A street of Midas. Futuristic metal buildings, cars and bikes hovering above the ground. Riki 17-year old boy, short, with black hair, black eyes is walking down the street.
Voice A: I've seen him before.
Voice B: Something the Dark, isn't it? He's so filthy.
Voice C: Yeah he's a mongrel.
Riki stops by one of the car, bends down, looks inside, watches for a moment. And then walks away.
Riki: Out of the way.
Voice C: Bloody cheek.
Riki turns to some quiet alley with lots of cars. There's a group of local men watching him, but he isn't concerned with them. He picks one of the cars, leans against it and takes a look inside.
Leader of the group (Voice B): So you're Riki the Dark. You have a reputation of a rat.
Riki: What do you mean? Seems like you're always worried when you've got... (he provocatively breaks the car window) A NICE CAR!
Leader: Watch your mouth, all of us are CITIZENS of Midas.
Riki turns to face them. He puts his hand on his hip.
Riki: Yeah? So what?
Leader: Someone will have to teach you some manners.
Riki: I haven't got time to play around with you lot.
Leader: We're the Elite Bodyguards. We're patrolling so that scum like you don't roam around Midas.
The men prepare to attack. Riki's hand clenches into fist.
Riki: Cut the crap. I don't know about any Elite Bodyguard!
He darts towards them giving out a wild battle scream. Before they can react he delivers a right hook to the first man, kicks the second, and hits the third one with his elbow. In a matter of seconds all three are down. The fourth tries to punch him but Riki dodges and counters in his stomach. Only the leader is left on his feet, and he now looks pretty scared. He takes one step back. That moment a huge expensive car pulls up at the alley opening. A pair of icy blue eyes watch the scene from the darkness of the inside.
One of the men suddenly grabs Riki's legs and knocks him off his feet.
Riki: Son of a...
The other puts him in a headlock. The rest lift themselves up off the ground. The leader momentarily regains his courage.
Leader: We've got him!
Riki: So much for your Elite Bodyguards if you need four against one.
One of the men kicks Riki in his stomach.
Man A: Shut up!
Leader: Hey! Try saying 'help me'. You don't have the right to complain even if you're killed.
The leader opens a laser switchknife.
Riki: Does one rat frighten you so much?
Man A: Shut up, we're serious! Grovel and beg.
Leader: Your lot are the lowest of the low.
He moves towards Riki playing with his knife. Riki watches the blade, seriously scared now. The man raises his hand.
Suddenly his wrist gets caught in an iron grip of another hand. Riki looks up surprised. The hand pulls up and the leader screams with pain as he is lifted off the ground. The newcomer tall, young man with long blonde hair holds him like that without an effort. His face is completely blank. The knife falls off the leader's hand straight to the blonde's other one. Rest of the pack freeze, bewildered.
Man A: Bl... Blondie...
The blondie releases the man who falls down clenching his crushed wrist. Blue eyes close, bored, and the pack run away in panic. Riki is left lying on the ground. He looks at the blondie, then jumps up nimbly.
Riki: (yelling) Who the hell are you?! You didn't have to do that!
The blondie sizes him up with his eyes.
Blondie: A mongrel. (he turns to walk away) Go back to Ceres.
The boy immediately blocks his way.
Riki: Wait a sec! Why did you save me?!
The blondie keeps his eyelids low.
Blondie: No particular reason.
Riki: It's against my principles to owe anyone, not even an elite from Tanagura. Follow me. I haven't got a car so you'll have to walk.
They move out of the alley to the main street. In the blondie's car a man in the driver's seat smokes a cigarette. When he sees them leaving, his lips part in surprise.
Some dark, run down hotel room. The blondie is sitting on the couch. Riki stares out of the grilled window. Finally he turns to the other man and walks over to him.
Riki: Let's get it done with. I'm only here to pay back my debt.
Blondie: You plan to pay me back with your body... Very mongrel like...
Riki has already taken off his jacket. He throws it away, angrily.
Riki: So what if I'm a mongrel? I didn't want to be born in the slum. I haven't got anything else to give you.
Blondie: (tiredly) Unfortunately for you I am not so desperate that I need to put my hands on a mongrel.
Riki: Don't mock me! You gonna do it or not?!
The blondie rises. Lights and shadows playing on his face give him somehow demonic look.
Blondie: If you insist so much, I'll have you pay me. Take your clothes off and stand against the wall. Let's see this body you boast about.
Some minute later Riki indeed stands naked against the wall. The blondie is towering over him with just one hand restraining his hands above his head. Riki frowns skeptically. Blondie just watches him with his expression blank.
Riki: (gasping) Why... are you only... looking...
Blondie: Don't worry, I'll enjoy myself.
Blondie's gloved hand trails down Riki's torso and side. The boy gasps. The blondie pushes his knee between Riki's legs. The mongrel is definitely unhappy that the whole situation is arousing him.
Riki: Aren't you gonna take your clothes off?
Blondie: No idiot in Tanagura would take off their clothes to discipline a pet.
Riki's fingers twitch involuntarily between the gloved ones, and finally clench on them.
Blondie: What's wrong... finished already?
He leans down to kiss Riki's neck. The boy turns his head away and grimaces.
Riki: (hissing) Give me a break... I'm not a toy.
Blondie's hand again cups Riki's side. The mongrel gives out a few deep breaths, then finally his head falls to his arm.
Riki: Who are you?
Blondie: Iason Mink. Just a blondie.
The dawn is breaking as the Bison gang with Guy ahead ride along Midas streets.
Guy: (thinking) Riki. It's been three years since you've gone. Ceres hasn't changed. Stagnant days pass as the glittering nightless city Midas casts a sidelong glance at the elite's city Tanagura.
Typical night in Midas. People in front of some nightclub, people on the streets.
Guy: You used to say 'I'm gonna climb out of this dump one day'. I always thought you'd make something of yourself and come back. Riki. Have you forgotten about the members of Bison and Ceres?
A street of Ceres. Metal buildings that once must have been fine, now are run-down and deserted. Some garbage can knocked over to the ground. Trash scattered all around the street. Hopelessly looking people.
Guy: We used to say we didn't want to be stuck in Ceres but now we're twenty. Sometimes I think we're already chained down here and it gives me the shivers. Hey, Riki, did you find what you were looking for?
And when you look up, you can see glorious illumination of not so distant Tanagura.
Guy: Is there really a way out of this town for mongrels like us, who don't have citizenship. I believe the only guy who knows the answer is you.
Police pursuit. Sirens wail, members of Bison on their bikes and a few police cars behind them rush along the streets.
Guy: Run, they're gonna catch up!
He presses the hand accelerator. Finally they get chased down to some empty street that ends with a drop. The ground is far below. They skid to a halt.
Police cars stop in the line, blocking their only way of escape. Cops get out of the cars ready to shoot at them.
Guy: Luke, jump when I give the sign.
Kirie: No way! Don't tell me you're running scared.
The boy turns his bike to face the blockade.
Luke: Kirie, wait!
Kirie: I ain't having that!
Suddenly his eyes widen. He sees a bike approaching from behind the cars. The others notice that as well. The bike makes an impressive jump over the line. Police open fire. The newcomer lands on Bison's side, immediately changes direction and rushes at the blockade. At the last moment he jumps of his machine, letting it crush against the cars. Policemen run off the way. A few minor explosions destroy the cars as the stranger punches one of the cops, then darts at the other and puts him down as well.
Guy: Everyone go.
They go. Guy stays behind. When his men are already behind the line, he starts his bike holding his hand out to their savior. He grabs him and helps him jump on the bike. They drive away.
Later at the docks. The stranger stands on the bank looking at the ocean, the others still by their bikes. He finally takes off his helmet revealing short, black hair. Guy watches him, face lighting up. The man turns around. It's Riki.
He comes over to Riki he is much taller than him. He puts his arms on the other boy's shoulder and stares at him, astonished.
Guy: You're Riki.
Riki: (smiles) Long time no see.
Guy hugs him tightly.
The slum next morning. Bison's hideout shabby, looking like some old, deserted pub. Posters of the leaders of the revolution pinned to the wall.
Luke: Yo, where the hell were you. Leaving your partner alone?
Riki just sits at the table, his hand at his chin, his lips curled into a musing smile.
Luke: 3 years... 3 years man. Bison didn't break up 'cause he took over.
Guy sits down on the curved couch next to Riki. He is holding a bottle of stout.
Luke: Bet'cha were doing something bad. Looking kinda grown up.
Riki: It's nothing like that.
Luke: Oh yeah, haven't introduced you yet.
Luke puts his arm on the shoulder of a younger and shorter boy, leaning against him in fraternizing gesture.
Luke: He's Kirie. He joined after you left. Say hi.
Kirie doesn't look happy he is treated like that. The gives Luke a glare.
Luke: Way to go virgin boy!
Riki watches them. He narrows his eyes, muses.
Luke: See? Don't you think his eyes are a bit like yours?
Kirie looks really irritated. Riki smiles slightly.
Riki: I'm not a kid like him.
Kirie: What do you mean?!
Norris lies slumped on the couch.
Norris: Come off it. He's no match for you, right Guy?
Syd sits on the window sill with his own stout in hand. He stares out at the Ceres street.
Syd: Riki, nothing's changed in these 3 years. It's not that Guy's to blame. It's just this town.
Riki's bottle is crumpled in his hand. He looks sleepy. He leans his head back, closes his eyes, and rubs his temple.
Riki: Ah, nothing's changed.
Some evening at the docks. They sit by their bikes bored, smoking cigarettes, drinking stout, wasting their time...
Kirie: I was wondering what sort of great guy this Riki the Dark is... but hey, lazin' about everyday and getting high on stout.
He stands over Riki, hands on his hips.
Kirie: You really the boss?
Luke: Hey, Kirie!
Riki looks at him, unimpressed, smiles slightly.
Riki: Odd eyes, that's rare.
Kirie: Don't talk about my eyes! Anyway, why don't we talk about business. We can get some trippers from the auction at Mistral. Don't tell me Bison's gonna miss out on such an opportunity, eh?
His words attract their attention. They look at Kirie. Riki rises.
Riki: What if I say no?
Kirie: We'll decide by bike. If I win we go to the auction. OK Mr Leader?
The docks, a while later. The bikes are roaring, ready to begin the race. Other guys stand aside and watch.
Kirie's bike darts forward leaving Riki behind already at the start. The distance between them grows every second. After a moment the boy realizes something's wrong. He looks back. Riki didn't even move from place.
Kirie: What?! (he takes a turn and rides back) You son of a bitch!
He pulls to a stop in front of Riki, jumps off the bike and runs towards the gang leader. Riki holds out his feet and trips him, sending him sprawling to the ground. He looks down at the boy. Kirie lifts himself on his hands and knees.
Riki: You really wanna get hurt don't you? How old are you? Bet you're still green.
Kirie: You chickened out!
Riki: I'll decide about Bison. You just shut up and follow.
Other guys watch this little display with interest.
Kirie: Then we're going?
Mistral a giant Auction Hall. Blondies and other top class citizens of Tanagura walk around watching the human commodity inside the glass tubes or on the plinths. The 'articles' are almost naked, some striking poses, some just standing still, allowing everyone to watch them.
Riki and Guy wearing the staff overalls enter Mistral warehouse. They move down the aisle, when suddenly Riki stops pointing at something.
Riki: Guy, look.
Guy: What's up?
Guy turns following Riki's gaze and jumps back, startled. In the giant showcase before them stands a creature covered with scales, with a long tentacle-tail instead of legs, hands pressed to the glass pane, although it isn't moving.
Guy: W... What's this?
Riki: Don't know, but I suppose it's also on sale.
Guy: Beats me about the guys who want to have pets like this.
Riki: Come on.
And they move on.
By the elevator two workers are loading some boxes from the forklift into the lift. They are approached by two men in the same overalls as their own.
Guy: Hey! Those trippers are for the west warehouse.
Man A: You sure? I was told it was to be here.
Guy takes a professional look at his notepad.
Guy: Yeah, twenty cases are to be moved down there.
Second man takes a pad from him and looks at it as well.
Man B: Right, then I'll go.
Guy: Thanks, I appreciate it.
The man enters the west warehouse on his forklift and pulls to a stop. He looks around seeing nobody inside.
Man B: Is it really here?
Suddenly somebody hits him from behind. He falls out of the forklift and passes out. Syd and Norris look at the unconscious man.
Norris: No sweat.
Syd: I'll leave the rest to you.
Norris gives him a thumbs-up.
The hammer knocks on the pulpit.
Auctioner: Excuse me, your attention please. Number B1608.
At the man's side sits an almost naked girl.
Auctioner: Bidding starts at two hundred thousand credits.
People from the audience raise their hands, scream their prices. The girl sits with her head low. The Bisons watch the spectacle from the balcony. Kirie and Luke at the railing, the rest a little behind. Suddenly three people enter the hall. The one in the middle is a blondie, the other two look like his bodyguards. They walk down the aisle, drawing everybody's attention. The blondie raises his hand to wave to the crowd. Riki abruptly pulls back recognizing him.
Riki: (whispering) Iason.
Iason in his sunglasses looks really handsome. He looks up and stops noticing Riki. His face pulls into a gentle half-smile.
Kirie: Hey, he's looking. Wonder if he's interested in us.
Riki turns, his back to the railing. He raises his hand to his forehead, confused.
Kirie: It'll be a great chance to get to know a blondie.
Riki: Don't be stupid!
Kirie: What'cha so tense about? You afraid of a blondie?
Riki gives Kirie a severe, warning glance.
Riki: Guy, let's go.
He walks away. For a moment Kirie looks stunned after him, then his expression grows irritated.
Kirie: Fucking Riki.
Later on in the Syndicate Headquarters. Iason and some other blondie stand on the balcony overlooking a giant working room. Suddenly a comm unit behind them turns on and starts to beep. Iason takes a look at it. And frowns.
White glowed hand holding a glass of wine. Iason's face reflected in the red liquid...
Iason is sitting at the small table in Jupiter's room. Computer's 'avatar' human, female-like figure stands on the little pedestal in front of him.
Iason: Pet?... Oh, you mean him. He is a mongrel from the slum. Normal pet administration laws don't apply for him.
He raises the glass to his eyes and fixes his gaze on the wine.
Iason: They were only trippers, does it not please you that I let them go...?
Jupiter's silhouette transforms and flows through the air towards a bit surprised Iason. It crystallizes in front of him and puts its hand on Iason's cheek in motherly gesture. Iason lowers his head.
Iason: It is hardly necessary for any warning now.
Jupiter glances at him then flows back to his pedestal. Iason rises, bows and leaves. The lights in the room go down, as dozens of photocells turn on blocking the way to Tanagura ruler.
Downstairs, in the lounge area members of the elite spend their time accompanied by their pets. Raoul waits for Iason at one of the tables, playing chess with some man. When Iason comes into view, the man rises and leaves.
Raoul: You're late. Did Jupiter say something?
Iason sits on the man's place.
Raoul: Is it about that mongrel called Riki...?
Iason's face remains completely blank. He doesn't bother to answer.
Raoul: I'm right then. That's why I told you to stop... Listen, (he leans over the chessboard) this is you, this is Riki.
He points at the two figures. White knight and black pawn.
Raoul: What you're doing is this.
He knocks the knight over with the pawn. Iason puts his hand to his temple in a derisive gesture.
Iason: So I'm the foolish knight going for the pawn when I'm checked...
Raoul: It's no laughing matter. If I were Jupiter, I'd do this.
He shifts the white queen and knocks the pawn over. Then he reaches out for the black figure.
Raoul: It's inevitable.
The pawn gets crushed in his hand. Iason grows a little impatient.
Iason: Alright, don't say any more.
A furniture approaches them.
Furniture: Excuse me, you have a guest. A mongrel from Ceres called Kirie...
Iason: Make him wait in the lobby. (he thinks for a moment) No, call Katze and have him attend to the matter.
Kirie waits in the lobby at one of the tables. He is approached by a tall, red-haired man. He sits down next to the boy. There's a long, thin scar on his left cheek, although it doesn't stand out, as it's partially covered by the hair.
Katze: Are you Kirie?
Kirie fidgets nervously on his place.
Kirie: Who are you?
The man lights a cigarette.
Katze: Did you think Iason would come? Unfortunately the elite have no time to waste to see a punk.
Katze ignores his offended tone. He doesn't even look at Kirie.
Katze: We'll talk business. All you need to do is follow my orders. Even if it means betraying your gang.
Kirie: (irritated) I came to see the blondie, Iason.
Katze: So, you're quite assertive, but your answer is either yes or no. If you say no, I can't guarantee anything.
Only now Katze gives Kirie a sidelong glance.
Kirie: (taken aback) A... alright. Are you sure I'm dealing with Iason?
Katze: You don't have to do it if you don't trust me.
Kirie: N... no, it's not that...
The man rises. Kirie looks up at him still a bit disoriented.
Kirie: What's your name?
Katze: If you're thinking about getting along in the market, you'd better remember the name Katze.
The bar Depraved. Inside, at one of the tables members of Bison play cards.
Luke: I just saw Kirie in the street. He's got a real nice car and is bossing everybody about. Seems like he's doing some dirty work. Passing his mates on to androids and as a reward gets to do it with pets.
Norris: Yeah. I heard he's hanging around with the black-market broker, Katze.
Riki frowns at the name.
Luke: What's he hanging around him for?
Norris: For something I wouldn't dare say.
Norris reaches out for a cart, and jumps up happily seeing what he got.
Luke: Like what?
Norris: I DUNNO! Anyway, he's got a real bad reputation.
At that moment the saloon doors open and enters Kirie. He is changed. Wearing new, expensive although tasteless, pink suit, and a red tie in the addition. He slowly looks around and spotting the Bisons comes over to them.
Kirie: You guys don't change.
Syd: My, my. I thought you were some prince.
Guy: We thought you abandoned us.
Kirie: Hey, come off it. I've got a deal.
Luke: What deal?
Kirie: It's only transporting goods, but I haven't got the man power. So, here I am. How about it?
Luke: So you want us to do you a favour? Aren't you even gonna let us do it with a pet?
Riki doesn't seem interested with the talk. He reaches for his own cart.
Syd: Don't even mind if it's you. I heard you're getting it pretty good.
Kirie leans over the table putting his hand on it with a bossy gesture.
Kirie: The job pays 30000 credits. How's 5000 credits per head?
Norris: 5000 credits! You're joking.
Riki's eyes widen as he spots a ring on Kirie's finger.
Guy: Hey is this some dangerous job?
Kirie: I'll go somewhere else if you don't want it.
He turns around as if he wanted to leave. Luke jumps up and puts an arm around him.
Luke: Hey, hey. Just a minute, Kirie. It's only transporting goods, yeah?
Kirie casts him an irritated glance.
Kirie: Don't be so quick. (he turns to face the table again) Let's listen to your leader's opinion.
Riki slowly raises his head.
Riki: It's a Midas job.
Kirie: That's right, involving pets. Well, ya gonna do it or not?
Riki: I don't trust you.
Kirie: Why, that's just too bad. Have a little talk about it. I'll be in touch. See ya.
He walks away. Riki's eyes narrow.
A dark, shabby looking room. The door opens and enters Riki. Inside, turned back to the entrance, Katze is working on his computer. He doesn't bother to take a look at his visitor.
Riki: (slightly surprised) Hi.
Katze: It's been 4 years.
Finally Katze's fingers stop their work and he casts Riki a glance.
Katze: What's wrong?
They sit down at the table. Katze takes a cigarette and offers one to Riki, but the boy shakes his head.
Riki: No thanks. There's something fishy about Kirie's story. What I want to know is who is behind all of this.
Katze leans against the couch back, already smoking.
Katze: Who do you think it is?
Riki: (frowns thoughtfully) He had a Midas pet dealers ring on. I used to do errands for you before, and I know the ring isn't for free. It's you, isn't it Katze?
Katze: Why don't you come out straight and say it's Iason?
Riki is slightly startled with Katze's words. He gives him an angry glance.
Riki: What are you gonna do to my gang?
There's a momentary flash in Katze's eyes. A heavy metal bracelet lands on the table in front of Riki.
Katze: You know what this is?
Riki: An identification tag for a furniture.
Katze: I used to be Iason's furniture.
Riki gasps, taken aback by this confession. Katze stares absently at the table.
Katze: I was a blondie's exclusive furniture and one day I got a hold of some information.
Riki: About what?
Katze: Tanagura's secret.
A few years younger Katze, probably still in his teens, sitting in his room in front of the computer. Lips parted, eyes widened with excitement.
Katze: Once you taste curiosity, there's no stopping. It took me 6 months to find out using the terminal in my room. I, who had been treated as a living furniture, was stealing the secret of Tanagura. The thrill of quitting just before the tracing sensors activated gave me an illusion of a hard on.
A disk ejects from the slot. A hand reaches out for it... and gets shocked by electric current. A few drops of blood fall to the floor at the boy's legs beside the discs scattered everywhere.
Later. Katze kneels on one knee in the middle of some room, one hand on the floor, one supporting his head. Iason stands over him.
Iason: Didn't think a mere furniture could do so much. Your're good. It would be a shame to get rid of you. Let's see what you can really do.
He lowers a skewer he is holding in his hand, and points it at Katze's face. The boy just looks at his master, as if slightly enchanted. And then he closes his eyes and humbly lowers his head.
Katze: Don't underestimate Iason. And if you really want to be free, leave Tanagura. That's all.
Riki is shocked. Katze rises and goes back to his computer. The boy follows him with his eyes but Katze doesn't give him another look. He sits down at the desk.
Katze: (sharply) Just get out.
So Riki gets up and leaves. When the door closes behind him, Katze raises his hand to his face. His fingers trace the dark line running along his cheek.
Another night. A shuttle is landing. Riki and Guy drive a truck heading to the cargo depot at the spaceport. Guy is behind the wheel.
Guy: Seems like Kirie's talked us into it in the end. Where'd you go after that?
Riki looks out of the window recalling his meeting with Katze.
Katze: Don't underestimate Iason.
Guy: Riki, you OK? Are you hiding something?
Riki: Guy, if I left Bison what would you do?
Guy: What?! Something is wrong isn't it? Is it something you can't even tell me?
Riki: No, never mind. Forget it...
He turns his head to the window again. Guy frowns.
Riki: Guy, keep your eyes on Kirie. If there's any trouble, run no matter what.
They arrive at the place as another shuttle takes off.
In the depot. Kirie is talking to some dealer. The Bisons stand a little to the side, watching it. Finally the two shake their hands. The man heads to his car, and Kirie walks over to them.
Syd: Seems like you made your deal.
Luke: Hey Kirie, show us the goods before you stack'em in.
Norris) I'll lose sleep thinking about it.
Kirie: Well, OK.
He approaches one of the huge trunk-size containers and enters the code opening the hatch. Inside the lights go on. There are two rows of glass tubes on both sides. Each tube has a human body inside.
Luke: Hey this... Wow, man! They're class A pets.
The pets are mostly children. Their eyes are closed, as if they were hibernated.
Norris: W... what's gonna happen to them?
Kirie: They're exported from this port to millionaires and VIPs on border planets. One body, one hundred million credits. How much do you think the whole thing is?
Luke: Six containers so sixty bodies...
Luke and Norris: God! SIX BILLION CREDITS!
Kirie: Compare it with your wallet. You can't do this business if the money's doing your head in.
Suddenly the hangar gate closes trapping them inside. Guy turns around, startled.
Luke: Hey, Kirie, what's going on!
The younger boy is already on the other side of the magazine. He jumps onto the lifting platform.
Kirie: Meeting's over. See ya, bye!
He presses the button and the platform starts moving up. Riki darts after him.
Doors on the both sides of the hangar get kicked open and a police squad rush inside. Riki jumps up and manages to grab the platform edge. He pulls himself up and jumps onboard over the barrier.
Riki: Everyone run, quick!
They break into run. Norris gets shot as first. Then a few cops knock him down with several hard blows. Luke plasters himself to the wall as another policemen shoot at the metal concrete all around him. His pants get wet at the crotch. Syd manages to put down two men, but finally he gets a bullet as well. Guy runs, chased by the rest of their attackers. They shoot at him and finally hit him in his arm. He looks up at the platform, still running. Riki leans out as if he wanted to jump.
Riki: G... Guy.
Kirie grabs him from behind and pulls him back.
Kirie: Riki, you're gonna die if you jump out from here.
His voice is calm in spite of the circumstances. Guy finally stops, his eyes fixed with Riki's.
Riki holds his hand out to Guy. Kirie holds him in a headlock. Another shuttle takes off outside. Riki finally breaks free from the younger boy's grip. He clenches his fists angrily.
Riki: (screaming) What the hell do you think you're doing?
Kirie: Calm down. There's nothing you can do on your own.
The platform stops. Kirie is smiling.
Riki jumps at him and knocks him down with one strong blow. Kirie lands on his bottom by the barrier. Riki grabs him by his jacket lapels.
Riki: What's going on, huh? Tell me.
Kirie: What if I say 'no'. Ya gonna throw me overboard? It's no use doing that.
He looks over Riki's shoulder, smiling. Riki follows his gaze. They are surrounded by a few policemen pointing at Riki with their guns. A man is approaching them from the distance. Red haired figure reflects in Riki's eyes.
Katze stops. Riki rises from his knees and faces him. Kirie rises too and moves to Katze's side.
Kirie: Riki, I thought you had more sense than this, but suppose you couldn't beat your feelings.
Katze looks down at the pink dressed boy.
Katze: Fine job, now go.
And Kirie leaves. Yet, he stops a few feet away, turns his head and takes the last look at Riki. He smirks then moves on.
Riki and Katze size each other up with their eyes. Katze not breaking the eye contact takes a cigarette out of his mouth and drops it to the ground. He puts it out with his boot.
Katze: Take him to the Midas Police Centre, but don't hurt him.
Policemen grab Riki by his arms. He struggles to break free.
Riki: (screaming madly) You bastard! Where's Guy and the others? Using dirty tricks on us!
Katze: I warned you, Riki. Have you got the determination to fight, against the whole of Tanagura?
Riki gives out a frustrated, rasping growl.
Police Centre the same night. Riki sits in the interrogation room questioned by an officer in civilian clothes. In the next room two men watch the interview through the one-way mirror. Afterwards they walk him to the cell and close him up.
In the office another civilian officer is having a phone call.
Officer A: Yes, I understand. I'll act immediately.
He hangs up and rises from his desk. He approaches the man that was previously interrogating Riki and bends down to him.
Officer A: There's just been an order from above to release Riki.
Officer B: What'd ya mean! He's the principle suspect of this case.
On the opposite side of the desk sits Guy now. He has swollen eye and some cuts and bruises on his face and chest. The sleeve of his shirt is ripped in the arm.
Officer A: Anyway, we'll talk about this later in the chiefs office.Guy listens to the whole conversation, blinking.
Riki lies on the bed in his cell.
Hours pass. The new day is rising. The sun shines through the bars in the window.
Riki sits on the bed in his cell.
The bolt clicks and the door opens revealing two policemen standing at the threshold.
Policeman A: You're being released, but don't leave your home. If you try to escape we cannot guarantee your life.
Riki raises his head an looks at them surprised. The policeman smiles.
Policeman A: Pets should obediently lick their masters' boots.
The mongrel's eyes widen in shock.
Policeman B: Your name, it's on the pet registry.
They walk him, still handcuffed, down the corridor. When they pass the interrogation room, the door opens and Guy is being walked outside.
The men keep going, holding Riki by his arms. He tuns his head to keep his eyes locked on his friend.
Riki: Guy, Guy you OK?
Policeman A: Move on!
Guy looks sadly after him.
The cue descends to the billiard ball. It strikes. The ball falls into the pocket in the corner.
Iason and Raoul stand by the pool table.
Raoul: You're bringing Riki back? Why? Didn't you set him free?
Iason wipes his own cue, bends over the table and takes an aim.
Iason: Three years, Raoul. That's how long it took me to tame Riki. I only removed his pet ring so he could have a bit of fresh air.
He strikes the ball, it strikes another directing it towards the hole.
Iason: I did not have the intention to part with him.
Raoul: Iason, I'm serious about this, not him. Jupiter doesn't give second warnings. You should know that more than anyone else. Are you going to ruin your position as a blondie just for a mere mongrel?
Iason: Jupiter... I have never made a mistake in work until now and never will. Compared to that, a mongrel pet is a small problem.
Raoul leans towards him over the table.
Raoul: Don't try to justify it! You know what I'm talking about. To have a mongrel pet, that in itself is the problem. Still more, to treat him as special. Iason. In Tanagura Jupiter equals order. What if you incur Jupiter's wrath? I'm the one who's going to have to tamper with your mind.
Iason stares at some vague point with a blank expression.
Raoul: Are you listening?
Iason takes another shot. The ball hit with too much force crushes the table bank then bounces up shattering the chandelier above. Glittering slivers fall down on them. Raoul covers his head with hand. Iason still bends over the table.
Iason: Would you laugh if I said I loved Riki... Raoul?
Raoul isn't laughing. He stares at Iason, appalled.
A building in the slum, Riki's flat. Riki is taking a shower. Standing under the water he is recalling scenes from the police set-up in the depot. Police shooting at his people. Guy going down.
Riki: Fucking Iason.
A few minutes later he comes out of the bathroom wearing a bathrobe and a towel on his head. He is drying his hair.
Iason: It's been a long time.
Riki freezes, stunned. Iason is standing behind him, by the wall, hands folded on his chest. Riki turns to him pulling the towel off his head.
Riki: I... Iason. What did you come here for? (screaming) Get out! I don't ever want to see your face.
Iason's expression is calm as always.
Iason: I've come to fetch you.
Riki: Right, so that's why you broke up Bison.
Iason pushes away from the wall and starts in Riki's direction. Riki steps back.
Riki: Give me my gang back!
Iason: I'll let them go as soon as they are able to walk.
Iason is moving forward and the mongrel is withdrawing. They get to the bed. Riki trips against it and falls back to the mattress. The edges of his robe slip apart and down his shoulders. Iason leans down to him, blocks the boy's wrists with his hands and puts his knee between Riki's legs.
Riki: What about... what's gonna happen to Guy?
Iason: Don't know. Could make him into a pet, or sell him off to Midas... or perhaps even tamper with his mind a little and make him a docile sexdoll...
Riki: You're... joking.
Iason pulls even closer.
Iason: Have I ever told a joke? I could let him go unharmed.
Riki: What do you want me to do?
Iason: Return to Eos, the game's over.
Riki: (screaming) Why me? Didn't you set me free?
Iason straightens up again.
Iason: Riki, I hope you haven't mistaken me.
He unhurriedly removes his overcoat and drops it to the floor.
Iason: Though I have removed your ring, I haven't cancelled your registration. You have been and always will be my pet.
He pulls off his glove. There is a ring on his finger. Riki watches it with terror. The ring is actually a device that Iason once used to control him by sending shock waves to his pet ring. And now the blondie raises his hand before Riki's eyes, showing the pet ring to him.
Iason: (whispers) What do you fear? Have I ever treated you roughly?
Riki's eyes widen. He gasps as Iason grabs him by his hair. The blondie gently pushes his robe further apart. It slips loosely to the mattress revealing Riki's naked body.
Iason: You are mine.
Iason's hand with the pet ring between his fingers slides under the robe at Riki's crotch, and puts the piece of metal back in place.
Iason: Even if the world shatters around me now.
Riki grabs Iason's black outfit at the shoulder. The fabric stretches.
Riki: Someday I'll kill you.
Iason starts to caress Riki's groin.
Iason: You're about the only one who can talk like that towards a blondie.
Riki tries to stifle his gasps. He bits his lower lip so hard, that it begins to bleed.
Iason: Well? (he leans and licks the blood away) Say it.
Riki exhales helplessly.
Riki: Do it to me.
Iason caresses his cheek.
Iason: Yes, that's better.
He leans to a kiss and the boy doesn't protest anymore.
Downstairs, on the street a car is waiting. Inside Katze smokes a cigarette.
Katze: Riki. Do you know what a wedge is? It's something that strongly links two opposites together, like you and Iason. I suppose people could call it love.
Iason and Riki naked on the bed. Iason's leg between Riki's, his hand still caressing Riki's groin, the other one immobilizing the boy's wrists above his head. Riki is breathing deeply.
Katze: But Riki, it's too late if you realize... only after having a pet ring and are not able to do anything about it.
Riki and Iason standing/lying. Iason's hand between Riki's legs again, the other one wrapped around his waist. Riki is holding tightly onto Iason's shoulder.
In the car Katze puts the cigarette out.
Iason's office. Kirie is staring out of the window. After a moment he turns to face Iason standing behind him.
Kirie: Don't surprise me. Truth is I've come for the rest of the money.
Iason: Go ahead and open that box.
Kirie comes up to the table where the box sits. He lifts the lid and pulls back, stunned. There's a Tarot card inside. Major Arcana XVI The Tower.
Iason: Hope it pleases you.
Only the voice isn't Iason's anymore. Iason's eyes begin to glow with red light.
Iason: I will also give you this.
The hologram fades, Iason's image disperse revealing an android instead.
Android: Kirie, you must learn the manners of Tanagura first.
It starts to walk towards Kirie.
Kirie: Wait, no!
The mongrel pulls back but the robot is approaching. The boy looks around with terror. The android closes the distance between them. Kirie gives out a piercing shriek...
Riki is waiting at the corner outside the Police Centre. The rain is pouring. He has his head covered with his jacket. Guy comes out of the building, notices Riki and comes over to him.
The car drives past them lighting up Guy's face. His eye is still swollen, he is holding his right arm tightly.
Guy: You waited for me.
Riki: It's my fault...
Guy puts his hand on Riki's shoulder.
Guy: Don't say that. It's not like you.
Riki: Can I go to your place?
They put their arms around each other and move down the street.
In Guy's flat, they sit at the table Riki on the sofa, Guy in the armchair.
Guy: Riki. Why don't we become pairing partners again? I know something's happened to you in those three years. But that night you tried to jump off to help us, when you yourself could have got killed. You had the same face as the old Riki. The dazzling Riki who I liked.
Guy: That moment I thought 'It's OK. You haven't changed. Isn't that enough?'
Riki fidgets uncomfortably on his place. He leans forward, rests his elbows on his knees, lowers his head.
Guy: I won't be selfish and say 'forget everything' but can't we try again? Like when we first met. Let's have another go. You and me.
Riki's fist clench, his face is tensed as he is fighting his inner battle.
Riki: Guy, it's different.
Guy: What is?
Riki: (screaming) It's different, listen to me!
Guy looks at him startled by this outburst.
Riki: Guy, it wasn't the police's decision to release you. Iason... that blondie we saw at the auction pulled some strings with the police. Now do you get it?
Guy: What do you mean? (he rises, anxious now) Have you got some sort of debt towards that blondie? Well, C'mon, spit it out!
Riki: I'm... (his brows furrow as he is trying to conquer his shame) I'm Iason's pet.
Guy stares at him with disbelief.
Guy: Riki... a pet.
Riki: I've got a pet ring there. I've been licking his boots for three years. Even now. Guy, you were able to come back because he... those hands... Iason caressed my whole body.
Guy's teeth grit as the rage overcomes him. The table gets knocked over. Cups with coffee fall to the floor, the liquid spills out.
Guy: You idiot!
He hits Riki hard in his face, his stomach, and face again.
Guy: You used to say you'd rather die than suck up to anyone.
He ducks another blows. Riki isn't trying to fight back.
Guy: A blondie's pet?! Is... is that your answer?!
Guy: Didn't you feel any shame being touched by such a guy? You had such pride.
Finally Riki lands on the floor. Guy turns away from him.
Guy: Get out! Don't ever come back here again!
He is trembling with rage. Riki swallows it hard, still on his hands and knees.
Down on the street. Riki comes out of the building. He wipes the blood off his face and looks up at Guy's windows. He looks as if he was going to cry.
Riki: I'm so stupid... I knew it would turn out like this.
He turns and walks away.
In his office Iason is gazing through the window, looking not so victorious at all. He moves his eyes to the glass of wine in his hand.
Iason: (whispering) Riki...
Riki is sitting on the metal block on some rubbish dump. He smokes cigarette staring absently ahead, recalling his last months with Bison. Guy hugging him, Luke teasing Kirie, himself knocking Kirie down, Norris jumping happily after getting a good card, Kirie entering the bar in his new suit, the last meeting with Guy, hard beating...
Riki: It was all a dream.
He gets up and throws his duffel bag over his shoulder. Katze's images flash in his head. Katze in the hangar, in his flat touching the scar on his cheek.
Katze: If you really want to be free, leave Tanagura.
Riki jumps down to the ground and gets going. Moving down the street he takes the cigarette out of his mouth and throws it away.