A Rising Tide

The room was pitch black, save for the small light that was on the ceiling which sent a dim beam down upon a table where sat thirteen men, all in suits, with their faces covered in shadow and shrouds. The man at the head of the table, larger and broader then the others, sat with his hands folded, silent.

"What news of the western division? Will they be ready by the scheduled time?" One man, bald and aging asked firmly.

"It would seem so. Ever since the new lieutenants were sent to maintain order, the problems have been minimized. We're back on schedule, for now.

"These things do not concern me." The larger man at the head of the table spoke. All of the other men turned to look at him, stunned slightly, reaching for their ever tightening ties. "What of our strike to recover the technology?" No one spoke after he finished. Everyone looked at each other, nervously,

"W-well.." spoke a man at the opposite end of the table. "It seems that the operative you requested to send failed to recover either the maverick android or the doctor's brain. The whereabouts of the escaped machine are unknown at this time, but our best agents are working on locating it, now."

"Kuffs, you are as redundant as you are boring. Perhaps you would like to see failure in it's form?" Kuffs, a man of around fifty years of age, was now shaking with uneasiness. Without warning, a hand reached from the impenetrable darkness and wrapped around his aging throat. The hand, dark and cold began to choke off all air to the man's body.

Two red eyes beamed from the darkness just behind where the strangling Kuffs was lifted off his feet and struggling for his life The figure revealed himself a little more as he stepped into the undefined beam of light, carrying the man by his throat, his metal body gleaming slightly in the darkness.

"Ah, Saburo, there you are." The head of the table spoke again in a jovial tone, as if he were welcoming someone to dinner. "Mr. Kuffs here seems to think that you have left us out of luck with your mission. And, as luck would have it, he has proposed that we take you "off line" as he called it, to prevent any betrayal that my organization might incur from your actions. How do you feel about that?"

"Like he should have kept his mouth shut over affairs that weren't his," came the amused, robotic response. "Let me address any concerns that this council may have..." Saburo's mechanical voice began. "First, even though I may have killed the professor, I can assure you that it was all for the best. The senile old bastard would have been much more trouble then he was worth. And, had I recovered his body, I have been alerted that his brain would not have survived a second removal. Mr. Kuff's laid out plan was doomed from the start."

"And what of the escaped Kikaider?" The large man asked half smiling.

"I will track him down and deal with him. If I can't bring him in functional, then I will bring him back in pieces. Do we understand?" Saburo asked. Mr. Kuffs was still kicking and fighting for his life, futile in his efforts. The man's face was now turning a deep shade of purple and his eye began to swell.

"You see, esteemed members of the committee? Everything is well in hand." The large man stood up, revealing he was exceptionally tall and well built, standing well over seven feet. "So I would advise following my associates advice and keeping your opinions to yourselves."

"And what of this one?" Darkider asked, still holding the man with one arm, squeezing the air from his body.

"He's boring... and you know how I hate to be bored." Without another word, Saburo in his robotic Darkider form broke the man's neck with the slightest effort and released his limp body, letting it drop to the floor with a sickening thud. "Meeting adjourned."

Horrified at the death of one of their colleagues, the men around the table scurried away, leaving many of their possessions behind. Eventually, only the man who sat at the head of the table and Darkider were left. Kicking the body of the former Mr. Kuffs aside, Saburo sat down casually, as did the man.

"What do you have to report on your "brother", Saburo? I would hate to have the dead old fool to be right about you."

"Sir, the initial encounter was surprising, I will admit. He was different then how I remembered him, and I did underestimate him. However, he's still the same caring, oblivious fool as before. He won't kill me, and I know where he is going."

"Are you sure?" The man said in a low tone.

"Positive. Now with Komyoji dead, his main concern will be his daughter."

"How can you be so sure of this? Maybe he will avoid her at all costs. After all, the fool believes the farther he stays away the safer those he cares for are.

"He made the connection. He knows the we want anyone with connection to the "Kikaider" technology. The only other person would be Komyoji's daughter. He will seek her out and try to protect her."

"You're a little too confident in that."

"He loves her... While he may think that she is better off without him, he also realized that we want her more. He will go for her and Komyoji's son. He's a fool. He's also sloppy. He'll make a mistake. After all, a man with a guitar, yellow motocycle, and his personality won't be hard to miss." He put his mechanical feet on the table and his hands behind his head. "I'll take him down long before he can reach Mitsuko and Masaru."

"You're getting rather close, using their names like that so casually." The man said.

"About as close as Mr. George Kuffs, here."

"What if you can't get to him? What if he evades you. He's done it before."

"He had help then, and I assure you, even if he does manage to get to the girl... I'll be there to welcome him. I've also stationed and old friend at the only town within 100 miles of the lab where he escaped. He'll have to stop there sooner or later. I'll get him."

"I hope so, Saburo... for your sake." The man said in a deep, firm voice as Darkider began to leave. "remember. I gave you a new body, I recovered you mind, and I gave you a second chance. I would hate to have to make an example of you, just like Mr. Kuff."

"I understand... sir."

"I killed Gil, Big Shadow, and those who opposed my little coup... don't make me eliminate you, as well." Saburo nodded his metal head and left the room. Slowly he walked down the darkened halways and concealed corners.

"Yeah... just wait. Soon, not even you will know what hit you. And my brother is the key to more then just your plans..."