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Vol 2, Pt 2

Satoru Ishihara

Pg 44

There is blood running down the side of Ed's face, and a dent in the door where the bullet has lodged. Ed is tilting.

Archer: Rise to heaven...

*gachi* *click*

Archer cocks the gun again.

Pg 45

Ed: My God

Archer aims once more, at point-blank range.

: I wish...

: I wish...

Archer drops the gun and grabs Ed as he drops to his knees.

Pg 46

New York City Police Headquarters
--- Police Plaza 1---

Ken: Please stop using violation tickets for love chats.

A smiling man is leaning against a desk. Kentarou is standing there, and we now see that his long hair is a wig, as he's dangling it from one hand.

Man: They've got you under tight observation, there wasn't any other way.

Ken: If you make me forget my role I'm in a lot of trouble.

: The good little Japanese exchange student Kentarou is a human with very remote ties to the police.

Pg 47

: After all, that's why you chose a new, unrecognized graduate for this undercover operation.

Man: Of course you don't report in on time because you've been loitering around having fun, haven't you, Kouki?

Kouki (Ken): The members of the organization have been sticking close. It was only a week ago that we got a new man in and created a weakness, so it was dangerous to be issuing violation tickets.

There is another man in the room. A black man is sitting behind the desk.

Chief: Don't be so brittle.

: Quincy's assignment is to look after you. He won't interfere if you look to be getting into trouble.

: Now forget that and report.

Pg 48

Kouki gives Quincy a look. The man holds up his hand.

Quincy: I swear.

Quincy and Kouki are walking through the hallways, Kouki with his wig on once more.

Kouki: In the absence of a new leader, I believe that the Medicine Cartel has disappeared, but

: There seem to be other groups still remaining and functioning.

: After the Medicine, the Cali Cartel rose to power in its place

: Competing over the Colombian Route, and the expansion of the extreme market wars.

: We knew that this coffee market belonged to the Medicine Cartel, but we can't see the big picture of the drug route yet.

: This time I...

Pg 49

: took a pass at the shipment administration.

: It's much simpler to check were the shipments originated.

Quincy: Are you able to trace them back?

Kouki: Hang on a minute.

Kouki has spotted Archer, who is being escorted by two cops.

Archer: I came here on my own, so let my hands free.

Quincy: What's up, Kouki? Someone you've seen before?

Pg 50

Kouki: He's the new guy at the market I mentioned before.

: What on earth did he do to come here?

Quincy: If you're interested...

: Go and have a chat with him.

: Your first assignment is strict, but don't let it make you so nervous.

In the interview room there is a dish filled with cigarette butts.

Archer: ...You're not...

: going to offer me even one cig, officer?

Pg 51

Chief: How is the father who was hit?

Forbes: I'm treating him at my place.

Chief: ---Since the victim says it was an accident---

: The situation is sorted out, why do I need to get involved?

Forbes: The police shouldn't have him marked.

: You'll get nothing out of it.

Chief: When you were a police doctor you saved the lives of countless officers; I'm still indebted to you, Forbes.

Pg 52

Officer: Chief Detective Pegman.

Chief: He's acquitted.

Officer: But-!

Chief: Sergeant, are you listening to me? Go!

Forbes: Archer...

Archer: ...Mm? Oh......

Chief: This is the first and the last time, Forbes.

: This happened because you spoil him.

Forbes: If you knew the circumstances you wouldn't be able to say that.

: I quit as the force medic.

: I had one reason.

In the parking garage, Forbes is in his car and Archer is standing by the driver's side window, smoking.

Forbes: You aren't going to ride, Archer?

Archer: I'll walk home.

: Forbes...

: Will you take care of my father for a bit?

Forbes: Yeah. That's what I plan to do.

Pg 53

Archer: When you get home, hold him or something.

Forbes: Strange to hear a kid like you talk about things like that.

Archer: Who's a kid? The moment our father laid a hand on us time stopped.

: You're the one who said it.

: Even if I understand, I can't forgive him or hold him anymore---

: --Forbes.

Pg 55

: Someday you'll definitely regret saving me today.

Forbes: What's that mean?

: Don't go!

: Archer!

PG 56

: You've forgotten.

: Today is my 16th birthday.

Forbes: Happy Birthday...

At the coffee market.

Man: Well, how's things? Gotten used to the job already, boy-o?

Pg 57

Archer: It's been a month. Any idiot would be used to it, wouldn't they?

Man: Ha! Ha! Can't say you're wrong.

: We're just going out for drinks now. Come with us for awhile, boy-o?

Archer: I'll have to pass.

Man: How cold. It's on me.

Kouki: He already has plans with me.

Pg 58

Archer looks up from the box he is marking. Kouki smiles sheepishly.

Kouki: Sorry, everyone.

Later, the two are walking down the street.

Archer: Why did you lie?

Kouki: I thought you were in trouble.

: Do you do marijuana or coke?

Pg 59

Archer: Not that stuff. Why, you inviting me?

Kouki: Not possibly!

: But that's what that group meant when they asked you to go out with them.

: Seems better for a young man like you to be wary.

Archer: What you say goes both ways.

: Be careful.

Kouki is startled.

Kouki: You've... really changed completely in one month.

Archer: Maybe.

Pg 60

: It's because my birthday came at last.

Kouki flashes back on a conversation he had with Quincy while both were undercover.

Quincy: It seems that he shot his father by mistake. Mistake or not, it's suspicious.

: He's marked by the cops. He's infamous.

Kouki: I don't think it's right to talk like that.

Quincy: Don't look at me when you're talking, Kouki.

Pg 61

Kouki: That kind of prejudice is what pushes the boys teetering on the edge of right and wrong deep into crime.

Quincy: When you're working undercover, it often happens that your thoughts begin to draw closer to the viewpoint of the criminal.

: Even more so when the person has sympathy for their circumstances.

: It cripples you, and you jump to conclusions, you defeat yourself and you're in trouble.

: You need to be particularly careful not to be drawn in by a boy like Archer Rogue.

Now Archer and Kouki are eating out at an Asian restaurant.

Archer: There's a reason for me to be invited by the company group.

Pg 62

Kouki: Eh?

: Oh. Ohh. A reason? What?

Archer: Because I've caught on to how they're smuggling.

Kouki: Smuggling?

: You mean the coffee beans?

: How did you know?

Archer: There has to be something else.

: I knew as soon as I saw how the packages were moving. Is it the starting post? Something is being loaded, isn't it?

: All of the workers are in on it. The trick let itself out right away.

Pg 63

Archer: I'm off.

Kouki: Ah! Wait...! I want to talk about the next...!

Archer stands up and Kouki lurches up after. He lays a hand on Archer's shoulder.

: I mean, won't you come along to one more?

: It's on me.

Elsewhere, in an apartment building in the Bronx. Deano is racing up a stairwell.

Man: Deano! This way!

Pg 64

A woman is trying to throw herself at a bed.

Woman: Rocco! Rocco!

Deano shoves her back.

Deano: Out of the way!

Another, younger woman is lying on the bed, unconscious. Her eyes are dilated and there is spit around her mouth.

Deano: Stoned. Did you call an ambulance?

Woman: Not yet.....

Deano: Call them now! Or they'll get here too late!!

Woman: If she's taken in this time it'll be bad... She's been arrested so many times before.

Pg 65

: If they take her like this she won't get out for 5 years!

: That's why I called you....

Man: Won't you do something...?

: Please, Deano.

Deano: There isn't anything that I can do. Call an ambulance!

: Now!

The girl is being packed into an ambulance. Deano and the man (a brother?) are watching from the shadows.

Man: You saved her, Deano.

Pg 66

*gatsu* *smash*

Deano punches the man.

Deano: I told you to stop her from doing drugs!

Man: Sh...she stopped. She stopped...

: Her boss has been harassing her at work....

: She only just refused the temptation, but ...Of course she was fired... And then...

Pg 67

: They don't think we're human...

: Buying drugs from pushers who think of humans as nothing less than cattle is the same. Think about it.

Deano: Who was it? The one who sold the bad drugs?

Man: Rocco often goes to Orchard Street, to a place called Decoies to drink alone.

: I think it was probably in that neighborhood.

Ironically, Archer and Kouki are at that very moment drinking in Decoies Diner.

Pg 68

Kouki: Do you come here often?

Archer: Occasionally.

Kouki: Such a kid.

Archer: You're always going on about what a kid I am.

Kouki: I know!

: Your sixteenth birthday has come around! Which means you're 16! Happy birthday!

Kouki has grabbed Archer by the front of his jacket and is grinning up at him.

Archer: Are you by any chance a weak drinker?

Kouki: That's all right, isn't it? It's been a long time since I opened my heart and drank with someone.

Pg 69

Kouki bounces over to the bar and rips off his wig.

Kouki: Throwing away this wig!

*hiii hyuu hyuu* *wolf whistles*

Archer: Geh!

Just then Deano comes in and goes up to the bartender.

Deano: Is there a guy called Auckland here?

Archer: Deano.

Pg 70

Out in the alley. Deano is wailing on the guy while Archer watches from the doorway.

Deano: Tell me!

: Where did you get that shit?

Auckland: Heh. Heheh. Deano.

: If you want to hit me you can do it as much as you like. I won't fight you.

: But, Deano, they're just trash.

: How long are you gonna be their priest? They don't hear a word you say.

: The shadows are laughing at you.

: You know that, Deano?

Pg 71

Archer ducks back inside for a moment to talk to the barkeeper.

Archer: You got a bottle opener?

: Yeah, that'll work.

At the bar, Kouki is watching him blurrily. The guy to his right has Kouki's wig perched on his head.

Guy: Drink, drink up, buddy!

Archer: Deano.

Deano: Gatito.

Archer: Hold him there for me.

Auckland smirks.

Auckland: Anything you do is useless, buddy.

Pg 72

: Ah!?

Archer hooks the bottle opener over Auckland's top teeth.

Archer: A person's teeth

Deano: Hey, Archer!

Archer: Are surprisingly tough.

He leans over the man, blocking him from our view. But we get the sound effect.

*baki* *crack*

Auckland: Gaaaaah!

Kouki is leaning against the door frame.

Pg 73

Archer tosses the bloody opener to Deano.

Archer: I'll leave the rest to you, Deano.

: A guy like this who's become so used to being beaten won't be humbled with a beating.

Auckland: Aaaah...

Archer: Take one more out and he'll be telling you things he hasn't even heard.

Archer is paused in the doorframe. When he looks inside, Kouki is crouched on the floor near the door.

Archer: What are you doing, Ken?

Kouki: I... I feel sick......

Pg 74

Archer: You drank too much.

Kouki: It's 'cause I saw the blood.

Archer: Where's you house, Ken?

Kouki: Central Avenue.

Archer: That's a ways. And there's no more trains......

At the apartment, Murphy is watching TV and yawning.

Murphy: *yawn*

TV: NBC Network, New York. This program is brought to you by Coca-cola. Goodnight everyone.

Pg 75

*don don* *knock knock*

Archer: Murphy, open up.

Murphy: Aah!

: Achi...

Murphy opens the door and finds Archer standing there and propping up Kouki. He looses his happy expression.

Archer: Okay, we're going in.

Kouki: That dumb bastard Quincy...

: Why are you always, always shoving the rulebook in my face.

Pg 76

Archer: Murphy, sheets.

: Get some sheets ready.

*don* *bang*

: Ahhh! Geez!

Kouki slides out of his grip and bangs against the door. He gets an up-close view of the mark left by the bullet.

Kouki: This.... is a bullet mark....

Archer: Yeah. Now come on in.

Pg 77

He settles Kouki on a bed.

Kouki: What happened? An accident?

Archer: Yeah.

: My father was shot by accident.

: No. That

: Wasn't an accident.

He's slipping off Kouki's coat, and their faces are inches away.

Kouki: I can take it off myself.

Murphy is watching from the shadows with a slightly sad expression on his face. He's clutching a pillow.

Pg 78

Archer: Murphy, you go on ahead to bed.

Kouki: Thank you. Good night.

Murphy leaves without expression.

: Archer, you know...

Pg 79

Kouki is lying back with an arm flung over his eyes.

: You can't tell me things like that it wasn't an accident.

Archer: Why not? You're going to want to have something to report to someone eventually, right?

Kouki: I've never had a friend like you before. You're the first.

: Going...

: Going out drinking together, and getting drunk and acting like an idiot

: That was fun.

Pg 80

: Archer

: You're a good kid.

: A good kid who's got open and honest feelings like anyone your age.

: So

He's pulled Archer down to sit next to him on the bed, and runs his hand through the other man's bangs.

: how can you shoot your father and break a man's teeth?

: I don't understand.

Archer: I've got a lot of stuff...

Pg 81

He takes Kouki's hand.

: inside me. Even more.

: Love, self-pity, hate -- and murder.

: The feeling that I want to protect everything, and the feeling that I want to just toss it all out.

: I didn't know until I pulled that trigger.

: There's murder inside me. --If he's near me.....

Pg 82

: Someday I'll....

Kouki: Archer!

Kouki holds Archer close to his chest.

: You don't have to say it! Not that.

: I'm sorry.

: You don't have to tell me anything.

Archers extricates himself.

: These aren't hands that fire a gun.

Pg 83

Archer: It doesn't matter what you are.

: What I told you today was all true.

: If that time comes

: I won't torture him.

: I won't fire more than once.

: I'll kill him with one shot.

Pg 84

Archer: Goodnight.

Archer leaves Kouki alone in the bedroom. Kouki remembers Quincy.

Quincy: Be careful of Archer Rogue.

: Don't get drawn in.

Kouki: What you said, Quincy.

: You were right.

Next: Volume 2, Part 3