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Vol 2, Pt 3

Satoru Ishihara

Pg 87

Canal Street.

*fuaaan* *hooonk*

Pg 88

*uon uon* *vroom vroom*

*pa-paa* *beep*

*garara* *rattle*

Delivery man: Good morning, Mrs. Brown.

Mrs. Brown: Hello.

Morning. Kouki opens his eyes and takes in the strange room.

Kouki: H.....uh?

: Uhhhhhm..........?

Pg 89

Remembered-Archer: I won't fire more than once.

: I'll kill him with one shot.

*gari gari* *scratch scratch*

He sits up and absent-mindedly scratches his head.

Kouki: Oh ....that's right...


Kouki: Gah!

: My wig's gone!

Pg 90

: ........ *Um*

: I can't remember...

Voices come from the other room.

Archer: If you move I'm gonna cut you.

: Hold still, Murphy.

Pg 91

: I said 'hold still'!

Murphy: Noo!

Murphy is perched on the counter by the kitchen sink, and Archer is attempting to give him a shave. Murphy is wiggling and resisting. Both are shirtless and from the doorway Kouki sees old scars lacing Archer's back.

Archer: Murphy, come on!

Pg 92

Murphy catches sight of Kouki and slips down off the counter and out of the room.

Archer: Ah! Hey, Murphy!

As he shoves by, Murphy's eyes coldly meet Kouki's.

Kouki: He... seems to hate me.

Archer pulls on a T-shirt.

Archer: He just hates having his beard touched.

Pg 93

Kouki: Beard!?

Archer: He's got one. He's 17.

Kouki: !!

: Then he's your older brother!?

Archer: What.

Kouki: I was thinking you're a sweet little brother.

: You do that every morning?

Archer: Yeah.

Kouki: That's tough.

Archer: Don't say it like that.

Pg 94

: If he wasn't here I wouldn't be living a decent life.

Remembered-Archer: A person's teeth are surprisingly tough.

Pg 95

: I'll teach you about pain.

: That was fun.

Archer: ....What?

Kouki: Who knows? I feel like I've been watching you for 10 years.

*pii pii* *ring ring*

The pager in Kouki's pocket starts ringing.

Remembered-Quincy: Make sure you don't forget to report in on time.

Kouki: Aaaaaahhhhh!

Pg 96

Kouki: This is bad. I forgot!

Archer: What's wrong?

Kouki: My job... I mean, a d-date I promised.....

Archer: Oh, that's right. Last night you kept making noise over "Quincy, Quincy". Your lover?

Kouki: Th-that's right! My lover!! My lover!

Archer: But, "Quincy"

: isn't that a guy?

Kouki: Yeah.............

Kouki's color isn't looking so good. Later, at the office:

Quincy: And then?

Pg 97

: You were on assignment and didn't think you could report in on time, so you made me your lover?

Kouki: Reluctantly.

Quincy: I don't know where you were

: but you're not still our best and only chance. We can now find someone to replace you.

Kouki: I admit it was a mistake.

: But it still yielded something. *Really*

Pg 98

Quincy: Then why don't you report?

: We'll discuss your punishment after that.

Murphy is sitting on the front steps of his apartment building. A very creepy, shadowy guy appears.

Man: What's wrong, kiddo? You lost?

Pg 99

: Are you waiting for someone?

: Why don't you come and play with me? Huh?

He extends a hand to Murphy.

: Huh?

Murphy remembers Kouki and Archer together and reaches out to take the man's hand.

Pg 100

Archer: Hey.

: Leave him alone.

*sa* *soft movement*

Murphy moves around behind the stranger's back and Archer is shocked by the betrayal.

Pg 101

Back at the office.

Quincy: I see. In other words...

: The store is a front where all the coffee beans are gathered, and then they prepare the coffee with the drugs included inside. Is that what it is?

Kouki: My informant's thought on how the coffee beans might be smuggled out is that there are dummy bags being circulated as well.

: From the beginning I've been working through the management, but the ones with information about the route seem to be the workers.

*kotsu kotsu* *tap tap*

Quincy: Of course there must be evidence of the drugs they put in, but

Pg 102

: it's strange that we didn't get any with the blockade. There must be someone holding onto the money.....

*kotsu kotsu* *tap tap*

*kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu kotsu*

Quincy thinks very hard.

Quincy: .....What?

Kouki: My punishment?

Quincy: What are you talking about?

: I'll take care of the blockade from this end. Do you think you can break into the inner corporation?

Kouki: Of course.

Pg 103

: I'll settle the matter right away. Before the FBI snatches it up.

Pg 104

Archer: Murphy.

Man: Sorry, bro.

: I found this chicken first.

Archer steps forward.

Archer: He's no chicken, he's my older brother.

The man pulls a gun.

*gachi* *click*

Man: Same thing.

Pg 105

Murphy's eyes grow wide. Archer forces the gun down just as the man fires.

*don* *bang*

Pg 106

They wrestle for the smoking gun. Archer's expression is bloodthirsty.

Murphy: Ahhh!

Pg 107

*gashi* *smash*

Archer knocks the gun to the ground, where it spins for a moment before he picks it up.

*kara kara kara* *clatter clatter clatter*

*gachi* *click*

Archer: I'm only gonna count to ten.

: Run.

: Pimp.

Pg 108

: 1

: 2

The man stumbles to his feet.

: 3

He flees.

: 4...

: .....

Archer inspects his shin; the jean leg is torn and bloody-- from the bullet? He shoves the gun into the band of his jeans.

*gyu* *tug*

Archer: It grazed me.

He looks coldly at Murphy, who startles in fright.

*biku* *startle*

Pg 109

: Come here!

Murphy: Nooo!

Archer roughly grabs Murphy's wrist.

Archer: Murphy!

Murphy: Noo!

: Noo!

*pan* *slap*

Pg 110

Archer has slapped Murphy to stop his hysterics. A lone tear trickles out of Murphy's eye. Archer's expression is still cold. He hauls the other boy up and over his shoulder.

Murphy: Aachii!

: Soorriii, Aachii!

: Soorriii!

Pg 111

: Nooo!

: Aachii!

He grabs onto the doorframe, but Archer pulls him away and through. His fingers bleed. Archer drops him on the bed.

*dosa* *plop*

: Aachii.

Pg 112

Murphy curls into a ball, sobbing.

: Sooriii, Aachii.

: Sooriii...

: Sooriii...

Archer flashes back on his younger self, perhaps eight years old or so. He is sitting on the bed in only shorts, and his back is a mass of lash-marks.

Archer: Where is mommy?

: Why doesn't she HELP me?

Pg 113

: Where is mommy?

Pg 114

Archer reaches down and gently pulls Murphy's arms away from his face.

Archer: Murphy.

Murphy looks up and sees Archer smiling down at him softly.

Murphy: Aachii.


Pg 115

Archer uses a safety pin to pierce Murphy's ear.

: *Hiccup*

: *sob*

: *sob*

: *sob*

: Ahh--

: --rii...

: Soo...

Pg 116

Archer: Murphy.

He licks the blood away.

Murphy: *sob*

: *sob*

Archer: Don't disobey me.

: Murphy.

Murphy: *hiccup*

Archer: Don't leave me.

Pg 117

Murphy stops crying and looks up. Archer pulls out his own earring and puts it on Murphy.

Archer: Una marca*.

[* the (my) mark]

: Murphy,

: Don't...

: .....

Pg 118

: throw me away.

He wipes away his brother's tears. Early the next morning, at the coffee market:

*gaun gaun* *vroom vroom*

*vooo* *vooom*

Pg 119

Man: Hey you!! Be careful!!

*vooo* *vooom*

Man #2: Whimp.

The place is a hive of activity, with men and forklifts driving back and forth. Archer has a large bag of beans balanced on each shoulder.

Man: Hey, Archer!

: Those bags don't go there! Here, put them here!

*don* *wham*

Archer: Doesn't matter, does it? They're all the same.

Man: What you say?

Archer: Or

: are these a special blend?

He smiles darkly, and then walks away.

Pg 120

Man: That brat.

Sign: Office

*gacha* *click*

A sheepish Kouki (minus wig) makes an appearance.

Kouki: Excuuuuse me! Anyone here?

: I'm checking the shipment list~~~ I want to compare it with the original~~~

An older woman turns to look at him. She's the grandmotherly type, except for her sternness, and she has a cigarette in one hand.

Secretary: You again, Ken? Leave it be, don't you remember your job yet?

The other office ladies are giggling over him. They're all middle-aged.

Sec: You come so often~~ Got your eye on someone in here, do you~~~?

: That Japanese accent he hasn't lost is so cute~~

: He's much more handsome with his hair cut.

: Kyahahahaha

Kouki: [Old ladies are the same, no matter what country you're in.]

Pg 121

*ton ton ton* *tap tap tap*

: [Roughly 8000 shops in Manhattan alone.]

: [If you include the other side of the river, you get over 20,000 destinations.]

: [I don't have time to investigate them all.]

He adopts a stunned, country-bumpkin look and waves at the stacks of ledgers.

: You all are amazing! Checking all of these by hand!

Sec: This boy's an idiot. We have a computer now.

: But no one except us and other chosen people can use it. The tax accountant is always nattering on about it.

Pg 122

: Well, we're all going out for lunch. Lock up when you leave~~

Kouki: *Yes, ma'am!*

He promptly hunches down in front of the computer.

: [A password that a bunch of old ladies would think of....]

: ["Love." "Kiss." "Sex."]

*pii* *beep*

*kachi kachi* *click clack*

: [Grandchildren's names. Pet's name. "Secret"...]

*pii pii* *beep beep*

: [I think her husband's name is Daniel---]

: ["Daniel."]

*pii* *beep*

: [*No good, huh.*]

: [*How about* "Daniel Love"]

*pipo* *da-dum*

: [I did it!! Good guess. *Simple*]

Suddenly the door opens and Dagwood, the overseer, comes in, talking to someone behind him.

Dagwood: That's why I said not to let that kid touch those bags!

Pg 123

The man with him is the same one who was yelling at Archer earlier that morning.

Man: Huuh?

: ...What are you......

: Doing over there........?

Kouki: Oh, me?

*kachi* *click*

He discretely hits the power button.

: Checking the shipment lists.

Dagwood: ...... Oh, wait. Wait, wait.

: You've become friends with that kid, haven't you?

Kouki: Who do you mean, "that kid"?

Dagwood: Archer Rogue!

Pg 124

Dagwood throws his arm around Kouki's shoulders. Kouki smiles beautifically.

Dagwood: Heeey, Ken. You're working your way through college, right? You must want money.

Kouki: Well, if you're offering...

Dagwood: How about earning a little spending money?

Kouki: [Lucky! They're asking me!]

Dagwood: If you're interested I'll pass a juicy job your way.

: On one condition.

: Lure in

: Archer Rogue.

Next: Volume 2, Part 4