Author's Note: This is my attempt at a Cyborg 009 story an idea that came to me as I observed the feelings between 003 and 009 especially after two episodes, The Red Shoes and the restaurant one. I also saw the evidence of their feelings in the Greek God episodes but I missed the beginning because I didn't care for the character design, which was too cartoonish. But I discovered that this was originally created in the 60's and thus the exaggerated features. I prefer more realistic character design but the character interaction and complexities intrigued me as I watched. So I came up with this, and will update as timely as I can. The characters are not mine, they belong to Avex-Mode and Toei Animation and were created by Shotaro Ishinomori
SUNSET DANCE INTO DARKNESS
Black Ghost Revived
The peace of the end of day painted in hues of gold, red, peach and lavender was canopied over the private beach and dwelling of Doctor Kezumi as it faced the western sky. Joe Shimamura, AKA, Cyborg 009 leaned on the rail of the deck, intently watching the activity on the beach. It was a sight that both warmed his heart and sent a chill down his spine, hypnotizing him.
Unaware that she was being watched, Francoise Arnoul, Cyborg 003 lifted her arms above her golden head and performed the five basic positions of ballet. Dancing was her liberation, and her dance muse would set her free as the reality of her now being a cyborg would be pushed into the far reaches of her mind. For a brief while, when she danced, she felt human again and her heart would take flight. The beach was perfect with its soft white sand and the calm beat of the waves would accompany the music in her head as she glided over the shore.
Francoise leapt with the grace and soft radiance of a firefly as in the unadulterated joy of movement, she seemed to absorb the golden light of the fading day. She pirouetted, twirling like a music box doll, her skirt billowing about her slender waist and legs. Her golden locks gently waved in the salty breeze, giving her the appearance of a sea sprite.
Joe sighed as he gazed upon the seashore recital and his mind spun as Francoise did, savoring the view of her as he often did during these down times when he and the other cyborgs all tried to live normal human lives. Inside the house he could hear Chang, 006 and Great Britain, 007 bickering over the evening fare as usual. Albert and Jet were off to their homes as were Geronimo, 005 and Pyunma, 008 so Drs. Gilmore and Kezumi housed Baby Ivan, 001, Chang, GB, Joe, and Francoise when they weren't tracking down Black Ghost.
Of late, Joe had found himself feeling very a very strong protective attitude toward the lovely French girl with the aqua eyes, wanting to watch over her when they went on assignments together. He'd often wrap his arms around her, shielding her from laser blasts, as their faces would be inches apart. She would look into his golden brown eyes and it would thrill him to know that at those times, she depended on him. Although they could not call themselves human thanks to Black Ghost, the one part of them that remained unchanged, their emotions, was still unquestionably human. He was drawn to her gentle ways, her tender heart as she felt for everyone, and her delicate beauty that came sparkling from within. At times, when he would brood about the life that was stolen from him, she would come and sit beside him, letting him talk and listening in her quiet, understanding way. He had come to treasure those times, gazing deeply into those eyes of hers that were the color of a tropical sea and he could feel peace come again as the calm after a storm. She was the lone bright light in the darkness of being cyborgs and he found himself thinking about her often, when he sought calm from the turmoil boiling within him, the product of battling the evil of the Black Ghost organization.
On the beach Francoise stopped dancing as she heard the soft breathing of another with her ultra acute hearing and with her telescopic vision she spotted Joe's eyes on her. She turned her head away, feeling the heat of a blush as she felt the intensity of his regard. Of late, he had been watching her with an unreadable expression, one eye hidden by the unruly shock of mahogany hair as he perused her, almost studying her every move. Since the fight with the Greek god cyborgs, and his near brush with elimination, they both were dealing with an increase in their concern for each other. She was frantic when Apollo blasted Joe and knocked him into the sea and only Jet's timely intervention kept him from annihilating her. Apollo's sister Artemis finding him saved his life, something Francoise would always be thankful for. While she and the team held their watchful and worried vigil, she became distraught and Geronimo had comforted her, telling her in a deep yet gentle voice, "He'll be all right." Why had she been so upset? She had been asking the question often lately.
Joe sighed as he watched the figure of Francoise, now standing still and facing the advancing sunset, golden waves crashing on the shore. He felt his heart pound like a trip hammer as he built up the courage to go and join her, reluctant to disturb her solitude but wanting to share the beauty of the sunset with her. It was times like this he felt a bit of his humanity come back. He descended the steps of the deck and walked up to her.
"It's really pretty here at sunset isn't it?" he asked shyly, his face in a bashful grin.
Francoise smiled sweetly as her eyes sparkled. "Uh-huh. I love coming here and watching the sky change color as the sun sets."
"I was watching you dance," Joe said. "You were wonderful."
Francoise blushed, giving her piquant delicate features a dewy look, like a rose. "I know."
It was Joe's turn to blush as he stammered, "I-I hope it was okay. I really like to watch you dance, you move so effortlessly."
"Dancing frees me. When I dance it's like the whole nightmare is over and I have my former life back." She sighed and moved away clutching her arms in a shiver.
Joe walked up to her and gently placed his hands on her shoulders, squeezing them to offer support and comfort. "I know. I often wonder how my life would be if Black Ghost hadn't kidnapped me to turn me into the ultimate weapon. And I get frustrated and angry." Her soft golden locks floated on the sea breeze and tickled his face, the soft scent and texture captivating him. "But talking about it helps, especially talking to you."
Francoise turned and she was inches from him. "I feel the same way. Talking to you helps me when I'm on the edge of despair." She lowered her head, amazed that she was telling him the very words that she would say to herself as she watched him on the Dolphin or during a mission. His friendship and care helped to comfort her and calm her fears at times that she felt the battles take their toll on her gentle and serene manner.
Joe's hands slid slowly from her shoulders to cup her face as he gazed deeply into her eyes, the same eyes that could penetrate the thickest wall or view things miles away clearly as if they were right before her. He felt drawn into them as if he were being dragged into maelstrom and he knew that those aqua orbs held a power over him that both excited and frightened him at the same time. Emotions of affection and friendship were present but with them a tenderness that made him want to make sure that the pain that was often found buried in them was gone forever.
"Francoise," Joe began but the moment was interrupted by the sly knowing professionally trained voice of Great Britain.
"Ahh ha. Thought that's where the two of you had gotten to." He grinned knowingly and Joe fought the urge to flatten GB as the man's smirk irritated him.
He was joined by Chang, who clad in his chef's garb came out to the deck and announced, "Dinner's served. You two best come in before GB's ravenous appetite leaves you nothing but crumbs."
GB scowled at his rotund friend. "Humph! I don't see evidence of YOU missing many meals," he pointed out as he turned and headed into the house behind Chang who was protesting.
"Are you referring to my robust physique? I'll have you know that I am--," Chang's voice faded as the bickering two disappeared within.
Joe grinned sheepishly at Francoise as he said, "Those guys are something, aren't they? I hope they didn't embarrass you."
She shook her head, gold hair flying. "No but I guess we should head in." She bent down to retrieve her shoes and turned toward the beach house. She felt Joe's hand steal to her elbow as he guided her over the white sand and to the deck steps. They climbed the steps and walked to the sliding glass door of the house. . .
Unknown to the cyborgs, they had been very carefully and covertly watched from a periscope within the rushing waves some 10 miles offshore. In a submarine below, a man, dressed in black save a white skull on the front of his shirt turned and addressed an imposing figure draped in a full length cape with his back to him.
"They've all gone inside, sir."
The figure turned and a black skull mask with eerie glowing eyes pierced the man. "Maintain surveillance on the subjects until further notice," he ordered brusquely as he whirled and stepped into an inner chamber that served as his quarters. Brushing his cape aside, the man known as Scarl sat at a computer monitor and keyboard and tapped in data as the machine whirred.
Data on the 00 Cyborgs are as follows:
Cyborgs 009, 003, 006, 007, and 001 are currently quartered at the residence of Drs Gilmore and Kezumi in a remote location on the coast of Japan, overlooking the Sea of Japan. As of latest observation, the others, 002, 004, 005, and 008 are not present. But the following information on 009 has been gathered.
Due to his advanced capabilities, 009 has been designated leader of the renegade cyborgs and as such his capture is paramount to the success of the eventual eradication of them all. It has been discovered that 009 holds a special fondness for 003, the female cyborg and that this data can be utilized in his capture. His capture and destruction will lead to the capture and destruction of them all. The operation shall commence ASAP.
Scarl grinned behind his mask in evil amusement as he recalled the tender moment between 009 and 003 on the beach and the plan materialized. He would bide his time and then put the operation into action as he waited for the golden opportunity to present itself. It would be a monumental task, for they had tried to capture 009 before, using the information on his past and their new cyborg 0013 but the plan backfired as 009 discovered the true identity of 0013 and tried to draw him away. They had no choice but to destroy 0013 but 009 and his comrades remained a thorn in the organization's side until the organization disbanded. Scarl had disappeared, thought dead but in reality went into hiding, all the time plotting his revenge. So he and a few faithful minions from his stint as Black Ghost leader followed the cyborgs as they attempted to recapture their lost humanity. It was then that Scarl saw the growing closeness between 009 and 003 and ascertained that she had become his Achilles Heel and the obvious tool to draw 009 into his trap.
Scarl sat back and murmured, "Soon, little cyborgs, soon. My revenge and your destruction shall coincide and happen, you can be sure. He laughed maniacally.
Later, the full moon surrounded by stars stood sentinel over the crashing surf, turning sea foam into molten silver as it bubbled on the sand and then slowly disappeared. Joe stood on the deck again watching the endless, rhythmic beat of the water as his mind was filled with thoughts of a certain blonde dancer who was uppermost in his thoughts of late. Visions of her dancing, in the clingy red Chinese dress that she wore when she helped Chang in his restaurant, even knelt over Ivan as she crooned softly to him, soothing the baby to sleep floated before his minds eye. Such thoughts of her brought such a lightness to his heart, he often could feel total joy when she was near. He was wondering about the reason why he was feeling so about 003, after all they both had ceased being truly human when Black Ghost made them into cyborgs but the emotions were untainted by machinery and they were as strong as ever. When the deed had been done, Joe had lost all hope in experiencing the true human experience, which was to love and be loved, but when he looked at Francoise he felt the warm feeling of wanting her and wanting to be with her. Was he capable of loving and being loved in return? he asked himself doubtfully as the soft sea wind brought a whiff of roses, her scent. He turned around slowly as she walked over to the railing to join him.
"I thought you were putting 001 down for the night," he commented casually although her presence was sending an electrical thrill through him.
"I did," Francoise answered. "006 and 007 are in there arguing over some issue with the meal. Honestly those two never quit." She giggled and it sounded like the delicate tinkle of the wind chimes hanging from the roof eaves, as they serenaded the two.
Joe threw his head back and laughed. "I don't think those two are happy unless they're in some skirmish, either with Black Ghost or each other." At the mention of Black Ghost, his smile faded to a thoughtful scowl. "I just wish I knew for certain that we've heard the last of them. I just have this feeling that we'll be hearing from them again."
"Are you sure, Joe?" she asked fearfully her eyes wide pools reflecting the moonlight. A shiver of fear went through her as she grasped his arm impulsively and then her bold action caused her to turn her head away, embarrassed.
He took his right hand and placed it over hers and squeezed it reassuringly. "Not really. Maybe I'm just so used to being ready to go and fight that I'm in constant battle readiness. Like any other well oiled machine," he said with a touch of bitterness as he stared sullenly ahead.
Francoise's heart constricted at the pain she sensed in him. She gently reached her hand and brushing his unruly mane with its overgrown bangs back from his eyes, her touch made his eyes turn to her and soften. "We still have some of our humanity, Joe," she whispered. "We still have our feelings and our hearts."
Her soft statement brought an ache to him. "Why is it you can make sense out of my deepest confusion? You're incredible, 003." He took her hand in both of his and suddenly everything but her ceased to exist for him. She stood right before him, her bow shaped mouth enticing him but did he dare? What would happen now that they were cyborgs, could they share a kiss without feeling? What would they feel?
They were both caught in the spell when Dr. Gilmore's voice called out, "009, 003, its getting late and I think you both need rest. Come in now."
Joe closed his eyes and sighed to defuse the heat rushing through him as he heard Francoise's soft voice, tinged with disappointment. "Coming Dr. Gilmore. We were just here talking."
She turned to Joe. "We'd better go in, 009," she said as she took his hand.
He sighed and followed her lead.
TO BE CONTINUED