Neo Android Kikaider the Animation

Continuing Episode #2: The Guardian

Jiro is a robot built by Dr. Komyoji. Brought back to life after two years,
he travels the world seeking solitude from those who wish to destroy him.
Now, his adventure continues.

Blitzkrieg College was a community college located within a big city. The
primary majors that Blitzkrieg specializes in are communications and
mechanics. The studies there are very hard, even for one particular girl.

"Etsuko? Etsuko! Earth to Etsuko!"

The girl looked up from the book she was reading. "oh, Koshiro, you
startled me."

"You must be really into that book, I've been calling your name for over
a minute."

"I'm just studying this book on advance robotics for a report I'm doing."

Etsuko Sabbutori was a child prodigy and was admitted to the college as
the youngest person ever to attend college. She was majoring in mechanics
and was hoping to get a job working at a robot producing factory that
seem to be popping up all over the place. Etsuko didn't tell Koshiro that
she was reading the book not just for a report she was doing, but for the
feeling of nostalgia that she's been suffering from recently for some
reason.

Koshiro took the book she was reading. "Gemini, a study of incorporating
human traits into robots by Dem Komyoji. Komyoji, isn't he that robotics
nut who temporarily disappeared years ago?"

"Yeah, he was." Etsuko confirmed. "But he's hardly a nut."

"Are you kidding? Sure, the guy's good at robotics but some of his...
theories are absolutely crazy. I mean, robots who act like humans? Come
on..."

Etsuko knew that Koshiro liked to pull her chain, especially about her
beliefs. Dr. Komyoji's reputation since his capture by Dark has been a
mixed one. While people have respected him for his knowledge of advanced
robotics, they ridiculed him for his theories, especially the ones about
a circuit that behaves like a human conscience. Deep down, Etsuko couldn't
blame them. She wouldn't believe it if she hadn't seen the truth with her
own two eyes.

Etsuko snatched her book back and started to walk across campus. Koshiro
followed her. "Aww, Etsuko, don't be like that. Hey, I'm sorry I made
fun of your idol. Say, how about coming down to Lan's with me. Come on,
I'm even buying the shakes."

Etsuko sighed. She knew Koshiro wouldn't stop until she said yes so she
might as well get it over with. "Well, since you're buying, why not."
The two left the college and started to walk down the street.

"So, why are you so interested in this Komyoji guy?" Koshiro asked.

"Well..." Etsuko couldn't tell him the truth, he wouldn't believe her
anyway, but she couldn't exactly lie either, it wouldn't be fair to Koshiro.
"I was working for a P.I. who was hired to look for him."

"Whoa, no wonder you're so into his work, you probably seen some of the
stuff he was doing."

"Something like that." Etsuko paused. A blue motorcycle was turning into
a gas station.

"What's wrong?" Koshiro asked.

"I... I don't know," Etsuko said. Something about that motorcycle set off
a spark of... familiarity to her, but Etsuko couldn't figure out for the
life of her why. Etsuko went across the street and up to the gas station.
The rider got off and waved his hand by the gas pump. The gas pump beeped
and the rider began filling the tank of the motorcycle. Etsuko noticed he
was wearing a blue vest over a red long sleeve shirt, and blue jeans. He
took off his helmet and Etsuko gasped, suddenly feeling faint.

It was Jiro!

"Jiro!" She cried running to him.

"Etsuko," Koshiro called out.

Jiro was caught off-guard as a girl literally threw herself at him.

"Huh? What?" He asked.

"Jiro, I can't believe it, you're alive, you're really alive."

"What's going on? Who are you?"

Etsuko looked at him. "Jiro, don't you recognize me?"

Jiro took a good hard look at her. His memory played the image of a small
girl with short brown hair and round glasses. The girl before him now had
shoulder-length brown hair and clear frame glasses, but the voice was the
same.

"Etsuko? Etsuko Sabbotori?"

She smiled. "You do remember me! Oh Jiro, it's been such a long time."

"Too long," Jiro agreed returning the embrace.

Koshiro was getting jealous. Etsuko just threw herself at this guy. "Hey,
Etsuko, you know this guy?"

Etsuko blushed as she released herself from Jiro's embrace. "Oh, sorry.
Jiro, this is Koshiro Watanabe."

A little while later, Jiro, Etsuko, and Koshiro were in Lan's. Etsuko and
Koshiro had milk shakes, Jiro had nothing.

"No way, you're related to THE Dem Komyoji?" Koshiro's eyes widened.

"Something like that," Jiro agreed. Etsuko smiled.

"Oh, gee man, sorry. I mean I know he's your father and all, but it must
be tough being son to a guy with his reputation."

"Reputation?" Koshiro asked.

"Koshiro!" Etsuko scolded then turned to Jiro. "A lot of people think
Komyoji's theories about human-like robots is a load of crock."

"But it's true," Jiro said matter-of-factly. "I'm proof of that."

Before Koshiro could ask what he meant by that, they all heard a loud
screeching sound. Everyone from Lan's turned to see a boy running across the
highway and enter the parking lot.

"What's that kid doing?" Etsuko asked. "He could get killed."

The boy, who looked to be about Etsuko's age back when Dr. Komyoji was kidnapped
by Dark, ran into the restaurant.

"Please, don't let them kill me!" He pleaded as he ducked behind the booth that
Jiro and the others were at.

"What's going on?" Koshiro wondered just before two guys in black suits and sun
glasses carrying machine guns burst in and opened fire. Everybody ducked, Jiro
protected Etsuko and Koshiro with his body.

"Nobody move," one of them called. "All we want is the boy. Nobody try anything
stupid. Hand the boy over and we'll leave."

Something triggered in Jiro, a hidden sense, something that (he later realized)
Dr. Komyoji installed in him when he was rebuilt. "You're robots!" He realized.

One of the men in black pointed to Jiro. His partner nodded and they both opened
fire. Jiro crossed his arms to protect himself from the hail of bullets.

"Mr. Jiro!" Koshiro shouted but Etsuko pulled him under a table. "But Etsuko..."

"Jiro knows what he's doing," Etsuko said just as Jiro fell to both knees.

"Anybody caught protecting the boy will suffer the same fate as this... huh?" They
were shocked, as Koshiro was, as Jiro slowly stood.

"Leave the boy alone," Jiro said. "What did he do to you?"

"That is none of your business."

"You come in here waving those guns around, almost kill us and say it's none of our
business?" Etsuko snapped. "Who are you to do that?"

"We represent the boy's parents."

"Liar!" The boy shouted. With inhuman-like speed, one of the men leaped at the boy.
But Jiro was quicker and grabbed the boy just before the man touched down. Jiro
crashed through a window and ran into the parking lot. The men were right behind
him. Jiro got ready to transform into Kikaider but realized that it might scare the
boy away.

"Answer me this," Jiro said. "Do you work for Dark?"

The men, who have emerged from the restaurant with guns in hand, reacted to Jiro's
question. One of them pointed to Jiro and said to his partner, "He knows."

"There must be no liaison between us two, we must kill him." They opened fire again.
Jiro blocked it with his arms. "He must be one of Dark's minions."

Jiro wondered why they would think he was part of Dark when it was Dark who was trying
to destroy him.

"Jiro!" It was Etsuko! She was riding on back of Koshiro's own motor scooter. The
boy was with her. "Let's go!" Jiro barely contained a small smile. Etsuko knew he
didn't like to fight, especially when there were so many people around who could get
hurt. Jiro pressed a button on his watch. Jiro's motorcycle activated of its own
accord and rode by him. Jiro jumped on. Koshiro handed the boy off to him and they
took off away from the men.

They rode for what seemed like hours. Finally, they stopped at an underpass.

"That was a close one," Etsuko said.

The boy looked down at his sneakers and gripped the bottom of the raggedy yellow T-shirt
he was wearing. "Thank you for helping me."

"Were they really going to kill you?" Koshiro asked. "What do they call you?"

"Amuro, and yes."

"Jiro, you asked them earlier if they worked for Dark. Dark is dead, isn't it?" Etsuko
asked. Jiro reminisced his encounter with Saburo at Dr. Komyoji's laboratory. "That's
horrible!" Etsuko said when he was done.

"At first, I thought that they worked for Dark, but then I realized that Dark wants me
because of the Kikaider technology. Those two wanted me dead, so they couldn't have
worked for Dark."

"Unless they didn't recognize you," Etsuko pointed out.

"They don't work for Dark," Amuro said. "They work for Gear."

"Gear?"

"Global Enclave of Advanced Robotics," Koshiro explained. "They're this big conglomerate
corporation who's heavy into robotics."

"That's just what they want you to think," Amuro protested. "They actually do some pretty
bad stuff."

"So why do they want you, Amuro?"

"I... I don't know," Amuro said crouching down on the balls of his feet. "I don't know
what I did,they just started chasing me one day, they have been ever since."

"What about your parents, do they know?" Jiro asked.

"I... I don't have any parents."

"You're an orphan," Etsuko realized. "So how do you know about Gear's shady doings."

"They captured me a lot," Amuro said embarrassed. "But I escaped."

"I hate to change the subject," Koshiro said. "But the sun's setting, and I have a feeling
those jerks in black will be looking for us. We should try to find a place to stay for the
night."

"Good idea," Jiro said.

That night, the group found an abandoned camp ground. Jiro brought them dinner and they
settled in. Koshiro and Amuro were already fast asleep. Jiro was on watch. He was playing
a tune on his guitar. It was a sad, mournful tune which matched his mood perfectly.

"Jiro?" Etsuko sat down besides him.

"Aren't your parents or Mister Hattori gonna be worried?"

"Jiro, I'm in college now, I can handle myself."

"Oh." Jiro continued plaing his guitar.

"Jiro, I know I said this before, but I'm glad you're alive. Mitsuko and Masato must be
ecstatic."

Jiro stopped playing. "They don't know."

"What? Jiro, I'd think they'd be the first people to find out you're still alive!"

"Etsuko, you saw what happened at the restaurant, trouble seems to follow me wherever I
go. I just want Mitsuko and Masato to be safe and happy. Besides..." Jiro stared at his
hands. "I'm a murderer."

"If you're talking about Professor Gill, then he deserved to die after all he put you
through."

"No, I mean... my brothers, I killed my own brothers!"

Etsuko didn't know what to say. Ever since she first met Jiro, he knew that fighting was
the last thing he wanted to do. And killing his own brothers no less, that must really put
a heavy burden on his Gemini... no, his soul. Etsuko has decided long ago that Jiro had a
soul, probably the only one of his kind to have a soul.

"Jiro, you should know that Mitsuko has never stopped wishing for you to return." Jiro
stared at her. "You should see her whenever she talks about you, Jiro. She always smiles,
and blushes a little." Etsuko gazed at the night sky. "It's really romantic."

"All I want is for them to be happy," Jiro said.

Etsuko laid a hand on his shoulder. "If you truly want them to be happy, then return to
them." She then laid by Koshiro and fell asleep leaving Jiro to ponder her words.

The next day, the group returned to town. They haven't been in town for long when they were
suddenly strafed with bullets. Jiro quickly covered the others with his body. A black sedan
drove by. The men from the restaurant, along with two of their friends, drove the sedan onto
the sidewalk blocking them from proceeding. They all got out and aimed machine guns at Jiro,
Etsuko, Koshiro, and Amuro.

Jiro looked from Amuro to the men. Only Etsuko really knew what Jiro was thinking, he was
pondering whether or not he should transform in front of Amuro. Then he said, "Amuro,
listen, I promise that I'll protect you from Gear. No matter what happens to them, or to me,
remember that I promise that I'll never hurt you."

Amuro was confused but nodded. Jiro turned and faced the men. "I don't know if you work for
Dark or not, or what you want with the boy." He slapped his fists on his shoulders. "But I
WON'T LET YOU KILL HIM! CHANGE!" Amuro clinged to the leg of Etsuko's pants as Jiro
transformed into Kikaider.

The moment Kikaider's transformation was completed, he blitzed the men, taking two down by
clotheslining them. He then launched a spin kick at one behind him but the kick went over the
enemy's head. Suddenly the men's fingers opened up and lasers fired at him. The lasers stung
Kikaider.

"Hang in there, Jiro! You can do it!" Etsuko encouraged.

"Wow, Jiro wasn't kidding when he vouched for the validity of Dr. Komyoji's research," Koshiro
said.

"He... He's protecting me," Amuro realized.

"That's right," Etsuko confirmed. "One of Jiro's strengths is his desire to protect the people
he cares about."

"Does... does Jiro care about me?" Amuro asked.

"If he didn't, do you think he would be fighting now?" Etsuko retorted. Kikaider elbowed one of
the men in the gut. He put much more strength into that attack than he intended. A piece of his
stomach cracked open and exposed the internal circuitry.

"I knew it," Kikaider said, his eyes glowing red. "You are robots!" He activated his electro-
hands. "So therefore, I don't have to worry about killing anyone! ELECTRO HANDS!" He sliced two
of the men in half horizontally. He turned towards the other two. "Return to Gear, let your
masters know that you will not get the boy as long as I live!"

"What are you?" One of the men asked.

Jiro's eyes returned to glowing yellow. "My adversaries call me... Kikaider." The robots picked
up their fallen comrades and retreated.

"All right, Jiro!" Etsuko cried running up to him, Koshiro following. "You did it, you beat them."

"That was incredible," Koshiro commented. "For someone who doesn't like fighting, you can
definitely kick butt."

"I only did it because there was no other choice," Kikaider said. He then turned to Amuro. The
boy was staring at him wide-eyed. Jiro took a deep breath and waited for the screaming, the
"monster" and the running away.

Instead of any of that, Amuro ran up to Kikaider and embraced his lower half. "Thank you...
thank you, Kikaider!"

Kikaider smiled. "Call me Jiro, that's what all my friends call me."

"Friends?" Amuro looked up at him. "Am I your friend?"

"Do you want me to be your friend?" Amuro nodded. "Then yes, you're my friend."

"Thank you, Jiro, thank you!"

A little while later, Jiro and Amuro prepared to leave on his motorcycle.

"Will you two be all right?" Jiro asked.

"We'll be fine," Etsuko assured him.

"Gear would probably be more focused with finding you guys so they'll probably ignore us for
now," Koshiro added.

"Where will you go?" Etsuko asked.

"We'll probably head east," Jiro said. "Hopefully, we won't come across Dark or Gear there."

Etsuko went up to Jiro and embraced him. Into his ear, she whispered, "Don't worry, I won't tell
Mitsuko or Masato that I saw you."

"Thanks, Etsuko," Jiro whispered back.

Amuro put on Jiro's helmet (which was obviously a little big on him) and Jiro took off.

"Etsuko, what did you say to him?" Koshiro asked.

Etsuko gave her friend a small smile. "Oh, nothing important."

Jiro and Amuro arrive at the mountains. There, they come under attack by Darkaider with some new
soldiers. Fortunately, they are saved by two powerful, yet familiar warriors. Next time on Neo
Android Kikaider the Animation: The Return