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Notes from the translator: Volumes 2 through 4 are a complete story. Some things don't seem to match exactly with the events in the short stories in volume 1. Probably because volume 1 is made of a doujinshi story (the original "Charisma") and a two-part short story about Archer's past ("El Gato"), which weren't necessarily written with a longer series in mind.

Try to ignore the small things and just enjoy the series as a whole. *g*

Vol 2, Pt 1

Satoru Ishihara

Pg 3

Deano and Archer are walking around the Bronx.

Deano: That's a gangster; the lowest end of the mafia or a syndicate.

: He'll kill, he'll deal, he'll do anything.

: By the way, he's a pimp.

: Yo, Guy!

Deano raises his voice and waves to the gangster, but Guy flips him the bird.

: Where's he carrying his gun?

Archer: On his lower back, and on his right hip.

Deano: A gangster is always packing a gun.

: What do you do when you're confronted with someone who's armed?

Archer: Don't let him draw. Don't let him shoot.

Deano: And then?

Pg 4

Archer: And then?

: Run.


Deano laughs until he cries. He ruffles Archer's hair.

: Good boy,

Pg 5

: Gatito.


Pg 6

Deano: Black men. Hispanics. Portuguese.

: Jews.

: Italians.

: Chinese. Koreans.

: Vietnamese.

: And Whites.

Archer: [The city is much more]

: [complex than I ever thought.]

Deano: There are over 20 different ethnicities in this crowded city.

: Each one organized, with a part and rules to follow.

Archer: [Deano knows a lot.]

Deano: And in that mix, the criminal organizations are bound together tightly.

Archer: Deano!

Pg 7

Deano: Ah.

: That's one of the gay community.

Archer: Gay? So they're the community in the 21st precinct?


Archer: [---And he laughs like he's drunk.]


Archer: Deano...

Deano: Our greatest enemies are ignorance and stupidity.

: You grow up learning what things are dangerous.

: And what you can take advantage of.

Pg 8

: If each of us grew up smart

: There'd be less drugs, or guns, or victims dying in the streets.

*ton* *thump*

The basketball from the game they're watching rolls to their side of the court. Deano picks it up.

Basketball Player: Deano!

Deano: No matter what kind of world it is, it's hard to live well.

Pg 9

: Tomorrow there'll be guys who don't care if it's cold by the roadside, living life how they want to live it.

Archer: Your scar-- the "N" on your chest.

Deano: Ah, this was after I was lynched. "N" for "nigger".

Archer: Lynched? You? When?

Deano: When I was in prison.

Deano takes the ball and goes to join the game. Archer watches him walk away.

Pg 10

*don* *thump*

Deano shoots a basket.

Archer: Deano!

: Is there some job I could do?

Deano: What kind of job?

Pg 11

Archer: Couldn't you think of one for me?

Deano: How old are you?

Archer: Almost 16.

Deano: 15, huh? Hmmm~~~

Archer: "Almost 16," I said!

Deano: 15, huh...... 15...........

*za* *pour*

Meanwhile, Murphy is pouring cereal into a bowl.

Pg 12

*ki* *squeak*

He takes the bowl across to Ed's bedroom. It is dark and littered with beer cans, torn paper, and dirty clothes. Ed is wrapped in his blankets on the bd, only an eye showing.

Pg 13

*ton* *clunk*

*patan* *door shutting*

*ta ta ta* *footsteps*

Murphy places the bowl just inside the door and closes it once more.

*gacha* *door opening*

*batan* *door shutting*

Archer comes home to see Murphy standing in the middle of the common room wringing his hands.

Archer: Murphy.

: What's wrong?

*gyu* *clutch*

Murphy clutches at his arm.

Archer: Wh- What's wrong!?

He sees the milk and cereal on the table.

: ......Ah.

: You brought Ed some food? Did he

: eat?

Pg 14

He goes into Ed's room.

Archer: Ed.

Ed: ....... The door........

: Close the door... Archer...

Archer leans down and picks up the untouched bowl.

Archer: --- If your fever doesn't seem to be going down I'm going to call a doctor.

Ed: I'm fine. If I sleep I'll get better.

Archer: Then eat.

Pg 15

He hands over the bowl, but it shakes violently in Ed's hands. He drops it.

*kata kata kata kata* *rattle rattle rattle*

Ed: Ah!

Archer: Oh well.


Ed: Uh-

Archer: Don't cry!

Ed: Hiccu-

Pg 16

Archer pauses, and softens.

Archer: There's nothing to cry about...

: Ed.

He sits down with the new bowl and holds up a spoonful.

: Here, Ed.

Ed eats a mouthful. They both look up.

: Don't hide over there, come in,

: Murphy.

Pg 17

Murphy is hanging back anxiously in the doorway. Ed smiles at him and holds out a hand.

Ed: Come here, Murphy.

Murphy comes to stand by him and Ed pushes his bangs back.

Ed: I need to buy you some clothes that fit...

Archer: When you're like this

Pg 18

: I feel like I can forgive you a little.

: It's strange...

They are for once a warm family.

Pg 19

Next day, at the coffee warehouse, bags of Columbia coffee are being unloaded.

*pa paa* *gaon gaon* *sounds of the delivery truck*

Man: You'll sort the coffee we've received by destination.

: That's all you'll do.

: You'll need to be strong.

: Can you drive a forklift?

Archer: No...

Man: Then you'll be lifting and hauling. DAGWOOD!

Pg 20

Man: Dagwood's the union chief of this warehouse. This is a new guy.

*ton* *tap*

: Teach him about the job.

Dagwood: Hmm.

: I don't like it.

: This kid is taller than me!


Kentarou: Hai.

A man with long hair pulled back in a loose ponytail at the nape of his neck looks up from his lunch with an easy smile.

Dagwood: He's Japanese. He's a little soft in the head, but he's a damn hard worker.

*don* *shove*

: Show him the ropes.

Pg 21

Meanwhile, at Ed's workplace, the Livie La...

Woman: Stella

: I hear Ed Rogue is absent again today.

Stella: Sure. What about it?

Woman: Don't give me that. You're telling me you have no interest in the attendance habits of the man who so aggressively sells the lingerie you design?

: He hasn't called in. Today makes it a whole week.

Stella: Hm......

Woman: I'm not trying to intrude on your private life, but aren't you more than just friends?

: Please go see him.

: If it wasn't him he'd be fired already.

Pg 22

And back to the warehouse...

Kentarou: There isn't anything particularly difficult about this job. If you've got a job, just do whatever needs doing. *Toilet's over there.*

: Don't be late. Incidentally,

: Are you really 18?

Archer: Eh.........

Kentarou: Look, kids where I'm from never look so adult.

: So I can never tell.

Archer: How about you?

Kentarou: Me? I'm 23.

Pg 23

Archer: 23~~!?

Kentarou: Yep. I was 18 when I came here and it's been 5 years.

: New York is a good place.

: It has everything.

: That's what I think.

Archer: Where are you from?

Kentarou: Tokyo, Japan.

Archer: Was Tokyo such an awful place?

Kentarou: No.

: More than here, it had everything.

: Everything but my dream.

Archer: [-The world--]

Pg 24

Kentarou: But it wasn't here either.

Archer: [No, The World]

: [is much deeper]

: [than I ever imagined.]

Dagwood is watching the two talk from the shadows. He goes to talk to another man.

Man: What do you think?

Dagwood: He seems a bit cleverer than Kentarou.

Man: --let him see a bit of the situation....

Dagwood: If he looks like he can handle it, and if he has the skills to draw some friends in.

: For the time being keep it under wraps. Do it right.

Pg 25

At the apartment, Stella and Ed are drinking coffee. Stella is eying the broken window.

Ed: The kitchen isn't finished, Stella.

Stella: I don't mind that, but the window glass is broken. You can't take off your coat.

Ed: There's a lot of things.

Stella: Your hair is dry and out of order. There really does seem to be a lot. Taking unapproved leave--

Murphy is in the background, playing with blocks.

Stella: How's your fever?

Ed: The fever isn't rising. My sickness...

He places her hand over his heart.

: Is here.

Pg 26

: And

: Perhaps

: Here.

He taps a finger to his head.

Stella: ......Hey...

: Ed.

: We've been dating for half a year. When we started neither of us knew much about the other.

: But even now I don't know much.

: Such as what troubles you.

Pg 27

: Stop joking and talk to me, please.

: Is there nothing about yourself you can open up to me?

Ed: ...... You'll surely run.

: Have you come...

: to rescue me...

: from such things...?

: Have you come to tell me you can save me... Stella?

Pg 28

Back at the warehouse...

Kentarou: Two more hours and work is finished for today.

: I have to go to the dojo.

Archer: "Dojo"?

Kentarou: Yep. Karate-do.

: I'm employed as a master.

Archer: "Karate-do"? "Master"?

: I've never seen anything like that.

Kentarou: Really? I'm a kuro-obi.

Archer: "kuro-obi"?

Kentarou: That's right. I've forgotten how to say it.

: It's best to watch yourself around the other workers.

: See you tomorrow.

Pg 29

Back at the apartment, Murphy is playing with cars and legos.

Murphy: *Voom*

: *Voom. Voom.*

*gatan* *door shutting*

Stella: Stop it!

*don* *wham*

Murphy looks up towards the closed bedroom door.

: That hurts, Ed!

*gata gata* *running*

*ban* *bang*

The door slams open and Stella runs out.

Pg 30

Her face and neck are bruised. Ed follows after her, looking lost.

Ed: Stella.

Stella: Don't come near me!

*biku* *startle*

Murphy clutches his car.

Ed: You said you wouldn't run. You said you would save me, didn't you...?

*gata* *rattle*

She backs into the kitchen table.


Murphy is starting to look distressed.

Pg 31

He starts to remember his mother and abusive stepfather. His eyes tear up.

Mother: I can't deal with your drunkenness!

Stepfather: Shut up! Who do you think

: took you in, though you had that brat as baggage?

: I'm always working!

: It isn't even my brat but I have to feed it!

: You wanna eat, lick it off the floor!

Murphy: Daddy...

: Mommy...

Pg 32


[Oh my God, is Ishihara a fan of "Streetcar"? I so do not need echoes of Marlon Brando in my brain.]

Ed: S-!

Archer: Daddy...

: Mommy...

Stella has fled out of the apartment, and in the ensuing silence Ed hears Murphy's whimpers. He turns. Murphy is curled up in a corner, crying.

: Daddy...

: Mommy...

Pg 33

Ed: Murphy.

Ed: Mommy is gone.

: But you're a good boy.

: You're here with papa.

: You don't run away.

Ed is disturbingly close to Murphy, and definitely over the edge.

Pg 34

Outside, Stella stumbles into Archer as she flees.

*don* *thump*

Stella: Sorry.

*pu* *pop*

Archer sees her bruised face, but he's busy blowing bubbles with his gum. He heads up the stairs and unlocks the door, but is surprised to find the chain locked.

*gacha* *click*

*cha* *rattle*

Archer: The chain key?

Pg 35


Archer: Murphy!

*gacha* *rattle*

He throws his weight into the chained door, but it won't give.

: Damnit!

He starts going through his pockets. Coins, rubber bands, and gum drop out.

Pg 36

He spits a wad of chewed gum onto a rubber band and uses it as a weight to sling shot the rubber band and hook the chain out.

Neighbor lady: Hey, you! What are you doing there...?

*gacha gacha* *rattle rattle*

Archer: Shut up, you noisy bitch!

*batan* *thump*

*pin* *ping*

He gets in.

Pg 37

*gata gata* *running*

Murphy: AACHAA!

He tries the bedroom door, but it's locked.

*gacha* *rattle*

Archer: Murphy! What's going on? Ed! Open this door!

*don don* *pound pound*

Murphy: AACHAA...!! AACHAA!

*gata* *slam*

Archer opens a desk drawer.

Archer: If he's doing what I think he is...

The drawer and all of its contents fall to the floor, except for the pistol.

Pg 38

*gachi* *click*

He undoes the safety.



*don don* *thunk thunk*

*ban* *bang*

He shoots out the lock with two bullets and kicks the door in.

Pg 39

Murphy flings himself into Archer's arms. His shirt is pulled down and there are welts on his back. Archer raises the gun, two handed.

Archer: Stop.

Ed taps his forehead.

Ed: Here.

Archer: STOP!

Pg 40

Ed: Archer.


Pg 41


Pg 42

*GAAUUUN* *the roar of a gun firing*

Next: Volume 2, Part 2