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The Question by Daniel Rush
The Question by Daniel Rush
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By Dan Rush

A JINPEI FANFIC FROM THE OAV 94 UNIVERSE. All rights of the creators and characters of Gatchaman are respected herein.

Another mission was over, another Galactor base returned to the abyss that spawned it, and another victory chalked up by Gatchaman.

They came off the God Pheonix at Neptune Base in their civies with Jinpei once again in his usual, boastfull, dancing mood

"Did you guys see me drop those goons! Once again the mighty swallow scores!" He yelped out as he continued to strut and dance across the steel floor of the hanger.

Joe was in his usual gruff mood again as usual. " Do we have to put up with this again? God June, your little brother's ego is blasting through the roof again!"

June chided Joe. "Leave him alone Joe! This is the happiest I've seen him yet. You have to admit Jinpei can bust and scare as many Galactor heads as you or Ken ever could!"

Ken heard that! He turned about and frowned. "There you go again, paying faves again June! I thought I was your fave?" He gave her a wide smile, which Jinpei quickly ruined by jumping Ken and June.

"You? Ha! June thinks I'm the most!" Jinpei said as he continued his wild bluster. "Beat you guys to the showers!!" He screamed as he took off like a shot to the end of the passageway and did a wild baseball slide through the locker room door!

"That little psyco!" Ryu yelled as he to joined in the run. But his slide was less gracefull, in fact, he crashed into the door that Jinpei had locked behind him! The whole group broke out in laughter!

The laughter was broken by the sound    of Doctor's Nambu's voice. "Commander Washiro. I need you in my office as soon as possible."

Ken answered back, "Yes Hakasie. Be right there." He turned to the others. "You all go ahead and rest for the night, good work today. Joe, I don't want to hear from June that you tied Jinpei to a chair again like the last time, understand?"

Joe frowned. "Oh sure, steal my fun. I guess I'll resort to tying him up like a pretzel."

Ken smirked and threw a punch into Joe's shoulder. "Wise guy. Get out of here!" Ken bid his team mates fairwell and ventured to Nambu's office. In his mind were the thoughts of another boaring after action report or a debrief from a RISAN officer. How boaring a Commander's life when not engaged in deadly mortal combat with Galactor.

As he entered Nambu's office, Ken came face to face with an officer he'd never seen before. The man was dressed in Federation dress blacks. The uniform was perfectly pressed and ribbon festoned. He was tall, slender, built like a rock. His face was smooth as polished marble and carried an air of cold professionalism.

Nambu stood to present the officer.  "Commander Washiro, Captain Jotaro Kirokawa."

The man extended his hand in greeting but maintained his serious, hard look. " A pleaseure to finaly meet you and your team Commander. We both do the same work, though under different situations."

Ken returned the greeting. "Your with the intelligence branch Captain?"

The officer shook his head, "No Sir. I'm with the Inspector General's office."

Ken knoded, "I.G.? Not often we see the Inspector General on our end Captain. To be honest, I don't remember ever getting an official audit from your branch before."

"This is not an audit Commander." The Captain said as he pulled a thick binder from his leather brief case. "This is an investigation by order of the Executive Councel. I'm not sure how you'll react to it's subject."

The Captain turned to Nambu. "Doctor, could you leave us alone?" Nambu rose from his desk and without looking at Ken, left the room.

Kirokawa gestured to a chair. "Will you have a seat sir?"

Ken sat and folded his arms. "So, what's so bad about this investigation that I might not like it?" He asked.

The Captain drew a stapled report from the binder and handed it to Ken. " Several senior members of the councel have been closely watching the operations of your team for a long time now. Many of these reputable officials are raising serious questions about a member of Gatchaman. It is their opinion, that your youngest member should not be doing what he's doing."

Ken was taken back by this. "I see, so why is there an investigation?" Ken asked.

"Based apon my findings, your young team mate may be ordered to leave."

Ken was getting angry. 'I see. Who are these officials? I want their names!"

Kirokawa shook his head. "I can not disclose their identities on the basis of the right to anomity."

Ken jumped up in a rage. "That's a bunch of Bull Captain! I can smell a headhunt from a mile away! Jinpei has the right to face his accusers! This investigation is an outright insult by a bunch of fat politicians who sit in their nice protected chambers while a good people are out there dying for their freedom!"

Kirokawa jumped back in Ken's face. " Reguardless of what you consider an insult Commander, my orders are clear! You will help me in this investigation if you value the boy's continued service! I understand your passion for Leutenant Jinpei's prowise but I must carry out my orders, Is that clear!"

Ken was resigned, he huffed a breath and looked back at Kirokawa. "Perfectly." The Captain returned a salute and walked out of the office leaving Ken still smoldering.

He was formatting a thought, trying to figue out a way to explain to a ten year old boy what was coming, before he pressed the button on his comlink.

"Jinpei? This is Ken. Come up to my office right now."

          END OF PART I


Let it be said that children can throw some violent tempers and that's not enough to even describe Jinpei's anger. It was what you'd call a detonation.

Ken wasn't even done with the first sentence before Jinpei exploded. First he threw the chair he was sitting in at the door in Ken's office, then he slamed his fist on Ken's desk! He actualy dented the table top with his rage!

"IT'S BULLSHIT ANIKIE!!" Jinpei sceamed at the top of his lungs as he tried to grab for another object to hurl.

Ken grabbed him up by the shirt and shook him back to life. "STOP IT JINPEI!! SO HELP ME IF I HEAR YOU SWEAR LIKE THIS AGAIN!...Jinpei reacted in shock. Throwing himself free of the grip, he just stood there shaking like a leaf.

" You grownups! You allways treat me like I'm a little kid, like I need my hands held all the time! Nothing I do ever amounts to anything around here! All I get is "Jinpei this" and  "Jinpei that!" and now they wana kick me off the team! It's not fair Anikie!"

Ken moved from behind his desk and grabbed the sobbing boy by his shoulders. " Jumping Jinpei, my most dependable and loial fighter a nothing? Do you realy beleave that? If we didn't want you here Jinpei, you'd have been home a long time ago."

Ken brushed he tears away from Jinpei's face. " No one is going to take you away from us Jinpei, you have my word on that."

The boy was moved. He grabbed Ken in a tight hug. "Thanks Anikie Ken." Ken ran his hand through Jinpei's hair and pushed him away.

"Now, you have to understand something Jinpei. While Captain Kirokawa is here you must be on your best behavior. No fooling around, no insults, no tantrums, and no practical jokes!"

Jinpei gave Ken his usual wildboy smirk. "I can't put itching powder in his laundry?"

Ken snarled back. "If you do that, I'll

realy send you packing!"

"Darn....can I bribe him?" Jinpei said with an inocent look.

Ken pointed towards the door. "Get out of here wiseguy, and behave!" Jinpei sauntered out, his small ego properly if not woefully restored.

"Oh God." Ken shook his head. "I've released a little monster." He sat down  knowing that this mission was not going to be easy.

The next morning, Captain Kirokawa sat in his temporary office awaiting the first interview. It was a wise move to call the one person first who knew Jinpei better than most. June entered he room and took a seat before the desk, watching the captain type into his destop computer.

Placing a recorder before June, he pushed the laptop to one side and adjusted himself in his chair. "Leutenant Commander I trust you know why your here?"

" Yes, and you may call me June Captain. I'll also make it aware that..."

He stopped her. "You intend to file a formal protest, yes I'm aware of that. But please remember that I am conducting this investigation, not ordering it. Remember that in your grievence." He pressed the recorder button.

Q. How long have you known Jinpei? A. Since he was four. I adopted him

when doctor Nambu came for me.

Q. As one who has seen him in action the most,

how do you rate his fighting skills? A. Superior. He has better Co-ordination than

others his age. He's no different than any

of us on the team.

Q. What about the occasions where he seems

to "grandstand"? There's over twenty odd

instances in the mission logs where he

went in alone, didn't call for backup, and

disobeyed orders. Isn't that a sign of

wreakless disreguard? Maybe a lack of

maturity? A. If you will note Captain, not once in any

log were there violations of "dirrect orders"

There are afterall two types of orders we

use, warnings and dirrections. Most of

the one's Jinpei disreguarded were of

warnings which all of us have violated.

As for not reporting in, many of those

incidents can be justified. There were very

rare occasions where Jinpei didn't report

in and most were ones he easily handled


Q. but there are written repremands by your

commander as to Jinpei's attitude, his

smart mouth, his lack of patience. A.  Those repremands were never negitive

Captain. Commander Washiro understands

Jinpei's unique possition on the team. He

get's alot of hassle about his size and age

so you can expect him to blast off whenever

he's overlooked or questioned about his

age. And all those councel reports end in

possitive notes, not negitive remarks.

Q. What's he like at home? Is he the same

there as he is at work.

A. Far from it. When he's away from work,

he's more free wheeling and harder to

control, just as any 10 year old can be.

But he is responsible. He practicly runs

my lounge at the Bayside Hotel. When

he's here at work, on a mission, he's

totaly different.

Q. How's his schooling?

A. He's a strait A student, except for algebra.

he hates it.

 Kirokawa smiled. "He hates it? I wanted to

torch my classroom." Both of them laughed

as the tape clicked off. Kirokawa stood up

and thanked June for her statements.

As June walked out of the door, she

caught Jinpei in the hall trying to walk

away. She tapped him in the head and

walked with him to the Recreation room.

"Well sis?" Jinpei asked. "How did it

go? what did he say?" The barrage was

getting on June's nerves.

"Jinpei?" She warned. "You shouldn't

be spying on things like this! You know

better!" She said as his shoulders fell

with an air of disapointment.

 "I just wana know what's going on!"

He said as he took a seat. "This stuff

sucks!" He pouted with his hands on his


 June just laughed. 'My little brother

the worry wart. Jinpei, have a little faith

and patience for once?" She said as she

tossed a coke in his hands.

 She looked at his hair. "I think you

need a haircut on that mop of yours."

 "Touch it and you'll die." He grumbled

as he turned to place his head on the


            END OF PART II     

The Question part III

Ryu knocked on the door next. As the Captain watched fom his desk, the first man to enter the room was a wheelchair bound Sergent from the UN's Special Forces recon unit.

Kirokawa leaned forwards, "Sergent? your not requested by this investigation?"

The man stopped. "I beg to differ Sir. The Leutenant Commander informed me about this investigation reguarding a certain individual who saved the lives of myself and my men."

Kirokawa thought for a moment, then placed his tape recorder infront of him. "Go ahead Sergent."

The Sergent had to think for a few minutes before he could speek. "It was August 17th of last year. Myself and a team of Longe Range Recon were scouting enemy possitions on Planet Rega when we were ambushed.

Our skipper was killed, every man jack wounded, no back up, no escape. We were dead for sure. I grabbed the radio we had and just began to flip channels, calling for help. Then it came, that wonderfull sound of a jet driven Godsend.

The kid was flying this wild looking tank. He straffed those goons with grenades, made them run like hell! Well he can't land near us because of all the fire we were taking, so he lands 60 yards behind us.

I watched that kid make trip after trip across open ground, beating goons up like they were rag dolls. He pulls ten grown men, under fire, to that tank.

I heard later that he got chewed out for disobeying orders, but that kid saved our lives."

Kirokawa knoded to the Sergent. "Thank you Sergent. I will be sure to add that to my report. You have been most helpfull."

Ryu escorted the man out, then returned to his seat before the desk.

" Excellent move Leutenant Commander. You don't know what good you just did by that."

Ryu knoded in thanks. "It's for the good of the boy sir. He's a dam good kid and worth alot to me."

Kirokawa turned his player on.

Q. One question though sir. The sergent said

something about disobeying orders?

Tell me what that means? A. It was a bad situation Captain. Those men

were bait to lure us from our primary mission.

When we reached the site, the Galactot let

us have it with everything they could throw.

We couldn't hover to pick the men up. All

the while, on the radio, you can hear them

screaming and dying.

Jinpei had enough. He took his tank

down there against orders, even after

Commander Washiro told him twice.

That tank was shot to heck when he

came back and Ken chewed him up,

made him cry. However, when those

men began to crawl out of that tank,

the Commander didn't say another


Q. But Jinpei did disobey a lawfull order?

A. Yes sir, and he was repremanded for

it, untill we found out how many lives

he saved. The worst of the repremand

was because Jinpei did not alert the

Commander to his intentions, not

because he took a dangerous risk.

Q. Sounds like a disopline problem to me.

A. No sir. Jinpei is very focused when he

sets out to do something. It's not easy

to swey him from his set course.

Especialy when lives are in danger.

Jinpei will take shots, grab live

explosives, even intercept knives

to save someone else. That's his


Q.  How would the team fare without him?

A. It won't....I'll resign and go home. Tell

that to the councel.

(Tape clicks off) "Thankyou Leutenant

Commander Ryu. You may go."

Ryu exits the room and, as expected, Jinpei is once again trying to fein ignorance near the door. Ryu picks him up and swings him across his bulky shoulders.

"Comeon Ryu!! Why can't I listen!" Jinpei protest loudly.

"There's enough trouble around here without you causing more." Ryu says as he playfully tweeks Jinpei's nose.

"Comeon kid, let's go find a mall and

hang out for a while!"

Jinpei kicks in frustration but resigns

himself to being carried around...for now.   


The Question Part IV

Joe's turn came next. He entered the room and looked right at Kirokawa with a deep, very threatening scowl. Kirokawa wasn't usualy moved by such attempts at intimidation, but the Commander wasn't so. There was real hate for him in those eyes.

Even before he had a chance to turn his recorder on, Joe seized Kirokawa's hand. "Tell me first Captain." Joe said with obvious anger. "Who's side are you on?"

The captain looked into Joe's eyes. "No ones. I'm gathering as much as I can for this investigation. If it helps the boy, so be it. If not, so be it also. I'm not playing sides here Commander, so don't try to persuade me with your bluster."

Joe let the hand fall and sat strait as a ram rod in his seat. "Go ahead."

Q. Is it true that you and Jinpei don't get along?

There are reports here that you both have

been in a few fights together. You even

punched him in the face when he was

eight years old. A. It's not true that we don't get along. I tease

him alot, it was heavier when he was first

starting out. The punching incident occured

after a mission when I dogged him out for

making some near costly mistakes. He's

very sensitive about his age and I hit a

good nerve. He landed a good one in

my face so I returned it. And do you know

what happened next?

Q. He punched back.

A. No, he decked me! with a good kick to

the groin. (Laughter)

Q. What about the time you and Commander

Washiro set him up as a traitor? He was

taken in by Glactor. You wern't afraid to

send a 9 year old boy into such danger?

A. Tell me, have you ever heard the story

of Wataru Kosa?

Q. No?

(The following is a true life story in Japan)

A. In Japan, there was a boy named Wataru.

His father was a ninja master who was

killed by the local lord.

Wataru befriended the lord's son for two

years. One night, he sneeks around the

castle, climbs over the false cealing of

the lord's bedroom, and kills him with

poison drops from a string.

Wataru was only 7 years old.

Q. Is there a meaning here?

A. Jinpei is by no means less dangerous.

his age alone gives him great tactical

advantage. Galactor sees him like the

Lord saw Wataru, harmless, weak, and

dumb. Jinpei is no harmless kid and he's

alot smarter than people think.

 Q. So you have no reservations about

 sending him into a fight?

A. Oh, he's still got alot of growing up

  to do, but he won't be able to do it

  outside Gatchaman. You tell your

  friends in the councel from me....

  take him....if you can.

  "click" Thankyou Commander. You may

leave. Unfortunatly, I have to strike those

last comments from the record."

"Hmf." Joe snorted as he left. "Jinpei?"

he said as he caught the boy hiding from

him in the doorway down the hall.

  "Anikie!" He protested once more as

Joe carried him down the passage to the

hangerbay and tossed him in the backseat

of the Cobra. "This isn't fair!" The boy said

as Joe leaned against the locked door.

    "To bad kid. Ken's the last one and

I don't think you'll escape again to hear

what he's going to say. In fact, I dare you!"

          END OF PART IV

The Question part V

"Your my last interview Commander Washiro." Kirokawa said as he guided Ken to his seat and sat behind the desk. " Before we start, I must comment about your team sir. They are very loial, especialy to the boy. I hope what's been said here will be enough. I wish to add, that I am supportive of Leutenant Jinpei as well."

Ken gave the Captain a slight bow.  " Your support is welcome Captain. May we start?" The recorder came on once again.

Q. Commander, Questions have been raised about the effects of combat on Jinpei, his mental condition under such brutal conditions must affect him. A. I can't lie that they don't. All of us have been touched and hurt by this war in one way or another Captin. But Jinpei has a rare way of dealing with it. He can attach and detach  himself very quickly. He could be raiding a base one minute to shooting basketballs and playing baseball the next. It's a rare tallent most of us tend to lack.

Q. How do you know he's not holding it in or

hiding any problems? A. He can't hide it and he knows it well. June

tells me everything. So he releases it in

ways that work for him.

Q. Has he ever been hard to control? A. No parent or close guardian will ever have

total control over a child, certainly not one

like Jinpei. My secret is to steer him when

he drifts off course. Provide the best role

model he can follow behind. So far it's

kept him out of real serious harm while

building him up as a man. I'm proud of

the way he's turning out.

A. Your not to happy with the thought he

may leave are you?

Q. I and my team are totaly against it. If

Jinpei leaves, it will cause nothing but

grief. It'll destroy him. This is his home

and his family and if you try to take

him from it, he will fight. He's proud

to be here and that's the way it should


        "That's it Commander, thankyou

for all your help." The Captain said as he

shook Ken's hand. A sudden tap on the

office door, however, caused him to


   Slowly, he moved to the door and

whipped it open! There stood Jinpei with

Joe's keys dangling from a finger.

   Ken looked at him. "What did you

you Jinpei?" he asked.

  The boy gave a wide toothy smirk,

"Oh nothing much. Just locked Anikei

Joe in the trunk of the Cobra."

   The captin broke out in a tearfull

laughter as Ken took the keys from

Jinpei's hand.

   Kirokawa walked over to shake

Jinpei's hand. "So your the great swallow?

Tell me, can you play basketball like

I've heard?"

    Jinpei took a tough guy's stance.

"You wana find out? I'll kick your ass

for twenty bucks!"

    Ken's eyes shot wide. "Jinpei!

Watch your mouth!" He said with a

frown. He paused to look at the

Captain, then back at Jinpei.

   " Forget it. You have my orders

Jinpei, kick his ass!"

     Kirokawa's eyes dropped! He

thought he was being set up for the


          END OF PART V

The Question Part VI

It was two hours later, and the Captain had just lost another basket to his small but swift opponant. "Let's see!" Jinpei blustered. "67 to zip, I told you I'd kick your ass!"

The Captain was indeed impressed by Jinpei's ability to strut and bluster. Indeed the kid had energy and mouth to spare.

"Leutenant, you are something else." Kirokawa said as he took a seat on the bleechers and watch Jinpei fly through a series of dribbles.

" Look. Just call me Jinpei? I hate that military stuff. Besides, you didn' t bring your tape recorder did you?"

The Captain replied, "no. but I want to talk to you anyway. Let you give your side of the story without feeling threatened."

Jinpei dropped the ball and sat next to Kirokawa. " First, you tell me. Why is it I always get harped on by grownups about my age? Why can't they see what I do, not what I look like?"

The Captain shrugged. " It's an old story Jinpei. Adults just view children with an overly protective eye. I think any parent would have a heart attack if they saw their kids doing what your doing now."

Jinpei frowned. "I don't see these same adults giving much of a dam for street kids. More kids are dying out in the streets now than Galactor's own goons. But they don't think those kids are worth as much as one do they? If they did, they'd lay off me and let me do what I have to do and go do what they should be doing."

 "For a ten year old, your very smart Jinpei to say nothing of level headed." The captain rose up from the bench. "I'll do what I can to keep them from taking you away from your friends Leutenant, you have my word."

  Jinpei mused over the Leutenant rank again as he shook Kirokawa's hand. "Thanks, but you still owe me 20 bucks for losing!"

Kirokawa smiled and dropped a twenty in the boys flinching hand.


Jinpei had been bouncing off the walls ever since Captain Kirokawa had left. Since there was no set time for the councel to meet, it made waiting all the more worse for everyone. June couldn't keep the boy quit for one second before he was up bothering everyone with questions or bouncing basketballs off his room walls back home in frustration.

They were all int he recreation room when Nambu arrived with Kirokawa. June had to fight to keep Jinpei from running him over. "Well, well, well?" he begged. "What did they say?"

Nambu called them all forwards as the Captain pulled the results out of his case. "Leutenant Jinpei. It is the councels expressed

decission that you be ready to leave in two days."

       END OF part VI

The Question Part VII

There was a near explosion in the room untill Kirokawa smiled and restored order. "Jinpei. You will report in two days to the acadamy of advanced tactical studies before assuming your new rank as Leutenant Commander, with all rights and privilages accorded to sed rank. You will be retained on active duty with Gatchaman untill such time as deamed fit to end obligated service."

The room exploded, in cheers. But Jinpei had gone into a brief shock. He woke out of it and asked "Well, does that mean I can stay?"

Ken and June tossed him about. "I don't think we'd like it any other way Jinpei!"

The boy wringed his hands. "Well I think a party's in order. Now, if someone would like to play me in basketball and lose with a donation, I'll buy the............"

Everyone walked out.

"Guys? Sis?"

They left him alone to himself.

"Grownups......go figure."

Jinpei was once again his merry self as he strutted and danced his way out the door.

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