"Is everything in place, Doctor Griffith?"
Griffith nodded, gazing out at the large laboratory that was currently being used to bring Saki to life. "Yes, Doctor Bristow. The machine is completely prepped and ready. We can start anytime."
"Excellent," Bristow declared. "Let's bring this angel to life."
Griffith looked to his side, noticing two Angel Hearts that were situated in tubes, one of them slightly larger than the other.
"Um, Doctor Bristow, which of those two Angel Hearts will we be using?" Griffith asked.
"The larger one will be of use to us this time around," Bristow answered.
"'This time around'? Something like this has happened before?"
"That fool Dr. Walski used a smaller Angel Heart for Saki long ago. We will not make the same mistake. Saki will need every ounce of power she can muster if she is going to destroy the Kurumi prototype," Bristow explained, walking up with the larger Angel Heart. He placed it on Saki's bare chest, and the heart absorbed itself into her body.
Griffith nodded. "I understand."
Bristow walked up to the power switch of the giant machine that the currently-nude Saki was hooked up to. "Let's get this show started."
No more needed to be said as Bristow flipped the switch and sent electrical currents charging into Saki's body.
A few seconds later, one of Neo Academia's researchers burst into the laboratory, looking like he was about to have a panic attack.
Bristow didn't even get a chance to ask what was wrong, and was beaten to the punch by the researcher. "Doctor Bristow, Aqua has escaped!"
"WHAT?" Bristow shouted. "How did she free herself from those restraints?"
"There was a bug in the systems," the researcher answered. "Amagi must have planted it there before she left! The containment systems just went offline! We tried our best to stop Aqua and reconfine her, but..."
"Don't worry about that," Bristow growled. "Just find Aqua before she can cause anymore damage!"
(Footage: The camera zooms in on Future Star High School, where Nick can be seen looking up at the sky. He notices the camera and smiles.)
Powerful mirakuru ima kuru
Hajikeru magical wonderful
(It's powerful, it's miraculous and it's right here
It's bursting open, it's magical and it's wonderful!)
(Footage: Kurumi jumps in from off-camera, glomping Nick and smiling brightly. A second later, Saki steps on camera, clutching Nick's left arm happily. A second after that, Karinka flies in on her built-in wings, throwing a punch towards the camera and grinning mischievously.)
Lyrical comical koi suru torokeru mi-ra-ku-ru-mi!
(It's lyrical, comical and enhanced with love... Look, it's Kurumi!)
(Footage: Nick blushes brightly at his contact with the Angels, and then they all look up to the sky, where the silhouette of an immense warship can be seen in the background. Across the scene, the title card forms, which reads Kotetsu Tenshi Kurumi: Fushigi no Kiyomeru, which roughly translates to "Steel Angel Kurumi: Mystery of the Purifiers".)
Kiss kara hajimaru miracle datte aru yo ne (aru yo ne)
(This is a miracle that started with a kiss, isn't it? (isn't it?))
(Footage: Kurumi can be seen walking across the bay area. As she walks, her clothes change with each step, from a school uniform to her pajamas to her maid uniform to her athletic gear.)
Ame demo hare demo anata ga iru kara itsumo zunzun ikeru yo
(Whether rain or shine, wherever you go, I will always go with you!)
(Footage: Saki, in a gym uniform, leaps to intercept a volleyball serve. When she lands, the rest of her team starts cheering. She puts her hand on the back of her head and blushes madly.)
Tsubasa no haeteru tenshi ni natte tondara (tondara)
(Even if you grow your angel wings and fly away... (fly away))
(Footage: Karinka, dressed in a karate outfit, throws a few punches at air before lashing out with a powerful flying kick that sends the practice dummy flying off screen. She smiles and gives a thumbs-up to the camera.)
Ginga no kanata no kirameku chaperu de
wedding-bell narasu no
(I would go to your glittering chapel at the other end of the galaxy...
To ring your wedding bells!)
(Footage: Nick swings his kendo stick a few times before being glomped by his two sisters. Nick pats them both on the head as their mother smiles from the background.)
Shimpai shinai ki ni shinai naku no wa ureshii toki da yo
(No need to worry, no need to fret, you'll cry for joy once again...)
(Footage: Kurumi runs through the city, Nick latched onto her back. Eventually, Kurumi stops and looks up towards a nearby skyscraper, gasping in surprise.)
Mamotte ageru watashi no mune de kyuuin!-tte dakishimete ageru
(I'll protect you and say, "Kyuuin!" as I hold you to my chest)
(Footage: The camera pans up to said skyscraper, where a mysterious blonde figure is standing, poised and ready to strike. Kurumi hugs Nick close to her as the figure charges for Kurumi. We see quick flashes of Nick and the Angels during the short instrumental break.)
Powerful mirakuru ima kuru
Hajikeru magical wonderful
(It's powerful, it's miraculous and it's right here
It's bursting open, it's magical and it's wonderful!)
(Footage: Nick races to grab his parents' ceremonial sword, and takes it just in time to block an attack from a shadowed figure. Nick slashes at the figure while his mother and sisters rush to the basement. Nick takes a good look at the figure and gasps in shock.)
Lyrical comical koi suru torokeru mi-ra-ku-ru-mi!
(It's lyrical, comical and enhanced with love... Look, it's Kurumi!)
(Footage: Kurumi lashes out with a spinning kick that scatters the agents surrounding her. After a bit, she notices her sisters fighting off other agents and rushes off to join the battle.)
(Look, it's Kurumi!)
(Footage: Nick hops in and slashes at the agents with his ceremonial sword, forcing the agents to retreat. As the sequence ends, Nick and the Angels strike poses. On the very last note of the song, Kurumi hugs Nick, who can only smile.)
(Does one believe in destiny? One's belief can shape their destiny into anything they wish.)
S.P.D. Gold Ranger presents...
Steel Angel Kurumi: Mystery of the Purifiers
Story Created: March 7th, 2012
This Chapter: June 14th, 2012
Rated: T for Teen (for intimate scenes, sometimes intense violence, some harsh language, and Kurumi's general "bounciness")
Summary: They say third time's the charm. In the modern world, circa year 2012, the powerful Steel Angel Kurumi is awakened once more. Unlike the time when Nako Kagura had been Kurumi's master, the world now desperately needs the Steel Angels to prevent a disaster of unbelievable proportions. Nick Kelly, Kurumi's new master, is unwittingly dragged into a plot by the mysterious Neo Academia to use the Steel Angels to rule the world. The Mayans' prediction of 2012 being the end of the world may have been false, but Neo Academia's plot will indeed bring about a disastrous end to the world if left unchecked. Now, Nick and the Angels must get to the bottom of the mystery and save the world they hold dear...
Today's Episode: With a real problem now on their hands, Nick and Kurumi continue searching Miyagi for Doctor Amagi, not knowing she's already about to meet her fate. But amidst the panic at Neo Academia caused by Aqua's escape, Nick and Kurumi must now deal with another rampaging Steel Angel, and this one happens to be Kurumi's younger sister!
Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Steel Angel Kurumi or its numerous spinoffs-slash-sidestories. That belongs to Pony Canyon and its subsidiaries. My character Nick Kelly IS mine, so no using him unless you have my permission.
Episode 3: Cold Hands, Cold Heart, and Warm Eyes! Come Out and Play, Steel Angel Saki!
"DOCTOR AMAGI?" Kurumi shouted, her voice echoing a generous distance. "WHERE ARE YOU?"
"I honestly don't think we're going to find her that way, Kurumi-chan," Nick answered. "I don't know what Hina did with the doctor while I was out of it. For all we know, they could have taken her back to their base."
"Oh, that SUCKS!" Kurumi groaned. "We really need to find her if we're going to find the bad guys' base, right, master?"
"Pretty much," Nick responded. "Without her help, we're out of luck."
"Well, then what are we supposed to do?" Kurumi asked. "If there's nothing left for us here, do you think we should head for the train and move on?"
Nick thought for a few seconds. "Actually, there's somewhere I want to go first."
"Anywhere, master. Just name it," Kurumi stated.
"Oh, good god," Bristow gasped when he saw the carnage in the containment laboratory. The walls and ceiling were caked with still-fresh blood and various mangled bodies were strewn all across the floor, from some only missing one appendage to others who were no longer recognizable. Just ahead was a large reinforced glass column with a rather large hole in it, no doubt where Aqua had made her escape.
"I tried my best, Doctor Bristow, but we were simply no match for Aqua's destructive power," the researcher continued, babbling on and on as if he was about to have a stroke. Having witnessed Aqua's rampage upon her breakout, it was clearly affecting his mind.
"You can see why we rarely ever call on Aqua for anything related to our Steel Angels," Bristow explained. "With all the power she possesses, and no obedience circuits hooked up to her, Aqua is both our pride and joy, and the single biggest threat to our plans. We must find her immediately and recontain her. That is our top priority as of this moment."
"But, sir, what of Kurumi?" Griffith asked.
"Saki will take care of her," Bristow noted. "Aqua is capable of unlimited destructive power, and therefore, it is imperative that we contain her again at all costs."
Nick finally stopped at the base of a building that hadn't been reconstructed, clearly another casualty of the Tohoku earthquakes.
"Master, where is this?" Kurumi asked.
"This was where my dad used to work," Nick answered. "He was killed here when the earthquakes struck the city. I figured that as long as I'm here, I should come and pay my respects."
Kurumi nodded, scooting closer to Nick as he put his hands together in prayer.
"Hey, dad," Nick proclaimed to nobody in particular. "It's been a while, hasn't it? I'm sorry to say that mom's gone, too. But I guess that means you can see her up in heaven. Knowing you, you'll probably want to go to a seventies eatery like you did on your first date. Why? Because that's just like you, dad. I don't know if you know this, but I made a new friend. Her name's Kurumi, and she's definitely something else. Kurumi-chan and I, we're on a mission. The bastards who killed mom are up to something, and I'm going to find out what if it's the last thing I ever do. You guys won't be able to rest in peace until they're wiped off the face of this planet. So, since I don't know how long it'll be before I can talk to you again, I just wanted to let you know that I really miss you, dad. I guess... I'll see you when I see you, huh?"
Kurumi glanced at Nick, noticing that a few tears were falling from his chocolate-brown eyes. "Master, what's wrong?"
"...I don't know... I miss them so much, Kurumi-chan... Why do assholes like them take pleasure in slaughtering people just because they're in their way? The worst thing about it is... I'm just a normal boy... I don't have any mystic abilities like my grandparents did... and I think that's what sucks the most, Kurumi-chan, knowing you've suffered so much and not being able to do a goddamn thing to change it..."
But before Nick could burst into a crying fit, he felt himself being turned around until he was staring eye-to-eye with Kurumi. Just like when she'd been awakened, Kurumi's bright blue eyes met with Nick's soft brown eyes. Kurumi wasted no time in wrapping her arms around Nick's waist and hugging him, holding him very close to her.
"Master... you don't have to beat yourself up over it," Kurumi stated, rubbing Nick's back softly to comfort him. "Not everyone has the power to change the world, but the master I know wouldn't cut himself down like that. Master, I don't know if you know this, but there was this time a long time ago when I had given up all hope... I was pretty sure I was finished, but I pulled through. I remember this phrase my first master taught me before we were separated. He said 'Courage is the magic that turns dreams into reality'. That really stuck with me. Master, you shouldn't be so down on yourself just because you believe you don't have the power to change anything. Everyone has that power, even if they have to work for it. We're going to fix this one way or another. I promise you that, master."
Nick felt a sudden warmth welling up inside of him after Kurumi's speech. Unable to resist anymore, Nick settled down and returned Kurumi's hug.
"Kurumi-chan... thank you so much..."
Kurumi couldn't help leaning forward and pecking Nick on the cheek. "Anytime, master."
A loud cracking sound quickly caught Kurumi's attention. Gazing upwards towards where she'd heard the sound, Kurumi gasped in shock. A piece of the building was falling straight for them.
"Master, look out!" Kurumi shouted, shoving Nick away from the falling projectile and lashing upwards with a powerful uppercut when the block got close enough, shattering it into two pieces that fell to either side of the pink-haired Steel Angel.
"This area's getting unstable, isn't it? We'd better hightail it out of here, master!" Kurumi exclaimed.
"Oh, why would you want to miss the fun?"
Nick spun around and noticed someone very strange standing there.
This new arrival, obviously a female, was quite pretty, though she seemed to resemble the daughter of Frankenstein's monster what with all the scars running across her body. She was mostly naked, save for a set of bright blue lingerie covering her. The strange girl had long, flowing turquoise hair with kind of offset her perceived image.
"All right, and who the hell are you?" Nick shouted.
"Ouch," the girl groaned. "Is that really any way to talk to a pretty lady?"
Nick tensed up, not sure who this crazy lady was, but ready to fight if he needed to.
"I kinda thought you two would like to have some fun with me, but I guess you're not in any mood to play, are you?" the girl giggled.
"Look, girl, why don't you try making sense?" Nick growled, in no mood to be playing around.
"It's actually quite simple, really," the girl replied.
Just then, the immediate area was filled with the blaring sounds of police sirens as a bunch of cops arrived on the scene, all training their guns and weapons on the new girl.
"All right, Aqua, hands up!" one of the officers shouted. "There's nowhere left for you to run! We have you completely surrounded!"
Aqua huffed, visibly annoyed. "Look, I told you that I'm not playing with the likes of you! You're mean and stupid!"
"This is your last warning, Aqua!" the officer growled. "Put your hands up or we will shoot!"
"Oh, that does it," Aqua growled, spreading her hands out. "I guess we're doing this the hard way, huh?"
Aqua closed her eyes and concentrated. A couple seconds later, just as the officers were preparing to open fire, a column of light surrounded all of the officers and their vehicles. Before either Nick or Kurumi had a chance to ask, the column unleashed hundreds upon hundreds of light beams that shot into the sky. Everyone and everything trapped in the vortex of light was instantly and brutally ripped to pieces.
When the light cleared, all of the officers were clearly dead, mutilated beyond recognition. The vehicles were nothing more than broken husks of machinery, shattered and destroyed.
Nick and Kurumi, to put it simply, were in shock. Neither of them had ever seen such destructive power before.
Aqua gazed back at Nick and Kurumi, honestly surprised at their shocked expressions. "What? I told them hours ago to stop chasing me and they wouldn't listen. So what if I broke into a jewelry store? Can't a girl have a little fun?"
"Um..." Kurumi asked. There wasn't really much she could say to what she had just seen.
Aqua perked up when she got a good look at Kurumi. "Hey, wait a second. Aren't you..."
Now quite curious, Aqua started walking towards Kurumi, studying the pink-haired Steel Angel for a few seconds. After a bit, Aqua squealed happily.
"Oh, my god, you ARE!" Aqua exclaimed, dashing forward to hug Kurumi. "You're Ayanakouji's greatest masterpiece, the only Steel Angel with a Mark II Heart! I never thought I'd get to meet you!"
"Uh, how do you know all of that?" Kurumi asked. "I'm seriously lost here."
"Duh, silly! I'm a Steel Angel like you!" Aqua giggled. "I've heard so much about you!"
Before Aqua could explain any more, she looked over to one of the nearby buildings. "Oh, crap, they're here!"
Aqua turned back to Nick and Kurumi. "Look, if you see any of those stupid scientists, you didn't see me, okay? I do NOT want to go back to that place. It was stinky and cramped in there."
Nick and Kurumi just nodded, still at a loss for words.
"Aw, thanks, you guys! You two are the best!" Aqua squealed. She ran up to Nick and Kurumi, kissing them both on the cheek before leaping into the air, eventually disappearing from sight.
"Um... master, do you have any idea what just happened?" Kurumi tentatively asked.
"No freakin' clue," Nick responded. "We should probably get out of here. I don't think the doctor's here anymore."
Kurumi nodded, realizing that Nick was right. Mia's captors had probably already taken her back to Neo Academia's base for god only knew what.
"All right, master. Let's keep going," Kurumi replied.
"Damn it, we just about had her!" Bristow growled, slamming his clenched fist down onto his desk. "Why does Aqua not have obedience circuits installed?"
"Um... we tried to install them the last time we recaptured her, but... the way she was created... doesn't allow them to be installed..." a researcher responded, being one of the main researchers behind Aqua's creation.
"Ugh... I always questioned that order..." Bristow noted. "That bitch has been nothing but trouble since we created her... I'm surprised we even managed to keep her under control for Operation Wavelength..."
The researcher perked up. "Operation... Wavelength? That was Aqua's doing?"
Before Bristow could elaborate, Griffith burst into the room.
"What news do you have, Griffith?" Bristow asked.
"Sir, Saki is fully functional," Griffith answered. As soon as the words left Griffith's mouth, a girl walked into the room behind him. She had shoulder-length brown hair, dull red eyes, and was wearing a blue and white maid outfit.
"It's been a while, hasn't it, Saki?" Bristow sneered evilly. "You know what to do."
Saki just nodded. "As always."
"So, master, where's our next destination?" Kurumi asked as she and Nick returned to the Tohoku Shinkansen Sendai Station, ready to hop on the train and cruise to the next part of their adventure.
"As I thank god for the train pass dad gave me last year, take a look at this, Kurumi-chan," Nick answered, showing Kurumi a piece of paper with various random notes scribbled on it.
"It's a notepad?" Kurumi asked.
"There's locations in this chicken scratch," Nick explained. "I found this on the ground after we defeated Hina. I bet it was left by the doctor, because it's got short-hand details about Neo Academia installations across the country. Whatever it is they're planning, it's BIG if they need this many bases to cover their tracks."
"So if these are the locations for the bad guy's hideouts, which one are we going to go look for first?" Kurumi wondered as the two of them sat down.
"This one," Nick replied, pointing to the spot on the paper with the words 'Kurihara, Miyagi' scribbled on it. "The closest of their hideouts is here in Kurihara. I figure since it's on the way to Aomori, we could go there first and see if we can find out anything about what this big world-destroying project of theirs is."
Just then, something broke through the window just behind Nick and grabbed him by the back of his shirt collar.
"Hey, what the...?" was all Nick could get out before being yanked through the broken window.
"MASTER!" Kurumi exclaimed, immediately hopping through the same window and grabbing the nearby edge to hoist herself up to the roof of the rapidly-moving train.
"All right, who's got the nerve?" Kurumi shouted, only to stop when she noticed who was standing a few feet away from her.
Saki was staring Kurumi down, holding the struggling Nick very close to the edge of the train, making it quite clear that if she let go, it wouldn't be pretty.
"S-Saki?" Kurumi gasped, easily recognizing the face of her younger sister, those dull red eyes a clear reminder of a similar incident long ago.
"It's been a long time, Kurumi," Saki droned, her voice monotone and mocking. "How odd that I'd find you here."
"Saki, don't do this again," Kurumi replied. "You don't have to listen to those big dopes."
Saki just smirked. "I'll listen to you when you're dead."
Kurumi huffed and prepared to charge. Many decades ago, Nakahito had forbidden her to fight because of the incident with the bullies, and this had slowed her down in her fight with Saki. This time, however, Kurumi knew what was really going on and was ready.
But the pink-haired Steel Angel stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Saki loosen her grip on Nick's shirt.
"You... you wouldn't," Kurumi growled.
"Oh, but I would," Saki shot back. "You take even one more step and the little boy goes on a long drop to a short end. And you wouldn't want him spattered all over the tracks, would you?"
"Wake up, Saki," Kurumi demanded. "This isn't you."
Saki said nothing, still dangling Nick precariously over the edge of the moving train. Kurumi and Saki stood there for an unknown length of time, locked in a silent battle of wills and attempting to get the other to crumble first.
"You know, you're forgetting something that one of my classmates told me," Nick quipped, trying to act brave despite the fact that Saki had him dangling over what could be his death.
"I'd suggest you keep your mouth shut if you don't want me to 'accidentally' drop you," Saki proclaimed.
"This is something you need to hear, though," Nick replied as he began to draw his foot back. "Have you ever heard the saying 'keep your friends close and your enemies closer'?"
Not wasting any time, Nick lashed out and slammed his knee into Saki's chest, causing her to stumble back enough so Nick could deliver a chop to the hand holding him up and allow him to drop safely back onto the roof of the train.
"Oh, very clever," Saki growled. "We'll see how clever you are after this!"
With that, Saki charged forward, unencumbered by the velocity of the train. Nick and Kurumi steadied themselves for the oncoming attack.
But just as Saki was about to thrust her palm forward and make mincemeat of the two, she stopped cold, her entire body twitching. After about a second, she fell flat to the roof of the train, her eyes closed.
Nick stayed tense, not understanding that this had happened before.
Kurumi, on the other hand, looked extremely relieved, walking up to the collapsed Saki and gently picking her up like a princess would.
"Um, Kurumi-chan, why are you carrying the girl who just tried to kill us?" Nick asked.
"She's my sister," Kurumi answered. "This has pretty much happened before. I think those jerks at Neo Academia didn't activate her like a Steel Angel NEEDS to be activated, and that's why she was fighting us like that. I think the way I described it was 'fighting in her sleep', basically. And I think I know how to get her to wake up for real."
Kurumi gazed down at her sleeping sister. "Time to wake up, Saki-chan."
The pink-haired Steel Angel cradled Saki in her arms and leaned down to plant her lips on those of her sister. As Kurumi kissed Saki, Kurumi could feel her Mark II Heart feeding life energy into Saki, just like before.
When it ended, Kurumi waited as Saki's eyes opened, now their natural shade of glittering brown instead of the dull red that she had while "fighting in her sleep".
"Well, good morning, sleepyhead," Kurumi giggled.
"K-Kurumi?" Saki asked, her voice now soft and gentle. "What... what happened?"
"The bad guys made you fight in your sleep again," Kurumi explained.
"No wonder I had such a nightmare... I'm just glad you're okay, Kurumi," Saki responded, throwing herself at Kurumi and hugging her tightly.
Kurumi looked at Nick and smiled. Nick couldn't help but laugh a bit at how cute the two Steel Angels looked.
"Now for a proper introduction... master, this is my sister Saki," Kurumi stated, gesturing to her sister.
"Nice to meet you," Saki replied, bowing politely to Nick. "And... I'm sorry I attacked you..."
Nick walked up and affectionately ruffled Saki's hair. "It's okay, silly. You weren't yourself. Lord only knows how many times that's happened to me."
"I just realized that we may have a problem," Kurumi gasped. "Now that Saki-chan's with us, those Neo Academia peoples are probably going to send even more of their goons after us."
"I guess we'll just have to fight that much harder," Nick noted. "I never thought I'd be thrust into a situation like this, but as it stands now, we're the only ones who can stop whatever they're planning."
"Well, I've got your back," Saki replied, clinging affectionately to Kurumi's arm.
"So do I, master!" Kurumi exclaimed.
Nick looked down and saw one of the train's passengers poking his head out through the broken window. "Is... is everything okay up here?"
"Oh, peachy!" Kurumi giggled. "We just had to settle something up here."
Nick smiled as he began to climb down the side of the train so they could all slip through the broken window.
I think I'm really starting to enjoy their company, Nick thought. Lord knows I didn't have that many friends in school...
"This is unbelievable," Bristow growled, pacing back and forth across the room. Just on the other side of the room, Doctor Miyako "Mia" Amagi was strapped to a strange-looking machine, struggling to free herself to no avail.
"First Aqua breaks out, and now those brats somehow converted Saki back to their side! How can this day get any worse?" Bristow shouted.
"Oh, I wouldn't say that if I were you!" Mia shot back. "Kurumi and her master know where you are, and they'll be here soon to shut your operation down!"
"I would shut your trap if I were you," Bristow snapped. "The only reason you're still alive is because you have information that could disrupt our plans."
I hope he doesn't figure out that I don't actually have the hideout locations, Mia thought. I left it for Kurumi and that boy when Hina took me away...
"You're wasting your time, doctor," a new voice cut in.
"What the...?" Bristow gasped, turning around to see Steel Angel Naoko standing there with a cocky grin on her face. "Naoko, what are you doing here, you traitorous bitch?"
"Oh, I'm the traitor?" Naoko growled. "What about your little pet with the blue hair?"
"Don't start with me, Naoko," Bristow reprimanded. "I'm already having a bad day as it is. First, I'm stuck interrogating this little doctor girl who just will not cooperate, and..."
Naoko just waved Bristow off, sauntering up to the restrained Mia. "Well, if it isn't the doctor. How goes the business of ruining all of my plans?"
"I have nothing to say to you," Mia growled.
"Oh, yeah?" Naoko sneered, raising her right hand. "Well, then, neither do I."
Bristow couldn't get his protest out in time. Naoko clenched her fist tightly and, much like she had done to Hina, slammed it right through Mia's chest, causing a spray of blood to cover the machine behind her. Mia's gasp of shock quickly deteriorated into disturbing sounds as she felt her life slip away. Naoko harshly retracted her fist, and the doctor fell limp, the hole Naoko had punched in her easily visible.
"Naoko, you did NOT just do what I think you did," Bristow growled, looking like he was going to explode into an uncontrollable rage at any second.
"I don't see the point," Naoko shot back. "She didn't have the information you were looking for, anyway. Why keep her alive if she's that much of a pain in the ass? So, I basically rectified that problem for you. And that's the last favor I'm doing for you."
Before Bristow could protest, Naoko leapt into the air, hopping across various machines and girders to make her exit.
Bristow stood there, silently seething, as Griffith entered the lab. "Sir, the reports are in, and..."
Griffith took in the scene before him, noticing his commander's rage and the dead body of Mia, and decided to back away.
"Maybe this isn't the best time, sir?"
"I need some time to myself, Griffith."
akaku nijimu taiyou wa subete o
(This crimson sunset stained in red...)
(Footage: Nick walks by the ocean as the sun sets on the city of Kyoto. He has a melancholy expression on his face.)
terashite kita ima mo mukashi mo
(...has illuminated both the present and the past)
(Footage: As Nick continues to walk, Kurumi peeks out from behind a tree, giving hand signals to someone far away. It's quickly revealed that she is signaling to Saki, who gives her a thumbs up before rushing off.)
kono yuuyami ni egaiteru souzou wa
(Is what I imagined, stuck within the twilight...)
(Footage: Karinka flies just above Nick, scanning the boy as he continues to walk. Nick looks up, but Karinka isn't there anymore. The camera pans down to reveal that Karinka is now flying close to the concrete walls of the bridge so as not to be seen.)
hatashite kono te ni oenai mono na no ka?
(...more than my own hands could accomplish?)
(Footage: Karinka flies up, waving to Kurumi. The pink-haired Steel Angel nods and starts hopping from building to building, a bright and vibrant smile on her face.)
motto ima ijou ni hadaka ni natte
ikite yuku jutsu oshiete yo
(Please teach me how to live
A little more vulnerable than I am now)
(Footage: As Nick passes the bridge and enters the park, Hisako and Sayoko start circling him, obviously happy to see him. As they do this, Kaitou sneaks up behind Nick, only to take a palm strike from Satsuki and get sent flying off-screen. Satsuki waves to Nick as he continues walking.)
honno sukoshi dake watashi o yogoshite
(Would it be okay if you tainted me, just a little?)
(Footage: Nick looks back at his friends, smiling a bit before turning back to his walk. After a bit, he stops in surprise at what is ahead of him.)
sou yatte hitori kizutsuitari
mawari o nakushita to shite mo
(This way, even if I get hurt
and lose everything I ever had...)
(Footage: Just ahead of him, Saki and Karinka can be seen smiling brightly at Nick. He looks a little confused. Saki giggles, while Karinka just shakes her head.)
shinjitsu no uta wa kono mune ni nagare
(This song of truth will flow through my heart)
(Footage: Saki and Karinka step to the side to reveal Kurumi, who is holding a bouquet of roses. Kurumi walks up to Nick, handing him the roses. As Nick takes them, he notices a note attached to the stems.)
shinjitsu no uta o michishirube ni shite
(This song of truth will be my guide)
(Footage: Nick opens the note, which reads "You will always be my special person. ~Kurumi". Nick smiles again, handing off the roses to Saki so he can lean forward and give Kurumi a hug as the sequence ends.)
On the next episode...
Kurumi: And we're off! YAY!
Saki: So, where are we going?
Nick: Well, on the next episode, we're heading to the city of Kurihara to check out some of the information that Doctor Amagi left us. But once we get there, we find some very interesting ancient ruins.
Kurumi: Hey, master? Where'd you go? MASTER?
Nick: Oh, this isn't good.
Saki: Where did Kurumi go all of a sudden?
Nick: Something is seriously not right about these ruins, and considering I took a bad hit earlier, and the fact that Saki and I are stuck here with seemingly no way out, this could spell disaster...
Saki: Even if Kurumi is the one I love, I won't let you do this alone!
Nick: Thanks, Saki-chan. It's nice to know someone's looking out for me. Next time on Steel Angel Kurumi: Mystery of the Purifiers, "The Angels in Dire Peril! A Long, Strange Night in the Kurihara Ruins!"
Saki: Now that I think about it, Nick and I may as well be siblings... that sounds pretty nice...