It was so long, Ming Ming had forgotten how much like a maze the way to Zowie's base was. Her heart raced as she ran as fast as her four legs could carry her through the deepest, darkest depths of the Great Cathedral, where she once lived the greatest life a little kitty could have. When Zowie was still around, he gave her as much affection as he possibly could. He even played with her. Even when he had his meetings where he would plan the destruction of Gitaroo Man he would give her little head pats or chin scratches as he talked, it was quite clear she was his only true friend. However, when he got more powerful and started recruiting more if his goons, she felt left out as his power started to grow and grow. Gregorio and Kirah crossed the line with her, and she secretly tried to find ways to get rid of them, however, their loyalty and Zowie's trust in them always made her plans fail. That was one thing she was grateful for Gitaroo Man about; he got Kirah to betray Zowie, leaving her with Gregorio. Unfair seeing as how Gregorio is a very powerful Gravillian next to Kirah? Yes, but it was better than having two very powerful Gravillians for Ming Ming to try and get rid of. It was quite clear that Ming Ming wanted Zowie all to herself and no one else, but right now she was more focused on resurrecting him more than anything.
It was a long way, but she finally got to the top of the Cathedral and saw the elevator that would take her to Zowie's main base where they would have meetings or track down Gitaroo Man's whereabouts. She walked to the doors and as soon as she stepped on the sensor the doors opened, and she ran to them as soon as they did. In the elevator she could see everything, she saw the clay buildings where the slaves once were kept in, now reduced to nothing but rubble. She looked closer and saw the inside of some of these buildings, since she never got a chance to actually go in them. She saw a bed made of stone, and a blanket that looked like it was made out of leather. In another room she saw a cage with chains hung all around it. What made her a little queasy, though, was one room with a bed made out of stone like the last one, but right next to it was a smaller bed made out of the leather usually used for the blankets. There was no mistaking it; that was the prison that a mother and a baby was held in, and it was covered in blood. Ming Ming was about to look away, for she could not take any more of this, when she saw two little figures run to the Great Cathedral and immediately hissed. It was Kirah and Gitaroo Man, and she now wished that she had not injured Gregorio so severely so they could be distracted by his power and rage. When they had made it to the iron gates, she made it to the top of the base, where the doors opened and she was re-introduced to the main headquarters of the Gravillians.
A sense of nostalgia washed over her as she walked into the room and the main screen lit up and gave a map to the entire Planet Gitaroo after greeting her with a large "Z" that took up a good amount of the screen. She jumped up on Zowie's chair, which was now cold from the lack of anyone using it, and used a touch screen that was basically a smaller version of the big screen up above. She touched the screen once and it responded by giving her a long, narrow rectangle with a blinking vertical line at the start of it. It was his search bar. She hopped up on to the controls and started to type with her little paws:
Meanwhile, U-1 and Kirah made it into the Great Cathedral with ease. A small bit of anxiety gave U-1 the chills as he was reminded of the memories of this place and what he had to do to gain access to it. The doors creaked as they opened it, and all three of them walked in with their Gitaroos armed, ready to attack anything that may come close to them.
"How odd...," Kirah said quietly, "normally he would attack right away..."
U-1 was getting suspicious, "Stay behind me," was what he said to the two before he slowly walked further into the Great Cathedral. He was just as nervous as the other two, but he defeated Gregorio once, he could do it again.
He walked a little more, and there was still nothing. He was starting to get a little calm as he thought that maybe, just maybe, Ming Ming did the job for them and defeated Gregorio herself. It was unlikely, though; she probably needed him for help in resurrecting Zowie. He slowly made his way to the middle of the Cathedral where he was greeted with a bright, eye-straining light. Memories came back as he looked into the light. He remembered Gregorio are being the hardest Gravillian he had to defeat because of the fact that the effeminate man's Gitaroo was the Cathedral itself, and that means he could find U-1 no matter where he was hiding.
He soon noticed his breathing was a little fast and his heart felt ready to beat out of his chest. Why was he so nervous? He had been in here before and it all looked the exact same... but something, something felt different.
It was then he smelled the blood.
The heavy, deep, unwelcoming smell entered his nose when he took a few steps closer to the light. 'Why was there blood?' he thought, 'Was there a fight?'
His thoughts were interrupted by a small sound of his foot hitting a little puddle. Looking down, he discovered the crimson fluid underneath his foot. After recoiling said foot in disgust, he found the puddle had a trail that led towards the light he was already moving to. Curiosity overwrote his horror as he followed the blood trail.
"U-1, where are you going?" Puma said with more concern than curiosity. U-1 could not hear him, however; he was too concentrated on following the blood trail to see where it led. Kirah was just as concerned as Puma, looking around herself and U-1 nervously, her Gitaroo ready for anything that may pop out of the darkness. She looked back at the angels that lined the Cathedral and noticed something that made her heart skip a beat.
They were gone.
"No," she said quietly, "no, no, no... U-1... get out of there."
This time, the Gitaroo hero heard her and turned to face her just in time for a pair of heterochromic eyes to stare directly at him.
"What is it, Kirah?"
"U-1, get out of there!"
A pair of hands wrapped around U-1's neck and pinned him down on the floor faster than he could move. The shock caused him to drop his Gitaroo. When he tried reaching for it, the figure's leg kicked it away and pressed his knee on U-1's stomach, using all of his weight so he could barely struggle.
"U-1!" both Puma and Kirah shouted in unison as they started to rush to U-1's side, but they were stopped, surrounded by small cherubs pointing their harmless-looking arrows at them, not uttering a word but making their point clear: they were to stay where they were.
"You...," the thumbs of the hands around U-1's neck curled inwards and dug sharply into his neck, the long nails now acting as little knives, "Who are you to come in here... After all you've done to me! What more do you want from me...! What more could you possibly take away!"
Strands of his white hair tickled U-1's face as he desperately pulled away his hands in futile, "Pu...ma...," he gagged, "Ki...Kira... hel...lp..."
"Oh, they can't help you now~," Gregorio raised his body a little, the light casting shadows on him, amplifying the insaneness of his already mad expression, "It's just you and me, friend. I don't need a Gitaroo to kill you, I got you right where I want you," Gregorio's lips pulled into an unsettling smile, "you have no idea how much I'm looking forward to decorating the Great Cathedral floor with your thick, red, blood!"
Puma could not take any more of this. Without thinking, he dashed over towards the two, ignoring the shots the Angels took at him, and ran right into the pit of Gregorio's stomach, forcing him to let go of U-1. Before the insane maestro could grab the mutt's tail the dog continued to run towards U-1's Gitaroo as fast as he could. If he did not give him his Gitaroo now, there would be a chance where he would revert back to plain old U-1, then he would be truly helpless. Just when he was about to get in front of the Gitaroo, an Angel blocked the way and shot an arrow right in between Puma's eyes, knocking him backwards and the wind out of him.
"Ugh," Puma staggered up and shook his head. When he opened his eyes again he was met with five more Angels aiming their bow and arrows at him, "Kirah!" he called out, "A little help here?"
"I'm a bit busy, too!" the Gitaroo girl replied, fighting back her own set of Angels that decided to attack her.
U-1 got up quickly but gently, his neck stung and he could feel blood running down it. He coughed a couple times and wobbled over to Puma, who was fighting off Angels. He saw his Gitaroo, it was so close and Gregrio's minions were all distracted by Kirah and Puma, he thought that this was the perfect opportunity. He picked up the pace and limped over to his Gitaroo.
"Mama, give me strength," Gregorio muttered under his breath. His hand started to glow a bright violet and he pointed his finger at U-1, causing a thin beam to shoot out of it and hit U-1 right in the back, giving the painful feeling of a thick nail being driven into his back. He stumbled forward and landed on his face, panting. Gregorio, ankle still injured from his last fight, limped up to him and drove the heel of his good foot into the spot where U-1 was hit by the beam, causing him to grit his teeth in agony, tears of pain running down his face.
"Had enough, Gitaroo Man?" he said, shoved his heel more into U-1's back, then smiled as his victim screamed in pain, "Yes... keep making those sounds... It's wonderful inspiration..."
He was so close, he had to get that Gitaroo, but every time he tried lifting himself up Gregorio would just keep him down with the back of his heel, driving it in deeper every time he did so. The man was insane, he did not want the Gitaroo, he did not want world domination, he just wanted U-1 and his friends dead, and if U-1 did not do something soon, Gregorio would soon get his wish. He looked behind him to make sure Kirah was alright, but something suddenly caught his eye. He saw that Gregorio's other ankle was injured and covered in blood, staining his otherwise spotless pants. He smiled a little bit, knowing exactly what he could do to get out from under Gregorio's foot. With one quick, sharp sweep, U-1 kicked Gregorio's leg. The sudden shock of the attack and the utter pain made the albino Gravillian give a sharp yell and fall on his knees. With this opportunity U-1 crawled towards his Gitaroo and finally get a hold of it. He was relieved when he felt the magic of his Gitaroo heal his wounds, especially his back, and he easily stood up.
The other two did not notice Gitaroo Man's success, but they soon did after they saw a purple beam shoot the Angels they were trying to fight. Alarmed, Kirah and Puma turned towards the source of the beam and smiled, "You got it!" Puma exclaimed, "Hurry, U-1, pluck off all of the Angels and finish Gregorio off!"
"Roger," U-1 nodded his head and struck a heavy chord at all of the Angels, reducing them all to stone one by one. Gregorio watched in horror as his Angels, his little servants, his children, reverting back to what they once were, "That should be all of them," U-1 then said, then walked towards Gregorio, glaring.
"...Wait," he said, raising a pale hand as a sign to halt, "I am not the one you want. I'm not the one trying to bring back Lord Zowie... Spare me..."
"What makes you think I want to spare the likes of you?" U-1 growled, "After you tried killing me twice and my friends once... I wanna hear your reason as to why I should not just finish you right here!"
"Because I know where Ming Ming is... The Great Cathedral is a large maze of a palace... If you don't know where you're going, then it may be too late once you finally find your way."
Puma was suspicious, "Why are you helping us...?"
"I am helping you because I hate that awful cat," he spat, "As much as I would love for Lord Zowie to return, I do not want that flea-bitten, mangy cat to be the one reviving him, he deserves someone better to be the one to bring him back."
"Should we trust him?" U-1 whispered to Kirah.
Kirah paused before nodding slightly, "He knows this place more than we do," she whispered back, "He's been in it longer..."
"What about you?"
"Even when I worked for Zowie I had a hard time getting around the place. He isn't kidding when he says it's a maze past the Cathedral point of the Empire. It was built that was to confuse intruders so people who did know their way around it could seize them easier. I say we trust him just this once..."
U-1 reluctantly nodded, then turned to Gregorio, "Alright. Tell us where she is," he demanded.
"Where are you...?" the little black cat said to herself as she searched thoroughly for her master, "I located the exact direction you flew away after that pest Gitaroo Man defeated you, through dumb luck, I may add, and I still can't find you...," she was starting to sound desperate, "come on, Master... Show yourself."
A sudden loud beeping noise made her big ears perk up in surprise, "TARGET SPOTTED. RETRIEVING DATA," were the words that flashed on the large screen.
"Yes... Yes~!" she mewed ecstatically. She thought she would explode in a little puff of happiness when she saw the coordinates track Zowie's Armored Gitaroo. Her joy turned to astonishment when the coordinates finally read where he was.
"No way...," Ming Ming squeaked, "he's on... Earth!"