followed it to the ground. Jinpei looked over to see that Joe had nailed his mark........three darts had hit Tedjiro in his back.......he was dying!

Blood fom his mouth signal that a lung had been punctured. But Jinpei crawed from under Tedjiro and grabbed his ghee. "Tedjiro? Where's my mother's body? Where did you bury her, tell me dam it!"

Tedjiro looked into the boy's eyes. A vision apeared.....the face changed..... Midori?........He struggled to pull Jinpei closer and wispered quickly as the life drained, as the body failed. His last words echoing..."Sister, oh sister forgive...forgive forgive..........." Then came the embrce of death. Below, the scene spun away into darkness.

EPILOG

Jun's fast medical work saved Jinpei from joining his Uncle in death. Days later, He was sitting on the summit of Ayo-Yama finishing the stone kerns that held the remains of his mother, Anya,...and yes..Tedjiro. In his death his beg for forgiveness had taken the hate out of Jinpei's heart.

Only Jun had the courage to follow him here, at a distance, and now she came up behind him and placed her hands on his shoulders. Jinpei grabbed one and held it to his cheek. He was so tired and felt so much alone.

"Kio?" Jun spoke his real name for the first time and he turned to look at her. "What now? Will you hunt down the rest of them?"

Jinpei turned back to the kerns. "No. Poor Tedjiro. He was dead long before this. If anyone's to pay it's Galactor. They promised him everything and what did he get?" Jinpei began to cry. "My mother...Anya.....him... death."

He moved to touch the kern holding his mother and stroked it gently. " I swear mother, when this is ove, when Galactor is dead, I'll come home and lead the clan to a better life." He stood, wiping away the tears.

"Sis....Did I do what's right?" Jun moved to hug her brother in her arms. " Kio. Had I been you, I wouldn't hesitate in the least. You had the right to know. For better or worse. But what do I call you now that you know?"

He looked in her eyes. " For now, Kio is dead. He's here with his mother. For now Jinpei's my name and Gatchaman's my family and your my sister." He teared up again as she took him in her arms.

"Comeon, let's go home." Taking a last look at the kerns, Jinpei put his arm around Jun and brother and sister walked down the slopes together to leave the past.....and the day..behind them.

THE END.
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