Forsaken: Part 3 Ho hum. Time for the disclaimer. All character with exception to Paul Sherman belongs to Rumiko Takahashi and Viz Comics.

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"I can't believe you'd healed in three days." Paul was sitting in a scratched up wooden chair next to the bed as Mousse lay there staring at the ceiling while Paul removed Mousse's stitches. All that was left of the knife wound Shampoo inflicted on him was a line one shade lighter than the rest of Mousse's skin. "Are you human, Mousse?"

"Most of the time," replied Mousse. Paul laughed thinking Mousse was joking.

"There," said Paul laying the scissors and cut strands on the nightstand, "you're as good as new." Mousse didn't reply. "You can get up now." Mousse seemed oblivious to Paul's presence and continued to stare up at the ceiling. "You could at least thank me for patching you back up."

"Yeah, thanks for everything. If it wasn't for you, I could have ended my suffering days ago, but now, I can languish in misery."

"I HAD ENOUGH OF YOUR $#! MOUSSE!!!" Paul grabbed a pitcher of ice water the maids left in his hotel room and threw it on Mousse. "NOW GET OUT OF MY ROOM BE..." To Paul Sherman's shock, the young man lying on his bed was now a white duck. The duck was squawking and flapping its wings knocking over the table and everything else in the room. It fled into the bathroom running hot water into the tub, hopped in, and then transformed back into Mousse.

"Wh.. Wha...What in the ni...nine Hells just happened?" Paul stuttered. "How did you do that?"

"Because you splashed me with cold water, old man!" yelled Mousse. "Never do that again. You'd done enough damage as it is." All of a sudden, someone was pounding on their door. Mousse ran over and swung the door open so hard, when it hit the wall, it knocked some of the plaster off. At the door was a short, fat man wearing causal business wear. "GO AWAY!" Mouse barked at the man.

"Not as long as I own this place I won't." The person at the door was the owner of the hotel. Paul hung in his in frustration. "The people in the rooms up and now downstairs, not to mention the ones next door call my office. All of them were saying there was yelling and fighting in your room."

"Well, you see Mr. Hoshi; my friend here has trouble seeing without his glasses. What happen was he hit his arm on the table," Paul snatched Mousse's arm showing him the bruise hoping the man doesn't know the difference, "and he yelled out because...well...that hurts."

"Does your 'friend' also quack like a duck because at least two people said they heard a duck in your room?" Mr. Hoshi poked his head around Sherman and saw feathers scattered all over kicked over furniture and a broken lamp. "Mr. Sherman, take your 'friend' and your duck and get out of my hotel, now!"

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Paul Sherman was eating lunch at one of the McDonald's that opened in recent years in Japan. Paul's clothes were wrinkled; his face unshaved. He reeked of pungent body odor. When he sat down with his order, the person next to him moved over to another seat. Paul stared at his burger looking disinterested in it. He signed and bit into it. Half way through his dinner, he met the last person he wanted to see: Mousse.

"Mr. Sherman, can I talk with you?"

"You think you'd cause me enough problems already? I've been sleeping in my car for four days now. Word got out I was trouble and no one will rent me an apartment. And I've been eating nothing but fast food, and I hate fast food."

"Mr. Sherman, I feel very awful that I cause you so much trouble after everything you done for me. And I would like to make it up..."

"Save it kid. Help likes yours I don't need."

"I have a place of my own just outside of Nermia. You can stay there."

"No thanks. I'll just grid my teeth and bear it for the rest of my stay."

"Please Mr. Sherman, I'm begging you. At least listen to what I have to say."

Paul took a deep breath. "I'm going to regret this; okay, I'm all ears."

"Come on, we'll talk at my place."

"So let me get this straight: you no longer in love with Shampoo and you don't want to kill yourself anymore.

"It's useless to pine over a girl like that," Mousse sighed. "I still have feelings for her, but then I think about what you said. It's pointless to be in one-sided relationship. She never loved me, and that isn't going to change."

"So, my little rescue operation wasn't a total waste of time."

"But what do I live for?"

"Excuse me?"

"I centered my entire life on winning Shampoo's heart. She was my reason for living. Everything I did, I did for her."

"But now that you'd given up on her, there's nothing left for you." Mousse nodded his head. "Which was why you wouldn't give up." Mousse's eyes watered up with a solitary tear running down his cheek."

"I don't have anything now: No mother or father or cousins, nothing, and it's all thanks to that old dried up mummy."

"Hey!"

"I was talking about Cologne."

"Those Amazons don't really like you very much."

"Amazons don't have a high opinion of men. There are a few people that still care, but they can't protect me from the rest of the village if our matriarch declares Ja'Noise Ho."

"But you have people who care about you here. I got it on tape."

"They're nice people, nicer than anyone I knew in my village except for my immediate family, but they're not my friends. We had, let's just say, some disagreements."

"They didn't seem to be too bothered by your disagreements to me."

"They were just feeling sorry for me. Besides, I can't stand being in Nermia, not while Shampoo is there." Mousse slumped his head.

"You're young and you have your whole life ahead of you. Give it some time, and it'll all make sense eventually."

"You know," Mousse looked up at Paul, "I bear my soul to you but I don't know anything about you. And what's this 'Armament' thing about. You're some kind of superhero of something."

"I'm not even a hero, let along 'super'. The term you're looking for is 'vigilante'."

"But how did you get to be a vigilante anyway?"

"I was born in Atlanta during Jim Crow."

"Jim Crow? Is he your father?"

"Jim Crow is segregation. Blacks weren't allowed to use the same restaurants or ride on the same seat or even go to the same bathrooms as whites. When I was growing up, it was all natural to me. We didn't know anything else. But then I joined the Army. It was during the Korean War. The Army wasn't segregated like the rest of the country. For the first time in my life, I saw whites treating blacks like equals. I got a kick out of seeing a black drill sergeant chewing out those white boys. So, when I got out of the Army and it was back to Jim Crow, I wasn't too happy about it. I had a taste of equality and I wasn't going back to being some man's dog. I joined the Civil Rights movement and did it all: sit-ins, marches, protests, and even had a run in with the police now and again." Paul was feeling enthused by the memories surfacing from the sea of time. "It was tough, but we won. Or so I thought. But then, it stopped being safe. Drugs sold in broad daylight, muggings, rape, murder, and no fear of the law. People barred up their windows and lock themselves away becoming prisoners in their own homes. It was like we traded in one taskmaster for another. Jim Crow and the Ku Klux Klan were replaced by street gangs and drugs on the streets." The energy and vigor in Paul's voice was replaced with despair and regret.

"That was when you turned into Armament, right."

"I didn't turn into anything. I'm Paul Sherman, and I always will be. Armament is just my street name. I slipped on a mask and packed my coat with as many non-lethals as possible and hit the street. At first, I was just a rumor. Eventually, the papers caught on and named me Armament. I did the vigilante jig for twenty-five years before I quit."

"Why?"

"Put those damn glasses on Mousse. I'm not getting any younger. Hands aren't as steady; can't keep up with the bad guys on foot; the usual ailments that come with old age."

"Then why take your costume and weapons with you."

"It started a year ago. Someone new was moving in, and they all spoke Japanese."

"Yazuka?"

"I didn't spend a quarter of a century fighting off the scum of the earth for the Japanese Mafia to waltz in and take over. I'm going on the offensive and give them as much grief I can muster up until..."

"Until what?"

"Until they throw me a retirement party! What do you think I mean, Mousse?"

Mousse balled up his fist. "I can't believe this, you old hypocrite."

"Excuse me?"

"You heard me. All that not giving up and killing yourself talk was just that: talk. You're on a suicide mission."

"You're comparing what I'm doing to killing yourself for a girl?" Paul chuckled.

"No, but you are giving up. You should never get into a fight you don't intend on winning. If you don't plan on putting an end to the Yazuka once and for all, you might as well go home."

"Look her you little punk," Paul fumed, "you think I want to do this? I don't have any other choice. I can't beat the Yazuka. Maybe in my younger days and if I had an army at my disposal, but I don't. So I have to make do."

"You have me."

"Oh please."

"I'm a lot more powerful than you even imagine."

"Now looks who trying to be the superhero."

"I can help you, really." Paul Sherman just shook his head. Then Mousse thought of a way to convince him. "There's no way you can stop me from helping you. So you might as well let me join in."

Paul pulled out his gun. "Some people never learn. Look, it's not good for your health if I keep pumping tranquilizers in your system."

"I'm game if you are."

"Have it your way. Good luck on your new life." Paul fired his gun at Mousse's chest, but the tranquilizer dart didn't hit. Paul looked over his gun and pulled back the bolt to see if was jammed.

"Looking for this." Paul Sherman was in awe to see his tranquilizer dart between Mousse's index and middle finger. Mousse let the dart fall to the floor. "Wanna try again?"

Paul emptied the magazine of his gun only to find every single round between Mousse's fingers. "H...h...how?"

"My teacher in the martial arts of hidden weapons and my battles with Ranma has taught me well."

"But I tagged you at the train tracks."

"That was only because I wanted you to hit me, remember?"

"But Shampoo? How did she..."

"Shampoo's no slouch in the martial arts herself, and she took me by surprise too."

"Unbelievable. You must be the baddest man in Japan!"

"No, that title belongs to those old crones, Cologne, and Happosai." Mousse sounded spiteful when he mentioned Happosai and Cologne's name.

"But the Yazuka won't be using tranquilizer darts, they'll be using real bullets and it'll be a small army of them. You can't dodge everything."

"But it takes them forever to draw their guns and take aim. If I can catch your tranquilizer darts, I can beat them on the quick draw. Besides, you survived this long, and you don't have any martial arts training."

"Hey, I took a self-defense course." Mousse looked surprised at Paul before he slapped his hand over his mouth trying not to laugh. Paul gave Mousse a dirty look before he started giggling at the joke himself. Both men fell over laughing.

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Well that's it for now. Will they survive the encounter or die in a blaze of glory (and a pool of their own blood)? Stay tune next time when Mousse and Paul makes their assault on the Yazuka. And thanks to Maricruz for proofreading my fic.