== Epilogue =
Mute City—Winter of 2225. 20 years have passed since the horrific onslaught brought upon the metropolis as a result of the darkest of philosophies. It had been nearly 28 long years since the Day of Falling Mist, in which the teenage girl, Chiya Flower, had lost her father. 23 years had passed since Chiya became acquainted with the likes of Lieutenant Seppuku, a genetically mutated clone of both Captain Falcon and Black Shadow; and most importantly, she had met Earl Bendek—the love of her life. But 20 years ago, Chiya had lost practically everything within a single night. Seppuku and Earl were both gone, but fortunately, the Korean managed to hold onto her by entering her bloodstream. Chiya went on to live on Mysteria, where she had been born 45 years ago. But 20 years after the destruction of Mute City, beautiful and amazing change had been delivered—as Jody Summer, commander of the Federation, had promised.
The Upper City was restored and livelier than ever. Traffic jams were a recurring issue in this day due to a massive surge of residents, the sidewalks were just as crowded with pedestrians. Almost every building now contained neon-like lights, indeed, the age of simple stone/metal structures had come to an end. From orbit, Mute City was a Christmas light.
Old destroyed buildings had been dozed and replaced with far superior buildings, all of which were taller than the originals. The residential capacities of each metropolis sector increased tenfold. By now almost 10% of Earth's total population lived within Mute City. Even in this age, the Galactic Space Federation HQ remained the highest building in the universe, and in fact, had further expanded upward.
Along with the Upper City, there was the Gambling Area—a classic favorite for high risk gamblers like Earl Bendek. In fact, a golden statue of Earl Bendek—a modern legend—had been erected over Casino Palace. Earl was a model to many in modern day, and in the gamblers' den his name was often used with high honor. For example, one who has a knack for gambling might receive the compliment: 'Even Earl Bendek would offer his applause'. The Gambling Area wasn't the only place to honor this man, many universities and military facilities would also feature the man; even in Korea Earl was known as a redeemed angel. The Manchu, ultimately, had two views on the man. One was that Earl had redeemed himself for his past crimes by sacrificing himself, the other opinion was that he merely made up for his crimes. In Manchuria, to openly express hate for Earl was generally seen as pathetic and dishonorable.
Of all the areas of Mute City to go through change, no area had changed as much as the Lower City. During Chiya's early life in Mute City, the Lower City was generally avoided and abandoned. The streets had been filled to the brim with homeless citizens of lacking literacy, dialect, and vocabulary. This had nearly, in its own, created an entirely new culture; a sub-form of the Japanese culture with a unique broken dialect and code of morals that only fellow Lower City citizens could understand. With a few more years, this new culture would have undoubtedly formed, but fortunately, change had come at last.
The Lower City remained to be the largest ghetto civilization in the universe, but the days of homelessness had at least come to an end for the most part. Housing in the Lower City remained fairly primitive, but this meant that each building was affordable. About 30-40% of the Lower City remain unemployed in this age, but nevertheless, the primitive lifestyle of a Lower City bum had drastically changed. To be a Lower City bum no longer meant that progress could only be made through thieving, rape, and murder; to be homeless merely meant 'without a house', just as the term states. The common street bum would now resort to various odd jobs, all of which the Federation allows—except for prostitution and drug trafficking, two things that were strictly punishable.
When Chiya had nearly been violated on the street 23 years ago, about 80-90% of the Lower City were unemployed and barbaric. During that time, the concept of thieving, rape, and murder was but a mere day to day concept for the common bum. Things had improved without a doubt, but even so, there was still crime within the darkest part of Mute City...
One night, a day before the beginning of the annual Grand Prix and near the old location of Good Odds, a fairly dark-skinned man found himself sprinting down a sidewalk frantically. He panted wildly while looking back constantly, another man was chasing after him with a sharp kitchen knife. The panting man looked forward and tried picking up the pace.
"O- oh God, oh Jesus..!"
The pursuing man cupped one hand over his mouth and shouted, "Get back here, man! Just give me what I want!"
Both men skid around the corner of a block and proceeded down another street. The panicking man raised his head up and widened his eyes—a police cruiser with the letters 'LF' drove by, but didn't spot the two men due to the darkness.
"H- h- hey! Wait, come back!" the man pleaded.
Unfortunately, the police cruiser continued down a different street. The victim of this chase bit his lip and looked back once more. The pursuer was gaining much ground and was panting to a far lesser extent.
"You better stop running! You know I'm gonna get what I want, one way or another!"
"Dammit..! I don't have what you want, not now!"
The pursuing man only became angrier, then proceeded to hold the knife up in the air, "That wasn't part of our arrangement!"
The fleeing man jumped into an alley and pushed an empty dumpster in an attempt to stop the pursuer, but alas, he squeezed his body into the alley without a problem. Both men were now in a pitch-black alley with two routes to take up ahead, both would lead to a different side of the block. Looking back at the pursuer, the man chose the left route and quickly came out where the police cruiser originally was.
The two men continued running for about two minutes, but finally, the runner ran out of energy and held his hands up. He dropped to his knees and faced the pursuing man with a frightened look. The sharp tip of the knife was drawn up onto his forehead.
"You better think of something, I'm not leaving without-"
The man backed his head away from the knife and grit his teeth frantically, "I'm telling you! I- I- I just- I can't right now! I need a little more time!" He reached into both his pockets and pulled them inside out, "See!? I'm creditless at the moment!"
The other man narrowed his eyes angrily, "These are trying times, you think I'm in any better of a situation? I'd do anything for a mere slice of pizza right now!"
"B- but- I can get you-"
"A bum doesn't promise a bum one thing, then try and snake his way out of the deal-"
"I'm not snaking! I just want to make a fair adjustment to the deal!"
"Look, pal, I can't work with that! I'm hungry, you're hungry, and it's the start of the damn winter. I'm freezing! I don't have the willpower to do charity work!"
As the two men bickered back and forth, a figure approached them from the rooftop above—a gun firmly in hand ready for action.
"I don't care what position you're in. If you can't pay me, you're gonna start stripping yourself of your valuables. I work hard and demand respect!"
Just after saying this, both men were startled by the very loud clicking of a gun. Both looked around frantically for the source, but were then alerted by the soft and somewhat angelic voice of a female.
"Enough," she ordered sternly. "Stay where you are, and don't do anything ballsy that you might regret."
Both men immediately looked up toward the rooftop and grunted, the silhouette of the figure stood before a full moon. Following this order, she leapt from the rooftop down onto the ground with what appeared to be a supernatural jump. Both men, again, grunted as the woman landed on the ground somehow without breaking her body.
The man kneeling on the floor tilted his head in shock, "W- who are you... an officer?"
The figure was wearing a blue and white latex uniform. Her hair was blonde with the right side of her head combed vertically, while the left side was combed horizontally. Very slowly, the woman lifted her head up, revealing two Mysterian blue eyes.
"I am Chiya Bendek, Chief of the Lower Federation." She stood up with a gun trained on the knife holder, "But let's get this situation put under rest. What's going on here?"
The knife holder narrowed his eyes, but willingly lowered his knife, "This guy had me write up a portfolio for him using some provided documents. He promised to pay me in two parts, but once I gave him the portfolio, he told me that he didn't have any money to give me." He turned his head and barred his teeth, "I'm alright having you pay me the other half another day, but you can't scam me by not paying me anything right away!"
"I- I would pay you back as soon as I get a job! That's why I needed the portfolio!"
"That's too big of a gamble! That's assuming that some employer would take someone who can't even shower or afford good clothing!"
Chiya lowered both her eyebrows and hummed, "I see... so really, this is a matter of miscommunication..."
The knife holder turned to gasp, "Miscom- no! This is a scam! Who's to say he wouldn't just use his first pay to buy himself stuff? I need some money right away for finishing all that hard work!"
The Mysterian nodded, "This is true."
The cowering man shook negatively, "I am an honorable guy! I woulda came back with the money, I'm not a bad person!"
The knife holder turned to face Chiya, sighed, and handed her the knife. She immediately took it out of his grasp and nodded. The man then held his hands together and shook desperately.
"L- look, okay, I'll let him off the hook free of charge if you just don't arrest me! I didn't wanna chase the guy down with a knife, but I can't live another week without money; it was practically self-defense! But I admit, I jumped the gun and shouldn't have taken this approach..."
"No, you shouldn't have." The man slightly glared at her. "But be as it may, I see two wrongs, no rights, but one solution."
Both men raised their eyebrows skeptically. Chiya holstered her handgun and placed the knife between her waist and belt. She bowed to the men and reached her hand out.
"Come, I have a proposition for both of you..."
Both men got concerned looks and exchanged glances.
The old base of Lieutenant Seppuku, and first home of Chiya and Earl. Much had changed over the decades. No longer was this a one story high structure, it had been transformed into a tower; and in fact, it was the second tallest building in Mute City—standing tall miles away from the larger Galactic Federation HQ. One could never have imagined a building in the Lower City reaching the skyscraper status, but not only did it reach this height, but it far excelled and became yet another wonder of Mute City.
Many off-duty police officers conversed and ate in the lobby of the base, where Team Seppuku once spent each day having dinner. The very same dining table remained in the lobby, however, many more chairs had been added. This was indeed the lobby of a new organization, a place for socializing.
A female officer sitting at a table looked over at a cadet and smirked, "Who's winning the first race tomorrow, Mistress Chiya or Captain Falcon?"
The woman smiled back and shrugged, "O- oh..! Um, I'd actually have to cast my vote on Mighty Gazelle. I hear he's implemented a new rocket for the first time in decades."
A man bearing a similar hairstyle to a now deceased Yuri Anderson snickered at the two, "Nah, I agree with the first guess. Bendek or Falcon will win, but I bet both will end up in the top six right away."
Down the hallway, more rooms had been added. Chiya retained possession of her bedroom over the decades, the shooting range was used for training or practice, the weapons room remained to be an arsenal, and the former bedroom of Earl Bendek and Lieutenant Seppuku had become a bedroom for Chiya's 20-year-old kin. However, two elevators and a stairway had also been installed. There were many floors to the tower, most of which contained apartments for officers. Those who served under the Lower Federation were granted a permanent place of abode free of cost.
Within the former office of Lieutenant Seppuku, Chiya dipped a chocolate chip cookie into a glass of milk and took a bite. Her eyes remained forward as she gently pet a cat in her lap. In front of her on the desk stood the nameplate titled 'Bendek'. The two men she had just saved stood before her desk with innocent expressions, two officers stood by the door.
The Mysterian finished her cookie and sat back comfortably in her seat, "The Lower Federation serves as a subordinate branch of the Galactic Space Federation. We are not just an organization restricted to the Lower City, we operate in all low-income areas of the universe." She held up a document and squinted, then read, "Lower City, Africa, Sand Ocean, Green Plant, Cleveland... we have officers keeping the peace within all these areas, but more importantly, we employ the unfortunates of these places."
The dark-skinned man grit his teeth in surprise and shrugged, "How do you possibly afford to run such an operation?"
"We run off donations, subsidies, and taxpayer money. But the fact is that while this is a better alternative than the streets, you'll still be granted only the most basic of food. Sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and turkey around Thanksgiving. Still, I'm sure this all sounds good to you two, correct?"
The other man nodded with lowered eyebrows, "Honestly, make me your accountant for all I care. I just want something as simple as an apple..."
Chiya reluctantly nodded, "First, you must go through two to three months of schooling and testing, to ensure that you have no prejudices against race, gender, or anything else. Afterwards, we'll graduate you, give you a uniform, then have you sent off to an assigned location." She puckered her lips and sighed, "I do apologize, though, if you two are sent off to Sand Ocean. The colony has yet to become self-sustaining, and thus, there's a lot of impoverishment and crime."
Both men exchanged glances before smiling, they looked back at Chiya and bowed in mutual agreement.
"When do we begin? Do we get to stay here?"
"You are welcome here as long as you desire to serve the second chance I've given you..." The woman slowly spun her chair around and faced the massive portrait of Lieutenant Seppuku now installed behind the desk. "These are the terms that Lieutenant Seppuku, father of the Lower Federation, had put in place for me..."
The two men gazed up at the intimidating portrait of the man. At first sight, one could only imagine this man to be of the truest evil. From a certain point of view, this would be correct; however, Chiya and everyone else knew Seppuku to be a deranged man with a heart of gold. Even though it was Chiya who formed this branch of the Federation, she admitted herself as the second leader.
The woman stared at the portrait for a few moments, then bobbed her head up as her computer screen began to flicker red and ring. She swiftly turned to face her computer and clicked on 'hold'.
"One moment, please." Chiya looked up at the two men and nodded to her officers, "Men, please have these two assigned and shown to their rooms."
Both officers opened the door and escorted the two men out, Chiya then immediately clicked on a button that answered the call. Upon clicking, a large screen had dropped down from the ceiling. Chiya made her way around the desk and stood tall in the center of the office.
Moments later, Jody Summer—a woman now with long silver hair—appeared on the screen. Chiya immediately saluted before performing a kowtow.
"Commander Summer," she greeted.
Jody nodded with the same face she always had—dull, "Chief Bendek, I apologize for disturbing you so close to bedtime."
The Mysterian raised herself back up and shook negatively, "Nonsense, I'm honored by your presence."
The commander grinned at the woman, "Anyways, I've come up with a list of locations needing officers."
"Superb, I have many new men and women alike waiting for deployment."
"I've emailed you the list, but I simply-"
At that moment, very abruptly and obnoxiously, a young woman with shaggy blonde hair, Mysterian blue eyes, and a black t-shirt kicked open the door. Chiya glared and barred her teeth down in fair embarrassment and frustration.
"C- Clover..!" she growled.
The 20 year old walked forward while flicking her fingers constantly, "Hey, Mom, the water fountain's still broken."
"I'm in the middle of a conversation with the Commander, Clover!"
Clover puckered her lips and looked up at the screen, Jody nodded her head and greeted, "Hello, Clover."
"Hi, how's it going?"
Clover is the 20 year old daughter of Chiya and Earl. Miraculously, it was on the same day that Earl died that he managed to impregnate Chiya, thus, Clover was born without a father and only a mother. Given that Chiya had changed her last name prior to giving birth to the girl, she was known as 'Clover Bendek', rather than 'Clover Flower'. Like her mother, Clover had become an F-Zero racer, piloting the Red Dove II.
The young daughter grunted as Chiya grabbed her tightly by the ear with grinding teeth, "How about you go wait in the lobby, yeah?"
Jody closed her eyes and chuckled, "Oh, it's alright. I simply wanted to get a brief statistical report on things. How is the Lower Federation doing economically and in terms of manpower?"
Both Flowers faced the screen, Clover raised her finger up, "Lots of guys in here, not enough women."
Chiya's eyes lit up like a fire, "...shut up..!" she growled. The middle aged Mysterian looked up at Jody and raised her eyebrow, "We are currently on a surplus of about five to six thousand credits a month. As for manpower, I'd say we're doing fine."
"Very good, the requests I've made on the list should be fairly appropriate, then."
Clover beamed at Jody and tilted her head, "Will you be commentating in tomorrow's race?"
The commander nodded, "Yes, I commentate in all Mute City races." Jody grinned and tilted her head, "Are you ready to win this year?"
The young woman put on a very prideful grin and shot her fist up, "This'll be my third Prix, and I keep doing better every year."
Chiya then put on a very motherly smile and wrapped her arm around Clover, "Clove' and I have been trying out some new things. Earl made some defensive theories that may work with two heavy machines we drive."
Jody nodded, "How's Earl?"
For a brief moment, Chiya entered her youthful attitude and bounced up clapping, "It'll have been 23 years since we met tomorrow! We're both excited as always."
"Very good, offer him my gratitude again when you get the chance."
Chiya and Clover both saluted the woman, "Very well, I will see you in the next race, Ms. Summer."
Jody nodded and momentarily disconnected. Chiya continued saluting for a few seconds, then exhaled in relief.
"I swear to God, Clover... Every time she calls me, I have this horrid fear that she's going to have a change of heart and pull our funding..."
The daughter smiled at her mother and pat her back, "Don't worry about that."
Chiya folded her arms behind her back and walked back into her chair chuckling, "Hard to believe it has been so many years since I laid down the foundation for this organization. It was an expensive project, but totally worth it in the end."
Clover faced the desk with a passionate smile, "Bart helped put this all together, right?"
"Indeed, he did. But only part of it..." Clover raised both her eyebrows in shock. Chiya chuckled and briefly titled her head toward a reward case, "Most of the funding came through hard work..."
At the end of the office was a reward case with six golden Grand Prix trophies on display. However, of the nine trophies in total, it was the old silver trophy that she displayed proudly over the rest. To her, the silver trophy that Team Seppuku had won as a team was platinum in her eyes.
"That year was the saddest year, yet, the greatest..."
Clover turned her attention back onto her mother, "So, tomorrow's the 23rd anniversary of when you and Dad first met?"
"Are you two going to do anything special? I imagine that after the race, you'll be sleeping at least 20 hours tomorrow for such an occasion."
"Your father and I always spend this day the same way we always have..." Chiya leaned forward and placed a hand over her cheek, once again drowning in passion, "Just he and I, spending time together in solitude... we'll talk, kiss, flatter each other, and maybe even..." Chiya coughed loudly to stop herself. "Uh... well..."
Clover bowed and nodded, "It's okay, you two didn't get enough time to make love as young adults."
Chiya lowered her eyelids sadly and glanced down at her engagement ring. Though the intense sparkle of the ring had long disappeared, one could still never doubt the expensiveness of the ring. After biting her lip for a few moments, Chiya nodded and clenched her fist.
"That last night we shared together... before all Hell had broken loose. That was the happiest moment of my life..." Clover slightly frowned and put her hands together. Chiya lowered her eyelids even more, first with a frown, then a true smile. "He laid me down by the fire and fed me grapes while stroking my hair. After complimenting me constantly and expressing his love, he dropped down and proposed to me with the greatest followup lines I could ever imagine..." Chiya closed her eyes with a quivering smile. "Then... he fulfilled my ambition to become a mother in the most romantic way you could ever imagine. Two virgins madly in love, sharing each other for the first time... it was so romantic..."
Suddenly, Chiya smashed her fist down, raised her head, and glared at Clover. "There's nothing romantic about what you do with your many girlfriends..."
Clover took a step back and grunted, "Uh, uh..."
"Honestly, if you're going to play the chaotic and lustful lesbian life, can you at least keep your voice down at night!?"
Clover poked her fingers together with shame, "Aren't you proud of who I am..?"
The mother closed her eyes again and sighed, "Of course I'm proud of you... and I respect your interests..." She slammed her fist down a second time, "But... do you have no shame, child!? Keep your voice down when getting down to business with those fine ladies!"
Clover dipped her head down and nodded, "...noted, ma'am..."
Very slowly, the entrance to the building—still in the lobby—creaked open. The many officers in the room continued to converse with one another, but many heads turned as a figure took a single step inside of the lobby. Many grunts were exchanged, and even some gasps, as a long metal cane struck down against the floor with great power. The clashing of the cane with the floor was loud enough to leave an echo throughout the entire ground floor of the tower.
Clover scratched her chin with a smirk, "Say, you never told me... considering you and Bart work with Captain Falcon..." Chiya raised both her eyebrows. "Did you ever catch the legend's identity?"
Chiya tapped her fingers down constantly while gazing into the eyes of her daughter, but ultimately shrugged and shook negatively, "Couldn't tell you. We just work for the man."
The door leading to the hallway was opened by the figure, every officer remained standing in the lobby with surprised looks. The door momentarily shut behind the figure, who then proceeded to walk forth toward the office.
Chiya face palmed and chuckled, "The problem I do have with Bart, is that he's kind of high on happiness when he sees me. I've become almost like a relative to him..."
Clover nodded with a grin, "I like to consider him somewhere along the lines of an uncle."
"He's a good man, an excellent role model for someone such as yourself."
An emotional smile came onto the young woman, "You're enough of a role model to me."
Chiya returned a proud smile, but both women dropped their smiles as the door to the office slowly opened. Clover spun around with puckered lips, but Chiya had more of a disturbed and pestered expression. It was considered very rude to enter her office without knocking. But it was a few moments later that the eyes of both Chiya and Clover expanded immensely. Chiya immediately dropped a pen she had been holding and gasped loudly.
The cane of the figure came crashing down onto the floor. An old tall man stood before the two silently. He wore a very war torn brownish coat with an orange sash going from the collar all the way down to the feet. Two very dirty boots that had clearly lost its color, as well as the coat. And lastly two gloves of similar condition to the boots. The man had very long silver hair, bangs that covered his eyes, along with a long flowing mane.
Everyone remained perfectly silent as this strange old man stood perfectly still, but momentarily, he brushed his bangs aside, revealing a scar and two bright red eyes.
Clover grunted intensely and took a step back, "B- Bart!? What the Hell happened to you!?"
The figure's red eyes didn't move for many seconds, but after blinking once, came firing into Chiya's Mysterian blue eyes. The older Flower was left with a trembling lip of awe, and ultimately, eyes watering up to the very brim.
"...Seppuku..." she whispered aloud.
The man cracked open a smirk and raised one eyebrow while examining the office. He silently chuckled to himself after catching sight of the large portrait behind Chiya.
"Chiya Bendek..." the man spoke. His eyes went back down toward Chiya as he reveal his sharp teeth, "...what the Hell did you do to my office..?"
All with one intense motion, Chiya slammed both her hands down and stood up with moon sized eyes, "S- Seppuku! You're alive!"
The Man of Darkness tilted his head and looked back up at the portrait of his younger self, "Damn, was I hot back in the day..."
Clover gasped intensely and looked up at Seppuku. She was speechless, having heard stories from her mother about this man all her life; just to learn that he had been living the entire time. Chiya covered her mouth in immense amazement.
"Y- y- you're alive... but- but- are you still..." she shook her head with a dropped jaw, "Are you still evil..?"
Seppuku chuckled, "Oh, I'm still a devil..." Chiya widened her eyes intensely. "I may be in my sixties... but I still might hit on your mom."
Chiya exhaled heavily in relief, "...you're back..."
The woman walked around her desk and approached Seppuku with open arms. She was at a complete loss for words, only able to grunt and tear up at the return of her dear friend. Seppuku held out his arms and smirked. Chiya stopped in front of him and grunted, then found herself softly grabbed by the waist. Seppuku pulled the woman in and gave her a tight heartfelt hug.
While hugging Seppuku, Chiya continued to grunt before asking, "B- but how did you survive? I sent that ship drifting away without power..."
Seppuku pat her back while still grinning, "Against all odds, many months of floating through space eventually brought me to Green Plant's atmosphere..."
"G- Green Plant!? This whole time!?"
"Aye, I crash landed on the dark side of Green Plant—thousands of miles from civilization... it was there that I slowly began to build back the power I sacrificed to you. I scavenged for fruit to survive, worked with natives to acquire weaponry, and collected water through special techniques. The only downside was that I spent those twenty years without a lick of alcohol..."
Chiya raised her lower eyelids and shook negatively, "B- but... that can't be..." Seppuku raised an eyebrow. "Even if you were thousands of miles from civilization, you're a strong man. How could traveling have possibly taken you twenty years? It couldn't have..."
Seppuku dropped his grin and almost frowned. Chiya began to release very small streams of tears while holding onto him tightly.
"...why didn't you come back..? When I needed you more than ever..? Why did you not come back for me..?"
Clover tilted her head with a dropped jaw, still without a single word to release. Seppuku remained holding Chiya for a few moments, then sighed soundly. He wrapped his hand around her head and rubbed her hair.
"I didn't come back... because I knew it was time for you to grow up and lead your life..." Chiya opened her eyes slowly, surprised by this answer. "I knew Bendek had died... having me around is the last thing you'd have wanted, trust me... It was time for you to take what Earl and I had given you, and take full control of your life..." He reached his hand out and waved toward the office, "And behold, look what you've come up with..."
Chiya sniffled and let go of Seppuku, then after wiping her eyes turned toward Clover, who smiled heavily. "Uh... Seppuku, this is my daughter, Clover..."
Seppuku turned his head toward the young woman and grinned, in turn, Clover giggled and waved.
"H- hello..!" she greeted in an English accent.
"Good evening, my dear..." Seppuku shook her hand while looking deep into her soul. "Chiya, you've created a very beautiful child."
Chiya beamed and bowed, "Thank yo-" She then widened her eyes, "Uh..! Clover is a lesbian."
Clover glared and Seppuku merely gave a humored look back. "Don't worry, I have no interest in sexual activity at this age..."
Chiya clapped her hands together and smiled, "So-o, wow, you're back..."
"Yes, but enough dilly dallying..." Seppuku turned to face Chiya, removed his glove, and reached forward, "Can I have my power back at long last?"
The Mysterian swallowed and shrugged helplessly, "Transforming into the Red Dove consumed all of the power you gave me..." Seppuku's grin dropped upon hearing this bit of news. "I had to use every last drop of power you gave me to defeat Black Shadow, I'm sorry... I only have about as much power as Dark Rose did..."
Seppuku put on a disappointed look and dropped his hand down, "I see..." But ultimately, he smirked and shrugged, "So that indeed closes the book. I'm an old man with little power, my dream of becoming a mercenary is long gone..."
Chiya brought both hands up to her heart and frowned, "Oh, Seppuku, I'm so sorry..."
He shrugged, "Ah well, I somehow had a feeling I'd be retiring when I get back..."
Silence ensued within the room, Chiya soon licked her lips and pat her hands down on the desk, "Uh, uh, of course... this is your office, and I'll vacate from it as soon as I can... I mean, I do need an office since I'm chief of the Lower Federation, but I can move upstairs, probably..."
Seppuku opened his eyes and grinned at her, "Na-ah, keep the damn office... as I recall, you were in here just as much as I anyhow..." He scratched his chin and smirked, "And besides, you look better behind that desk."
Chiya crossed her arms and nodded sternly, "Then I'll let you have one of the top floor bedrooms."
"Oh, but I'm not staying for long..."
Both Chiya and Clover reacted with widened eyes, Chiya tilted her head, "Huh? Where you going?"
"Along the way, these many years, I've come to understand what love is. I'm not in love with anyone, but I still have a promise to fulfill to a special someone..."
Chiya smiled and cleared her throat, "Actually, you're in luck. About ten years ago Jody announced that she had true feelings for you. Even though you're both in your-"
"Nah, not Jody..." He grinned at Chiya and crossed his arms, "I made a promise to another fine lady..."
Chiya puckered her lips and shrugged, "Uh, sorry to say, but I'm pretty sure the lady you speak of decimated along with Black Shadow's ship..."
Seppuku face palmed and groaned, "...not the damn gun!"
That night, Chiya found herself laying in the same bed she had always slept on. The woman was in a nightgown and had the jacket of Earl Bendek tucked between her arms. Her entire body had become frozen as she sleep.
While in one world she sleeps soundly, the other world, a 25 year old Chiya runs naked through the grassland of her inner realm. She huffed constantly while running as fast as she could, a well built wooden house was her destination, which sat on a hill overlooking a massive field of flowers. Up above a small mountain sat the house of Dark Rose—or 'Chiya Rose'.
The sun shined brightly over her head, and a nice cold breeze occasionally flew through her legs. The woman continued panting until she finally reached the stairs leading up to the house's deck. There she stood panting with streaming eyes and an unbreakable smile.
Standing over the deck looking out toward the field was her beloved husband, Earl Bendek. The man puckered his lips and slightly turned his head, then momentarily faced his wife. Chiya sniffled happily while gazing up at Earl, who soon returned a warm smile.
"Ah, crying as usual. That can only mean it's that time of the year..."
The two met at the staircase and immediately locked hands together, Chiya looked into his eyes while continuing to water, then responded, "It's been 23 years of being together..."
Earl momentarily placed his hands onto her bare back and brought her closer to him.
"23 years I wouldn't trade for anything..."
Later, the two were laying together in a field of flowers. Mauser, Siberia, and all of Chiya's past pets were running around this same field. Both lovers were holding hands as they look up toward the puffy white clouds above them. While one may find such an activity boring, this was all Chiya and Earl needed in their relationship—to be together.
Chiya turned her head and exhaled happily, "This is the life..."
Earl nodded with a grin, "Just you and I gazing up into the heavens. What more could I ask for?"
The happy Flower sat up and looked over at the scampering felines, "More cats would be nice."
The Korean exhaled and placed both arms behind his back, "I'm not even upset being away from Earth anymore, I realize now that being with you is all I need to be happy." Chiya got back down into the flowers while smiling at him. "It's a simple life, but it's a paradise before all else."
"This is my favorite time of the day. I'd much rather live here."
Earl closed his eyes, "Just don't forget all the people you care for. Clover, Seppuku, Bart, Abby..."
Chiya bloated her cheeks and nodded, "Of course I love them all."
Earl continued to kick his foot around in the air, but soon nodded to himself with a look of awe. Chiya caught sight of his facial expression and raised a cute smile of curiosity.
"Is something on your mind, my love?"
The Korean's eyes went solid as he think deeply, "I was just thinking... it's ironic..."
Chiya flipped over onto her stomach, "What's ironic?"
"That you and I are laying together, naked, in a field of flowers..." He smiled softly and moved his eyes left, "You once wrote in your diary that you wanted to experience this with me. You wanted me to get naked with you in a field of flowers, and now it has happened."
Chiya beamed and nodded at him, then after looking away for a moment, surprised him by mounting him. She grabbed the man by the shoulders and lowered her body onto him.
"Well... I'm sure you also remember how that diary entry ended..."
Earl bit his lip and blushed slightly, Chiya did so as well. Before the two could enjoy a session of lovemaking in Chiya's dream scenario, Earl closed his eyes and chuckled again. Chiya rubbed his cheek passionately and nuzzled her nose next to his.
"You know, maybe it's for the best I died..." Chiya tilted her head without responding. "Because I believe it to be true that ever since I first arrived in this world, you and I have been living some of our happiest days together."
The Mysterian continued to rub his cheek passionately, "Here or there, I'm so happy to be with you..."
Earl nodded with a warm smile, then proceeded to look deep into her eyes. Chiya continued to smile as well, but momentarily let out a surprised yelp and fell onto his chest. Earl proceeded to kiss her while holding her bare rear, then made love to her in a bright field of flowers on their 23rd anniversary...
The following day brought millions of F-Zero fans to Mute City's primary track. Jody Summer was presiding over the commentating booth alongside an older John Tanaka. Both had taken over as F-Zero commentators, ever since the F-Zero committee had sold half the rights to the Federation.
"Good morning, F-Zero fans. This is Jody Summer of the Galactic Space Federation coming to you live to present yet another riveting annual Grand Prix."
Tanaka brought his microphone up, "That's right, and we've got many good tracks for these many good racers, all in a bid to win the one billion credit reward."
"Last year's winner was Chiya Bendek, F-Zero legend and Model Racer. Now she returns with apprentice and daughter, Clover Bendek, in her third attempt to win the Grand Prix."
Tanaka beat his own chest and chuckled, "Nothing like fresh blood on-"
Swiftly and without warning, Seppuku had walked in from behind, grabbed Tanaka, and tossed him aside. Jody widened her eyes and gasped as the man then sat himself next to her. The commander grunted constantly, but Seppuku merely grinned at her and shrugged.
"...Seppuku..." Jody greeted fondly with a relieved face.
Meanwhile, in the F-Zero garages, Clover found herself doing last second checkups on the Red Dove II with her mother. Chiya was attired in a very similar outfit to what she used to wear, this was the only time she still wore a stock hat, and in fact, remained wearing the blue hat Earl had bought for her.
Clover lifted herself off the ground and gave Chiya a thumbs up, "Everything checks out."
Chiya nodded with a warm smile, "Okay, just be careful out there..."
The Mysterian rolled her eyes with a smirk, "I'm just saying, if you died on the track, not only would Earl let me have it, but your grandma would destroy me."
Clover smirked back, "I'll be fine. Let's just keep an eye out for Guster and Goroh."
The speakers of the track turned on at that moment, "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the first race of the annual Grand Prix!" Chiya and Clover exchanged final glances. "At this time, we will introduce the contestants!"
Chiya immediately turned, pointed, and smiled at Clover, "Good luck!"
"I don't need luck. I'm a Bendek, a natural gambler!"
Seppuku grabbed the list of racer introductions off Jody's desk and smirked, "I've always wanted to try this..."
Jody continued to smile at Seppuku, "Go for it."
The Man of Darkness brought the microphone up to his face, "Last year's winner of the Grand Prix, living legend, mother, lover, cat hugger, the one and only—Chiya Bendek!"
Chiya hit the gas and bolted out of her garage in the Purring Kitten. The crowd roared her name like a cult. The Mysterian waved to her many fans on the way to the starting line. Then, off the corner of her eye, she gazed upon the three petal flower and beamed. Even after all these years, the flower remained alive and strong—just like Team Seppuku.
With a strong nod and watery eyes, Chiya said, "Come on, Earl. Let's win another one..."
One woman, one dream, many positive results. Life for Chiya Flower and Chiya Bendek alike was a never ending race. Her heart would never stop...
Jody Summer would retire from F-Zero the same year she became commander, generally fearing that F-Zero would risk her life. She and Chiya alike would not participate in the Grand Prix following Black Shadow's war, but both would become active in the F-Zero world again a year later. While Jody refrained from getting married, her heart would remain with Lieutenant Seppuku up until the end. Alas, Seppuku had no mutual love to return, which Jody ultimately accepted. In the end, the elderly commander of the Galactic Space Federation would go on to be happy knowing that Seppuku had survived. Chiya Flower would go on to become Jody's best friend, replacing Dr. Stewart after his decision to leave Mute City.
Dr. Stewart, years after the reconstruction of Mute City began, would transfer over to Bianca City to take on the proud leading role of the Federation's medical research division. Though hesitant at first, Jody would push Stewart into leaving her team along with the possibility of him one day taking over as commander. Stewart's friendship with Jody and her team would survive primarily through F-Zero, where he would remain a dedicated ally to his former teammates on the track.
Samurai Goroh would go on to win the Grand Prix following Black Shadow's attack. Given that neither Chiya, Jody, nor Seppuku had participated in this Grand Prix, Goroh had much less of a challenge. He and Antonio Guster won the Grand Prix, but would surprisingly end up donating most of the prize money to the Galactic Space Federation as aid for reconstructing Mute City. Jody would thus give Goroh and Guster amnesty for their past crimes. With a clean record, Goroh and Guster would mutually agree on disbanding their pirate crew and ultimately transform it into a smuggling crew. This way, they could make money while only being regarded as a minor enemy to the Federation. To Goroh's surprise, Guster would shortly after betray Goroh and run off with what remained of the prize money. Thus, the Goroh-Guster rivalry would be renewed in the form of rival smuggling crews. The Goroh clan vs. 'Dixies of the East' smuggling crew.
Black Shadow would live on within Lieutenant Seppuku, much like Earl and Rose live within Chiya. For Black Shadow, this was worse than eternal Hell, as Seppuku would spend many months following the emperor's death beating him up. In the very end, Seppuku would get bored of doing so and ultimately leave the man alone. Eventually, Black Shadow, at long last, would come to terms with himself and see the light. Understanding where he went wrong in life, the former emperor would offer a grand apology to the lieutenant for everything he has done, then ultimately, make the decision to cease existing. The one request he made to Seppuku before erasing himself from existence, was to make his son fulfill the promise that if he ever meet Chiya Flower again, he apologize for the pain Black Shadow had caused her. Black Shadow would never return...
Michael Chain would eventually resume F-Zero racing, far before Seppuku's return. Despite his offer of an alliance, Chiya would turn down Chain's friendly gesture, simply stating that alliances best be left out of F-Zero. Outside of F-Zero, Chain would continue his friendship with Fiona Flower even into her seventies. A special friendship would be formed between him and Abigail Flower, and even Azhul, as the two would discuss life in the Lower City—something both men experienced. Chain would also go on to become acquainted with Clover Bendek.
Lieutenant Seppuku would return to Chiya and have a beautiful reunion. In the end, Seppuku would finally have unlocked human emotions and found true happiness with himself. He loved Chiya and Earl, and there was no denying this. Nevertheless, Seppuku would never regain the intense power he once beared, and thus, he would fulfill the promise he had made 20 years ago. From the point of his return until the very end, Seppuku would return to Mysteria and live with Fiona Flower—of whom would welcome him back warmly. Seppuku would go on to live a happy life with Fiona with occasional visits from Chiya, Abigail, and Clover.
Leon would never be mentioned in F-Zero: Seppuku.
Mighty Gazelle would eventually revert back to a more normal shape and find himself back in a cyborg form, rather than a war machine. In addition to recreating a normal body, Gazelle would fix the rip in his reputation and eventually find himself on the brighter side of things again—as a good guy. Gazelle would even form an alliance with Chiya one year in order to stop Samurai Goroh from clinching the Grand Prix. Nevertheless, as Lieutenant Seppuku returns, Gazelle would find himself immediately sent back into a hostile mode. Even with 20 years behind them, Gazelle would suddenly find himself aspiring to hunt down the lieutenant... of course, the cyborg would never guess that he's living in the household of Fiona Flower... and thus his efforts would essentially be in vain.
Megan Valhalla would ultimately be found guilty of trying to spark a civil war, despite the fact that she had relieved herself of her duties to stay out of trial. After spending 5 years in prison, Megan would be released, but surprisingly, the first thing she'd try doing is convincing the government of Green Plant to join her in a rebellion. This resulted in Megan being exiled from all Federation planets, which would ultimately force her onto Magica. There have, however, been Megan spottings on Federation planets for years, thus raising the question of what Megan might be doing, 20 years since the end of Dark Million. Even as an older woman and commander of the Galactic Federation, Jody Summer would consider Megan Valhalla as a personal rival—even though Megan had lost everything.
Princia Ramode would officially hearten up to the Mysterian people ever since her heated Grand Prix against Chiya. It was after this Grand Prix that Princia realized how immature she may have been, and thus, many pacts were signed between Mysteria and Magica. Most significantly, Mysteria and Magica reopened trade agreements—which would open a much brighter future for both planets. Princia would never F-Zero race again, but to the surprise of many, Princia would invite Chiya to her palace multiple times. In the end, Chiya had become Princia's favorite 'Mysterian pig'.
Lily Flyer would take after Lieutenant Seppuku, and into her adulthood she would dawn the same color scheme as Seppuku—black and red. In addition to the color scheme, Lily would take after Seppuku's favorite word: "Damn".
Abigail Flower would attend college on Mysteria and eventually become ambassador of Mysteria. Abigail would represent Mysteria on many diplomatic missions, namely, to Magica. This an especially fitting role for her, given that Princia respected Chiya, therefore respected Abigail. Along with Mysteria, Abigail would take countless visits back to Mute City, primarily for talks with Jody Summer. Not a single time in her life would Abigail leave Mute City without first catching up with her favorite sister and niece. Considering Azhul's last name remained a mystery, Abigail retained her last name, while Azhul officially became a Flower. Abigail and Azhul would have a daughter, Lynn Flower, one month before Chiya had Clover.
Azhul would for the most part work alongside Abigail in her ambassador duties. His workload would mostly be comprised of retrieving files for her. Azhul, however, would gain wide recognition on Mysteria eventually for playing a leading role in the open border policy of Mysteria. Seeing a person with black skin on Mysteria was a rare sight that not many Mysterians witnessed, seeing Azhul with Abigail—the planet's ambassador—led to the very brief debate of whether immigration to Mysteria should be once again permitted. Within a mere week, the Mysterian Empire officially created a new open border policy, and thus, it was no longer illegal for non-Mysterians to enter the planet.
Captain Falcon would continue to fight crime, and ultimately, list Samurai Goroh as his new arch rival. But without Blood Falcon and Black Shadow, Falcon found Goroh to be more so an F-Zero rival than anything. The simple fact of the matter was that after the Dark Million war, Captain Falcon had essentially become nothing more than an F-Zero legend and protector of justice. His real identity would remain solely with Jody, Chiya, and Seppuku. Not even Clover would learn of his identity.
Dark Rose—later known better as 'Rose Flower—would continue living alongside Earl within Chiya's Inner Realm. Her hobbies would primarily consist of writing literature for her two friends. Within twenty years she'd have written over seventy books, most of which are based on the lives of her peers, herself, and her many philosophies. In no more than a year following the fall of Dark Million, Rose would acquire a personality entirely unique from Chiya's, despite being a clone. The original intent of becoming the one and only 'true' Chiya Flower would die and, in fact, be replaced by a never-ending quest to become an even more unique individual. Her past obsession with Excalibur would continue to haunt her for over a decade, especially with Earl now living alongside her in the Inner Realm. Like with so much of her past, the very word 'Excalibur' would become a term she tries to forget; both a reminder of her days in Dark Million, and by extension, a reminder of her past self. In the end, Rose knows strongly that her love life with Excalibur—or Earl—was and still is nonexistent. In her now-agnostic mind, if there is indeed life beyond the Inner Realm destined for her, then, one day, she suspects she will discover the romantic love of her life—different time, different place. Nevertheless, Rose couldn't be happier with the current life she lives alongside two great friends, the same two she, at one point in time, had tried to kill many times.
Clover would continue living with her mother, Chiya, for many years after high school graduation. She acted as the primary mechanic of Mute City's Lower Federation, however, was banned from touching the Purring Kitten. Chiya insisted on fixing her machine alone, since Earl, technically, was the one fixing it—as he provided her with guidance. While Clover's homosexual interests would indeed mean that Chiya would be unlikely to ever have grandchildren, the Flower name would live on through Abigail's child, Lynn, who was indeed straight. As an F-Zero racer, Clover would, ironically, follow the same path as her mother and even beat her in several races. Though, Clover viewed F-Zero as a mother-daughter bonding activity.
Earl Bendek would continue serving as the loyal husband of Chiya, though in a different world. While Chiya's awake in one world, Earl would anxiously await her arrival. In the meantime, he'd often spend time with Rose, watch what Chiya does through her eyes, and practice fixing things with the mock Purring Kitten they have available. When Chiya is with Earl, the two would spend many hours doing an assortment of things. They could walk around a forest and talk, go fishing, go eating, kiss, make love, or even sleep beside each other, for whatever the reason may be. Though Earl had constantly stated his best wish to return to the other world and help Chiya raise Clover, Earl is content knowing that Chiya is relaying his guidance to her. The fact that Clover became a mechanic and gambler is enough proof for anyone to know that Earl is truly giving Chiya's daughter guidance from beyond. No matter how many years go by, Chiya would always be the center of Earl's attention and vice versa.
Finally, Chiya Flower, now taking on the last name 'Bendek', would go on to live a happy life. Though she still suffers trauma from her days in Team Seppuku, a night with Earl always calms her down. Earl, as always, would be the first thing on Chiya's mind as she works, as she eats, as she races, and as she sleeps. Her happiness, she accepts, would have even come had Earl not made it into her bloodstream. She knows that regardless of where Earl could have gone, he would love and respect her. Clover's high resemblance of Earl is enough for Chiya to be happy with, for in the very end, she feels that Earl lives on within her inner realm, but also on the outside in the shape of Clover Bendek. Undoubtedly, Chiya had many ups and downs in her life, Earl's death being the worst of them all. But in the end, she could safely say that a happy ending had come. Never again would she need to fear the evils of the universe. Street rapists, Bloody Chain, Red Star, Dark Million; there was nothing left. She could finally live a full life of happiness with Earl and her daughter—as she had always dreamed of doing...