Greetings my dear ladies and lords and puppies and kittens and caterpillars and butterflies! XDDD

Wow… More than two weeks! Hontoni hisashiburidesu ne? :O :D Sorry, I haven't been feeling very well lately :)

Thank you guys! So many reviews, so many kind words! I felt so loved and spoiled rotten this time! XD *still soaking up the bliss* (^v^)

So… Without further ado…

Warning: Character death (Oh come on, you saw it coming long, long ago! ;D)

Disclaimer: Yoshihara-sensei owns it all!

Please support the author by buying original merchandise! (^_^)


Chapter 18 Memories

"I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil."

J.R.R. Tolkien

"God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December."

J.M. Barrie

Riki's eyes widened in shock as his mind went through the words once again.

"You will not burn while I watch, Riki."

He did not know what to say. With just that one sentence Iason had managed to answer so many of his questions. The Blondie cared. He had staked his reputation, status and now finally his life, not just because it was a conquest or due to some misplaced implication of duty. But because he cared enough to want to keep him alive. That was enough for Riki. Because, to ask for more would make him a greedy, delusional mongrel. To ask for love would even be a mistake in his position. For after all, did he not owe Guy's safety and his own life to this tyrant? With the last few moments, the Blondie had returned so much to him that he felt, for a moment lost as to what his worth really was.

He hesitated for a bit as the Blondie almost dragged him out of the bunkers towards the vehicle he had left a little distance away. His entire body seemed to throb and tingle, as if an electric current still flowed through him, as if he had been shocked once just a few moments ago. And every twitch of muscle brought an electric pain. He smiled. This, he knew was a delayed side effect of the stun gun. He gasped slightly as he pulled on the Blondie's sleeve.

"Wait, Iason. It hurts to move…"

"No…"

Riki chuckled.

"What are you so in a hurry for?"

"Stop talking Riki."

"No…" the mongrel smiled cheekily.

"Riki…" the voice was sharp as Iason's eyes hardened.

Riki looked up and felt the concern in the Blondie's voice as he felt the supporting hands move away. And he wobbled slightly. He was puzzled but for a second, before he saw that slight, sadistic smirk and responded with a defiant glare. This was Iason after all.

"Walk." ordered the Blondie.

Riki swallowed as he fathomed the amount of effort it would require and then placed an unsteady step forward. And it was too much effort.

Iason was ready for it when Riki fell forward. It hadn't been his intention at all to let the mongrel walk his way out. He had just needed a reasonable excuse to justify carrying his pet out of the situation. He caught the mongrel and hoisted him to his shoulder, quickening his pace, carrying him out of the wretched place. And just as he exited the ruins, he saw Katze, who had been lurking by the shadows walk to him. The dealer bowed his head slightly as he awaited the Blondie's orders.

"I don't remember asking you to come here…" said the Blondie tightening the grip he had on the surprisingly pliant mongrel.

Katze smiled in his mind. There it was, the much expected reprimand.

"I was concerned when I heard from my agents that you had come to the bunkers alone. I am-"

"You have been listening?"

Katze paused for a moment, gathering his courage to face what was coming.

"Yes… I am-"

"Then you know what to do... I cannot have any rumors flying about. Midas is out of the question."

"Then… Tanagura?" Katze asked skeptically, a bit surprised that his insubordination hadn't warranted much more than a second's thought. But taking him to Tanagura…would do nothing to lessen Iason's concerns.

Iason sighed. Moving him to Tanagura would be suicidal, indeed. He looked down at Katze, deciding quickly in his mind.

"Guardian. They still do have the facilities to perform the procedure. Kruger must have no compunction in doing this if he is admitted with my authority. I will make sure he knows."

"About the memory-"

"I will take care of it from there, Katze. Your job will be to have him transported to Guardian as soon as you-"

Iason paused as he felt slight rumbling under his feet.

Katze looked at the Blondie's reaction with surprise for a moment before he felt the vibrations too.

Shocked and curious, Iason had turned to face the structure, narrowing his eyes, slowly releasing Riki to stand by himself. Was he still conscious? Was he even able to move? What was the mongrel doing?

Riki was standing with difficulty as the Blondie looked towards the ruins, when he felt the reverberations too and fear seeped into his mind. His voice shook as he spoke.

"I-Iason, what's happening?"

The loud bangs of a series of explosions took over from the suggestive rumblings, confirming the Blondie's worst doubts. A slight spark of red was all the warning they would ever get, as the entire structure almost spontaneously was lit up in flames and small, synchronized blasts decorated the compound. It wasn't as if the fire had been started somewhere and then spread to engulf the whole of the bunkers, but as if the whole structure had been ignited simultaneously. There wasn't enough time for even a few steps before Dana Burn was surrounded by an impenetrable wall of flames. The incident had been so carefully planned that, had they been slower, had he held back to let Riki walk by himself, they would now be securely trapped inside.

The mongrel had planned all this. The mongrel had never had the intent to let any of them leave the ruins alive. Iason gritted his teeth in anger. What insanity!

Riki stood beside the Blondie his eyes wide open, unable for a moment to comprehend what was happening, to act accordingly. Guy was still in there. That was his only thought.

"No." he whispered, as he forgot pain and his strength returned. He thrust himself forward, trying to run to the burning ruins.

"Riki…" Iason had caught the mongrel and restrained him even before he could take a step forward.

"NO! Iason! Guy! Guy is still in there!" he shouted as he struggled against Iason's hold, and tears began filling his eyes.

"It's too late, Riki. We cannot…"

"No…" he whimpered. He knew Iason was right. There was no way anyone could go through the wall of fire separating him and Guy, but he didn't want to accept it.

"No." He sobbed, sinking to his knees, his eyes filled with the blurred sight of the burning buildings. "Guy…"

"Leave me alone, Riki."

There had been weakness in that voice, yet there had been a resolution. He shouted, as curses fell from his lips, unrelenting. He finally understood what Guy had been thinking.

"Shit! Shit! Damn!"

That bastard. That bloody bastard had planned this all along, hadn't he? Even if things had gone to his plan, even if he had accepted and Iason hadn't interfered at all, this would have happened, and he would have taken Iason with him. He had planned, all along, to be the sacrifice, so that he could finally be free of the Blondie. He yelled with all his might, as fury tore through his heart.

"Bastard!"

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Had time stopped? Was he dead now? Or was he drowning still in the flood of fire he had made? Why was it still so bright? Why did it still hurt?

Shit!

It hurt like hell! Not just his body, but his mind, his heart too. Why wasn't he dead yet?

Each sensation he felt seemed amplified a hundredfold. Pieces of shattered glass were lodged into his skin and he could feel every one of them, every drop of blood as it trickled out of his body. His body felt cold, he had lost a lot of blood. But the warmth surrounding him licked his skin so sharply that every lap felt like a brand against cold skin. And it was still bright red. He did not seem to be losing consciousness anytime soon.

Oh how he wished the darkness that skirted his mind claimed him completely! He wanted, more than anything, to sleep. But he would not be claimed so soon. If the darkness engulfed him, he would no longer be able to think or worry. He wanted oblivion more than anything, but that mercy would not be granted him, he understood. He cursed his fate as he lay on the cold, trembling ground, waiting for the flames to consume him. And he worried, ceaselessly.

Did his friend make it alive? What would happen to Riki, now that he had, in a sense, betrayed the Blondie? Would he be put through more torture? Would he be forced to submit to worse things than he could even imagine? Had he actually hurt Riki more, by his actions, than helped? Curiously enough, he found no hatred in his heart anymore, even for the Blondie pervert.

Guy smiled as the pain in his arm shot again. Did it even matter anymore? He had already befriended death, he was even eager to see its face, finally. No matter what happened to anyone, it would not change this fact. And no matter what happened later, he could do nothing more. Guy's smile turned to a frown.

He had never, even in his cruelest nightmares, wished to harm Riki. He hadn't even imagined that he was capable of such cruelty as he had seen himself act out towards his friend. What had he said?

"So you will fall for anyone who treats you like a slave?... Maybe I should just screw you… No. Rape you. You'd love me then, right? Or maybe I should order you to masturbate before me…"

How brash and crude! And he had said something like that to Riki! How could he even forgive himself?! No matter what, in his mind, Riki still was that Riki he had revered years ago. That was the way he had taken it, that deep inside, Riki was still the same. Yet, he has said it; he had, in his desperation, lost control of his words. And to say that to that beautiful, shining man, his leader, was treason at its highest, harshest form. And then he had asked for love! Guy opened is eyes, which were blurred by tears and blood and smoke. His entire body burned with fervor, but that drop of water sliding by his temple was the most keenly felt sensation. Guilt, regret, worry. He was torn, shattered to pieces by remorse, and there was nothing he could do to make up for it, but this. This one last act was his gift to Riki, even if it would hardly help his friend anymore. It was all he could do.

Guy blinked once, letting his vision clear and then chuckled.

Why bother thinking about it now? What was remorse going to accomplish? And what use was it to torment oneself at the last moment? It would indeed be better to dwell on pleasanter, cheery images.

He closed his eyes and concentrated on his past. Those days at Guardian, the first time he had seen Riki, their first kiss, the first time they had made love, those moments under the starry sky… The first time Riki had drunk stout and sputtered due to the strength of the fiery fluid, the first smoke they had shared together, their first ride on the motor-bike, the first time Riki had cried on his shoulders. Their first fight, those minutes when they were truly connected, breathing in synchronized unison and felt as if they were really one, all their victories against the other gangs, all the wounds, the scars, the tears they'd shed together, all those laughs they'd shared, all those friends they'd made, all those days lazing around their hideout. Priceless memories of happiness, fulfillment, friendship and love. He felt as if he was really complete, just by being part of such an eventful, adventurous life with his best friend.

"Someday I am going to kiss the slums goodbye… I am quitting Bison."

Guy felt another tear fall past, and smiled as he closed his eyes once again, taking a painful breath. Numbness was beginning to spread across his extremities, while a part of his mind wondered if he would be burnt alive like this or crushed to death. Which brought his mind back to the present once again. If all the explosives he had set had gone off, there would be no structure remaining at all. And yet, there was a ceiling above his head.

He sighed. None of his plans really worked, right? He looked over at the arm that still held the detonator and saw that there was still a red light glowing. That meant, one of the charges hadn't been set off. He had assumed the most central charge would blow off by itself, triggered by the other explosions, but apparently that hadn't happened. He would die either by burning alive or being crushed. And if it was entirely up to him, he would choose that latter option, of course. He tried to move his fingers, groaning at the impossible effort that it now required. And he pressed the single glowing button on the device that would set off the final charge, before the darkness claimed his sight, with a final thought and a tired smile, as the ground beneath him rumbled once more, and the roof above him cracked and shuddered.

So this is how it ends.

"Goodbye, Riki."

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Just when he had thought that the explosions were finally over, Iason felt another, more powerful rumble in the ground, and stepped back as a stronger blast occurred. This one much more powerful, much more damaging and much more central, seemed to break through the boundaries created by the initial charges and threw burning debris of metal and stone, almost reaching them. The shockwave from the explosion had sent through a wave of intense, hot, grimy draft in all directions.

Despite the urge he felt in his mind to run to safety, taking his pet with him, he was frozen to the spot. His heart thumped, and cold sweat covered his forehead, as he retracted into his mind, looking into the burning, dancing flames.

Darkness as thick as fog, yet impervious. He groped about trying to find a source of light; he was unused to such emptiness outside of his sleep.

"Quite tensile, aren't you? I had hoped for a bit more time, but I can't say I am disappointed… As expected of you, right? Your Excellency…?"A voice that could rival his own in its tone and timbre, yet hoarse, with none of his silky character. He looked up.

Eyes identical to his own, as blue as his own, dark sapphires, as cold and as menacing, but with the fire of life he would perhaps never have. And nothing, but the eyes. Nothing else existed here.

"But now that you know, I am afraid you will have to forget."

The semblance of a smile, a sound almost fatherly, almost benevolent, yet suffocatingly ominous. Merciless.

"Sleep." the voice ordered, chilling him even further.

He gulped as a slight silver of fear passed through his spine and his eyes closed without his permission.

"Master Iason!"

An out-of-breath Katze's voice seeped through his consciousness. It seemed so irate, cacophonic even, sawing through his reverie. Irritation crept up, as the image slowly disappeared. What was that? A memory? A vision? Some sort of artifact of the past? Where did that piece of vision come from? His head ached as he thought a bit more, trying to follow the image.

"Master Iason!"

And Iason shivered with a lingering feeling of threat as he opened his eyes, to see that he had been holding his head in his hands, standing near the burning ruins, and Riki was still kneeling, sobbing looking at the flames. There was burnt debris all around them, and Katze seemed to be struggling to move Riki from his position, away from a dangerously close piece of red-hot metal beside him. But Riki would not budge.

He looked down at his kneeling pet and sighed. Iason truly wanted to be understanding, considerate. He wanted to let the mongrel mourn his friend. Still, he could not help but feel a slight jealousy. That nasty mongrel had made himself a martyr in Riki's eyes. No matter how he tried to convince him now, Iason knew that his pet would not heed to his words. Riki would now have to break away from Guy's little spell by himself. And keeping Riki here wasn't going to help him in the least. Besides, they weren't really safe even now.

He wanted nothing more than to drag Riki back to Eos, kicking and screaming, if necessary. Not only had the pet broken his limits, broken his trust, he had also caused him endless worry. He still remembered his thoughts as he had driven to Dana Burn. Iason had wanted nothing at all, but one chance to see Riki alive, if only for a moment. That was how affected he had been. Riki had made him, a Blondie, rush out with no concern about anything else, just so that he could meet his pet once more. His mind boiled in rage and desperation as dark thoughts invaded. What if he had been just a moment too late? What if Katze hadn't given him the tracer? The possibilities almost numbed his mind. Riki could have been seriously harmed. He would never have met Riki again! And he would have been killed in the venture to rescue him!

This made him even angrier, even more desperate. His mind rebelled, his hands twitched, overwhelmed by the need to hold his beloved close, to re-affirm the fact that he was alive and unharmed in any way, the only way he knew.

But he could not do it. Because of that filthy mongrel. His heart raged, but Iason was mortified at his own jealousy and the urge he felt to use force now to get Riki back. Being ruthless and selfish now, even just to fulfill that innate need for assurance, even to make certain that his Riki was alright, would only do more damage in Riki's state of mind. And didn't his beloved deserve even that understanding? Didn't he deserve his kindness? The situation, however frustrating, required that he be patient and let Riki adjust to it by himself.

He closed his eyes, restraining with that action every little need of his and bent down towards the mongrel.

"Riki…" he called softly, placing a hand on the pet's cheek, with a soothing caress, looking at the trails made by tears, wiping them slowly and then lifting his face upwards.

That caught the boy's attention.

"Iason." The boy's unguarded, vulnerable eyes filled again with tears, which flew down to wet the Blondie's fingers.

Iason did not hesitate any more as he stood up, gathering the boy in a soft embrace, letting him sob.

"It's my fault… It's all my fault… I'm sorry." Riki whispered in a litany, as if in a trance, still deep in grief.

The Blondie just stood there, smoothing his fingers over the boy's hair, trying to find a way to console his beloved. Riki looked broken, the expression on his face one of defeat and sheer powerlessness. And never had he seen Riki cry so much, that he was even scared for a moment.

"He chose it, Riki. It isn't your fault."

"No… I forced him into this… I made him this…"

"Riki…" he whispered, holding the mongrel even closer while motioning for Katze, who stood with his eyes on the duo, with a surprised expression.

"Drive us to Eos." he ordered as he bundled Riki, carrying him into the car.

It was almost unbearable to Riki that Guy was no more. Furthermore that Guy had chosen this himself. The fact glared at him, and there was no disbelief in his mind. But sadness and guilt overtook every other emotion he would otherwise have, and robbed him of rationality. It was obvious to him that his friend had committed suicide in a rather elaborate way, and that he had never planned to come out of the situation alive, yet, he could not help but blame himself for the turnout of situation. And he couldn't help as the words flooded out of his lips, just as tears trailed over his cheeks.

"It's my fault... I am sorry…"

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Jupiter was much more than angry to look at the way things had turned out. The sentient being was raging in such excessive amounts, that the whole sanctum glowed blue with worrisome ferocity. The moment the shocks from the explosions had registered, Jupiter had unleashed what could only be called a scream of fury, expressed solely through signals of laser and electric current.

Much to the contrary of everybody's understanding that the slums and the bunkers were left untouched to teach the rest of Amoi the fruit of rebellion, Ceres and particularly Dana Burn had not been reclaimed or destroyed completely because there were other important reasons. There was no way Jupiter would allow the wastage of precious habitable and even mineable land for trivial reasons. Jupiter was not foolish enough to do that and the people of the Amoi did not need the reminder, as long as her rule of force was in power. The computer could bring all of Amoi to its knees with just one order to the droid military, which was under its supreme control.

And the fact that this extremely significant event had taken place solely because of the recklessness and indifference of her most favored son, only increased her anger and doubled her worries. Nobody expected this from Iason Mink; nobody would accept this from Iason Mink. The Blondie who controlled and coordinated Tanagura single-handedly could not, must not be what he now was. And yet, Jupiter hesitated to replace him. Iason was favored not only because of his skills and his perfection. He was more; he meant something far more important to the monarch. That was the reason why his blatant disobedience, his skillful usage of loopholes were tolerated, no matter how significantly they challenged her laws. And there wasn't a successor worthy enough of his post as yet. Raoul Am, though very intelligent, seriously lacked certain skills that were essential to control Amoi as well as Iason did. And with Iason demoted, the economy would only suffer too much. No. Replacing him now was out of question; he was embedded too deep in the system to be removed easily. There was no smooth way out, but one. And Jupiter favored it more than the alternatives.

To go to such extents, to give up so much, just for the sake of a mere pet, and in the name of something as fickle as love, was too much to be tolerated. The destruction of Dana Burn was another incident that forced the ruler to take steps to remedy the situation as soon as possible. To run to Dana Burn without an escort, take on a vendetta against a lowly mongrel, to forget pride and duty. There was no fall baser, lower, than this, and it would not be allowed. Iason's evolution seemed much more serious than previous estimates.

All along, Jupiter had been going easy on the Blondie because he was that important, that special. But no more. This was the limit of her tolerance.

This one act, the computer decided as she dispatched the orders to Raoul Am, had sealed the fate of Iason Mink

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Eos was abuzz with activity, rumors about the blast in Dana Burn already spreading through the Blondie circles, when he arrived. Despite having stopped, Iason took a moment to compose himself, as he gathered Riki in his arms, took a deep breath and then climbed out of the car.

Riki looked pitiful right now. The mongrel had sobbed all the way, repeating words the same words of remorse, and was almost exhausted to sleep when they had reached Eos. Even like this, Riki looked beautiful to him. It reminded him of those early days when he had first tried to train him to be a pet. How many times had the mongrel lost consciousness crying like this, because of him? Then, each time it happened, he would feel extreme satisfaction, the satisfaction of conquest and domination. A thrill that made him addicted to the creature that lay in his arms now. But now, despite his immediate attraction, the same unconscious face brought sharp pain along with the scanty amount of excitement, which irritated him more than anything.

"Come with me Katze." He ordered as he began walking towards the tower. The dealer followed wordlessly, slightly afraid that perhaps this was going to be the session where he'd face the consequences for his actions.

Pairs of outraged eyes, of both elites and pets, and hushed whispers followed the master and servant who sported equally grimy clothes and similar forbidding expressions, as they made their way to the penthouse. The situation wasn't good. Actually, it could not get any worse. He had drawn too much attention with the explosions. And this warranted explanations and reprimands from Jupiter, who was already displeased with his affairs. The sun was beginning to set, scattering reddish orange rays, he saw from the elevator. It wasn't too late yet for a meeting with Jupiter. He would probably be ordered to leave immediately for a communion with the monarch. The Blondie heaved a sigh in irritation as soon as he entered his home.

"Master!" Cal bowed, as soon as he entered the great hall. The furniture was serving drinks to a guest he noticed.

It didn't take even a second for the guest to stand up, whirl around to face him, hissing out his name.

"Iason!" the angry voice of his friend sounded across the room, too loud for his tastes.

Raoul didn't hesitate as he stepped forward and raised his voice once more.

"What the hell were you th-"

Raoul stopped, his words choked by the cold, looming glare he was receiving from the Blondie.

"Cal." Iason called, moving to his chambers and laying Riki down on his bed.

"Is he-?"

"He's fine. Try and clean him up as much as possible."

Iason then proceeded to wash up and change his own clothes quickly, before he returned to Riki's side. To find him fast asleep, yet mumbling, whimpering.

"Sorry…"

He sat beside his pet for but a moment, running a finger across the partly open lips, whispering a soft word of reassurance. He sighed slightly as he moved back to where Raoul awaited him. He needed to take care of the situation.

"What is it?"

"What the hell, Iason?! How can you be so cool! Do you even realize your position?"

"Did Jupiter summon you again, Raoul?" Raoul seemed nearly hysteric.

"I was given orders to prepare my team! Immediately! I don't want to do it, Iason. I will not-"

"Jupiter's orders are absolute, Raoul. You cannot reject it."

"I already told you, Iason. If there is one thing I will never agree to, even if it is an order, then it is-"

"If it is to be done, I would really want you to be the one." he answered brusquely, pausing, looking at his friend coldly. "There is no one I trust more than I do you, Raoul. If I am to surrender my brain to anyone, then I'd prefer to do it with you."

Raoul was dumbfounded. There was not an iota of defiance in his friend's manner. It was unusual, but Iason seemed to have surrendered to Jupiter's judgment already. He swallowed dryly as he spoke.

"You… accept defeat?"

The Blondie chuckled, his expression that of superiority, more than defeat. Even now, even cornered, Iason wouldn't surrender to the computer's threats and panic. Was he planning something? Did he know something that Raoul didn't?

"I am left with no more moves. I was warned more than once. And truthfully speaking, replacing me would indeed be to the best interest of Amoi." Iason replied honestly, clearing some oh his doubts. There were, most probably, no secret plans.

"Iason…"

Iason smiled and then said in a jovial tone.

"I am surprised that there hasn't yet been a summons, act-." And the words hadn't even left his mouth before his communicator beeped, announcing a contact from the digital being.

"Right on time." He joked as he received the summons. The message was brief and succinct. He was to meet the Ruler of Amoi the first thing in the morning.

He smiled in his mind. Jupiter was still deliberating her decision, despite the orders given to Raoul.

"You… this is no time to joke… It isn't too late, Iason. You can still apologize and turn things around!"

Raoul was actually worried that beneath that cold, unfeeling expression, Iason was perhaps in a perilous state. But nevertheless, the Blondie's composure never wavered even an inch.

"Hmmm… I doubt that. And besides what she asks for is more than what I can give. I'd rather take the memory-tampering than grant her her wish."

"And you would accept it if I ordered that your pet be confiscated if you retrieve him."

That couldn't be allowed, no matter what happened. There was now an immediate need for him to provide for Riki's safety, even if his mind was erased. He had to find a way to keep him away from her clutches somehow. The computer, though usually very just, could be extremely vengeful when the need arose, and what Riki had been ever since the beginning, was reason enough to inflame her temper.

"Raoul… I am going draft a will of my possessions. I don't want my belongings confiscated or sold off without my permission. Will you agree play the executor?" Iason's tone was serious, business-like.

The Blondie who sat before him gritted his teeth. Iason looked at this and reassured him softly.

"Come now… It is just a protection measure for my properties. To be used only in the case that my mind is really tampered with, and I become hopelessly unaware of myself."

"I cannot do it Iason." Raoul replied, bitter.

"Will you have me knock on doors, searching for a person I could trust more than my best friend, to carry out a thing of such import, this late in the day?"

An attempt at securing his pity, Raoul understood, and stayed silent. Ruthless and cold, as usual.

When there was no answer from the Blondie, Iason's eyes hardened in disappointment and decision.

"I am still the head of Tanagura, Raoul. I have the right to order you to be the executor."

"You ask too much of me, your Excellency."

"It is an order then. You shall bear witness and do with my assets as I instruct in my will, while I recover."

The Blondie bowed his head.

"You will not be dead Iason… It will not be recognized…"

"Not exactly… There is provision in the law allowing for execution of wills if the testator is deathly ill or impossibly damaged. Memory impairment is, I believe, quite a serious damage. So your work will be completely legal. And do not worry, I am not leaving anything too troublesome for you to handle." said the Blondie seriously, as he began writing down on the digital document.

Katze stood by, as an hour passed, watching the proceedings as the Blondie signed the document and Raoul Am testified as witness with his own signature. He could hardly comprehend the sequence of events anymore. Iason had been warned by Jupiter against going to Dana Burn? Raoul had been ordered to erase Iason's memory? Jupiter was that angry with the Blondie?

True, the events of the past few months did little to convince the computer to be more tolerant. But this was quite sudden and too severe considering Iason's only true mistakes were that he had given Riki too much freedom and that he'd impulsively rushed to aid Riki without thinking of consequences. Everything until that had irrefutable logical explanation. No matter how it was reasoned, this was too severe.

To think, Jupiter would punish Iason like this… Never had he even imagined that such a day would come.

Raoul felt restless. This was pathetic. It was so pathetic that it was frustrating to stay calm. It was wrong for a Blondie to be so attached to a worthless pet as to do something like this. He could not accept this happening.

"This is madness, Iason." spoke Lord Am, trying to sneak some sense into his friend's brain. "All this for that filthy thing you call a pet?" Raoul stood up, his eyes gleaming with decision. "For an insignificant, lewd creature which left you for a mongrel? Riki is the crux of this problem isn't he? Then I'll take care of him. That should solve all this." he shouted with obvious desperation, storming towards Iason's chambers, only to be stopped once again with a deathly glare and a hand thrust in front if him, blocking his entrance.

"Raoul." The call was sharp, yet the eyes remained expressionless. "Stop it."

"Tch." The Blondie was irritated beyond belief. "You have become unfair, Iason. Enough. I am leaving." The Blondie gave up with a sigh and exited the penthouse in fluid rage.

Iason sighed as he beckoned Cal for a drink, and sat down to talk to Katze.

"You… Do you think you can train him?"

"Yes, Master Iason."

"How far can he go…?"

"If I have enough time, he could even take my place."

Iason looked at the ex-furniture critically before he answered.

"If the ruling is finalized and I am to receive the ordained sentence, then it is certain I will not want him back. In such a case, I want you to take care of certain things for me…"

Katze listened patiently, stunned to hear the Blondie's solution to the present problem. It would work; it would work beautifully, indeed. He agreed immediately, begging to be excused so that he could rush to put in motion a series of changes to facilitate the proposed idea.

"Katze…"

The redhead turned around to face his ex-master one more time before he left.

The Blondie was looking directly at his eyes, with an earnest expression, smiling slightly.

"You did well."

The dealer bowed his head once more and turned to leave, feeling a jolt of emotion hearing the Blondie's next words.

"Thank you."


Sorry for the double quote! I had a lot of trouble with choosing again… So I chose to put the two top contenders out! lol!

Uwaaa… I made Riki cry so much! :"( A lot of emotions, eh? :) wow... I didn't even realize that legal things would be so important to me! Iason is laughing right now, reading the will part... lol! So, you guys see the base-work for the sequel? Sounds ok? You want it? Tell me what you think! XDDD Suggestions, criticisms, welcome! Also, feel free to use the vegetables *pointing to one side* and the flamethrowers *pointing to other side* and don't forget to take your cookies as you exit! XDDD

Dear Prospero-sama! Uwaaah! "without overflowing ego"- Sore wa kōeidesu! Hontōni sugoku ureshīdesu! That to me is a most invaluable compliment!*blush* Thank you! It feels as if you read my mind! The implication was about the inner workings of the character's minds in the prev chapter :) XD And, indeed! Compassion is never in vain. :) But I had hoped to do better. It did and still does feel a bit cliché to me… Plot-wise. :) Perhaps it is just my imagination, perhaps not. But, it is my extreme good fortune and your graciousness that I have to thank, for such acceptance! :)

And yes, I do think they have a good knowledge of terrestrial literature on Amoi. I even believe some of our people were there during Amoi's formative years, hence the Greek naming! XDD Lord Mink is quite tight-lipped upon the subject, but I think he knows more about the Earth than even we do… ;)

You jolted my memory by mentioning those names… Actually initially, I'd wanted Commander Gaylon to have a character-wise similarity with Iason (God knows why, though! LOL), but I dropped the idea as soon as I began writing :D I still kept the name I'd thought up. Iason means Healer, and I saw from a few baby names websites (lolol!), that Gaylon, a derivative of Galen means healer too! (It also means calm.) I must have mentioned it before, while the Commander was still in picture, but it skipped my mind. XD I don't hide from Iason anymore. He is ok with the way I am doing things. If it gets too bad, I just go cower behind Riki. He is sure to distract Lord Mink! XDDD If your flu isn't already healed, get well soon! (^_^)

Dear Epee! Hello! Thank you very much! :) It is of course, an option, to write an alternate ending where I kill everyone! XDDD But, I know that it will hardly be enjoyable. I am more of a cheesy and corny writer and I am sure that you (and I) will either hate it, or break down crying if I wrote that much violence! *blush* (yeah… it was that bad… XD) As it is I was planning on writing the original ending as a 'what-if' scenario as an extra. I am hardly sure if I should do it, but it seems a pity to let go of what had, at the very beginning, been my idea for this fic's end. :) Guess that depends on if you guys want it! XDDD Tell me if you do or don't!

Dear Guest-san! Thank you very much for your concern! :D I've been ill having the flu and intermittent migraines this whole time and was unable to do much more than lay about and think (and respond to reviews at night when I could actually open my eyes... I even skipped work and school! *secretly happy for the free time (^_^)-b*) But, not to worry, it's kinda usual for me! And I am feeling much better already! Your review brightened and livened up a really feverish day, triggered the will to write after a long spell of utter inactivity! Thank you! :D

Alright friends! I will see you when I finish the next chappie! ;D I promise that I will give it to you in time (like in a week) this time around!

Thanks to all who came across this fic, read, reviewed, followed and favorited! *huggles* (^u^)

Until next time fellas! Have a beautiful weekend! (^u^)/~