A/N: This is the first story of this kind that I have ever written. Your comments are very welcome, as they will encourage me to continue to write. This particular story goes from when Algren and the samurai leave the village for Tokyo until after Nobutada dies. I wrote it mainly because I was curious as to what happened between the parts that they showed us in the movie. Confused? Well, read, and hopefully I can clear it up for you.
Disclaimer: I normally feel no need to say this, as we all know that I don't own what I am writing about, but just in case, I've said it…
The Before and Aftermath
Part One: It Starts…
"Algren-san!" Hige ran out to the foreign man that he had come to love. This man wasn't his father. He, in fact, had been the one to deliver the blow that killed his father…but Hige and his family had forgiven him. And now, he was leaving them.
The Captain looked down from his place atop his horse, giving the child an odd look as he was handed a piece of rolled parchment. He would've opened his mouth to say thank you, but the boy did not give him time. He bowed and quickly stepped away, and Captain Algren carefully placed the beautiful parchment in his saddlebag.
Algren sighed as he watched the samurai speed off on horseback. Something isn't right about all this. I should be glad that I get to go home, shouldn't I? Finally, he joined them. Soon, the small village he had come to think of as his home was nothing more than a speck on the horizon.
"Katsumoto!" Algren sped up so that he was riding in stride with the samurai lord at the head of the group. "How long is it until we reach Tokyo?"
Katsumoto gave him a curious look. "Are you so eager to escape your captivity?" he questioned.
Algren did not hesitate before vigorously shaking his head. "No. It's not that. It's just been a long time, and I…"
Katsumoto cut him off. His voice was level and unconcerned. "You are worried about Omura's imperial army. This is nothing to worry about."
"Yes, but I helped train them." Algren continued. "Who knows what could have happened while I was in the village…"
Katsumoto nodded in understanding. "This is true, but it is still nothing for you to worry about. If Omura wishes his army to attack us, then they will attack. However, this is the emperor's choice…"
Defeated, Algren nodded, permitting his horse to slow and fall back to where he was before his talk with Katsumoto. On one side of him was his silent companion Bob. On the other side was Ujio.
Ujio was a proud samurai who Algren was pretty sure had it in for him in the beginning, but he found that the huge amount of respect that Ujio demanded could not be denied of him. Ujio had taught him the way of the Japanese sword, and Algren respected him for that, and for his undying commitment to Katsumoto and bushido.
Algren sighed. Then, there was Nobutada. Nobutada was Katsumoto's son, and quite possibly the youngest samurai in the group. Algren had learned that Nobutada was an expert with a bow, and that he, although not as old as some of the others, was very committed to his cause. Algren liked him as well.
He nearly jumped. Ujio was speaking to him. "Yes?"
"You would fight with the white men against us?" Curiosity shone in his eyes.
Algren frowned, and he took a deep breath. "I would not." He admitted. "I could not."
Ujio nodded. This simple answer seemed to be all that he was looking for, because he soon sped up to join Katsumoto near the front of the group.
I helped train the Imperial Army. I will do no more than that. Algren thought to himself. They cannot make me fight these people. They won't make me fight them. They probably think I'm dead anyway. Maybe that is best?
After a while, Algren could see the booming city of Tokyo looming before them. It wasn't too long after that when he began to hear the screaming. It nearly startled him. They were just approaching the mouth of the city, and yet there were already people running as if they were going to attack it.
Still, Algren noticed, there were many who parted, clearing the streets, and bowed for the warriors on horseback. Whatever their reaction, it didn't seem to phase Katsumoto. He stayed atop his horse, his expression unchanging. Algren rode up to meet him yet again. They were almost to the area of the city where the two would have to say their goodbyes.
"Katsumoto, what is your business in Tokyo?" Algren wondered out loud.
"I am here to speak in front of the Council. After that, I have no further agenda."
"I see," Algren nodded. "And you will return to the mountains?"
Katsumoto looked like he was thinking it over. "Yes. I have no need to stay here other than to speak with the emperor." Katsumoto quieted, staring intently at Algren. The group stopped, and Algren, albeit reluctantly, got off of his horse. Katsumoto nodded to him, and continued on.
"Captain!" It was Mr. Graham. "You're alive!"
"And well…" Algren couldn't help but add under his breath.
"You should see the camp…" Mr. Graham frowned. "A lot has happened while you were in captivity."
"I'd hardly call it that," smirked Algren as they came upon the embankment from which they could look down onto the camp. His eyes widened. "Howitzers…"
"My God! So it's true! You never cease to amaze me, Captain."
Algren looked over to meet the eyes of Colonel Bagley. He wished nothing more than to rip the Colonel's smug little head from his shoulders, but he held back the impulse.
"Omura would like to speak with you…"
This was the icing on Algren's proverbial cake. First, he was put back here. Now, Omura would no doubt want him to play tattletale on his new samurai friends.
"It seems that you have endured your captivity with little ill-effect, Captain?" Omura smirked.
"I was not ill treated." Algren growled back.
He was right. Omura wanted to know about Katsumoto, how many men he had, did he have firearms…? His questions were endless, and Algren would not answer them.
"You will lead my army against Katsumoto."
"No. My contract was to train your army. I've done that."
"Then we will make a new contract…"
The meeting did not go well. Algren stormed out of the building. Outside, Mr. Simon Graham was waiting for him. The plump man got on Algren's nerves, but he was one of the only English 'friends' he had. "I've been looking all over for you! The political community is abuzz. Katsumoto has been arrested. Omura won't let him last the night…and he's passed laws against the samurai…."
They rounded a corner, and Algren's eyes widened. Nobutada was standing in the center of a group of Imperial soldiers. He jumped.
"Oh, my god…it's already started…." Mr. Graham whispered.
Algren ran forward. The men had Nobutada surrounded. Their guns were drawn. "Stop! Lower your weapons!" he commanded. "Lowed your weapons!"
Hi commands did nothing but to bring him into the conflict. Nobutada drew reached for his sword. Algren gasped. "No! No…" He couldn't even think how quickly they would be killed if Nobutada drew his sword.
Defeated, Nobutada took his hand away. Head down, the Imperial solders approached him. Algren frowned, looking away as Nobutada was forced to his knees. Nobutada screamed I protest as the Imperial soldiers sloppily sliced off his topknot.
Mr. Graham gasped in shock. "Oh, my god…what have they done?" he whispered. "This isn't right…"
Algren helped Nobutada up, and the two began to walk towards Katsumoto's Tokyo home.
"Are you sure you're all right?" Algren whispered. "I'm sorry about this, Nobutada. I knew about the army. I had no clue that anything would come to this…"
Nobutada nodded in agreement. "This is not your fault, Algren…" he sighed. "I now understand the reason my father prefers my village to this city. There are too many people here who are willing to try and steal your dignity out from under you. My father was right. Everything is changing too fast."
Algren frowned as they looked down to Katsumoto's house. "Guards? What happened?" he wondered. "You think you could get to him and avoid the guards at the same time?"
Nobutada glared at all the men. "We have to help him get out of there."
"We will…" nodded Algren. "Don't go near the house. I'll be back."
"Where are you going?"
"To find Mr. Graham. I think I have an idea. Go get Ujio and Bob…"
Nobutada nodded and took off in the opposite direction.
A/N: You guys see what I mean about the parts in between the movie shots? Anyway, please review:D